Science.gov

Sample records for rtx toxin gene

  1. Detection of RTX toxin genes in gram-negative bacteria with a set of specific probes.

    PubMed Central

    Kuhnert, P; Heyberger-Meyer, B; Burnens, A P; Nicolet, J; Frey, J

    1997-01-01

    The family of RTX (RTX representing repeats in the structural toxin) toxins is composed of several protein toxins with a characteristic nonapeptide glycine-rich repeat motif. Most of its members were shown to have cytolytic activity. By comparing the genetic relationships of the RTX toxin genes we established a set of 10 gene probes to be used for screening as-yet-unknown RTX toxin genes in bacterial species. The probes include parts of apxIA, apxIIA, and apxIIIA from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, cyaA from Bordetella pertusis, frpA from Neisseria meningitidis, prtC from Erwinia chrysanthemi, hlyA and elyA from Escherichia coli, aaltA from Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and lktA from Pasteurella haemolytica. A panel of pathogenic and nonpathogenic gram-negative bacteria were investigated for the presence of RTX toxin genes. The probes detected all known genes for RTX toxins. Moreover, we found potential RTX toxin genes in several pathogenic bacterial species for which no such toxins are known yet. This indicates that RTX or RTX-like toxins are widely distributed among pathogenic gram-negative bacteria. The probes generated by PCR and the hybridization method were optimized to allow broad-range screening for RTX toxin genes in one step. This included the binding of unlabelled probes to a nylon filter and subsequent hybridization of the filter with labelled genomic DNA of the strain to be tested. The method constitutes a powerful tool for the assessment of the potential pathogenicity of poorly characterized strains intended to be used in biotechnological applications. Moreover, it is useful for the detection of already-known or new RTX toxin genes in bacteria of medical importance. PMID:9172345

  2. The rtxA Toxin Gene of Kingella kingae: a Pertinent Target for Molecular Diagnosis of Osteoarticular Infections▿†

    PubMed Central

    Lehours, Philippe; Freydière, Anne-Marie; Richer, Olivier; Burucoa, Christophe; Boisset, Sandrine; Lanotte, Philippe; Prère, Marie Françoise; Ferroni, Agnès; Lafuente, Christine; Vandenesch, Francois; Mégraud, Francis; Ménard, Armelle

    2011-01-01

    Kingella kingae is an emerging osteoarticular pathogen in young children. Its isolation by traditional culture methods remains difficult, underscoring the need to implement other diagnostic methods for its detection and identification, such as nucleic acid amplification tests. Although the genome of this bacterium has not yet been sequenced, a toxin named RTX has been identified. The goal of this study was to develop sensitive, specific, and rapid molecular methods based on the rtxA toxin gene sequence to diagnose this infection. Two real-time PCR assays (SYBR green and TaqMan chemistries) targeting this gene are reported. Sensitivity and specificity were first evaluated successfully with 67 strains: 31 Kingella kingae isolates and 36 strains from other bacterial species. Then, 52 clinical specimens positive or negative by culture and/or PCR (16S rRNA and cpn60 genes) were tested with these assays. A nested PCR assay with subsequent sequencing was also developed to confirm the presence of Kingella kingae isolates in these clinical specimens. The results obtained demonstrate that these assays are accurate for the diagnosis of Kingella kingae infection. PMID:21248099

  3. Multilocus Sequence Typing and rtxA Toxin Gene Sequencing Analysis of Kingella kingae Isolates Demonstrates Genetic Diversity and International Clones

    PubMed Central

    Basmaci, Romain; Yagupsky, Pablo; Ilharreborde, Brice; Guyot, Kathleen; Porat, Nurith; Chomton, Marilyn; Thiberge, Jean-Michel; Mazda, Keyvan; Bingen, Edouard

    2012-01-01

    Background Kingella kingae, a normal component of the upper respiratory flora, is being increasingly recognized as an important invasive pathogen in young children. Genetic diversity of this species has not been studied. Methods We analyzed 103 strains from different countries and clinical origins by a new multilocus sequence-typing (MLST) schema. Putative virulence gene rtxA, encoding an RTX toxin, was also sequenced, and experimental virulence of representative strains was assessed in a juvenile-rat model. Results Thirty-six sequence-types (ST) and nine ST-complexes (STc) were detected. The main STc 6, 14 and 23 comprised 23, 17 and 20 strains respectively, and were internationally distributed. rtxA sequencing results were mostly congruent with MLST, and showed horizontal transfer events. Of interest, all members of the distantly related ST-6 (n = 22) and ST-5 (n = 4) harboured a 33 bp duplication or triplication in their rtxA sequence, suggesting that this genetic trait arose through selective advantage. The animal model revealed significant differences in virulence among strains of the species. Conclusion MLST analysis reveals international spread of ST-complexes and will help to decipher acquisition and evolution of virulence traits and diversity of pathogenicity among K. kingae strains, for which an experimental animal model is now available. PMID:22693588

  4. Channel formation by RTX-toxins of pathogenic bacteria: Basis of their biological activity.

    PubMed

    Benz, Roland

    2016-03-01

    The pore-forming cytolysins of the RTX-toxin (Repeats in ToXin) family are a relatively small fraction of a steadily increasing family of proteins that contain several functionally important glycine-rich and aspartate containing nonapeptide repeats. These cytolysins produced by a variety of Gram-negative bacteria form ion-permeable channels in erythrocytes and other eukaryotic cells. Hemolytic and cytolytic RTX-toxins represent pathogenicity factors of the toxin-producing bacteria and are very often important key factors in pathogenesis of the bacteria. Channel formation by RTX-toxins lead to the dissipation of ionic gradients and membrane potential across the cytoplasmic membrane of target cells, which results in cell death. Here we discuss channel formation and channel properties of some of the best known RTX-toxins, such as α-hemolysin (HlyA) of Escherichia coli and the uropathogenic EHEC strains, the adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT, CyaA) of Bordetella pertussis and the RTX-toxins (ApxI, ApxII and ApxIII) produced by different strains of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. The channels formed by these RTX-toxins in lipid bilayers share some common properties such as cation selectivity and voltage-dependence. Furthermore the channels are transient and show frequent switching between different ion-conducting states. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Pore forming activity of the potent RTX-toxin produced by pediatric pathogen Kingella kingae: characterization and comparison to other RTX-family members*

    PubMed Central

    Bárcena-Uribarri, Iván; Benz, Roland; Winterhalter, Mathias; Zakharian, Eleonora; Balashova, Nataliya

    2015-01-01

    Pediatric septic arthritis in patients under age of four is frequently caused by the oral Gram-negative bacterium Kingella kingae. This organism may be responsible for a severe form of infective endocarditis in otherwise healthy children and adults. A major virulence factor of K. kingae is RtxA, a toxin that belongs to the RTX (Repeats-in-ToXin) group of secreted pore forming toxins. To understand the RtxA effects on host cell membranes, the toxin activity was studied using planar lipid bilayers. K. kingae strain PYKK081 and its isogenic RtxA-deficient strain, KKNB100, were tested for their ability to form pores in artificial membranes of asolectin/n-decane. RtxA, purified from PYKK081, was able to rapidly form pores with an apparent diameter of 1.9 nm as measured by the partition of nonelectrolytes in the pores. The RtxA channels are cation-selective and showed strong voltage-dependent gating. In contrast to supernatants of PYKK081, those of KKNB100 did not show any pore forming activity. We concluded that RtxA toxin is the only secreted protein from K. kingae forming large channels in host cell membranes where it induces cation flux leading to programmed cell death. Furthermore, our findings suggested that the planar lipid bilayer technique can effectively be used to test possible inhibitors of RTX toxin activity and to investigate the mechanism of the toxin binding to the membrane. PMID:25858109

  6. Pore forming activity of the potent RTX-toxin produced by pediatric pathogen Kingella kingae: Characterization and comparison to other RTX-family members.

    PubMed

    Bárcena-Uribarri, Iván; Benz, Roland; Winterhalter, Mathias; Zakharian, Eleonora; Balashova, Nataliya

    2015-07-01

    Pediatric septic arthritis in patients under age of four is frequently caused by the oral Gram-negative bacterium Kingella kingae. This organism may be responsible for a severe form of infective endocarditis in otherwise healthy children and adults. A major virulence factor of K. kingae is RtxA, a toxin that belongs to the RTX (Repeats-in-ToXin) group of secreted pore forming toxins. To understand the RtxA effects on host cell membranes, the toxin activity was studied using planar lipid bilayers. K. kingae strain PYKK081 and its isogenic RtxA-deficient strain, KKNB100, were tested for their ability to form pores in artificial membranes of asolectin/n-decane. RtxA, purified from PYKK081, was able to rapidly form pores with an apparent diameter of 1.9nm as measured by the partition of nonelectrolytes in the pores. The RtxA channels are cation-selective and showed strong voltage-dependent gating. In contrast to supernatants of PYKK081, those of KKNB100 did not show any pore forming activity. We concluded that RtxA toxin is the only secreted protein from K. kingae forming large channels in host cell membranes where it induces cation flux leading to programmed cell death. Furthermore, our findings suggested that the planar lipid bilayer technique can effectively be used to test possible inhibitors of RTX toxin activity and to investigate the mechanism of the toxin binding to the membrane.

  7. Characterization of PaxA and Its Operon: a Cohemolytic RTX Toxin Determinant from Pathogenic Pasteurella aerogenes

    PubMed Central

    Kuhnert, Peter; Heyberger-Meyer, Bénédicte; Nicolet, Jacques; Frey, Joachim

    2000-01-01

    Pasteurella aerogenes is known as a commensal bacterium or as an opportunistic pathogen, as well as a primary pathogen found to be involved in abortion cases of humans, swine, and other mammals. Using broad-range DNA probes for bacterial RTX toxin genes, we cloned and subsequently sequenced a new operon named paxCABD encoding the RTX toxin PaxA in P. aerogenes. The pax operon is organized analogous to the classical RTX operons containing the activator gene paxC upstream of the structural toxin gene paxA, which is followed by the secretion protein genes paxB and paxD. The highest sequence similarity of paxA with known RTX toxin genes is found with apxIIIA (82%). PaxA is structurally similar to ApxIIIA and also shows functional analogy to ApxIIIA, since it shows cohemolytic activity with the sphingomyelinase of Staphylococcus aureus, known as the CAMP effect, but is devoid of direct hemolytic activity. In addition, it shows to some extent immunological cross-reactions with ApxIIIA. P. aerogenes isolated from various specimens showed that the pax operon was present in about one-third of the strains. All of the pax-positive strains were specifically related to swine abortion cases or septicemia of newborn piglets. These strains were also shown to produce the PaxA toxin as determined by the CAMP phenomenon, whereas none of the pax-negative strains did. This indicated that the PaxA toxin is involved in the pathogenic potential of P. aerogenes. The examined P. aerogenes isolates were phylogenetically analyzed by 16S rRNA gene (rrs) sequencing in order to confirm their species. Only a small heterogeneity (<0.5%) was observed between the rrs genes of the strains originating from geographically distant farms and isolated at different times. PMID:10603361

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

  9. Identification and characterization of an RTX toxin in the emerging pathogen Kingella kingae.

    PubMed

    Kehl-Fie, Thomas E; St Geme, Joseph W

    2007-01-01

    Kingella kingae is an emerging bacterial pathogen that is increasingly recognized as the causative agent of a variety of pediatric diseases, including septic arthritis and osteomyelitis. The pathogenesis of K. kingae disease is believed to begin with colonization of the upper respiratory tract. In the present study, we examined interactions between K. kingae and cultured respiratory epithelial cells and observed potent cytotoxicity, detected by both microscopy and lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) release assays. Experiments with synovial and macrophage cell lines revealed cytotoxicity for these cell types as well. Using mariner mutagenesis and a screen for loss of cytotoxicity, a genetic locus encoding an RTX toxin system was identified. Disruption of the K. kingae RTX locus resulted in a loss of cytotoxicity for respiratory epithelial, synovial, and macrophage cell lines. DNA sequence analysis demonstrated that the RTX locus is flanked by insertion elements and has a reduced G+C content compared to that of the whole genome. Two relatively less invasive Kingella species, K. oralis and K. denitrificans, were found to be noncytotoxic and to lack the RTX region, as determined by LDH release assays and Southern blotting. We concluded that K. kingae expresses an RTX toxin that has wide cellular specificity and was likely acquired horizontally. The possible roles for this toxin in the pathogenesis of K. kingae disease include breaching of the epithelial barrier and destruction of target tissues, such as synovium (joint lining).

  10. Genetic map of the Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae RTX-toxin (Apx) operons: characterization of the ApxIII operons.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

    Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae RTX-toxin III (ApxIII) is implicated as an important virulence factor of A. pleuropneumoniae, the causative agent of porcine pleuropneumonia. Recently, the genes coding for ApxIII (apxIIICA) of serotype 8 were cloned and characterized. The toxin appeared to be a member of the RTX-toxin family, as are the other two secreted toxins of A. pleuropneumoniae, i.e., ApxI and ApxII. In this report, we describe the cloning and sequencing of the remaining part of the ApxIII operon of serotype 8. This sequence coded for the RTX secretion proteins ApxIIIB and ApxIIID, which showed 86 and 63% similarity to ApxIB and ApxID, respectively, and 83 and 63% similarity to HlyB and HlyD of Escherichia coli, respectively. Potential functional domains, such as eight transmembrane regions and an ATP-binding cassette, were present in ApxIIIB. We examined the presence of apxIIICABD sequences in the 12 serotypes of A. pleuropneumoniae and found that these sequences were present only in serotypes 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8, the serotypes that secrete ApxIII. Comparison of the apxIIICABD gene sequences of the serotypes revealed very few serotype-specific differences. Only the C terminus of ApxIIIA of serotype 2 differed from ApxIIIA of the other serotypes. The differences were located between the glycine-rich repeats and the secretion signal. The analysis of the apxIIICABD genes completed our efforts to characterize the ApxI, ApxII, and ApxIII operons of the reference strains of the 12 serotypes of A. pleuropneumoniae. We present a complete map of the ApxI, ApxII, and ApxIII operons and discuss this in terms of gene expression and complementation and the role of the toxins in pathogenesis. Images PMID:7927703

  11. RTX Toxin Plays a Key Role in Kingella kingae Virulence in an Infant Rat Model

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Dennis W.; Nudell, Yoav A.; Lau, Jenny; Zakharian, Eleonora

    2014-01-01

    Kingella kingae is a human oral bacterium that can cause diseases of the skeletal system in children and infective endocarditis in children and adults. K. kingae produces a toxin of the RTX group, RtxA. To investigate the role of RtxA in disease pathogenesis in vivo, K. kingae strain PYKK081 and its isogenic RtxA-deficient strain KKNB100 were tested for their virulence and pathological consequences upon intraperitoneal injections in 7-day-postnatal (PN 7) rats. At the doses above 8.0 × 106 cells/animal, PYKK081 was able to cause a fatal illness, resulting in rapid weight loss, bacteremia, and abdominal necrotic lesion formation. Significant histopathology was observed in thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. Strain KKNB100 was less toxic to animals. Neither weight loss, bacteremia, nor histopathological changes were evident. Animals injected with KKNB100 exhibited a significantly elevated circulating white blood cell (WBC) count, whereas animals injected with PYKK081 had a WBC count that resembled that of the uninfected control. This observation parallels the subtleties associated with clinical presentation of K. kingae disease in humans and suggests that the toxin contributes to WBC depletion. Thus, our results demonstrate that RtxA is a key K. kingae virulence factor. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the PN 7 rat can serve as a useful model for understanding disease caused by K. kingae and for elucidating diagnostic parameters in human patients. PMID:24664507

  12. The Bordetella Adenylate Cyclase Repeat-in-Toxin (RTX) Domain Is Immunodominant and Elicits Neutralizing Antibodies*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xianzhe; Maynard, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    The adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT) is a multifunctional virulence factor secreted by Bordetella species. Upon interaction of its C-terminal hemolysin moiety with the cell surface receptor αMβ2 integrin, the N-terminal cyclase domain translocates into the host cell cytosol where it rapidly generates supraphysiological cAMP concentrations, which inhibit host cell anti-bacterial activities. Although ACT has been shown to induce protective immunity in mice, it is not included in any current acellular pertussis vaccines due to protein stability issues and a poor understanding of its role as a protective antigen. Here, we aimed to determine whether any single domain could recapitulate the antibody responses induced by the holo-toxin and to characterize the dominant neutralizing antibody response. We first immunized mice with ACT and screened antibody phage display libraries for binding to purified ACT. The vast majority of unique antibodies identified bound the C-terminal repeat-in-toxin (RTX) domain. Representative antibodies binding two nonoverlapping, neutralizing epitopes in the RTX domain prevented ACT association with J774A.1 macrophages and soluble αMβ2 integrin, suggesting that these antibodies inhibit the ACT-receptor interaction. Sera from mice immunized with the RTX domain showed similar neutralizing activity as ACT-immunized mice, indicating that this domain induced an antibody response similar to that induced by ACT. These data demonstrate that RTX can elicit neutralizing antibodies and suggest it may present an alternative to ACT. PMID:25505186

  13. Membrane restructuring by Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase toxin, a member of the RTX toxin family.

    PubMed

    Martín, César; Requero, M-Asunción; Masin, Jiri; Konopasek, Ivo; Goñi, Félix M; Sebo, Peter; Ostolaza, Helena

    2004-06-01

    Adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT) is secreted by Bordetella pertussis, the bacterium causing whooping cough. ACT is a member of the RTX (repeats in toxin) family of toxins, and like other members in the family, it may bind cell membranes and cause disruption of the permeability barrier, leading to efflux of cell contents. The present paper summarizes studies performed on cell and model membranes with the aim of understanding the mechanism of toxin insertion and membrane restructuring leading to release of contents. ACT does not necessarily require a protein receptor to bind the membrane bilayer, and this may explain its broad range of host cell types. In fact, red blood cells and liposomes (large unilamellar vesicles) display similar sensitivities to ACT. A varying liposomal bilayer composition leads to significant changes in ACT-induced membrane lysis, measured as efflux of fluorescent vesicle contents. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a lipid that favors formation of nonlamellar (inverted hexagonal) phases, stimulated ACT-promoted efflux. Conversely, lysophosphatidylcholine, a micelle-forming lipid that opposes the formation of inverted nonlamellar phases, inhibited ACT-induced efflux in a dose-dependent manner and neutralized the stimulatory effect of PE. These results strongly suggest that ACT-induced efflux is mediated by transient inverted nonlamellar lipid structures. Cholesterol, a lipid that favors inverted nonlamellar phase formation and also increases the static order of phospholipid hydrocarbon chains, among other effects, also enhanced ACT-induced liposomal efflux. Moreover, the use of a recently developed fluorescence assay technique allowed the detection of trans-bilayer (flip-flop) lipid motion simultaneous with efflux. Lipid flip-flop further confirms the formation of transient nonlamellar lipid structures as a result of ACT insertion in bilayers.

  14. Fatal pulmonary hemorrhage associated with RTX toxin producing Actinobacillus equuli subspecies haemolyticus infection in an adult horse.

    PubMed

    Pusterla, Nicola; Jones, Megan E B; Mohr, F Charles; Higgins, Jamie K; Mapes, Samantha; Jang, Spencer S; Samitz, Eileen M; Byrne, Barbara A

    2008-01-01

    A case of fatal pulmonary hemorrhage in a 6-year-old American Paint mare with a 2-week history of intermittent coughing, fever, and epistaxis is described. Significant macroscopic abnormalities at postmortem examination were restricted to the respiratory system, and microscopically, severe pulmonary hemorrhage with suppurative bronchopneumonia was found. Actinobacillus equuli subsp. haemolyticus was cultured from a transtracheal wash performed antemortem as well as from the lungs at necropsy. The presence of airway-associated hemorrhage in conjunction with bacterial bronchopneumonia suggested endothelial damage caused by a locally elaborated bacterial toxin, possibly produced by the A. equuli strain isolated from the lungs. The objective of this report was to indirectly document the presence of hemolysin repeat in structural toxin (RTX) in the lungs of the reported mare. A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting the recently described aqx gene of A. equuli subsp. haemolyticus was established and validated. Transcriptional activity of the aqx gene was used as a surrogate method to document toxin production. Real-time PCR analysis of the transtracheal fluid and lung tissue of the affected mare confirmed the presence and the transcriptional activity of the aqx gene at the genomic (gDNA) and complementary DNA (cDNA) levels, respectively. The presence of pneumonia associated with hemorrhagic pulmonary fluid and the culture of large numbers of hemolytic A. equuli should prompt the clinician to consider endothelial damage caused by bacterial toxins.

  15. Vibrio vulnificus Biotype 3 Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX Toxin Is an Adenylate Cyclase Toxin Essential for Virulence in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Ziolo, Kevin J.; Jeong, Hee-Gon; Kwak, Jayme S.; Yang, Shuangni; Lavker, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Vibrio vulnificus is an environmental organism that causes both food-borne and wound infections with high morbidity and mortality in humans. The annual incidence and global distribution of infections associated with this pathogen are increasing with climate change. In the late 1990s, an outbreak of tilapia-associated wound infections in Israel was linked to a previously unrecognized variant of V. vulnificus designated biotype 3. The sudden emergence and clonality of the outbreak suggest that this strain may be a true newly emergent pathogen with novel virulence properties compared to those of other V. vulnificus strains. In a subcutaneous infection model to mimic wound infection, the multifunctional autoprocessing RTX (MARTX) toxin of biotype 3 strains was shown to be an essential virulence factor contributing to highly inflammatory skin wounds with severe damage affecting every tissue layer. We conducted a sequencing-based analysis of the MARTX toxin and found that biotype 3 MARTX toxin has an effector domain structure distinct from that of either biotype 1 or biotype 2. Of the two new domains identified, a domain similar to Pseudomonas aeruginosa ExoY was shown to confer adenylate cyclase activity on the MARTX toxin. This is the first demonstration that the biotype 3 MARTX toxin is essential for virulence and that the ExoY-like MARTX effector domain is a catalytically active adenylate cyclase. PMID:24614656

  16. Vibrio vulnificus biotype 3 multifunctional autoprocessing RTX toxin is an adenylate cyclase toxin essential for virulence in mice.

    PubMed

    Ziolo, Kevin J; Jeong, Hee-Gon; Kwak, Jayme S; Yang, Shuangni; Lavker, Robert M; Satchell, Karla J F

    2014-05-01

    Vibrio vulnificus is an environmental organism that causes both food-borne and wound infections with high morbidity and mortality in humans. The annual incidence and global distribution of infections associated with this pathogen are increasing with climate change. In the late 1990s, an outbreak of tilapia-associated wound infections in Israel was linked to a previously unrecognized variant of V. vulnificus designated biotype 3. The sudden emergence and clonality of the outbreak suggest that this strain may be a true newly emergent pathogen with novel virulence properties compared to those of other V. vulnificus strains. In a subcutaneous infection model to mimic wound infection, the multifunctional autoprocessing RTX (MARTX) toxin of biotype 3 strains was shown to be an essential virulence factor contributing to highly inflammatory skin wounds with severe damage affecting every tissue layer. We conducted a sequencing-based analysis of the MARTX toxin and found that biotype 3 MARTX toxin has an effector domain structure distinct from that of either biotype 1 or biotype 2. Of the two new domains identified, a domain similar to Pseudomonas aeruginosa ExoY was shown to confer adenylate cyclase activity on the MARTX toxin. This is the first demonstration that the biotype 3 MARTX toxin is essential for virulence and that the ExoY-like MARTX effector domain is a catalytically active adenylate cyclase.

  17. Assessing the Exoproteome of Marine Bacteria, Lesson from a RTX-Toxin Abundantly Secreted by Phaeobacter Strain DSM 17395

    PubMed Central

    Durighello, Emie; Christie-Oleza, Joseph Alexander; Armengaud, Jean

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria from the Roseobacter clade are abundant in surface marine ecosystems as over 10% of bacterial cells in the open ocean and 20% in coastal waters belong to this group. In order to document how these marine bacteria interact with their environment, we analyzed the exoproteome of Phaeobacter strain DSM 17395. We grew the strain in marine medium, collected the exoproteome and catalogued its content with high-throughput nanoLC-MS/MS shotgun proteomics. The major component represented 60% of the total protein content but was refractory to either classical proteomic identification or proteogenomics. We de novo sequenced this abundant protein with high-resolution tandem mass spectra which turned out being the 53 kDa RTX-toxin ZP_02147451. It comprised a peptidase M10 serralysin domain. We explained its recalcitrance to trypsin proteolysis and proteomic identification by its unusual low number of basic residues. We found this is a conserved trait in RTX-toxins from Roseobacter strains which probably explains their persistence in the harsh conditions around bacteria. Comprehensive analysis of exoproteomes from environmental bacteria should take into account this proteolytic recalcitrance. PMID:24586966

  18. Virulence factor rtx in Legionella pneumophila, evidence suggesting it is a modular multifunctional protein

    PubMed Central

    D'Auria, Giuseppe; Jiménez, Núria; Peris-Bondia, Francesc; Pelaz, Carmen; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés

    2008-01-01

    Background The repeats in toxin (Rtx) are an important pathogenicity factor involved in host cells invasion of Legionella pneumophila and other pathogenic bacteria. Its role in escaping the host immune system and cytotoxic activity is well known. Its repeated motives and modularity make Rtx a multifunctional factor in pathogenicity. Results The comparative analysis of rtx gene among 6 strains of L. pneumophila showed modularity in their structures. Among compared genomes, the N-terminal region of the protein presents highly dissimilar repeats with functionally similar domains. On the contrary, the C-terminal region is maintained with a fashionable modular configuration, which gives support to its proposed role in adhesion and pore formation. Despite the variability of rtx among the considered strains, the flanking genes are maintained in synteny and similarity. Conclusion In contrast to the extracellular bacteria Vibrio cholerae, in which the rtx gene is highly conserved and flanking genes have lost synteny and similarity, the gene region coding for the Rtx toxin in the intracellular pathogen L. pneumophila shows a rapid evolution. Changes in the rtx could play a role in pathogenicity. The interplay of the Rtx toxin with host membranes might lead to the evolution of new variants that are able to escape host cell defences. PMID:18194518

  19. Inducible polymerization and two-dimensional assembly of the repeats-in-toxin (RTX) domain from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa alkaline protease.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Franks, Jonathon; Stolz, Donna B; Conway, James F; Thibodeau, Patrick H

    2014-10-21

    Self-assembling proteins represent potential scaffolds for the organization of enzymatic activities. The alkaline protease repeats-in-toxin (RTX) domain from Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes multiple structural transitions in the presence and absence of calcium, a native structural cofactor. In the absence of calcium, this domain is capable of spontaneous, ordered polymerization, producing amyloid-like fibrils and large two-dimensional protein sheets. This polymerization occurs under near-physiological conditions, is rapid, and can be controlled by regulating calcium in solution. Fusion of the RTX domain to a soluble protein results in the incorporation of engineered protein function into these macromolecular assemblies. Applications of this protein sequence in bacterial adherence and colonization and the generation of biomaterials are discussed.

  20. Cloning and Characterization of Two Bistructural S-Layer-RTX Proteins from Campylobacter rectus

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Martin; Kuhnert, Peter; Nicolet, Jacques; Burnens, André P.; Frey, Joachim

    1999-01-01

    Campylobacter rectus is an important periodontal pathogen in humans. A surface-layer (S-layer) protein and a cytotoxic activity have been characterized and are thought to be its major virulence factors. The cytotoxic activity was suggested to be due to a pore-forming protein toxin belonging to the RTX (repeats in the structural toxins) family. In the present work, two closely related genes, csxA and csxB (for C. rectus S-layer and RTX protein) were cloned from C. rectus and characterized. The Csx proteins appear to be bifunctional and possess two structurally different domains. The N-terminal part shows similarity with S-layer protein, especially SapA and SapB of C. fetus and Crs of C. rectus. The C-terminal part comprising most of CsxA and CsxB is a domain with 48 and 59 glycine-rich canonical nonapeptide repeats, respectively, arranged in three blocks. Purified recombinant Csx peptides bind Ca2+. These are characteristic traits of RTX toxin proteins. The S-layer and RTX domains of Csx are separated by a proline-rich stretch of 48 amino acids. All C. rectus isolates studied contained copies of either the csxA or csxB gene or both; csx genes were absent from all other Campylobacter and Helicobacter species examined. Serum of a patient with acute gingivitis showed a strong reaction to recombinant Csx protein on immunoblots. PMID:10198015

  1. Cloning and characterization of two bistructural S-layer-RTX proteins from Campylobacter rectus.

    PubMed

    Braun, M; Kuhnert, P; Nicolet, J; Burnens, A P; Frey, J

    1999-04-01

    Campylobacter rectus is an important periodontal pathogen in humans. A surface-layer (S-layer) protein and a cytotoxic activity have been characterized and are thought to be its major virulence factors. The cytotoxic activity was suggested to be due to a pore-forming protein toxin belonging to the RTX (repeats in the structural toxins) family. In the present work, two closely related genes, csxA and csxB (for C. rectus S-layer and RTX protein) were cloned from C. rectus and characterized. The Csx proteins appear to be bifunctional and possess two structurally different domains. The N-terminal part shows similarity with S-layer protein, especially SapA and SapB of C. fetus and Crs of C. rectus. The C-terminal part comprising most of CsxA and CsxB is a domain with 48 and 59 glycine-rich canonical nonapeptide repeats, respectively, arranged in three blocks. Purified recombinant Csx peptides bind Ca2+. These are characteristic traits of RTX toxin proteins. The S-layer and RTX domains of Csx are separated by a proline-rich stretch of 48 amino acids. All C. rectus isolates studied contained copies of either the csxA or csxB gene or both; csx genes were absent from all other Campylobacter and Helicobacter species examined. Serum of a patient with acute gingivitis showed a strong reaction to recombinant Csx protein on immunoblots.

  2. Calcium-Driven Folding of RTX Domain β-Rolls Ratchets Translocation of RTX Proteins through Type I Secretion Ducts.

    PubMed

    Bumba, Ladislav; Masin, Jiri; Macek, Pavel; Wald, Tomas; Motlova, Lucia; Bibova, Ilona; Klimova, Nela; Bednarova, Lucie; Veverka, Vaclav; Kachala, Michael; Svergun, Dmitri I; Barinka, Cyril; Sebo, Peter

    2016-04-07

    Calcium-binding RTX proteins are equipped with C-terminal secretion signals and translocate from the Ca(2+)-depleted cytosol of Gram-negative bacteria directly into the Ca(2+)-rich external milieu, passing through the "channel-tunnel" ducts of type I secretion systems (T1SSs). Using Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase toxin, we solved the structure of an essential C-terminal assembly that caps the RTX domains of RTX family leukotoxins. This is shown to scaffold directional Ca(2+)-dependent folding of the carboxy-proximal RTX repeat blocks into β-rolls. The resulting intramolecular Brownian ratchets then prevent backsliding of translocating RTX proteins in the T1SS conduits and thereby accelerate excretion of very large RTX leukotoxins from bacterial cells by a vectorial "push-ratchet" mechanism. Successive Ca(2+)-dependent and cosecretional acquisition of a functional RTX toxin structure in the course of T1SS-mediated translocation, through RTX domain folding from the C-terminal cap toward the N terminus, sets a paradigm that opens for design of virulence inhibitors of major pathogens. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A Large Repetitive RTX-Like Protein Mediates Water-Soaked Lesion Development, Leakage of Plant Cell Content and Host Colonization in the Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii Pathosystem.

    PubMed

    Roper, M Caroline; Burbank, Lindsey P; Williams, Kayla; Viravathana, Polrit; Tien, Hsin-Yu; von Bodman, Susanne

    2015-12-01

    Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii is the etiological agent of Stewart's wilt and is a serious bacterial pathogen affecting sweet corn. During the leaf blight phase, P. stewartii colonizes the leaf apoplast and causes a characteristic water-soaked lesion. The Hrp type III secretion system has been implicated in the water-soaking phenotype, and the goal of this study was to investigate other potential factors that contribute to the plant cellular disruption associated with these lesions. The P. stewartii genome contains a gene encoding a large repetitive RTX toxin, designated rtx2. RTX toxins comprise a large family of pore-forming proteins, which are widely distributed among gram-negative bacteria. These cytotoxins usually lyse their target host cells and cause significant tissue damage as a consequence. We hypothesized that this RTX-like toxin plays a role in the water-soaking phase of infection due to its predicted cytolytic properties. Based on the data reported here, we conclude that RTX2 contributes significantly to the development of water-soaked lesions and leakage of plant cellular contents and is an important pathogenicity factor for P. stewartii.

  4. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Whelan, Nathan V; Kocot, Kevin M; Santos, Scott R; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2014-11-27

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63-74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. Nemertean Toxin Genes Revealed through Transcriptome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Whelan, Nathan V.; Kocot, Kevin M.; Santos, Scott R.; Halanych, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63–74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  6. MARTX Toxin in the Zoonotic Serovar of Vibrio vulnificus Triggers an Early Cytokine Storm in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Murciano, Celia; Lee, Chung-Te; Fernández-Bravo, Ana; Hsieh, Tsung-Han; Fouz, Belén; Hor, Lien-I; Amaro, Carmen

    2017-01-01

    Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2-serovar E is a zoonotic clonal complex that can cause death by sepsis in humans and fish. Unlike other biotypes, Bt2 produces a unique type of MARTXVv (Multifunctional-Autoprocessive-Repeats-in-Toxin; RtxA13), which is encoded by a gene duplicated in the pVvBt2 plasmid and chromosome II. In this work, we analyzed the activity of this toxin and its role in human sepsis by performing in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo assays. First, we demonstrated that the ACD domain, present exclusively in this toxin variant, effectively has an actin-cross-linking activity. Second, we determined that the whole toxin caused death of human endotheliocytes and monocytes by lysis and apoptosis, respectively. Finally, we tested the hypothesis that RtxA13 contributes to human death caused by this zoonotic serovar by triggering an early cytokine storm in blood. To this end, we used a Bt2-SerE strain (R99) together with its rtxA13 deficient mutant, and a Bt1 strain (YJ016) producing RtxA11 (the most studied MARTXVv) together with its rtxA11 deficient mutant, as controls. Our results showed that RtxA13 was essential for virulence, as R99ΔΔrtxA13 was completely avirulent in our murine model of infection, and that R99, but not strain YJ016, induced an early, strong and dysregulated immune response involving the up-regulation of a high number of genes. This dysregulated immune response was directly linked to RtxA13. Based on these results and those obtained ex vivo (human blood), we propose a model of infection for the zoonotic serovar of V. vulnificus, in which RtxA13 would act as a sepsis-inducing toxin. PMID:28775962

  7. Penicillium roqueforti PR toxin gene cluster characterization.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Pedro I; Poirier, Elisabeth; Ullán, Ricardo V; Piqueras, Justine; Meslet-Cladière, Laurence; Coton, Emmanuel; Coton, Monika

    2017-03-01

    PR toxin is a well-known isoprenoid mycotoxin almost solely produced by Penicillium roqueforti after growth on food or animal feed. This mycotoxin has been described as the most toxic produced by this species. In this study, an in silico analysis allowed identifying for the first time a 22.4-kb biosynthetic gene cluster involved in PR toxin biosynthesis in P. roqueforti. The pathway contains 11 open reading frames encoding for ten putative proteins including the major fungal terpene cyclase, aristolochene synthase, involved in the first farnesyl-diphosphate cyclization step as well as an oxidoreductase, an oxidase, two P450 monooxygenases, a transferase, and two dehydrogenase enzymes. Gene silencing was used to study three genes (ORF5, ORF6, and ORF8 encoding for an acetyltransferase and two P450 monooxygenases, respectively) and resulted in 20 to 40% PR toxin production reductions in all transformants proving the involvement of these genes and the corresponding enzyme activities in PR toxin biosynthesis. According to the considered silenced gene target, eremofortin A and B productions were also affected suggesting their involvement as biosynthetic intermediates in this pathway. A PR toxin biosynthesis pathway is proposed based on the most recent and available data.

  8. Revised nomenclature of Clostridium difficile toxins and associated genes.

    PubMed

    Rupnik, Maja; Dupuy, Bruno; Fairweather, Neil F; Gerding, Dale N; Johnson, Stuart; Just, Ingo; Lyerly, David M; Popoff, Michel R; Rood, Julian I; Sonenshein, Abraham L; Thelestam, Monica; Wren, Brendan W; Wilkins, Tracy D; von Eichel-Streiber, Christoph

    2005-02-01

    Several different nomenclatures have been applied to the Clostridium difficile toxins and their associated genes. This paper summarizes the new nomenclature that has been agreed to by the research groups currently active in the field. The revised nomenclature includes C. difficile toxins and other related large clostridial toxins produced by Clostridium sordellii and Clostridium novyi, and corresponding toxin genes, as well as toxin production types of C. difficile strains.

  9. Genetic characteristics of toxigenic Clostridia and toxin gene evolution.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R; Bouvet, Philippe

    2013-12-01

    Clostridia comprise a heterogenous group of environmental bacteria containing 15 pathogenic species, which produce the most potent toxins. The origin of toxins is still enigmatic. It is hypothesized that toxins exhibiting an enzymatic activity have derived from hydrolytic enzymes, which are abundantly secreted by these bacteria, and that pore-forming toxins have evolved from an ancestor transmembrane protein. The presence of related toxin genes in distinct Clostridium species and the variability of some toxin genes support horizontal toxin gene transfer and subsequent independent evolution from strain to strain. Clostridium perfringens toxin genes involved in myonecrosis, mainly alpha toxin and perfringolysin genes, are chromosomally located, whereas toxin genes responsible for intestinal and food borne diseases are localized on plasmids except the enterotoxin gene which can be located either on the chromosome or plasmids. The distribution of these plasmids containing one or several toxin genes accounts for the diverse C. perfringens toxinotypes. Clostridium difficile strains show a high genetic variability. But in contrast to C. perfringens, toxin genes are clustered in pathogenicity locus located on chromosome. The presence of related toxin genes in distinct clostridial species like Clostridium sordellii, Clostridium novyi, and C. perfringens supports interspecies mobilization of this locus. The multiple C. difficile toxinotypes based on toxin gene variants possibly reflect strain adaptation to the intestinal environment. Botulinum toxin genes also show a high level of genetic variation. They have a diverse genetic localization including chromosome, plasmid or phage, and are spread in various Clostridium species (Clostridium botulinum groups, Clostridium argentinense, Clostridium butyricum, Clostridium baratii). Exchange of toxin genes not only include transfers between Clostridium species but also between Clostridium and other bacterial species as well as

  10. Small Molecule-Induced Allosteric Activation of the Vibrio Cholerae RTX Cysteine Protease Domain

    SciTech Connect

    Lupardus, P.J.; Shen, A.; Bogyo, M.; Garcia, K.C.

    2009-05-19

    Vibrio cholerae RTX (repeats in toxin) is an actin-disrupting toxin that is autoprocessed by an internal cysteine protease domain (CPD). The RTX CPD is efficiently activated by the eukaryote-specific small molecule inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP{sub 6}), and we present the 2.1 angstrom structure of the RTX CPD in complex with InsP{sub 6}. InsP{sub 6} binds to a conserved basic cleft that is distant from the protease active site. Biochemical and kinetic analyses of CPD mutants indicate that InsP{sub 6} binding induces an allosteric switch that leads to the autoprocessing and intracellular release of toxin-effector domains.

  11. Gene Therapy and Targeted Toxins for Glioma

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Maria G.; Candolfi, Marianela; Kroeger, Kurt; King, Gwendalyn D.; Curtin, James F.; Yagiz, Kader; Mineharu, Yohei; Assi, Hikmat; Wibowo, Mia; Muhammad, AKM Ghulam; Foulad, David; Puntel, Mariana; Lowenstein, Pedro R.

    2011-01-01

    The most common primary brain tumor in adults is glioblastoma. These tumors are highly invasive and aggressive with a mean survival time of nine to twelve months from diagnosis to death. Current treatment modalities are unable to significantly prolong survival in patients diagnosed with glioblastoma. As such, glioma is an attractive target for developing novel therapeutic approaches utilizing gene therapy. This review will examine the available preclinical models for glioma including xenographs, syngeneic and genetic models. Several promising therapeutic targets are currently being pursued in pre-clinical investigations. These targets will be reviewed by mechanism of action, i.e., conditional cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses, tumor suppressors/oncogenes, and immune stimulatory approaches. Preclinical gene therapy paradigms aim to determine which strategies will provide rapid tumor regression and long-term protection from recurrence. While a wide range of potential targets are being investigated preclinically, only the most efficacious are further transitioned into clinical trial paradigms. Clinical trials reported to date are summarized including results from conditionally cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses and oncogene targeting approaches. Clinical trial results have not been as robust as preclinical models predicted; this could be due to the limitations of the GBM models employed. Once this is addressed, and we develop effective gene therapies in models that better replicate the clinical scenario, gene therapy will provide a powerful approach to treat and manage brain tumors. PMID:21453286

  12. Gene therapy and targeted toxins for glioma.

    PubMed

    Castro, Maria G; Candolfi, Marianela; Kroeger, Kurt; King, Gwendalyn D; Curtin, James F; Yagiz, Kader; Mineharu, Yohei; Assi, Hikmat; Wibowo, Mia; Ghulam Muhammad, A K M; Foulad, David; Puntel, Mariana; Lowenstein, Pedro R

    2011-06-01

    The most common primary brain tumor in adults is glioblastoma. These tumors are highly invasive and aggressive with a mean survival time of 15-18 months from diagnosis to death. Current treatment modalities are unable to significantly prolong survival in patients diagnosed with glioblastoma. As such, glioma is an attractive target for developing novel therapeutic approaches utilizing gene therapy. This review will examine the available preclinical models for glioma including xenographs, syngeneic and genetic models. Several promising therapeutic targets are currently being pursued in pre-clinical investigations. These targets will be reviewed by mechanism of action, i.e., conditional cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses, tumor suppressors/oncogenes, and immune stimulatory approaches. Preclinical gene therapy paradigms aim to determine which strategies will provide rapid tumor regression and long-term protection from recurrence. While a wide range of potential targets are being investigated preclinically, only the most efficacious are further transitioned into clinical trial paradigms. Clinical trials reported to date are summarized including results from conditionally cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses and oncogene targeting approaches. Clinical trial results have not been as robust as preclinical models predicted; this could be due to the limitations of the GBM models employed. Once this is addressed, and we develop effective gene therapies in models that better replicate the clinical scenario, gene therapy will provide a powerful approach to treat and manage brain tumors.

  13. RTX proteins: a highly diverse family secreted by a common mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Linhartová, Irena; Bumba, Ladislav; Mašín, Jiří; Basler, Marek; Osička, Radim; Kamanová, Jana; Procházková, Kateřina; Adkins, Irena; Hejnová-Holubová, Jana; Sadílková, Lenka; Morová, Jana; Šebo, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Repeats-in-toxin (RTX) exoproteins of Gram-negative bacteria form a steadily growing family of proteins with diverse biological functions. Their common feature is the unique mode of export across the bacterial envelope via the type I secretion system and the characteristic, typically nonapeptide, glycine- and aspartate-rich repeats binding Ca2+ ions. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge on the organization of rtx loci and on the biological and biochemical activities of therein encoded proteins. Applying several types of bioinformatic screens on the steadily growing set of sequenced bacterial genomes, over 1000 RTX family members were detected, with the biological functions of most of them remaining to be characterized. Activities of the so far characterized RTX family members are then discussed and classified according to functional categories, ranging from the historically first characterized pore-forming RTX leukotoxins, through the large multifunctional enzymatic toxins, bacteriocins, nodulation proteins, surface layer proteins, up to secreted hydrolytic enzymes exhibiting metalloprotease or lipase activities of industrial interest. PMID:20528947

  14. Developing and Testing RTX Hand Devices

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-03-26

    with a relaxed hand and offered easy ambidextrous access and 2. vacuum would be confined to center of the palm to enable vacuum containment...surface Enable ambidextrous use at many approach angles Units provide a basis for testing of this alternative RTX application and assessment of...others) • Operational • User hand: male/female, ambidextrous , wet, dirt/oil/med • Environment: 33°-140°, dusty, rough • Shape • Maximize RTX benefit

  15. Toxin-mediated gene regulatory mechanism in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Hwang-Soo; Otto, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The dangerous human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus relies heavily on toxins to cause disease, but toxin production can put a strong burden on the bacteria’s energy balance. Thus, controlling the synthesis of proteins solely needed in times of toxin production represents a way for the bacteria to avoid wasting energy. One hypothetical manner to accomplish this sort of regulation is by gene regulatory functions of the toxins themselves. There have been several reports about gene regulation by toxins in S. aureus, but these were never verified on the molecular level. In our study published in MBio [Joo et al., 7(5). pii: e01579-16], we show that phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs), important peptide toxins of S. aureus, release a repressor from the promoter of the operon encoding the toxin export system, thereby enabling toxin secretion. This study describes the first molecular regulatory mechanism exerted by an S. aureus toxin, setting a paradigmatic example of how S. aureus toxins may influence cell functions to adjust them to times of toxin production.

  16. Molecular evolution of toxin genes in Elapidae snakes.

    PubMed

    Tamiya, Toru; Fujimi, Takahiko J

    2006-11-01

    The venom of the sea krait, Laticauda semifasciata, consists primarily of two toxic proteins, phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) and a three-finger-structure toxin. We have cloned both toxic protein genes, including the upstream region. PLA(2) genes contain three types of inserted sequences: an AG-rich region, a chicken repeat 1-like long interspersed nucleotide element sequence and an intron II 3' side repeat sequence. The molecular divergence of L. semifasciata PLA(2) genes was defined on the basis of the inserted sequences and their sequence homology. The length of intron I in the three-finger-structure toxin genes differs from species to species. The alignment analysis of intron I of the three-finger-structure toxin genes revealed that the intron I sequence of the ancestral gene comprised ten genetic regions. A hypothetical evolutionary process for the three-finger-structure toxin genes has also been developed.

  17. Vibrio vulnificus RtxA1 modulated calcium flux contributes reduced internalization in phagocytes.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Soong-Yu; Chou, Miao-Chen; Lee, Shin-Luen; Wang, Yu; Chen, Chun-Liang; Lin, Pei-Ting; Lo, Horng-Ren

    2015-07-01

    Vibrio vulnificusis an opportunistic pathogen that causes primary septicemia and wound infection with high mortality rate. This pathogen produces an RTX toxin (RtxA1) which can cause host cell rounding, cell death and interference with internalization by host phagocytes. However, the mechanism of RtxA1-induced phagocyte paralysis is not clear. Using the murine macrophage cell line RAW264.7, we measured cytotoxicity and phagocytosis of V. vulnificusin normal and calcium-depleted media. To deplete extracellular and cytosolic Ca(2+), cells were exposed to the calcium chelators ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) and 1,2-bis-(o-aminophenoxy)-ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, tetraacetoxymethyl esteris (BAPTA-AM), respectively. The cytotoxicity was examined by measuring the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) released from the damaged cells. The gentamicin protection assay was conducted to determine the number of internalized bacteria, while acridine orange staining was applied to visualize the intracellular bacteria. The fluorescent indicator fura-2-acetoxymethyl ester (fura 2-AM) was used to measure the Ca(2+)signal post-infection. We revealed that extracellular Ca(2+)was essential for phagocytes to internalize V. vulnificus. Meanwhile, cytosolic Ca(2+)flux in RAW264.7 cells induced by an RtxA1 isogenic mutant was repressed by the parent strain. Furthermore, depletion of extracellular Ca(2+)level by EGTA significantly reduced the cytotoxicity but did not affect the antiphagocytic activity of RtxA1 toxin. Our results indicated that RtxA1 may interfere with cytosolic Ca(2+)flux of phagocyte to promote bacteria colonization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Toxin genes profiles and toxin production ability of Bacillus cereus isolated from clinical and food samples.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung-Beom; Kim, Jai-Moung; Cho, Seung-Hak; Oh, Hyuk-Soo; Choi, Na Jung; Oh, Deog-Hwan

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus cereus can cause diarrheal and emetic type of food poisoning but little study has been done on the main toxins of food poisoning caused by B. cereus in Korea. The objective of this study is to characterize the toxin gene profiles and toxin-producing ability of 120 B. cereus isolates from clinical and food samples in Korea. The detection rate of nheABC, hblCDA, entFM, and cytK enterotoxin gene among all B. cereus strains was 94.2, 90.0, 65.8, and 52.5%, respectively. The ces gene encoding emetic toxin was not detected in all strains. Bacillus cereus strains carried at least 1 of the 8 enterotoxin genes were classified into 12 groups according to the presence or absence of 8 virulence genes. The 3 major patterns, I (nheABC, hblCDA, entFM, and cytK gene), II (nheABC, hblCDA and entFM gene), and VI (nheABC and hblCDA gene), accounted for 79.2% of all strains (95 out of 120 B. cereus isolates). Non-hemolytic enterotoxin (NHE) and hemolysin BL (HBL) enterotoxins were produced by 107 and 100 strains, respectively. Our finding revealed that NHE and HBL enterotoxins encoded by nhe and hbl genes were the major toxins among B. cereus tested in this study and enterotoxic type of B. cereus was predominant in Korea.

  19. Toxin gene determination and evolution in scorpaenoid fish.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Po-Shun; Shiao, Jen-Chieh

    2014-09-01

    In this study, we determine the toxin genes from both cDNA and genomic DNA of four scorpaenoid fish and reconstruct their evolutionary relationship. The deduced protein sequences of the two toxin subunits in Sebastapistes strongia, Scorpaenopsis oxycephala, and Sebastiscus marmoratus are about 700 amino acid, similar to the sizes of the stonefish (Synanceia horrida, and Synanceia verrucosa) and lionfish (Pterois antennata and Pterois volitans) toxins previously published. The intron positions are highly conserved among these species, which indicate the applicability of gene finding by using genomic DNA template. The phylogenetic analysis shows that the two toxin subunits were duplicated prior to the speciation of Scorpaenoidei. The precedence of the gene duplication over speciation indicates that the toxin genes may be common to the whole family of Scorpaeniform. Furthermore, one additional toxin gene has been determined in the genomic DNA of Dendrochirus zebra. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that an additional gene duplication occurred before the speciation of the lionfish (Pteroinae) and a pseudogene may be generally present in the lineage of lionfish. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Identification and Characterization of Clostridium sordellii Toxin Gene Regulator

    PubMed Central

    Sirigi Reddy, Apoorva Reddy; Girinathan, Brintha Parasumanna; Zapotocny, Ryan

    2013-01-01

    Toxigenic Clostridium sordellii causes uncommon but highly lethal infections in humans and animals. Recently, an increased incidence of C. sordellii infections has been reported in women undergoing obstetric interventions. Pathogenic strains of C. sordellii produce numerous virulence factors, including sordellilysin, phospholipase, neuraminidase, and two large clostridial glucosylating toxins, TcsL and TcsH. Recent studies have demonstrated that TcsL toxin is an essential virulence factor for the pathogenicity of C. sordellii. In this study, we identified and characterized TcsR as the toxin gene (tcsL) regulator in C. sordellii. High-throughput sequencing of two C. sordellii strains revealed that tcsR lies within a genomic region that encodes TcsL, TcsH, and TcsE, a putative holin. By using ClosTron technology, we inactivated the tcsR gene in strain ATCC 9714. Toxin production and tcsL transcription were decreased in the tcsR mutant strain. However, the complemented tcsR mutant produced large amounts of toxins, similar to the parental strain. Expression of the Clostridium difficile toxin gene regulator tcdR also restored toxin production to the C. sordellii tcsR mutant, showing that these sigma factors are functionally interchangeable. PMID:23873908

  1. Identification and characterization of Clostridium sordellii toxin gene regulator.

    PubMed

    Sirigi Reddy, Apoorva Reddy; Girinathan, Brintha Parasumanna; Zapotocny, Ryan; Govind, Revathi

    2013-09-01

    Toxigenic Clostridium sordellii causes uncommon but highly lethal infections in humans and animals. Recently, an increased incidence of C. sordellii infections has been reported in women undergoing obstetric interventions. Pathogenic strains of C. sordellii produce numerous virulence factors, including sordellilysin, phospholipase, neuraminidase, and two large clostridial glucosylating toxins, TcsL and TcsH. Recent studies have demonstrated that TcsL toxin is an essential virulence factor for the pathogenicity of C. sordellii. In this study, we identified and characterized TcsR as the toxin gene (tcsL) regulator in C. sordellii. High-throughput sequencing of two C. sordellii strains revealed that tcsR lies within a genomic region that encodes TcsL, TcsH, and TcsE, a putative holin. By using ClosTron technology, we inactivated the tcsR gene in strain ATCC 9714. Toxin production and tcsL transcription were decreased in the tcsR mutant strain. However, the complemented tcsR mutant produced large amounts of toxins, similar to the parental strain. Expression of the Clostridium difficile toxin gene regulator tcdR also restored toxin production to the C. sordellii tcsR mutant, showing that these sigma factors are functionally interchangeable.

  2. Discovery of a widely distributed toxin biosynthetic gene cluster

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shaun W.; Mitchell, Douglas A.; Markley, Andrew L.; Hensler, Mary E.; Gonzalez, David; Wohlrab, Aaron; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Nizet, Victor; Dixon, Jack E.

    2008-01-01

    Bacteriocins represent a large family of ribosomally produced peptide antibiotics. Here we describe the discovery of a widely conserved biosynthetic gene cluster for the synthesis of thiazole and oxazole heterocycles on ribosomally produced peptides. These clusters encode a toxin precursor and all necessary proteins for toxin maturation and export. Using the toxin precursor peptide and heterocycle-forming synthetase proteins from the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, we demonstrate the in vitro reconstitution of streptolysin S activity. We provide evidence that the synthetase enzymes, as predicted from our bioinformatics analysis, introduce heterocycles onto precursor peptides, thereby providing molecular insight into the chemical structure of streptolysin S. Furthermore, our studies reveal that the synthetase exhibits relaxed substrate specificity and modifies toxin precursors from both related and distant species. Given our findings, it is likely that the discovery of similar peptidic toxins will rapidly expand to existing and emerging genomes. PMID:18375757

  3. Alternaria Toxins: Potential Virulence Factors and Genes Related to Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Meena, Mukesh; Gupta, Sanjay K.; Swapnil, Prashant; Zehra, Andleeb; Dubey, Manish K.; Upadhyay, Ram S.

    2017-01-01

    Alternaria is an important fungus to study due to their different life style from saprophytes to endophytes and a very successful fungal pathogen that causes diseases to a number of economically important crops. Alternaria species have been well-characterized for the production of different host-specific toxins (HSTs) and non-host specific toxins (nHSTs) which depend upon their physiological and morphological stages. The pathogenicity of Alternaria species depends on host susceptibility or resistance as well as quantitative production of HSTs and nHSTs. These toxins are chemically low molecular weight secondary metabolites (SMs). The effects of toxins are mainly on different parts of cells like mitochondria, chloroplast, plasma membrane, Golgi complex, nucleus, etc. Alternaria species produce several nHSTs such as brefeldin A, tenuazonic acid, tentoxin, and zinniol. HSTs that act in very low concentrations affect only certain plant varieties or genotype and play a role in determining the host range of specificity of plant pathogens. The commonly known HSTs are AAL-, AK-, AM-, AF-, ACR-, and ACT-toxins which are named by their host specificity and these toxins are classified into different family groups. The HSTs are differentiated on the basis of bio-statistical and other molecular analyses. All these toxins have different mode of action, biochemical reactions and signaling mechanisms to cause diseases. Different species of Alternaria produced toxins which reveal its biochemical and genetic effects on itself as well as on its host cells tissues. The genes responsible for the production of HSTs are found on the conditionally dispensable chromosomes (CDCs) which have been well characterized. Different bio-statistical methods like basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) data analysis used for the annotation of gene prediction, pathogenicity-related genes may provide surprising knowledge in present and future. PMID:28848500

  4. Shiga toxins, and the genes encoding them, in fecal samples from native Idaho ungulates.

    PubMed

    Gilbreath, Jeremy J; Shields, Malcolm S; Smith, Rebekah L; Farrell, Larry D; Sheridan, Peter P; Spiegel, Kathleen M

    2009-02-01

    Cattle are a known reservoir of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. The prevalence and stability of Shiga toxin and/or Shiga toxin genes among native wild ungulates in Idaho were investigated. The frequency of both Shiga genes and toxin was similar to that reported for Idaho cattle ( approximately 19%).

  5. Shiga Toxins, and the Genes Encoding Them, in Fecal Samples from Native Idaho Ungulates▿

    PubMed Central

    Gilbreath, Jeremy J.; Shields, Malcolm S.; Smith, Rebekah L.; Farrell, Larry D.; Sheridan, Peter P.; Spiegel, Kathleen M.

    2009-01-01

    Cattle are a known reservoir of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. The prevalence and stability of Shiga toxin and/or Shiga toxin genes among native wild ungulates in Idaho were investigated. The frequency of both Shiga genes and toxin was similar to that reported for Idaho cattle (∼19%). PMID:19060170

  6. Phylogenetic analysis and genetic diversity of 3' region of rtxA gene from geographically diverse strains of Moraxella bovis, Moraxella bovoculi and Moraxella ovis.

    PubMed

    Farias, Luana D'Avila; Maboni, Grazieli; Matter, Letícia Beatriz; Scherer, Charles Fernando Capinos; Libardoni, Felipe; de Vargas, Agueda Castagna

    2015-08-05

    The cytotoxin A (MbxA) is one of the main virulence factors of Moraxella bovis involved in the pathogenesis of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK). Moraxella ovis and Moraxella bovoculi, suspected to be associated with infectious keratitis in sheep and cattle respectively, also have a gene that encodes the cytotoxin A (movA and mbvA, respectively). The aim of this study was to determine the molecular sequence of the 3' region of the cytotoxin gene of Moraxella spp. strains isolated from clinical cases to establish phylogenetic and evolutionary comparisons. PCR amplification, nucleotide sequencing (nt) and amino acid (aa) sequence prediction were performed, followed by the sequences comparison, identity level calculation and selective pressure analysis. The phylogenetic reconstruction based on nt and aa sequences clearly differentiate M. bovis (n=15), M. bovoculi (n=11) and M. ovis (n=7) and their respective reference strains. An alignment of 843nt revealed high similarity within bacterial species (MbxA=99.9% nt and aa; MbvA=99.3% nt and 98.8% aa; MovA=99.5% nt and 99.3% aa). The similarity of partial sequences (nt 1807-2649) of MbxA in relation to MbvA and MovA ranged from 76.3 to 78.5%; similarity between MbvA and MovA ranged from 95.7 to 97.5%. A negative selection on mbvA and movA sequences was revealed by the molecular evolution analysis. The phylogenetic analysis of movA and mbvA allowed different strains of Moraxella spp. to be grouped according to the period of isolation. Sequence analysis of cytotoxin may provide insights into genetic and evolutionary relationships and into the genetic/molecular basis of Moraxella spp.

  7. [A promoter responsible for over-expression of cholera toxin B subunit in cholera toxin A subunit structure gene].

    PubMed

    Cao, C; Shi, C; Li, P; Ma, Q

    1997-01-01

    A promoter sequence, which promotes the transcription of cholera toxin B subunit gene, was found in cholera toxin A subunit structure gene. The transcription starts at the adenine Located at +833, that is 456bp upstream to the A of the initiation codon ATG of cholera toxin B gene. Under the control of the promoter, cholera toxin B subunit was over-expressed as high as 200 mg/L at an optimized culture condition. The chloramphenicol acetyl transferase gene and beta-galactosidase could also be efficiently expressed under the direction of the promoter. This promoter may be responsible for the 6 fold and 7 fold higher expression level of cholera toxin B subunit than cholera toxin A subunit in V. cholerae and Escheria coli respectively. The over-expression of CTB may be useful in preparing vaccine against cholera and facilitating the construction of peptide-bearing immunogenic hybrid proteins.

  8. Bacteriophage-Mediated Toxin Gene Regulation in Clostridium difficile▿

    PubMed Central

    Govind, Revathi; Vediyappan, Govindsamy; Rolfe, Rial D.; Dupuy, Bruno; Fralick, Joe A.

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium difficile has been identified as the most important single identifiable cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis. Virulent strains of C. difficile produce two large protein toxins, toxin A and toxin B, which are involved in pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of lysogeny by ΦCD119 on C. difficile toxin production. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated a decrease in the expression of pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) genes tcdA, tcdB, tcdR, tcdE, and tcdC in ΦCD119 lysogens. During this study we found that repR, a putative repressor gene of ΦCD119, was expressed in C. difficile lysogens and that its product, RepR, could downregulate tcdA::gusA and tcdR::gusA reporter fusions in Escherichia coli. We cloned and purified a recombinant RepR containing a C-terminal six-His tag and documented its binding to the upstream regions of tcdR in C. difficile PaLoc and in repR upstream region in ΦCD119 by gel shift assays. DNA footprinting experiments revealed similarities between the RepR binding sites in tcdR and repR upstream regions. These findings suggest that presence of a CD119-like temperate phage can influence toxin gene regulation in this nosocomially important pathogen. PMID:19776116

  9. Bacteriophage-mediated toxin gene regulation in Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Govind, Revathi; Vediyappan, Govindsamy; Rolfe, Rial D; Dupuy, Bruno; Fralick, Joe A

    2009-12-01

    Clostridium difficile has been identified as the most important single identifiable cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis. Virulent strains of C. difficile produce two large protein toxins, toxin A and toxin B, which are involved in pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of lysogeny by PhiCD119 on C. difficile toxin production. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated a decrease in the expression of pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) genes tcdA, tcdB, tcdR, tcdE, and tcdC in PhiCD119 lysogens. During this study we found that repR, a putative repressor gene of PhiCD119, was expressed in C. difficile lysogens and that its product, RepR, could downregulate tcdA::gusA and tcdR::gusA reporter fusions in Escherichia coli. We cloned and purified a recombinant RepR containing a C-terminal six-His tag and documented its binding to the upstream regions of tcdR in C. difficile PaLoc and in repR upstream region in PhiCD119 by gel shift assays. DNA footprinting experiments revealed similarities between the RepR binding sites in tcdR and repR upstream regions. These findings suggest that presence of a CD119-like temperate phage can influence toxin gene regulation in this nosocomially important pathogen.

  10. Reporter gene assays for algal-derived toxins.

    PubMed

    Fairey, E R; Ramsdell, J S

    1999-01-01

    We have modified the cell-based directed cytotoxicity assay for sodium channel and calcium channel active phycotoxins using a c-fos-luciferase reporter gene construct. In this report we describe the conceptual basis to the development of reporter gene assays for algal-derived toxins and summarize both published and unpublished data using this method. N2A mouse neuroblastoma cells, which express voltage-dependent sodium channels, were stably transfected with the reporter gene c-fos-luc, which contains the firefly luciferase gene under the transcriptional regulation of the human c-fos response element. The characteristics of the N2A reporter gene assay were determined by dose response with brevetoxin and ciguatoxin. Brevetoxin-1 and ciguatoxin-1 induced c-fos-luc with an EC50 of 4.6 and 3.0 ng ml(-1), respectively. Saxitoxin caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of brevetoxin-1 induction of c-fos-luc with an EC50 of 3.5 ng ml(-1). GH4C1 rat pituitary cells, which lack voltage-dependent sodium channels but express voltage-dependent calcium channels, were also stably transfected with the c-fos-luc. GH4C1 cells expressing c-fos-luciferase were responsive to maitotoxin (1 ng ml(-1)) and a putative toxin produced by Pfiesteria piscicida. Although reporter gene assays are not designed to replace existing detection methods used to measure toxin activity in seafood, they do provide a valuable means to screen algal cultures for toxin activity, to conduct assay-guided fractionation and to characterize pharmacologic properties of algal toxins.

  11. Sequence Analysis of Toxin Gene-Bearing Corynebacterium diphtheriae Strains, Australia.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Christine J; Mazins, Adam; Graham, Rikki M A; Fang, Ning-Xia; Smith, Helen V; Jennison, Amy V

    2017-01-01

    By conducting a molecular characterization of Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains in Australia, we identified novel sequences, nonfunctional toxin genes, and 5 recent cases of toxigenic cutaneous diphtheria. These findings highlight the importance of extrapharyngeal infections for toxin gene-bearing (functional or not) and non-toxin gene-bearing C. diphtheriae strains. Continued surveillance is recommended.

  12. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    SciTech Connect

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-05-22

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bont gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. In this paper, we sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. Finally, this TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii.

  13. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bont gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. We sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. This TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii. PMID:24853378

  14. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 toxin gene cluster with identification of a σ factor that recognizes the botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters.

    PubMed

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R; Burke, Julianne N; Hill, Karen K; Detter, John C; Arnon, Stephen S

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bont gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. We sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. This TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii.

  15. Clonal Spread of a Clostridium difficile Strain with a Complete Set of Toxin A, Toxin B, and Binary Toxin Genes among Polish Patients with Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea

    PubMed Central

    Pituch, Hanna; Kreft, Deborah; Obuch-Woszczatyński, Piotr; Wultańska, Dorota; Meisel-Mikołajczyk, Felicja; Łuczak, Mirosław; van Belkum, Alex

    2005-01-01

    Clinically relevant Clostridium difficile strains usually produce toxins A and B. Some C. difficile strains can produce an additional binary toxin. We report clonality among five strains carrying all toxin genes from Polish patients with C. difficile-associated diarrhea. In another strain, possible recombination between binary toxin genes is documented. PMID:15635019

  16. Bacterial Toxins for Oncoleaking Suicidal Cancer Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Pahle, Jessica; Walther, Wolfgang

    For suicide gene therapy, initially prodrug-converting enzymes (gene-directed enzyme-producing therapy, GDEPT) were employed to intracellularly metabolize non-toxic prodrugs into toxic compounds, leading to the effective suicidal killing of the transfected tumor cells. In this regard, the suicide gene therapy has demonstrated its potential for efficient tumor eradication. Numerous suicide genes of viral or bacterial origin were isolated, characterized, and extensively tested in vitro and in vivo, demonstrating their therapeutic potential even in clinical trials to treat cancers of different entities. Apart from this, growing efforts are made to generate more targeted and more effective suicide gene systems for cancer gene therapy. In this regard, bacterial toxins are an alternative to the classical GDEPT strategy, which add to the broad spectrum of different suicide approaches. In this context, lytic bacterial toxins, such as streptolysin O (SLO) or the claudin-targeted Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) represent attractive new types of suicide oncoleaking genes. They permit as pore-forming proteins rapid and also selective toxicity toward a broad range of cancers. In this chapter, we describe the generation and use of SLO as well as of CPE-based gene therapies for the effective tumor cell eradication as promising, novel suicide gene approach particularly for treatment of therapy refractory tumors.

  17. Presence of Putative Repeat-in-Toxin Gene tosA in Escherichia coli Predicts Successful Colonization of the Urinary Tract

    PubMed Central

    Vigil, Patrick D.; Stapleton, Ann E.; Johnson, James R.; Hooton, Thomas M.; Hodges, Andrew P.; He, Yongqun; Mobley, Harry L. T.

    2011-01-01

    ABSTRACT Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains, which cause the majority of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs), carry a unique assortment of virulence or fitness genes. However, no single defining set of virulence or fitness genes has been found in all strains of UPEC, making the differentiation between UPEC and fecal commensal strains of E. coli difficult without the use of animal models of infection or phylogenetic grouping. In the present study, we consider three broad categories of virulence factors simultaneously to better define a combination of virulence factors that predicts success in the urinary tract. A total of 314 strains of E. coli, representing isolates from fecal samples, asymptomatic bacteriuria, complicated UTIs, and uncomplicated bladder and kidney infections, were assessed by multiplex PCR for the presence of 15 virulence or fitness genes encoding adhesins, toxins, and iron acquisition systems. The results confirm previous reports of gene prevalence among isolates from different clinical settings and identify several new patterns of gene associations. One gene, tosA, a putative repeat-in-toxin (RTX) homolog, is present in 11% of fecal strains but 25% of urinary isolates. Whereas tosA-positive strains carry an unusually high number (11.2) of the 15 virulence or fitness genes, tosA-negative strains have an average of only 5.4 virulence or fitness genes. The presence of tosA was predictive of successful colonization of a murine model of infection, even among fecal isolates, and can be used as a marker of pathogenic strains of UPEC within a distinct subset of the B2 lineage. PMID:21540363

  18. Characterization of Shiga toxin subtypes and virulence genes in porcine Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    DOE PAGES

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; ...

    2016-04-21

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using amore » Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx1a (14%), stx2d (3%), and stx1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx2a and stx2c, the stx2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. Furthermore, the present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections.« less

  19. Characterization of Shiga Toxin Subtypes and Virulence Genes in Porcine Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; Patel, Isha; Bagi, Lori K.; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Boccia, Federica; Anastasio, Aniello; Pepe, Tiziana

    2016-01-01

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using a Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx1a (14%), stx2d (3%), and stx1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx2a and stx2c, the stx2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. The present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections. PMID:27148249

  20. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    DOE PAGES

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; ...

    2014-05-22

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bontmore » gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. In this paper, we sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. Finally, this TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii.« less

  1. Hybrid tetanus toxin C fragment-diphtheria toxin translocation domain allows specific gene transfer into PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Barati, Shahram; Chegini, Fariba; Hurtado, Plinio; Rush, Robert A

    2002-09-01

    To study the mechanism by which genes can efficiently be transferred into specific cell types, we have constructed several novel, single-chain multicomponent proteins by recombining the nontoxic C fragment of tetanus toxin and the translocation domain of diphtheria toxin together with the DNA-binding fragment of GAL4 transcription factor, for transportation of plasmid DNA into neuronal cells. The C fragment of tetanus toxin provided neuronal selectivity, the translocation domain of diphtheria toxin permitted endosomal escape, and the GAL4 domain provided binding to DNA. To assess the cellular tasks of each component in gene transfer, different combinations of these fragments were produced by polymerase chain reaction, expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified under native conditions from the soluble proteins. We show that only fusion proteins bearing the C fragment of tetanus toxin bind to gangliosides and, followed by their specific binding to differentiated PC12 cells, are internalized within 10 min. These proteins delivered the green fluorescence protein gene to PC12 cells, with the highest transfection efficiency achieved with proteins containing both the C fragment and the translocation domain. Addition of chloroquine elevated the transfection efficiency, which was further increased by incorporation of a nuclear localization signal in the delivery system. In addition, the effect of different DNA-condensing materials (poly-L-lysine, protamine, lysine(n=8)-trytophan(n=2)-lysine(n=8)) on gene transfer was investigated.

  2. Prediction of Toxin Genes from Chinese Yellow Catfish Based on Transcriptomic and Proteomic Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Bing; Li, Xiaofeng; Lin, Zhilong; Ruan, Zhiqiang; Wang, Min; Liu, Jie; Tong, Ting; Li, Jia; Huang, Yu; Wen, Bo; Sun, Ying; Shi, Qiong

    2016-01-01

    Fish venom remains a virtually untapped resource. There are so few fish toxin sequences for reference, which increases the difficulty to study toxins from venomous fish and to develop efficient and fast methods to dig out toxin genes or proteins. Here, we utilized Chinese yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) as our research object, since it is a representative species in Siluriformes with its venom glands embedded in the pectoral and dorsal fins. In this study, we set up an in-house toxin database and a novel toxin-discovering protocol to dig out precise toxin genes by combination of transcriptomic and proteomic sequencing. Finally, we obtained 15 putative toxin proteins distributed in five groups, namely Veficolin, Ink toxin, Adamalysin, Za2G and CRISP toxin. It seems that we have developed a novel bioinformatics method, through which we could identify toxin proteins with high confidence. Meanwhile, these toxins can also be useful for comparative studies in other fish and development of potential drugs. PMID:27089325

  3. Enhancements to the EPANET-RTX (Real-Time Analytics) ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Technical brief and software The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed EPANET-RTX as a collection of object-oriented software libraries comprising the core data access, data transformation, and data synthesis (real-time analytics) components of a real-time hydraulic and water quality modeling system. While EPANET-RTX uses the hydraulic and water quality solvers of EPANET, the object libraries are a self-contained set of building blocks for software developers. “Real-time EPANET” promises to change the way water utilities, commercial vendors, engineers, and the water community think about modeling.

  4. Cross-protection against Vibrio cholerae infection by monoclonal antibodies against Vibrio vulnificus RtxA1/MARTXVv.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tae Hee; Cha, Sun-Shin; Lee, Chang-Seop; Rhee, Joon Haeng; Woo, Hye Ryun; Chung, Kyung Min

    2016-11-01

    Gram-negative Vibrio species secrete multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins associated with bacterial pathogenesis. Here, the cross-reactivity and cross-protectivity of mAbs against V. vulnificus RtxA1/MARTXVv was evaluated. Passive administration of any of these mAbs (21RA, 24RA, 46RA, 47RA and 50RA) provided strong protection against lethal V. cholerae infection. Interestingly, 24RA and 46RA, which map to the cysteine protease domain of V. cholerae MARTXVc , inhibited CPD autocleavage in vitro; this process is involved in V. cholerae pathogenesis. These results generate new insight into the development of broadly protective mAbs and/or vaccines against Vibrio species with MARTX toxins. © 2016 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  5. Genetic diversity within Clostridium botulinum serotypes, botulinum neurotoxin gene clusters and toxin subtypes.

    PubMed

    Hill, Karen K; Smith, Theresa J

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum is a species of spore-forming anaerobic bacteria defined by the expression of any one or two of seven serologically distinct botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) designated BoNT/A-G. This Gram-positive bacterium was first identified in 1897 and since then the paralyzing and lethal effects of its toxin have resulted in the recognition of different forms of the intoxication known as food-borne, infant, or wound botulism. Early microbiological and biochemical characterization of C. botulinum isolates revealed that the bacteria within the species had different characteristics and expressed different toxin types. To organize the variable bacterial traits within the species, Group I-IV designations were created. Interestingly, it was observed that isolates within different Groups could express the same toxin type and conversely a single Group could express different toxin types. This discordant phylogeny between the toxin and the host bacteria indicated that horizontal gene transfer of the toxin was responsible for the variation observed within the species. The recent availability of multiple C. botulinum genomic sequences has offered the ability to bioinformatically analyze the locations of the bont genes, the composition of their toxin gene clusters, and the genes flanking these regions to understand their variation. Comparison of the genomic sequences representing multiple serotypes indicates that the bont genes are not in random locations. Instead the analyses revealed specific regions where the toxin genes occur within the genomes representing serotype A, B, C, E, and F C. botulinum strains and C. butyricum type E strains. The genomic analyses have provided evidence of horizontal gene transfer, site-specific insertion, and recombination events. These events have contributed to the variation observed among the neurotoxins, the toxin gene clusters and the bacteria that contain them, and has supported the historical microbiological, and biochemical

  6. Gene family encoding the major toxins of lethal Amanita mushrooms.

    PubMed

    Hallen, Heather E; Luo, Hong; Scott-Craig, John S; Walton, Jonathan D

    2007-11-27

    Amatoxins, the lethal constituents of poisonous mushrooms in the genus Amanita, are bicyclic octapeptides. Two genes in A. bisporigera, AMA1 and PHA1, directly encode alpha-amanitin, an amatoxin, and the related bicyclic heptapeptide phallacidin, a phallotoxin, indicating that these compounds are synthesized on ribosomes and not by nonribosomal peptide synthetases. alpha-Amanitin and phallacidin are synthesized as proproteins of 35 and 34 amino acids, respectively, from which they are predicted to be cleaved by a prolyl oligopeptidase. AMA1 and PHA1 are present in other toxic species of Amanita section Phalloidae but are absent from nontoxic species in other sections. The genomes of A. bisporigera and A. phalloides contain multiple sequences related to AMA1 and PHA1. The predicted protein products of this family of genes are characterized by a hypervariable "toxin" region capable of encoding a wide variety of peptides of 7-10 amino acids flanked by conserved sequences. Our results suggest that these fungi have a broad capacity to synthesize cyclic peptides on ribosomes.

  7. Splicing of scorpion toxin gene BmKK2 in HEK 293T cells.

    PubMed

    Zhijian, Cao; Chao, Dai; Shijin, Yin; Yingliang, Wu; Jiqun, Sheng; Yonggang, Sha; Wenxin, Li

    2006-01-01

    Using GFP as a reporter gene, splicing of scorpion toxin gene BmKK2 was investigated in cultured HEK 293T cells. The results of RT-PCR and western blotting showed that BmKK2's intron could be recognized and spliced in cultured HEK 293T cells. At the same time, a cryptic splicing site of BmKK2 gene was found at the 91st nucleotide site of the second exon, which is a typical form of alternative splicing. For the first time, alternative splicing would partially explain the diversity of scorpion toxins at the gene level. Moreover, replacing BmKK2's intron with BmP03's intron (an artificial BmKK2-BmP03 mosaic gene) did not affect the intron's recognition and splicing, but increased the expression of the toxin-GFP fusion protein by fluorescence imaging, which indicated that both introns may regulate the expression of toxin-GFP fusion protein. The artificial BmKK2-BmP03 mosaic gene was also spliced into two kinds of mRNA molecules, which showed that sequence of intron was not absolutely conserved. The results suggested that introns of scorpion toxin genes BmKK2 and BmP03 increase the diversity of scorpion toxins and regulate the expression of their genes. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. A Novel Regulatory Gene, Tri10, Controls Trichothecene Toxin Production and Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Tag, Andrew G.; Garifullina, Gulnara F.; Peplow, Andrew W.; Ake, Charles; Phillips, T. D.; Hohn, Thomas M.; Beremand, Marian N.

    2001-01-01

    We report here the characterization of Tri10, a novel regulatory gene within the trichothecene gene cluster. Comparison of Tri10 genomic and mRNA sequences revealed that removal of a single 77-bp intron provided a 1,260-bp open reading frame, encoding a 420-amino-acid protein. Disruption of Tri10 in Fusarium sporotrichioides abolished T-2 toxin production and dramatically decreased the transcript accumulation for four trichothecene genes (Tri4, Tri5, Tri6, and Tri101) and an apparent farnesyl pyrophosphate synthetase (Fpps) gene. Conversely, homologous integration of a disruption vector by a single upstream crossover event significantly increased T-2 toxin production and elevated the transcript accumulation of the trichothecene genes and Fpps. Further analysis revealed that disruption of Tri10, and to a greater extent the disruption of Tri6, increased sensitivity to T-2 toxin under certain growth conditions. Although Tri10 is conserved in Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium sambucinum and clearly plays a central role in regulating trichothecene gene expression, it does not show any significant matches to proteins of known or predicted function or to motifs except a single transmembrane domain. We suggest a model in which Tri10 acts upstream of the cluster-encoded transcription factor TRI6 and is necessary for full expression of both the other trichothecene genes and the genes for the primary metabolic pathway that precedes the trichothecene biosynthetic pathway, as well as for wild-type levels of trichothecene self-protection. We further suggest the presence of a regulatory loop where Tri6 is not required for the transcription of Tri10 but is required to limit the expression of Tri10. PMID:11679358

  9. Genotypes and Toxin Gene Profiles of Staphylococcus aureus Clinical Isolates from China

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yanping; He, Yiping; Gehring, Andrew; Hu, Yu; Li, Qiongqiong; Tu, Shu-I; Shi, Xianming

    2011-01-01

    A total of 108 S. aureus isolates from 16 major hospitals located in 14 different provinces in China were characterized for the profiles of 18 staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) genes, 3 exfoliatin genes (eta, etb and etd), and the toxic shock syndrome toxin gene (tsst) by PCR. The genomic diversity of each isolate was also evaluated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and accessory gene regulator (agr) typing. Of these strains, 90.7% (98/108) harbored toxin genes, in which tsst was the most prevalent toxin gene (48.1%), followed by sea (44.4%), sek (42.6%) and seq (40.7%). The see and etb genes were not found in any of the isolates tested. Because of high-frequency transfer of toxin gene-containing mobile genetic elements between S. aureus strains, a total of 47 different toxin gene combinations were detected, including a complete egc cluster in 19 isolates, co-occurrence of sea, sek and seq in 38 strains, and sec and sel together in 11 strains. Genetic typing by PFGE grouped all the strains into 25 clusters based on 80% similarity. MLST revealed 25 sequence types (ST) which were assigned into 16 clonal complexes (CCs) including 2 new singletons. Among these, 11 new and 6 known STs were first reported in the S. aureus strains from China. Overall, the genotyping results showed high genetic diversity of the strains regardless of their geographical distributions, and no strong correlation between genetic background and toxin genotypes of the strains. For genotyping S. aureus, PFGE appears to be more discriminatory than MLST. However, toxin gene typing combined with PFGE or MLST could increase the discriminatory power of genotyping S. aureus strains. PMID:22194821

  10. Characterization of shiga toxin subtypes and virulence genes in Porcine shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a...

  11. TIGRE: Combinator graph reduction on the RTX 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koopman, Philip, Jr.

    1990-01-01

    An efficient evaluation technique is examined for lazy functional programs based on combinator graph reduction. Graph reduction is widely believed to be slow and inefficient, but an abstract machine called the Threaded Interpretive Graph Reduction Engine (TIGRE) achieves a substantial speedup over previous reduction techniques. The runtime system of TIGRE is a threaded system that permits self-modifying program execution with compiler-guaranteed safety. This paper describes an implementation of TIGRE in Forth for the Harris RTX 2000 stack processor.

  12. Cloning and sequencing of the genes for Shiga toxin from Shigella dysenteriae type 1.

    PubMed Central

    Strockbine, N A; Jackson, M P; Sung, L M; Holmes, R K; O'Brien, A D

    1988-01-01

    The structural genes for Shiga toxin, designated stx A and stx B, were cloned from Shigella dysenteriae type 1 3818T, and a nucleotide sequence analysis was performed. Both stx A and stx B were present on a single transcriptional unit, with stx A preceding stx B. The molecular weight calculated for the processed A subunit was 32,225, while the molecular weight of the processed B subunit was 7,691. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences for Shiga toxin and Shiga-like toxin I (SLT-I) from Escherichia coli revealed that the genes for Shiga toxin and SLT-I were greater than 99% homologous; three nucleotide changes were detected in three separate codons of the A subunits. Only one of these codon differences resulted in a change in the amino acid sequence: a threonine in Shiga toxin at position 45 of the A subunit compared with a serine in the corresponding position in SLT-I. Furthermore, Shiga toxin and SLT-I had identical signal peptides for the A and B subunits, as well as identical ribosome-binding sites, a putative promoter, and iron-regulated operator sequences. These findings indicate that Shiga and SLT-I are essentially the same toxin. Southern hybridization studies with total cellular DNA from several Shigella strains and internal toxin probes for SLT-I and its antigenic variant SLT-II showed that a single fragment in S. dysenteriae type 1 hybridized strongly with the internal SLT-I probe. Fragments with weaker homology to the SLT-I probe were detected in S. flexneri type 2a but no other shigellae. No homology between the Shiga-like toxin II (SLT-II) probe and any of the Shigella DNAs was detected. Whereas SLT-I and SLT-II are phage encoded, no phage could be induced from S. dysenteriae type 1 or other Shigella spp. tested. These results suggest that the Shiga (SLT-I) toxin genes responsible for high toxin production are present in a single copy in S. dysenteriae type 1 but not in other shigellae. The findings further suggest that SLT-II genes are absent in

  13. Autoproteolytic activation of bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Shen, Aimee

    2010-05-01

    Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD) in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX) and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP(6)), which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  14. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Aimee

    2010-01-01

    Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD) in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX) and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6), which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins. PMID:22069620

  15. Detection of Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin gene in lambs by loop mediated isothermal amplification

    PubMed Central

    Radhika, B.; Kumar, N. Vinod; Sreenivasulu, D.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was standardized for rapid detection of Clostridium perfringens. Materials and Methods: A total of 120 fecal samples were collected from enterotoxemia suspected lambs were used for screening of C. perfringens cpa gene by LAMP. The specificity of the LAMP amplified products was tested by digesting with restriction enzyme XmnI for alpha toxin gene. Results: Out of 120 samples screened 112 (93.3%) samples were positive by both LAMP and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of cpa gene which indicated the equal sensitivity of both the tests. The enzyme produced single cut in 162 base pair amplified product of alpha toxin gene at 81 base pair resulting in a single band in gel electrophoresis. Conclusion: Both LAMP and PCR for detection of cpa gene indicated the equal sensitivity of both the tests. Standardization of LAMP reaction for amplification of epsilon and beta toxin genes will help to identify the C. perfringens toxin types from the clinical samples. The test could be a suitable alternative to the PCR in detection of toxin types without the help of sophisticated machinery like thermal cycler. Considering its simplicity in operation and high sensitivity, there is the potential use of this technique in clinical diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases. PMID:27051186

  16. Rapid detection of vip1-type genes from Bacillus cereus and characterization of a novel vip binary toxin gene.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiumei; Liu, Tao; Liang, Xiaoxing; Tang, Changqing; Zhu, Jun; Wang, Shiquan; Li, Shuangcheng; Deng, Qiming; Wang, Linxia; Zheng, Aiping; Li, Ping

    2011-12-01

    A PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method for identifying vegetative insecticidal protein (vip) 1-type genes from Bacillus cereus was developed by designing specific primers based on the conserved regions of the genes to amplify vip1-type gene fragments. PCR products were digested with endonuclease AciI, and four known vip1-type genes were identified. Vip1Ac and vip1Aa-type genes appeared in 17 of 26 B. cereus strains. A novel vip1-type gene, vip1Ac1, was identified from B. cereus strain HL12. The vip1Ac1 and vip2Ae3 genes were co-expressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21 by vector pCOLADuet-1. The binary toxin showed activity only against Aphis gossypii (Homoptera), but not for Coleptera (Tenebrio molitor, Holotrichia oblita), Lepidoptera (Spodoptera exigua, Helicoverpa armigera, and Chilo suppressalis), Diptera (Culex quinquefasciatus). The LC(50) of this binary toxin for A. gossypii is 87.5 (34.2-145.3) ng mL(-1) . This is probably only the second report that Vip1 and Vip2 binary toxin shows toxicity against homopteran pests. The PCR-RFLP method developed could be very useful for identifying novel Vip1-Vip2-type binary toxins, and the novel binary toxins, Vip1Ac1 and Vip2Ae3, identified in this study may have applications in biological control of insects, thus avoiding potential problems of resistance.

  17. Contamination of refuges by Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes from transgenic maize.

    PubMed

    Chilcutt, Charles F; Tabashnik, Bruce E

    2004-05-18

    Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used to control pests, but their benefits will be lost if pests evolve resistance. The mandated high-dose/refuge strategy for delaying pest resistance requires planting refuges of toxin-free crops near Bt crops to promote survival of susceptible pests. We report that pollen-mediated gene flow up to 31 m from Bt maize caused low to moderate Bt toxin levels in kernels of non-Bt maize refuge plants. Immunoassays of non-Bt maize sampled from the field showed that the mean concentration of Bt toxin Cry1Ab in kernels and the percentage of kernels with Cry1Ab decreased with distance from Bt maize. The highest Bt toxin concentration in pooled kernels of non-Bt maize plants was 45% of the mean concentration in kernels from adjacent Bt maize plants. Most previous work on gene flow from transgenic crops has emphasized potential effects of transgene movement on wild relatives of crops, landraces, and organic plantings, whereas implications for pest resistance have been largely ignored. Variable Bt toxin production in seeds of refuge plants undermines the high-dose/refuge strategy and could accelerate pest resistance to Bt crops. Thus, guidelines should be revised to reduce gene flow between Bt crops and refuge plants.

  18. A PCR approach to determine the distribution of toxin genes in closely related Clostridium species: Clostridium botulinum type C and D neurotoxins and C2 toxin, and Clostridium novyi alpha toxin.

    PubMed

    Heffron, Ann; Poxton, Ian R

    2007-02-01

    The closely related Clostridium novyi and Clostridium botulinum types C and D are of current interest because of their association with serious infections in injecting drug users (C. novyi type A) and equine and feline dysautonomias (C. botulinum types C/D). The species are defined by the major toxins they produce: the alpha toxin of C. novyi, and the type C and D neurotoxins of C. botulinum (BoNT/C and BoNT/D). The other major toxin produced by this group, and previously thought to be restricted to the botulinum types, is the chromosomally encoded C2--a binary toxin consisting of two components, I and II. In the current study 44 of these clostridia from the authors' culture collection were investigated--most of which had been identified previously by conventional biochemical tests as 'C. novyi type A'. The aim was to check the distribution of toxin genes by PCR to see if the identities were consistent with the genes carried, and to ascertain if the C2 gene was only found in authentic C. botulinum strains. Several combinations of the species-defining genes and the two components of the C2 genes were detected. Only the authentic BoNT/C- and BoNT/D-positive C. botulinum strains and one of two non-neurotoxic variants of type C carried genes for both components of the C2 toxin. Of the remaining 40 C. novyi type A-like strains, the gene for the alpha toxin was found in 22, with 19 of these also possessing the gene for component I (16) or component II (3) but not both. In the alpha toxin-negative strains (22), both of the C2 genes were detected in 5 strains (3 C. botulinum), with component I in 11 strains and neither gene in 6 strains.

  19. An attempt to identify the likely sources of Escherichia coli harboring toxin genes in rainwater tanks.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, W; Sidhu, J P S; Toze, S

    2012-05-01

    In this study, 200 Escherichia coli isolates from 22 rainwater tank samples in Southeast Queensland, Australia were tested for the presence of 10 toxin genes (i.e., stx(1), stx(2), hlyA, ehxA, LT1, ST1, cdtB, east1, cnf1, and cvaC) associated with intestinal and extraintestinal pathotypes. Among the 22 rainwater tanks tested, 5 (28%), 7 (32%), 7 (32%), and 1 (5%) tanks contained E. coli harboring ST1, east1, cdtB, and cvaC genes, respectively. Of the 200 E. coli isolates from the 22 tanks, 43 (22%) strains from 13 (59%) tanks were harboring toxin gene. An attempt was made to establish a link between bird and possum fecal contamination and the presence of these potential clinically significant E. coli strains harboring toxin genes in rainwater tanks. Among the 214 E. coli isolates tested from birds, 30 (14%), 11 (5%) and 18 (8%) strains contained east1, cdtB, and cvaC toxin genes, respectively. Similarly, among the 214 possum E. coli isolates, 74 (35%) contained only the east1 toxin gene. All E. coli strains from rainwater tanks, bird and possum fecal samples harboring toxin genes were biochemically fingerprinted. Biochemical phenotypes (BPTs) of 14 (33%) E. coli strains from 7 rainwater tanks and 9 (21%) E. coli strains from 6 rainwater tanks were identical to a number of BPTs of E. coli strains isolated from bird and possum feces suggesting that these animals may be the sources of these E. coli in rainwater tanks. as a precautionary measure, it is recommended that rainwater should be treated prior to drinking. In addition, proper maintenance of roof and gutter hygiene and elimination of overhanging tree branches and other structures where possible to prevent the movement of possums are highly recommended.

  20. Dozens of toxin-related genes are expressed in a nontoxic strain of the dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama.

    PubMed

    Salcedo, Tovah; Upadhyay, Ravi J; Nagasaki, Keizo; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2012-06-01

    The dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama is lethal to a variety of marine organisms, in particular, commercially important farmed bivalves. Unlike most dinoflagellate toxins, which are polyketides, the only described toxin from H. circularisquama (H2-a) is a porphyrin derivative that functions in light. It is unknown whether H2-a is produced specifically for its lytic properties. We searched for toxin-related genes in the transcriptome of a nontoxic strain of H. circularisquama, and surprisingly found the richest set of toxin-related genes yet described in dinoflagellates. There are 87 distinct expressed sequence tag contigs that encode polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthases, as well as 8 contigs that are involved in porphyrin biosynthesis. Phylogenomic analysis shows that many toxin-related genes are widely distributed among dinoflagellates. Our data likely indicate a variety of unknown metabolic functions for the toxin-related genes in H. circularisquama because they were identified in a nontoxic strain raised in unialgal culture.

  1. Host–Pathogen Coevolution: The Selective Advantage of Bacillus thuringiensis Virulence and Its Cry Toxin Genes

    PubMed Central

    Papkou, Andrei; Laehnemann, David; Guenther, Patrick S.; Prahl, Swantje; Saebelfeld, Manja; Hollensteiner, Jacqueline; Liesegang, Heiko; Brzuszkiewicz, Elzbieta; Daniel, Rolf; Michiels, Nicolaas K.; Schulte, Rebecca D.; Kurtz, Joachim; Rosenstiel, Philip; Telschow, Arndt; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2015-01-01

    Reciprocal coevolution between host and pathogen is widely seen as a major driver of evolution and biological innovation. Yet, to date, the underlying genetic mechanisms and associated trait functions that are unique to rapid coevolutionary change are generally unknown. We here combined experimental evolution of the bacterial biocontrol agent Bacillus thuringiensis and its nematode host Caenorhabditis elegans with large-scale phenotyping, whole genome analysis, and functional genetics to demonstrate the selective benefit of pathogen virulence and the underlying toxin genes during the adaptation process. We show that: (i) high virulence was specifically favoured during pathogen–host coevolution rather than pathogen one-sided adaptation to a nonchanging host or to an environment without host; (ii) the pathogen genotype BT-679 with known nematocidal toxin genes and high virulence specifically swept to fixation in all of the independent replicate populations under coevolution but only some under one-sided adaptation; (iii) high virulence in the BT-679-dominated populations correlated with elevated copy numbers of the plasmid containing the nematocidal toxin genes; (iv) loss of virulence in a toxin-plasmid lacking BT-679 isolate was reconstituted by genetic reintroduction or external addition of the toxins. We conclude that sustained coevolution is distinct from unidirectional selection in shaping the pathogen's genome and life history characteristics. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the pathogen genes involved in coevolutionary adaptation in an animal host–pathogen interaction system. PMID:26042786

  2. Host-Pathogen Coevolution: The Selective Advantage of Bacillus thuringiensis Virulence and Its Cry Toxin Genes.

    PubMed

    Masri, Leila; Branca, Antoine; Sheppard, Anna E; Papkou, Andrei; Laehnemann, David; Guenther, Patrick S; Prahl, Swantje; Saebelfeld, Manja; Hollensteiner, Jacqueline; Liesegang, Heiko; Brzuszkiewicz, Elzbieta; Daniel, Rolf; Michiels, Nicolaas K; Schulte, Rebecca D; Kurtz, Joachim; Rosenstiel, Philip; Telschow, Arndt; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2015-06-01

    Reciprocal coevolution between host and pathogen is widely seen as a major driver of evolution and biological innovation. Yet, to date, the underlying genetic mechanisms and associated trait functions that are unique to rapid coevolutionary change are generally unknown. We here combined experimental evolution of the bacterial biocontrol agent Bacillus thuringiensis and its nematode host Caenorhabditis elegans with large-scale phenotyping, whole genome analysis, and functional genetics to demonstrate the selective benefit of pathogen virulence and the underlying toxin genes during the adaptation process. We show that: (i) high virulence was specifically favoured during pathogen-host coevolution rather than pathogen one-sided adaptation to a nonchanging host or to an environment without host; (ii) the pathogen genotype BT-679 with known nematocidal toxin genes and high virulence specifically swept to fixation in all of the independent replicate populations under coevolution but only some under one-sided adaptation; (iii) high virulence in the BT-679-dominated populations correlated with elevated copy numbers of the plasmid containing the nematocidal toxin genes; (iv) loss of virulence in a toxin-plasmid lacking BT-679 isolate was reconstituted by genetic reintroduction or external addition of the toxins. We conclude that sustained coevolution is distinct from unidirectional selection in shaping the pathogen's genome and life history characteristics. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the pathogen genes involved in coevolutionary adaptation in an animal host-pathogen interaction system.

  3. Characterization of Shiga toxin subtypes and virulence genes in porcine Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; Patel, Isha; Bagi, Lori K.; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Boccia, Federica; Anastasio, Aniello; Pepe, Tiziana

    2016-04-21

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using a Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx1a (14%), stx2d (3%), and stx1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx2a and stx2c, the stx2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. Furthermore, the present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles

  4. Distribution of toxin genes among different spa types and phage types of animal Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Garbacz, Katarzyna; Piechowicz, Lidia; Mroczkowska, Aneta

    2015-09-01

    We analyzed distribution of toxin genes (sea-seo, eta, etb, tst, lukS/lukF-PV) among spa types and phage types of 39 Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) isolates from healthy and diseased animals. All isolates turned out to be mecA negative (MSSA). Nine spa types were identified: t144 and t723 (dogs), t084 (dogs and pigs), t5447 (cat), t1491 and t008 (pigs), t002, t127 and t3478 (poultry). Seven phage types were detected, enclosed within four phage groups: I (cat), II (dogs), III (pigs) and mixed group (dogs and pigs). Three poultry spa types proved to be non-typeable by phages. Toxin genes were detected in 33 out of the 39 animal isolates. Our analysis revealed that the incidence of some toxin genes in S. aureus is host specific. Canine isolates t144 of phage group II harbored exfoliative toxin gene (eta), and porcine isolates type t1491 representing phage group III showed enterotoxin A gene (sea). The enterotoxin gene cluster (egc1) and enterotoxin gene seh were found in non-typeable isolates from chicken and in one feline isolate type t5447.

  5. In situ detection of the Clostridium botulinum type C1 toxin gene in wetland sediments with a nested PCR assay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williamson, J.L.; Rocke, T.E.; Aiken, Judd M.

    1999-01-01

    A nested PCR was developed for detection of the Clostridium botulinum type C1 toxin gene in sediments collected from wetlands where avian botulism outbreaks had or had not occurred. The C1 toxin gene was detected in 16 of 18 sites, demonstrating both the ubiquitous distribution of C. botulinum type C in wetland sediments and the sensitivity of the detection assay.

  6. In Situ Detection of the Clostridium botulinum Type C1 Toxin Gene in Wetland Sediments with a Nested PCR Assay

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Judy L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Aiken, Judd M.

    1999-01-01

    A nested PCR was developed for detection of the Clostridium botulinum type C1 toxin gene in sediments collected from wetlands where avian botulism outbreaks had or had not occurred. The C1 toxin gene was detected in 16 of 18 sites, demonstrating both the ubiquitous distribution of C. botulinum type C in wetland sediments and the sensitivity of the detection assay. PMID:10388729

  7. Development of a gene synthesis platform for the efficient large scale production of small genes encoding animal toxins.

    PubMed

    Sequeira, Ana Filipa; Brás, Joana L A; Guerreiro, Catarina I P D; Vincentelli, Renaud; Fontes, Carlos M G A

    2016-12-01

    Gene synthesis is becoming an important tool in many fields of recombinant DNA technology, including recombinant protein production. De novo gene synthesis is quickly replacing the classical cloning and mutagenesis procedures and allows generating nucleic acids for which no template is available. In addition, when coupled with efficient gene design algorithms that optimize codon usage, it leads to high levels of recombinant protein expression. Here, we describe the development of an optimized gene synthesis platform that was applied to the large scale production of small genes encoding venom peptides. This improved gene synthesis method uses a PCR-based protocol to assemble synthetic DNA from pools of overlapping oligonucleotides and was developed to synthesise multiples genes simultaneously. This technology incorporates an accurate, automated and cost effective ligation independent cloning step to directly integrate the synthetic genes into an effective Escherichia coli expression vector. The robustness of this technology to generate large libraries of dozens to thousands of synthetic nucleic acids was demonstrated through the parallel and simultaneous synthesis of 96 genes encoding animal toxins. An automated platform was developed for the large-scale synthesis of small genes encoding eukaryotic toxins. Large scale recombinant expression of synthetic genes encoding eukaryotic toxins will allow exploring the extraordinary potency and pharmacological diversity of animal venoms, an increasingly valuable but unexplored source of lead molecules for drug discovery.

  8. Produce isolates of the Escherichia coli Ont:H52 serotype that carry both Shiga toxin 1 and stable toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Monday, Steven R; Keys, Christina; Hanson, Patricia; Shen, Yuelian; Whittam, Thomas S; Feng, Peter

    2006-04-01

    Produce isolates of the Escherichia coli Ont:H52 serotype carried Shiga toxin 1 and stable toxin genes but only expressed Stx1. These strains had pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles that were 90% homologous to clinical Ont:H52 strains that had identical phenotypes and genotypes. All Ont:H52 strains had identical single nucleotide polymorphism profiles that are suggestive of a unique clonal group.

  9. Expression of the yeast cpd1 gene in tobacco confers resistance to the fungal toxin cercosporin.

    PubMed

    Panagiotis, Madesis; Kritonas, Kalantidis; Irini, Nianiou Obeidat; Kiriaki, Chatzidimitriou; Nicolaos, Panopoulos; Athanasios, Tsaftaris

    2007-06-01

    Many phytopathogenic species of the fungus Cercospora produce cercosporin, a photoactivated perylenequinone toxin that belongs to a family of photosensitizers, which absorb light energy and produce extremely cytotoxic, reactive oxygen species. The cpd1 (cercosporin photosensitizer detoxification) gene of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), which encodes for a novel protein with significant similarity to the FAD-dependent pyridine nucleotide reductases, confers resistance to cercosporin when over-expressed in yeast. The aim of this work was to investigate the potential ability of cpd1 gene to confer resistance to cercosporin when expressed in tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum). Transgenic tobacco plants were produced using Agrobacterium tumefaciens, with cpd1 integrated as the gene of interest. We report here that expression of cpd1 gene in tobacco can mediate resistance to cercosporin. The involvement of cpd1 gene in the detoxification of the cercosporin reinforces previous observations, which suggested that resistance to cercosporin is mediated by a mechanism involving toxin reduction.

  10. One gene in diamondback moth confers resistance to four Bacillus thuringiensis toxins

    PubMed Central

    Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Liu, Yong-Biao; Finson, Naomi; Masson, Luke; Heckel, David G.

    1997-01-01

    Environmentally benign insecticides derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are the most widely used biopesticides, but their success will be short-lived if pests quickly adapt to them. The risk of evolution of resistance by pests has increased, because transgenic crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bt are being grown commercially. Efforts to delay resistance with two or more Bt toxins assume that independent mutations are required to counter each toxin. Moreover, it generally is assumed that resistance alleles are rare in susceptible populations. We tested these assumptions by conducting single-pair crosses with diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella), the first insect known to have evolved resistance to Bt in open field populations. An autosomal recessive gene conferred extremely high resistance to four Bt toxins (Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, and Cry1F). The finding that 21% of the individuals from a susceptible strain were heterozygous for the multiple-toxin resistance gene implies that the resistance allele frequency was 10 times higher than the most widely cited estimate of the upper limit for the initial frequency of resistance alleles in susceptible populations. These findings suggest that pests may evolve resistance to some groups of toxins much faster than previously expected. PMID:9050831

  11. Map-Based Cloning of the Fungal Toxin Sensitivity Gene Tsn1 in Wheat

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The wheat Tsn1 gene on wheat chromosome arm 5BL confers sensitivity to the host-selective proteinaceous toxins Ptr ToxA and SnToxA produced by the pathogenic fungi Pyrenophora tritici-repentis and Stagonospora nodorum, respectively. Compatible Tsn1-ToxA interactions lead to extensive cell death and...

  12. Characterization of six type A strains of Clostridium botulinum that contain type B toxin gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Kirma, Nameer; Ferreira, Joseph L; Baumstark, Barbara R

    2004-02-16

    Six Clostridium botulinum isolates exhibiting type A toxicity as measured by the mouse bioassay were found to contain both type A and type B neurotoxin DNA sequences. The six strains were divided into three groups based on the DNA sequence of the type B neurotoxin gene. Members of each group exhibited 100% sequence identity over the 3876 bp type B toxin open reading frame. The type B toxin sequence of all groups differed at more than 60 positions when compared to the BGB control strain.

  13. Whole genome sequences of three Clade 3 Clostridium difficile strains carrying binary toxin genes in China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rong; Feng, Yu; Wang, Xiaohui; Yang, Jingyu; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Lü, Xiaoju; Zong, Zhiyong

    2017-01-01

    Clostridium difficile consists of six clades but studies on Clade 3 are limited. Here, we report genome sequences of three Clade 3 C. difficile strains carrying genes encoding toxin A and B and the binary toxin. Isolates 103 and 133 (both of ST5) and isolate 106 (ST285) were recovered from three ICU patients. Whole genome sequencing using HiSeq 2500 revealed 4.1-Mb genomes with 28–29% GC content. There were ≥1,104 SNP between the isolates, suggesting they were not of a single clone. The toxin A and B gene-carrying pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) of the three isolates were identical and had the insertion of the transposon Tn6218. The genetic components of PaLoc among Clade 3 strains were the same with only a few nucleotide mutations and deletions/insertions, suggesting that the Tn6218 insertion might have occurred before the divergence within Clade 3. The binary toxin-genes carrying CDT locus (CdtLoc) of the three isolates were identical and were highly similar to those of other Clade 3 strains, but were more divergent from those of other clades. In conclusion, Clade 3 has an unusual clade-specific PaLoc characteristic of a Tn6218 insertion which appears to be the main feature to distinguish Clade 3 from other C. difficile. PMID:28262711

  14. Whole genome sequences of three Clade 3 Clostridium difficile strains carrying binary toxin genes in China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rong; Feng, Yu; Wang, Xiaohui; Yang, Jingyu; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Lü, Xiaoju; Zong, Zhiyong

    2017-03-06

    Clostridium difficile consists of six clades but studies on Clade 3 are limited. Here, we report genome sequences of three Clade 3 C. difficile strains carrying genes encoding toxin A and B and the binary toxin. Isolates 103 and 133 (both of ST5) and isolate 106 (ST285) were recovered from three ICU patients. Whole genome sequencing using HiSeq 2500 revealed 4.1-Mb genomes with 28-29% GC content. There were ≥1,104 SNP between the isolates, suggesting they were not of a single clone. The toxin A and B gene-carrying pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) of the three isolates were identical and had the insertion of the transposon Tn6218. The genetic components of PaLoc among Clade 3 strains were the same with only a few nucleotide mutations and deletions/insertions, suggesting that the Tn6218 insertion might have occurred before the divergence within Clade 3. The binary toxin-genes carrying CDT locus (CdtLoc) of the three isolates were identical and were highly similar to those of other Clade 3 strains, but were more divergent from those of other clades. In conclusion, Clade 3 has an unusual clade-specific PaLoc characteristic of a Tn6218 insertion which appears to be the main feature to distinguish Clade 3 from other C. difficile.

  15. Construction of "Toxin Complex" in a Mutant Serotype C Strain of Clostridium botulinum Harboring a Defective Neurotoxin Gene.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Tomonori; Nagano, Thomas; Niwa, Koichi; Uchino, Masataka; Tomizawa, Motohiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Watanabe, Toshihiro

    2017-01-01

    A non-toxigenic mutant of the toxigenic serotype C Clostridium botulinum strain Stockholm (C-St), C-N71, does not produce the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT). However, the original strain C-St produces botulinum toxin complex, in which BoNT is associated with non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) and three hemagglutinin proteins (HA-70, HA-33, and HA-17). Therefore, in this study, we aimed to elucidate the effects of bont gene knockout on the formation of the "toxin complex." Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that a premature stop codon was introduced in the bont gene, whereas other genes were not affected by this mutation. Moreover, we successfully purified the "toxin complex" produced by C-N71. The "toxin complex" was identified as a mixture of NTNHA/HA-70/HA-17/HA-33 complexes with intact NTNHA or C-terminally truncated NTNHA, without BoNT. These results indicated that knockout of the bont gene does not affect the formation of the "toxin complex." Since the botulinum toxin complex has been shown to play an important role in oral toxin transport in the human and animal body, a non-neurotoxic "toxin complex" of C-N71 may be valuable for the development of an oral drug delivery system.

  16. FOXA transcriptional factor modulates insect susceptibility to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin by regulating the expression of toxin-receptor ABCC2 and ABCC3 genes.

    PubMed

    Li, Jianghuai; Ma, Yuemin; Yuan, Wanli; Xiao, Yutao; Liu, Chenxi; Wang, Jia; Peng, Jianxin; Peng, Rong; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra; Yang, Yongbo; Liu, Kaiyu

    2017-09-01

    Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are insecticidal proteins widely used in insect control. Recently, it was shown that ATP-binding cassette transporter proteins (ABC) such as ABCC2, ABCC3, ABCG1 and ABCA2 are implicated in the insecticidal action of Cry toxins as putative receptors. However, the transcriptional regulators involved in the expression of ABC transporter genes remain unknown. Sequence analysis of promoter regions of ABCC2 gene from Helicoverpa armigera and ABCC3 gene from Spodoptera litura Sl-HP cultured cells, revealed the potential participation of Forkhead box protein A (FOXA), a transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes through remodeling chromatin. To determine if FOXA was involved in regulating expression of ABCC2 and ABCC3 genes, the expression of FOXA, ABCC2 and ABCC3 was compared in Sl-HP cells that are sensitive to Cry1Ac toxin with those in S. frugiperda Sf9 cells that are not sensitive to the toxin. Expression levels of those genes were significantly higher in Sl-HP than in Sf9 cells. Transient expression of FOXA in Sf9 cells activated ABCC2 and ABCC3 transcription, which directly correlated with enhanced Cry1Ac-susceptibility in these cells. Silencing of FOXA gene expression by RNAi in H. armigera larvae resulted in a decreased expression of ABCC2 and ABCC3 without affecting expression of other Cry toxin receptor genes such as alkaline phosphatase, aminopeptidase or cadherin. Silencing of FOXA gene expression also resulted in a Cry1Ac-tolerant phenotype since lower mortality and higher pupation rate were observed in diet containing Cry1Ac protoxin in comparison with the control group. These results demonstrate that FOXA up-regulates expression of the Cry1Ac-toxin receptor ABCC2 and ABCC3 genes, and that lower FOXA expression correlates with tolerance to Cry toxin in cell lines and in lepidopteran larvae. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Sequencing and analysis of the gene encoding the alpha-toxin of Clostridium novyi proves its homology to toxins A and B of Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, F; Herrmann, A; Habermann, E; von Eichel-Streiber, C

    1995-06-25

    A library of total Clostridium novyi DNA was established and screened for the alpha-toxin gene (tcn alpha) by hybridization with oligonucleotides derived from a partial N-terminal sequence and by using specific antisera. Overlapping subgenic tcn alpha fragments were isolated and subsequently the total sequence of tcn alpha was determined. The 6534 nucleotide open reading frame encodes a polypeptide of M(r) 250,166 and pI 5.9. The N-terminal alpha-toxin (Tcn alpha) sequence MLITREQLMKIASIP determined by Edman degradation confirmed the identity of the reading frame and the assignment of the translation start point. The toxin is not modified posttranslationally at its N-terminus nor does it consist of different subunits. Overall the amino acid sequence shows 48% homology between the Tcn alpha and both toxins A (TcdA) and B (TcdB) of Clostridium difficile. The C-terminal 382 residues of Tcn alpha constitute a repetitive domain similar to those reported for TcdA and TcdB of C. difficile. The individual repeat motifs of these three toxins consist of oligopeptides some 19-52 amino acids in length, arranged in four to five different groups. Genetic, biochemical and pharmacological data thus confirm that the three toxins belong to one subgroup, designated large clostridial cytotoxins (LCT). Further definition of their structure and detailed molecular action should allow the LCTs to be used tools for the analysis of microfilament assembly and function.

  18. Detection of Shiga toxin variants, virulence genes and the relationship to cytotoxicity in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from domestic farm animals

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  19. Identification of Anthrax Toxin Genes in a Bacillus cereus Associated With An Illness Resembling Inhalation Anthrax

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-01-01

    Identification of anthrax toxin genes in a Bacillus cereus associated with an illness resembling inhalation anthrax Alex R. Hoffmaster*†, Jacques... Bacillus anthracis is the etiologic agent of anthrax, an acute fatal disease among mammals. It was thought to differ from Bacillus cereus , an...correlation of phenotypic characteristics and their genetic basis. Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis are members of a closelyrelated phylogenetic

  20. Use of Redundant Exclusion PCR To Identify a Novel Bacillus thuringiensis Cry8 Toxin Gene from Pooled Genomic DNA

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Fengjiao; Shu, Changlong; Crickmore, Neil; Li, Yanqiu; Song, Fuping; Liu, Chunqin

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT With the aim of optimizing the cloning of novel genes from a genomic pool containing many previously identified homologous genes, we designed a redundant exclusion PCR (RE-PCR) technique. In RE-PCR, a pair of generic amplification primers are combined with additional primers that are designed to specifically bind to redundant, unwanted genes that are a subset of those copied by the amplification primers. During RE-PCR, the specific primer blocks amplification of the full-length redundant gene. Using this method, we managed to clone a number of cry8 or cry9 toxin genes from a pool of Bacillus thuringiensis genomic DNA while excluding amplicons for cry9Da, cry9Ea, and cry9Eb. The method proved to be very efficient at increasing the number of rare genes in the resulting library. One such rare (and novel) cry8-like gene was expressed, and the encoded toxin was shown to be toxic to Anomala corpulenta. IMPORTANCE Protein toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis are being increasingly used as biopesticides against a wide range of insect pests, yet the search for new or improved toxins is becoming more difficult, as traditional methods for gene discovery routinely isolate previously identified clones. This paper describes an approach that we have developed to increase the success rate for novel toxin gene identification through reducing or eliminating the cloning of previously characterized genes. PMID:27084017

  1. Characterization of adenylate cyclase toxin from a mutant of Bordetella pertussis defective in the activator gene, cyaC.

    PubMed

    Hewlett, E L; Gray, M C; Ehrmann, I E; Maloney, N J; Otero, A S; Gray, L; Allietta, M; Szabo, G; Weiss, A A; Barry, E M

    1993-04-15

    Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase (AC) toxin has the abilities to 1) enter target cells where it catalyzes cyclic AMP production and 2) lyse sheep erythrocytes, and these abilities require post-translational modification by the product of an accessory gene cyaC (Barry, E. M., Weiss, A. A., Ehrmann, E. E., Gray, M. C., Hewlett, E. L., and Goodwin, M. St. M. (1991) J. Bacteriol. 173, 720-726). In the present study, AC toxin has been purified from an organism with a mutation in cyaC, BPDE386, and evaluated for its physical and functional properties in order to determine the basis for its lack of toxin and hemolytic activities. AC toxin from BPDE386 is indistinguishable from wild-type toxin in enzymatic activity, migration on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, ability to bind calcium, and calcium-dependent conformational change. Although unable to elicit cAMP accumulation, AC toxin from BPDE386 exhibits binding to the surface of Jurkat cells which is comparable to that of wild-type toxin. This target cell interaction is qualitatively different, however, in that 99% of the mutant toxin remains sensitive to trypsin, whereas approximately 20% of cell-associated wild-type toxin enters a trypsin-resistant compartment. To evaluate the ability of this mutant AC toxin to function at its intracellular site of action, the cAMP-stimulated L-type calcium current in frog atrial myocytes was used. Extracellular addition of wild-type toxin results in cAMP-dependent events that include activation of calcium channels and enhancement of calcium current. In contrast, there is no response to externally applied toxin from BPDE386. When injected into the cell interior, however, the AC toxin from BPDE386 is able to produce increases in the calcium current comparable to those observed with wild-type toxin. Although AC toxin from BPDE386 is unaffected in its enzymatic activity, calcium binding, and calcium-dependent conformational change, the mutation in cyaC does result in a toxin

  2. Mis-splicing of the ABCC2 gene linked with Bt toxin resistance in Helicoverpa armigera

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Yutao; Zhang, Tao; Liu, Chenxi; Heckel, David G.; Li, Xianchun; Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Wu, Kongming

    2014-01-01

    Toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used widely for insect control in sprays and transgenic plants, but their efficacy is reduced when pests evolve resistance. Previous work showed that mutations in a gene encoding the transporter protein ABCC2 are linked with resistance to Bt toxins Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or both in four species of Lepidoptera. Here we compared the ABCC2 gene of Helicoverpa armigera (HaABCC2) between susceptible strains and a laboratory-selected strain with >1,000-fold resistance to Cry1Ac relative its susceptible parent strain. We discovered a 73-base pair (bp) insertion in the cDNA of the resistant strain that generates a premature stop codon expected to yield a truncated ABCC2 protein. Sequencing of genomic DNA revealed that this insertion is an intron that is not spliced out because of a 6-bp deletion at its splicing site. Analysis of progeny from crosses revealed tight genetic linkage between HaABCC2 and resistance to Cry1Ac. These results provide the first evidence that mis-splicing of a gene encoding an ABCC2 protein confers resistance to a Bt toxin. PMID:25154974

  3. Accelerated exchange of exon segments in Viperid three-finger toxin genes (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii; Desert Massasauga)

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Snake venoms consist primarily of proteins and peptides showing a myriad of potent biological activities which have been shaped by both adaptive and neutral selective forces. Venom proteins are encoded by multigene families that have evolved through a process of gene duplication followed by accelerated evolution in the protein coding region. Results Here we report five gene structures of three-finger toxins from a viperid snake, Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii. These toxin genes are structured similarly to elapid and hydrophiid three-finger toxin genes, with two introns and three exons. Both introns and exons show distinct patterns of segmentation, and the insertion/deletion of segments may define their evolutionary history. The segments in introns, when present, are highly similar to their corresponding segments in other members of the gene family. In contrast, some segments in the exons show high similarity, while others are often distinctly different among corresponding regions of the isoforms. Conclusion Ordered, conserved exon structure strongly suggests that segments in corresponding regions in exons have been exchanged with distinctly different ones during the evolution of these genes. Such a "switching" of segments in exons may result in drastically altering the molecular surface topology and charge, and hence the molecular targets of these three-finger toxins. Thus the phenomenon of accelerated segment switch in exons to alter targeting (ASSET) may play an important role in the evolution of three-finger toxins, resulting in a family of toxins with a highly conserved structural fold but widely varying biological activities. PMID:18606022

  4. Diversification of a single ancestral gene into a successful toxin superfamily in highly venomous Australian funnel-web spiders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Spiders have evolved pharmacologically complex venoms that serve to rapidly subdue prey and deter predators. The major toxic factors in most spider venoms are small, disulfide-rich peptides. While there is abundant evidence that snake venoms evolved by recruitment of genes encoding normal body proteins followed by extensive gene duplication accompanied by explosive structural and functional diversification, the evolutionary trajectory of spider-venom peptides is less clear. Results Here we present evidence of a spider-toxin superfamily encoding a high degree of sequence and functional diversity that has evolved via accelerated duplication and diversification of a single ancestral gene. The peptides within this toxin superfamily are translated as prepropeptides that are posttranslationally processed to yield the mature toxin. The N-terminal signal sequence, as well as the protease recognition site at the junction of the propeptide and mature toxin are conserved, whereas the remainder of the propeptide and mature toxin sequences are variable. All toxin transcripts within this superfamily exhibit a striking cysteine codon bias. We show that different pharmacological classes of toxins within this peptide superfamily evolved under different evolutionary selection pressures. Conclusions Overall, this study reinforces the hypothesis that spiders use a combinatorial peptide library strategy to evolve a complex cocktail of peptide toxins that target neuronal receptors and ion channels in prey and predators. We show that the ω-hexatoxins that target insect voltage-gated calcium channels evolved under the influence of positive Darwinian selection in an episodic fashion, whereas the κ-hexatoxins that target insect calcium-activated potassium channels appear to be under negative selection. A majority of the diversifying sites in the ω-hexatoxins are concentrated on the molecular surface of the toxins, thereby facilitating neofunctionalisation leading to new toxin

  5. Mining rare and ubiquitous toxin genes from a large collection of Bacillus thuringiensis strains.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Shu, Changlong; Zhang, Xuewen; Crickmore, Neil; Liang, Gemei; Jiang, Xingfu; Liu, Rongmei; Song, Fuping; Zhang, Jie

    2014-10-01

    There has been considerable effort made in recent years for research groups and other organizations to build up large collections of strains of Bacillus thuringiensis in the search for genes encoding novel insecticidal toxins, or encoding novel metabolic pathways. Whilst next generation sequencing allows the detailed genetic characterization of a bacterial strain with relative ease it is still not practicable for large strain collections. In this work we assess the practicability of mining a mixture of genomic DNA from a two thousand strain collection for particular genes. Using PCR the collection was screened for both a rare (cry15) toxin gene as well as a more commonly found gene (vip3A). The method was successful in identifying both a cry15 gene and multiple examples of the vip3A gene family including a novel member of this family (vip3Aj). A number of variants of vip3Ag were cloned and expressed, and differences in toxicity observed despite extremely high sequence similarity.

  6. Restriction and recruitment-gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxins.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Adam D; Swain, Martin T; Hegarty, Matthew J; Logan, Darren W; Mulley, John F

    2014-08-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive "just-so story" in evolutionary biology.

  7. Restriction and Recruitment—Gene Duplication and the Origin and Evolution of Snake Venom Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, Adam D.; Swain, Martin T.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Logan, Darren W.; Mulley, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive “just-so story” in evolutionary biology. PMID:25079342

  8. Toxic peptides and genes encoding toxin gamma of the Brazilian scorpions Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus.

    PubMed

    Becerril, B; Corona, M; Coronas, F I; Zamudio, F; Calderon-Aranda, E S; Fletcher, P L; Martin, B M; Possani, L D

    1996-02-01

    Seven toxic peptides from the venom of Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus was isolated and sequenced, five of them to completion. The most abundant peptide from each of these two species of scorpion was 95% identical with that of toxin gamma from the venom of Tityus serrulatus. They were consequently named gamma-b and gamma-st respectively. The genes encoding these new gamma-like peptides were cloned and sequenced by utilizing oligonucleotides synthesized according to known cDNA sequences of toxin gamma, and amplified by PCR on templates of DNA purified from both T. bahiensis and T. stigmurus. They contain an intron of approx. 470 bp. Possible mechanisms of processing and expressing these peptides are discussed, in view of the fact that glycine is the first residue of the N-terminal sequence of T. stigmurus, whereas lysine is the residue at position 1 of toxin gamma from T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis. In addition, chemical characterization of the less abundant toxic peptides showed the presence of at least four distinct families of peptides in all three species of the genus Tityus studied. There is a large degree of similarity among peptides from different venoms of the same family. By using specific horse and rabbit antisera, the venoms of T. bahiensis, T. serrulatus and T. stigmurus were compared. They showed an extended degree of cross-reactivity. Thus these three species of scorpion have similar toxic components, the genes of which are similarly organized, processed and expressed.

  9. Toxic peptides and genes encoding toxin gamma of the Brazilian scorpions Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus.

    PubMed Central

    Becerril, B; Corona, M; Coronas, F I; Zamudio, F; Calderon-Aranda, E S; Fletcher, P L; Martin, B M; Possani, L D

    1996-01-01

    Seven toxic peptides from the venom of Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus was isolated and sequenced, five of them to completion. The most abundant peptide from each of these two species of scorpion was 95% identical with that of toxin gamma from the venom of Tityus serrulatus. They were consequently named gamma-b and gamma-st respectively. The genes encoding these new gamma-like peptides were cloned and sequenced by utilizing oligonucleotides synthesized according to known cDNA sequences of toxin gamma, and amplified by PCR on templates of DNA purified from both T. bahiensis and T. stigmurus. They contain an intron of approx. 470 bp. Possible mechanisms of processing and expressing these peptides are discussed, in view of the fact that glycine is the first residue of the N-terminal sequence of T. stigmurus, whereas lysine is the residue at position 1 of toxin gamma from T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis. In addition, chemical characterization of the less abundant toxic peptides showed the presence of at least four distinct families of peptides in all three species of the genus Tityus studied. There is a large degree of similarity among peptides from different venoms of the same family. By using specific horse and rabbit antisera, the venoms of T. bahiensis, T. serrulatus and T. stigmurus were compared. They showed an extended degree of cross-reactivity. Thus these three species of scorpion have similar toxic components, the genes of which are similarly organized, processed and expressed. PMID:8611151

  10. Phage-mediated intergeneric transfer of toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Chen, John; Novick, Richard P

    2009-01-02

    Because bacteriophages generally parasitize only closely related bacteria, it is assumed that phage-mediated genetic exchange occurs primarily within species. Here we report that staphylococcal pathogenenicity islands, containing superantigen genes, and other mobile elements transferred to Listeria monocytogenes at the same high frequencies as they transfer within Staphylococcus aureus. Several staphylococcal phages transduced L. monocytogenes but could not form plaques. In an experiment modeling phage therapy for bovine mastitis, we observed pathogenicity island transfer between S. aureus and L. monocytogenes in raw milk. Thus, phages may participate in a far more expansive network of genetic information exchange among bacteria of different species than originally thought, with important implications for the evolution of human pathogens.

  11. The Deep Origin and Recent Loss of Venom Toxin Genes in Rattlesnakes

    PubMed Central

    Dowell, Noah L.; Giorgianni, Matt W.; Kassner, Victoria A.; Selegue, Jane E.; Sanchez, Elda E.; Carroll, Sean B.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The genetic origin of novel traits is a central but challenging puzzle in evolutionary biology. Among snakes, phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-related toxins have evolved in different lineages to function as potent neurotoxins, myotoxins, or hemotoxins. Here, we traced the genomic origin and evolution of PLA2 toxins by examining PLA2 gene number, organization, and expression in both neurotoxic and non-neurotoxic rattlesnakes. We found that even though most North American rattlesnakes do not produce neurotoxins, the genes of a specialized heterodimeric neurotoxin predate the origin of rattlesnakes and were present in their last common ancestor (~22 mya). The neurotoxin genes were then deleted independently in the lineages leading to the Western Diamondback (Crotalus atrox) and Eastern Diamondback (C. adamanteus) rattlesnakes (~6 mya), while a PLA2 myotoxin gene retained in C. atrox was deleted from the neurotoxic Mojave rattlesnake (C. scutulatus; ~4 mya). The rapid evolution of PLA2 gene number appears to be due to transposon invasion that provided a template for non-allelic homologous recombination. PMID:27641771

  12. Expression of the Streptococcus pneumoniae yoeB chromosomal toxin gene causes cell death in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Bakar, Fauziah Abu; Yeo, Chew Chieng; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2015-04-12

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems usually comprise of a pair of genes encoding a stable toxin and its cognate labile antitoxin and are located in the chromosome or in plasmids of several bacterial species. Chromosomally-encoded toxin-antitoxin systems are involved in bacterial stress responses and activation of the toxins usually leads to cell death or dormancy. Overexpression of the chromosomally-encoded YoeB toxin from the yefM-yoeB toxin-antitoxin locus of the Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae has been shown to cause cell death in S. pneumoniae as well as E. coli. Induction of a YoeB-GFP fusion protein using a 17-β-estradiol-inducible plant expression system in Arabidopsis thaliana Col 0, was lethal in all T2 progeny. Examination of plants by fluorescent confocal microscopy showed GFP fluorescence in all parts of the leaves at 24 hours after 17-β-estradiol induction, continuing up to plant death. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that the expression of the yoeB toxin gene peaked at 3 days after induction with 17-β-estradiol, coinciding with the onset of visible effects on the plants. Moreover, we detected DNA laddering in the transgenic plants at 24 hours after yoeB induction, indicative of apoptosis. Expression of the YoeB toxin from Streptococcus pneumoniae is lethal in Arabidopsis. We believe this is the first report of a toxin from a bacterial toxin-antitoxin system functioning in plants. The results presented here mark an important milestone towards the development of a cell ablation based bio-containment strategy, which may be useful for functional studies and for the control of spread of transgenic plants.

  13. Characterization of Clostridium perfringens TpeL Toxin Gene Carriage, Production, Cytotoxic Contributions, and Trypsin Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    Large clostridial toxins (LCTs) are produced by at least four pathogenic clostridial species, and several LCTs are proven pivotal virulence factors for both human and veterinary diseases. TpeL is a recently identified LCT produced by Clostridium perfringens that has received relatively limited study. In response, the current study surveyed carriage of the tpeL gene among different C. perfringens strains, detecting this toxin gene in some type A, B, and C strains but not in any type D or E strains. This study also determined that all tested strains maximally produce, and extracellularly release, TpeL at the late-log or early-stationary growth stage during in vitro culture, which is different from the maximal late-stationary-phase production reported previously for other LCTs and for TpeL production by C. perfringens strain JIR12688. In addition, the present study found that TpeL levels in culture supernatants can be repressed by either glucose or sucrose. It was also shown that, at natural production levels, TpeL is a significant contributor to the cytotoxic activity of supernatants from cultures of tpeL-positive strain CN3685. Lastly, this study identified TpeL, which presumably is produced in the intestines during diseases caused by TpeL-positive type B and C strains, as a toxin whose cytotoxicity decreases after treatment with trypsin; this finding may have pathophysiologic relevance by suggesting that, like beta toxin, TpeL contributes to type B and C infections in hosts with decreased trypsin levels due to disease, diet, or age. PMID:25824828

  14. Structure of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium genes provides clues to evolution of insecticidal two-domain knottin toxins.

    PubMed

    Sachkova, M Y; Slavokhotova, A A; Grishin, E V; Vassilevski, A A

    2014-08-01

    Yellow sac spiders (Cheiracanthium punctorium, family Miturgidae) are unique in terms of venom composition, because, as we show here, two-domain toxins have replaced the usual one-domain peptides as the major constituents. We report the structure of the two-domain Che. punctorium toxins (CpTx), along with the corresponding cDNA and genomic DNA sequences. At least three groups of insecticidal CpTx were identified, each consisting of several members. Unlike many cone snail and snake toxins, accelerated evolution is not typical of cptx genes, which instead appear to be under the pressure of purifying selection. Both CpTx modules present the inhibitor cystine knot (ICK), or knottin signature; however, the sequence similarity between the domains is low. Conversely, notable similarity was found between separate domains of CpTx and one-domain toxins from spiders of the Lycosidae family. The observed chimerism is a landmark of exon shuffling events, but in contrast to many families of multidomain protein genes no introns were found in the cptx genes. Considering the possible scenarios, we suggest that an early transcription-mediated fusion event between two related one-domain toxin genes led to the emergence of a primordial cptx-like sequence. We conclude that evolution of toxin variability in spiders appears to be quite different from other venomous animals. © 2014 The Royal Entomological Society.

  15. Staphylococci isolated from ready-to-eat meat - Identification, antibiotic resistance and toxin gene profile.

    PubMed

    Fijałkowski, Karol; Peitler, Dorota; Karakulska, Jolanta

    2016-12-05

    The aim of this study was to analyse the staphylococci isolated from ready-to-eat meat products, including pork ham, chicken cold cuts, pork sausage, salami and pork luncheon meat, sliced in the store to the consumer's specifications, along with species identification and determination of antibiotic resistance. Genes encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins, staphylococcal enterotoxin-like proteins, exfoliative toxins, and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 were also investigated. From the 41 samples, 75 different staphylococcal isolates were obtained. Based on PCR-RFLP analysis of the gap gene using AluI and HpyCH4V restriction enzymes, the isolates were identified as Staphylococcus equorum (28%), S. vitulinus (16%), S. carnosus (14%), S. succinus (11%), S. xylosus (11%), S. saprophyticus (9%), S. warneri (9%), S. haemolyticus (1%) and S. pasteuri (1%). The incidence and number of resistances to antimicrobials was found to be species but not source of isolation dependent. All S. xylosus, S. saprophyticus, S. haemolyticus and S. pasteuri isolates showed antibiotic resistance. A lower percentage of resistance was recorded for S. warneri (71%) and S. vitulinus (58%), followed by S. equorum (57%), S. carnosus (50%) and S. succinus (50%). The most frequent resistance was observed to fusidic acid (43%). The mecA gene was amplified in 4% of the staphylococci. However, phenotypic resistance to methicillin was not confirmed in any of these isolates. On the other hand, the mecA gene was not detected in any of 9% of the isolates resistant to cefoxitin. It was also found that among 75 isolates, 60 (80%) harbored from 1 to 10 out of 21 analyzed superantigenic toxin genes. The most prevalent genes were: sei (36% isolates) among enterotoxins, seln (32% isolates) among enterotoxin-like proteins and eta encoding exfoliative toxin A (37% isolates). The findings of this study further extend previous observations that, when present in food, not only S. aureus but also other species of

  16. Correlation of shiga toxin gene frequency with commonly used microbial indicators of recreational water quality.

    PubMed

    Smith, Cody J; Olszewski, Adam M; Mauro, Steven A

    2009-01-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx) genes produce proteins that are pathogenic to humans, leading to severe gastrointestinal illness. This work focuses on examining the abundance and distribution of stx genes in relation to common microbial indicators in beach water and streams in the vicinity of Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. By use of quantitative PCR, the relative abundance levels of stx DNA in over 700 samples in the sampling area were determined. The results demonstrate that the abundance and distribution of stx genes are variable and do not correlate with the abundance of Escherichia coli bacteria, enterococci, or viral particles. These results suggest that microbial indicators of water quality are not adequate in predicting the occurrence of organisms that harbor stx genes and highlight the need for standardized pathogen-specific detection protocols for waters utilized for recreational swimming.

  17. Correlation of Shiga Toxin Gene Frequency with Commonly Used Microbial Indicators of Recreational Water Quality▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Cody J.; Olszewski, Adam M.; Mauro, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx) genes produce proteins that are pathogenic to humans, leading to severe gastrointestinal illness. This work focuses on examining the abundance and distribution of stx genes in relation to common microbial indicators in beach water and streams in the vicinity of Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. By use of quantitative PCR, the relative abundance levels of stx DNA in over 700 samples in the sampling area were determined. The results demonstrate that the abundance and distribution of stx genes are variable and do not correlate with the abundance of Escherichia coli bacteria, enterococci, or viral particles. These results suggest that microbial indicators of water quality are not adequate in predicting the occurrence of organisms that harbor stx genes and highlight the need for standardized pathogen-specific detection protocols for waters utilized for recreational swimming. PMID:19011065

  18. Relationships among superantigen toxin gene profiles, genotypes, and pathogenic characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from bovine mastitis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Zhang, Limei; Yong, Changfu; Shen, Mingliang; Ali, Tariq; Shahid, Muhammad; Han, Kun; Zhou, Xuezhang; Han, Bo

    2017-06-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is one of the major etiological agents of bovine mastitis, harboring a wide variety of staphylococcal superantigen (SAg) toxin genes. The SAg toxin genes are reported to be closely associated with the pathogenicity of the Staph. aureus causing the bovine mastitis. This study was conducted to investigate SAg toxin gene profiles and to assess the relationships among SAg toxin genes, genotypes of Staph. aureus, and their pathogenic properties. A total of 327 quarter milk samples were collected from bovine mastitis cases for isolation and identification of pathogens. In total, 35 isolates were identified as Staph. aureus, and the prevalence of Staph. aureus in milk samples was 13.6% (35/256). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assays were used to detect the SAg toxin genes and to genotype Staph. aureus strains isolated from milk samples of bovine mastitis in 10 dairy herds located in Ningxia, China, respectively. The results showed that among the Staph. aureus isolates (n = 35), 71.4% (n = 25) of isolates carried at least one SAg toxin gene. In total, 18 SAg genes and 21 different gene combination patterns were detected among these isolates. The most common SAg genes in Staph. aureus isolates were sei, sen, and seu (44.0% each), followed by seo, tst, and etB (28.0% each), etA (24.0%), sem and sep (16.0% each), seb, sec, sed, and sek (12.0% each), and sea and seh genes (8.0% each); the seg, sej, and ser genes were present in 4.0% of the isolates. Three gene combinations were found to be related to mobile genetic elements that carried 2 or more genes. The egc-cluster of the seg-sei-sem-sen-seo genes, located on the pathogenicity island Type I υSaβ, was detected in 16% of isolates. Interestingly, we observed 6 RAPD genotypes (I to VI) in Staph. aureus isolates, and 2 of these genotypes were strongly associated with the severity of bovine mastitis; there was a close relationship between the RAPD genotypes

  19. [Cloning of Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin gene and extracellular expression in Escherichia coli].

    PubMed

    Inoue, Masaharu; Kikuchi, Maho; Komoriya, Tomoe; Watanabe, Kunitomo; Kouno, Hideki

    2007-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that widely propagets in the soil and the gastrointestinal tract of human and animals. This bacteria causes food poisoning, gas gangrene and other various range of infectious diseases. But there is no standard diagnosis method of C. perfringens. In order to develop a new type of immunoassay for clinical purpose, we studied expression and extracellular secretion of recombinant alpha-toxin having enzyme activity in E. coli expression system. Cloning was carried out after PCR amplification from C. perfringens GAI 94074 which was clinical isolate. Three kinds of fragment were cloned using pET100/D-TOPO vector. These fragments coded for ribosome binding site, signal peptide, and alpha-toxin gene respectively. Recombinant pET100 plasmid transformed into TOP 10 cells and the obtained plasmids were transformed into BL21 (DE3) cells. Then, the transformants were induced expression with IPTG. In conclusion, we successfully cloned, expressed and exteracellular secreted C. perfringens alpha-toxin containing signal peptide. Biologically, the obtained recombinant protein was positive for phospholipase C activity.

  20. Venom gland transcriptomes of two elapid snakes (Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra) and evolution of toxin genes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Kraits (genus Bungarus) and cobras (genus Naja) are two representative toxic genera of elapids in the old world. Although they are closely related genera and both of their venoms are very toxic, the compositions of their venoms are very different. To unveil their detailed venoms and their evolutionary patterns, we constructed venom gland cDNA libraries and genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries for Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra, respectively. We sequenced about 1500 cDNA clones for each of the venom cDNA libraries and screened BAC libraries of the two snakes by blot analysis using four kinds of toxin probes; i.e., three-finger toxin (3FTx), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), kunitz-type protease inhibitor (Kunitz), and natriuretic peptide (NP). Results In total, 1092 valid expressed sequences tags (ESTs) for B. multicinctus and 1166 ESTs for N. atra were generated. About 70% of these ESTs can be annotated as snake toxin transcripts. 3FTx (64.5%) and β bungarotoxin (25.1%) comprise the main toxin classes in B. multicinctus, while 3FTx (95.8%) is the dominant toxin in N. atra. We also observed several less abundant venom families in B. multicinctus and N. atra, such as PLA2, C-type lectins, and Kunitz. Peculiarly a cluster of NP precursors with tandem NPs was detected in B. multicinctus. A total of 71 positive toxin BAC clones in B. multicinctus and N. atra were identified using four kinds of toxin probes (3FTx, PLA2, Kunitz, and NP), among which 39 3FTx-postive BACs were sequenced to reveal gene structures of 3FTx toxin genes. Conclusions Based on the toxin ESTs and 3FTx gene sequences, the major components of B. multicinctus venom transcriptome are neurotoxins, including long chain alpha neurotoxins (α-ntx) and the recently originated β bungarotoxin, whereas the N. atra venom transcriptome mainly contains 3FTxs with cytotoxicity and neurotoxicity (short chain α-ntx). The data also revealed that tandem duplications contributed the most to

  1. Identification of genes differentially expressed in the phytopathogenic fungus Cercospora nicotianae between cercosporin toxin-resistant and -susceptible strains.

    PubMed

    Herrero, Sonia; Amnuaykanjanasin, Alongkorn; Daub, Margaret E

    2007-10-01

    Plant pathogens from the genus Cercospora produce cercosporin, a photoactivated fungal toxin that generates toxic reactive oxygen species. Mechanisms governing toxin auto-resistance in Cercospora spp. are poorly understood. In this work, suppressive subtractive hybridization was used to identify genes differentially expressed between the cercosporin-resistant wild-type (WT) Cercospora nicotianae and a sensitive strain lacking a transcription factor (CRG1) that regulates resistance. Out of 338 sequences recovered, 185 unique expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were obtained and classified into functional categories. The majority of genes showed predicted expression differences, and 38.5% were differentially expressed at least twofold between the WT and mutant strain. ESTs were recovered with homology to genes involved in detoxification of noxious compounds, multidrug membrane transporters and antioxidant and polyketide biosynthetic enzymes as well as to ATPases and ATP synthases. The findings suggest that CRG1 regulates genes involved in pH responses in addition to those involved in toxin resistance and biosynthesis.

  2. Coexpression of chitinase and the cry11Aa1 toxin genes in Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis.

    PubMed

    Sirichotpakorn, N; Rongnoparut, P; Choosang, K; Panbangred, W

    2001-10-01

    At the spore stage, a cloned chitinase gene was coexpressed with the regulatory gene p19 and the toxin gene cry11Aa1 in the hosts Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis strains 4Q2-72 and c4Q2-72. The chitinase gene was derived from a high-chitinase producer, Bacillus licheniformis TP-1. Two transcriptional fusion plasmids between the p19 or p19-cry11Aa1 genes and the promoterless chitinase gene were constructed. In transcription order, the p16-19CHI construct contained the p19 gene together with the chitinase gene only while the p16-1968CHI construct contained p19 together with the toxin gene cry11Aa1 and the chitinase gene. The inserted sequences were regulated by a spore-specific promoter located upstream of p19. The recombinant chitinase of all transformed B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis strains was initially synthesized at low level at about 9 h of growth when a portion of the cells started to sporulate. It increased thereafter and reached maximum levels of 5.5, 4.9, and 4.7 mU/ml at 48 h, for strain 4Q2-72 transformed with p16-19CHI and p16-1968CHI and strain c4Q2-72 transformed with p16-19CHI, respectively. This activity was approximately 2 times higher than the maximum activity (2.7 mU/ml) of the parental strain, B. licheniformis TP-1. Although crude chitinase alone from B. thuringiensis serovar israelensis c4Q2-72 (p16-19CHI) at 4.5 mU/ml caused 40% mortality in second instar Aedes aegypti larvae, transformants containing the chitinase alone or in combination with cry11Aa1 resulted in lower toxicity to A. aegypti larvae than the untransformed 4Q2-72 host. For example the LC(50) for the transformed 4Q2-72 harboring the chitinase gene only (p16-19CHI) was 5.6 x 10(4) +/- 0.7 x 10(4) cells, 40 times higher than that of the untransformed host at 1.4 x 10(3) +/- 0.19 x 10(3). The lower toxicity correlated with poor sporulation in the transformants (i.e., 35 times lower than that in the untransformed host). However, the transformed 4Q2-72 strain

  3. The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Sandy Steffany; Wilson, David; Mattick, John S; King, Glenn F

    2012-01-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome.

  4. Distribution of Toxin Genes and Enterotoxins in Bacillus thuringiensis Isolated from Microbial Insecticide Products.

    PubMed

    Cho, Seung-Hak; Kang, Suk-Ho; Lee, Yea-Eun; Kim, Sung-Jo; Yoo, Young-Bin; Bak, Yeong-Seok; Kim, Jung-Beom

    2015-12-28

    Bacillus thuringiensis microbial insecticide products have been applied worldwide. Although a few cases of B. thuringiensis foodborne illness have been reported, little is known about the toxigenic properties of B. thuringiensis isolates. The aims of this study were to estimate the pathogenic potential of B. thuringiensis selected from microbial insecticide products, based on its possession of toxin genes and production of enterotoxins. Fifty-two B. thuringiensis strains selected from four kinds of microbial insecticide products were analyzed. PCR assay for detection of toxin genes and immunoassay for detection of enterotoxins were performed. The hemolysin BL complex as a major enterotoxin was produced by 17 (32.7%), whereas the nonhemolytic enterotoxin complex was detected in 1 (1.9%) of 52 B. thuringiensis strains. However, cytK, entFM, and ces genes were not detected in any of the tested B. thuringiensis strains. The potential risk of food poisoning by B. thuringiensis along with concerns over B. thuringiensis microbial insecticide products has gained attention recently. Thus, microbial insecticide products based on B. thuringiensis should be carefully controlled.

  5. The Lethal Toxin from Australian Funnel-Web Spiders Is Encoded by an Intronless Gene

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, Sandy Steffany; Wilson, David; Mattick, John S.; King, Glenn F.

    2012-01-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome. PMID:22928020

  6. Viral promoters can initiate expression of toxin genes introduced into Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Lewin, Astrid; Mayer, Martin; Chusainow, Janet; Jacob, Daniela; Appel, Bernd

    2005-06-20

    The expression of recombinant proteins in eukaryotic cells requires the fusion of the coding region to a promoter functional in the eukaryotic cell line. Viral promoters are very often used for this purpose. The preceding cloning procedures are usually performed in Escherichia coli and it is therefore of interest if the foreign promoter results in an expression of the gene in bacteria. In the case molecules toxic for humans are to be expressed, this knowledge is indispensable for the specification of safety measures. We selected five frequently used viral promoters and quantified their activity in E. coli with a reporter system. Only the promoter from the thymidine kinase gene from HSV1 showed no activity, while the polyhedrin promoter from baculovirus, the early immediate CMV promoter, the early SV40 promoter and the 5' LTR promoter from HIV-1 directed gene expression in E. coli. The determination of transcription start sites in the immediate early CMV promoter and the polyhedrin promoter confirmed the existence of bacterial -10 and -35 consensus sequences. The importance of this heterologous gene expression for safety considerations was further supported by analysing fusions between the aforementioned promoters and a promoter-less cytotoxin gene. According to our results a high percentage of viral promoters have the ability of initiating gene expression in E. coli. The degree of such heterologous gene expression can be sufficient for the expression of toxin genes and must therefore be considered when defining safety measures for the handling of corresponding genetically modified organisms.

  7. Viral promoters can initiate expression of toxin genes introduced into Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Lewin, Astrid; Mayer, Martin; Chusainow, Janet; Jacob, Daniela; Appel, Bernd

    2005-01-01

    Background The expression of recombinant proteins in eukaryotic cells requires the fusion of the coding region to a promoter functional in the eukaryotic cell line. Viral promoters are very often used for this purpose. The preceding cloning procedures are usually performed in Escherichia coli and it is therefore of interest if the foreign promoter results in an expression of the gene in bacteria. In the case molecules toxic for humans are to be expressed, this knowledge is indispensable for the specification of safety measures. Results We selected five frequently used viral promoters and quantified their activity in E. coli with a reporter system. Only the promoter from the thymidine kinase gene from HSV1 showed no activity, while the polyhedrin promoter from baculovirus, the early immediate CMV promoter, the early SV40 promoter and the 5' LTR promoter from HIV-1 directed gene expression in E. coli. The determination of transcription start sites in the immediate early CMV promoter and the polyhedrin promoter confirmed the existence of bacterial -10 and -35 consensus sequences. The importance of this heterologous gene expression for safety considerations was further supported by analysing fusions between the aforementioned promoters and a promoter-less cytotoxin gene. Conclusion According to our results a high percentage of viral promoters have the ability of initiating gene expression in E. coli. The degree of such heterologous gene expression can be sufficient for the expression of toxin genes and must therefore be considered when defining safety measures for the handling of corresponding genetically modified organisms. PMID:15967027

  8. Transport and magnetic properties of RTX and related compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goruganti, Venkateshwarlu

    Physical properties of RTX compounds (R = Rare earth, T = Transition metal and X = main group element from B, C or N group) compounds have been studied by means of electrical resistivity, heat capacity, dc magnetization and NMR. Searching for new magnetic materials is always an interesting topic from both a technological and basic research prospective; it is even more interesting when unusual magnetic phases are observed. Ternary intermetallic plumbides are interesting because of their unconventional magnetic ordering and variety of multiple magnetic transitions. Crystalline electric fields (CEF) also strongly effect the magnetic properties of these intermetallics. To understand the phase transitions, CEF effects, and magnetic interactions, a systematic study of the RNiPb, R 2Ni2Pb, R5NiPb3 and RCuGe systems were conducted. Among the results for NdNiPb a single antiferromagnetic transition was found at 3.5K, while the superconductivity found in some ingots of this material was shown not to correspond to a bulk behavior for this phase. Nd2Ni 2Pb was shown to have a canted zero field magnetic structure with a low temperature metamagnetic transition 3 T. In NdCuGe, a 3K AF transition was found along with a corresponding magnon contribution to the specific heat and magnetic and thermodynamic behavior from which the detailed CEF configuration was obtained. In a series of measurements on recently-synthesized R 5NiPb3 (R=Ce, Nd, Gd), for Ce5NiPb 3 a transition at 48 K was found, which was confirmed to be ferromagnetic character from field dependent heat capacity and Curie-Weiss susceptibility. Nd5NiPb3 exhibits two transitions, an antiferromagnetic transition at 42 K and an apparently weak ferromagnetic canting transition at 8 K. For Gd5NiPb3, a ferro- or ferrimagnetic transition was found at 68 K. For the Ce and Nd materials metamagnetism was also observed at low temperatures. In addition, very large metallic type gamma terms were found in the specific heat, as well as a

  9. Expression of mosquito active toxin genes by a Colombian native strain of the gram-negative bacterium Asticcacaulis excentricus.

    PubMed

    Romero, M; Gil, F M; Orduz, S

    2001-02-01

    Mosquito control with biological insecticides, such as Bacillus sp. toxins, has been used widely in many countries. However, rapid sedimentation away from the mosquito larvae feeding zone causes a low residual effect. In order to overcome this problem, it has been proposed to clone the Bacillus toxin genes in aquatic bacteria which are able to live in the upper part of the water column. Two strains of Asticcacaulis excentricus were chosen to introduce the B. sphaericus binary toxin gene and B. thuringiensis subsp. medellin cry11Bb gene cloned in suitable vectors. In feeding experiments with these aquatic bacteria, it was shown that Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Anopheles albimanus larvae were able to survive on a diet based on this wild bacterium. A. excentricus recombinant strains were able to express both genes, but the recombinant strain expressing the B. sphaericus binary toxin was toxic to mosquito larvae. Crude protease A. excentricus extracts did not degrade the Cry11Bb toxin. The flotability studies indicated that the recombinant A. excentricus strains remained in the upper part of the water column longer than the wild type Bacillus strains.

  10. SxtA and sxtG Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Mediterranean Alexandrium minutum (Dinophyceae)

    PubMed Central

    Perini, Federico; Galluzzi, Luca; Dell’Aversano, Carmela; Dello Iacovo, Emma; Tartaglione, Luciana; Ricci, Fabio; Forino, Martino; Ciminiello, Patrizia; Penna, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum is known for the production of potent neurotoxins affecting the health of human seafood consumers via paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the toxin content and the expression level of the genes involved in paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) production. The algal cultures were grown both in standard f/2 medium and in phosphorus/nitrogen limitation. In our study, LC-HRMS analyses of PST profile and content in different Mediterranean A. minutum strains confirmed that this species was able to synthesize mainly the saxitoxin analogues Gonyautoxin-1 (GTX1) and Gonyautoxin-4 (GTX4). The average cellular toxin content varied among different strains, and between growth phases, highlighting a decreasing trend from exponential to stationary phase in all culture conditions tested. The absolute quantities of intracellular sxtA1 and sxtG mRNA were not correlated with the amount of intracellular toxins in the analysed A. minutum suggesting that the production of toxins may be regulated by post-transcriptional mechanisms and/or by the concerted actions of alternative genes belonging to the PST biosynthesis gene cluster. Therefore, it is likely that the sxtA1 and sxtG gene expression could not reflect the PST accumulation in the Mediterranean A. minutum populations under the examined standard and nutrient limiting conditions. PMID:25341029

  11. A satellite phage-encoded antirepressor induces repressor aggregation and cholera toxin gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Davis, Brigid M; Kimsey, Harvey H; Kane, Anne V; Waldor, Matthew K

    2002-08-15

    CTXphi is a filamentous bacteriophage whose genome encodes cholera toxin, the principal virulence factor of Vibrio cholerae. We have found that the CTXphi-related element RS1 is a satellite phage whose transmission depends upon proteins produced from a CTX prophage (its helper phage). However, unlike other satellite phages and satellite animal viruses, RS1 can aid the CTX prophage as well as exploit it, due to the RS1-encoded protein RstC. RstC, whose function previously was unknown, is an antirepressor that counteracts the activity of the phage repressor RstR. RstC promotes transcription of genes required for phage production and thereby promotes transmission of both RS1 and CTXphi. Antirepression by RstC also induces expression of the cholera toxin genes, ctxAB, and thus may contribute to the virulence of V.cholerae. In vitro, RstC binds directly to RstR, producing unusual, insoluble aggregates containing both proteins. In vivo, RstC and RstR are both found at the cell pole, where they again appear to form stable complexes. The sequestration/inactivation process induced by RstC resembles those induced by mutant polyglutamine-containing proteins implicated in human neurodegenerative disorders.

  12. A novel gene required for cercosporin toxin resistance in the fungus Cercospora nicotianae.

    PubMed

    Chung, K R; Jenns, A E; Ehrenshaft, M; Daub, M E

    1999-09-01

    Cercosporin, a photosensitizing perylenequinone toxin produced by the plant pathogenic Cercospora fungi, generates the highly toxic singlet oxygen (1O2) upon exposure to light. Cercosporin shows broad toxicity against a wide range of organisms, including bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals; however, Cercospora fungi are resistant to its effects. A novel gene, crg1 (cercosporin-resistance gene) was isolated from a wild-type strain of C. nicotianae by genetic complementation of a C. nicotianae mutant (CS10) which is cercosporin sensitive and down-regulated in cercosporin production. Sequence analysis indicated that crg1 encodes a putative protein of 550 amino acids with four putative transmembrane helical regions, however CRG1 shows no strong similarity to any other protein in sequence databases. Northern analysis identified two transcripts (4.5 and 2.6 kb) that are unaffected by the presence of light or cercosporin. Southern analysis demonstrated that crg1 is present in a single copy in the C. nicotianae genome and can be detected only in Cercospora species. Targeted disruption of crg1 resulted in mutants that, like CS10, are sensitive to cercosporin. However, unlike CS10, crg1 disruption mutants are not down-regulated in toxin production. Both CS10 and the crg1 disruption mutants are unaffected in their response to other 1O2-generating photosensitizers, suggesting that CRG1 functions specifically against cercosporin, rather than against 1O2.

  13. A satellite phage-encoded antirepressor induces repressor aggregation and cholera toxin gene transfer

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Brigid M.; Kimsey, Harvey H.; Kane, Anne V.; Waldor, Matthew K.

    2002-01-01

    CTXφ is a filamentous bacteriophage whose genome encodes cholera toxin, the principal virulence factor of Vibrio cholerae. We have found that the CTXφ-related element RS1 is a satellite phage whose transmission depends upon proteins produced from a CTX prophage (its helper phage). However, unlike other satellite phages and satellite animal viruses, RS1 can aid the CTX prophage as well as exploit it, due to the RS1-encoded protein RstC. RstC, whose function previously was unknown, is an antirepressor that counteracts the activity of the phage repressor RstR. RstC promotes transcription of genes required for phage production and thereby promotes transmission of both RS1 and CTXφ. Antirepression by RstC also induces expression of the cholera toxin genes, ctxAB, and thus may contribute to the virulence of V.cholerae. In vitro, RstC binds directly to RstR, producing unusual, insoluble aggregates containing both proteins. In vivo, RstC and RstR are both found at the cell pole, where they again appear to form stable complexes. The sequestration/inactivation process induced by RstC resembles those induced by mutant polyglutamine-containing proteins implicated in human neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:12169626

  14. Transfer of toxin genes to alternate bacterial hosts for mosquito control.

    PubMed

    Orduz, S; Restrepo, N; Patiño, M M; Rojas, W

    1995-01-01

    Mosquitoes are vector of serious human and animal diseases, such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, among others. The use of biological control agents has provide an environmentally safe and highly specific alternative to the use of chemical insecticides in the control of vector borne diseases. Bacillus thuringiensis and B. sphaericus produce toxic proteins to mosquito larvae. Great progress has been made on the biochemical and molecular characterization of such proteins and the genes encoding them. Nevertheless, the low residuality of these biological insecticides is one of the major drawbacks. This article present some interesting aspects of the mosquito larvae feeding habits and review the attempts that have been made to genetically engineer microorganisms that while are used by mosquito larvae as a food source should express the Bacillus toxin genes in order to improve the residuality and stability in the mosquito breeding ponds.

  15. Effects of a natural toxin on life history and gene expression of Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    van Ommen Kloeke, A E Elaine; Gong, Ping; Ellers, Jacintha; Roelofs, Dick

    2014-02-01

    Earthworms perform key functions for a healthy soil ecosystem, such as bioturbation. The soil ecosystem can be challenged by natural toxins such as isothiocyanates (ITCs), produced by many commercial crops. Therefore, the effects of 2-phenylethyl ITC were investigated on the earthworm Eisenia andrei using an ecotoxicogenomics approach. Exposure to 2-phenylethyl ITC reduced both survival and reproduction of E. andrei in a dose-dependent manner (median effective concentration [EC50] = 556 nmol/g). Cross-species comparative genomic hybridization validated the applicability of an existing 4 × 44,000 Eisenia fetida microarray to E. andrei. Gene expression profiles revealed the importance of metallothionein (MT) as an early warning signal when E. andrei was exposed to low concentrations of 2-phenylethyl ITC. Alignment of these MT genes with the MT-2 gene of Lumbricus rubellus showed that at least 2 MT gene clusters are present in the Eisenia sp. genome. At high-exposure concentrations, gene expression was mainly affected by inhibiting chitinase activity, inducing an oxidative stress response, and stimulating energy metabolism. Furthermore, analysis by Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway implied that the high concentration may have caused impaired light sensitivity, angiogenesis, olfactory perception, learning, and memory. Increased levels of ITCs may be found in the field in the near future. The results presented call for a careful investigation to quantify the risk of such compounds before allowing them to enter the soil on a large scale.

  16. The Repeat-In-Toxin Family Member TosA Mediates Adherence of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli and Survival during Bacteremia

    PubMed Central

    Vigil, Patrick D.; Wiles, Travis J.; Engstrom, Michael D.; Prasov, Lev; Mulvey, Matthew A.

    2012-01-01

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is responsible for the majority of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) and represents the most common bacterial infection in adults. UPEC utilizes a wide range of virulence factors to colonize the host, including the novel repeat-in-toxin (RTX) protein TosA, which is specifically expressed in the host urinary tract and contributes significantly to the virulence and survival of UPEC. tosA, found in strains within the B2 phylogenetic subgroup of E. coli, serves as a marker for strains that also contain a large number of well-characterized UPEC virulence factors. The presence of tosA in an E. coli isolate predicts successful colonization of the murine model of ascending UTI, regardless of the source of the isolate. Here, a detailed analysis of the function of tosA revealed that this gene is transcriptionally linked to genes encoding a conserved type 1 secretion system similar to other RTX family members. TosA localized to the cell surface and was found to mediate (i) adherence to host cells derived from the upper urinary tract and (ii) survival in disseminated infections and (iii) to enhance lethality during sepsis (as assessed in two different animal models of infection). An experimental vaccine, using purified TosA, protected vaccinated animals against urosepsis. From this work, it was concluded that TosA belongs to a novel group of RTX proteins that mediate adherence and host damage during UTI and urosepsis and could be a novel target for the development of therapeutics to treat ascending UTIs. PMID:22083710

  17. Horizontal gene transfer of a bacterial insect toxin gene into the Epichloë fungal symbionts of grasses

    PubMed Central

    Ambrose, Karen V.; Koppenhöfer, Albrecht M.; Belanger, Faith C.

    2014-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is recognized as an important factor in genome evolution, particularly when the newly acquired gene confers a new capability to the recipient species. We identified a gene similar to the makes caterpillars floppy (mcf1 and mcf2) insect toxin genes in Photorhabdus, bacterial symbionts of nematodes, in the genomes of the Epichloë fungi, which are intercellular symbionts of grasses. Infection by Epichloë spp. often confers insect resistance to the grass hosts, largely due to the production of fungal alkaloids. A mcf-like gene is present in all of the Epichloë genome sequences currently available but in no other fungal genomes. This suggests the Epichloë genes were derived from a single lineage-specific HGT event. Molecular dating was used to estimate the time of the HGT event at between 7.2 and 58.8 million years ago. The mcf-like coding sequence from Epichloë typhina subsp. poae was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. E. coli cells expressing the Mcf protein were toxic to black cutworms (Agrotis ipsilon), whereas E. coli cells containing the vector only were non-toxic. These results suggest that the Epichloë mcf-like genes may be a component, in addition to the fungal alkaloids, of the insect resistance observed in Epichloë-infected grasses. PMID:24990771

  18. Escherichia coli O157:H7 survives within human macrophages: global gene expression profile and involvement of the Shiga toxins.

    PubMed

    Poirier, Katherine; Faucher, Sébastien P; Béland, Maxime; Brousseau, Roland; Gannon, Victor; Martin, Christine; Harel, Josée; Daigle, France

    2008-11-01

    Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an important food-borne pathogen that specifically binds to the follicle-associated epithelium in the intestine, which rapidly brings this bacterial pathogen in contact with underlying human macrophages. Very little information is available about the interaction between E. coli O157:H7 and human macrophages. We evaluated the uptake and survival of strain EDL933 during infection of human macrophages. Surprisingly, EDL933 survived and multiplied in human macrophages at 24 h postinfection. The global gene expression profile of this pathogen during macrophage infection was determined. Inside human macrophages, upregulation of E. coli O157:H7 genes carried on O islands (such as pagC, the genes for both of the Shiga toxins, and the two iron transport system operons fit and chu) was observed. Genes involved in acid resistance and in the SOS response were upregulated. However, genes of the locus of enterocyte effacement or genes involved in peroxide resistance were not differentially expressed. Many genes with putative or unknown functions were upregulated inside human macrophages and may be newly discovered virulence factors. As the Shiga toxin genes were upregulated in macrophages, survival and cytotoxicity assays were performed with isogenic Shiga toxin mutants. The initial uptake of Shiga toxins mutants was higher than that of the wild type; however, the survival rates were significantly lower at 24 h postinfection. Thus, Shiga toxins are implicated in the interaction between E. coli O157:H7 and human macrophages. Understanding the molecular mechanisms used by E. coli to survive within macrophages may help in the identification of targets for new therapeutic agents.

  19. Characterisation of the paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis gene clusters in Anabaena circinalis AWQC131C and Aphanizomenon sp. NH-5

    PubMed Central

    Mihali, Troco K; Kellmann, Ralf; Neilan, Brett A

    2009-01-01

    Background Saxitoxin and its analogues collectively known as the paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are neurotoxic alkaloids and are the cause of the syndrome named paralytic shellfish poisoning. PSTs are produced by a unique biosynthetic pathway, which involves reactions that are rare in microbial metabolic pathways. Nevertheless, distantly related organisms such as dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria appear to produce these toxins using the same pathway. Hypothesised explanations for such an unusual phylogenetic distribution of this shared uncommon metabolic pathway, include a polyphyletic origin, an involvement of symbiotic bacteria, and horizontal gene transfer. Results We describe the identification, annotation and bioinformatic characterisation of the putative paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis clusters in an Australian isolate of Anabaena circinalis and an American isolate of Aphanizomenon sp., both members of the Nostocales. These putative PST gene clusters span approximately 28 kb and contain genes coding for the biosynthesis and export of the toxin. A putative insertion/excision site in the Australian Anabaena circinalis AWQC131C was identified, and the organization and evolution of the gene clusters are discussed. A biosynthetic pathway leading to the formation of saxitoxin and its analogues in these organisms is proposed. Conclusion The PST biosynthesis gene cluster presents a mosaic structure, whereby genes have apparently transposed in segments of varying size, resulting in different gene arrangements in all three sxt clusters sequenced so far. The gene cluster organizational structure and sequence similarity seems to reflect the phylogeny of the producer organisms, indicating that the gene clusters have an ancient origin, or that their lateral transfer was also an ancient event. The knowledge we gain from the characterisation of the PST biosynthesis gene clusters, including the identity and sequence of the genes involved in the biosynthesis, may

  20. Role of peptidergic nerve terminals in the skin: reversal of thermal sensation by calcitonin gene-related peptide in TRPV1-depleted neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Yu-Lin; Lin, Chih-Lung; Chiang, Hao; Fu, Yaw-Syan; Lue, June-Horng; Hsieh, Sung-Tsang

    2012-01-01

    To investigate the contribution of peptidergic intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) to nociceptive responses after depletion of the thermal-sensitive receptor, transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1), we took advantage of a resiniferatoxin (RTX)-induced neuropathy which specifically affected small-diameter dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and their corresponding nerve terminals in the skin. Thermal hypoalgesia (p<0.001) developed from RTX-treatment day 7 (RTXd7) and became normalized from RTXd56 to RTXd84. Substance P (SP)(+) and TRPV1(+) neurons were completely depleted (p = 0.0001 and p<0.0001, respectively), but RTX had a relatively minor effect on calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)(+) neurons (p = 0.029). Accordingly, SP(+) (p<0.0001) and TRPV1(+) (p = 0.0008) IENFs were permanently depleted, but CGRP(+) IENFs (p = 0.012) were only transiently reduced and had recovered by RTXd84 (p = 0.83). The different effects of RTX on peptidergic neurons were attributed to the higher co-localization ratio of TRPV1/SP than of TRPV1/CGRP (p = 0.029). Thermal hypoalgesia (p = 0.0018) reappeared with an intraplantar injection of botulinum toxin type A (botox), and the temporal course of withdrawal latencies in the hot-plate test paralleled the innervation of CGRP(+) IENFs (p = 0.0003) and CGRP contents in skin (p = 0.01). In summary, this study demonstrated the preferential effects of RTX on depletion of SP(+) IENFs which caused thermal hypoalgesia. In contrast, the skin was reinnervated by CGRP(+) IENFs, which resulted in a normalization of nociceptive functions.

  1. Alterations in gene expression precede sarcopenia and osteopenia in botulinum toxin immobilized mice

    PubMed Central

    Vegger, J.B.; Brüel, A.; Dahlgaard, A.F.; Thomsen, J.S.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To investigate alteration of bone and muscle gene expression at different time points during 3 weeks of botulinum toxin (BTX) induced immobilization and how this correlate with conventional analysis of bone and muscle. Methods: Thirty-five 16-week-old female C57BL/6-mice were investigated; 15 were injected with BTX, 15 served as age-matched controls, and 5 as baseline. 5 BTX-injected and 5 control mice were euthanized after 1, 2, and 3 weeks. Analysis included RT-qPCR, dynamic bone histomorphometry, DEXA, µCT, mechanical testing, and muscle cell cross-sectional-area (CSA). Results: Genes related to osteoblasts were expressed at a lower level after 1 week, but not after 2 and 3 weeks of disuse. Moreover, genes related to osteoclasts were expressed at a higher level after 1 and 2 weeks of disuse, whereafter they approached the level of the controls. Genes related to muscle atrophy were upregulated 1 and 2 weeks after the BTX-injection, but not after 3 weeks. In contrast, deterioration of bone microstructure and strength, and reduction in muscle cell CSA were most evident after 3 weeks of disuse. Conclusions: Gene expression should be investigated during the first two weeks of immobilization, whereas changes in bone microstructure and muscle cell CSA are most prominent after 3 weeks of immobilization. PMID:27973388

  2. Characterization of Toxin Genes and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates in Fishery Products in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Arfatahery, Noushin; Davoodabadi, Abolfazl; Abedimohtasab, Taranehpeimaneh

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of seafood-borne diseases worldwide, which are attributable to the contamination of food by preformed enterotoxins. In this study, a total of 206 (34.3%) Staphylococcus aureus strains were obtained from 600 fish and shrimp samples and were tested for their antimicrobial susceptibility. We assessed the prevalence of the genes responsible for the staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEA, SEB) and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) genes. The results indicated that 34% of aqua food samples were contaminated with S. aureus, and 23.8% of these isolates were mec-A-positive. Sixty-four percent of the strains isolated from contaminated seafood was enterotoxigenic S. aureus, and 28.2% of SEs were MRSA-positive. The most prevalent genotype was characterized by the presence of the sea gene (45.2%), followed by the seb gene (18.5%), and the tst gene encoding TSST-1 was found in eight strains (3.9%). Of the 206 S. aureus isolates, 189 strains (84.9%) were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Given the frequent outbreaks of enterotoxigenic MRSA, it is necessary to make revisions to mandatory programmes to facilitate improved hygiene practices during fishing, aquaculture, processing, and sales to prevent the contamination of fishery products in Iran. PMID:27694813

  3. Clostridium sordellii genome analysis reveals plasmid localized toxin genes encoded within pathogenicity loci.

    PubMed

    Couchman, Edward C; Browne, Hilary P; Dunn, Matt; Lawley, Trevor D; Songer, J Glenn; Hall, Val; Petrovska, Liljana; Vidor, Callum; Awad, Milena; Lyras, Dena; Fairweather, Neil F

    2015-05-16

    Clostridium sordellii can cause severe infections in animals and humans, the latter associated with trauma, toxic shock and often-fatal gynaecological infections. Strains can produce two large clostridial cytotoxins (LCCs), TcsL and TcsH, related to those produced by Clostridium difficile, Clostridium novyi and Clostridium perfringens, but the genetic basis of toxin production remains uncharacterised. Phylogenetic analysis of the genome sequences of 44 strains isolated from human and animal infections in the UK, US and Australia placed the species into four clades. Although all strains originated from animal or clinical disease, only 5 strains contained LCC genes: 4 strains contain tcsL alone and one strain contains tcsL and tcsH. Four toxin-positive strains were found within one clade. Where present, tcsL and tcsH were localised in a pathogenicity locus, similar to but distinct from that present in C. difficile. In contrast to C. difficile, where the LCCs are chromosomally localised, the C. sordellii tcsL and tcsH genes are localised on plasmids. Our data suggest gain and loss of entire toxigenic plasmids in addition to horizontal transfer of the pathogenicity locus. A high quality, annotated sequence of ATCC9714 reveals many putative virulence factors including neuraminidase, phospholipase C and the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin sordellilysin that are highly conserved between all strains studied. Genome analysis of C. sordellii reveals that the LCCs, the major virulence factors, are localised on plasmids. Many strains do not contain the LCC genes; it is probable that in several of these cases the plasmid has been lost upon laboratory subculture. Our data are consistent with LCCs being the primary virulence factors in the majority of infections, but LCC-negative strains may precipitate certain categories of infection. A high quality genome sequence reveals putative virulence factors whose role in virulence can be investigated.

  4. Domain loss facilitates accelerated evolution and neofunctionalization of duplicate snake venom metalloproteinase toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Wagstaff, Simon C; Harrison, Robert A; Renjifo, Camila; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2011-09-01

    Gene duplication is a key mechanism for the adaptive evolution and neofunctionalization of gene families. Large multigene families often exhibit complex evolutionary histories as a result of frequent gene duplication acting in concordance with positive selection pressures. Alterations in the domain structure of genes, causing changes in the molecular scaffold of proteins, can also result in a complex evolutionary history and has been observed in functionally diverse multigene toxin families. Here, we investigate the role alterations in domain structure have on the tempo of evolution and neofunctionalization of multigene families using the snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) as a model system. Our results reveal that the evolutionary history of viperid (Serpentes: Viperidae) SVMPs is repeatedly punctuated by domain loss, with the single loss of the cysteine-rich domain, facilitating the formation of P-II class SVMPs, occurring prior to the convergent loss of the disintegrin domain to form multiple P-I SVMP structures. Notably, the majority of phylogenetic branches where domain loss was inferred to have occurred exhibited highly significant evidence of positive selection in surface-exposed amino acid residues, resulting in the neofunctionalization of P-II and P-I SVMP classes. These results provide a valuable insight into the mechanisms by which complex gene families evolve and detail how the loss of domain structures can catalyze the accelerated evolution of novel gene paralogues. The ensuing generation of differing molecular scaffolds encoded by the same multigene family facilitates gene neofunctionalization while presenting an evolutionary advantage through the retention of multiple genes capable of encoding functionally distinct proteins.

  5. Characterization of foodborne Staphylococcus aureus isolates: association of toxin gene profile with genotype and food commodities in Shanghai, China

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important clinical and foodborne pathogen. Zoonotic risk of transmission to humans highlights the need to understand the ecology of S. aureus in various foods. We characterized the genetic diversity and the distribution of 25 toxin genes in 142 foodborne Staphylococcus au...

  6. Usefulness of Adjunctive Fecal Calprotectin and Serum Procalcitonin in Individuals Positive for Clostridium difficile Toxin Gene by PCR Assay

    PubMed Central

    Gheorghe, Romina; Eastmond, Jennifer; Miller, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    In 54/64 subjects with nosocomial diarrhea, fecal calprotectin levels correlated with the results of stool samples tested for Clostridium difficile toxin gene by PCR. Fecal calprotectin levels can be used as an adjunctive measure to PCR to support the diagnosis of C. difficile infection. PMID:26354814

  7. Synergetic action of domain II and IV underlies persistent current generation in Nav1.3 as revealed by a tarantula toxin.

    PubMed

    Tang, Cheng; Zhou, Xi; Zhang, Yunxiao; Xiao, Zhaohua; Hu, Zhaotun; Zhang, Changxin; Huang, Ying; Chen, Bo; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2015-03-18

    The persistent current (INaP) through voltage-gated sodium channels enhances neuronal excitability by causing prolonged depolarization of membranes. Nav1.3 intrinsically generates a small INaP, although the mechanism underlying its generation remains unclear. In this study, the involvement of the four domains of Nav1.3 in INaP generation was investigated using the tarantula toxin α-hexatoxin-MrVII (RTX-VII). RTX-VII activated Nav1.3 and induced a large INaP. A pre-activated state binding model was proposed to explain the kinetics of toxin-channel interaction. Of the four domains of Nav1.3, both domain II and IV might play important roles in the toxin-induced INaP. Domain IV constructed the binding site for RTX-VII, while domain II might not participate in interacting with RTX-VII but could determine the efficacy of RTX-VII. Our results based on the use of RTX-VII as a probe suggest that domain II and IV cooperatively contribute to the generation of INaP in Nav1.3.

  8. Synergetic Action of Domain II and IV Underlies Persistent Current Generation in Nav1.3 as revealed by a tarantula toxin

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Cheng; Zhou, Xi; Zhang, Yunxiao; xiao, Zhaohua; Hu, Zhaotun; Zhang, Changxin; Huang, Ying; Chen, Bo; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2015-01-01

    The persistent current (INaP) through voltage-gated sodium channels enhances neuronal excitability by causing prolonged depolarization of membranes. Nav1.3 intrinsically generates a small INaP, although the mechanism underlying its generation remains unclear. In this study, the involvement of the four domains of Nav1.3 in INaP generation was investigated using the tarantula toxin α-hexatoxin-MrVII (RTX-VII). RTX-VII activated Nav1.3 and induced a large INaP. A pre-activated state binding model was proposed to explain the kinetics of toxin-channel interaction. Of the four domains of Nav1.3, both domain II and IV might play important roles in the toxin-induced INaP. Domain IV constructed the binding site for RTX-VII, while domain II might not participate in interacting with RTX-VII but could determine the efficacy of RTX-VII. Our results based on the use of RTX-VII as a probe suggest that domain II and IV cooperatively contribute to the generation of INaP in Nav1.3. PMID:25784299

  9. A highly efficient molecular cloning platform that utilises a small bacterial toxin gene.

    PubMed

    Mok, Wendy W K; Li, Yingfu

    2013-04-15

    Molecular cloning technologies that have emerged in recent years are more efficient and simpler to use than traditional strategies, but many have the disadvantages of requiring multiple steps and expensive proprietary enzymes. We have engineered cloning vectors containing variants of IbsC, a 19-residue toxin from Escherichia coli K-12. These toxic peptides offer selectivity to minimise the background, labour, and cost associated with conventional molecular cloning. As demonstrated with the cloning of reporter genes, this "detox cloning" system consistently produced over 95 % positive clones. Purification steps between digestion and ligation are not necessary, and the total time between digestion and plating of transformants can be as little as three hours. Thus, these IbsC-based cloning vectors are as reliable and amenable to high-throughput cloning as commercially available systems, and have the advantage of being more time-efficient and cost-effective.

  10. Variability in the sxt Gene Clusters of PSP Toxin Producing Aphanizomenon gracile Strains from Norway, Spain, Germany and North America.

    PubMed

    Ballot, Andreas; Cerasino, Leonardo; Hostyeva, Vladyslava; Cirés, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin production has been detected worldwide in the cyanobacterial genera Anabaena, Lyngbya, Scytonema, Cuspidothrix and Aphanizomenon. In Europe Aphanizomenon gracile and Cuspidothrix issatschenkoi are the only known producers of PSP toxins and are found in Southwest and Central European freshwater bodies. In this study the PSP toxin producing Aphanizomenon sp. strain NIVA-CYA 851 was isolated from the Norwegian Lake Hillestadvannet. In a polyphasic approach NIVA-CYA 851 was morphologically and phylogenetically classified, and investigated for toxin production. The strain NIVA-CYA 851 was identified as A. gracile using 16S rRNA gene phylogeny and was confirmed to produce neosaxitoxin, saxitoxin and gonyautoxin 5 by LC-MS. The whole sxt gene clusters (circa 27.3 kb) of four A. gracile strains: NIVA-CYA 851 (Norway); NIVA-CYA 655 & NIVA-CYA 676 (Germany); and UAM 529 (Spain), all from latitudes between 40° and 59° North were sequenced and compared with the sxt gene cluster of reference strain A. gracile NH-5 from the USA. All five sxt gene clusters are highly conserved with similarities exceeding 99.4%, but they differ slightly in the number and presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions/deletions (In/Dels). Altogether 178 variable sites (44 SNPs and 4 In/Dels, comprising 134 nucleotides) were found in the sxt gene clusters of the Norwegian, German and Spanish strains compared to the reference strain. Thirty-nine SNPs were located in 16 of the 27 coding regions. The sxt gene clusters of NIVA-CYA 851, NIVA-CYA 655, NIVA-CYA 676 and UAM 529, were characterized by 15, 16, 19 and 23 SNPs respectively. Only the Norwegian strain NIVA-CYA 851 possessed an insertion of 126 base pairs (bp) in the noncoding area between the sxtA and sxtE genes and a deletion of 6 nucleotides in the sxtN gene. The sxtI gene showed the highest variability and is recommended as the best genetic marker for further phylogenetic studies

  11. Variability in the sxt Gene Clusters of PSP Toxin Producing Aphanizomenon gracile Strains from Norway, Spain, Germany and North America

    PubMed Central

    Cerasino, Leonardo; Hostyeva, Vladyslava; Cirés, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin production has been detected worldwide in the cyanobacterial genera Anabaena, Lyngbya, Scytonema, Cuspidothrix and Aphanizomenon. In Europe Aphanizomenon gracile and Cuspidothrix issatschenkoi are the only known producers of PSP toxins and are found in Southwest and Central European freshwater bodies. In this study the PSP toxin producing Aphanizomenon sp. strain NIVA-CYA 851 was isolated from the Norwegian Lake Hillestadvannet. In a polyphasic approach NIVA-CYA 851 was morphologically and phylogenetically classified, and investigated for toxin production. The strain NIVA-CYA 851 was identified as A. gracile using 16S rRNA gene phylogeny and was confirmed to produce neosaxitoxin, saxitoxin and gonyautoxin 5 by LC-MS. The whole sxt gene clusters (circa 27.3 kb) of four A. gracile strains: NIVA-CYA 851 (Norway); NIVA-CYA 655 & NIVA-CYA 676 (Germany); and UAM 529 (Spain), all from latitudes between 40° and 59° North were sequenced and compared with the sxt gene cluster of reference strain A. gracile NH-5 from the USA. All five sxt gene clusters are highly conserved with similarities exceeding 99.4%, but they differ slightly in the number and presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions/deletions (In/Dels). Altogether 178 variable sites (44 SNPs and 4 In/Dels, comprising 134 nucleotides) were found in the sxt gene clusters of the Norwegian, German and Spanish strains compared to the reference strain. Thirty-nine SNPs were located in 16 of the 27 coding regions. The sxt gene clusters of NIVA-CYA 851, NIVA-CYA 655, NIVA-CYA 676 and UAM 529, were characterized by 15, 16, 19 and 23 SNPs respectively. Only the Norwegian strain NIVA-CYA 851 possessed an insertion of 126 base pairs (bp) in the noncoding area between the sxtA and sxtE genes and a deletion of 6 nucleotides in the sxtN gene. The sxtI gene showed the highest variability and is recommended as the best genetic marker for further phylogenetic studies

  12. Insight into Shiga toxin genes encoded by Escherichia coli O157 from whole genome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Ashton, Philip M.; Perry, Neil; Ellis, Richard; Petrovska, Liljana; Wain, John; Grant, Kathie A.; Jenkins, Claire

    2015-01-01

    The ability of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) to cause severe illness in humans is determined by multiple host factors and bacterial characteristics, including Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype. Given the link between Stx2a subtype and disease severity, we sought to identify the stx subtypes present in whole genome sequences (WGS) of 444 isolates of STEC O157. Difficulties in assembling the stx genes in some strains were overcome by using two complementary bioinformatics methods: mapping and de novo assembly. We compared the WGS analysis with the results obtained using a PCR approach and investigated the diversity within and between the subtypes. All strains of STEC O157 in this study had stx1a, stx2a or stx2c or a combination of these three genes. There was over 99% (442/444) concordance between PCR and WGS. When common source strains were excluded, 236/349 strains of STEC O157 had multiple copies of different Stx subtypes and 54 had multiple copies of the same Stx subtype. Of those strains harbouring multiple copies of the same Stx subtype, 33 had variants between the alleles while 21 had identical copies. Strains harbouring Stx2a only were most commonly found to have multiple alleles of the same subtype (42%). Both the PCR and WGS approach to stx subtyping provided a good level of sensitivity and specificity. In addition, the WGS data also showed there were a significant proportion of strains harbouring multiple alleles of the same Stx subtype associated with clinical disease in England. PMID:25737808

  13. Genetic diversity of the mating type and toxin production genes in Pyrenophora tritici-repentis.

    PubMed

    Lepoint, P; Renard, M-E; Legrève, A; Duveiller, E; Maraite, H

    2010-05-01

    Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, the causal agent of tan spot on wheat, is a homothallic loculoascomycete with a complex race structure. The objectives of this study were to confirm the homothallic nature of the pathogen, characterize mating type diversity and toxin production genes in a global collection of strains, and analyze how these traits are associated between each other and with existing races. The pseudothecia production capacity, race identification, mating type locus (MAT), internal transcribed spacer, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase regions were analyzed in a selection of 88 strains originating from Europe, North and South America, North Africa, and Central and South Asia. Some (60%) strains produced pseudothecia containing ascospores, independent of their origin. Race identification obtained using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction targeting host-selective toxin (HST) genes was consistent, overall, with the results based on the inoculation of a set of differential wheat cultivars and confirmed the predominance of race 1/2 strains ( approximately 83%). However, discrepancies in race identification, differences from the reference tester strains, and atypical ToxA profiles suggest the presence of new races and HSTs. The MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 coding regions are consecutively arranged in a single individual, suggesting putative heterothallic origin of P. tritici-repentis. Upstream from the MAT is an open reading frame of unknown function (ORF1) containing a MAT-specific degenerate carboxy-terminus. The phylogenetic analysis of the MAT locus reveals two distinct groups, unlinked to geographical origin or ToxA profile. Group I, the best-represented group, is associated with typical tan spot lesions caused by races 1, 2, 3, and 5 on wheat. It is more homogenous than group II encompassing race 4 strains, as well as isolates associated primarily with small spot lesions on wheat leaves or other hosts. Group II could contain several distinct taxa.

  14. A Double Selection Approach to Achieve Specific Expression of Toxin Genes for Ovarian Cancer Gene Therapy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-01

    established vector systems, new viruses are also being developed for targeted gene therapy . One promising example is the measles virus , an enveloped...promising approach. However, the gene delivery efficiency of human serotype 5 recombinant adeno- viruses (Ad5) in cancer gene therapy clinical trials to...replicative viruses , is a highly attractive approach, and an alternate approach to standard cancer therapies , including gene therapies . Virotherapy exploits

  15. Is there a relationship between the presence of the binary toxin genes in Clostridium difficile strains and the severity of C. difficile infection (CDI)?

    PubMed

    Berry, C E; Davies, K A; Owens, D W; Wilcox, M H

    2017-08-05

    Some strains of Clostridium difficile produce a binary toxin, in addition to the main C. difficile virulence factors (toxins A and B). There have been conflicting reports regarding the role of binary toxin and its relationship to the severity of C. difficile infection (CDI). Samples, isolates and clinical data were collected as part of a prospective multicentre diagnostic study. Clostridium difficile isolates (n = 1259) were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect binary toxin genes cdtA and cdtB. The PCR binary toxin gene results were compared with clinical severity and outcome data, including 30-day all-cause mortality. The 1259 isolates corresponded to 1083 different patients (October 2010 to September 2011). The prevalence of binary toxin positive strains was significantly higher in faecal samples with detectable toxin A/B than in those without toxin but that were positive by cytotoxigenic culture (26.3% vs. 10.3%, p < 0.001). The presence of binary toxin correlated moderately with markers of CDI severity (white cell count, serum albumin concentration and serum creatinine concentration). However, the risk ratio for all-cause mortality was 1.68 for binary toxin positive patients and patients were significantly less likely to survive if they had CDI caused by a binary toxin gene positive strain, even after adjusting for age (p < 0.001). The presence of binary toxin genes does not predict the clinical severity of CDI, but it is significantly associated with the risk of all-cause mortality.

  16. Resiniferatoxin (RTX) Causes a Uniquely Protracted Musculoskeletal Hyperalgesia in Mice by Activation of TRPV1 Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Abdelhamid, Ramy E.; Kovács, Katalin J.; Honda, Christopher N.; Nunez, Myra G.; Larson, Alice A.

    2013-01-01

    Inactivation of TRPV1 receptors is one approach to analgesic drug development. However, TRPV1 receptors exert different effects on each modality of pain. Because muscle pain is clinically important, we compared the effect of TRPV1 ligands on musculoskeletal nociception to that on thermal and tactile nociception. Injected parenterally, capsaicin had no effect on von Frey fiber responses (tactile) but induced a transient hypothermia and hyperalgesia in both the tail flick (thermal) and grip force (musculoskeletal) assays, presumably by its agonistic action at TRPV1 sites. In contrast, RTX produced a chronic (>58 days) thermal antinociception, consistent with its reported ability to desensitize TRPV1 sites. In the same mice, RTX produced a transient hypothermia (7 h) and a protracted (28 day) musculoskeletal hyperalgesia in spite of a 35.5% reduction in TRPV1 receptor-immunoreactivity in muscle afferents. Once musculoskeletal hyperalgesia subsided, mice were tolerant to the hyperalgesic effects of either capsaicin or RTX while tolerance to hypothermia did not develop until after three injections. Musculoskeletal hyperalgesia was prevented but not reversed by SB-366791, a TRPV1 antagonist, indicating that TRPV1 receptors initiate but do not maintain hyperalgesia. Injected intrathecally, RTX produced only a brief musculoskeletal hyperalgesia (2 days) after which mice were tolerant to this effect. Perspective The effect of TRPV1 receptors varies depending on modality and tissue type such that RTX causes thermal antinociception, musculoskeletal hyperalgesia, and no effect on tactile nociception in healthy mice. Spinal TRPV1 receptors are a potential target for pain relief as they induce only a short musculoskeletal hyperalgesia followed by desensitization. PMID:24188863

  17. Staphylococcal food poisoning case and molecular analysis of toxin genes in Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from food in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Maria; Scatassa, Maria Luisa; Cardamone, Cinzia; Oliveri, Giuseppa; Piraino, Chiara; Alduina, Rosa; Napoli, Concetta

    2015-01-01

    A case of staphylococcal food poisoning was observed in two individuals of the same family after consumption of primosale, a semiripened sheep cheese produced in Sicily. Staphylococcus aureus isolated from the cheese produced enterotoxin C (SEC) and carried both the enterotoxin C (sec) and the toxic shock syndrome toxin (tsst-1) gene. Following this case, an extensive survey was conducted on 971 food samples (raw milk, cheese, meat, and food preparations). S. aureus was detected in 102 of 971 food samples, from all types of food with the exception of ricotta cheese. The tsst-1 gene was present in 42% of the strains, either alone or in combination with other toxin genes. The enterotoxin C gene was the most represented enterotoxin, but it was only found in dairy products. Six S. aureus isolates carried the sea gene alone, two isolates carried both sea and seb, and one isolate carried both sea and sec. A significant percentage (46%) of all isolates carried a toxin gene, creating significant concern that virulent S. aureus can be transmitted through food in Sicily.

  18. Abundant toxin-related genes in the genomes of beneficial symbionts from deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussels

    PubMed Central

    Sayavedra, Lizbeth; Kleiner, Manuel; Ponnudurai, Ruby; Wetzel, Silke; Pelletier, Eric; Barbe, Valerie; Satoh, Nori; Shoguchi, Eiichi; Fink, Dennis; Breusing, Corinna; Reusch, Thorsten BH; Rosenstiel, Philip; Schilhabel, Markus B; Becher, Dörte; Schweder, Thomas; Markert, Stephanie; Dubilier, Nicole; Petersen, Jillian M

    2015-01-01

    Bathymodiolus mussels live in symbiosis with intracellular sulfur-oxidizing (SOX) bacteria that provide them with nutrition. We sequenced the SOX symbiont genomes from two Bathymodiolus species. Comparison of these symbiont genomes with those of their closest relatives revealed that the symbionts have undergone genome rearrangements, and up to 35% of their genes may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Many of the genes specific to the symbionts were homologs of virulence genes. We discovered an abundant and diverse array of genes similar to insecticidal toxins of nematode and aphid symbionts, and toxins of pathogens such as Yersinia and Vibrio. Transcriptomics and proteomics revealed that the SOX symbionts express the toxin-related genes (TRGs) in their hosts. We hypothesize that the symbionts use these TRGs in beneficial interactions with their host, including protection against parasites. This would explain why a mutualistic symbiont would contain such a remarkable ‘arsenal’ of TRGs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07966.001 PMID:26371554

  19. Food-animal related Staphylococcus aureus multidrug-resistant ST9 strains with toxin genes.

    PubMed

    He, Wenqiang; Liu, Yuqing; Qi, Jing; Chen, Hongbin; Zhao, Chunjiang; Zhang, Feifei; Li, Henan; Wang, Hui

    2013-09-01

    To determine whether methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are present in commercial pig farms and food products from supermarkets in China, we characterized S. aureus isolates from 250 samples associated with swine and animal-related food products in Shandong Province. The isolates were characterized by susceptibility testing, toxin gene detection, pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, and spa typing. MRSA were identified and typed by the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). The prevalence of S. aureus among all samples was 19.6% (49/250). MRSA and MSSA accounted for 16.7% (20/120) and 8.3% (10/120), respectively, of swine feces samples. Only MSSA was detected from swine carcass, pork, chicken, and raw milk, accounting for 15% (6/40), 10% (3/30), 20% (6/30), and 13.3% (4/30), respectively. The predominant MRSA clone was ST9-t899 SCCmecIVb/PFGE A (70.0%, 14/20). Among the MSSA isolates, ST9-t899/PFGE A was the most prevalent (27.6%), followed by ST15-t084 (17.2%), ST97-t2756 (10.3%), ST1-t127 (6.9%), and ST398-t899 (3.5%). Some lineages were found that are commonly detected in humans (e.g., ST1, ST5, ST7, ST59, ST88) or are human-specific (e.g., ST15). The toxin genes sec, seh, and enterotoxin gene cluster (egc) were significantly more prevalent among isolates of lineage ST9 (p<0.001) compared to other lineages, and the ST9 isolates were more resistant to erythromycin, clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, and gentamicin. The same lineage was identified from different sample types, indicating circulation of the related strains within the area of study. In conclusion, swine and food products of animal origin carried S. aureus, and the predominant ST9 clone possesses a multidrug-resistance profile and a high prevalence of sec, seh, and egc enterotoxin genes.

  20. General secretion pathway (eps) genes required for toxin secretion and outer membrane biogenesis in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Sandkvist, M; Michel, L O; Hough, L P; Morales, V M; Bagdasarian, M; Koomey, M; DiRita, V J; Bagdasarian, M

    1997-11-01

    The general secretion pathway (GSP) of Vibrio cholerae is required for secretion of proteins including chitinase, enterotoxin, and protease through the outer membrane. In this study, we report the cloning and sequencing of a DNA fragment from V. cholerae, containing 12 open reading frames, epsC to -N, which are similar to GSP genes of Aeromonas, Erwinia, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, and Xanthomonas spp. In addition to the two previously described genes, epsE and epsM (M. Sandkvist, V. Morales, and M. Bagdasarian, Gene 123: 81-86, 1993; L. J. Overbye, M. Sandkvist, and M. Bagdasarian, Gene 132:101-106, 1993), it is shown here that epsC, epsF, epsG, and epsL also encode proteins essential for GSP function. Mutations in the eps genes result in aberrant outer membrane protein profiles, which indicates that the GSP, or at least some of its components, is required not only for secretion of soluble proteins but also for proper outer membrane assembly. Several of the Eps proteins have been identified by use of the T7 polymerase-promoter system in Escherichia coli. One of them, a pilin-like protein, EpsG, was analyzed also in V. cholerae and found to migrate as two bands on polyacrylamide gels, suggesting that in this organism it might be processed or otherwise modified by a prepilin peptidase. We believe that TcpJ prepilin peptidase, which processes the subunit of the toxin-coregulated pilus, TcpA, is not involved in this event. This is supported by the observations that apparent processing of EpsG occurs in a tcpJ mutant of V. cholerae and that, when coexpressed in E. coli, TcpJ cannot process EpsG although the PilD peptidase from Neisseria gonorrhoeae can.

  1. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium Botulinum Strain PS-5.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ajay K; Sachdeva, Amita; Degrasse, Jeffrey A; Croley, Timothy R; Stanker, Larry H; Hodge, David; Sharma, Shashi K

    2013-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins. The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presence of NT genes was validated by PCR amplification of toxin specific fragments from genomic DNA of Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5 which indicated the presence of both serotype A and B genes on PS-5 genome. Further, TC was purified and characterized by Western blotting, Digoxin-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, endopeptidase activity assay, and Liquid chromatography-Mass spectrometry. The data showed the presence of serotype A specific neurotoxin. Based on the analysis of neurotoxin genes and characterization of TC, PS-5 strain appears as a serotype A (B) strain of C. botulinum which produces only serotype A specific TC in the cell culture medium.

  2. Transgenic cotton expressing synthesized scorpion insect toxin AaHIT gene confers enhanced resistance to cotton bollworm (Heliothis armigera) larvae.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jiahe; Luo, Xiaoli; Wang, Zhian; Tian, Yingchuan; Liang, Aihua; Sun, Yi

    2008-03-01

    A synthetic scorpion Hector Insect Toxin (AaHIT) gene, under the control of a CaMV35S promoter, was cloned into cotton via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Southern blot analyses indicated that integration of the transgene varied from one to more than three estimated copies per genome; seven homozygous transgenic lines with one copy of the T-DNA insert were then selected by PCR and Southern blot analysis. AaHIT expression was from 0.02 to 0.43% of total soluble protein determined by western blot. These homozygous transgenic lines killed larvae of cotton bollworm (Heliothis armigera) by 44-98%. The AaHIT gene could used therefore an alternative to Bt toxin and proteinase inhibitor genes for producing transgenic cotton crops with effective control of bollworm.

  3. Anti-cancer Parasporin Toxins are Associated with Different Environments: Discovery of Two Novel Parasporin 5-like Genes.

    PubMed

    Ammons, David R; Short, John D; Bailey, Jeffery; Hinojosa, Gabriela; Tavarez, Lourdes; Salazar, Martha; Rampersad, Joanne N

    2016-02-01

    Cry toxins are primarily a family of insecticidal toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). However, some Cry toxins, called parasporins (PSs), are non-insecticidal and have been shown to differentially kill human cancer cells. Based on amino acid homology, there are currently six different classes of parasporins (PS1-6). It is not known what role parasporins play in nature, nor if certain PSs are associated with Bt found in particular environments. Herein, we present ten parasporin-containing isolates of Bt from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Genes coding for PS1 and PS6 were found in isolates associated mainly with artificial aquatic environments (e.g., barrels with rain water), while Bt possessing two novel PS5-like genes (ps5-1 and ps5-2), were isolated from manure collected directly from the rectum of cattle. The amino acid sequences inferred from the two PS5-like genes were 51 % homologous to each other, while being only 41 or 45 % similar to PS5Aa1/Cry64Aa, the only reported member of the parasporin five class. The low level of amino acid homology between the two PS5-like genes and PS5Aa1 indicate that the two PS5-like genes may represent a new class of parasporins, or greatly expand the level of diversity within the current parasporin 5 class.

  4. Impact of Nitrogen Sources on Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and Non-Diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9

    PubMed Central

    Stucken, Karina; John, Uwe; Cembella, Allan; Soto-Liebe, Katia; Vásquez, Mónica

    2014-01-01

    Different environmental nitrogen sources play selective roles in the development of cyanobacterial blooms and noxious effects are often exacerbated when toxic cyanobacteria are dominant. Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 (heterocystous, nitrogen fixing) and Raphidiopsis brookii D9 (non-N2 fixing) produce the nitrogenous toxins cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), respectively. These toxin groups are biosynthesized constitutively by two independent putative gene clusters, whose flanking genes are target for nitrogen (N) regulation. It is not yet known how or if toxin biosynthetic genes are regulated, particularly by N-source dependency. Here we show that binding boxes for NtcA, the master regulator of N metabolism, are located within both gene clusters as potential regulators of toxin biosynthesis. Quantification of intra- and extracellular toxin content in cultures at early stages of growth under nitrate, ammonium, urea and N-free media showed that N-sources influence neither CYN nor PST production. However, CYN and PST profiles were altered under N-free medium resulting in a decrease in the predicted precursor toxins (doCYN and STX, respectively). Reduced STX amounts were also observed under growth in ammonium. Quantification of toxin biosynthesis and transport gene transcripts revealed a constitutive transcription under all tested N-sources. Our data support the hypothesis that PSTs and CYN are constitutive metabolites whose biosynthesis is correlated to cyanobacterial growth rather than directly to specific environmental conditions. Overall, the constant biosynthesis of toxins and expression of the putative toxin-biosynthesis genes supports the usage of qPCR probes in water quality monitoring of toxic cyanobacteria. PMID:24956074

  5. Emergence of Staphylococcus aureus Carrying Multiple Drug Resistance Genes on a Plasmid Encoding Exfoliative Toxin B

    PubMed Central

    Hisatsune, Junzo; Hirakawa, Hideki; Yamaguchi, Takayuki; Fudaba, Yasuyuki; Oshima, Kenshiro; Hattori, Masahira; Kato, Fuminori; Kayama, Shizuo

    2013-01-01

    We report the complete nucleotide sequence and analysis of pETBTY825, a Staphylococcus aureus TY825 plasmid encoding exfoliative toxin B (ETB). S. aureus TY825 is a clinical isolate obtained from an impetigo patient in 2002. The size of pETBTY825, 60.6 kbp, was unexpectedly larger than that of the archetype pETBTY4 (∼30 kbp). Genomic comparison of the plasmids shows that pETBTY825 has the archetype pETBTY4 as the backbone and has a single large extra DNA region of 22.4 kbp. The extra DNA region contains genes for resistance to aminoglycoside [aac(6′)/aph(2″)], macrolide (msrA), and penicillin (blaZ). A plasmid deletion experiment indicated that these three resistance elements were functionally active. We retrospectively examined the resistance profile of the clinical ETB-producing S. aureus strains isolated in 1977 to 2007 using a MIC determination with gentamicin (GM), arbekacin (ABK), and erythromycin (EM) and by PCR analyses for aac(6′)/aph(2″) and msrA using purified plasmid preparations. The ETB-producing S. aureus strains began to display high resistance to GM, which was parallel with the detection of aac(6′)/aph(2″) and mecA, after 1990. Conversely, there was no significant change in the ABK MIC during the testing period, although it had a tendency to slightly increase. After 2001, isolates resistant to EM significantly increased; however, msrA was hardly detected in ETB-producing S. aureus strains, and only five isolates were positive for both aac(6′)/aph(2″) and msrA. In this study, we report the emergence of a fusion plasmid carrying the toxin gene etb and drug resistance genes. Prevalence of the pETBTY825 carrier may further increase the clinical threat, since ETB-producing S. aureus is closely related to more severe impetigo or staphylococcal scalded-skin syndrome (SSSS), which requires a general antimicrobial treatment. PMID:24080652

  6. Cloning and characterization of a novel calcium channel toxin-like gene BmCa1 from Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Zhijian, Cao; Yun, Xie; Chao, Dai; Shunyi, Zhu; Shijin, Yin; Yingliang, Wu; Wenxin, Li

    2006-06-01

    Many studies have been carried on peptides and genes encoding scorpion toxins from the venom of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch (synonym: Buthus martensii Karsch, BmK), such as Na+, K+ and Cl- channel modulators. In this study, a novel calcium channel toxin-like gene BmCa1 was isolated and characterized from the venom of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch. First, a partial cDNA sequence of the Ca2+ channel toxin-like gene was identified by random sequencing method from a venomous gland cDNA library of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch. The full-length sequence of BmCa1 was then obtained by 5'RACE technique. The peptide deduced from BmCa1 precursor nucleotide sequence contains a 27-residue signal peptide and a 37-residue mature peptide. Although BmCa1 and other scorpion toxins are different at the gene and protein primary structure levels, BmCa1 has the same precursor nucleotide organization and cysteine arrangement as that of the first subfamily members of calcium channel scorpion toxins. Genomic DNA sequence of BmCa1 was also cloned by PCR. Sequence analysis showed that BmCa1 gene consists of three exons separated by two introns of 72 bp and 1076 bp in length, respectively. BmCa1 is the first calcium channel toxin-like gene cloned from the venom of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch and potentially represents a novel class of calcium channel toxins in scorpion venoms.

  7. Molecular characterization of the PR-toxin gene cluster in Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium chrysogenum: cross talk of secondary metabolite pathways.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Pedro I; Ullán, Ricardo V; Albillos, Silvia M; Montero, Olimpio; Fernández-Bodega, María Ángeles; García-Estrada, Carlos; Fernández-Aguado, Marta; Martín, Juan-Francisco

    2014-01-01

    The PR-toxin is a potent mycotoxin produced by Penicillium roqueforti in moulded grains and grass silages and may contaminate blue-veined cheese. The PR-toxin derives from the 15 carbon atoms sesquiterpene aristolochene formed by the aristolochene synthase (encoded by ari1). We have cloned and sequenced a four gene cluster that includes the ari1 gene from P. roqueforti. Gene silencing of each of the four genes (named prx1 to prx4) resulted in a reduction of 65-75% in the production of PR-toxin indicating that the four genes encode enzymes involved in PR-toxin biosynthesis. Interestingly the four silenced mutants overproduce large amounts of mycophenolic acid, an antitumor compound formed by an unrelated pathway suggesting a cross-talk of PR-toxin and mycophenolic acid production. An eleven gene cluster that includes the above mentioned four prx genes and a 14-TMS drug/H(+) antiporter was found in the genome of Penicillium chrysogenum. This eleven gene cluster has been reported to be very poorly expressed in a transcriptomic study of P. chrysogenum genes under conditions of penicillin production (strongly aerated cultures). We found that this apparently silent gene cluster is able to produce PR-toxin in P. chrysogenum under static culture conditions on hydrated rice medium. Noteworthily, the production of PR-toxin was 2.6-fold higher in P. chrysogenum npe10, a strain deleted in the 56.8kb amplifiable region containing the pen gene cluster, than in the parental strain Wisconsin 54-1255 providing another example of cross-talk between secondary metabolite pathways in this fungus. A detailed PR-toxin biosynthesis pathway is proposed based on all available evidence.

  8. Detection of beta2 and major toxin genes by PCR in Clostridium perfringens field isolates of domestic animals suffering from enteritis or enterotoxaemia.

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard

    2009-01-01

    The production of Clostridium (C.) perfringens toxins in the intestine is an important cause of enteritis and enterotoxaemia in livestock. In the present study, the alpha toxin and the genes encoding beta2 and epsilon toxin could be frequently detected by means of phenotypical and PCR examinations in these bacteria. The C. perfringens isolates originated from 1213 field samples taken from diseased or perished livestock located in the north-eastern administrative districts of Baden-Württemberg (Germany) from 2005 to 2008. The beta2 toxin gene of C perfringens was detected in all animal species examined, comprising pigs, the small ruminants sheep and goats, cattle, horses, rabbits, alpacas and lamas, and fallow deer. Among all the animal species included in this study, pigs attracted attention by a high quota of 74.2% (610 of 822) cpb2-positive C. perfringens isolates in comparison to the other animal species tested, revealing a quota of 20.8% (72 of 346). Beta2 toxigenic isolates could be predominantly cultivated from the faeces of young piglets. The beta toxin gene was detected in isolates from piglets and small ruminants only, amounting to 82.5% (33 of 40) in piglets in combination with the cpb2 gene. In this context, cpb2/cpb-positive C. perfringens isolates of piglets could be clearly detected more often in the intestine of perished animals (18 of 158) than in faeces (15 of 629). Furthermore, cpb2-bearing C. perfringens isolates were detected in cattle, horses, rabbits, alpacas and lamas, and fallow deer to a notable degree. The detection of C. perfringens isolates carrying the epsilon toxin gene was restricted to sheep and goats. Of a total of 242 small ruminants that succumbed to sudden death, 71 (29.3%) harboured epsilon toxin-positive C. perfringens isolates in their intestines. These cases clustered seasonally in the second quarter (April, May, and June) of the year. Neither the isolates bearing the beta2 nor beta toxin gene nor those carrying the epsilon

  9. A modular DNA carrier protein based on the structure of diphtheria toxin mediates target cell-specific gene delivery.

    PubMed

    Uherek, C; Fominaya, J; Wels, W

    1998-04-10

    Modular fusion proteins that combine distinct functions required for cell type-specific uptake and intracellular delivery of DNA present an attractive approach for the development of self-assembling vectors for targeted gene delivery. Here, we describe a novel DNA carrier protein termed GD5 that mimics the structure of the bacterial diphtheria toxin (DT) and facilitates target cell-specific gene transfer via receptor-mediated endocytosis. GD5 carries at the N terminus the DNA-binding domain of the yeast transcription factor Gal4, which is connected to a C-terminal antibody fragment specific for the tumor-associated ErbB2 antigen via an internal DT translocation domain as an endosome escape activity. Bacterially expressed GD5 protein specifically bound to ErbB2-expressing cells and formed protein-DNA complexes with a luciferase reporter gene construct. These complexes, after compensation of excess negative charge with poly-L-lysine, served as a specific transfection vector for ErbB2-expressing cells. Inhibitors of endosomal acidification drastically reduced GD5-mediated transfection, indicating that the DT translocation domain of GD5, similar to the parental toxin, is strictly dependent on the transit through an acidic environment. Our results suggest that fusion proteins that employ the natural endosome escape mechanism of bacterial toxins might aid in the development of efficient nonviral vectors for applications in gene therapy.

  10. Quantitative effects of carbohydrates and aromatic amino acids on Clostridium botulinum toxin gene expression using a rapid competitive RT/PCR assay.

    PubMed

    Sharkey, Freddie H; Dooley, James S; Haylock, Richard W

    2005-01-01

    A rapid competitive RT/PCR assay was developed to determine the effects of nutrients on Clostridium botulinum type E toxin gene expression. The type E strain (EVH) was grown in a nutrient-rich broth containing 1% glucose (base medium). Toxin gene expression was quantified at both mid and late exponential phases of growth. It was found that toxin encoding mRNA levels were highly growth phase dependent with elevated levels found in late exponential phase compared to mid exponential phase. Changing the carbohydrate source had a smaller effect on toxin encoding mRNA levels but as earlier results have suggested, toxin encoding mRNA levels show a strong correlation with type E growth rate. The results have important implications for the food industry whereby risk of type E botulism could be correlated to the nutrient composition of the contaminated food or assessed from C. botulinum growth rates in challenged foodstuffs.

  11. A Double Selection Approach to Achieve Specific Expression of Toxin Genes for Ovarian Cancer Gene Therapy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-11-01

    Toxicol Methods 1997; 38: 59-69. toxicity. Clin Cancer Res 2004; 10: 8697-8703. 47 Chartier C et al. Efficient generation of recombinant adenovirus 32...described above) essentially as described (Krasnykh et al., 1998). pVK700 is derived from pTG3602 ( Chartier et al.. 1996), but contains an almost complete...tropism in ovarian cancer gene therapy. Hum Gene Ther 15(5), 509-18. Chartier , C., Degryse, E., Gantzer. M., Dieterle, A., Pavirani, A., and Mehtali, M

  12. The gene for type A streptococcal exotoxin (erythrogenic toxin) is located in bacteriophage T12.

    PubMed Central

    Weeks, C R; Ferretti, J J

    1984-01-01

    The infection of Streptococcus pyogenes T25(3) with the temperate bacteriophage T12 results in the conversion of the nontoxigenic strain to type A streptococcal exotoxin (erythrogenic toxin) production. Although previous research has established that integration of the bacteriophage genome into the host chromosome is not essential for exotoxin production, the location of the gene on the bacteriophage or bacterial chromosome had not been determined. In the present investigation, recombinant DNA techniques were used to determine whether the gene specifying type A streptococcal exotoxin (speA) production is located on the bacteriophage chromosome. Bacteriophage T12 was obtained from S. pyogenes T25(3)(T12) by induction with mitomycin C, and after isolation of bacteriophage DNA by phenol-chloroform extraction, the DNA was digested with restriction enzymes and ligated with Escherichia coli plasmid pHP34 or the Streptococcus-E. coli shuttle vector pSA3. Transformation of E. coli HB101 with the recombinant molecules allowed selection of E. coli clones containing bacteriophage T12 genes. Immunological assays with specific antibody revealed the presence of type A streptococcal exotoxin in sonicates of E. coli transformants. Subcloning experiments localized the speA gene to a 1.7-kilobase segment of the bacteriophage T12 genome flanked by SalI and HindIII sites. Introduction of the pSA3 vector containing the speA gene into Streptococcus sanguis (Challis) resulted in transformants that secreted the type A exotoxin. Immunological analysis showed that the type A streptococcal exotoxin produced by E. coli and S. sanguis transformants was identical to the type A exotoxin produced by S. pyogenes T25(3)(T12). Southern blot hybridizations with the cloned fragment confirmed its presence in the bacteriophage T12 genome and its absence in the T25(3) nonlysogen. Therefore, the gene for type A streptococcal exotoxin is located in the bacteriophage genome, and conversion of S. pyogenes T

  13. A Double Selection Approach to Achieve Specific Expression of Toxin Genes for Ovarian Cancer Gene Therapy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    is derived from pTG3602 ( Chartier et al., 1996) but contains analmost complete deletion of the fiber gene and contains a firefly luciferase reporter...Database of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ICTVdb/ index.htm. Chartier , C., Degryse, E., Gantzer, M

  14. [Cloning and expression of ScFv gene against alpha-toxin of Clostridium perfringens type A].

    PubMed

    Zhao, B H; Xu, C B

    2001-09-01

    The VH and VL genes from a hybridoma cell line producing mouse McAb against alpha-toxin of Clostridium perfringens type A were amplified by RT-PCR. The VH and VL genes were connected thought a flexible linker (Gly4Ser)3 and the VH-linker-VL (ScFv) gene was cloned into a vector pGEM-T. The ScFv gene consists of 726 bp encoding 242 amino acid residues. Both VH and VL genes were confirmed as functionally rearranged mouse immunoglobulin variable region. According to kabat classed method, the VH and VL gene segments belong to mouse Ig heavy chain subgroup II (B) and kappa light chain subgroup III respectively. The ScFv gene was amplified inserted the expression vector pHOG21 and transformed into E coli XL1-BLUE. The ScFv protein was highly expressed in recombinant strain XL1-BLUE (pHOG-2E3) and the expression level of the ScFv was about 25% of total bacteria protein by SDS-PAGE. The neutralization assay showed that the expressed ScFv protein could neutralize the phospholipase C activities of alpha-toxin.

  15. The High PMNs Phagocytosis Resistance of Enterococcal Isolates from RTx Patients

    PubMed Central

    Daca, Agnieszka; Witkowski, Jacek M.; Bryl, Ewa; Rutkowski, Bolesław

    2015-01-01

    Infections caused by opportunistic pathogens such as enterococci remain difficult to manage, especially in immunocompromised patients. Because of infections' limited symptoms in such patients the additional problems are to find proper diagnostic criteria and the management of infection. Here we aimed to compare the resistance of commensal enterococcal strains and RTx patients' isolates, to PMNs phagocytosis. Thirty-six enterococcal urine and faecal isolates from RTx patients and 17 faecal isolates from healthy volunteers were cultured in planktonic and biofilm forms in 37°C or 42°C. Another tested variable was the addition of immunosuppressant to the culture media. Bacterial cells were stained with fluorescent reporter (CFDA, PI) and incubated with PMNs. Results of phagocytosis were estimated as a mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of PMNs using flow cytometry. Commensal enterococci cultured in all abovementioned (37°C and 42°C/the addition of immunosuppressant) conditions were less resistant to phagocytosis compared to RTx isolates. Observed significant difference in phagocytosis resistance suggests that patients in immunosuppression are colonized with high risk strains which may lead to the development of infection. PMID:25861625

  16. The high PMNs phagocytosis resistance of enterococcal isolates from RTx patients.

    PubMed

    Jarzembowski, Tomasz; Daca, Agnieszka; Witkowski, Jacek M; Bryl, Ewa; Rutkowski, Bolesław

    2015-01-01

    Infections caused by opportunistic pathogens such as enterococci remain difficult to manage, especially in immunocompromised patients. Because of infections' limited symptoms in such patients the additional problems are to find proper diagnostic criteria and the management of infection. Here we aimed to compare the resistance of commensal enterococcal strains and RTx patients' isolates, to PMNs phagocytosis. Thirty-six enterococcal urine and faecal isolates from RTx patients and 17 faecal isolates from healthy volunteers were cultured in planktonic and biofilm forms in 37°C or 42°C. Another tested variable was the addition of immunosuppressant to the culture media. Bacterial cells were stained with fluorescent reporter (CFDA, PI) and incubated with PMNs. Results of phagocytosis were estimated as a mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of PMNs using flow cytometry. Commensal enterococci cultured in all abovementioned (37°C and 42°C/the addition of immunosuppressant) conditions were less resistant to phagocytosis compared to RTx isolates. Observed significant difference in phagocytosis resistance suggests that patients in immunosuppression are colonized with high risk strains which may lead to the development of infection.

  17. Virulence genes in clinical and environmental Stenotrophomas maltophilia isolates: a genome sequencing and gene expression approach.

    PubMed

    Adamek, Martina; Linke, Burkhard; Schwartz, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The rate of nosocomial infections with the opportunistic pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia has remarkably increased in the last decade. To determine S. maltophilia virulence genes, the complete genome sequences of two S. maltophilia isolates were compared. The clinical strain SKK35 was proved virulent in an amoeba host-pathogen model, and wastewater strain RA8 was determined as non-virulent in the amoeba model. The genome sequences of three additional S. maltophilia strains, K279a (clinical, non-virulent against amoeba), R511-3 and SKA14 (both environmental, non-virulent against amoeba) were taken into account as reference strains. We were able to show that all clinical and environmental S. maltophilia strains presented comparable distribution of so far identified potential virulence genes, regardless to their virulence potential against amoebae. Aside from that, strain SKK35 was found harboring a putative, strain specific pathogenicity island, encoding two proteins from the RTX (repeats-in-toxin) family. The actual expression of the RTX genes was verified in growth experiments in different culture media containing blood or blood components and in co-cultures with amoeba.

  18. Study of three interesting Amanita species from Thailand: Morphology, multiple-gene phylogeny and toxin analysis.

    PubMed

    Thongbai, Benjarong; Miller, Steven L; Stadler, Marc; Wittstein, Kathrin; Hyde, Kevin D; Lumyong, Saisamorn; Raspé, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Amanita ballerina and A. brunneitoxicaria spp. nov. are introduced from Thailand. Amanita fuligineoides is also reported for the first time from Thailand, increasing the known distribution of this taxon. Together, those findings support our view that many taxa are yet to be discovered in the region. While both morphological characters and a multiple-gene phylogeny clearly place A. brunneitoxicaria and A. fuligineoides in sect. Phalloideae (Fr.) Quél., the placement of A. ballerina is problematic. On the one hand, the morphology of A. ballerina shows clear affinities with stirps Limbatula of sect. Lepidella. On the other hand, in a multiple-gene phylogeny including taxa of all sections in subg. Lepidella, A. ballerina and two other species, including A. zangii, form a well-supported clade sister to the Phalloideae sensu Bas 1969, which include the lethal "death caps" and "destroying angels". Together, the A. ballerina-A. zangii clade and the Phalloideae sensu Bas 1969 also form a well-supported clade. We therefore screened for two of the most notorious toxins by HPLC-MS analysis of methanolic extracts from the basidiomata. Interestingly, neither α-amanitin nor phalloidin was found in A. ballerina, whereas Amanita fuligineoides was confirmed to contain both α-amanitin and phalloidin, and A. brunneitoxicaria contained only α-amanitin. Together with unique morphological characteristics, the position in the phylogeny indicates that A. ballerina is either an important link in the evolution of the deadly Amanita sect. Phalloideae species, or a member of a new section also including A. zangii.

  19. Regulation of toxin and bacteriocin gene expression in Clostridium by interchangeable RNA polymerase sigma factors.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, Bruno; Raffestin, Stéphanie; Matamouros, Susana; Mani, Nagraj; Popoff, Michel R; Sonenshein, Abraham L

    2006-05-01

    The production of major extracellular toxins by pathogenic strains of Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium tetani and Clostridium difficile, and a bacteriocin by Clostridium perfringens is dependent on a related group of RNA polymerase sigma-factors. These sigma-factors (BotR, TetR, TcdR and UviA) were shown to be sufficiently similar that they could substitute for one another in in vitro DNA binding and run-off transcription experiments. In cells, however, the sigma-factors fell into two subclasses. BotR and TetR were able to direct transcription of their target genes in a fully reciprocal manner. Similarly, UviA and TcdR were fully interchangeable. Neither BotR nor TetR could substitute for UviA or TcdR, however, and neither UviA nor TcdR could direct transcription of the natural targets of BotR or TetR. The extent of functional interchangeability of the sigma-factors was attributed to the strong conservation of their subregion 4.2 sequences and the conserved -35 sequences of their target promoters, while restrictions on interchangeability were attributed to variations in their subregion 2.4 sequences and the target site -10 sequences. The four sigma-factors have been assigned to group 5 of the sigma(70) family and seem to have arisen from a common ancestral protein that may have co-evolved with the genes whose transcription they direct. A fifth Clostridiumsigma-factor, sigma(Y) of Clostridium acetobutylicum, resembles the TcdR family, but was not functionally interchangeable with members of this family.

  20. Study of three interesting Amanita species from Thailand: Morphology, multiple-gene phylogeny and toxin analysis

    PubMed Central

    Thongbai, Benjarong; Miller, Steven L.; Stadler, Marc; Wittstein, Kathrin; Hyde, Kevin D.; Lumyong, Saisamorn

    2017-01-01

    Amanita ballerina and A. brunneitoxicaria spp. nov. are introduced from Thailand. Amanita fuligineoides is also reported for the first time from Thailand, increasing the known distribution of this taxon. Together, those findings support our view that many taxa are yet to be discovered in the region. While both morphological characters and a multiple-gene phylogeny clearly place A. brunneitoxicaria and A. fuligineoides in sect. Phalloideae (Fr.) Quél., the placement of A. ballerina is problematic. On the one hand, the morphology of A. ballerina shows clear affinities with stirps Limbatula of sect. Lepidella. On the other hand, in a multiple-gene phylogeny including taxa of all sections in subg. Lepidella, A. ballerina and two other species, including A. zangii, form a well-supported clade sister to the Phalloideae sensu Bas 1969, which include the lethal “death caps” and “destroying angels”. Together, the A. ballerina-A. zangii clade and the Phalloideae sensu Bas 1969 also form a well-supported clade. We therefore screened for two of the most notorious toxins by HPLC-MS analysis of methanolic extracts from the basidiomata. Interestingly, neither α-amanitin nor phalloidin was found in A. ballerina, whereas Amanita fuligineoides was confirmed to contain both α-amanitin and phalloidin, and A. brunneitoxicaria contained only α-amanitin. Together with unique morphological characteristics, the position in the phylogeny indicates that A. ballerina is either an important link in the evolution of the deadly Amanita sect. Phalloideae species, or a member of a new section also including A. zangii. PMID:28767681

  1. Detection of Escherichia coli Shiga toxin (stx) and enterotoxin (estA and elt) genes in fecal samples from non-diarrheic and diarrheic greyhounds.

    PubMed

    Staats, Jacque J; Chengappa, M M; DeBey, Mary C; Fickbohm, Barry; Oberst, Richard D

    2003-07-30

    Virulence factors responsible for acute diarrhea in greyhounds have not been well established. The objective of this study was to determine if a correlation exists between disease and the presence of the Escherichia coli toxin genes in non-diarrheic and diarrheic greyhound feces. DNA extracted from broth cultures was evaluated for the presence of Shiga toxin and enterotoxin genes and broth samples were evaluated for Shiga toxin and heat-labile enterotoxin. Shiga toxin (stx1 and stx2) and enterotoxin (et and estA) genes were identified in both non-diarrheic and diarrheic samples after in vitro cultured of swabs at 37 degrees C for 16-24h. The stx1 gene was present in 3% of non-diarrheic and 15% diarrheic samples and the stx2 gene was identified in 36 and 23%, non-diarrheic and diarrheic samples, respectively. Shiga toxin was present in 48% diarrheic and 25% of the non-diarrheic in vitro cultured samples. The elt gene was detected in vitro cultured swabs in 12% of the non-diarrheic and 7% of the diarrheic samples. Labile toxin was present in the feces of small numbers of both groups of dogs. A significant correlation existed between the presence of both stx1 genes and Shiga toxin in feces, and lack of disease in non-diarrheic (P=0.01) and presence of disease in diarrheic (P=0.024) greyhounds. Correlation between production of Shiga toxin and detection of stx1 or stx2 was significant in both the diarrheic and non-diarrheic feces (P=0.03); however, only the presence of stx1 correlated with diarrhea in both groups of samples (P<0.008). The incidence of toxigenic E. coli in both non-diarrheic and diarrheic greyhounds indicates a zoonotic potential from dogs to humans and requires further study.

  2. Spatial, Temporal, and Matrix Variability of Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxin Gene Distribution at Great Lakes Beaches.

    PubMed

    Wijesinghe, Rasanthi U; Oster, Ryan J; Haack, Sheridan K; Fogarty, Lisa R; Tucker, Taaja R; Riley, Stephen C

    2015-07-01

    Clostridium botulinum type E toxin is responsible for extensive mortality of birds and fish in the Great Lakes. The C. botulinum bontE gene that produces the type E toxin was amplified with quantitative PCR from 150 sloughed algal samples (primarily Cladophora species) collected during summer 2012 from 10 Great Lakes beaches in five states; concurrently, 74 sediment and 37 water samples from four sites were also analyzed. The bontE gene concentration in algae was significantly higher than in water and sediment (P < 0.05), suggesting that algal mats provide a better microenvironment for C. botulinum. The bontE gene was detected most frequently in algae at Jeorse Park and Portage Lake Front beaches (Lake Michigan) and Bay City State Recreation Area beach on Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron), where 77, 100, and 83% of these algal samples contained the bontE gene, respectively. The highest concentration of bontE was detected at Bay City (1.98 × 10(5) gene copies/ml of algae or 5.21 × 10(6) g [dry weight]). This study revealed that the bontE gene is abundant in the Great Lakes but that it has spatial, temporal, and matrix variability. Further, embayed beaches, low wave height, low wind velocity, and greater average water temperature enhance the bontE occurrence. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Spatial, Temporal, and Matrix Variability of Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxin Gene Distribution at Great Lakes Beaches

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Ryan J.; Haack, Sheridan K.; Fogarty, Lisa R.; Tucker, Taaja R.; Riley, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum type E toxin is responsible for extensive mortality of birds and fish in the Great Lakes. The C. botulinum bontE gene that produces the type E toxin was amplified with quantitative PCR from 150 sloughed algal samples (primarily Cladophora species) collected during summer 2012 from 10 Great Lakes beaches in five states; concurrently, 74 sediment and 37 water samples from four sites were also analyzed. The bontE gene concentration in algae was significantly higher than in water and sediment (P < 0.05), suggesting that algal mats provide a better microenvironment for C. botulinum. The bontE gene was detected most frequently in algae at Jeorse Park and Portage Lake Front beaches (Lake Michigan) and Bay City State Recreation Area beach on Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron), where 77, 100, and 83% of these algal samples contained the bontE gene, respectively. The highest concentration of bontE was detected at Bay City (1.98 × 105 gene copies/ml of algae or 5.21 × 106 g [dry weight]). This study revealed that the bontE gene is abundant in the Great Lakes but that it has spatial, temporal, and matrix variability. Further, embayed beaches, low wave height, low wind velocity, and greater average water temperature enhance the bontE occurrence. PMID:25888178

  4. Prevalence of cytolethal distending toxin production in Campylobacter jejuni and relatedness of Campylobacter sp. cdtB gene.

    PubMed Central

    Pickett, C L; Pesci, E C; Cottle, D L; Russell, G; Erdem, A N; Zeytin, H

    1996-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni produces a toxin called cytolethal distending toxin (CDT). The genes encoding this toxin in C. jejuni 81-176 were cloned and sequenced. The nucleotide sequence of the genes revealed that there are three genes, cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC, encoding proteins with predicted sizes of 30,11-6, 28,989, and 21,157 Da, respectively. All three proteins were found to be related to the Escherichia coli CDT proteins, yet the amino acid sequences have diverged significantly. All three genes were required for toxic activity in a HeLa cell assay. HeLa cell assays of a variety of C. jejuni and C. coli strains suggested that most C. jejuni strains produce significantly higher CDT titers than do C. coli strains. Southern hybridization experiments demonstrated that the cdtB gene is present on a 6.0-kb ClaI fragment in all but one of the C. jejuni strains tested; the cdtB gene was on a 6.9-kb ClaI fragment in one strain. The C. jejuni 81-176 cdtB probe hybridized weakly to DNAs from C. coli strains. The C. jejuni 81-176 cdtB probe did not hybridize to DNAs from representative C. fetus, C. lari, C. "upsaliensis," and C. hyointestinalis strains, although the HeLa cell assay indicated that these strains make CDT. PCR experiments indicated the probable presence of cdtB sequences in all of these Campylobacter species. PMID:8675309

  5. Horizontal gene transfer of chromosomal Type II toxin-antitoxin systems of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Ramisetty, Bhaskar Chandra Mohan; Santhosh, Ramachandran Sarojini

    2016-02-01

    Type II toxin-antitoxin systems (TAs) are small autoregulated bicistronic operons that encode a toxin protein with the potential to inhibit metabolic processes and an antitoxin protein to neutralize the toxin. Most of the bacterial genomes encode multiple TAs. However, the diversity and accumulation of TAs on bacterial genomes and its physiological implications are highly debated. Here we provide evidence that Escherichia coli chromosomal TAs (encoding RNase toxins) are 'acquired' DNA likely originated from heterologous DNA and are the smallest known autoregulated operons with the potential for horizontal propagation. Sequence analyses revealed that integration of TAs into the bacterial genome is unique and contributes to variations in the coding and/or regulatory regions of flanking host genome sequences. Plasmids and genomes encoding identical TAs of natural isolates are mutually exclusive. Chromosomal TAs might play significant roles in the evolution and ecology of bacteria by contributing to host genome variation and by moderation of plasmid maintenance.

  6. Bacillus subtilis HJ18-4 from traditional fermented soybean food inhibits Bacillus cereus growth and toxin-related genes.

    PubMed

    Eom, Jeong Seon; Lee, Sun Young; Choi, Hye Sun

    2014-11-01

    Bacillus subtilis HJ18-4 isolated from buckwheat sokseongjang, a traditional Korean fermented soybean food, exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against foodborne pathogens, including Bacillus cereus. In this study, we investigated the antibacterial efficacy and regulation of toxin gene expression in B. cereus by B. subtilis HJ18-4. Expression of B. cereus toxin-related genes (groEL, nheA, nheC, and entFM) was downregulated by B. subtilis HJ18-4, which also exhibited strong antibacterial activity against B. cereus. We also found that water extracts of soy product fermented with B. subtilis HJ18-4 significantly inhibited the growth of B. cereus and toxin expression. These results indicate that B. subtilis HJ18-4 could be used as an antimicrobial agent to control B. cereus in the fermented soybean food industry. Our findings also provide an opportunity to develop an efficient biological control agent against B. cereus. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Food Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Institute of Food Technologists®

  7. Quantitative Prevalence and Toxin Gene Profile of Bacillus cereus from Ready-to-Eat Vegetables in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Chon, Jung-Whan; Yim, Jin-Hyeok; Kim, Hong-Seok; Kim, Dong-Hyeon; Kim, Hyunsook; Oh, Deog-Hwan; Kim, Soo-Ki; Seo, Kun-Ho

    2015-09-01

    Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods such as prepared vegetables are becoming an increasingly popular food choice. Since RTE vegetables are not commonly sterilized by heat treatment, contamination with foodborne pathogens such as Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) is a major concern. The objective of this study was to assess the quantitative prevalence and toxin gene profiles of B. cereus strains isolated from RTE vegetables. We found that 70 of the 145 (48%) tested retail vegetable salad and sprout samples were positive for B. cereus. The B. cereus isolates harbored at least one enterotoxin gene. The detection rates of nheABC, hblCDA, cytK, and entFM enterotoxin genes among all isolates were 97.1%, 100%, 81.4%, and 98.6%, respectively. No strain carried the emetic toxin genes. Only 4 strains (5.7%) from the 70 isolates were psychrotrophic and were able to grow at 7°C. All of the psychrotrophic isolates possessed at least 1 enterotoxin gene.

  8. Distinct Roles of the Repeat-Containing Regions and Effector Domains of the Vibrio vulnificus Multifunctional-Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxin (MARTX) Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Byoung Sik; Gavin, Hannah E.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Vibrio vulnificus is a seafood-borne pathogen that destroys the intestinal epithelium, leading to rapid bacterial dissemination and death. The most important virulence factor is the multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin comprised of effector domains in the center region flanked by long repeat-containing regions which are well conserved among MARTX toxins and predicted to translocate effector domains. Here, we examined the role of the repeat-containing regions using a modified V. vulnificus MARTX (MARTXVv) toxin generated by replacing all the internal effector domains with β-lactamase (Bla). Bla activity was detected in secretions from the bacterium and also in the cytosol of intoxicated epithelial cells. The modified MARTXVv toxin without effector domains retained its necrotic activity but lost its cell-rounding activity. Further, deletion of the carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing region blocked toxin secretion from the bacterium. Deletion of the amino-terminal repeat-containing region had no effect on secretion but completely abolished translocation and necrosis. Neither secretion nor translocation was affected by enzymatically inactivating the cysteine protease domain of the toxin. These data demonstrate that the amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing regions of the MARTXVv toxin are necessary and sufficient for the delivery of effector domains and epithelial cell lysis in vitro but that effector domains are required for other cytopathic functions. Furthermore, Ca2+-dependent secretion of the modified MARTXVv toxin suggests that nonclassical RTX-like repeats found in the carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing region are functionally similar to classical RTX repeats found in other RTX proteins. PMID:25827415

  9. Construction of an alpha toxin gene knockout mutant of Clostridium perfringens type A by use of a mobile group II intron.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yue; McClane, Bruce A; Fisher, Derek J; Rood, Julian I; Gupta, Phalguni

    2005-11-01

    In developing Clostridium perfringens as a safe vaccine vector, the alpha toxin gene (plc) in the bacterial chromosome must be permanently inactivated. Disrupting genes in C. perfringens by traditional mutagenesis methods is very difficult. Therefore, we developed a new strategy using group II intron-based Target-Tron technology to inactivate the plc gene in C. perfringens ATCC 3624. Western blot analysis showed no production of alpha toxin protein in the culture supernatant of the plc mutant. Advantages of this technology, such as site specificity, relatively high frequency of insertion, and introduction of no antibiotic resistance genes into the chromosome, could facilitate construction of other C. perfringens mutants.

  10. Novel genes encoding six kinds of three-finger toxins in Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) and function characterization of two recombinant long-chain neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Zhang, Huayuan; Liu, Jing; Xu, Kangsen

    2006-09-01

    Three-finger toxins are a family of low-molecular-mass toxins (<10 kDa) having very similar three-dimensional structures. In the present study, 19 novel cDNAs coding three-finger toxins were cloned from the venom gland of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra). Alignment analysis showed that the putative peptides could be divided into six kinds of three-finger toxins: LNTXs (long-chain neurotoxins), short-chain neurotoxins, cardiotoxins (CTXs), weak neurotoxins, muscarinic toxins and a toxin with a free SH group. Furthermore, a phylogenetic tree was established on the basis of the toxin cDNAs and the previously reported similar nucleotide sequences from the same source venom. It indicated that three-finger-toxin genes in O. hannah diverged early in the course of evolution by long- and short-type pathways. Two LNTXs, namely rLNTX1 (recombinant LNTX1) and rLNTX3, were expressed and showed cytolytic activity in addition to their neurotoxic function. By comparing the functional residues, we offer some possible explanations for the differences in their neurotoxic function. Moreover, a plausible elucidation of the additonal cytolytic activity was achieved by hydropathy-profile analysis. This, to our knowledge, is the first observation that recombinant long chain alpha-neurotoxins have a CTX-like cytolytic activity.

  11. Two Polyketide Synthase-encoding Genes are Required for Biosynthesis of the Polyketide Virulence Factor, T-toxin, by Cochliobolus heterostrophus

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Scott E.; Kroken, Scott; Inderbitzin, Patrik; Asvarak, Thipa; Li, Bi-Yu; Shi, Liang; Yoder, Olen C.; Turgeon, Barbara G.

    2006-03-01

    Cochliobolus heterostrophus race T, causal agent of Southern Corn Leaf Blight, requires T-toxin (a family of C35 – C49 polyketides) for high virulence on T-cytoplasm maize. Production of T-toxin is controlled by two unlinked loci, Tox1A and Tox1B, carried on 1.2 Mb of DNA not found in race O, a mildly virulent form of the fungus that does not produce T-toxin, or in any other Cochliobolus spp. or closely related fungus. PKS1, a polyketide synthase (PKS)-encoding gene at Tox1A and DEC1, a decarboxylase-encoding gene at Tox1B, are necessary for T-toxin production. Although there is evidence that additional genes are required for T-toxin production, efforts to clone them have been frustrated because the genes are located in highly repeated, A+T-rich DNA. To overcome this difficulty, Ligation specificity-based Expression Analysis Display (LEAD), a comparative AFLP/gel fractionation/capillary sequencing procedure was applied to cDNAs from a near isogenic pair of race T (Tox1+) and race O (Tox1-) strains. This led to discovery of PKS2, a second PKS-encoding gene that maps at Tox1A and is required for both T-toxin biosynthesis and high virulence to maize. Thus, the carbon chain of each T-toxin family member is likely assembled by action of two PKSs, which produce two polyketides, one of which may act as the starter unit for biosynthesis of the mature T-toxin molecule.

  12. Role of the host-selective ACT-toxin synthesis gene ACTTS2 encoding an enoyl-reductase in pathogenicity of the tangerine pathotype of Alternaria alternata.

    PubMed

    Ajiro, Naoya; Miyamoto, Yoko; Masunaka, Akira; Tsuge, Takashi; Yamamoto, Mikihiro; Ohtani, Kouhei; Fukumoto, Takeshi; Gomi, Kenji; Peever, Tobin L; Izumi, Yuriko; Tada, Yasuomi; Akimitsu, Kazuya

    2010-02-01

    ABSTRACT The tangerine pathotype of Alternaria alternata produces host-selective ACT-toxin and causes Alternaria brown spot disease of tangerines and tangerine hybrids. Sequence analysis of a genomic BAC clone identified a previously uncharacterized portion of the ACT-toxin biosynthesis gene cluster (ACTT). A 1,034-bp gene encoding a putative enoyl-reductase was identified by using rapid amplification of cDNA ends and polymerase chain reaction and designated ACTTS2. Genomic Southern blots demonstrated that ACTTS2 is present only in ACT-toxin producers and is carried on a 1.9 Mb conditionally dispensable chromosome by the tangerine pathotype. Targeted gene disruption of ACTTS2 led to a reduction in ACT-toxin production and pathogenicity, and transcriptional knockdown of ACTTS2 using RNA silencing resulted in complete loss of ACT-toxin production and pathogenicity. These results indicate that ACTTS2 is an essential gene for ACT-toxin biosynthesis in the tangerine pathotype of A. alternata and is required for pathogenicity of this fungus.

  13. Identification of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by leukotoxin gene-specific hybridization and polymerase chain reaction assays.

    PubMed Central

    Tønjum, T; Haas, R

    1993-01-01

    Eleven strains of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans isolated from cases of systemic infections, local abscesses, and periodontitis were identified by genetic assays using the leukotoxin gene as the target. We have developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, based on the leukotoxin structural gene of this pathogen, which clearly identified all tested strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans and separated them from the closely related Haemophilus aphrophilus as well as other bacterial species. Furthermore, DNA-DNA hybridization was performed with the cloned partial leukotoxin structural gene (lktA) as a probe, which again clearly distinguished A. actinomycetemcomitans from H. aphrophilus, parts of the normal oral flora, and species harboring RTX (repeats in toxin) family-related cytotoxins. The PCR fragment amplified from the leukotoxin structural gene gave results similar to those given by the cloned leukotoxin gene when used as a probe in hybridization experiments. The hybridization and PCR assays described here are fundamental improvements for the identification of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Images PMID:8349764

  14. Functional characterization of three genes encoding putative oxidoreductases required for cercosporin toxin biosynthesis in the fungus Cercospora nicotianae.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hui-Qin; Lee, Miin-Huey; Chung, Kuang-Ren

    2007-08-01

    Cercosporin is a non-host-selective, photoactivated polyketide toxin produced by many phytopathogenic Cercospora species, which plays a crucial role during pathogenesis on host plants. Upon illumination, cercosporin converts oxygen molecules to toxic superoxide and singlet oxygen that damage various cellular components and induce lipid peroxidation and electrolyte leakage. Three genes (CTB5, CTB6 and CTB7) encoding putative FAD/FMN- or NADPH-dependent oxidoreductases in the cercosporin toxin biosynthetic pathway of C. nicotianae were functionally analysed. Replacement of each gene via double recombination was utilized to create null mutant strains that were completely impaired in cercosporin production as a consequence of specific interruption at the CTB5, CTB6 or CTB7 locus. Expression of CTB1, CTB5, CTB6, CTB7 and CTB8 was drastically reduced or nearly abolished when CTB5, CTB6 or CTB7 was disrupted. Production of cercosporin was revived when a functional gene cassette was introduced into the respective mutants. All ctb5, ctb6 and ctb7 null mutants retained wild-type levels of resistance against toxicity of cercosporin or singlet-oxygen-generating compounds, indicating that none of the genes plays a role in self-protection.

  15. Global gene expression changes underlying Stachybotrys chartarum toxin-induced apoptosis in murine alveolar macrophages: evidence of multiple signal transduction pathways.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huiyan; Yadav, Jagjit S

    2007-03-01

    The overall mechanism(s) underlying macrophage apoptosis caused by the toxins of the indoor mold Stachybotrys chartarum (SC) are not yet understood. In this direction, we report a microarray-based global gene expression profiling on the murine alveolar macrophage cell line (MH-S) treated with SC toxins for short (2 h) and long (24 h) periods, coinciding with the pre-apoptotic (<3 h) and progressed apoptotic stages of the treated cells, respectively. Microarray results on differential expression were validated by real-time RT-PCR analysis using representative gene targets. The toxin-regulated genes corresponded to multiple cellular processes, including cell growth, proliferation and death, inflammatory/immune response, genotoxic stress and oxidative stress, and to the underlying multiple signal transduction pathways involving MAPK-, NF-kB-, TNF-, and p53-mediated signaling. Transcription factor NF-kB showed dynamic temporal changes, characterized by an initial activation and a subsequent inhibition. Up-regulation of a battery of DNA damage-responsive and DNA repair genes in the early stage of the treatment suggested a possible role of genotoxic stress in the initiation of apoptosis. Simultaneous expression changes in both pro-survival genes and pro-apoptotic genes indicated the role of a critical balance between the two processes in SC toxin-induced apoptosis. Taken together, the results imply that multiple signaling pathways underlie the SC toxin-induced apoptosis in alveolar macrophages.

  16. T-2 toxin inhibits gene expression and activity of key steroidogenesis enzymes in mouse Leydig cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jian Ying; Zhang, Yong Fa; Meng, Xiang Ping; Li, Yuan Xiao; Ma, Kai Wang; Bai, Xue Fei

    2015-08-01

    T-2 toxin is one of the mycotoxins, a group of type A trichothecenes produced by several fungal genera including Fusarium species, which may lead to the decrease of the testosterone secretion in the primary Leydig cells derived from the mouse testis. The previous study demonstrated the effects of T-2 toxin through direct decrease of the testosterone biosynthesis in the primary Leydig cells derived from the mouse testis. In this study, we further examined the direct biological effects of T-2 toxin on steroidogenesis production, primarily in Leydig cells of mice. Mature mouse Leydig cells were purified by Percoll gradient centrifugation and the cell purity was determined by 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) staining. To examine T-2 toxin-induced testosterone secretion decrease, we measured the transcription levels of 3 key steroidogenic enzymes and 5 enzyme activities including 3β-HSD-1, P450scc, StAR, CYP17A1, and 17β-HSD in T-2 toxin/human chorionicgonadotropin (hCG) co-treated cells. Our previous study showed that T-2 toxin (10(-7) M, 10(-8) M and 10(-9) M) significantly suppressed hCG (10 ng/ml)-induced testosterone secretion. The studies demonstrated that the suppressive effect is correlated with the decreases in the levels of transcription of 3β-HSD-1, P450scc, and StAR (P<0.05) and also in enzyme activities of 3β-HSD-1, P450scc, StAR, CYP17A1, and 17β-HSD (P<0.05).

  17. Function of genes encoding acyl-CoA synthetase and enoyl-CoA hydratase for host-selective act-toxin biosynthesis in the tangerine pathotype of Alternaria alternata.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Y; Ishii, Y; Honda, A; Masunaka, A; Tsuge, T; Yamamoto, M; Ohtani, K; Fukumoto, T; Gomi, K; Peever, T L; Akimitsu, K

    2009-04-01

    The tangerine pathotype of Alternaria alternata produces host-selective ACT-toxin and causes Alternaria brown spot disease. Sequence analysis of a genomic cosmid clone identified a part of the ACTT gene cluster and implicated two genes, ACTT5 encoding an acyl-CoA synthetase and ACTT6 encoding an enoyl-CoA hydratase, in the biosynthesis of ACT-toxin. Genomic Southern blots demonstrated that both genes were present in tangerine pathotype isolates producing ACT-toxin and also in Japanese pear pathotype isolates producing AK-toxin and strawberry pathotype isolates producing AF-toxin. ACT-, AK-, and AF-toxins from these three pathotypes share a common 9,10-epoxy-8-hydroxy-9-methyl-decatrienoic acid moiety. Targeted gene disruption of two copies of ACTT5 significantly reduced ACT-toxin production and virulence. Targeted gene disruption of two copies of ACTT6 led to complete loss of ACT-toxin production and pathogenicity and a putative decatrienoic acid intermediate in ACT-toxin biosynthesis accumulated in mycelial mats. These results indicate that ACTT5 and ACTT6 are essential genes in ACT-toxin biosynthesis in the tangerine pathotype of A. alternata and both are required for full virulence of this fungus.

  18. MvirDB--a microbial database of protein toxins, virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes for bio-defence applications.

    PubMed

    Zhou, C E; Smith, J; Lam, M; Zemla, A; Dyer, M D; Slezak, T

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of toxins, virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes is essential for bio-defense applications aimed at identifying 'functional' signatures for characterizing emerging or engineered pathogens. Whereas genetic signatures identify a pathogen, functional signatures identify what a pathogen is capable of. To facilitate rapid identification of sequences and characterization of genes for signature discovery, we have collected all publicly available (as of this writing), organized sequences representing known toxins, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes in one convenient database, which we believe will be of use to the bio-defense research community. MvirDB integrates DNA and protein sequence information from Tox-Prot, SCORPION, the PRINTS virulence factors, VFDB, TVFac, Islander, ARGO and a subset of VIDA. Entries in MvirDB are hyperlinked back to their original sources. A blast tool allows the user to blast against all DNA or protein sequences in MvirDB, and a browser tool allows the user to search the database to retrieve virulence factor descriptions, sequences, and classifications, and to download sequences of interest. MvirDB has an automated weekly update mechanism. Each protein sequence in MvirDB is annotated using our fully automated protein annotation system and is linked to that system's browser tool. MvirDB can be accessed at http://mvirdb.llnl.gov/.

  19. Genes from the exo-xis region of λ and Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophages influence lysogenization and prophage induction.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Sylwia; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Łoś, Joanna M; Barańska, Sylwia; Łepek, Krzysztof; Felczykowska, Agnieszka; Łoś, Marcin; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz; Węgrzyn, Alicja

    2013-11-01

    The exo-xis region, present in genomes of lambdoid bacteriophages, contains highly conserved genes of largely unknown functions. In this report, using bacteriophage λ and Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophage ϕ24Β, we demonstrate that the presence of this region on a multicopy plasmid results in impaired lysogenization of Escherichia coli and delayed, while more effective, induction of prophages following stimulation by various agents (mitomycin C, hydrogen peroxide, UV irradiation). Spontaneous induction of λ and ϕ24Β prophages was also more efficient in bacteria carrying additional copies of the corresponding exo-xis region on plasmids. No significant effects of an increased copy number of genes located between exo and xis on both efficiency of adsorption on the host cells and lytic development inside the host cell of these bacteriophages were found. We conclude that genes from the exo-xis region of lambdoid bacteriophages participate in the regulation of lysogenization and prophage maintenance.

  20. A novel positive regulatory element for exfoliative toxin A gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Susumu; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Hata, Toshiaki; Yoshizawa, Yukio; Nakayama, Ritsuko; Machida, Katsuhiko; Masuda, Shogo; Tsukiyama, Takashi

    2004-04-01

    A 1.4 kb positive regulatory element (ETA(exp)) that controls staphylococcal exfoliative toxin A (sETA) transcription was cloned from Staphylococcus aureus. ETA(exp) is located upstream of the cloned 5.8 kb eta gene (etaJ1) obtained from the chomosomal DNA of S. aureus ZM, the standard ETA-producing strain. The cETA prepared from an Escherichia coli transformant into which the recombinant plasmid petaJ1 (5.8 kb eta/pUC9) had been introduced was expressed at high levels in the culture supernatant and the ammonium-sulfate-precipitated culture supernatant fraction as shown by immunoblotting and the single radial immunodiffusion test. However, cETA produced by the recombinant plasmid petaJ3 containing the 1.7 kb eta sequence (etaJ3) with a 1.45 kb ETA(exp)-deficient eta fragment (1.7 kb eta/pUC9) obtained from the 5.8 kb eta sequence by subcloning was not detected in either the culture supernatant or the ammonium-sulfate-precipitated culture supernatant fraction (167-fold concentrate of the culture supernatant) by immunoblotting or the single radial immunodiffusion test. A large amount of cETA was produced by the 1.7 kb eta sequence when it was linked to ETA(exp) amplified by PCR (1.7 kb eta-ETA(exp)/pUC9), regardless of the orientation of ETA(exp) insertion. Northern blot hybridization showed lower levels of the transcripts of the 1.7 kb eta sequence than of the 5.8 kb eta sequence. The rsETA prepared from an S. aureus transformant into which the recombinant plasmid 3.4 kb eta-ETA(exp)/pYT3 (pYT3-etaJ6) had been introduced was expressed at high levels in the culture supernatant fraction as shown by the latex agglutination test. However, the agglutination titre in the culture supernatant fraction of rsETA produced by the recombinant plasmid (1.7 kb eta/pYT3) containing the 1.7 kb eta sequence carrying the 1.4 kb ETA(exp)-deficient eta fragment (pYT3-etaJ3) was 2500-4000 times lower than that of pYT3-etaJ6.

  1. Genes essential for the morphogenesis of the Shiga toxin 2-transducing phage from Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Shakhinur Islam; Islam, Md Rakibul; Sawaguchi, Akira; Asadulghani, Md; Ooka, Tadasuke; Gotoh, Yasuhiro; Kasahara, Yasuhiro; Ogura, Yoshitoshi; Hayashi, Tetsuya

    2016-12-14

    Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), one of the most important virulence factors of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), is encoded by phages. These phages (Stx2 phages) are often called lambda-like. However, most Stx2 phages are short-tailed, thus belonging to the family Podoviridae, and the functions of many genes, especially those in the late region, are unknown. In this study, we performed a systematic genetic and morphological analysis of genes with unknown functions in Sp5, the Stx2 phage from EHEC O157:H7 strain Sakai. We identified nine essential genes, which, together with the terminase genes, determine Sp5 morphogenesis. Four of these genes most likely encoded portal, major capsid, scaffolding and tail fiber proteins. Although exact roles/functions of the other five genes are unknown, one was involved in head formation and four were required for tail formation. One of the four tail genes encoded an unusually large protein of 2,793 amino-acid residues. Two genes that are likely required to maintain the lysogenic state were also identified. Because the late regions of Stx2 phages from various origins are highly conserved, the present study provides an important basis for better understanding the biology of this unique and medically important group of bacteriophages.

  2. Genes essential for the morphogenesis of the Shiga toxin 2-transducing phage from Escherichia coli O157:H7

    PubMed Central

    Mondal, Shakhinur Islam; Islam, Md Rakibul; Sawaguchi, Akira; Asadulghani, Md; Ooka, Tadasuke; Gotoh, Yasuhiro; Kasahara, Yasuhiro; Ogura, Yoshitoshi; Hayashi, Tetsuya

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2), one of the most important virulence factors of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), is encoded by phages. These phages (Stx2 phages) are often called lambda-like. However, most Stx2 phages are short-tailed, thus belonging to the family Podoviridae, and the functions of many genes, especially those in the late region, are unknown. In this study, we performed a systematic genetic and morphological analysis of genes with unknown functions in Sp5, the Stx2 phage from EHEC O157:H7 strain Sakai. We identified nine essential genes, which, together with the terminase genes, determine Sp5 morphogenesis. Four of these genes most likely encoded portal, major capsid, scaffolding and tail fiber proteins. Although exact roles/functions of the other five genes are unknown, one was involved in head formation and four were required for tail formation. One of the four tail genes encoded an unusually large protein of 2,793 amino-acid residues. Two genes that are likely required to maintain the lysogenic state were also identified. Because the late regions of Stx2 phages from various origins are highly conserved, the present study provides an important basis for better understanding the biology of this unique and medically important group of bacteriophages. PMID:27966628

  3. The Genome Sequence of the Cyanobacterium Oscillatoria sp. PCC 6506 Reveals Several Gene Clusters Responsible for the Biosynthesis of Toxins and Secondary Metabolites▿

    PubMed Central

    Méjean, Annick; Mazmouz, Rabia; Mann, Stéphane; Calteau, Alexandra; Médigue, Claudine; Ploux, Olivier

    2010-01-01

    We report a draft sequence of the genome of Oscillatoria sp. PCC 6506, a cyanobacterium that produces anatoxin-a and homoanatoxin-a, two neurotoxins, and cylindrospermopsin, a cytotoxin. Beside the clusters of genes responsible for the biosynthesis of these toxins, we have found other clusters of genes likely involved in the biosynthesis of not-yet-identified secondary metabolites. PMID:20675499

  4. Influence of water activity on fumonisin and bikaverin gene expression and toxin production in fusarium verticillioides

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Fusarium verticillioides is known as the main cause of ear rot disease in maize. It can produce a variety of secondary metabolites including fumonisins (FUM) and bikaverin (BIK). The former are toxins known to cause diseases and cancers in both animals and humans; the latter is a red-pigment with de...

  5. Neutralization of Bacterial YoeBSpn Toxicity and Enhanced Plant Growth in Arabidopsis thaliana via Co-Expression of the Toxin-Antitoxin Genes

    PubMed Central

    Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Yeo, Chew Chieng; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have various cellular functions, including as part of the general stress response. The genome of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors several putative TA systems, including yefM-yoeBSpn, which is one of four systems that had been demonstrated to be biologically functional. Overexpression of the yoeBSpn toxin gene resulted in cell stasis and eventually cell death in its native host, as well as in Escherichia coli. Our previous work showed that induced expression of a yoeBSpn toxin-Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) fusion gene apparently triggered apoptosis and was lethal in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effects of co-expression of the yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic A. thaliana. When co-expressed in Arabidopsis, the YefMSpn antitoxin was found to neutralize the toxicity of YoeBSpn-GFP. Interestingly, the inducible expression of both yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic hybrid Arabidopsis resulted in larger rosette leaves and taller plants with a higher number of inflorescence stems and increased silique production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a prokaryotic antitoxin neutralizing its cognate toxin in plant cells. PMID:27104531

  6. A polyketide synthase gene, ACRTS2, is responsible for biosynthesis of host-selective ACR-toxin in the rough lemon pathotype of Alternaria alternata.

    PubMed

    Izumi, Y; Ohtani, K; Miyamoto, Y; Masunaka, A; Fukumoto, T; Gomi, K; Tada, Y; Ichimura, K; Peever, T L; Akimitsu, K

    2012-11-01

    The rough lemon pathotype of Alternaria alternata produces host-selective ACR-toxin and causes Alternaria leaf spot disease of rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri). The structure of ACR-toxin I (MW = 496) consists of a polyketide with an α-dihydropyrone ring in a 19-carbon polyalcohol. Genes responsible for toxin production were localized to a 1.5-Mb chromosome in the genome of the rough lemon pathotype. Sequence analysis of this chromosome revealed an 8,338-bp open reading frame, ACRTS2, that was present only in the genomes of ACR-toxin-producing isolates. ACRTS2 is predicted to encode a putative polyketide synthase of 2,513 amino acids and belongs to the fungal reducing type I polyketide synthases. Typical polyketide functional domains were identified in the predicted amino acid sequence, including β-ketoacyl synthase, acyl transferase, methyl transferase, dehydratase, β-ketoreductase, and phosphopantetheine attachment site domains. Combined use of homologous recombination-mediated gene disruption and RNA silencing allowed examination of the functional role of multiple paralogs in ACR-toxin production. ACRTS2 was found to be essential for ACR-toxin production and pathogenicity of the rough lemon pathotype of A. alternata.

  7. Cloning and expression of Clostridium perfringens type D vaccine strain epsilon toxin gene in E. coli as a recombinant vaccine candidate

    PubMed Central

    Aziminia, Parastoo; Pilehchian-Langroudi, Reza; Esmaeilnia, Kasra

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Clostridium perfringens, a Gram-positive obligate anaerobic bacterium, is able to form resistant spores which are widely distributed in the environment. C. perfringens is subdivided into five types A to E based on its four major alpha, beta, epsilon and iota toxins. The aim of the present study was cloning and expression of C. perfringens type D vaccine strain epsilon toxin gene. Materials and Methods: Genomic DNA was extracted and the epsilon toxin gene was amplified using Pfu DNA polymerase. The PCR product was cloned into pJET1.2/blunt cloning vector. The recombinant vector (pJETε) was sequenced using universal primers. At the next step epsilon toxin gene was subcloned into pET22b(+) expression vector and transformed into E. coli Rosetta (DE3) host strain. Results: The recombinant protein has been expressed in E. coli Rosetta (DE3) cells after subcloning of C. perfringens etx gene (1008 bp) into the expression vector. Conclusion: We concluded that E. coli Rosetta strain was suitable for the expression of recombinant C. perfringens epsilon toxin protein from pET22ε expression vector. This recombinant cell can be used for further research on recombinant vaccine development. PMID:28210460

  8. Phospholipase C produced by Clostridium botulinum types C and D: comparison of gene, enzymatic, and biological activities with those of Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin.

    PubMed

    Fatmawati, Ni Nengah Dwi; Sakaguchi, Yoshihiko; Suzuki, Tomonori; Oda, Masataka; Shimizu, Kenta; Yamamoto, Yumiko; Sakurai, Jun; Matsushita, Osamu; Oguma, Keiji

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum type C and D strains recently have been found to produce PLC on egg yolk agar plates. To characterize the gene, enzymatic and biological activities of C. botulinum PLCs (Cb-PLCs), the cb-plc genes from 8 strains were sequenced, and 1 representative gene was cloned and expressed as a recombinant protein. The enzymatic and hemolytic activities of the recombinant Cb-PLC were measured and compared with those of the Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin. Each of the eight cb-plc genes encoded a 399 amino acid residue protein preceded by a 27 residue signal peptide. The protein consists of 2 domains, the N- and C-domains, and the overall amino acid sequence identity between Cb-PLC and alpha-toxin was greater than 50%, suggesting that Cb-PLC is homologous to the alpha-toxin. The key residues in the N-domain were conserved, whereas those in the C-domain which are important in membrane interaction were different than in the alpha-toxin. As expected, Cb-PLC could hydrolyze egg yolk phospholipid, p-nitrophenylphosphorylcholine, and sphingomyelin, and also exhibited hemolytic activity;however, its activities were about 4- to over 200-fold lower than those of alpha-toxin. Although Cb-PLC showed weak enzymatic and biological activities, it is speculated that Cb-PLC might play a role in the pathogenicity of botulism or for bacterial survival.

  9. Functional analysis of a multicopy host-selective ACT-toxin biosynthesis gene in the tangerine pathotype of Alternaria alternata using RNA silencing.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Y; Masunaka, A; Tsuge, T; Yamamoto, M; Ohtani, K; Fukumoto, T; Gomi, K; Peever, T L; Akimitsu, K

    2008-12-01

    Alternaria brown spot, caused by the tangerine pathotype of Alternaria alternata, is a serious disease of commercially important tangerines and their hybrids. The pathogen produces host-selective ACT toxin, and several genes (named ACTT) responsible for ACT-toxin biosynthesis have been identified. These genes have many paralogs, which are clustered on a small, conditionally dispensable chromosome, making it difficult to disrupt entire functional copies of ACTT genes using homologous recombination-mediated gene disruption. To overcome this problem, we attempted to use RNA silencing, which has never been employed in Alternaria spp., to knock down the functional copies of one ACTT gene with a single silencing event. ACTT2, which encodes a putative hydrolase and is present in multiple copies in the genome, was silenced by transforming the fungus with a plasmid construct expressing hairpin ACTT2 RNAs. The ACTT2 RNA-silenced transformant (S-7-24-2) completely lost ACTT2 transcripts and ACT-toxin production as well as pathogenicity. These results indicated that RNA silencing may be a useful technique for studying the role of ACTT genes responsible for host-selective toxin biosynthesis in A. alternata. Further, this technique may be broadly applicable to the analysis of many genes present in multiple copies in fungal genomes that are difficult to analyze using recombination-mediated knockdowns.

  10. Role of the pathotype-specific ACRTS1 gene encoding a hydroxylase involved in the biosynthesis of host-selective ACR-toxin in the rough lemon pathotype of Alternaria alternata.

    PubMed

    Izumi, Yuriko; Kamei, Eri; Miyamoto, Yoko; Ohtani, Kouhei; Masunaka, Akira; Fukumoto, Takeshi; Gomi, Kenji; Tada, Yasuomi; Ichimura, Kazuya; Peever, Tobin L; Akimitsu, Kazuya

    2012-08-01

    The rough lemon pathotype of Alternaria alternata produces host-selective ACR-toxin and causes Alternaria leaf spot disease of the rootstock species rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri) and Rangpur lime (C. limonia). Genes controlling toxin production were localized to a 1.5-Mb chromosome carrying the ACR-toxin biosynthesis gene cluster (ACRT) in the genome of the rough lemon pathotype. A genomic BAC clone containing a portion of the ACRT cluster was sequenced which allowed identification of three open reading frames present only in the genomes of ACR-toxin producing isolates. We studied the functional role of one of these open reading frames, ACRTS1 encoding a putative hydroxylase, in ACR-toxin production by homologous recombination-mediated gene disruption. There are at least three copies of ACRTS1 gene in the genome and disruption of two copies of this gene significantly reduced ACR-toxin production as well as pathogenicity; however, transcription of ACRTS1 and production of ACR-toxin were not completely eliminated due to remaining functional copies of the gene. RNA-silencing was used to knock down the remaining ACRTS1 transcripts to levels undetectable by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The silenced transformants did not produce detectable ACR-toxin and were not pathogenic. These results indicate that ACRTS1 is an essential gene in ACR-toxin biosynthesis in the rough lemon pathotype of A. alternata and is required for full virulence of this fungus.

  11. Insertional mutagenesis and cloning of the genes required for biosynthesis of the host-specific AK-toxin in the Japanese pear pathotype of Alternaria alternata.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, A; Shiotani, H; Yamamoto, M; Tsuge, T

    1999-08-01

    The Japanese pear pathotype of Alternaria alternata causes black spot of Japanese pear by producing a host-specific toxin known as AK-toxin. Restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) mutagenesis was used to tag genes required for toxin biosynthesis. Protoplasts of a wild-type strain were treated with a linearized plasmid along with the restriction enzyme used to linearize the plasmid. Of 984 REMI transformants recovered, three produced no detectable AK-toxin and lost pathogenicity on pear leaves. Genomic DNA flanking the integrated plasmid was recovered from one of the mutants. With the recovered DNA used as a probe, a cosmid clone of the wild-type strain was isolated. Structural and functional analyses of an 8.0-kb region corresponding to the tagged site indicated the presence of two genes. One, designated AKT1, encodes a member of the class of carboxyl-activating enzymes. The other, AKT2, encodes a protein of unknown function. The essential roles of these two genes in both AK-toxin production and pathogenicity were confirmed by transformation-mediated gene disruption experiments. DNA gel blot analysis detected AKT1 and AKT2 homologues not only in the Japanese pear pathotype strains but also in strains from the tangerine and strawberry pathotypes. The host-specific toxins of these two pathotypes are similar in structure to AK-toxin. Homologues were not detected in other pathotypes or in non-pathogenic strains of A. alternata, suggesting acquisition of AKT1 and AKT2 by horizontal transfer.

  12. Characterization of Toxin Complex Gene Clusters and Insect Toxicity of Bacteria Representing Four Subgroups of Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Lorena I; Henkels, Marcella D; Shaffer, Brenda T; Walker, Francesca L; Davis, Edward W; Stockwell, Virginia O; Bruck, Denny; Taylor, Barbara J; Loper, Joyce E

    2016-01-01

    Ten strains representing four lineages of the Pseudomonas fluorescens group (P. chlororaphis, P. corrugata, P. koreensis, and P. fluorescens subgroups) were evaluated for toxicity to the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta and the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The three strains within the P. chlororaphis subgroup exhibited both oral and injectable toxicity to the lepidopteran M. sexta. All three strains have the gene cluster encoding the FitD insect toxin and a ΔfitD mutant of P. protegens strain Pf-5 exhibited diminished oral toxicity compared to the wildtype strain. Only one of the three strains, P. protegens Pf-5, exhibited substantial levels of oral toxicity against the dipteran D. melanogaster. Three strains in the P. fluorescens subgroup, which lack fitD, consistently showed significant levels of injectable toxicity against M. sexta. In contrast, the oral toxicity of these strains against D. melanogaster was variable between experiments, with only one strain, Pseudomonas sp. BG33R, causing significant levels of mortality in repeated experiments. Toxin complex (Tc) gene clusters, which encode insecticidal properties in Photorhabdus luminescens, were identified in the genomes of seven of the ten strains evaluated in this study. Within those seven genomes, six types of Tc gene clusters were identified, distinguished by gene content, organization and genomic location, but no correlation was observed between the presence of Tc genes and insect toxicity of the evaluated strains. Our results demonstrate that members of the P. fluorescens group have the capacity to kill insects by both FitD-dependent and independent mechanisms.

  13. Characterization of Toxin Complex Gene Clusters and Insect Toxicity of Bacteria Representing Four Subgroups of Pseudomonas fluorescens

    PubMed Central

    Rangel, Lorena I.; Henkels, Marcella D.; Shaffer, Brenda T.; Walker, Francesca L.; Davis, Edward W.; Stockwell, Virginia O.; Bruck, Denny; Taylor, Barbara J.; Loper, Joyce E.

    2016-01-01

    Ten strains representing four lineages of the Pseudomonas fluorescens group (P. chlororaphis, P. corrugata, P. koreensis, and P. fluorescens subgroups) were evaluated for toxicity to the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta and the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The three strains within the P. chlororaphis subgroup exhibited both oral and injectable toxicity to the lepidopteran M. sexta. All three strains have the gene cluster encoding the FitD insect toxin and a ΔfitD mutant of P. protegens strain Pf-5 exhibited diminished oral toxicity compared to the wildtype strain. Only one of the three strains, P. protegens Pf-5, exhibited substantial levels of oral toxicity against the dipteran D. melanogaster. Three strains in the P. fluorescens subgroup, which lack fitD, consistently showed significant levels of injectable toxicity against M. sexta. In contrast, the oral toxicity of these strains against D. melanogaster was variable between experiments, with only one strain, Pseudomonas sp. BG33R, causing significant levels of mortality in repeated experiments. Toxin complex (Tc) gene clusters, which encode insecticidal properties in Photorhabdus luminescens, were identified in the genomes of seven of the ten strains evaluated in this study. Within those seven genomes, six types of Tc gene clusters were identified, distinguished by gene content, organization and genomic location, but no correlation was observed between the presence of Tc genes and insect toxicity of the evaluated strains. Our results demonstrate that members of the P. fluorescens group have the capacity to kill insects by both FitD-dependent and independent mechanisms. PMID:27580176

  14. Expression of the toxin-antitoxin genes yefM(Lrh), yoeB(Lrh) in human Lactobacillus rhamnosus isolates.

    PubMed

    Krügel, Hans; Klimina, Ksenia M; Mrotzek, Grit; Tretyakov, Alexander; Schöfl, Gerhard; Saluz, Hans-Peter; Brantl, Sabine; Poluektova, Elena U; Danilenko, Valery N

    2015-08-01

    Lactobacilli are important microorganisms in various activities, for example, diary products, meat ripening, bread and pickles, but, moreover, are associated directly with human skin and cavities (e.g., mouth, gut, or vagina). Some of them are used as probiotics. Therefore, the molecular biological investigation of these bacteria is important. Earlier we described several toxin antitoxin systems (type II) in lactobacilli. Here, we describe the structure and transcriptional regulation of genes, encoding TA system YefM-YoeB(Lrh) in three strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus comparing stationary and exponential growth phases, the influence of stress factors and mRNA stability. The same TA system is responding to physiological and stress conditions differently in related strains. Using primer extension and RLM-RACE methods we determined three transcription start sites of RNAs in the operon. The promoter region of the operon is preceded by a conserved BOX element occurring at multiple positions in the genomes of L. rhamnosus strains. Downstream of and partially overlapping with the 3' end of the yoeB(Lrh) toxin gene, a divergently transcribed unexpected RNA was detected. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. A biomarker for the identification of cattle fecal pollution in water using the LTIIa toxin gene from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Khatib, L A; Tsai, Y L; Olson, B H

    2002-06-01

    This research describes a method based on PCR to identify cattle fecal pollution in water using a portion of the heat labile toxin IIA (LTIIa) gene from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). We describe the development of the primers and target. DNA extracts (221) from different animal fecal and human sewage samples were screened and showed no cross-reactivity. Minimum detection limits using centrifugation and filtration methods to concentrate E. coli seeded into stream, ocean, and secondary effluent waters were found to be at femtogram and attogram levels, respectively. Stability of the biomarker in stream, ocean, and secondary effluent waters was 2-4 weeks for all water types. Finally, 33 farm lagoon and waste samples were collected and 31 tested to validate the method; 93% were positive for the LTIIa trait when >1,000 E. coli were screened and 100% positive when >10(5) E. coli were screened. Prevalence of the toxin gene in the E. coli population affected the outcome of the analyses. The cow biomarker can be used in watershed studies to identify cattle waste with great accuracy if the appropriate numbers of E. coli are screened.

  16. Tradeoff between reproduction and resistance evolution to Bt-toxin in Helicoverpa armigera: regulated by vitellogenin gene expression.

    PubMed

    Zhang, W N; Xiao, H J; Liang, G M; Guo, Y Y; Wu, K M

    2014-08-01

    Evolution of resistance to insecticides usually has fitness tradeoffs associated with adaptation to the stress. The basic regulation mechanism of tradeoff between reproduction and resistance evolution to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin in the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera (Ha), based on the vitellogenin (Vg) gene expression was analyzed here. The full-length cDNA of the Vg gene HaVg (JX504706) was cloned and identified. HaVg has 5704 base pairs (bp) with an open reading frame (ORF) of 5265 bp, which encoded 1756 amino acid protein with a predicted molecular mass of 197.28 kDa and a proposed isoelectric point of 8.74. Sequence alignment analysis indicated that the amino acid sequence of HaVg contained all of the conserved domains detected in the Vgs of the other insects and had a high similarity with the Vgs of the Lepidoptera insects, especially Noctuidae. The resistance level to Cry1Ac Bt toxin and relative HaVg mRNA expression levels among the following four groups: Cry1Ac-susceptible strain (96S), Cry1Ac-resistant strain fed on artificial diet with Bt toxin for 135 generations (BtR stands for the Cry1Ac Bt resistance), progeny of the Cry1Ac-resistant strain with a non-Bt-toxin artificial diet for 38 generations (CK1) and the direct descendants of the 135th-generation resistant larvae which were fed on an artificial diet without the Cry1Ac protein (CK2) were analyzed. Compared with the 96S strain, the resistance ratios of the BtR strain, the CK1 strain and the CK2 strain were 2917.15-, 2.15- and 2037.67-fold, respectively. The maximum relative HaVg mRNA expression levels of the BtR strain were approximately 50% less than that of the 96S strain, and the coming of maximum expression was delayed for approximately 4 days. The overall trend of the HaVg mRNA expression levels in the CK1 strain was similar to that in the 96S strain, and the overall trend of the HaVg mRNA expression levels in the CK2 strain was similar to that in the BtR strain. Our results

  17. The Effector Domain Region of the Vibrio vulnificus MARTX Toxin Confers Biphasic Epithelial Barrier Disruption and Is Essential for Systemic Spread from the Intestine.

    PubMed

    Gavin, Hannah E; Beubier, Nike T; Satchell, Karla J F

    2017-01-01

    Vibrio vulnificus causes highly lethal bacterial infections in which the Multifunctional Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxins (MARTX) toxin product of the rtxA1 gene is a key virulence factor. MARTX toxins are secreted proteins up to 5208 amino acids in size. Conserved MARTX N- and C-terminal repeat regions work in concert to form pores in eukaryotic cell membranes, through which the toxin's central region of modular effector domains is translocated. Upon inositol hexakisphosphate-induced activation of the of the MARTX cysteine protease domain (CPD) in the eukaryotic cytosol, effector domains are released from the holotoxin by autoproteolytic activity. We previously reported that the native MARTX toxin effector domain repertoire is dispensable for epithelial cellular necrosis in vitro, but essential for cell rounding and apoptosis prior to necrotic cell death. Here we use an intragastric mouse model to demonstrate that the effector domain region is required for bacterial virulence during intragastric infection. The MARTX effector domain region is essential for bacterial dissemination from the intestine, but dissemination occurs in the absence of overt intestinal tissue pathology. We employ an in vitro model of V. vulnificus interaction with polarized colonic epithelial cells to show that the MARTX effector domain region induces rapid intestinal barrier dysfunction and increased paracellular permeability prior to onset of cell lysis. Together, these results negate the inherent assumption that observations of necrosis in vitro directly predict bacterial virulence, and indicate a paradigm shift in our conceptual understanding of MARTX toxin function during intestinal infection. Results implicate the MARTX effector domain region in mediating early bacterial dissemination from the intestine to distal organs-a key step in V. vulnificus foodborne pathogenesis-even before onset of overt intestinal pathology.

  18. Detection and source tracking of Escherichia coli, harboring intimin and Shiga toxin genes, isolated from the Little Bighorn River, Montana.

    PubMed

    Hamner, Steve; Broadaway, Susan C; Berg, Ethan; Stettner, Sean; Pyle, Barry H; Big Man, Nita; Old Elk, Joseph; Eggers, Margaret J; Doyle, John; Kindness, Larry; Good Luck, Brandon; Ford, Timothy E; Camper, Anne C

    2014-08-01

    The Little Bighorn River flows through the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. In 2008, Escherichia coli concentrations as high as 7179 MPN/100 ml were detected in the river at the Crow Agency Water Treatment Plant intake site. During 2008, 2009, and 2012, 10 different serotypes of E. coli, including O157:H7, harboring both intimin and Shiga toxin genes were isolated from a popular swim site of the Little Bighorn River in Crow Agency. As part of a microbial source tracking study, E. coli strains were isolated from river samples as well as from manure collected from a large cattle feeding operation in the upper Little Bighorn River watershed; 23% of 167 isolates of E. coli obtained from the manure tested positive for the intimin gene. Among these manure isolates, 19 were identified as O156:H8, matching the serotype of an isolate collected from a river sampling site close to the cattle feeding area.

  19. Population-level variation of the preproricin gene contradicts expectation of neutral equilibrium for generalist plant defense toxins.

    PubMed

    Weeks, Andrea; Leshin, Jonathan A; Dretchen, Kenneth L; Skowronski, Evan W; O'Connell, Kevin P

    2010-07-01

    The preproricin gene encodes ricin, the highly toxic, type II ribosome-inactivating protein of castor bean (Ricinus communis L.). As a generalist plant defense gene, preproricin is expected to exhibit population-level variation consistent with the neutral equilibrium model and to comprise few functionally different alleles. We first test the hypothesis that the preproricin gene family should comprise six to eight members by searching the publicly available draft genome sequence of R. communis and analyzing its ricin-like loci. We then test the neutral equilibrium expectation for the preproricin gene by characterizing its allelic variation among 25 geographically diverse castor bean plants. We confirm the presence of six ricin-like loci that share with the preproricin gene 62.9-96.3% nucleotide identity and intact A-chains. DNA sequence variation among the preproricin haplotypes significantly rejects tests of the neutral equilibrium model. Replacement mutations preserve the 12 amino acids known to affect catalytic and electrostatic interactions of the native protein toxin, which suggests functional divergence among alleles has been minimal. Nucleotide polymorphism is maintained by purifying selection (omega < 0.3) yet includes an excess of rare silent mutations greater than predicted by the neutral equilibrium model. Development of robust detection methods for ricin contamination must account for the presence of these other ricin-like molecules and should leverage the specificity provided by the numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the preproricin gene.

  20. Cloning, Characterization, and Expression of Animal Toxin Genes for Vaccine Development

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-04-27

    viper, Echis carnatus) (5 3,5 6) VI. MISCELLANEOUS TOXINS A. 1ONOPHORES 1. Alpha-latrotoxin (black widow spider, Latrodectus mactans ) (57) 2. Diamphotoxin...143,144), the cloth-of-gold cone snail (Conus textile) (146), the honey bee (Apis mellifera)(147,148), and the black widow spi- der ( Latrodectus ... mactans (150). With mRNA isolated from the telsons of Androctonus australis Hector a cDNA library was constructed by using the Okayama/Berg cloning

  1. Detection of virulence, antibiotic resistance and toxin (VAT) genes in Campylobacter species using newly developed multiplex PCR assays.

    PubMed

    Laprade, Natacha; Cloutier, Michel; Lapen, David R; Topp, Edward; Wilkes, Graham; Villemur, Richard; Khan, Izhar U H

    2016-05-01

    Campylobacter species are one of the leading causes of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. This twofold study was sought to: i) develop and optimize four single-tube multiplex PCR (mPCR) assays for the detection of six virulence (ciaB, dnaJ, flaA, flaB, pldA and racR), three toxin (cdtA, cdtB and cdtC) and one antibiotic resistance tet(O) genes in thermophilic Campylobacter spp. and ii) apply and evaluate the developed mPCR assays by testing 470 previously identified C. jejuni, C. coli and C. lari isolates from agricultural water. In each mPCR assay, a combination of two or three sets of primer pairs for virulence, antibiotic resistance and toxin (VAT) genes was used and optimized. Assay 1 was developed for the detection of dnaJ, racR and cdtC genes with expected amplification sizes of 720, 584 and 182bp. Assay 2 generated PCR amplicons for tet(O) and cdtA genes of 559 and 370bp. Assay 3 amplified cdtB ciaB, and pldA genes with PCR amplicon sizes of 620, 527 and 385bp. Assay 4 was optimized for flaA and flaB genes that generated PCR amplicons of 855 and 260bp. The primer pairs and optimized PCR protocols did not show interference and/or cross-amplification with each other and generated the expected size of amplification products for each target VAT gene for the C. jejuni ATCC 33291 reference strain. Overall, all ten target VAT genes were detected at a variable frequency in tested isolates of thermophilic Campylobacter spp. where cdtC, flaB, ciaB, cdtB, cdtA and pldA were commonly detected compared to the flaA, racR, dnaJ and tet(O) genes which were detected with less frequency. The developed mPCR assays are simple, rapid, reliable and sensitive tools for simultaneously assessing potential pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance profiling in thermophilic Campylobacter spp. The mPCR assays will be useful in diagnostic and analytical settings for routine screening of VAT characteristics of Campylobacter spp. as well as being applicable in epidemiological

  2. Characterization of Alpha-Toxin hla Gene Variants, Alpha-Toxin Expression Levels, and Levels of Antibody to Alpha-Toxin in Hemodialysis and Postsurgical Patients with Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yuling; Tabor, David E.; Mok, Hoyin; Sellman, Bret R.; Jenkins, Amy; Yu, Li; Jafri, Hasan S.; Rude, Thomas H.; Ruffin, Felicia; Schell, Wiley A.; Park, Lawrence P.; Yan, Qin; Thaden, Joshua T.; Messina, Julia A.; Esser, Mark T.

    2014-01-01

    Alpha-toxin is a major Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor. This study evaluated potential relationships between in vitro alpha-toxin expression of S. aureus bloodstream isolates, anti-alpha-toxin antibody in serum of patients with S. aureus bacteremia (SAB), and clinical outcomes in 100 hemodialysis and 100 postsurgical SAB patients. Isolates underwent spa typing and hla sequencing. Serum anti-alpha-toxin IgG and neutralizing antibody levels were measured by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a red blood cell (RBC)-based hemolysis neutralization assay. Neutralization of alpha-toxin by an anti-alpha-toxin monoclonal antibody (MAb MEDI4893) was tested in an RBC-based lysis assay. Most isolates encoded hla (197/200; 98.5%) and expressed alpha-toxin (173/200; 86.5%). In vitro alpha-toxin levels were inversely associated with survival (cure, 2.19 μg/ml, versus failure, 1.09 μg/ml; P < 0.01). Both neutralizing (hemodialysis, 1.26 IU/ml, versus postsurgical, 0.95; P < 0.05) and IgG (hemodialysis, 1.94 IU/ml, versus postsurgical, 1.27; P < 0.05) antibody levels were higher in the hemodialysis population. Antibody levels were also significantly higher in patients infected with alpha-toxin-expressing S. aureus isolates (P < 0.05). Levels of both neutralizing antibodies and IgG were similar among patients who were cured and those not cured (failures). Sequence analysis of hla revealed 12 distinct hla genotypes, and all genotypic variants were susceptible to a neutralizing monoclonal antibody in clinical development (MEDI4893). These data demonstrate that alpha-toxin is highly conserved in clinical S. aureus isolates. Higher in vitro alpha-toxin levels were associated with a positive clinical outcome. Although patients infected with alpha-toxin-producing S. aureus exhibited higher anti-alpha-toxin antibody levels, these levels were not associated with a better clinical outcome in this study. PMID:25392350

  3. Myostatin propeptide gene delivery by gene gun ameliorates muscle atrophy in a rat model of botulinum toxin-induced nerve denervation.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Sen-Wei; Tung, Yu-Tang; Chen, Hsiao-Ling; Yang, Shang-Hsun; Liu, Chia-Yi; Lu, Michelle; Pai, Hui-Jing; Lin, Chi-Chen; Chen, Chuan-Mu

    2016-02-01

    Muscle atrophy is a common symptom after nerve denervation. Myostatin propeptide, a precursor of myostatin, has been documented to improve muscle growth. However, the mechanism underlying the muscle atrophy attenuation effects of myostatin propeptide in muscles and the changes in gene expression are not well established. We investigated the possible underlying mechanisms associated with myostatin propeptide gene delivery by gene gun in a rat denervation muscle atrophy model, and evaluated gene expression patterns. In a rat botulinum toxin-induced nerve denervation muscle atrophy model, we evaluated the effects of wild-type (MSPP) and mutant-type (MSPPD75A) of myostatin propeptide gene delivery, and observed changes in gene activation associated with the neuromuscular junction, muscle and nerve. Muscle mass and muscle fiber size was moderately increased in myostatin propeptide treated muscles (p<0.05). And enhancement of the gene expression of the muscle regulatory factors, neurite outgrowth factors (IGF-1, GAP43) and acetylcholine receptors was observed. Our results demonstrate that myostatin propeptide gene delivery, especially the mutant-type of MSPPD75A, attenuates muscle atrophy through myogenic regulatory factors and acetylcholine receptor regulation. Our data concluded that myostatin propeptide gene therapy may be a promising treatment for nerve denervation induced muscle atrophy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The chromosomal toxin gene yafQ is a determinant of multidrug tolerance for Escherichia coli growing in a biofilm.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Joe J; Wade, William D; Akierman, Sarah; Vacchi-Suzzi, Caterina; Stremick, Carol A; Turner, Raymond J; Ceri, Howard

    2009-06-01

    Escherichia coli is refractory to elevated doses of antibiotics when it is growing in a biofilm, and this is potentially due to high numbers of multidrug-tolerant persister cells in the surface-adherent population. Previously, the chromosomal toxin-antitoxin loci hipBA and relBE have been linked to the frequency at which persister cells occur in E. coli populations. In the present study, we focused on the dinJ-yafQ-encoded toxin-antitoxin system and hypothesized that deletion of the toxin gene yafQ might influence cell survival in antibiotic-exposed biofilms. By using confocal laser scanning microscopy and viable cell counting, it was determined that a Delta yafQ mutant produced biofilms with a structure and a cell density equivalent to those of the parental strain. In-depth susceptibility testing identified that relative to wild-type E. coli, the Delta yafQ strain had up to a approximately 2,400-fold decrease in cell survival after the biofilms were exposed to bactericidal concentrations of cefazolin or tobramycin. Corresponding to these data, controlled overexpression of yafQ from a high-copy-number plasmid resulted in up to a approximately 10,000-fold increase in the number of biofilm cells surviving exposure to these bactericidal drugs. In contrast, neither the inactivation nor the overexpression of yafQ affected the tolerance of biofilms to doxycycline or rifampin (rifampicin). Furthermore, deletion of yafQ did not affect the tolerance of stationary-phase planktonic cells to any of the antibacterials tested. These results suggest that yafQ mediates the tolerance of E. coli biofilms to multiple but specific antibiotics; moreover, our data imply that this cellular pathway for persistence is likely different from that of multidrug-tolerant cells in stationary-phase planktonic cell cultures.

  5. The Chromosomal Toxin Gene yafQ Is a Determinant of Multidrug Tolerance for Escherichia coli Growing in a Biofilm▿

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Joe J.; Wade, William D.; Akierman, Sarah; Vacchi-Suzzi, Caterina; Stremick, Carol A.; Turner, Raymond J.; Ceri, Howard

    2009-01-01

    Escherichia coli is refractory to elevated doses of antibiotics when it is growing in a biofilm, and this is potentially due to high numbers of multidrug-tolerant persister cells in the surface-adherent population. Previously, the chromosomal toxin-antitoxin loci hipBA and relBE have been linked to the frequency at which persister cells occur in E. coli populations. In the present study, we focused on the dinJ-yafQ-encoded toxin-antitoxin system and hypothesized that deletion of the toxin gene yafQ might influence cell survival in antibiotic-exposed biofilms. By using confocal laser scanning microscopy and viable cell counting, it was determined that a ΔyafQ mutant produced biofilms with a structure and a cell density equivalent to those of the parental strain. In-depth susceptibility testing identified that relative to wild-type E. coli, the ΔyafQ strain had up to a ∼2,400-fold decrease in cell survival after the biofilms were exposed to bactericidal concentrations of cefazolin or tobramycin. Corresponding to these data, controlled overexpression of yafQ from a high-copy-number plasmid resulted in up to a ∼10,000-fold increase in the number of biofilm cells surviving exposure to these bactericidal drugs. In contrast, neither the inactivation nor the overexpression of yafQ affected the tolerance of biofilms to doxycycline or rifampin (rifampicin). Furthermore, deletion of yafQ did not affect the tolerance of stationary-phase planktonic cells to any of the antibacterials tested. These results suggest that yafQ mediates the tolerance of E. coli biofilms to multiple but specific antibiotics; moreover, our data imply that this cellular pathway for persistence is likely different from that of multidrug-tolerant cells in stationary-phase planktonic cell cultures. PMID:19307375

  6. Identification of genes expressed in cultures of E. coli lysogens carrying the Shiga toxin-encoding prophage Φ24B

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Shigatoxigenic E. coli are a global and emerging health concern. Shiga toxin, Stx, is encoded on the genome of temperate, lambdoid Stx phages. Genes essential for phage maintenance and replication are encoded on approximately 50% of the genome, while most of the remaining genes are of unknown function nor is it known if these annotated hypothetical genes are even expressed. It is hypothesized that many of the latter have been maintained due to positive selection pressure, and that some, expressed in the lysogen host, have a role in pathogenicity. This study used Change Mediated Antigen Technology (CMAT)™ and 2D-PAGE, in combination with RT-qPCR, to identify Stx phage genes that are expressed in E. coli during the lysogenic cycle. Results Lysogen cultures propagated for 5-6 hours produced a high cell density with a low proportion of spontaneous prophage induction events. The expression of 26 phage genes was detected in these cultures by differential 2D-PAGE of expressed proteins and CMAT. Detailed analyses of 10 of these genes revealed that three were unequivocally expressed in the lysogen, two expressed from a known lysogenic cycle promoter and one uncoupled from the phage regulatory network. Conclusion Propagation of a lysogen culture in which no cells at all are undergoing spontaneous lysis is impossible. To overcome this, RT-qPCR was used to determine gene expression profiles associated with the growth phase of lysogens. This enabled the definitive identification of three lambdoid Stx phage genes that are expressed in the lysogen and seven that are expressed during lysis. Conservation of these genes in this phage genome, and other Stx phages where they have been identified as present, indicates their importance in the phage/lysogen life cycle, with possible implications for the biology and pathogenicity of the bacterial host. PMID:22439817

  7. Identification of genes expressed in cultures of E. coli lysogens carrying the Shiga toxin-encoding prophage Φ24B.

    PubMed

    Riley, Laura M; Veses-Garcia, Marta; Hillman, Jeffrey D; Handfield, Martin; McCarthy, Alan J; Allison, Heather E

    2012-03-22

    Shigatoxigenic E. coli are a global and emerging health concern. Shiga toxin, Stx, is encoded on the genome of temperate, lambdoid Stx phages. Genes essential for phage maintenance and replication are encoded on approximately 50% of the genome, while most of the remaining genes are of unknown function nor is it known if these annotated hypothetical genes are even expressed. It is hypothesized that many of the latter have been maintained due to positive selection pressure, and that some, expressed in the lysogen host, have a role in pathogenicity. This study used Change Mediated Antigen Technology (CMAT)™ and 2D-PAGE, in combination with RT-qPCR, to identify Stx phage genes that are expressed in E. coli during the lysogenic cycle. Lysogen cultures propagated for 5-6 hours produced a high cell density with a low proportion of spontaneous prophage induction events. The expression of 26 phage genes was detected in these cultures by differential 2D-PAGE of expressed proteins and CMAT. Detailed analyses of 10 of these genes revealed that three were unequivocally expressed in the lysogen, two expressed from a known lysogenic cycle promoter and one uncoupled from the phage regulatory network. Propagation of a lysogen culture in which no cells at all are undergoing spontaneous lysis is impossible. To overcome this, RT-qPCR was used to determine gene expression profiles associated with the growth phase of lysogens. This enabled the definitive identification of three lambdoid Stx phage genes that are expressed in the lysogen and seven that are expressed during lysis. Conservation of these genes in this phage genome, and other Stx phages where they have been identified as present, indicates their importance in the phage/lysogen life cycle, with possible implications for the biology and pathogenicity of the bacterial host.

  8. Development of a Tunable Wide-Range Gene Induction System Useful for the Study of Streptococcal Toxin-Antitoxin Systems

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhoujie; Qi, Fengxia

    2013-01-01

    Despite the plethora of genetic tools that have been developed for use in Streptococcus mutans, the S. mutans genetic system still lacks an effective gene induction system exhibiting low basal expression and strong inducibility. Consequently, we created two hybrid gene induction cassettes referred to as Xyl-S1 and Xyl-S2. Both Xyl-S cassettes are xylose inducible and controlled by the Bacillus megaterium xylose repressor. The Xyl-S cassettes each demonstrated >600-fold-increased reporter activity in the presence of 1.2% (wt/vol) xylose. However, the Xyl-S1 cassette yielded a much higher maximum level of gene expression, whereas the Xyl-S2 cassette exhibited much lower uninduced basal expression. The cassettes also performed similarly in Streptococcus sanguinis and Streptococcus gordonii, which suggests that they are likely to be useful in a variety of streptococci. We demonstrate how both Xyl-S cassettes are particularly useful for the study of toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules using both the previously characterized S. mutans mazEF TA module and a previously uncharacterized HicAB TA module in S. mutans. HicAB TA modules are widely distributed among bacteria and archaea, but little is known about their function. We show that HicA serves as the toxin component of the module, while HicB serves as the antitoxin. Our results suggest that, in contrast to that of typical TA modules, HicA toxicity in S. mutans is modest at best. The implications of these results for HicAB function are discussed. PMID:23934493

  9. Incidence, diversity and toxin gene characteristics of Bacillus cereus group strains isolated from food products marketed in Belgium.

    PubMed

    Samapundo, S; Heyndrickx, M; Xhaferi, R; Devlieghere, F

    2011-10-17

    The major objectives of this study were to determine the incidence, diversity and characteristics of Bacillus cereus group spp. isolated from food products marketed in Belgium. The food products investigated in this study included cooked pasta, lasagna, béchamel sauce, bolognaise sauce, fresh minced beef, fresh-cut vegetables and raw basmati rice. B. cereus group spp. were detected in 56.3% (324 of 575) of the samples giving rise to 380 strains. The highest incidence (100%) occurred in the raw basmati rice. Although only 10 (2.6%) of the 380 isolates were determined to be psychrotolerant (able to grow at ≤7°C), 25 (6.2%), 189 (49.7%) and 334 (87.9%) isolates were able to grow at mild temperature abuse conditions of 8°C, 9°C and 10°C, respectively. The large diversity of the isolates obtained (overall and between isolates obtained from the same product type) was highlighted by the results of the (GTG)(5) PCR fingerprinting of 80 selected isolates. Sixty-one of these 80 isolates belonged to 15 distinct clusters (≥85% Pearson correlation) whereas the remaining 19 were each clustered separately. Further diversity was also found in the distribution of toxin genes as 16 different profiles were observed in the 80 selected isolates. Whilst none of 80 selected strains harboured the ces gene required for the production of the emetic toxin cereulide, 42 strains (52.5%) carried all seven genes required for the production of the diarrhoeal enterotoxins: haemolytic BL, non-haemolytic enterotoxin and cytotoxin K. The results of this study highlight not only the omnipresence but also the highly diverse ecology of B. cereus spp. within and across several food product types available on the retail market in Belgium. They should also provide the impetus for more studies to enable detailed risk assessment studies to be performed.

  10. Hemagglutinin gene shuffling among Clostridium botulinum serotypes C and D yields distinct sugar recognition of the botulinum toxin complex.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Keita; Suzuki, Tomonori; Hayashi, Shintaro; Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro; Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa

    2015-10-01

    Clostridium botulinum strains produce a large-sized toxin complex (TC) that is composed of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), non-toxic non-hemagglutinin and three different hemagglutinins (HA-70, HA-33 and HA-17). HA components enhance toxin delivery across the intestinal cell wall in a sugar chain-dependent manner. Here we characterized the sugar recognition of serotype D strain 1873 (D-1873) botulinum L-TC. Most L-TCs produced by serotype C and D strains bind to cells via interactions between HA-33 and cell surface sialo-oligosaccharides. However, like the previously reported L-TC produced by serotype C strain Yoichi (C-Yoichi), D-1873 L-TC binds only to cells that have been treated with neuraminidase, indicating that they recognize asialo-oligosaccharides. The D-1873 HA-33 amino acid sequence is similar to that of C-Yoichi, but had lower similarity to the majority of serotype C and D HA-33s. A comparison of TC component primary structures for 12 serotype C and D strains suggested that at least three types of HA-33 genes exist, and these are shuffled among the serotype C and D strains independently of BoNT serotype. This shuffling produces the distinct sugar recognition of serotype C and D botulinum TCs. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. A Simple and Rapid Procedure for the Detection of Genes Encoding Shiga Toxins and Other Specific DNA Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Januszkiewicz, Aleksandra; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    A novel procedure for the detection of specific DNA sequences has been developed. This procedure is based on the already known method employing PCR with appropriate primers and a sequence-specific DNA probe labeled with the fluorescent agent 6-carboxylfluorescein (FAM) at the 5′ end and the fluorescence quencher BHQ-1 (black hole quencher) at the 3′ end. However, instead of the detection of the fluorescence signal with the use of real-time PCR cyclers, fluorescence/luminescence spectrometers or fluorescence polarization readers, as in all previously-reported procedures, we propose visual observation of the fluorescence under UV light directly in the reaction tube. An example for the specific detection of the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, by detecting Shiga toxin genes, is demonstrated. This method appears to be specific, simple, rapid and cost effective. It may be suitable for use in research laboratories, as well as in diagnostic units of medical institutions, even those equipped only with a thermocycler and a UV transilluminator, particularly if rapid identification of a pathogen is required. PMID:26580652

  12. A simple and rapid procedure for the detection of genes encoding Shiga toxins and other specific DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Januszkiewicz, Aleksandra; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2015-11-13

    A novel procedure for the detection of specific DNA sequences has been developed. This procedure is based on the already known method employing PCR with appropriate primers and a sequence-specific DNA probe labeled with the fluorescent agent 6-carboxylfluorescein (FAM) at the 5' end and the fluorescence quencher BHQ-1 (black hole quencher) at the 3' end. However, instead of the detection of the fluorescence signal with the use of real-time PCR cyclers, fluorescence/luminescence spectrometers or fluorescence polarization readers, as in all previously-reported procedures, we propose visual observation of the fluorescence under UV light directly in the reaction tube. An example for the specific detection of the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, by detecting Shiga toxin genes, is demonstrated. This method appears to be specific, simple, rapid and cost effective. It may be suitable for use in research laboratories, as well as in diagnostic units of medical institutions, even those equipped only with a thermocycler and a UV transilluminator, particularly if rapid identification of a pathogen is required.

  13. Antigenic secreted proteins from Haemophilus paragallinarum. A 110-kDa putative RTX protein.

    PubMed

    Mena-Rojas, Erika; Vázquez Cruz, Candelario; Vaca Pacheco, Sergio; García González, Octavio; Pérez-Márquez, Víctor M; Pérez-Méndez, Alma; Ibarra-Caballero, Jorge; de la Garza, Mireya; Zenteno, Edgar; Negrete-Abascal, Erasmo

    2004-03-12

    Haemophilus paragallinarum is the causal agent of infectious coryza, an economically important disease for the poultry industry. This bacterium secreted proteins of 25-110 kDa during its growth in brain heart infusion, tryptic soy broth, or Luria-Bertani glucose phosphate media, all lacking serum. Some of these proteins were recognized by sera from chickens experimentally infected with H. paragallinarum. A 110-kDa protein was recognized by a serum pool from convalescent-phase pigs naturally infected with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, and also by a rabbit polyclonal serum against Apx I as well as a rabbit serum against Mannheimia haemolytica leukotoxin, suggesting the presence of an RTX-like protein in H. paragallinarum. H. paragallinarum secreted proteins could be important immunogens in the control of infectious coryza.

  14. Precision Analysis of Trimble Rtx Surveying Technology with Xfill Function in the Context of Obtained Conversion Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krzyżek, Robert

    2015-02-01

    As a result of traditional geodetic surveying we usually achieve observations which are then used for calculating rectangular coordinates onto a plane along with precision evaluation. In this article the surveying methods are presented in which the situation is different. Test measurements were carried out, consisting in the measurement of a fragment of detailed control network in RTK (Real Time Kinematic) and RTX (Real Time Extended) mode with xFill function. First, the rectangular coordinates onto a plane (through the transformation of data ellipsoidal) were obtained, on the basis of which the conversion observations were determined and they were compared with each other, as well as with reference parameters - conversion observations out of detailed control network adjustment with use of the method of least squares. The results of the study allow to verify the precision and application possibilities of conversion observations obtained thanks to Trimble RTX technology with xFill function. Application of this surveying method in typical geodetic tasks is fully justifiable. Nevertheless, it is recommendable to be aware of the correlations of absolute or relative values obtained in RTX procedure to reference parameters, which in turn will enable conclusive verification of the possibilities of Trimble RTX technology application in certain geodetic surveys.

  15. Association of cytolethal distending toxin-II gene-positive Escherichia coli with Escherichia albertii, an emerging enteropathogen.

    PubMed

    Hinenoya, Atsushi; Yasuda, Noritomo; Mukaizawa, Natsuko; Sheikh, Sikander; Niwa, Yuko; Awasthi, Sharda Prasad; Asakura, Masahiro; Tsukamoto, Teizo; Nagita, Akira; Albert, M John; Yamasaki, Shinji

    2017-09-19

    Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT)-producing Escherichia coli have been isolated from patients with diarrhea, sepsis and urinary tract infection. CDT of E. coli is divided into five types (CDT-I through CDT-V) based on differences in amino acid sequences and its genomic location. However, in our recent studies, a few strains of cdt-II gene-positive bacteria, initially identified as atypical E. coli, were re-identified as Escherichia albertii, an emerging enteropathogen, by extensive characterization including multilocus sequence (MLS) analysis and sugar utilization tests. This finding prompted us to investigate if bacteria previously identified as cdt-II gene-positive E. coli might be E. albertii. In the present study, we therefore re-examined the identity of 20 cdt-II gene-positive bacteria isolated from children with diarrhea, which were initially identified as atypical E. coli. By extensive sugar utilization tests, these bacteria showed a closer relatedness to E. albertii than E. coli, because they did not ferment any of the tested sugars including dulcitol, lactose, d-melibiose, l-rhamnose and d-xylose. Further, both phylogenetic analyses based on nucleotide sequences of 7 housekeeping genes (MLS analysis) and rpoB gene showed that all the cdt-II gene-positive bacteria belonged to a distinct lineage of E. albertii from those of E. coli and Shigella boydii. They were also positive by an E. albertii-specific PCR. Taken together, these data suggest that cdt-II gene-positive bacteria previously identified as E. coli are actually E. albertii. Therefore, we suggest a new definition for cdt-II gene-positive E. coli as E. albertii with the inclusion of CDT-II in E. albertii CDT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Staphylococcus aureus of phage type 187 isolated from people occurred to be a genes carrier of eneterotoxin C and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1).

    PubMed

    Piechowicz, Lidia; Garbacz, Katarzyna; Galiński, Janusz

    2008-07-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the genotype properties of Staphylococcus aureus of phage type 187 strains that constitute a separate group among the strains of S. aureus. Sixteen strains were collected from the hospital patients (n=12) and the healthy carriers (n=4) in 13 medical centres in Poland during 1991 and 2005. Biotyping, antibiotic susceptibility, phage typing, detection the genes of enterotoxins and toxic shock syndrome toxin, genotyping of chromosomal DNA by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), also amplification and restriction analysis of the coagulase (coa) and the protein A genes (spa) (PCR/restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)) was tested. The results of this study showed that all staphylococcus of phage type 187 belonged to the human biotype (A) and appeared to be sensitive to all of the tested antibiotics, including methicillin (MSSA). Finding out the toxin genes showed that almost all of them (93.8%) had the enterotoxin C gene (sec) and TSST-1 gene (tst). The PFGE typing proved that the phage type 187 strains (except for one) constitute one PFGE type. These results and the identical restriction patterns in the PCR/RFLP method, also the same biotype, sensitivity to antibiotics and the presence genes of the same type of toxins confirmed that the phage type 187 strains constitute one clone within our country. Additionally, the fact that almost all of them have the enterotoxin genes and tst gene allows to consider them the strains of potentially high virulence.

  17. Identification of a novel Staphylococcus pseudintermedius exfoliative toxin gene and its prevalence in isolates from canines with pyoderma and healthy dogs.

    PubMed

    Iyori, Keita; Hisatsune, Junzo; Kawakami, Tetsuji; Shibata, Sanae; Murayama, Nobuo; Ide, Kaori; Nagata, Masahiko; Fukata, Tsuneo; Iwasaki, Toshiroh; Oshima, Kenshiro; Hattori, Masahira; Sugai, Motoyuki; Nishifuji, Koji

    2010-11-01

    Staphylococcal exfoliative toxins are involved in some cutaneous infections in mammals by targeting desmoglein 1 (Dsg1), a desmosomal cell-cell adhesion molecule. Recently, an exfoliative toxin gene (exi) was identified in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolated from canine pyoderma. The aim of this study was to identify novel exfoliative toxin genes in S. pseudintermedius. Here, we describe a novel orf in the genome of S. pseudintermedius isolated from canine impetigo, whose deduced amino acid sequence was homologous to that of the SHETB exfoliative toxin from Staphylococcus hyicus (70.4%). The ORF recombinant protein caused skin exfoliation and abolished cell surface staining of Dsg1 in canine skin. Moreover, the ORF protein degraded the recombinant extracellular domains of canine Dsg1, but not Dsg3, in vitro. PCR analysis revealed that the orf was present in 23.2% (23/99) of S. pseudintermedius isolates from dogs with superficial pyoderma exhibiting various clinical phenotypes, while the occurrence in S. pseudintermedius isolates from healthy dogs was 6.1% (3/49). In summary, this newly found orf in S. pseudintermedius encodes a novel exfoliative toxin, which targets a cell-cell adhesion molecule in canine epidermis and might be involved in a broad spectrum of canine pyoderma.

  18. Point-of-care and visual detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes by multiple LAMP and lateral flow nucleic acid biosensor.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuting; Cheng, Nan; Xu, Yuancong; Huang, Kunlun; Luo, Yunbo; Xu, Wentao

    2016-07-15

    This study describes a simple and sensitive approach for visual and point-of-care detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes based on multiple loop-mediated isothermal amplification (mLAMP) and lateral flow nucleic acid biosensor (LFNAB). Differentiation of the internal standard gene ecfX and toxin genes (ExoS and ExoU) in P. aeruginosa was determined using FITC-, hex-and digoxin-modified primers in the mLAMP process. In the presence of biotin-and FITC- (hex-, digoxin-) modified primers and Bst DNA polymerase large fragments, the mLAMP produced numerous biotin- and FITC- (hex-, digoxin-) attached duplex DNA products. The products were detected by LFNAB through dual immunoreactions (anti-biotin antibodies on the gold nanoparticle (Au-NP) and biotin on the duplex, anti-FITC (hex, digoxin) antibodies on the LFNAB test line and FITC (hex, digoxin) on the duplex). The accumulation of Au-NPs produced a characteristic red band, enabling visual detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes without instrumentation. After systematic optimization of LFNAB preparation and detecting conditions, the current approach was capable of detecting concentrations as low as 20 CFU/mL P. aeruginosa or its toxin genes within 50min without complicated instrument, which is more sensitive than PCR. Therefore, this approach provides a simple, pollution free, sensitive, and low-cost point-of-care test for the detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular characterization of cytolethal distending toxin gene-positive Escherichia coli from healthy cattle and swine in Nara, Japan.

    PubMed

    Hinenoya, Atsushi; Shima, Kensuke; Asakura, Masahiro; Nishimura, Kazuhiko; Tsukamoto, Teizo; Ooka, Tadasuke; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Ramamurthy, Thandavarayan; Faruque, Shah M; Yamasaki, Shinji

    2014-04-18

    Cytolethal distending toxin (CDT)-producing Escherichia coli (CTEC) has been isolated from patients with gastrointestinal or urinary tract infection, and sepsis. However, the source of human infection remains unknown. In this study, we attempted to detect and isolate CTEC strains from fecal specimens of healthy farm animals and characterized them phenotypically and genotypically. By PCR analysis, the cdtB gene was detected in 90 and 14 out of 102 and 45 stool specimens of healthy cattle and swine, respectively, and none from 45 chicken samples. Subtypes of the cdtB genes (I to V) were further examined by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the amplicons and by type-specific PCRs for the cdt-III and cdt-V genes. Of the 90 cdtB gene-positive cattle samples, 2 cdt-I, 25 cdt-III, 1 cdt-IV, 52 cdt-V and 1 both cdt-III and cdt-V gene-positive strains were isolated while 1 cdt-II and 6 cdt-V gene-positive were isolated from 14 cdtB positive swine samples. Serotypes of some isolates were identical to those of human isolates. Interestingly, a cdt-II gene-positive strain isolated from swine was for the first time identified as Escherichia albertii. Phylogenetic analysis grouped 87 E. coli strains into 77 phylogroup B1, 6 B2, and 4 D, respectively. Most of the B1 strains harbored both lpfAO113 and ehaA. Three and twenty-two cdt-V gene-positive strains harbored eaeA and stx genes, respectively, and seven possessed cdt-V, stx and subAB genes. The cnf2 gene, normally present in cdt-III gene-positive strains, was also detected in cdt-V gene-positive strains. Our results suggest that healthy cattle and swine could be the reservoir of CTEC, and they could be a potential source of human infections.

  20. VEJ{phi}, a novel filamentous phage of Vibrio cholerae able to transduce the cholera toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Campos, Javier; Martínez, Eriel; Izquierdo, Yovanny; Fando, Rafael

    2010-01-01

    A novel filamentous bacteriophage, designated VEJphi, was isolated from strain MO45 of Vibrio cholerae of the O139 serogroup. A molecular characterization of the phage was carried out, which included sequencing of its whole genome, study of the genomic structure, identification of the phage receptor, and determination of the function of some of the genes, such as those encoding the major capsid protein and the single-stranded DNA-binding protein. The genome nucleotide sequence of VEJphi, which consists of 6842 bp, revealed that it is organized in modules of functionally related genes in an array that is characteristic of the genus Inovirus (filamentous phages). VEJphi is closely related to other previously described filamentous phages of V. cholerae, including VGJphi, VSK and fs1. Like these phages, VEJphi uses as a cellular receptor the type IV fimbria called the mannose-sensitive haemagglutinin (MSHA). It was also demonstrated that VEJphi, like phage VGJphi, is able to transmit the genome of phage CTXphi, and therefore the genes encoding the cholera toxin (CT), horizontally among populations of V. cholerae expressing the MSHA receptor fimbria. This suggests that the variety of phages implicated in the horizontal transmission of the CT genes could be more diverse than formerly thought.

  1. Analysis of transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species reveals gene profiles involved in silk and toxin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ying-Jun; Zeng, Yan; Chen, Lei; Dong, Yang; Wang, Wen

    2014-12-01

    As an ancient arthropod with a history of 390 million years, spiders evolved numerous morphological forms resulting from adaptation to different environments. The venom and silk of spiders, which have promising commercial applications in agriculture, medicine and engineering fields, are of special interests to researchers. However, little is known about their genomic components, which hinders not only understanding spider biology but also utilizing their valuable genes. Here we report on deep sequenced and de novo assembled transcriptomes of three orb-web spider species, Gasteracantha arcuata, Nasoonaria sinensis and Gasteracantha hasselti which are distributed in tropical forests of south China. With Illumina paired-end RNA-seq technology, 54 871, 101 855 and 75 455 unigenes for the three spider species were obtained, respectively, among which 9 300, 10 001 and 10 494 unique genes are annotated, respectively. From these annotated unigenes, we comprehensively analyzed silk and toxin gene components and structures for the three spider species. Our study provides valuable transcriptome data for three spider species which previously lacked any genetic/genomic data. The results have laid the first fundamental genomic basis for exploiting gene resources from these spiders. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. Survival and expression of acid resistance genes in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli acid adapted in pineapple juice and exposed to synthetic gastric fluid

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Aims: The aim of this research was to examine relative transcriptional expression of acid resistance (AR) genes, rpoS, gadA and adiA, in O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serotypes after adaptation to pineapple juice (PJ) and subsequently to determine survival with e...

  4. MvirDB: Microbial Database of Protein Toxins, Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes for Bio-Defense Applications

    DOE Data Explorer

    Zhou, C. E.; Smith, J.; Lam, M.; Zemla, M. D.; Slezak, T.

    MvirDB is a cenntralized resource (data warehouse) comprising all publicly accessible, organized sequence data for protein toxins, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes. Protein entries in MvirDB are annotated using a high-throughput, fully automated computational annotation system; annotations are updated periodically to ensure that results are derived using current public database and open-source tool releases. Tools provided for using MvirDB include a web-based browser tool and BLAST interfaces. MvirDB serves researchers in the bio-defense and medical fields. (taken from page 3 of PI's paper of same title published in Nucleic Acids Research, 2007, Vol.35, Database Issue (Open Source)

  5. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    PubMed

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented.

  6. New secreted toxins and immunity proteins encoded within the Type VI secretion system gene cluster of Serratia marcescens

    PubMed Central

    English, Grant; Trunk, Katharina; Rao, Vincenzo A; Srikannathasan, Velupillai; Hunter, William N; Coulthurst, Sarah J

    2012-01-01

    Protein secretion systems are critical to bacterial virulence and interactions with other organisms. The Type VI secretion system (T6SS) is found in many bacterial species and is used to target either eukaryotic cells or competitor bacteria. However, T6SS-secreted proteins have proven surprisingly elusive. Here, we identified two secreted substrates of the antibacterial T6SS from the opportunistic human pathogen, Serratia marcescens. Ssp1 and Ssp2, both encoded within the T6SS gene cluster, were confirmed as antibacterial toxins delivered by the T6SS. Four related proteins encoded around the Ssp proteins (‘Rap’ proteins) included two specifically conferring self-resistance (‘immunity’) against T6SS-dependent Ssp1 or Ssp2 toxicity. Biochemical characterization revealed specific, tight binding between cognate Ssp–Rap pairs, forming complexes of 2:2 stoichiometry. The atomic structures of two Rap proteins were solved, revealing a novel helical fold, dependent on a structural disulphide bond, a structural feature consistent with their functional localization. Homologues of the Serratia Ssp and Rap proteins are found encoded together within other T6SS gene clusters, thus they represent founder members of new families of T6SS-secreted and cognate immunity proteins. We suggest that Ssp proteins are the original substrates of the S. marcescens T6SS, before horizontal acquisition of other T6SS-secreted toxins. Molecular insight has been provided into how pathogens utilize antibacterial T6SSs to overcome competitors and succeed in polymicrobial niches. PMID:22957938

  7. Altered gene expression in Choristoneura fumiferana and Manduca sexta in response to sublethal intoxication by Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab toxin.

    PubMed

    van Munster, M; Préfontaine, G; Meunier, L; Elias, M; Mazza, A; Brousseau, R; Masson, L

    2007-02-01

    In order to understand how lepidopteran insects react physiologically to Bacillus thuringiensis crystal toxin ingestion, transcriptional profiling of Choristoneura fumiferana larvae exposed to sublethal doses of Cry1Ab protoxin were monitored using a C. fumiferana-specific cDNA microarray derived from a protoxin-specific subtractive library. Differential gene expression occurred primarily between 2 and 5 h postingestion. Metabolic enzymes such as lipases and proteases were generally repressed, whereas genes involved in detoxification, immune system regulation or general stress response were upregulated. A similar protoxin-specific transcriptional pattern was also observed with Manduca sexta larvae, using three upregulated genes (serpin, cytochrome P450 and carboxyl/cholinesterase) and one downregulated gene (beta-glucosidase), suggesting that a susceptible larval response to Cry toxin exposure might be universal among lepidopterous insects.

  8. [Presence of enterotoxin C and toxic shock syndrome toxin--1 (TSST-1) genes in population of Staphylococcus aureus phage type 187].

    PubMed

    Garbacz, Katarzyna; Piechowicz, Lidia; Galiński, Janusz

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine whether Staphylococcus aureus of phage type 187 possess the genes of enterotoxins and toxic shock syndrom toxin. Sixteen phage type 187 strains were isolated from the hospital patients (12) and the carriers (4) in twelve medical centres in Poland during 1991 and 2005. Biotyping, phage typing, antibiotic susceptibility, detection of the genes of enterotoxins (sea--sed) and toxic shock syndrome toxin (tst) was tested. The results of this study showed that all staphylococci of phage type 187 belonged to the human biotype (A) and appeared to be sensitive to all of the tested antibiotics, including methicillin (MSSA). Almost all of them (93.8%) had the enterotoxin C gene and TSST-1 gene. This fact allows to consider them the strains of potentially high virulence.

  9. Two novel human members of an emerging mammalian gene family related to mono-ADP-ribosylating bacterial toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Koch-Nolte, F.; Haag, F.; Braren, R.

    1997-02-01

    Mono-ADP-ribosylation is one of the posttranslational protein modifications regulating cellular metabolism, e.g., nitrogen fixation, in prokaryotes. Several bacterial toxins mono-ADP-ribosylate and inactivate specific proteins in their animal hosts. Recently, two mammalian GPI-anchored cell surface enzymes with similar activities were cloned (designated ART1 and ART2). We have now identified six related expressed sequence tags (ESTs) in the public database and cloned the two novel human genes from which these are derived (designated ART3 and ART4). The deduced amino acid sequences of the predicted gene products show 28% sequence identity to one another and 32-41% identity vs the muscle and T cell enzymes. They contain signal peptide sequences characteristic of GPI anchorage. Southern Zoo blot analyses suggest the presence of related genes in other mammalian species. By PCR screening of somatic cell hybrids and by in situ hybridization, we have mapped the two genes to human chromosomes 4p14-p15.l and 12q13.2- q13.3. Northern blot analyses show that these genes are specifically expressed in testis and spleen, respectively. Comparison of genomic and cDNA sequences reveals a conserved exon/intron structure, with an unusually large exon encoding the predicted mature membrane proteins. Secondary structure prediction analyses indicate conserved motifs and amino acid residues consistent with a common ancestry of this emerging mammalian enzyme family and bacterial mono(ADP-ribosyl)transferases. It is possible that the four human gene family members identified so far represent the {open_quotes}tip of an iceberg,{close_quote} i.e., a larger family of enzymes that influences the function of target proteins via mono-ADP-ribosylation. 35 refs., 4 figs.

  10. A PCR-RFLP assay to detect and type cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) genes in Campylobacter hyointestinalis

    PubMed Central

    HATANAKA, Noritoshi; KAMEI, Kazumasa; SOMROOP, Srinuan; AWASTHI, Sharda Prasad; ASAKURA, Masahiro; MISAWA, Naoaki; HINENOYA, Atsushi; YAMASAKI, Shinji

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter hyointestinalis is considered as an emerging zoonotic pathogen. We have recently identified two types of cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) gene in C. hyointestinalis and designated them as Chcdt-I and Chcdt-II. In this study, we developed a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay that can differentiate Chcdt-I from Chcdt-II. When the PCR-RFLP assay was applied to 17 other Campylobacter strains and 25 non-Campylobacter strains, PCR products were not obtained irrespective of their cdt gene-possession, indicating that the specificity of the PCR-RFLP assay was 100%. In contrast, when the PCR-RFLP assay was applied to 35 C. hyointestinalis strains including 23 analyzed in the previous study and 12 newly isolated from pigs and bovines, all of them showed the presence of cdt genes. Furthermore, a restriction digest by EcoT14-I revealed that 29 strains contained both Chcdt-I and Chcdt-II and 6 strains contained only Chcdt-II, showing 100% sensitivity. Unexpectedly, however, PCR products obtained from 7 C. hyointestinalis strains were not completely digested by EcoT14-I. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the undigested PCR product was homologous to cdtB but not to Chcdt-IB or Chcdt-IIB, indicating the presence of another cdt gene-variant. Then, we further digested the PCR products with DdeI in addition to EcoT14-I, showing that all three cdt genes, including a possible new Chcdt variant, could be clearly differentiated. Thus, the PCR-RFLP assay developed in this study is a valuable tool for evaluating the Chcdt gene-profile of bacteria. PMID:27916784

  11. The Effector Domain Region of the Vibrio vulnificus MARTX Toxin Confers Biphasic Epithelial Barrier Disruption and Is Essential for Systemic Spread from the Intestine

    PubMed Central

    Gavin, Hannah E.; Beubier, Nike T.

    2017-01-01

    Vibrio vulnificus causes highly lethal bacterial infections in which the Multifunctional Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxins (MARTX) toxin product of the rtxA1 gene is a key virulence factor. MARTX toxins are secreted proteins up to 5208 amino acids in size. Conserved MARTX N- and C-terminal repeat regions work in concert to form pores in eukaryotic cell membranes, through which the toxin’s central region of modular effector domains is translocated. Upon inositol hexakisphosphate-induced activation of the of the MARTX cysteine protease domain (CPD) in the eukaryotic cytosol, effector domains are released from the holotoxin by autoproteolytic activity. We previously reported that the native MARTX toxin effector domain repertoire is dispensable for epithelial cellular necrosis in vitro, but essential for cell rounding and apoptosis prior to necrotic cell death. Here we use an intragastric mouse model to demonstrate that the effector domain region is required for bacterial virulence during intragastric infection. The MARTX effector domain region is essential for bacterial dissemination from the intestine, but dissemination occurs in the absence of overt intestinal tissue pathology. We employ an in vitro model of V. vulnificus interaction with polarized colonic epithelial cells to show that the MARTX effector domain region induces rapid intestinal barrier dysfunction and increased paracellular permeability prior to onset of cell lysis. Together, these results negate the inherent assumption that observations of necrosis in vitro directly predict bacterial virulence, and indicate a paradigm shift in our conceptual understanding of MARTX toxin function during intestinal infection. Results implicate the MARTX effector domain region in mediating early bacterial dissemination from the intestine to distal organs–a key step in V. vulnificus foodborne pathogenesis–even before onset of overt intestinal pathology. PMID:28060924

  12. Deletion of a MFS transporter-like gene in Cercospora nicotianae reduces cercosporin toxin accumulation and fungal virulence.

    PubMed

    Choquer, Mathias; Lee, Miin-Huey; Bau, Huey-Jiunn; Chung, Kuang-Ren

    2007-02-06

    Many phytopathogenic Cercospora species produce a host-nonselective polyketide toxin, called cercosporin, whose toxicity exclusively relies on the generation of reactive oxygen species. Here, we describe a Cercospora nicotianae CTB4 gene that encodes a putative membrane transporter and provide genetic evidence to support its role in cercosporin accumulation. The predicted CTB4 polypeptide has 12 transmembrane segments with four conserved motifs and has considerable similarity to a wide range of transporters belonging to the major facilitator superfamily (MFS). Disruption of the CTB4 gene resulted in a mutant that displayed a drastic reduction of cercosporin production and accumulation of an unknown brown pigment. Cercosporin was detected largely from fungal hyphae of ctb4 disruptants, but not from the surrounding medium, suggesting that the mutants were defective in both cercosporin biosynthesis and secretion. Cercosporin purified from the ctb4 disruptants exhibited toxicity to tobacco suspension cells, insignificantly different from wild-type, whereas the disruptants formed fewer lesions on tobacco leaves. The ctb4 null mutants retained normal resistance to cercosporin and other singlet oxygen-generating photosensitizers, indistinguishable from the parental strain. Transformation of a functional CTB4 clone into a ctb4 null mutant fully revived cercosporin production. Thus, we propose that the CTB4 gene encodes a putative MFS transporter responsible for secretion and accumulation of cercosporin.

  13. Expression pattern of three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2 genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii: comparison of evolution of these toxins in land snakes, sea kraits and sea snakes.

    PubMed

    Pahari, Susanta; Bickford, David; Fry, Bryan G; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2007-09-27

    Snake venom composition varies widely both among closely related species and within the same species, based on ecological variables. In terrestrial snakes, such variation has been proposed to be due to snakes' diet. Land snakes target various prey species including insects (arthropods), lizards (reptiles), frogs and toads (amphibians), birds (aves), and rodents (mammals), whereas sea snakes target a single vertebrate class (fishes) and often specialize on specific types of fish. It is therefore interesting to examine the evolution of toxins in sea snake venoms compared to that of land snakes. Here we describe the expression of toxin genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus (Spine-bellied Sea Snake) and Acalyptophis peronii (Horned Sea Snake), two members of a large adaptive radiation which occupy very different ecological niches. We constructed cDNA libraries from their venom glands and sequenced 214 and 192 clones, respectively. Our data show that despite their explosive evolutionary radiation, there is very little variability in the three-finger toxin (3FTx) as well as the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes, the two main constituents of Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii venom. To understand the evolutionary trends among land snakes, sea snakes and sea kraits, pairwise genetic distances (intraspecific and interspecific) of 3FTx and PLA2 sequences were calculated. Results show that these proteins appear to be highly conserved in sea snakes in contrast to land snakes or sea kraits, despite their extremely divergent and adaptive ecological radiation. Based on these results, we suggest that streamlining in habitat and diet in sea snakes has possibly kept their toxin genes conserved, suggesting the idea that prey composition and diet breadth may contribute to the diversity and evolution of venom components.

  14. Expression pattern of three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2 genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii: comparison of evolution of these toxins in land snakes, sea kraits and sea snakes

    PubMed Central

    Pahari, Susanta; Bickford, David; Fry, Bryan G; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2007-01-01

    Background Snake venom composition varies widely both among closely related species and within the same species, based on ecological variables. In terrestrial snakes, such variation has been proposed to be due to snakes' diet. Land snakes target various prey species including insects (arthropods), lizards (reptiles), frogs and toads (amphibians), birds (aves), and rodents (mammals), whereas sea snakes target a single vertebrate class (fishes) and often specialize on specific types of fish. It is therefore interesting to examine the evolution of toxins in sea snake venoms compared to that of land snakes. Results Here we describe the expression of toxin genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus (Spine-bellied Sea Snake) and Acalyptophis peronii (Horned Sea Snake), two members of a large adaptive radiation which occupy very different ecological niches. We constructed cDNA libraries from their venom glands and sequenced 214 and 192 clones, respectively. Our data show that despite their explosive evolutionary radiation, there is very little variability in the three-finger toxin (3FTx) as well as the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes, the two main constituents of Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii venom. To understand the evolutionary trends among land snakes, sea snakes and sea kraits, pairwise genetic distances (intraspecific and interspecific) of 3FTx and PLA2 sequences were calculated. Results show that these proteins appear to be highly conserved in sea snakes in contrast to land snakes or sea kraits, despite their extremely divergent and adaptive ecological radiation. Conclusion Based on these results, we suggest that streamlining in habitat and diet in sea snakes has possibly kept their toxin genes conserved, suggesting the idea that prey composition and diet breadth may contribute to the diversity and evolution of venom components. PMID:17900344

  15. Oligonucleotide probes for detection and differentiation of Staphylococcus aureus strains containing genes for enterotoxins A, B, and C and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1.

    PubMed Central

    Neill, R J; Fanning, G R; Delahoz, F; Wolff, R; Gemski, P

    1990-01-01

    Different synthetic DNA nucleotide sequences were evaluated as gene probes for the specific detection and differentiation of Staphylococcus aureus strains encoding enterotoxins A (SEA), B (SEB), and C (SEC) and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1). Identification of sequences unique to each toxin, based on knowledge of their nucleotide sequences, led to preparation of the specific 18-base oligonucleotide probes EA1 (encoding amino acids 177 to 182 of SEA), EB2 (encoding amino acids 105 to 110 of SEB), EC5 (encoding amino acids 125 to 131 of SEC1), and TS1 (encoding amino acids 160 to 166 of TSST-1). In colony blot hybridization analyses, these probes hybridized specifically with DNA from strains that produced the respective toxin serotypes. An excellent (greater than or equal to 93%) correlation between hybridization results (genotype) and toxin protein detection by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (phenotype) was observed in the characterization of both reference and clinical strains of S. aureus for SEA, SEB, and TSST-1. A lower correlation (64%) for SEC reflected a lack of sensitivity in detecting toxin production. Our findings demonstrate that molecular DNA hybridization with synthetic oligonucleotide probes provides another approach for establishing the toxigenicity of S. aureus. Images PMID:2380378

  16. Multiplex PCR for detection of superantigenic toxin genes in methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from patients and carriers of a hospital in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wongboot, Warawan; Chomvarin, Chariya; Engchanil, Chulapan; Chaimanee, Prajuab

    2013-07-04

    The aims of this study were to develop multiplex PCR for simultaneous detection of five superantigenic toxin genes (sea, seb, sec, sed and tst-1) in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from 149 clinical samples and nasal swabs from 201 healthy subjects in Thailand, and to compare prevalence and expression of those genes between methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA). The sensitivity of multiplex PCR was 10(3) CFU/ml (60 CFU/PCR reaction) for DNA templates extracted by both boiling and extraction methods. S. aureus strains from patients (65%) harbored more superantigenic toxin genes than healthy subjects (54%). MRSA (80%) isolated from patients harbored more superantigenic toxin genes than MSSA (52%). Sea was the most frequently found gene in S. aureus strains from patients and carriers. MRSAisolates harbored sea and produced SEA more frequently than MSSA isolates (p <0.05) and MRSA isolates (59%) from blood samples consisted of a higher number of superantigenic toxin producers than MSSA (9%) (p < 0.05). More S. aureus strains isolated from patients with severe septicemia contained superantigenic toxin genes (94%) and produced toxins (82%) than those from non-severe patients (64% and 57%, respectively). The multiplex PCR method described here offers a reliable tool for simultaneous detection of various staphylococcal toxin genes.

  17. Incidence, Antimicrobial Susceptibility, and Toxin Genes Possession Screening of Staphylococcus aureus in Retail Chicken Livers and Gizzards

    PubMed Central

    Abdalrahman, Lubna S.; Fakhr, Mohamed K.

    2015-01-01

    Few recent outbreaks in Europe and the US involving Campylobacter and Salmonella were linked to the consumption of chicken livers. Studies investigating Staphylococcus aureus in chicken livers and gizzards are very limited. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, and virulence of S. aureus and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in retail chicken livers and gizzards in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In this study, 156 chicken livers and 39 chicken gizzards samples of two brands were collected. While one of the brands showed very low prevalence of 1% (1/100) for S. aureus in chicken livers and gizzards, the second brand showed prevalence of 37% (31/95). No MRSA was detected since none harbored the mecA or mecC gene. Eighty seven S. aureus isolates from livers and 28 from gizzards were screened for antimicrobial resistance to 16 antimicrobials and the possession of 18 toxin genes. Resistance to most of the antimicrobials screened including cefoxitin and oxacillin was higher in the chicken gizzards isolates. While the prevalence of enterotoxin genes seg and sei was higher in the gizzards isolates, the prevalence of hemolysin genes hla, hlb, and hld was higher in the livers ones. The lucocidin genes lukE-lukD was equally prevalent in chicken livers and gizzards isolates. Using spa typing, a subset of the recovered isolates showed that they are not known to be livestock associated and, hence, may be of a human origin. In conclusion, this study stresses the importance of thorough cooking of chicken livers and gizzards since it might contain multidrug resistant enterotoxigenic S. aureus. To our knowledge this is the first study to specifically investigate the prevalence of S. aureus in chicken livers and gizzards in the US. PMID:28231192

  18. Molecular cloning, nucleotide sequence, and expression in Escherichia coli of a hemolytic toxin (aerolysin) gene from Aeromonas trota

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, A.A.; Kim, E.; Cerniglia, C.E.

    1998-07-01

    Aeromonas trota AK2, which was derived from ATCC 49659 and produces the extracellular pore-forming hemolytic toxin aerolysin, was mutagenized with the transposon mini-Tn5Km1 to generate a hemolysin-deficient mutant, designated strain AK253. Southern blotting data indicated that an 8.7-kb NotI fragment of the genomic DNA of strain AK253 contained the kanamycin resistance gene of mini-Tn5Km1. The 8.7-kb NotI DNA fragment was cloned into the vector pGEM5Zf({minus}) by selecting for kanamycin resistance, and the resultant clone, pAK71, showed aerolysin activity in Escherichia coli JM109. The nucleotide sequence of the aerA gene, located on the 1.8-kb ApaI-EcoRI fragment, was determined to consist of 1,479 bp and to have an ATG initiation codon and a TAA termination codon. An in vitro coupled transcription-translation analysis of the 1.8-kb region suggested that the aerA gene codes for a 54-kDa protein, in agreement with nucleotide sequence data. The deduced amino acid sequence of the aerA gene product of A. trota exhibited 99% homology with the amino acid sequence of the aerA product of Aeromonas sobria AB3 and 57% homology with the amino acid sequences of the products of the aerA genes of Aeromonas salmonicida 17-2 and A. sobria 33.

  19. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains isolated from dairy products - Genetic diversity and virulence gene profiles.

    PubMed

    Douëllou, T; Delannoy, S; Ganet, S; Mariani-Kurkdjian, P; Fach, P; Loukiadis, E; Montel, Mc; Thevenot-Sergentet, D

    2016-09-02

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are widely recognized as pathogens causing food borne disease. Here we evaluate the genetic diversity of 197 strains, mainly STEC, from serotypes O157:H7, O26:H11, O103:H2, O111:H8 and O145:28 and compared strains recovered in dairy products against strains from human, meat and environment cases. For this purpose, we characterized a set of reference-collection STEC isolates from dairy products by PFGE DNA fingerprinting and a subset of these by virulence-gene profiling. PFGE profiles of restricted STEC total DNA showed high genomic variability (0.9976 on Simpson's discriminatory index), enabling all dairy isolates to be differentiated. High-throughput real-time PCR screening of STEC virulence genes were applied on the O157:H7 and O26:H11 STEC isolates from dairy products and human cases. The virulence gene profiles of dairy and human STEC strains were similar. Nevertheless, frequency-wise, stx1 was more prevalent among dairy O26:H11 isolates than in human cases ones (87% vs. 44%) while stx2 was more prevalent among O26:H11 human isolates (23% vs. 81%). For O157:H7 isolates, stx1 (0% vs. 39%), nleF (40% vs 94%) and Z6065 (40% vs 100%) were more prevalent among human than dairy strains. Our data point to differences between human and dairy strains but these differences were not sufficient to associate PFGE and virulence gene profiles to a putative lower pathogenicity of dairy strains based on their lower incidence in disease. Further comparison of whole-genome expression and virulence gene profiles should be investigated in cheese and intestinal tract samples.

  20. Human tumor necrosis factor-alpha gene 3' untranslated region confers inducible toxin responsiveness to homologous promoter in monocytic THP-1 cells.

    PubMed

    Seiler-Tuyns, A; Dufour, N; Spertini, F

    1999-07-30

    To better define the role of 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) on transcriptional regulation of the human tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha gene, monocytic human THP-1 cells were transfected with two TNF-alpha promoter constructs spanning base pairs -1897/-1 and -1214/-1, respectively, and linked to the rabbit beta-globin gene. Quantitative globin gene expression of chimerae was measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. A construct linking the chicken beta-actin promoter and a deleted portion of the beta-globin gene was cotransfected and used as internal standard. Unexpectedly, when THP-1 cells were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide or toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, gene regulation was hardly detected. In contrast, endogenous TNF-alpha gene regulation measured by the same reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction procedure was vigorous. Remarkably, ligation of 3'UTR to chimeric constructs led to a drastic drop in the basal level of chimeric gene expression, resulting in a 15- to 40-fold induction of the reporter gene. Consistently, when the TNF-alpha promoter was replaced by the cytomegalovirus early immediate promoter, gene expression was also uniformly reduced but was no longer up-regulated upon stimulation with lipopolysaccharide and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1. These data provide the first line of evidence that, in addition to its role in TNF-alpha transcript stability and translation, human TNF-alpha 3'UTR also participates in modulating gene expression at the transcriptional level.

  1. Small and Smaller—sRNAs and MicroRNAs in the Regulation of Toxin Gene Expression in Prokaryotic Cells: A Mini-Review

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Sylwia; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena

    2017-01-01

    Non-coding small RNAs (sRNAs) have been identified in the wide range of bacteria (also pathogenic species) and found to play an important role in the regulation of many processes, including toxin gene expression. The best characterized prokaryotic sRNAs regulate gene expression by base pairing with mRNA targets and fall into two broad classes: cis-encoded sRNAs (also called antisense RNA) and trans-acting sRNAs. Molecules from the second class are frequently considered as the most related to eukaryotic microRNAs. Interestingly, typical microRNA-size RNA molecules have also been reported in prokaryotic cells, although they have received little attention up to now. In this work we have collected information about all three types of small prokaryotic RNAs in the context of the regulation of toxin gene expression. PMID:28556797

  2. Small and Smaller-sRNAs and MicroRNAs in the Regulation of Toxin Gene Expression in Prokaryotic Cells: A Mini-Review.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Sylwia; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena

    2017-05-30

    Non-coding small RNAs (sRNAs) have been identified in the wide range of bacteria (also pathogenic species) and found to play an important role in the regulation of many processes, including toxin gene expression. The best characterized prokaryotic sRNAs regulate gene expression by base pairing with mRNA targets and fall into two broad classes: cis-encoded sRNAs (also called antisense RNA) and trans-acting sRNAs. Molecules from the second class are frequently considered as the most related to eukaryotic microRNAs. Interestingly, typical microRNA-size RNA molecules have also been reported in prokaryotic cells, although they have received little attention up to now. In this work we have collected information about all three types of small prokaryotic RNAs in the context of the regulation of toxin gene expression.

  3. Quorum-sensing gene luxS regulates flagella expression and Shiga-like toxin production in F18ab Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Zhou, Mingxu; Hou, Huayan; Zhu, Jun; Yao, Fenghua; Zhang, Xinjun; Zhu, Xiaofang; Hardwidge, Philip R; Zhu, Guoqiang

    2014-06-01

    To investigate the effect of the luxS gene on the expression of virulence factors in Shiga-like toxin producing and verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli, the luxS gene from E. coli 107/86 (wild type, O139:H1:F18ab, Stx2e) was deleted. The successful deletion of luxS was confirmed by bioluminescence assays. The luxS deletion mutant exhibited changed flagella-related phenotypes, like impaired expression of flagella, decreased flagella motility, reduced biofilm formation, and reduced ability to induce pro-immunity response in host cells, which were restored after complementation with the intact luxS gene. The mutant strain also displayed attenuated production of Stx2e. This study provides new information to the crucial function of luxS in regulating Shiga-like toxin producing E. coli virulence.

  4. Identification of Functional Toxin/Immunity Genes Linked to Contact-Dependent Growth Inhibition (CDI) and Rearrangement Hotspot (Rhs) Systems

    PubMed Central

    Poole, Stephen J.; Diner, Elie J.; Aoki, Stephanie K.; Braaten, Bruce A.; t'Kint de Roodenbeke, Claire; Low, David A.; Hayes, Christopher S.

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is mediated by the CdiA/CdiB family of two-partner secretion proteins. Each CdiA protein exhibits a distinct growth inhibition activity, which resides in the polymorphic C-terminal region (CdiA-CT). CDI+ cells also express unique CdiI immunity proteins that specifically block the activity of cognate CdiA-CT, thereby protecting the cell from autoinhibition. Here we show that many CDI systems contain multiple cdiA gene fragments that encode CdiA-CT sequences. These “orphan” cdiA-CT genes are almost always associated with downstream cdiI genes to form cdiA-CT/cdiI modules. Comparative genome analyses suggest that cdiA-CT/cdiI modules are mobile and exchanged between the CDI systems of different bacteria. In many instances, orphan cdiA-CT/cdiI modules are fused to full-length cdiA genes in other bacterial species. Examination of cdiA-CT/cdiI modules from Escherichia coli EC93, E. coli EC869, and Dickeya dadantii 3937 confirmed that these genes encode functional toxin/immunity pairs. Moreover, the orphan module from EC93 was functional in cell-mediated CDI when fused to the N-terminal portion of the EC93 CdiA protein. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the genetic organization of CDI systems shares features with rhs (rearrangement hotspot) loci. Rhs proteins also contain polymorphic C-terminal regions (Rhs-CTs), some of which share significant sequence identity with CdiA-CTs. All rhs genes are followed by small ORFs representing possible rhsI immunity genes, and several Rhs systems encode orphan rhs-CT/rhsI modules. Analysis of rhs-CT/rhsI modules from D. dadantii 3937 demonstrated that Rhs-CTs have growth inhibitory activity, which is specifically blocked by cognate RhsI immunity proteins. Together, these results suggest that Rhs plays a role in intercellular competition and that orphan gene modules expand the diversity of toxic activities deployed by both CDI and Rhs systems. PMID:21829394

  5. A biomarker for the identification of swine fecal pollution in water, using the STII toxin gene from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Khatib, L A; Tsai, Y L; Olson, B H

    2003-12-01

    This research developed a PCR method to identify swine fecal pollution in water, using a portion of the STII toxin gene from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli as the target sequence. This method showed the gene to have a wide-spread geographical distribution and temporal stability; and the primers demonstrated high specificity, sensitivity, and reliability. A total of 110 DNA extracts from different animal fecal and human sewage samples were screened using the primers and no positives resulted. Centrifugation and filtration methods for concentrating E. coli seeded into stream, ocean, secondary effluent, and dairy lagoon waters resulted in detection limits at the femtogram and attogram levels. E. coli with the biomarker seeded into stream, ocean, and secondary effluent waters remained stable for approximately 2 weeks for all water types. Of the farm lagoon and waste samples tested, 94% were positive for the STII trait, regardless of the number of E. coli screened and 100% were positive when > or =35 E. coli isolates were screened. As the PCR product of the target sequence yielded a single band, the method is applicable to dot blot detection methodology, yielding great accuracy in determining the presence of swine fecal sources.

  6. Prevalence of staphylococcal enterotoxins, toxin genes and genetic-relatedness of foodborne Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated in the Marmara Region of Turkey.

    PubMed

    Aydin, Ali; Sudagidan, Mert; Muratoglu, Karlo

    2011-08-02

    Staphylococcus aureus is a major foodborne pathogen and it has the ability to produce a number of extracellular toxins. We analyzed 1070 food samples obtained from retail markets and dairy farms in the Marmara Region of Turkey for the presence of S. aureus. Out of 147 isolates, 92 (62.6%) were enterotoxigenic. PCR was used to investigate the presence of staphylococcal enterotoxin genes (sea, seb, sec, sed, see, seg, seh, sei, sej, sek, sel, sem, sen, seo, sep, seq and seu), exfoliative toxin genes (eta and etb) and the toxic-shock syndrome toxin gene (tst). The PCR results showed that 53.3% of the isolates contained staphylococcal enterotoxin-like (SEl) toxin genes (seg, seh, sei, sej, sek, sel, sem, sen, seo, sep, seq and seu) which were more frequent than classical enterotoxin genes (sea to see). Furthermore, seo, sei, sem, seg, seu and sec were found in 37.0, 32.7, 30.4, 29.3, 29.3 and 27.2% of the isolates, respectively. The tst gene was detected and confirmed by DNA sequencing in 9 isolates. The presence of eta and etb were not found in the isolates. Enterotoxigenic capabilities of isolates with SEA-SEE were investigated by ELISA. Enterotoxigenic S. aureus isolates produced one to three enterotoxins, with the most frequently produced types being enterotoxin A and C. There was a correlation of 72.1% between production of a specific toxin and the presence of the respective genes. PFGE analysis was used to identify genetic-relatedness of enterotoxigenic S. aureus isolates and the results revealed that 13 groups of isolates from different or the same origin that contained the same genes showed 100% homology with indistinguishable band patterns. The other enterotoxigenic isolates showed related band patterns with 72-86% homology in sea-, 61-90% homology in sec-, 80-96% homology in seh-, and 69-96% homology in sep-positive isolates. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine enterotoxins and related gene contents of S. aureus food isolates in the Marmara

  7. New variants of lepidoptericidal toxin genes encoding Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa proteins.

    PubMed

    Sauka, Diego H; Rodriguez, Sonia E; Benintende, Graciela B

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is an entomopathogenic bacterium characterized by producing parasporal proteinaceous insecticidal crystal inclusions during sporulation. Many strains are capable of also expressing other insecticidal proteins called Vip during the vegetative growing phase. Particularly, Vip3A proteins have activity against certain Lepidoptera species through a unique mechanism of action which emphasized their possible use in resistance management strategies against resistant pests. The aim of the work was to develop a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method that can distinguish between vip3A genes from B. thuringiensis strains. In addition, 4 novel vip3Aa genes were cloned and sequenced. The method was originally based on amplification of a single PCR amplicon and the use of 2 restriction enzymes with recognition sites that facilitate simultaneous detection. Subsequently, a third restriction enzyme was used to distinguish between vip3A variants. Thirteen vip3Aa genes were identified in strains belonging to 10 different B. thuringiensis serovars. Three intra-subclass variants of vip3Aa genes could be differentiated. The presented method can serve as an invaluable tool for the investigation of known and novel vip3A genes in B. thuringiensis strains. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report where variants of a same subclass of insecticidal genes could be distinguished following PCR-RFLP.

  8. [Establishment of a triplex real-time PCR for the detection of cholera toxin gene ctx and heat labile enterotoxin gene elt].

    PubMed

    Li, Jie; Kan, Biao; Zhang, Jingyun

    2014-06-01

    To establish a triplex TaqMan real-time PCR system containing internal amplification control (IAC) to detect cholera toxin gene ctxA and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)heat-labile enterotoxin gene elt. Primers and probes were designed based on the sequences of ctxA, elt and IAC. Both sensitivity and specificity were analyzed and interactions between different reactions were evaluated. This system showed that the sensitivity of ctxA was 94 copies/reaction while the elt 79 copies/reaction and the amplification efficiency were 94.7% and 98.1%, respectively. Under the ratio of copy numbers on gene ctxA to elt as between 1 : 1-1 : 10, when both targets were detected, with impact was less on each other. However, when the amount of elt or ctxA was 100 times of IAC, the amplification of IAC was significantly inhibited. This system showed both satisfactory sensitivity and specificity, thus could be used to detect pathogenic bacteria in diarrhea stools. The detection of IAC could prompt the presence of PCR inhibitors in samples being tested.

  9. Discovery of toxin-encoding genes from the false viper Macropisthodon rudis, a rear-fanged snake, by transcriptome analysis of venom gland.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhixiao; Zhang, Xi; Hu, Tingsong; Zhou, Weiguo; Cui, Qinghua; Tian, Jing; Zheng, Ying; Fan, Quanshui

    2015-11-01

    Although rear-fanged snakes are often considered as non-threatening to humans, some species are lethal or medically hazardous. The toxin components and bioactivities of front-fanged snakes have been extensively studied; however, only limited research has explored the venoms of rear-fanged snakes. The false viper, Macropisthodon rudis, is widespread in southern China, but little is known about the toxins that this snake produces. Here, we analyzed the transcriptome of the venom gland of M. rudis using high-throughput sequencing with an illumina HiSeq 2000. The raw data were assembled and annotated using public databases. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways and gene ontology (GO) were analyzed. Using sequence comparisons, snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) and a phosphodiesterase (PDE) were discovered in the venom gland of M. rudis.

  10. Toxin Plasmids of Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L.; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  11. Adeno-Associated Virus Transfer of a Gene Encoding SNAP-25 Resistant to Botulinum Toxin A Attenuates Neuromuscular Paralysis Associated with Botulism

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-04-02

    ideal system to evaluate such therapies is the blockade of neuromuscular transmission by botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A). Its light chain Zn 2...Brief Communications Adeno-Associated Virus Transfer of a Gene Encoding SNAP-25 Resistant to Botulinum Toxin A Attenuates Neuromuscular Paralysis...the neuromuscular paralysis induced by botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) as a prototype disease. Furthermore, because human botulism, occasionally

  12. Nucleotide sequence of the hemolysin I gene from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae.

    PubMed Central

    Frey, J; Meier, R; Gygi, D; Nicolet, J

    1991-01-01

    The DNA sequence of the gene encoding the structural protein of hemolysin I (HlyI) of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 strain 4074 was analyzed. The nucleotide sequence shows a 3,072-bp reading frame encoding a protein of 1,023 amino acids with a calculated molecular size of 110.1 kDa. This corresponds to the HlyI protein, which has an apparent molecular size on sodium dodecyl sulfate gels of 105 kDa. The structure of the protein derived from the DNA sequence shows three hydrophobic regions in the N-terminal part of the protein, 13 glycine-rich domains in the second half of the protein, and a hydrophilic C-terminal area, all of which are typical of the cytotoxins of the RTX (repeats in the structural toxin) toxin family. The derived amino acid sequence of HlyI shows 42% homology with the hemolysin of A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 5, 41% homology with the leukotoxin of Pasteurella haemolytica, and 56% homology with the Escherichia coli alpha-hemolysin. The 13 glycine-rich repeats and three hydrophobic areas of the HlyI sequence show more similarity to the E. coli alpha-hemolysin than to either the A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 5 hemolysin or the leukotoxin (while the last two are more similar to each other). Two types of RTX hemolysins therefore seem to be present in A. pleuropneumoniae, one (HlyI) resembling the alpha-hemolysin and a second more closely related to the leukotoxin. Ca(2+)-binding experiments using HlyI and recombinant A. pleuropneumoniae prohemolysin (HlyIA) that was produced in E. coli shows that HlyI binds 45Ca2+, probably because of the 13 glycine-rich repeated domains. Activation of the prohemolysin is not required for Ca2+ binding. Images PMID:1879928

  13. Genetic profiles of Shiga toxin and intimin genes found in stool broth cultures: a 2-year reference laboratory study.

    PubMed

    Michel, Pierre A; Kase, Julie A

    2009-10-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are associated with potentially serious illness in humans. STEC detection is often based on the presence of Stxs, Stx(1) and/or Stx(2), and intimin, encoded by the eae gene. A 2-year collection of stool broth cultures was tested for variants of stx(1), stx(2), and eae. Approximately 80% (138 of 174) were positive for stx(1) and/or stx(2), with stx(1) as the most prevalent (66%). Of the stx(1) variants, stx(1) was the most common (76%) followed by stx(1c) (22%). Analysis of stx(2)-positive isolates found 20 (53%) stx(2), 13 (34%) stx(2)/stx(2v-ha), 3 (8%) stx(2v-ha), 1 (3%) stx(2v-hb), and 1 (3%) stx(2d-activatable). Findings of stx(2)/stx(2v-ha) and stx(2d-activatable) are noteworthy given associations with hemolytic uremic syndrome and increased cytotoxicity, respectively. Of the Stx positive, 94 (68%) were eae positive with 31 (33%) eae(varepsilon1), 19 (20%) eae(gamma1), and 18 (19%) eae(beta1). A predominance of eae(varepsilon1) may suggest a new pathogenic significance because, reportedly, eae(beta1) is one of the most widespread variants.

  14. Heat-induced transcription of diphtheria toxin A or its variants, CRM176 and CRM197: implications for pancreatic cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Fogar, P; Navaglia, F; Basso, D; Zambon, C-F; Moserle, L; Indraccolo, S; Stranges, A; Greco, E; Fadi, E; Padoan, A; Pantano, G; Sanzari, M C; Pedrazzoli, S; Montecucco, C; Plebani, M

    2010-01-01

    Vectors combining the heat shock proteins (HSPs) promoter with the catalytic subunit A of the diphtheria toxin (DTA) or its variants, cross-reacting material (CRM) 176 and 197, were engineered to investigate the effect of bacterial toxins on pancreatic cancer (PC) cells. Three heat-inducible enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-expression vectors were obtained: V1 (91% homology to HSPA6), V2 (five heat shock elements upstream the minimal HSPA6 promoter) and V3 (V1 and V2 combined). The highest eGFP transcription and translation levels were found in V3 transfected PC cells. The V3 promoter was used to control DTA, CRM176 and CRM197 expression, treatment response being investigated in four PC cell lines. DTAwt or CRM176 transfected cell growth was completely arrested after heat shock. CRM197 toxin presumed to be inactive, caused mild distress at 37 degrees C and induced a 25-50% reduction in cell growth after heat shock. Preliminary in vivo findings showed that heat treatment arrests tumor growth in DTA197 stably transfected PSN1 cells. In conclusion, the efficient HSP promoter identified in this study may be extremely useful in controlling the transcription of toxins such as CRM197, which have lethal dose-related effects, and may thus be a promising tool in PC gene therapy in vivo.

  15. Tribolium castaneum immune defense genes are differentially expressed in response to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins sharing common receptor molecules and exhibiting disparate toxicity.

    PubMed

    Contreras, Estefanía; Benito-Jardón, María; López-Galiano, M José; Real, M Dolores; Rausell, Carolina

    2015-06-01

    In Tribolium castaneum larvae we have demonstrated by RNA interference knockdown that the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Ba toxin receptors Cadherin-like and Sodium solute symporter proteins are also functional receptors of the less active Cry3Aa toxin. Differences in susceptibility to B. thuringiensis infection might not only rely on toxin-receptor interaction but also on host defense mechanisms. We compared the expression of the immune related genes encoding Apolipophorin-III and two antimicrobial peptides, Defensin3 and Defensin2 after B. thuringiensis challenge. All three genes were up-regulated following Cry3Ba spore-crystal intoxication whereas only Defensins gene expression was induced upon Cry3Aa spore-crystal treatment, evidencing a possible association between host immune response and larval susceptibility to B. thuringiensis. We assessed the antimicrobial activity spectra of T. castaneum defensins peptide fragments and found that a peptide fragment of Defensin3 was effective against the human microbial pathogens, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans, being S. aureus the most susceptible one.

  16. Comprehensive analysis of gene expression profiles of the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua larvae challenged with Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa toxin.

    PubMed

    Bel, Yolanda; Jakubowska, Agata K; Costa, Juliana; Herrero, Salvador; Escriche, Baltasar

    2013-01-01

    Host-pathogen interactions result in complex relationship, many aspects of which are not completely understood. Vip proteins, which are Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins produced during the vegetative stage, are selectively effective against specific insect pests. This new group of Bt proteins represents an interesting alternative to the classical Bt Cry toxins because current data suggests that they do not share the same mode of action. We have designed and developed a genome-wide microarray for the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, a serious lepidopteran pest of many agricultural crops, and used it to better understand how lepidopteran larvae respond to the treatment with the insecticidal protein Vip3Aa. With this approach, the goal of our study was to evaluate the changes in gene expression levels caused by treatment with sublethal doses of Vip3Aa (causing 99% growth inhibition) at 8 and 24 h after feeding. Results indicated that the toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response, with 19% of the microarray unigenes responding significantly to treatment. The number of up- and down-regulated unigenes was very similar. The number of genes whose expression was regulated at 8 h was similar to the number of genes whose expression was regulated after 24 h of treatment. The up-regulated sequences were enriched for genes involved in innate immune response and in pathogen response such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and repat genes. The down-regulated sequences were mainly unigenes with homology to genes involved in metabolism. Genes related to the mode of action of Bt Cry proteins were found, in general, to be slightly overexpressed. The present study is the first genome-wide analysis of the response of lepidopteran insects to Vip3Aa intoxication. An insight into the molecular mechanisms and components related to Vip intoxication will allow designing of more effective management strategies for pest control.

  17. Comprehensive Analysis of Gene Expression Profiles of the Beet Armyworm Spodoptera exigua Larvae Challenged with Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Bel, Yolanda; Jakubowska, Agata K.; Costa, Juliana; Herrero, Salvador; Escriche, Baltasar

    2013-01-01

    Host-pathogen interactions result in complex relationship, many aspects of which are not completely understood. Vip proteins, which are Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins produced during the vegetative stage, are selectively effective against specific insect pests. This new group of Bt proteins represents an interesting alternative to the classical Bt Cry toxins because current data suggests that they do not share the same mode of action. We have designed and developed a genome-wide microarray for the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, a serious lepidopteran pest of many agricultural crops, and used it to better understand how lepidopteran larvae respond to the treatment with the insecticidal protein Vip3Aa. With this approach, the goal of our study was to evaluate the changes in gene expression levels caused by treatment with sublethal doses of Vip3Aa (causing 99% growth inhibition) at 8 and 24 h after feeding. Results indicated that the toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response, with 19% of the microarray unigenes responding significantly to treatment. The number of up- and down-regulated unigenes was very similar. The number of genes whose expression was regulated at 8 h was similar to the number of genes whose expression was regulated after 24 h of treatment. The up-regulated sequences were enriched for genes involved in innate immune response and in pathogen response such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and repat genes. The down-regulated sequences were mainly unigenes with homology to genes involved in metabolism. Genes related to the mode of action of Bt Cry proteins were found, in general, to be slightly overexpressed. The present study is the first genome-wide analysis of the response of lepidopteran insects to Vip3Aa intoxication. An insight into the molecular mechanisms and components related to Vip intoxication will allow designing of more effective management strategies for pest control. PMID:24312604

  18. Clostridium perfringens type A-E toxin plasmids.

    PubMed

    Freedman, John C; Theoret, James R; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Rood, Julian I; McClane, Bruce A

    2015-05-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell.

  19. Clostridium perfringens type A–E toxin plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, John C.; Theoret, James R.; Wisniewski, Jessica A.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.; McClane, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell. PMID:25283728

  20. Early direct and transneuronal effects in mice with targeted expression of a toxin gene to D1 dopamine receptor neurons.

    PubMed

    Padungchaichot, P; Wong, J Y; Natoli, A L; Massalas, J S; Finkelstein, D I; Lawrence, A L; Drago, J

    2000-01-01

    The neurochemical profile was examined at postnatal day 3-4 in mutant mice generated by in vivo Cre mediated activation of an attenuated diphtheria toxin gene inserted into the D1 dopamine receptor gene locus. An earlier study of this model had shown that D1 dopamine receptor, substance P and dynorphin were not expressed in the striatum. Quantitative in situ hybridization analysis showed an increase in D2 dopamine receptor and enkephalin messenger RNA expression. The nigrostriatal pathway in the mutant pups was intact with a normal number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental area in addition to a normal pattern of striatal dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity. Quantitative analysis of striatal dopamine transporter density using [3H]mazindol showed a reduction of 26% suggesting a degree of transneuronal down-regulation. There was also a 49% reduction of striatal GABA receptor binding and a 36% reduction of striatal muscarinic receptor binding in mutant pups. The number of healthy striatal neuropeptide Y-containing interneurons was also substantially down-regulated in the mutant striatum. In contrast, there was an increase in the number of striatal cholinergic interneurons. Down-regulated cortical GABA receptor and muscarinic receptor binding was also observed in addition to subtle morphological changes in the neuropeptide Y-expressing population of cortical neurons. The changes reflect the early cascade of events which follows the ablation of D1 dopamine receptor-positive cells. Although extensive changes in a number of striatal and cortical neurons were demonstrated, only subtle transneuronal effects were seen in the nigrostriatal pathway.

  1. RNA-Seq Analysis Identifies New Genes Regulated by the Histone-Like Nucleoid Structuring Protein (H-NS) Affecting Vibrio cholerae Virulence, Stress Response and Chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongxia; Ayala, Julio C.; Benitez, Jorge A.; Silva, Anisia J.

    2015-01-01

    The histone-like nucleoid structuring protein (H-NS) functions as a transcriptional silencer by binding to AT-rich sequences at bacterial promoters. However, H-NS repression can be counteracted by other transcription factors in response to environmental changes. The identification of potential toxic factors, the expression of which is prevented by H-NS could facilitate the discovery of new regulatory proteins that may contribute to the emergence of new pathogenic variants by anti-silencing. Vibrio cholerae hns mutants of the El Tor biotype exhibit altered virulence, motility and environmental stress response phenotypes compared to wild type. We used an RNA-seq analysis approach to determine the basis of the above hns phenotypes and identify new targets of H-NS transcriptional silencing. H-NS affected the expression of 18% of all predicted genes in a growth phase-dependent manner. Loss of H-NS resulted in diminished expression of numerous genes encoding methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins as well as chemotaxis toward the attractants glycine and serine. Deletion of hns also induced an endogenous envelope stress response resulting in elevated expression of rpoE encoding the extracytoplamic sigma factor E (σE). The RNA-seq analysis identified new genes directly repressed by H-NS that can affect virulence and biofilm development in the El Tor biotype cholera bacterium. We show that H-NS and the quorum sensing regulator HapR silence the transcription of the vieSAB three-component regulatory system in El Tor biotype V. cholerae. We also demonstrate that H-NS directly represses the transcription of hlyA (hemolysin), rtxCA (the repeat in toxin or RTX), rtxBDE (RTX transport) and the biosynthesis of indole. Of these genes, H-NS occupancy at the hlyA promoter was diminished by overexpression of the transcription activator HlyU. We discuss the role of H-NS transcriptional silencing in phenotypic differences exhibited by V. cholerae biotypes. PMID:25679988

  2. Pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  3. Astacin-like metalloproteases are a gene family of toxins present in the venom of different species of the brown spider (genus Loxosceles).

    PubMed

    Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Gremski, Luiza H; Chaim, Olga M; da Silveira, Rafael B; Meissner, Gabriel O; Mangili, Oldemir C; Barbaro, Katia C; Gremski, Waldemiro; Veiga, Silvio S; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea

    2010-01-01

    Brown spiders have a worldwide distribution, and their venom has a complex composition containing many different molecules. Herein, we report the existence of a family of astacin-like metalloprotease toxins in Loxosceles intermedia venom, as well as in the venom of different species of Loxosceles. Using a cDNA library from the L. intermedia venom gland, we cloned two novel cDNAs encoding astacin-like metalloprotease toxins, LALP2 and LALP3. Using an anti-serum against the previously described astacin-like toxin in L. intermedia venom (LALP1), we detected the presence of immunologically-related toxins in the venoms of L. intermedia, Loxosceles laeta, and Loxosceles gaucho. Zymographic experiments showed gelatinolytic activity of crude venoms of L. intermedia, L. laeta, and L. gaucho (which could be inhibited by the divalent metal chelator 1,10-phenanthroline) at electrophoretic mobilities identical to those reported for immunological cross-reactivity. Moreover, mRNAs extracted from L. laeta and L. gaucho venom glands were screened for astacin-like metalloproteases, and cDNAs obtained using LALP1-specific primers were sequenced, and their deduced amino acid sequences confirmed they were members of the astacin family with the family signatures (HEXXHXXGXXHE and MXY), LALP4 and LALP5, respectively. Sequence comparison of deduced amino acid sequences revealed that LALP2, LALP3, LALP4, and LALP5 are related to the astacin family. This study identified the existence of gene family of astacin-like toxins in the venoms of brown spiders and raises the possibility that these molecules are involved in the deleterious effects triggered by the venom. 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. Structure-Function Relationships Underlying the Capacity of Bordetella Adenylate Cyclase Toxin to Disarm Host Phagocytes.

    PubMed

    Novak, Jakub; Cerny, Ondrej; Osickova, Adriana; Linhartova, Irena; Masin, Jiri; Bumba, Ladislav; Sebo, Peter; Osicka, Radim

    2017-09-24

    Bordetellae, pathogenic to mammals, produce an immunomodulatory adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA, ACT or AC-Hly) that enables them to overcome the innate immune defense of the host. CyaA subverts host phagocytic cells by an orchestrated action of its functional domains, where an extremely catalytically active adenylyl cyclase enzyme is delivered into phagocyte cytosol by a pore-forming repeat-in-toxin (RTX) cytolysin moiety. By targeting sentinel cells expressing the complement receptor 3, known as the CD11b/CD18 (αMβ₂) integrin, CyaA compromises the bactericidal functions of host phagocytes and supports infection of host airways by Bordetellae. Here, we review the state of knowledge on structural and functional aspects of CyaA toxin action, placing particular emphasis on signaling mechanisms by which the toxin-produced 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) subverts the physiology of phagocytic cells.

  5. Screening, detection, and serotyping methods for toxin genes and enterotoxins in Staphylococcus strains.

    PubMed

    Hait, Jennifer M; Tallent, Sandra M; Bennett, Reginald W

    2014-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus continues to play a significant role in foodborne outbreak investigations, with numerous individuals sickened each year after ingesting assorted foods contaminated with staphylococcal enterotoxins. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of several methods for the screening, detection, and enterotoxin serotyping of staphylococcal bacterial strains for classical staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs; SEA, SEB, SEC, SED, and SEE) and the newly described SE and SE-like enterotoxin genes (seg, seh, sei, sej, sek, sel, sem, sen, seo, sep, seq, ser, ses, set, and seu). Inclusivity and exclusivity panels of staphylococcal strains were tested using a multiplex PCR method in addition to three polyvalent commercially prepared ELISA systems for the detection of SEA-SEE and one monovalent assay for the identification of classical SE serotypes. The results indicate an overall agreement between serological detection methods with a few exceptions, and molecular characterization identified an abundance of SE and SE-like enterotoxin genes including several potentially enterotoxigenic isolates that would have otherwise been missed by ELISA-based methods. These findings demonstrate the significance of PCR for future screening purposes and the use of ELISA systems for the detection and enterotoxin serotyping of staphylococcal bacterial strains.

  6. PCR amplfication on a microarray of gel-immobilized oligonucleotides : detection of bacterial toxin- and drug-resistent genes and their mutations.

    SciTech Connect

    Strizhkov, B. N.; Drobyshev, A. L.; Mikhailovich, V. M.; Mirzabekov, A. D.; Biochip Technology Center; Engelhardt Inst. of Molecular Biology

    2000-10-01

    PCR amplification on a microarray of gel-immobilized primers (microchip) has been developed. One of a pair of PCR primers was immobilized inside a separate microchip polyacrylamide porous gel pad of 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.02 (or 0.04) micron in size and 0.2 (or 0.4) nL in volume. The amplification was carried out simultaneously both in solution covering the microchip array and inside gel pads. Each gel pad contained the immobilized forward primers, while the fluorescently labeled reverse primers, as well as all components of the amplification reaction, diffused into the gel pads from the solution. To increase the amplification efficiency, the forward primers were also added into the solution. The kinetics of amplification was measured in real time in parallel for all gel pads with a fluorescent microscope equipped with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. The accuracy of the amplification was assessed by using the melting curves obtained for the duplexes formed by the labeled amplification product and the gel-immobilized primers during the amplification process; alternatively, the duplexes were produced by hybridization of the extended immobilized primers with labeled oligonucleotide probes. The on-chip amplification was applied to detect the anthrax toxin genes and the plasmid-borne beta-lactamase gene responsible for bacterial ampicillin resistance. The allele-specific type of PCR amplification was used to identify the Shiga toxin gene and discriminate it from the Shiga-like one. The genomic mutations responsible for rifampicin resistance of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains were detected by the same type of PCR amplification of the rpoB gene fragment isolated from sputum of tuberculosis patients. The on-chip PCR amplification has been shown to be a rapid, inexpensive and powerful tool to test genes responsible for bacterial toxin production and drug resistance, as well as to reveal point nucleotide mutations.

  7. Detection of fimbrial and toxin genes in Escherichia coli and their prevalence in piglets with diarrhoea. The application of colony hybridization assay, polymerase chain reaction and phenotypic assays.

    PubMed

    Ojeniyi, B; Ahrens, P; Meyling, A

    1994-03-01

    Two different genotypic methods, colony hybridization and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), were applied to detect enterotoxin, verotoxin and fimbrial genes in 708 Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains from piglets with diarrhoea. The results were compared with those obtained by phenotypic methods. DNA fragments specific for each of the enterotoxins LT, STa and STb, the verotoxins VT1, VT2 and VT2v, and for each of the fimbrial genes K88 (F4), K99 (F5), 987P (F6), F41 and F107, respectively, were used as probes in a colony hybridization assay of the E. coli strains. A PCR assay was used as genotypic test for the verotoxin gene. An Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using monoclonal antibodies was performed to test for the presence of K88 and K99 fimbriae, and a Vero cell test was performed to test for verotoxin production. Toxin detection kits were applied to detect the E. coli heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) and the heat-stable (STa) enterotoxin. The correlation between the results obtained by genotypic and phenotypic methods was 97.7-100%. The prevalence of the different fimbrial and toxin genes in E. coli strains from piglets with neonatal and postweaning diarrhoea were recorded. The verotoxin and the fimbrial F107 genes were found to be more frequent in postweaning E. coli strains than in neonatal E. coli strains.

  8. Occurrence, genotyping, shiga toxin genes and associated risk factors of E. coli isolated from dairy farms, handlers and milk consumers.

    PubMed

    Awadallah, M A; Ahmed, H A; Merwad, A M; Selim, M A

    2016-11-01

    The objectives of the current study were to determine the occurrence and genotypes of E. coli in dairy farms, workers and milk consumers and to evaluate risk factors associated with contamination of milk in dairy farms. Molecular characterization of shiga toxin associated genes and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR (ERIC-PCR) finger printing of E. coli from different sources were also studied. Paired milk samples and rectal swabs from 125 dairy cows, rectal swabs from 82 calves and hand swabs from 45 dairy workers from five dairy farms were collected. In addition, 100 stool samples from 70 diarrheic and 30 healthy humans were collected and examined for the presence of E. coli. E. coli was isolated from milk (22.4%), dairy cattle feces (33.6%), calf feces (35.4%), dairy worker hand swabs (11.1%) and stools of milk consumers (2%, from diarrheic patients only). Only stx1 was identified in seven of 12 E. coli O125 isolated from different sources. High genetic diversity was determined (Simpson's index of diversity, D = 1) and E. coli O125 isolates were classified into 12 distinct profiles, E1-E12. The dendrogram analysis showed that two main clusters were generated. Mastitis in dairy cows was considered a risk factor associated with contamination of the produced milk with E. coli. The isolation of E. coli from rectal swabs of dairy cows and calves poses a zoonotic risk through consumption of unpasteurized contaminated dairy milk. Educational awareness should be developed to address risks related to consumption of raw milk.

  9. Botulinum Toxin A Upregulates Rac1, Cdc42, and RhoA Gene Expression in a Dose-Dependent Manner: In Vivo and in Vitro Study.

    PubMed

    Park, Tae Hwan; Park, Ji Hae; Chang, Choong Hyun; Rah, Dong Kyun

    2016-03-01

    Angiogenesis is the development of new capillaries from existing blood vessels and is a prerequisite for the wound-healing process. Many lines of scientific evidences have shown that complicated roles of small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) (ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 [Rac1], cell division control protein 42 [Cdc42], and ras homolog gene family, member A [RhoA]) in regulation of signal transduction pathways exist to transmit distinct cellular effects on the modulation of actin cytoskeleton remodeling such as cell cycle progression, cell survival, and cell motility. In addition, these small GTPases activate mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAP3Ks) leading to activated mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKK), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and various transcription factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor with involvement of MAPK signaling pathways.In this study, the authors hypothesized that botulinum toxin A increases angiogenesis via the expression of small GTPases in vivo and in vitro studies.In vivo experiment, 24 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 2 groups: a control group and a botulinum toxin A group. Five days prior to superiorly based transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap elevation, the botulinum toxin A (BoTA) group was pretreated with BoTA, while the control group was pretreated with normal saline. quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to evaluate the expression of Rac1, RhoA, and Cdc42.The angiogenic effects of botulinum toxin A on human dermal fibroblasts were measured in vitro experiment. To understand the mechanism of botulinum toxin A on small GTPases production of fibroblasts, Rac1, Cdc42, and RhoA were measured using qRT-PCR.The relative messenger ribonucleic acid expression of Rac1, RhoA, and Cdc42 was significantly higher in the BoTA group than in the control group, in every zone and pedicle muscle, on postoperative days 1, 3, and 5

  10. A new pyrosequencing assay for rapid detection and genotyping of Shiga toxin, intimin and O157-specific rfbE genes of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Goji, Noriko; Mathews, Amit; Huszczynski, George; Laing, Chad R; Gannon, Victor P J; Graham, Morag R; Amoako, Kingsley K

    2015-02-01

    Shiga toxin (stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) contamination in food and water is one of the most recognized concerns and a major financial burden in human hygiene control worldwide. Rapid and highly reliable methods of detecting and identifying STEC causing gastroenteric illnesses are crucial to prevent foodborne outbreaks. A number of tests have been developed and commercialized to detect STEC using molecular microbiology techniques. Most of these are designed to identify virulence factors such as Shiga toxin and intimin as well as E. coli O and H antigen serotype specific genes. In order to screen pathogenic STEC without relying on O:H serotyping, we developed a rapid detection and genotyping assay for STEC virulence genes using a PCR-pyrosequencing application. We adapted the PyroMark Q24 Pyrosequencing platform for subtyping 4 major virulence genes, Shiga toxin 1 and 2 (stx1 and stx2), intimin (eae) and O157-antigen gene cluster target rfbE, using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) analysis. A total of 224 E. coli strains including isolates from Canadian environment, food and clinical cases were examined. Based on the multiple alignment analysis of 30-80 base nucleotide pyrogram reads, three alleles of the Shiga toxin 1a gene (stx1a) (stx1a-I, stx1a-II, stx1a-III) were identified. Results of the stx1, stx2, eae and rfbE genotyping revealed that each group of O:H serotype shares distinctive characteristics that could be associated with the virulence of each genotype. O157:H7/NM carries stx1a-II (94%), stx2a (82%), λ/γ1-eae (100%) and rfbE type-H7/NM (100%). Whereas isolates of the "Top-6" serotypes (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145) had a high incidence of stx1a-I (90%) and stx2a (100%). stx1a-III (60%) was only observed in non Top-7 (Top-6 plus O157) STEC and Shigella spp. The entire assay, from extracting DNA from colonies on a plate to the generation of sequence information, can be completed in 5h. The method of profiling these 4 STEC pathogenic

  11. Spatial soil heterogeneity has a greater effect on symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and plant growth than genetic modification with Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Cheeke, Tanya E; Schütte, Ursel M; Hemmerich, Chris M; Cruzan, Mitchell B; Rosenstiel, Todd N; Bever, James D

    2015-05-01

    Maize, genetically modified with the insect toxin genes of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), is widely cultivated, yet its impacts on soil organisms are poorly understood. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbiotic associations with plant roots and may be uniquely sensitive to genetic changes within a plant host. In this field study, the effects of nine different lines of Bt maize and their corresponding non-Bt parental isolines were evaluated on AMF colonization and community diversity in plant roots. Plants were harvested 60 days after sowing, and data were collected on plant growth and per cent AMF colonization of roots. AMF community composition in roots was assessed using 454 pyrosequencing of the 28S rRNA genes, and spatial variation in mycorrhizal communities within replicated experimental field plots was examined. Growth responses, per cent AMF colonization of roots and AMF community diversity in roots did not differ between Bt and non-Bt maize, but root and shoot biomass and per cent colonization by arbuscules varied by maize cultivar. Plot identity had the most significant effect on plant growth, AMF colonization and AMF community composition in roots, indicating spatial heterogeneity in the field. Mycorrhizal fungal communities in maize roots were autocorrelated within approximately 1 m, but at greater distances, AMF community composition of roots differed between plants. Our findings indicate that spatial variation and heterogeneity in the field has a greater effect on the structure of AMF communities than host plant cultivar or modification by Bt toxin genes.

  12. Abundance in Sewage of Bacteriophages That Infect Escherichia coli O157:H7 and That Carry the Shiga Toxin 2 Gene

    PubMed Central

    Muniesa, Maite; Jofre, Juan

    1998-01-01

    Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophages are involved in the pathogenicity of some enteric bacteria, such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, but data on the occurrence and distribution of such phages as free particles in nature were not available. An experimental approach has been developed to detect the presence of the Shiga toxin 2 (Stx 2)-encoding bacteriophages in sewage. The Stx 2 gene was amplified by PCR from phages concentrated from 10-ml samples of sewage. Moreover, the phages carrying the Stx 2 gene were detected in supernatants from bacteriophage enrichment cultures by using an Stx 2-negative E. coli O157:H7 strain infected with phages purified from volumes of sewage as small as 0.02 ml. Additionally, the A subunit of Stx 2 was detected in the supernatants of the bacteriophage enrichment cultures, which also showed cytotoxic activity for Vero cells. By enrichment of phages concentrated from different volumes of sewage and applying the most-probable-number technique, it was estimated that the number of phages infectious for E. coli O157:H7 and carrying the Stx 2 gene was in the range of 1 to 10 per ml of sewage from two different origins. These values were approximately 1% of all phages infecting E. coli O157:H7. PMID:9647813

  13. Genetic Relatedness of Clostridium difficile Isolates from Various Origins Determined by Triple-Locus Sequence Analysis Based on Toxin Regulatory Genes tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR▿

    PubMed Central

    Bouvet, Philippe J. M.; Popoff, Michel R.

    2008-01-01

    A triple-locus nucleotide sequence analysis based on toxin regulatory genes tcdC, tcdR and cdtR was initiated to assess the sequence variability of these genes among Clostridium difficile isolates and to study the genetic relatedness between isolates. A preliminary investigation of the variability of the tcdC gene was done with 57 clinical and veterinary isolates. Twenty-three isolates representing nine main clusters were selected for tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR analysis. The numbers of alleles found for tcdC, tcdR and cdtR were nine, six, and five, respectively. All strains possessed the cdtR gene except toxin A-negative toxin B-positive variants. All but one binary toxin CDT-positive isolate harbored a deletion (>1 bp) in the tcdC gene. The combined analyses of the three genes allowed us to distinguish five lineages correlated with the different types of deletion in tcdC, i.e., 18 bp (associated or not with a deletion at position 117), 36 bp, 39 bp, and 54 bp, and with the wild-type tcdC (no deletion). The tcdR and tcdC genes, though located within the same pathogenicity locus, were found to have evolved separately. Coevolution of the three genes was noted only with strains harboring a 39-bp or a 54-bp deletion in tcdC that formed two homogeneous, separate divergent clusters. Our study supported the existence of the known clones (PCR ribotype 027 isolates and toxin A-negative toxin B-positive C. difficile variants) and evidence for clonality of isolates with a 39-bp deletion (toxinotype V, PCR ribotype 078) that are frequently isolated worldwide from human infections and from food animals. PMID:18832125

  14. Comparative performance of the GeneXpert C. difficile PCR assay and C. diff Quik Chek Complete kit assay for detection of Clostridium difficile antigen and toxins in symptomatic community-onset infections.

    PubMed

    Jamal, Wafaa; Pauline, Eunice M; Rotimi, Vincent O

    2014-12-01

    To evaluate the performance of the GeneXpert C. difficile assay and C. diff Quik Chek Complete (QCC) kit for the detection of toxins from fecal specimens and cooked meat broth (CMB) culture using toxigenic stool culture as reference method, for the diagnosis of C. difficile infection (CDI) in a community setting. Non-repeat stool samples were tested simultaneously by GeneXpert and QCC. Toxin detection was done on neat stool samples, inoculated CMB, and isolated colonies. Nineteen (4.6%) of 409 samples were positive for glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) in stool and CMB by the QCC assay; seven (1.7%) were positive for both GDH and toxins A/B. The sensitivities of QCC to detect C. difficile toxin directly in stool specimens and CMB were 68.4% and 100%, respectively, while specificities were 100% and 83%, respectively. C. difficile toxin was detected in 10 (2.5%) specimens and 13 (3.2%) CMB. Thirteen (68.4%) of 19 isolates were positive for C. difficile toxin by GeneXpert and QCC and were taken as the reference toxigenic culture. The disease burden was thus 3.2%. The sensitivities of GeneXpert in stool and CMB were 81.3% and 100%, respectively, while specificities were 100% and 100%, respectively. The GeneXpert assay was more sensitive than QCC for the detection of C. difficile toxin in stool, but both assays were highly specific. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Toxin Gene Contents and Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis Strains Against Two Sugarcane Borer Species, Diatraea saccharalis (F.) and D. flavipennella (Box).

    PubMed

    Silva, L M; Silva, M C; Silva, S M F A; Alves, R C; Siqueira, H A A; Marques, E J

    2017-09-02

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) bears essential characteristics in the control of insect pests, such as its unique mode of action, which confers specificity and selectivity. This study assessed cry gene contents from Bt strains and their entomotoxicity against Diatraea saccharalis (F.) and Diatraea flavipennella (Box) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Bioassays with Bt strains were performed against neonates to evaluate their lethal and sublethal activities and were further analyzed by PCR, using primers to identify toxin genes. For D. saccharalis and D. flavipennella, 16 and 18 strains showed over 30% larval mortality in the 7th day, respectively. The LC50 values of strains for D. saccharalis varied from 0.08 × 10(5) (LIIT-0105) to 4104 × 10(5) (LIIT-2707) spores + crystals mL(-1). For D. flavipennella, the LC50 values of strains varied from 0.40 × 10(5) (LIIT-2707) to 542 × 10(5) (LIIT-2109) spores + crystals mL(-1). For the LIIT-0105 strain, which was the most toxic to D. saccharalis, the genes cry1Aa, cry1Ab, cry1Ac, cry1B, cry1C, cry1D, cry1F, cry1I, cry2Aa, cry2Ab, cry8, and cry9C were detected, whereas for the strain LIIT-2707, which was the most toxic to D. flavipennella, detected genes were cry1Aa, cry1Ab, cry1Ac, cry1B, cry1D, cry1F, cry1I, cry2Aa, cry2Ab, and cry9. The toxicity data and toxin gene content in these strains of Bt suggest a great variability of activity with potential to be used in the development of novel biopesticides or as source of resistance genes that can be expressed in plants to control pests.

  16. MAPK signaling pathway alters expression of midgut ALP and ABCC genes and causes resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin in diamondback moth.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaojiang; Kang, Shi; Chen, Defeng; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhu, Xun; Baxter, Simon W; Zhou, Xuguo; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-04-01

    Insecticidal crystal toxins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used as biopesticide sprays or expressed in transgenic crops to control insect pests. However, large-scale use of Bt has led to field-evolved resistance in several lepidopteran pests. Resistance to Bt Cry1Ac toxin in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), was previously mapped to a multigenic resistance locus (BtR-1). Here, we assembled the 3.15 Mb BtR-1 locus and found high-level resistance to Cry1Ac and Bt biopesticide in four independent P. xylostella strains were all associated with differential expression of a midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP) outside this locus and a suite of ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily C (ABCC) genes inside this locus. The interplay between these resistance genes is controlled by a previously uncharacterized trans-regulatory mechanism via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Molecular, biochemical, and functional analyses have established ALP as a functional Cry1Ac receptor. Phenotypic association experiments revealed that the recessive Cry1Ac resistance was tightly linked to down-regulation of ALP, ABCC2 and ABCC3, whereas it was not linked to up-regulation of ABCC1. Silencing of ABCC2 and ABCC3 in susceptible larvae reduced their susceptibility to Cry1Ac but did not affect the expression of ALP, whereas suppression of MAP4K4, a constitutively transcriptionally-activated MAPK upstream gene within the BtR-1 locus, led to a transient recovery of gene expression thereby restoring the susceptibility in resistant larvae. These results highlight a crucial role for ALP and ABCC genes in field-evolved resistance to Cry1Ac and reveal a novel trans-regulatory signaling mechanism responsible for modulating the expression of these pivotal genes in P. xylostella.

  17. MAPK Signaling Pathway Alters Expression of Midgut ALP and ABCC Genes and Causes Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac Toxin in Diamondback Moth

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhu, Xun; Baxter, Simon W.; Zhou, Xuguo; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-01-01

    Insecticidal crystal toxins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used as biopesticide sprays or expressed in transgenic crops to control insect pests. However, large-scale use of Bt has led to field-evolved resistance in several lepidopteran pests. Resistance to Bt Cry1Ac toxin in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), was previously mapped to a multigenic resistance locus (BtR-1). Here, we assembled the 3.15 Mb BtR-1 locus and found high-level resistance to Cry1Ac and Bt biopesticide in four independent P. xylostella strains were all associated with differential expression of a midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP) outside this locus and a suite of ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily C (ABCC) genes inside this locus. The interplay between these resistance genes is controlled by a previously uncharacterized trans-regulatory mechanism via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Molecular, biochemical, and functional analyses have established ALP as a functional Cry1Ac receptor. Phenotypic association experiments revealed that the recessive Cry1Ac resistance was tightly linked to down-regulation of ALP, ABCC2 and ABCC3, whereas it was not linked to up-regulation of ABCC1. Silencing of ABCC2 and ABCC3 in susceptible larvae reduced their susceptibility to Cry1Ac but did not affect the expression of ALP, whereas suppression of MAP4K4, a constitutively transcriptionally-activated MAPK upstream gene within the BtR-1 locus, led to a transient recovery of gene expression thereby restoring the susceptibility in resistant larvae. These results highlight a crucial role for ALP and ABCC genes in field-evolved resistance to Cry1Ac and reveal a novel trans-regulatory signaling mechanism responsible for modulating the expression of these pivotal genes in P. xylostella. PMID:25875245

  18. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins (NAPs). The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presenc...

  19. Virulence gene profiles of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from fecal samples of finishing swine

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are important pathogens responsible for food-borne outbreaks and serious illness including hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Certain STEC serogroups may cause edema disease in swine; and similar to cattle, swine have been shown to be a ...

  20. Distribution of virulence-associated genes and genetic relationships in non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae aquatic isolates from China.

    PubMed

    Li, Fengjuan; Du, Pengcheng; Li, Baisheng; Ke, Changwen; Chen, Aiping; Chen, Jie; Zhou, Haijian; Li, Jie; Morris, J Glenn; Kan, Biao; Wang, Duochun

    2014-08-01

    Non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae is naturally present in aquatic ecosystems and has been linked with cholera-like diarrhea and local outbreaks. The distribution of virulence-associated genes and genetic relationships among aquatic isolates from China are largely unknown. In this study, 295 aquatic isolates of V. cholerae non-O1/O139 serogroups from different regions in China were investigated. Only one isolate was positive for ctxB and harbored a rare genotype; 10 (3.4%) isolates carried several types of rstR sequences, eight of which carried rare types of toxin-coregulated pili (tcpA). Furthermore, 16 (5.4%) isolates carried incomplete (with partial open reading frames [ORFs]) vibrio seventh pandemic island I (VSP-I) or VSP-II clusters, which were further classified as 11 novel types. PCR-based analyses revealed remarkable variations in the distribution of putative virulence genes, including mshA (95.6%), hlyA (95.3%), rtxC (89.8%), rtxA (82.7%), IS1004 (52.9%), chxA (30.2%), SXT (15.3%), type III secretion system (18.0%), and NAG-ST (3.7%) genes. There was no correlation between the prevalence of putative virulence genes and that of CTX prophage or TCP genes, whereas there were correlations among the putative virulence genes. Further multilocus sequence typing (MLST) placed selected isolates (n = 70) into 69 unique sequence types (STs), which were different from those of the toxigenic O1 and O139 counterparts, and each isolate occupied a different position in the MLST tree. The V. cholerae non-O1/O139 aquatic isolates predominant in China have high genotypic diversity; these strains constitute a reservoir of potential virulence genes, which may contribute to evolution of pathogenic isolates. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Distribution of Virulence-Associated Genes and Genetic Relationships in Non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae Aquatic Isolates from China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fengjuan; Du, Pengcheng; Li, Baisheng; Ke, Changwen; Chen, Aiping; Chen, Jie; Zhou, Haijian; Li, Jie; Morris, J. Glenn

    2014-01-01

    Non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae is naturally present in aquatic ecosystems and has been linked with cholera-like diarrhea and local outbreaks. The distribution of virulence-associated genes and genetic relationships among aquatic isolates from China are largely unknown. In this study, 295 aquatic isolates of V. cholerae non-O1/O139 serogroups from different regions in China were investigated. Only one isolate was positive for ctxB and harbored a rare genotype; 10 (3.4%) isolates carried several types of rstR sequences, eight of which carried rare types of toxin-coregulated pili (tcpA). Furthermore, 16 (5.4%) isolates carried incomplete (with partial open reading frames [ORFs]) vibrio seventh pandemic island I (VSP-I) or VSP-II clusters, which were further classified as 11 novel types. PCR-based analyses revealed remarkable variations in the distribution of putative virulence genes, including mshA (95.6%), hlyA (95.3%), rtxC (89.8%), rtxA (82.7%), IS1004 (52.9%), chxA (30.2%), SXT (15.3%), type III secretion system (18.0%), and NAG-ST (3.7%) genes. There was no correlation between the prevalence of putative virulence genes and that of CTX prophage or TCP genes, whereas there were correlations among the putative virulence genes. Further multilocus sequence typing (MLST) placed selected isolates (n = 70) into 69 unique sequence types (STs), which were different from those of the toxigenic O1 and O139 counterparts, and each isolate occupied a different position in the MLST tree. The V. cholerae non-O1/O139 aquatic isolates predominant in China have high genotypic diversity; these strains constitute a reservoir of potential virulence genes, which may contribute to evolution of pathogenic isolates. PMID:24907334

  2. TetR is a positive regulator of the tetanus toxin gene in Clostridium tetani and is homologous to botR.

    PubMed

    Marvaud, J C; Eisel, U; Binz, T; Niemann, H; Popoff, M R

    1998-12-01

    The TetR gene immediately upstream from the tetanus toxin (TeTx) gene was characterized. It encodes a 21,562-Da protein which is related (50 to 65% identity) to the equivalent genes (botR) in Clostridium botulinum. TetR has the feature of a DNA binding protein with a basic pI (9.53). It contains a helix-turn-helix motif and shows 29% identity with other putative regulatory genes in Clostridium, i.e., uviA from C. perfringens and txeR from C. difficile. We report for the first time the transformation of C. tetani by electroporation, which permitted us to investigate the function of tetR. Overexpression of tetR in C. tetani induced an increase in TeTx production and in the level of the corresponding mRNA. This indicates that TetR is a transcriptional activator of the TeTx gene. Overexpression of botR/A (60% identity with TetR at the amino acid level) in C. tetani induced an increase in TeTx production comparable to that for overexpression of tetR. However, botR/C (50% identity with TetR at the amino acid level) was less efficient. This supports that TetR positively regulates the TeTx gene in C. tetani and that a conserved mechanism of regulation of the neurotoxin genes is involved in C. tetani and C. botulinum.

  3. TetR Is a Positive Regulator of the Tetanus Toxin Gene in Clostridium tetani and Is Homologous to BotR

    PubMed Central

    Marvaud, Jean-Christophe; Eisel, Ulrich; Binz, Thomas; Niemann, Heiner; Popoff, Michel R.

    1998-01-01

    The TetR gene immediately upstream from the tetanus toxin (TeTx) gene was characterized. It encodes a 21,562-Da protein which is related (50 to 65% identity) to the equivalent genes (botR) in Clostridium botulinum. TetR has the feature of a DNA binding protein with a basic pI (9.53). It contains a helix-turn-helix motif and shows 29% identity with other putative regulatory genes in Clostridium, i.e., uviA from C. perfringens and txeR from C. difficile. We report for the first time the transformation of C. tetani by electroporation, which permitted us to investigate the function of tetR. Overexpression of tetR in C. tetani induced an increase in TeTx production and in the level of the corresponding mRNA. This indicates that TetR is a transcriptional activator of the TeTx gene. Overexpression of botR/A (60% identity with TetR at the amino acid level) in C. tetani induced an increase in TeTx production comparable to that for overexpression of tetR. However, botR/C (50% identity with TetR at the amino acid level) was less efficient. This supports that TetR positively regulates the TeTx gene in C. tetani and that a conserved mechanism of regulation of the neurotoxin genes is involved in C. tetani and C. botulinum. PMID:9826344

  4. Comparative possession of Shiga toxin, intimin, enterohaemolysin and major extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) genes in Escherichia coli isolated from backyard and farmed poultry

    PubMed Central

    Samanta, I.; Joardar, S. N.; Das, P. K.; Sar, T. K.

    2015-01-01

    The present work was conducted to compare the occurrence of Escherichia coli possessing virulence and ESBL genes in backyard and farmed poultry. Three hundred and sixty samples from the poultry kept in backyard system and 120 samples from the farmed birds were collected from West Bengal, India. Among the E. coli isolates of backyard poultry (O2, O10, O25, O55, O60, O106, UT), none of them possessed any of the Shiga toxin genes and eight E. coli isolates (8/272; 2.9%) harboured eaeA gene alone. Whereas among the E. coli isolated from the farmed poultry (O17, O20, O22, O102, O114, O119, rough, UT), four isolates (4/78, 5.1%) harboured stx1/stx2 gene and 11 isolates (11/78, 14.1%) possessed eaeA gene. None of the E. coli isolates from the backyard poultry harboured any studied ESBL gene. Whereas 29.4% of E. coli isolates from the farmed poultry were found to possess the ESBL genes. PMID:27175158

  5. Resiniferatoxin and botulinum toxin type A for treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms.

    PubMed

    Cruz, Francisco; Dinis, Paulo

    2007-10-01

    Resiniferatoxin (RTX) and botulinum toxin subtype A (BTX-A) are increasingly viewed as potential treatments for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) refractory to conventional therapy. RTX, a capsaicin analogue devoid of severe pungent properties, acts by desensitizing the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor and inactivating C-fibers. BTX-A cleaves soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins in afferent and efferent nerve endings, therefore impeding the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the neuronal membrane necessary for the release of neurotransmitters. In patients with neurogenic and idiopathic detrusor overactivity, RTX and BTX-A have been shown to increase the volume to first detrusor contraction, increase bladder capacity, and improve urinary incontinence and quality of life. Recent data also suggest a role for these neurotoxins in treating urgency, the primary symptom in overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome. Furthermore, experimental data strongly support the use of both neurotoxins in the treatment of pain and frequency in patients with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS), although the results from available clinical trials for this use are still inconclusive. In spite of promising results overall, it should be made clear that the administration of these neurotoxins is still considered an experimental procedure and that more clinical studies are necessary before a license for their use will be issued by health authorities.

  6. Hydra actinoporin-like toxin-1, an unusual hemolysin from the nematocyst venom of Hydra magnipapillata which belongs to an extended gene family.

    PubMed

    Glasser, Eliezra; Rachamim, Tamar; Aharonovich, Dikla; Sher, Daniel

    2014-12-01

    Cnidarians rely on their nematocysts and the venom injected through these unique weaponry systems to catch prey and protect themselves from predators. The development and physiology of the nematocysts of Hydra magnipapillata, a classic model organism, have been intensively studied, yet the composition and biochemical activity of their venom components are mostly unknown. Here, we show that hydra actinoporin-like toxins (HALTs), which have previously been associated with Hydra nematocysts, belong to a multigene family comprising six genes, which have diverged from a single common ancestor. All six genes are expressed in a population of Hydra magnipapillata. When expressed recombinantly, HALT-1 (Δ-HYTX-Hma1a), an actinoporin-like protein found in the stenoteles (the main penetrating nematocysts used in prey capture), reveals hemolytic activity, albeit about two-thirds lower than that of the anemone actinoporin equinatoxin II (EqTII, Δ-AITX-Aeq1a). HALT-1 also differs from EqTII in the size of its pores, and likely does not utilize sphingomyelin as a membrane receptor. We describe features of the HALT-1 sequence which may contribute to this difference in activity, and speculate on the role of this unusual family of pore-forming toxins in the ecology of Hydra. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Safety assessment of the Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588® probiotic strain including evaluation of antimicrobial sensitivity and presence of Clostridium toxin genes in vitro and teratogenicity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Isa, K; Oka, K; Beauchamp, N; Sato, M; Wada, K; Ohtani, K; Nakanishi, S; McCartney, E; Tanaka, M; Shimizu, T; Kamiya, S; Kruger, C; Takahashi, M

    2016-08-01

    Probiotics are live microorganisms ingested for the purpose of conferring a health benefit on the host. Development of new probiotics includes the need for safety evaluations that should consider factors such as pathogenicity, infectivity, virulence factors, toxicity, and metabolic activity. Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588(®) (CBM 588(®)), an anaerobic spore-forming bacterium, has been developed as a probiotic for use by humans and food animals. Safety studies of this probiotic strain have been conducted and include assessment of antimicrobial sensitivity, documentation of the lack of Clostridium toxin genes, and evaluation of CBM 588(®) on reproductive and developmental toxicity in a rodent model. With the exception of aminoglycosides, to which anaerobes are intrinsically resistant, CBM 588(®) showed sensitivity to all antibiotic classes important in human and animal therapeutics. In addition, analysis of the CBM 588(®) genome established the absence of genes for encoding for α, β, or ε toxins and botulin neurotoxins types A, B, E, or F. There were no deleterious reproductive and developmental effects observed in mice associated with the administration of CBM 588(®) These data provide further support for the safety of CBM 588(®) for use as a probiotic in animals and humans.

  8. A sequence-based two-level method for the prediction of type I secreted RTX proteins.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jiesi; Li, Wenling; Liu, Zhongyu; Guo, Yanzhi; Pu, Xuemei; Li, Menglong

    2015-05-07

    Many Gram-negative bacteria use the type I secretion system (T1SS) to translocate a wide range of substrates (type I secreted RTX proteins, T1SRPs) from the cytoplasm across the inner and outer membrane in one step to the extracellular space. Since T1SRPs play an important role in pathogen-host interactions, identifying them is crucial for a full understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of T1SS. However, experimental identification is often time-consuming and expensive. In the post-genomic era, it becomes imperative to predict new T1SRPs using information from the amino acid sequence alone when new proteins are being identified in a high-throughput mode. In this study, we report a two-level method for the first attempt to identify T1SRPs using sequence-derived features and the random forest (RF) algorithm. At the full-length sequence level, the results show that the unique feature of T1SRPs is the presence of variable numbers of the calcium-binding RTX repeats. These RTX repeats have a strong predictive power and so T1SRPs can be well distinguished from non-T1SRPs. At another level, different from that of the secretion signal, we find that a sequence segment located at the last 20-30 C-terminal amino acids may contain important signal information for T1SRP secretion because obvious differences were shown between the corresponding positions of T1SRPs and non-T1SRPs in terms of amino acid and secondary structure compositions. Using five-fold cross-validation, overall accuracies of 97% at the full-length sequence level and 89% at the secretion signal level were achieved through feature evaluation and optimization. Benchmarking on an independent dataset, our method could correctly predict 63 and 66 of 74 T1SRPs at the full-length sequence and secretion signal levels, respectively. We believe that this study will be useful in elucidating the secretion mechanism of T1SS and facilitating hypothesis-driven experimental design and validation.

  9. Key role of LaeA and velvet complex proteins on expression of β-lactam and PR-toxin genes in Penicillium chrysogenum: cross-talk regulation of secondary metabolite pathways.

    PubMed

    Martín, Juan F

    2016-08-26

    Penicillium chrysogenum is an excellent model fungus to study the molecular mechanisms of control of expression of secondary metabolite genes. A key global regulator of the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites is the LaeA protein that interacts with other components of the velvet complex (VelA, VelB, VelC, VosA). These components interact with LaeA and regulate expression of penicillin and PR-toxin biosynthetic genes in P. chrysogenum. Both LaeA and VelA are positive regulators of the penicillin and PR-toxin biosynthesis, whereas VelB acts as antagonist of the effect of LaeA and VelA. Silencing or deletion of the laeA gene has a strong negative effect on penicillin biosynthesis and overexpression of laeA increases penicillin production. Expression of the laeA gene is enhanced by the P. chrysogenum autoinducers 1,3 diaminopropane and spermidine. The PR-toxin gene cluster is very poorly expressed in P. chrysogenum under penicillin-production conditions (i.e. it is a near-silent gene cluster). Interestingly, the downregulation of expression of the PR-toxin gene cluster in the high producing strain P. chrysogenum DS17690 was associated with mutations in both the laeA and velA genes. Analysis of the laeA and velA encoding genes in this high penicillin producing strain revealed that both laeA and velA acquired important mutations during the strain improvement programs thus altering the ratio of different secondary metabolites (e.g. pigments, PR-toxin) synthesized in the high penicillin producing mutants when compared to the parental wild type strain. Cross-talk of different secondary metabolite pathways has also been found in various Penicillium spp.: P. chrysogenum mutants lacking the penicillin gene cluster produce increasing amounts of PR-toxin, and mutants of P. roqueforti silenced in the PR-toxin genes produce large amounts of mycophenolic acid. The LaeA-velvet complex mediated regulation and the pathway cross-talk phenomenon has great relevance for improving the

  10. Functional validation of putative toxin-antitoxin genes from the Gram-positive pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae: phd-doc is the fourth bona-fide operon.

    PubMed

    Chan, Wai Ting; Yeo, Chew Chieng; Sadowy, Ewa; Espinosa, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TAs) loci usually consist of two genes organized as an operon, where their products are bound together and inert under normal conditions. However, under stressful circumstances the antitoxin, which is more labile, will be degraded more rapidly, thereby unleashing its cognate toxin to act on the cell. This, in turn, causes cell stasis or cell death, depending on the type of TAs and/or time of toxin exposure. Previously based on in silico analyses, we proposed that Streptococcus pneumoniae, a pathogenic Gram-positive bacterium, may harbor between 4 and 10 putative TA loci depending on the strains. Here we have chosen the pneumococcal strain Hungary(19A)-6 which contains all possible 10 TA loci. In addition to the three well-characterized operons, namely relBE2, yefM-yoeB, and pezAT, we show here the functionality of a fourth operon that encodes the pneumococcal equivalent of the phd-doc TA. Transcriptional fusions with gene encoding Green Fluorescent Protein showed that the promoter was slightly repressed by the Phd antitoxin, and exhibited almost background values when both Phd-Doc were expressed together. These findings demonstrate that phd-doc shows the negative self-regulatory features typical for an authentic TA. Further, we also show that the previously proposed TAs XreA-Ant and Bro-XreB, although they exhibit a genetic organization resembling those of typical TAs, did not appear to confer a functional behavior corresponding to bona fide TAs. In addition, we have also discovered new interesting bioinformatics results for the known pneumococcal TAs RelBE2 and PezAT. A global analysis of the four identified toxins-antitoxins in the pneumococcal genomes (PezAT, RelBE2, YefM-YoeB, and Phd-Doc) showed that RelBE2 and Phd-Doc are the most conserved ones. Further, there was good correlation among TA types, clonal complexes and sequence types in the 48 pneumococcal strains analyzed.

  11. The role of Cercospora zeae-maydis homologs of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 1O2-resistance genes in resistance to the photoactivated toxin cercosporin.

    PubMed

    Beseli, Aydin; Goulart da Silva, Marilia; Daub, Margaret E

    2015-01-01

    The photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides and plant pathogenic fungus Cercospora nicotianae have been used as models for understanding resistance to singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)), a highly toxic reactive oxygen species. In Rhodobacter and Cercospora, (1)O(2) is derived, respectively, from photosynthesis and from the (1)O(2)-generating toxin cercosporin which the fungus produces to parasitize plants. We identified common genes recovered in transcriptome studies of putative (1)O(2)-resistance genes in these two systems, suggesting common (1)O(2)-resistance mechanisms. To determine if the Cercospora homologs of R. sphaeroides (1)O(2)-resistance genes are involved in resistance to cercosporin, we expressed the genes in the cercosporin-sensitive fungus Neurospora crassa and assayed for increases in cercosporin resistance. Neurospora crassa transformants expressing genes encoding aldo/keto reductase, succinyl-CoA ligase, O-acetylhomoserine (thiol) lyase, peptide methionine sulphoxide reductase and glutathione S-transferase did not have elevated levels of cercosporin resistance. Several transformants expressing aldehyde dehydrogenase were significantly more resistant to cercosporin. Expression of the transgene and enzyme activity did not correlate with resistance, however. We conclude that although the genes tested in this study are important in (1)O(2) resistance in R. sphaeroides, their Cercospora homologs are not involved in resistance to (1)O(2) generated from cercosporin.

  12. An Integrative Approach to Computational Modelling of the Gene Regulatory Network Controlling Clostridium botulinum Type A1 Toxin Production

    PubMed Central

    Walshaw, John; Peck, Michael W.; Barker, Gary C.

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), highly potent substances responsible for botulism. Currently, mathematical models of C. botulinum growth and toxigenesis are largely aimed at risk assessment and do not include explicit genetic information beyond group level but integrate many component processes, such as signalling, membrane permeability and metabolic activity. In this paper we present a scheme for modelling neurotoxin production in C. botulinum Group I type A1, based on the integration of diverse information coming from experimental results available in the literature. Experiments show that production of BoNTs depends on the growth-phase and is under the control of positive and negative regulatory elements at the intracellular level. Toxins are released as large protein complexes and are associated with non-toxic components. Here, we systematically review and integrate those regulatory elements previously described in the literature for C. botulinum Group I type A1 into a population dynamics model, to build the very first computational model of toxin production at the molecular level. We conduct a validation of our model against several items of published experimental data for different wild type and mutant strains of C. botulinum Group I type A1. The result of this process underscores the potential of mathematical modelling at the cellular level, as a means of creating opportunities in developing new strategies that could be used to prevent botulism; and potentially contribute to improved methods for the production of toxin that is used for therapeutics. PMID:27855161

  13. An Integrative Approach to Computational Modelling of the Gene Regulatory Network Controlling Clostridium botulinum Type A1 Toxin Production.

    PubMed

    Ihekwaba, Adaoha E C; Mura, Ivan; Walshaw, John; Peck, Michael W; Barker, Gary C

    2016-11-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), highly potent substances responsible for botulism. Currently, mathematical models of C. botulinum growth and toxigenesis are largely aimed at risk assessment and do not include explicit genetic information beyond group level but integrate many component processes, such as signalling, membrane permeability and metabolic activity. In this paper we present a scheme for modelling neurotoxin production in C. botulinum Group I type A1, based on the integration of diverse information coming from experimental results available in the literature. Experiments show that production of BoNTs depends on the growth-phase and is under the control of positive and negative regulatory elements at the intracellular level. Toxins are released as large protein complexes and are associated with non-toxic components. Here, we systematically review and integrate those regulatory elements previously described in the literature for C. botulinum Group I type A1 into a population dynamics model, to build the very first computational model of toxin production at the molecular level. We conduct a validation of our model against several items of published experimental data for different wild type and mutant strains of C. botulinum Group I type A1. The result of this process underscores the potential of mathematical modelling at the cellular level, as a means of creating opportunities in developing new strategies that could be used to prevent botulism; and potentially contribute to improved methods for the production of toxin that is used for therapeutics.

  14. Expression of the Vibrio cholerae gene encoding aldehyde dehydrogenase is under control of ToxR, the cholera toxin transcriptional activator.

    PubMed Central

    Parsot, C; Mekalanos, J J

    1991-01-01

    The toxR gene of Vibrio cholerae encodes a transcriptional activator required for the expression of the cholera toxin genes (ctxAB) and more than 15 other genes encoding secreted or membrane proteins. The latter group includes virulence genes involved in the biogenesis of the TCP pilus, the accessory colonization factor, and such ToxR-activated genes as tagA, mutations in which cause no detectable virulence defect in the suckling mouse model. To analyze the regulation of expression and the structure of tagA, we have cloned and sequenced about 2 kb of DNA upstream from a tagA::TnphoA fusion. While the portion of the tagA gene product examined presented no extensive similarity to any known protein, the amino acid sequence deduced from an open reading frame (designated aldA) located upstream from and in opposite orientation to tagA was highly similar to the sequences of eukaryotic aldehyde dehydrogenases. An assay of aldehyde dehydrogenase activity in extracts of a wild-type V. cholerae strainand an aldA mutant confirmed that aldA encodes an aldehyde dehydrogenase. Expression of the aldA gene was studied together with that of tagA in both V. cholerae and Escherichia coli. The expression of both tagA and aldA was environmentally regulated and dependent on a functional toxR gene in V. cholerae, but neither promoter was activated by ToxR in E. coli, suggesting that expression of tagA and aldA requires an additional transcriptional activator besides ToxR. The aldA gene is the first example of a gene encoding a cytoplasmic protein that is under the control of ToxR, and this suggests that metabolic enzymes may constitute novel members of virulence regulons in bacteria. Images PMID:1902210

  15. Characterization of the genetic environment of blaESBL genes, integrons and toxin-antitoxin systems identified on large transferrable plasmids in multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Juan; Stephan, Roger; Zurfluh, Katrin; Hächler, Herbert; Fanning, Séamus

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Previously 14 conjugative plasmids from multi-drug resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli from healthy humans and food-producing animals in Switzerland were sequenced. The aim of this study was to extend the genetic characterization of these plasmids with a focus on blaESBL genes including blaCTX-M-1 and blaTEM, class 1 integrons and toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems contained therein. Methods: The nucleotide sequences and subsequent annotation therein of 14 conjugative plasmids were previously determined from their corresponding transconjugants. The TA loci were confirmed by RASTA-Bacteria. Results: Eight of the conjugative plasmids identified were found to encode genes expressing ESBLs. Structural heterogeneity was noted in the regions flanking both the blaCTX-M-1 and blaTEM genes. The blaCTX-M-1 genes were associated with the common insertion sequences ISEcp1 and IS26, and uniquely with an IS5 element in one case; while blaTEM genes were found to be associated with IS26 and Tn2. A new blaTEM-210 gene was identified. Seven class 1 integrons were also identified and assigned into 3 groups, denoted as In54, In369 and In501. Sixteen TA loci belonging to 4 of the TA gene families (relBE, vapBC, ccd and mazEF) were identified on 11 of these plasmids. Conclusions: Comparative sequence analysis of these plasmids provided data on the structures likely to contribute to sequence diversity associated with these accessory genes, including IS26, ISEcp1 and Tn2. All of them contribute to the dissemination of the corresponding resistance genes located on the different plasmids. There appears to be no association between β-lactam encoding genes and TA systems. PMID:25610429

  16. Stability, structural and functional properties of a monomeric, calcium–loaded adenylate cyclase toxin, CyaA, from Bordetella pertussis

    PubMed Central

    Cannella, Sara E.; Ntsogo Enguéné, Véronique Yvette; Davi, Marilyne; Malosse, Christian; Sotomayor Pérez, Ana Cristina; Chamot-Rooke, Julia; Vachette, Patrice; Durand, Dominique; Ladant, Daniel; Chenal, Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, secretes an adenylate cyclase toxin, CyaA, which invades eukaryotic cells and alters their physiology by cAMP overproduction. Calcium is an essential cofactor of CyaA, as it is the case for most members of the Repeat-in-ToXins (RTX) family. We show that the calcium-bound, monomeric form of CyaA, hCyaAm, conserves its permeabilization and haemolytic activities, even in a fully calcium-free environment. In contrast, hCyaAm requires sub-millimolar calcium in solution for cell invasion, indicating that free calcium in solution is involved in the CyaA toxin translocation process. We further report the first in solution structural characterization of hCyaAm, as deduced from SAXS, mass spectrometry and hydrodynamic studies. We show that hCyaAm adopts a compact and stable state that can transiently conserve its conformation even in a fully calcium-free environment. Our results therefore suggest that in hCyaAm, the C-terminal RTX-domain is stabilized in a high-affinity calcium-binding state by the N-terminal domains while, conversely, calcium binding to the C-terminal RTX-domain strongly stabilizes the N-terminal regions. Hence, the different regions of hCyaAm appear tightly connected, leading to stabilization effects between domains. The hysteretic behaviour of CyaA in response to calcium is likely shared by other RTX cytolysins. PMID:28186111

  17. Adeno-associated virus transfer of a gene encoding SNAP-25 resistant to botulinum toxin A attenuates neuromuscular paralysis associated with botulism.

    PubMed

    Raghunath, Arvind; Perez-Branguli, Francesc; Smith, Leonard; Dolly, J Oliver

    2008-04-02

    Advances in viral gene therapy have opened new possibilities for treating a range of motor neuron diseases, but these have not yet been translated into clinically applicable therapies because of difficulties in delivery to susceptible/damaged neurons, ambiguities in the identity of gene(s) implicated, and a paucity of means to quantify any physiological improvement. Most of these hurdles can be overcome by using the neuromuscular paralysis induced by botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A) as a prototype disease. Furthermore, because human botulism, occasionally fatal, causes prolonged muscle disablement as a result of the intraneuronal persistence of the toxin's SNAP-25 (S25)-cleaving protease, development of a genetic approach could lead to a potential treatment for this debilitating disease. Adeno-associated viral delivery of a cleavage-resistant S25 gene (S25-R198T) to chromaffin cells in vitro yielded exocytotically active S25-R198T that diminished subsequent blockade by BoNT/A of evoked catecholamine release. Evaluation in vivo, by administering this virus into rat spinal cord before injecting BoNT/A, showed a decreased inhibition of acetylcholine release as reflected in elevated retention of neuromuscular transmission. A similar, although smaller, protection of synaptic transmission from the toxin was seen after peripherally injecting the therapeutic virus. Such therapy also curtailed nerve sprouting normally induced by BoNT/A. This first demonstration of the utility of a DNA-based therapy for botulism paves the way for further advances in its treatment and for application to genetic disorders of motor neurons.

  18. Valence band studies of the RTX (R=Pr, Nd; T=Cu, Ag, Au; X=Ge, Sn) compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szytuła, A.; Jezierski, A.; Penc, B.; Fus, D.

    2000-12-01

    The valence band in the RTX (R=Pr, Nd; T=Cu, Ag, Au; X=Ge, Sn) compounds was studied by the X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. The XPS data were compared with the ones calculated using the spin-polarized tight-binding linear muffin-tin orbital (TB LMTO) method. The obtained results show that the valence bands are determined mainly by the Cu 3d, Ag 4d and Au 5d bands. The calculation of the total energy for two models of the crystal structure: an ordered of the LiGaGe-type and a disordered one of the CaIn 2-type indicates that in the RTSn (T=Cu, Ag ,Au) compounds the LiGaGe-type structure is stable. Calculated value of the Pr magnetic moment is smaller than that of the free Pr 3+ ion value, whereas the Nd magnetic moment is equal to the free Nd 3+ ion value.

  19. Human photoreceptor cone density measured with adaptive optics technology (rtx1 device) in healthy eyes: Standardization of measurements.

    PubMed

    Zaleska-Żmijewska, Anna; Wawrzyniak, Zbigniew M; Ulińska, Magdalena; Szaflik, Jerzy; Dąbrowska, Anna; Szaflik, Jacek P

    2017-06-01

    The anatomic structures of the anterior segment of the eye enable correct reception of stimuli by the retina, which contains receptors that receive light impulses and transmit them to the visual cortex. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the size of the sampling window in an adaptive optics (AO) flood-illumination retinal camera (rtx1) on cone density measurements in the eyes of healthy individuals and to investigate the differences in cone density and spacing in different quadrants of the retina. Thirty-three subjects with no ophthalmic or systemic disease underwent a detailed ophthalmologic examination. Photographs of retinal fragments 3 degrees from the fovea were taken using the rtx1 AO retinal camera. We used sampling windows with 3 sizes (50 × 50, 100 × 100, and 250 × 250 μm). Cone density, spacing, and shape were determined using AOdetect software. The median (interquartile range) cone density was 19,269 (4964) cones/mm. There were statistically significant differences between measurements taken with the 50/50 and 250/250-m windows. There were no significant differences in the cone spacing results between any of the windows examined, but the measurements differed according to location between the superior and temporal quadrants. The most common cone shape was hexagonal (47.6%) for all window sizes and locations. These findings may help in the development of a normative database for variation in cone density in healthy subjects and to allow the best window to be chosen for obtain the most correct values for eccentricity measurements of 3 degrees. In our study, the optimal sampling window was 100 × 100 μm.

  20. Response of Last Instar Helicoverpa armígera Larvae to Bt Toxin Ingestion: Changes in the Development and in the CYP6AE14, CYP6B2 and CYP9A12 Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Moralejo, Marian; Pérez-Hedo, Meritxell; Eizaguirre, Matilde

    2014-01-01

    Bt crops are able to produce Cry proteins, which were originally present in Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria. Although Bt maize is very efficient against corn borers, Spanish crops are also attacked by the earworm H. armigera, which is less susceptible to Bt maize. Many mechanisms could be involved in this low susceptibility to the toxin, including the insect's metabolic resistance to toxins due to cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. This paper examines the response of last instar H. armigera larvae to feeding on a diet with Bt and non-Bt maize leaves in larval development and in the gene expression of three P450 cytochromes: CYP6AE14, CYP6B2 and CYP9A12. Larvae fed on sublethal amounts of the Bt toxin showed reduced food ingestion and reduced growth and weight, preventing most of them from achieving the critical weight and pupating; additionally, after feeding for one day on the Bt diet the larvae showed a slight increase in juvenile hormone II in the hemolymp. Larvae fed on the non-Bt diet showed the highest CYP6AE14, CYP6B2 and CYP9A12 expression one day after feeding on the non-Bt diet, and just two days later the expression decreased abruptly, a finding probably related to the developmental programme of the last instar. Moreover, although the response of P450 genes to plant allelochemicals and xenobiotics has been related in general to overexpression in the resistant insect, or induction of the genes when feeding takes place, the expression of the three genes studied was suppressed in the larvae feeding on the Bt toxin. The unexpected inhibitory effect of the Cry1Ab toxin in the P450 genes of H. armigera larvae should be thoroughly studied to determine whether this response is somehow related to the low susceptibility of the species to the Bt toxin. PMID:24910993

  1. Clostridium difficile binary toxin CDT

    PubMed Central

    Gerding, Dale N; Johnson, Stuart; Rupnik, Maja; Aktories, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Binary toxin (CDT) is frequently observed in Clostridium difficile strains associated with increased severity of C. difficile infection (CDI). CDT belongs to the family of binary ADP-ribosylating toxins consisting of two separate toxin components: CDTa, the enzymatic ADP-ribosyltransferase which modifies actin, and CDTb which binds to host cells and translocates CDTa into the cytosol. CDTb is activated by serine proteases and binds to lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor. ADP-ribosylation induces depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton. Toxin-induced actin depolymerization also produces microtubule-based membrane protrusions which form a network on epithelial cells and increase bacterial adherence. Multiple clinical studies indicate an association between binary toxin genes in C. difficile and increased 30-d CDI mortality independent of PCR ribotype. Further studies including measures of binary toxin in stool, analyses of CDI mortality caused by CDT-producing strains, and examination of the relationship of CDT expression to TcdA and TcdB toxin variants and PCR ribotypes are needed. PMID:24253566

  2. The influence of intravesical administration of resiniferatoxin (RTX) on the chemical coding of sympathetic chain ganglia (SChG) neurons supplying the porcine urinary bladder.

    PubMed

    Lepiarczyk, Ewa; Majewski, Mariusz; Bossowska, Agnieszka

    2015-11-01

    Resiniferatoxin (RTX) is used as an experimental drug in therapy of neurogenic urinary bladder disorders. The present study investigated the chemical coding of sympathetic chain ganglia (SChG) neurons supplying porcine urinary bladder after intravesical RTX instillation. The SChG neurons were visualized with retrograde tracing method and their chemical profile was disclosed with double-labeling immunohistochemistry using antibodies against dopamine β-hydroxylase (DβH; marker of noradrenergic neurons), neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), somatostatin (SOM), galanin, Leu(5)-enkephalin and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). It was found that in both the control (n = 5) and RTX-treated pigs (n = 5), the vast majority (90.4 ± 2.8 and 89.7 ± 2.3%, respectively) of FB-positive (FB+) nerve cells were DβH+. RTX instillation caused a decrease in the number of FB+/DβH+ neurons immunopositive to NPY (71.1 ± 12.1 vs 43.2 ± 6.7%), VIP (21.3 ± 10.7 vs 5.3 ± 4.3%) or SOM (16.5 ± 4.6 vs 2.3 ± 2.6%) and a distinct increase in the number of FB+/DβH+ neurons immunoreactive to nNOS (0.8 ± 1 vs 5.3 ± 1.9 %). The present study for the first time has provided some information that therapeutic effects of RTX on the mammalian urinary bladder can be partly mediated by SChG neurons.

  3. Integrating toxin gene expression, growth and fumonisin B1 and B2 production by a strain of Fusarium verticillioides under different environmental factors

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Angel; Schmidt-Heydt, Markus; Cárdenas-Chávez, Diana L.; Parra, Roberto; Geisen, Rolf; Magan, Naresh

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to integrate data on the effect of water activity (aw; 0.995–0.93) and temperature (20–35°C) on activation of the biosynthetic FUM genes, growth and the mycotoxins fumonisin (FB1, FB2) by Fusarium verticillioides in vitro. The relative expression of nine biosynthetic cluster genes (FUM1, FUM7, FUM10, FUM11, FUM12, FUM13, FUM14, FUM16 and FUM19) in relation to the environmental factors was determined using a microarray analysis. The expression was related to growth and phenotypic FB1 and FB2 production. These data were used to develop a mixed-growth-associated product formation model and link this to a linear combination of the expression data for the nine genes. The model was then validated by examining datasets outside the model fitting conditions used (35°C). The relationship between the key gene (FUM1) and other genes in the cluster (FUM11, FUM13, FUM9, FUM14) were examined in relation to aw, temperature, FB1 and FB2 production by developing ternary diagrams of relative expression. This model is important in developing an integrated systems approach to develop prevention strategies to control fumonisin biosynthesis in staple food commodities and could also be used to predict the potential impact that climate change factors may have on toxin production. PMID:23697716

  4. Toxins-antitoxins: diversity, evolution and function.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Finbarr; Van Melderen, Laurence

    2011-10-01

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widespread in prokaryote genomes, and species frequently possess tens of plasmid and chromosomal TA loci. The complexes are categorized into three types based on genetic organization and mode of action. The toxins universally are proteins directed against specific intracellular targets, whereas the antitoxins are either proteins or small RNAs that neutralize the toxin or inhibit toxin synthesis. Within the three types of complex, there has been extensive evolutionary shuffling of toxin and antitoxin genes leading to considerable diversity in TA combinations. The intracellular targets of the protein toxins similarly are varied. Numerous toxins, many of which are sequence-specific endoribonucleases, dampen protein synthesis levels in response to a range of stress and nutritional stimuli. Key resources are conserved as a result ensuring the survival of individual cells and therefore the bacterial population. The toxin effects generally are transient and reversible permitting a set of dynamic, tunable responses that reflect environmental conditions. Moreover, by harboring multiple toxins that intercede in protein synthesis in response to different physiological cues, bacteria potentially sense an assortment of metabolic perturbations that are channeled through different TA complexes. Other toxins interfere with the action of topoisomersases, cell wall assembly, or cytoskeletal structures. TAs also play important roles in bacterial persistence, biofilm formation and multidrug tolerance, and have considerable potential both as new components of the genetic toolbox and as targets for novel antibacterial drugs.

  5. Real-time microfluidic recombinase polymerase amplification for the toxin B gene of Clostridium difficile on a SlipChip platform.

    PubMed

    Tsaloglou, M-N; Watson, R J; Rushworth, C M; Zhao, Y; Niu, X; Sutton, J M; Morgan, H

    2015-01-07

    Clostridium difficile is one of the key bacterial pathogens that cause infectious diarrhoea both in the developed and developing world. Isothermal nucleic acid amplification methods are increasingly used for identification of toxinogenic infection by clinical labs. For this purpose, we developed a low-cost microfluidic platform based on the SlipChip concept and implemented real-time isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA). The on-chip RPA assay targets the Clostridium difficile toxin B gene (tcdB) coding for toxin B, one of the proteins responsible for bacterial toxicity. The device was fabricated in clear acrylic using rapid prototyping methods. It has six replicate 500 nL reaction wells as well as two sets of 500 nL control wells. The reaction can be monitored in real-time using exonuclease fluorescent probes with an initial sample volume of as little as 6.4 μL. We demonstrated a limit of detection of 1000 DNA copies, corresponding to 1 fg, at a time-to-result of <20 minutes. This miniaturised platform for pathogen detection has potential for use in resource-limited environments or at the point-of-care because of its ease of use and low cost, particularly if combined with preserved reagents.

  6. Botulinum Toxin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    1980) and the other in gibbons (Hylobates lar) (Smith et aI., 1985). In addition to nonhuman primates , most other animal species that show some...nonhuman primate species are known to be susceptible to type Cl and D toxins both in nature and as experimental models. A large natural outbreak of... primates were previously reported, one in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus and Cebus olivaceus) (Smart et al

  7. Legionella Toxin.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-04-29

    of a cytotoxin produced by Legionella pneumophila. Infect. Immun. 29:271-274. Fumarola, D. (1978) Legionnaires ’ disease agent and Limulus endotoxin... Legionnaires ’ disease bacterium in the AKR/J mouse. Ann. intern. Med. 90:676-679. Hedlund, K. W. and Larson, R. (1981) Legionella pneumophila toxin, isolation... Legionella Species New Name Old Name Lpneumophila Legionnaires ’ disease organism, OLDA L. bozemanil WIGA, MI 15 L. dumoffii NY 23, TEX-KL *L. micdadei

  8. The CRG1 gene required for resistance to the singlet oxygen-generating cercosporin toxin in Cercospora nicotianae encodes a putative fungal transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Chung, Kuang-Ren; Daub, Margaret E; Kuchler, Karl; Schüller, Christoph

    2003-03-07

    The Cercospora nicotianae CRG1 gene is involved in cellular resistance to the perylenequinone toxin, cercosporin, that generates highly toxic singlet oxygen upon exposure to light. The entire open reading frame (ORF) of CRG1 was isolated and sequenced. The gene contains an ORF of 1950bp including a 65-bp intron. The predicted 650 amino acid CRG1 protein contains a Cys(6)Zn(2) binuclear cluster DNA-binding motif with homology to various fungal regulatory proteins, indicating that CRG1 may act functionally as a transcription activator. Targeted gene disruption of CRG1 resulted in mutants that are partially sensitive to cercosporin and reduced in cercosporin production. Genetic complementation revealed that CRG1 fully restored cercosporin resistance, but only slightly restored cercosporin production in a UV-derived mutant (CS10) containing a single nucleotide substitution in crg1. Complementation of a crg1-null mutant, however, yielded strains that are similar to the wild-type in both phenotypes. These results indicate that the transcription regulator CRG1 is involved in the activation of genes associated with cercosporin resistance and production in the fungus Cercospora nicotianae.

  9. Distribution of Shiga toxin genes subtypes in B1 phylotypes of Escherichia coli isolated from calves suffering from diarrhea in Tehran suburb using DNA oligonucleotide arrays

    PubMed Central

    Staji, Hamid; Tonelli, Alfreda; Javaheri-Vayeghan, Abbas; Changizi, Emad; Salimi-Bejestani, Mohammad Reza

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have emerged as human pathogens and contamination via animal origin has been a major public health concern. We compared the distribution of phylogenetic groups and prevalence of stx gene variants among the pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli isolated from feces of diarrheatic calves in Tehran suburb farms. Materials and Methods: In this study we screened 140 diarrheatic calves (1–15 days old) for E. coli strains during a 3 months period of time. The isolated strains were grouped into different phylotypes according to the presence of chuA, yjaA and TSPE4.C2 genes. Then, the prevalence of stx gene subtypes was evaluated in the B1 phylotypes. Results: From diarrheatic calves, 51 bacterial isolates were biochemically identified as E. coli and 31 isolates out of 51 were considered B1 phylotype using DNA Microarray technology. Of these isolates, 20 contained stx1a and stx1b and one harbored all mentioned variants of stx genes except stx2b2. Conclusion: This study showed that in Tehran suburb, the B1 phylotype of E. coli is prevalent as a causative agent of diarrhea in calves and the prevalence of stx1 gene subtypes is dominant in comparison with other subtypes. Considering the possibility that these stx genes can be spread to other strains, bovine E. coli strains are an important source of stx genes for other strains and further study and surveillance seems to be required for the exact identification of virulence profile of E. coli phylotypes in different hosts. PMID:26697157

  10. Coexpression of the silent cry2Ab27 together with cry1 genes in Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. aizawai SP41 leads to formation of amorphous crystal toxin and enhanced toxicity against Helicoverpa armigera.

    PubMed

    Somwatcharajit, Rasapirose; Tiantad, Itsares; Panbangred, Watanalai

    2014-02-01

    The unexpressed cry2Ab27 gene of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. aizawai SP41 (SP41) consists of a single open reading frame (ORF) of 1902bp encoding for 634 amino acid residues. The cry2Ab27 gene appears to be silent due to the lack of promoter and terminator sequences. In this study we fused the cry2Ab27 ORF with the cry1Ab promoter (500bp) and the terminator (300bp) in vector pHT304-18Z in order to drive the expression of cry2Ab27 in both SP41 and an acrystaliferous, B. thuringiensis subsp. thuringiensis 407 (407). A protein with a molecular mass of 65kDa, consistent with the Cry2Ab protein, was detected in both transformants using SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis. Bipyramidal crystals were observed in SP41 and its transformant containing the pHT304-18Z vector (SPHT) in contrast, cells expressing cry2Ab27 (SPC2) exhibited crystal proteins with irregular shapes. No inclusion protein was detected in the 407 transformant expressing the cry2Ab27 gene. Cry2Ab27 was found in the purified crystal toxin from strain SPC2. The solubilized crystal toxin proteins from SPC2 were 6.9-fold more toxic toward the larvae of Helicoverpa armigera compared to toxin proteins from SPHT. However SPC2 crystal toxin displayed only slightly higher toxicity against the larvae of Spodoptera litura and S. exigua compared to SPHT produced toxin. Our data support the use of Cry2Ab in combination with the Cry1 toxin for enhanced control of heliothine insect pests.

  11. Detection of a group II intron without an open reading frame in the alpha-toxin gene of Clostridium perfringens isolated from a broiler chicken.

    PubMed

    Ma, Menglin; Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru; Misawa, Naoaki

    2007-03-01

    A DNA insertion of 834 bp, designated CPF-G2Im, was identified within the alpha toxin gene (cpa) of Clostridium perfringens strain CPBC16ML, isolated from a broiler chicken. Sequence analysis of CPF-G2Im indicated that it was integrated 340 nucleotides downstream of the start codon of cpa. However, the insertion did not abolish the phospholipase C and hemolytic activities of CPBC16ML. To investigate the expression of its alpha toxin, the intact copy of cpa was cloned into an expression vector and transformed into Escherichia coli M15 cells. Immunoblotting analysis showed that the protein expressed from the transformant as well as in the culture supernatant of C. perfringens strain CPBC16ML had the expected molecular weight detected in reference strains of C. perfringens. Northern hybridization and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that the entire CPF-G2Im insertion was completely spliced from the cpa precursor mRNA transcripts. The sequence of the insertion fragment has 95% and 97% identity to two noncoding regions corresponding to sequences that flank a predicted group II RT gene present in the pCPF4969 plasmid of C. perfringens. However, an RT was not encoded by the CPF-G2Im fragment. Based on the secondary structure prediction analysis, CPF-G2Im revealed typical features of group II introns. The present study shows that CPF-G2Im is capable of splicing in both C. perfringens and E. coli. To our knowledge, this is the first report that a group II intron without an open reading frame (ORF) is located in the cpa ORF of C. perfringens.

  12. A standardised challenge model with an enterotoxigenic F4+ Escherichia coli strain in piglets assessing clinical traits and faecal shedding of fae and est-II toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Franz; Vahjen, Wilfried; Pieper, Robert; Martinez-Vallespin, Beatriz; Zentek, Jürgen

    2014-12-01

    This study evaluated the effect of five feed additives on post weaning diarrhoea (PWD) in piglets challenged 3 d after weaning with an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strain (ETEC). In three experimental runs, a total of 84 piglets was weaned at 21 days of age and randomly assigned to seven treatments. As dietary treatment, piglets were fed a basal diet or diets with addition of bovine colostrum (0.2%), pineapple stem extract containing bromelain (0.2%), an autolysed yeast preparation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (0.1%), a combination of organic acids (0.7%) and a phytogenic product with thyme essential oil (0.015%). A porcine ETEC, serotype O149:K91:K88ac was given twice via oral infection on day 3 after weaning at 10(10) colony forming units/animal. One group of piglets was fed the basal diet without ETEC challenge. Traits included clinical sores, body temperature, faecal scoring and determination of faecal dry matter and the shedding of fae and est-II ETEC toxin genes. After weaning, non-challenged control piglets did not show signs of diarrhoea or impaired health, while the majority of infected piglets had a drop in body temperature, signs of diarrhoea and impaired general health. Mortality, the decrease of faecal dry matter and shedding of the toxin genes fae and est-II were not affected by the different additives. In conclusion, the ETEC challenge model induced distinct clinical signs of PWD in piglets, but the tested feed additives had no preventive effect under these conditions.

  13. A Novel Pathogenicity Island Integrated Adjacent to the thrW tRNA Gene of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli Encodes a Vacuolating Autotransporter Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Parreira, V. R.; Gyles, C. L.

    2003-01-01

    We report the complete nucleotide sequence and genetic organization of the Vat-encoding pathogenicity island (PAI) of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli strain Ec222. The 22,139-bp PAI is situated adjacent to the 3′ terminus of the thrW tRNA gene, has a G+C content of 41.2%, and includes a bacteriophage SfII integrase gene, mobile genetic elements, two open reading frames with products exhibiting sequence similarity to known proteins, and several other open reading frames of unknown function. The PAI encodes an autotransporter protein, Vat (vacuolating autotransporter toxin), which induces the formation of intracellular vacuoles resulting in cytotoxic effects similar to those caused by the VacA toxin from Helicobacter pylori. The predicted 148.3-kDa protein product possesses the three domains that are typical of serine protease autotransporters of Enterobacteriaceae: an N-terminal signal sequence of 55 amino acids, a 111.8-kDa passenger domain containing a modified serine protease site (ATSGSG), and a C-terminal outer membrane translocator of 30.5 kDa. Vat has 75% protein homology with the hemagglutinin Tsh, an autotransporter of avian pathogenic E. coli. A vat deletion mutant of Ec222 showed no virulence in respiratory and cellulitis infection models of disease in broiler chickens. We conclude that the newly described PAI and Vat may be involved in the pathogenicity of avian septicemic E. coli strain Ec222 and other avian pathogenic E. coli strains. PMID:12933851

  14. Stool C. difficile toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... test detects harmful substances produced by the bacterium Clostridium difficile ( C difficile) . This infection is a common ... toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin Images Clostridium difficile organism References Beavis KG, Charnot-Katsikas A. ...

  15. Genomics Study of the Exposure Effect of Gymnodinium catenatum, a Paralyzing Toxin Producer, on Crassostrea gigas' Defense System and Detoxification Genes

    PubMed Central

    García-Lagunas, Norma; Romero-Geraldo, Reyna; Hernández-Saavedra, Norma Y.

    2013-01-01

    Background Crassostrea gigas accumulates paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) associated with red tide species as Gymnodinium catenatum. Previous studies demonstrated bivalves show variable feeding responses to toxic algae at physiological level; recently, only one study has reported biochemical changes in the transcript level of the genes involved in C. gigas stress response. Principal Findings We found that 24 h feeding on toxic dinoflagellate cells (acute exposure) induced a significant decrease in clearance rate and expression level changes of the genes involved in antioxidant defense (copper/zinc superoxide dismutase, Cu/Zn-SOD), cell detoxification (glutathione S-transferase, GST and cytochrome P450, CPY450), intermediate immune response activation (lipopolysaccharide and beta glucan binding protein, LGBP), and stress responses (glutamine synthetase, GS) in Pacific oysters compared to the effects with the non-toxic microalga Isochrysis galbana. A sub-chronic exposure feeding on toxic dinoflagellate cells for seven and fourteen days (30×103 cells mL−1) showed higher gene expression levels. A significant increase was observed in Cu/Zn-SOD, GST, and LGBP at day 7 and a major increase in GS and CPY450 at day 14. We also observed that oysters fed only with G. catenatum (3×103 cells mL−1) produced a significant increase on the transcription level than in a mixed diet (3×103 cells mL−1 of G. catenatum+0.75×106 cells mL−1 I. galbana) in all the analyzed genes. Conclusions Our results provide gene expression data of PST producer dinoflagellate G. catenatum toxic effects on C. gigas, a commercially important bivalve. Over expressed genes indicate the activation of a potent protective mechanism, whose response depends on both cell concentration and exposure time against these toxic microalgae. Given the importance of dinoflagellate blooms in coastal environments, these results provide a more comprehensive overview of how oysters respond to stress generated by

  16. Detection of CDT toxin genes in Campylobacter spp. strains isolated from broiler carcasses and vegetables in São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Aline Feola; da Silva, Daniela Martins; Azevedo, Sergio Santos; Piatti, Rosa Maria; Genovez, Margareth Elide; Scarcelli, Eliana

    2013-01-01

    Campylobacteriosis is a worldwide distributed zoonosis. One of the main virulence factors related to Campylobacter spp. in animals and humans is the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT), encoded by three adjacent genes (cdtA, cdtB, cdtC). The occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in samples of vegetables has not been reported in Brazil yet, and has seldom been described in the international literature. The detection of CDT in these strains has not been reported, either. The objectives of the present study were to determine the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. strains carrying virulence factors in samples of poultry and vegetables (lettuce and spinach) from different points of sale, thus verifying if vegetables are as an important vehicle for potentially virulent Campylobacter spp. strains as poultry. Twenty four strains were identified as Campylobacter jejuni by phenotypic and genotypic methods: 22 from broiler carcasses and two from lettuce samples. Three strains were identified as Campylobacter coli: two from broiler carcasses and one from lettuce. The presence of the cdt genes were detected in 20/24 (83.3%) C. jejuni strains, and 3/3 (100%) C. coli strains. The isolation of Campylobacter spp. strains with the cdt gene cluster in lettuce samples points to a new possible source of contamination, which could have an impact in the vegetable production chain and risk to public health. Results show that potentially virulent C. jejuni and C. coli strains remain viable in samples of broiler carcasses and vegetables at the points of sale.

  17. A small, microRNA-size, ribonucleic acid regulating gene expression and development of Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophage Φ24Β

    PubMed Central

    Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Licznerska, Katarzyna; Dydecka, Aleksandra; Felczykowska, Agnieszka; Topka, Gracja; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    A microRNA-size (20-nt long) molecule has been identified in Escherichia coli after induction of Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophage Φ24B. This small RNA, named 24B_1, is encoded in the lom-vb_24B_43 region of the phage genome, and apparently it is produced by cleavage of a larger transcript. A phage devoid of 24B_1 revealed decreased efficiency of lysogenization, quicker prophage induction after provoking the SOS response, higher efficiency of progeny phage production during the lytic cycle and less efficient adsorption on the host cells. Expression of most of phage genes was drastically increased after infection of E. coli by the Φ24BΔ24B_1 phage. Since 24B_1 may impair expression of the d_ant gene, coding for an anti-repressor, these results may explain the mechanism of regulations of the physiological processes by this small RNA due to impaired activity of the cI repressor and changed expression of vast majority of phage genes. To our knowledge, this is the first example of functional microRNA-size molecule in bacterial cells. PMID:25962117

  18. Cloning and expression of the first anaerobic toxin gene from Clostridium bifermentans subsp. malaysia, encoding a new mosquitocidal protein with homologies to Bacillus thuringiensis delta-endotoxins.

    PubMed Central

    Barloy, F; Delécluse, A; Nicolas, L; Lecadet, M M

    1996-01-01

    A gene (cbm71) encoding a 71,128-Da mosquitocidal protein (Cbm71) was obtained by screening a size-fractionated XbaI digest of total genomic DNA from Clostridium bifermentans subsp. malaysia CH18 with two gene-specific oligonucleotide probes. The sequence of the Cbm71 protein, as deduced from the sequence of cbm71, corresponds to that of the 66-kDa protein previously described as one of the mosquitocidal components of C. bifermentans subsp. malaysia. Cbm71 shows limited similarities with Bacillus thuringiensis delta-endotoxins, especially in the four first conserved blocks. However, Cbm71 was not immunologically related to any of the Cry toxins and thus belongs to a novel class of mosquitocidal protein. The cbm71 gene was expressed in a nontoxic strain of B. thuringiensis, and Cbm71 was produced during sporulation and secreted to the supernatant of culture. Trichloroacetic-precipitated supernatant preparations were toxic for mosquito larvae of the species Aedes aegypti, Culex pipiens, and Anopheles stephensi. PMID:8655486

  19. Prevalence of Shiga toxin-, intimin- and haemolysin genes in Escherichia coli isolates from drinking water supplies in a rural area of Austria.

    PubMed

    Halabi, Milad; Orth, Dorothea; Grif, Katharina; Wiesholzer-Pittl, Margit; Kainz, Martina; Schöberl, Johann; Dierich, Manfred P; Allerberger, Franz; Würzner, Reinhard

    2008-07-01

    Literature harbours several reports of potable water-associated outbreaks. We studied the prevalence of Shiga toxin- (stx1/2), intimin- (eae) and haemolysin (hlyA) genes in Escherichia coli isolates from drinking water of private and public water supplies in a rural area of Upper Austria; 2633 water samples were gained between November 2000 and December 2003. Two hundred and eighty of these water samples were positive for E. coli (10.6%). Of these, 101 samples were drawn from drilled wells (36%), 96 from dug wells (34%), 61 from springs (22%) and 22 from water supplies without available information on technical details (8%); 141 of the samples were from public water supplies, 139 from private water supplies. Eleven of the E. coli isolates were found to be positive for one of the investigated virulence genes (3.9%): one isolate yielded stx2, seven eae, and three isolates had hlyA. The presence of these genes underlines the importance of control of water quality in public and also private water supplies.

  20. Hypothesis: type I toxin-antitoxin genes enter the persistence field-a feedback mechanism explaining membrane homoeostasis.

    PubMed

    Gerdes, Kenn

    2016-11-05

    Bacteria form persisters, cells that are tolerant to multiple antibiotics and other types of environmental stress. Persister formation can be induced either stochastically in single cells of a growing bacterial ensemble, or by environmental stresses, such as nutrient starvation, in a subpopulation of cells. In many cases, the molecular mechanisms underlying persistence are still unknown. However, there is growing evidence that, in enterobacteria, both stochastically and environmentally induced persistence are controlled by the second messenger (p)ppGpp. For example, the 'alarmone' (p)ppGpp activates Lon, which, in turn, activates type II toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules to thereby induce persistence. Recently, it has been shown that a type I TA module, hokB/sokB, also can induce persistence. In this case, the underlying mechanism depends on the universally conserved GTPase Obg and, surprisingly, also (p)ppGpp. In the presence of (p)ppGpp, Obg stimulates hokB transcription and induces persistence. HokB toxin expression is under both negative and positive control: SokB antisense RNA inhibits hokB mRNA translation, while (p)ppGpp and Obg together stimulate hokB transcription. HokB is a small toxic membrane protein that, when produced in modest amounts, leads to membrane depolarization, cell stasis and persistence. By contrast, overexpression of HokB disrupts the membrane potential and kills the cell. These observations raise the question of how expression of HokB is regulated. Here, I propose a homoeostatic control mechanism that couples HokB expression to the membrane-bound RNase E that degrades and inactivates SokB antisense RNA.This article is part of the themed issue 'The new bacteriology'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Evidence for Contemporary Switching of the O-Antigen Gene Cluster between Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Strains Colonizing Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Geue, Lutz; Menge, Christian; Eichhorn, Inga; Semmler, Torsten; Wieler, Lothar H.; Pickard, Derek; Berens, Christian; Barth, Stefanie A.

    2017-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) comprise a group of zoonotic enteric pathogens with ruminants, especially cattle, as the main reservoir. O-antigens are instrumental for host colonization and bacterial niche adaptation. They are highly immunogenic and, therefore, targeted by the adaptive immune system. The O-antigen is one of the most diverse bacterial cell constituents and variation not only exists between different bacterial species, but also between individual isolates/strains within a single species. We recently identified STEC persistently infecting cattle and belonging to the different serotypes O156:H25 (n = 21) and O182:H25 (n = 15) that were of the MLST sequence types ST300 or ST688. These STs differ by a single nucleotide in purA only. Fitness-, virulence-associated genome regions, and CRISPR/CAS (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated sequence) arrays of these STEC O156:H25 and O182:H25 isolates were highly similar, and identical genomic integration sites for the stx converting bacteriophages and the core LEE, identical Shiga toxin converting bacteriophage genes for stx1a, identical complete LEE loci, and identical sets of chemotaxis and flagellar genes were identified. In contrast to this genomic similarity, the nucleotide sequences of the O-antigen gene cluster (O-AGC) regions between galF and gnd and very few flanking genes differed fundamentally and were specific for the respective serotype. Sporadic aEPEC O156:H8 isolates (n = 5) were isolated in temporal and spatial proximity. While the O-AGC and the corresponding 5′ and 3′ flanking regions of these aEPEC isolates were identical to the respective region in the STEC O156:H25 isolates, the core genome, the virulence associated genome regions and the CRISPR/CAS elements differed profoundly. Our cumulative epidemiological and molecular data suggests a recent switch of the O-AGC between isolates with O156:H8 strains having served as DNA donors. Such

  2. Two different Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes confer resistance to beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner) in transgenic Bt-shallots (Allium cepa L.).

    PubMed

    Zheng, Si-Jun; Henken, Betty; de Maagd, Ruud A; Purwito, Agus; Krens, Frans A; Kik, Chris

    2005-06-01

    Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation was applied to produce beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner) resistant tropical shallots (Allium cepa L. group Aggregatum). A cry1Ca or a H04 hybrid gene from Bacillus thuringiensis, driven by the chrysanthemum ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase small subunit (Rubisco SSU) promoter, along with the hygromycin phosphotransferase gene (hpt) driven by the CaMV 35S promoter, was employed for genetic transformation. An average transformation frequency of 3.68% was obtained from two shallot cultivars, Tropix and Kuning. After transfer of the in vitro plants to the greenhouse 69% of the cry1Ca and 39% of the H04 transgenic shallots survived the first half year. After one year of cultivation in the greenhouse the remaining cry1Ca and H04 transgenic plants grew vigorously and had a normal bulb formation, although the cry1Ca transgenic plants (and controls) had darker green leaves compared to their H04 counterparts. Standard PCR, adaptor ligation PCR and Southern analyses confirmed the integration of T-DNA into the shallot genome. Northern blot and ELISA analyses revealed expression of the cry1Ca or H04 gene in the transgenic plants. The amount of Cry1Ca expressed in transgenic plants was higher than the expression levels of H04 (0.39 vs. 0.16% of the total soluble leaf proteins, respectively). There was a good correlation between protein expression and beet armyworm resistance. Cry1Ca or H04 gene expression of at least 0.22 or 0.08% of the total soluble protein in shallot leaves was sufficient to give a complete resistance against beet armyworm. This confirms earlier observations that the H04 toxin is more toxic to S. exigua than the Cry1Ca toxin. The results from this study suggest that the cry1Ca and H04 transgenic shallots developed could be used for introducing resistance to beet armyworm in (sub) tropical shallot.

  3. Subtilase cytotoxin encoding genes are present in human, sheep and deer intimin-negative, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O128:H2.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Sergio; Beristain, Xabier; Martínez, Remigio; García, Alfredo; Martín, Carmen; Vidal, Dolors; Díaz-Sánchez, Sandra; Rey, Joaquín; Alonso, Juan M; Herrera-León, Silvia

    2012-10-12

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O128:H2 is recognised worldwide to be an important non-O157 STEC associated with human illness and in particular with causing haemolytic uraemic syndrome. This serotype is commonly isolated from sheep and is being increasingly isolated from deer. We determined the virulence profile and genetic relationships of one human, six sheep and five deer intimin-negative STEC O128:H2 strains isolated in Spain over a 7-year period. Our goals were to establish the presence of other virulence-associated factors, such as SubAB, in intimin-negative STEC O128:H2 strains involved in human disease and in that case, to determine if sheep and/or deer represent a reservoir of SubAB-positive STEC O128:H2. All the strains lacked the eae gene and carried subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB) encoding genes (subAB) and tia genes, but not saa gene, suggesting the presence of the recently identified new variant of SubAB, encoded on a putative pathogenicity island together with tia. We report for the first time the presence of subtilase cytotoxin encoding genes in intimin-negative STEC O128:H2 strains pathogenic for humans and how this finding might explain their clinical relevance despite neither carrying eae nor stx subtypes associated with severe clinical outcomes, but only stx1c and stx2b. Multilocus sequence typing analysis revealed that STEC O128:H2 strains from sheep and deer belong to the clonal lineage of STEC O128:H2 strains involved in diarrhoeal and haemorrhagic diseases in humans. Our results indicate that sheep and deer represent a reservoir of SubAB-positive STEC O128:H2 strains and thus a potential source of human infection.

  4. Characterization of plasmids carrying the blaOXA-24/40 carbapenemase gene and the genes encoding the AbkA/AbkB proteins of a toxin/antitoxin system.

    PubMed

    Mosqueda, Noraida; Gato, Eva; Roca, Ignasi; López, María; de Alegría, Carlos Ruíz; Fernández Cuenca, Felipe; Martínez-Martínez, Luis; Pachón, Jerónimo; Cisneros, José Miguel; Rodríguez-Baño, Jesús; Pascual, Alvaro; Vila, Jordi; Bou, Germán; Tomás, María

    2014-10-01

    Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAb) is a major source of nosocomial infections in Spain associated with the production of OXA-58-like or OXA-24/40-like β-lactamase enzymes. We analysed the plasmids carrying the bla(OXA-24/40)-like gene in CRAb isolates obtained a decade apart. The presence of β-lactamases was screened for by PCR (metallo-β-lactamases, carbapenem-hydrolysing class D β-lactamases, GES and KPC) in 101 CRAb isolates obtained in two multicentre studies (GEIH/REIPI-Ab-2000 and GEIH/REIPI-Ab-2010; n = 493 Acinetobacter spp). We analysed the distribution and characterization of the plasmids carrying the bla(OXA-24/40)-like gene and sequenced two plasmids, AbATCC223p (2000) and AbATCC329p (2010) from A. baumannii ATCC 17978 transformants. Acquisition of the bla(OXA-24/40)-like gene was the main mechanism underlying resistance to carbapenems (48.7% in 2000 compared with 51.6% in 2010). This gene was mainly isolated in ST2 A. baumannii strains in both studies, although some novel STs (ST79 and ST80) appeared in 2010. The gene was located in plasmids (8-12 kbp) associated with the repAci2 or repAci2/repGR12 types. The sequences of AbATCC223p (8840 bp) and AbATCC329p (8842 bp) plasmids were similar, particularly regarding the presence of the genes encoding the AbkA/AbkB proteins associated with the toxin/antitoxin system. Moreover, the abkA/abkB gene sequences (>96% identity) were also located in plasmids harbouring the bla(OXA-58)-like gene. The action of OXA-24/40 and OXA-58 β-lactamase-like enzymes represents the main mechanism underlying resistance to carbapenems in Spain in the last decade. AbkA/AbkB proteins in the toxin/antitoxin system may be involved in the successful dissemination of plasmids carrying the bla(OXA-24/40)-like gene, and probably also the bla(OXA-58)-like gene, thus contributing to the plasmid stability. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial

  5. A systems approach to model the relationship between aflatoxin gene cluster expression, environmental factors, growth and toxin production by Aspergillus flavus

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Hadi, Ahmed; Schmidt-Heydt, Markus; Parra, Roberto; Geisen, Rolf; Magan, Naresh

    2012-01-01

    A microarray analysis was used to examine the effect of combinations of water activity (aw, 0.995–0.90) and temperature (20–42°C) on the activation of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes (30 genes) in Aspergillus flavus grown on a conducive YES (20 g yeast extract, 150 g sucrose, 1 g MgSO4·7H2O) medium. The relative expression of 10 key genes (aflF, aflD, aflE, aflM, aflO, aflP, aflQ, aflX, aflR and aflS) in the biosynthetic pathway was examined in relation to different environmental factors and phenotypic aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production. These data, plus data on relative growth rates and AFB1 production under different aw × temperature conditions were used to develop a mixed-growth-associated product formation model. The gene expression data were normalized and then used as a linear combination of the data for all 10 genes and combined with the physical model. This was used to relate gene expression to aw and temperature conditions to predict AFB1 production. The relationship between the observed AFB1 production provided a good linear regression fit to the predicted production based in the model. The model was then validated by examining datasets outside the model fitting conditions used (37°C, 40°C and different aw levels). The relationship between structural genes (aflD, aflM) in the biosynthetic pathway and the regulatory genes (aflS, aflJ) was examined in relation to aw and temperature by developing ternary diagrams of relative expression. These findings are important in developing a more integrated systems approach by combining gene expression, ecophysiological influences and growth data to predict mycotoxin production. This could help in developing a more targeted approach to develop prevention strategies to control such carcinogenic natural metabolites that are prevalent in many staple food products. The model could also be used to predict the impact of climate change on toxin production. PMID:21880616

  6. Transcriptional Profiling of Type II Toxin-Antitoxin Genes of Helicobacter pylori under Different Environmental Conditions: Identification of HP0967-HP0968 System.

    PubMed

    Cárdenas-Mondragón, María G; Ares, Miguel A; Panunzi, Leonardo G; Pacheco, Sabino; Camorlinga-Ponce, Margarita; Girón, Jorge A; Torres, Javier; De la Cruz, Miguel A

    2016-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human gastric mucosa and is responsible for causing peptic ulcers and gastric carcinoma. The expression of virulence factors allows the persistence of H. pylori in the stomach, which results in a chronic, sometimes uncontrolled inflammatory response. Type II toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have emerged as important virulence factors in many pathogenic bacteria. Three type II TA systems have previously been identified in the genome of H. pylori 26695: HP0315-HP0316, HP0892-HP0893, and HP0894-HP0895. Here we characterized a heretofore undescribed type II TA system in H. pylori, HP0967-HP0968, which is encoded by the bicistronic operon hp0968-hp0967 and belongs to the Vap family. The predicted HP0967 protein is a toxin with ribonuclease activity whereas HP0968 is an antitoxin that binds to its own regulatory region. We found that all type II TA systems were expressed in H. pylori during early stationary growth phase, and differentially expressed in the presence of urea, nickel, and iron, although, the hp0968-hp0967 pair was the most affected under these environmental conditions. Transcription of hp0968-hp0967 was strongly induced in a mature H. pylori biofilm and when the bacteria interacted with AGS epithelial cells. Kanamycin and chloramphenicol considerably boosted transcription levels of all the four type II TA systems. The hp0968-hp0967 TA system was the most frequent among 317 H. pylori strains isolated from all over the world. This study is the first report on the transcription of type II TA genes in H. pylori under different environmental conditions. Our data show that the HP0967 and HP0968 proteins constitute a bona fide type II TA system in H. pylori, whose expression is regulated by environmental cues, which are relevant in the context of infection of the human gastric mucosa.

  7. Design and implementation of laser target simulator in hardware-in-the-loop simulation system based on LabWindows/CVI and RTX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Qiujie; Wang, Qianqian; Li, Xiaoyang; Shan, Bin; Cui, Xuntai; Li, Chenyu; Peng, Zhong

    2016-11-01

    In order to satisfy the requirements of the real-time and generality, a laser target simulator in semi-physical simulation system based on RTX+LabWindows/CVI platform is proposed in this paper. Compared with the upper-lower computers simulation platform architecture used in the most of the real-time system now, this system has better maintainability and portability. This system runs on the Windows platform, using Windows RTX real-time extension subsystem to ensure the real-time performance of the system combining with the reflective memory network to complete some real-time tasks such as calculating the simulation model, transmitting the simulation data, and keeping real-time communication. The real-time tasks of simulation system run under the RTSS process. At the same time, we use the LabWindows/CVI to compile a graphical interface, and complete some non-real-time tasks in the process of simulation such as man-machine interaction, display and storage of the simulation data, which run under the Win32 process. Through the design of RTX shared memory and task scheduling algorithm, the data interaction between the real-time tasks process of RTSS and non-real-time tasks process of Win32 is completed. The experimental results show that this system has the strongly real-time performance, highly stability, and highly simulation accuracy. At the same time, it also has the good performance of human-computer interaction.

  8. Botulinum toxin, Quo Vadis?

    PubMed

    Lim, Erle C H; Seet, Raymond C S

    2007-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX), derived from the exotoxin of Clostridium botulinum, cleaves Soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-Attachment protein REceptor (SNARE) proteins, causing chemodenervation of cholinergic neurons. BTX also inhibits exocytosis of vesicles containing norepinephrine, glutamate, substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and inhibits expression of the vanilloid receptor. Clinical applications of BTX, which include the treatment of overactive skeletal and smooth muscles, hypersecretory and painful disorders, have increased exponentially since it was first used clinically to treat strabismus more than two decades ago. In this editorial, we discuss reports of new therapeutic indications of BTX, and propose new areas for research.

  9. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized 'Given X, find all associated Ys' query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: 'Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A'. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  10. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-01-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized ‘Given X, find all associated Ys’ query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: ‘Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A’. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. PMID:25925572

  11. Immunogenicity and virulence of attenuated vaccinia virus Tian Tan encoding HIV-1 muti-epitope genes, p24 and cholera toxin B subunit in mice.

    PubMed

    Du, Shouwen; Wang, Yuhang; Liu, Cunxia; Wang, Maopeng; Zhu, Yilong; Tan, Peng; Ren, Dayong; Li, Xiao; Tian, Mingyao; Yin, Ronglan; Li, Chang; Jin, Ningyi

    2015-07-01

    No effective prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1 in humans is currently available. This study analyzes the immunogenicity and safety of a recombinant attenuated vaccinia virus. A chimeric gene of HIV-1 multi-epitope genes containing CpG ODN and cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) was inserted into Chinese vaccinia virus Tian Tan strain (VTT) mutant strain. The recombinant virus rddVTT(-CCMp24) was assessed for immunogenicity and safety in mice. Results showed that the protein CCMp24 was expressed stably in BHK-21 infected with rddVTT(-CCMp24). And the recombinant virus induced the production of HIV-1 p24 specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IL-2 and IL-4. The recombinant vaccine induced γ-interferon secretion against HIV peptides, and elicited a certain levels of immunological memory. Results indicated that the recombinant virus had certain immunogenicity to HIV-1. Additionally, the virulence of the recombinant virus was been attenuated in vivo of mice compared with wild type VTT (wtVTT), and the introduction of CTB and HIV Mp24 did not alter the infectivity and virulence of defective vaccinia virus.

  12. Expression of the cercosporin toxin resistance gene ( CRG1) as a dicistronic mRNA in the filamentous fungus Cercospora nicotianae.

    PubMed

    Chung, Kuang-Ren; Daub, Margaret E; Ehrenshaft, Marilyn

    2003-09-01

    The CRG1 gene in Cercospora nicotianae encodes a transcription factor and is required for cercosporin toxin resistance and production. Cloning and sequencing of the downstream region of the CRG1 gene led to the discovery of an adjacent gene ( PUT1) encoding a putative uracil transporter. Expression of CRG1 and PUT1 as assessed by Northern analysis indicated that, in addition to the expected monocistronic mRNAs (2.6 kb and 2.0 kb, respectively), a common 4.5-kb mRNA could be identified, using either a CRG1 or a PUT1 gene probe. The 2.6-kb transcript identified only by the CRG1 probe was expressed constitutively, whereas the 2.0-kb transcript identified only by the PUT1 probe was differentially expressed in various media. Four cDNA clones containing CRG1, PUT1, and the CRG1- PUT1 intergenic region were identified as part of the products from the 4.5-kb transcript. Both the 4.5-kb and 2.6-kb transcripts were not detectable in three crg1-disrupted mutants, using the CRG1 probe. The 2.0-kb transcript, but not the 4.5-kb one was detected using the PUT1 probe in the three crg1-disrupted mutants. Taken together, we conclude that the 4.5-kb transcript is a dicistronic mRNA of both CRG1 and PUT1 in the fungus C. nicotianae. This is the first example of a dicistronic mRNA identified in filamentous fungi.

  13. Gene and antigen markers of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli from Michigan and Indiana river water: Occurrence and relation to recreational water quality criteria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duris, J.W.; Haack, S.K.; Fogarty, L.R.

    2009-01-01

    The relation of bacterial pathogen occurrence to fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) concentrations used for recreational water quality criteria (RWQC) is poorly understood. This study determined the occurrence of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) markers and their relation to FIB concentrations in Michigan and Indiana river water. Using 67 fecal coliform (FC) bacteria cultures from 41 river sites in multiple watersheds, we evaluated the occurrence of five STEC markers: the Escherichia coli (EC) O157 antigen and gene, and the STEC virulence genes eaeA, stx1, and stx2. Simple isolations from selected FC cultures yielded viable EC O157. By both antigen and gene assays, EC O157 was detected in a greater proportion of samples exceeding rather than meeting FC RWQC (P < 0.05), but was unrelated to EC and enterococci RWQC. The occurrence of all other STEC markers was unrelated to any FIB RWQC. The eaeA, stx2, and stx1 genes were found in 93.3, 13.3, and in 46.7% of samples meeting FC RWQC and in 91.7, 0.0, and 37.5% of samples meeting the EC RWQC. Although not statistically significant, the percentage of samples positive for each STEC marker except stx1 was lower in samples that met, as opposed to exceeded, FIB RWQC. Viable STEC were common members of the FC communities in river water throughout southern Michigan and northern Indiana, regardless of FIB RWQC. Our study indicates that further information on the occurrence of pathogens in recreational waters, and research on alternative indicators of their occurrence, may help inform water-resource management and public health decision-making. Copyright ?? 2009 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

  14. Activation of syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding by Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin and beta-toxin.

    PubMed

    Park, Pyong Woo; Foster, Timothy J; Nishi, Eiichiro; Duncan, Sheila J; Klagsbrun, Michael; Chen, Ye

    2004-01-02

    Exploitation of host components by microbes to promote their survival in the hostile host environment has been a recurring theme in recent years. Available data indicate that bacterial pathogens activate ectodomain shedding of host cell surface molecules to enhance their virulence. We reported previously that several major bacterial pathogens activate ectodomain shedding of syndecan-1, the major heparan sulfate proteoglycan of epithelial cells. Here we define the molecular basis of how Staphylococcus aureus activates syndecan-1 shedding. We screened mutant S. aureus strains devoid of various toxin and protease genes and found that only strains lacking both alpha-toxin and beta-toxin genes do not stimulate shedding. Mutations in the agr global regulatory locus, which positively regulates expression of alpha- and beta-toxins and other exoproteins, also abrogated the capacity to stimulate syndecan-1 shedding. Furthermore, purified S. aureus alpha- and beta-toxins, but not enterotoxin A and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, rapidly potentiated shedding in a concentration-dependent manner. These results establish that S. aureus activates syndecan-1 ectodomain shedding via its two virulence factors, alpha- and beta-toxins. Toxin-activated shedding was also selectively inhibited by antagonists of the host cell shedding mechanism, indicating that alpha- and beta-toxins shed syndecan-1 ectodomains through stimulation of the host cell's shedding machinery. Interestingly, beta-toxin, but not alpha-toxin, also enhanced ectodomain shedding of syndecan-4 and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor. Because shedding of these ectodomains has been implicated in promoting bacterial pathogenesis, activation of ectodomain shedding by alpha-toxin and beta-toxin may be a previously unknown virulence mechanism of S. aureus.

  15. Targeting bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Ivarsson, Mattias E; Leroux, Jean-Christophe; Castagner, Bastien

    2012-04-23

    Protein toxins constitute the main virulence factors of several species of bacteria and have proven to be attractive targets for drug development. Lead candidates that target bacterial toxins range from small molecules to polymeric binders, and act at each of the multiple steps in the process of toxin-mediated pathogenicity. Despite recent and significant advances in the field, a rationally designed drug that targets toxins has yet to reach the market. This Review presents the state of the art in bacterial toxin targeted drug development with a critical consideration of achieved breakthroughs and withstanding challenges. The discussion focuses on A-B-type protein toxins secreted by four species of bacteria, namely Clostridium difficile (toxins A and B), Vibrio cholerae (cholera toxin), enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (Shiga toxin), and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax toxin), which are the causative agents of diseases for which treatments need to be improved. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. The role of CTX and RS1 satellite phages genomic arrangement in Vibrio cholera toxin production in two recent cholera outbreaks (2012 and 2013) in IR Iran.

    PubMed

    Rezaie, Niloofar; Bakhshi, Bita; Najar-Peerayeh, Shahin

    2017-09-18

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the genomic arrangement of CTX/RS1 prophages in 30 Vibrio cholerae strains obtained from 2 consecutive years of cholera outbreak and to compare the role of different CTX/RS1 arrangements in cholera toxin expression among the El Tor strains. Profile A with TLC-RS1-CTX-RTX arrangement was observed in 46.7% of the isolates with RS1 phage locating adjacent to TLC element. About 50% of the isolates showed Profile B with TLC-CTX-RS1-RTX arrangement and one single isolate (3.3%) revealed TLC-CTX-RS1-RS1-RTX arrangement (Profile C). No RS1 element was detected to be adjacent to TLC element in B and C profiles. No truncated CTX phage genome was detected among the isolates of 2 years. Different CTX-RS1 arrangement profiles (A, B, and C) with different RS1 copy numbers and locations uniformly showed low level of cholera toxin production in El Tor strains with no significant difference, revealing that different RS1 copy numbers and locations have no effect on cholera toxin production level (p-value >0.05). However, increased cholera toxin expression was observed for control V. cholerae classical biotype strain. In conclusion, variations in RS1 prophage did not affect CT expression level in related El Tor V. cholerae strains. CTX genotyping establishes a more valuable database for epidemiologic, pathogenesis, and source tracking purposes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Probing of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae ApxIIIA toxin-dependent cytotoxicity towards mammalian peripheral blood mononucleated cells

    PubMed Central

    Vanden Bergh, Philippe GAC; Zecchinon, Laurent LM; Fett, Thomas; Desmecht, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    Background Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, the causative bacterial agent of porcine pleuropneumonia, produces Apx toxins which belong to RTX toxin family and are recognized as the major virulence factors. So far, their target receptor(s) has not been identified and the disease cytopathogenesis remains poorly understood. Production of an active Apx toxin and characterization of its toxic activity constitute the premises necessary to the description of its interaction with a potential receptor. From this point of view, we produced an active recombinant ApxIIIA toxin in order to characterize its toxicity on peripheral blood mononucleated cells (PBMCs) isolated from several species. Findings Toxin preparation exercises a strong cytotoxic action on porcine PBMCs which is directly related to recombinant ApxIIIA since preincubation with polymyxin B does not modify the cytotoxicity rate while preincubation with a monospecific polyclonal antiserum directed against ApxIIIA does. The cell death process triggered by ApxIIIA is extremely fast, the maximum rate of toxicity being already reached after 20 minutes of incubation. Moreover, ApxIIIA cytotoxicity is species-specific because llama, human, dog, rat and mouse PBMCs are resistant. Interestingly, bovine and caprine PBMCs are slightly sensitive to ApxIIIA toxin too. Finally, ApxIIIA cytotoxicity is cell type-specific as porcine epithelial cells are resistant. Conclusion We have produced an active recombinant ApxIIIA toxin and characterized its specific cytotoxicity on porcine PBMCs which will allow us to get new insights on porcine pleuropneumonia pathogenesis in the future. PMID:19046441

  18. Changes of PBP5 Gene Expression in Enterococcal Isolates from Renal Transplantation Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Jarzembowski, T.; Daca, A.; Witkowski, J.; Rutkowski, B.; Gołębiewska, J.; Dębska-Ślizień, A.

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate changes in expression of PBP5 gene associated with immunosuppression. A linear locked nucleic acid (LNA) probe was used to measure resistance gene expression by the Flow-FISH method. Expression of the PBP5 gene measured by Flow-FISH was higher in enterococcal strains isolated from renal transplantation (RTx) recipients than in commensal strains. Additionally, in contrast to commensal strains in isolates from RTx patients, PBP5 gene expression was 17.45% higher in biofilms than in planktonic cells. Detailed comparison also showed that cyclosporine seemed to induce higher expression of PBP5 as compared to tacrolimus. PMID:23862151

  19. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-10-07

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species.

  20. Prevalence of adhesin and toxin genes in E. coli strains isolated from diarrheic and non-diarrheic pigs from smallholder herds in northern and eastern Uganda.

    PubMed

    Ikwap, Kokas; Larsson, Jenny; Jacobson, Magdalena; Owiny, David Okello; Nasinyama, George William; Nabukenya, Immaculate; Mattsson, Sigbrit; Aspan, Anna; Erume, Joseph

    2016-08-05

    Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) significantly contribute to diarrhea in piglets and weaners. The smallholder pig producers in Uganda identified diarrhea as one of the major problems especially in piglets. The aim of this study was to; i) characterize the virulence factors of E. coli strains isolated from diarrheic and non-diarrheic suckling piglets and weaners from smallholder herds in northern and eastern Uganda and ii) identify and describe the post-mortem picture of ETEC infection in severely diarrheic piglets. Rectal swab samples were collected from 83 piglets and weaners in 20 herds and isolated E. coli were characterized by PCR, serotyping and hemolysis. The E. coli strains carried genes for the heat stable toxins STa, STb and EAST1 and adhesins F4 and AIDA-I. The genes for the heat labile toxin LT and adhesins F5, F6, F18 and F41 were not detected in any of the E. coli isolates. Where the serogroup could be identified, E. coli isolates from the same diarrheic pig belonged to the same serogroup. The prevalence of EAST1, STb, Stx2e, STa, AIDA-I, and F4 in the E. coli isolates from suckling piglets and weaners (diarrheic and non-diarrheic combined) was 29, 26.5, 2.4, 1.2, 16, and 8.4 %, respectively. However the prevalence of F4 and AIDA-I in E. coli from diarrheic suckling piglets alone was 22.2 and 20 %, respectively. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of the individual virulence factors in E. coli from the diarrheic and non-diarrheic pigs (p > 0.05). The main ETEC strains isolated from diarrheic and non-diarrheic pigs included F4/STb/EAST1 (7.2 %), F4/STb (1.2 %), AIDA/STb/EAST1 (8 %) and AIDA/STb (8 %). At post-mortem, two diarrheic suckling piglets carrying ETEC showed intact intestinal villi, enterocytes and brush border but with a layer of cells attached to the brush border, suggestive of ETEC infections. This study has shown that the F4 fimbriae is the most predominant in E. coli from diarrheic piglets in the study area and

  1. Characterization of clinical Clostridium difficile isolates by PCR ribotyping and detection of toxin genes in Austria, 2006-2007.

    PubMed

    Indra, A; Schmid, D; Huhulescu, S; Hell, M; Gattringer, R; Hasenberger, P; Fiedler, A; Wewalka, G; Allerberger, F

    2008-06-01

    In order to assess the lethality of Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) and the PCR ribotypes prevalent in Austria, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety requested isolates of C. difficile from patients in a structured but arbitrary sampling scheme. In the allocated period from February 2006 to January 2007, local hospital laboratories within each of the nine provinces were asked to submit C. difficile isolates from at least ten cases of CDAD. Confirmation of species identification, toxin detection, susceptibility testing against four antimicrobial agents and typing using a PCR ribotyping method were performed at the reference laboratory. In total, 149 isolates of putative C. difficile were submitted, from which 142 were included for study. Antimicrobial susceptibility patterns revealed resistance to clindamycin in 57% and high-level resistance to moxifloxacin in 38% of isolates tested. CDAD manifested as diarrhoea (including eight cases of bloody diarrhoea) in 126 cases (88.7%), as pseudomembranous colitis in 15 cases (10.6%) and as toxic megacolon in one case. Twelve of the 142 patients died within 30 days of specimen collection (8.45% lethality). A lethal outcome occurred in 2/15 cases (13.3%) when pseudomembranous colitis was present and in 10/126 cases (7.9%) in the absence of pseudomembranous colitis or toxic megacolon. Among the 142 isolates from 25 health-care facilities, 41 PCR ribotype patterns were found. The most frequent ribotypes were AI-5 (including six lethal cases out of 26 patients), 014 (two out of 24) and 053 (one out of 24). The typing patterns demonstrated the occurrence of clusters in hospitals.

  2. Role of the RS1 sequence of the cholera vibrio in amplification of the segment of plasmid DNA carrying the gene of resistance to tetracycline and the genes of cholera toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Fil'kova, S.L.; Il'ina, T.S.; Gintsburg, A.L.; Yanishevskii, N.V.; Smirnov, G.B.

    1988-11-01

    The hybrid plasmid pCO107, representing cointegrate 14(2)-5(2) of two plasmids, an F-derivative (pOX38) and a PBR322-derivative (pCT105) with an RS1 sequence of the cholera vibrio cloned in its makeup, contains two copes of RS1 at the sites of union of the two plasmids. Using a tetracycline resistance marker (Tc/sup R/) of the plasmid pCT105, clones were isolated which have an elevated level of resistance to tetracycline (an increase of from 4- to 30-fold). Using restriction analysis and the Southern blot method of hybridization it was shown that the increase in the level of resistance of tetracycline is associated with the amplification of pCT105 portion of the cointegrate, and that the process of amplification is governed by the presence of direct repeats of the RS1 sequence at its ends. The increase in the number of copies of the pCT105 segment, which contains in its composition the genes of cholera toxin (vct), is accompanied by an increase in toxin production.

  3. Effects of In Vitro Exposure to Diarrheic Toxin Producer Prorocentrum lima on Gene Expressions Related to Cell Cycle Regulation and Immune Response in Crassostrea gigas

    PubMed Central

    de Jesús Romero-Geraldo, Reyna; García-Lagunas, Norma; Hernández-Saavedra, Norma Yolanda

    2014-01-01

    Background Crassostrea gigas accumulates diarrheic shellfish toxins (DSP) associated to Prorocentrum lima of which Okadaic acid (OA) causes specific inhibitions of serine and threonine phosphatases 1 and 2A. Its toxic effects have been extensively reported in bivalve mollusks at cellular and physiological levels, but genomic approaches have been scarcely studied. Methodology/Principal Findings Acute and sub-chronic exposure effects of P. lima were investigated on farmed juvenile C. gigas (3–5 mm). The Pacific oysters were fed with three dinoflagellate concentrations: 0.3, 3, and 30×103 cells mL−1 along with a nontoxic control diet of Isochrysis galbana. The effects of P. lima on C. gigas were followed by analyzing expression levels of a total of four genes, three involved in cell cycle regulation and one in immune response by polymerase chain reaction and real time quantitative PCR, where changes in time and cell concentration were found. The highest expression levels were found in oysters fed 3×103 cells mL−1 at 168 h for the cycle regulator p21 protein (9 fold), chromatin assembly factor 1 p55 subunit (8 fold), elongation factor 2 (2 fold), and lipopolysaccharide/β-1, 3 glucan binding protein (13 fold above base line). Additionally, the transcript level of all the genes decreased in oysters fed wich the mixed diet 30×103 cells mL−1 of dinoflagellate after 72 h and was lowest in the chromatin assembly factor 1 p55 subunit (0.9 fold below baseline). Conclusions On C. gigas the whole cell ingestion of P lima caused a clear mRNA modulation expression of the genes involved in cell cycle regulation and immune system. Over-expression could be related to DNA damage, disturbances in cell cycle continuity, probably a genotoxic effect, as well as an activation of its innate immune system as first line of defense. PMID:24825133

  4. Neuroprotective Effect of Non-viral Gene Therapy Treatment Based on Tetanus Toxin C-fragment in a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Oliván, Sara; Calvo, Ana C; Rando, Amaya; Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Manzano, Raquel; Zaragoza, Pilar; Tizzano, Eduardo F; Aquilera, Jose; Osta, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis and progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. Nowadays there are no effective therapies available to treat patients with SMA, so our aim was to test whether the non-toxic carboxy-terminal fragment of tetanus toxin heavy chain (TTC), which exhibits neurotrophic properties, might have a therapeutic role or benefit in SMA. In this manuscript, we have demonstrated that TTC enhance the SMN expression in motor neurons "in vitro" and evaluated the effect of intramuscular injection of TTC-encoding plasmid in the spinal cord and the skeletal muscle of SMNdelta7 mice. For this purpose, we studied the weight and the survival time, as well as, the survival and cell death pathways and muscular atrophy. Our results showed that TTC treatment reduced the expression of autophagy markers (Becn1, Atg5, Lc3, and p62) and pro-apoptotic genes such as Bax and Casp3 in spinal cord. In skeletal muscle, TTC was able to downregulate the expression of the main marker of autophagy, Lc3, to wild-type levels and the expression of the apoptosis effector protein, Casp3. Regarding the genes related to muscular atrophy (Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbox32, Mt2, Myod1, NogoA, Pax7, Rrad, and Sln), TTC suggest a compensatory effect for muscle damage response, diminished oxidative stress and modulated calcium homeostasis. These preliminary findings suggest the need for further experiments to depth study the effect of TTC in SMA disease.

  5. Neuroprotective Effect of Non-viral Gene Therapy Treatment Based on Tetanus Toxin C-fragment in a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Oliván, Sara; Calvo, Ana C.; Rando, Amaya; Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Manzano, Raquel; Zaragoza, Pilar; Tizzano, Eduardo F.; Aquilera, Jose; Osta, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis and progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. Nowadays there are no effective therapies available to treat patients with SMA, so our aim was to test whether the non-toxic carboxy-terminal fragment of tetanus toxin heavy chain (TTC), which exhibits neurotrophic properties, might have a therapeutic role or benefit in SMA. In this manuscript, we have demonstrated that TTC enhance the SMN expression in motor neurons “in vitro” and evaluated the effect of intramuscular injection of TTC-encoding plasmid in the spinal cord and the skeletal muscle of SMNdelta7 mice. For this purpose, we studied the weight and the survival time, as well as, the survival and cell death pathways and muscular atrophy. Our results showed that TTC treatment reduced the expression of autophagy markers (Becn1, Atg5, Lc3, and p62) and pro-apoptotic genes such as Bax and Casp3 in spinal cord. In skeletal muscle, TTC was able to downregulate the expression of the main marker of autophagy, Lc3, to wild-type levels and the expression of the apoptosis effector protein, Casp3. Regarding the genes related to muscular atrophy (Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbox32, Mt2, Myod1, NogoA, Pax7, Rrad, and Sln), TTC suggest a compensatory effect for muscle damage response, diminished oxidative stress and modulated calcium homeostasis. These preliminary findings suggest the need for further experiments to depth study the effect of TTC in SMA disease. PMID:27605908

  6. High Specificity of a Quantitative PCR Assay Targeting a Saxitoxin Gene for Monitoring Toxic Algae Associated with Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in the Yellow Sea

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yan; Murray, Shauna A.; Chen, Jian-Hua; Kang, Zhen-Jun; Zhang, Qing-Chun; Kong, Fan-Zhou; Zhou, Ming-Jiang

    2015-01-01

    The identification of core genes involved in the biosynthesis of saxitoxin (STX) offers a great opportunity to detect toxic algae associated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PST). In the Yellow Sea (YS) in China, both toxic and nontoxic Alexandrium species are present, which makes it a difficult issue to specifically monitor PST-producing toxic algae. In this study, a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay targeting sxtA4, a domain in the sxt gene cluster that encodes a unique enzyme involved in STX biosynthesis, was applied to analyze samples collected from the YS in spring of 2012. The abundance of two toxic species within the Alexandrium tamarense species complex, i.e., A. fundyense and A. pacificum, was also determined with TaqMan-based qPCR assays, and PSTs in net-concentrated phytoplankton samples were analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a fluorescence detector. It was found that the distribution of the sxtA4 gene in the YS was consistent with the toxic algae and PSTs, and the quantitation results of sxtA4 correlated well with the abundance of the two toxic species (r = 0.857). These results suggested that the two toxic species were major PST producers during the sampling season and that sxtA-based qPCR is a promising method to detect toxic algae associated with PSTs in the YS. The correlation between PST levels and sxtA-based qPCR results, however, was less significant (r = 0.552), implying that sxtA-based qPCR is not accurate enough to reflect the toxicity of PST-producing toxic algae. The combination of an sxtA-based qPCR assay and chemical means might be a promising method for monitoring toxic algal blooms. PMID:26231652

  7. Survival and expression of acid resistance genes in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli acid adapted in pineapple juice and exposed to synthetic gastric fluid.

    PubMed

    Kim, G-H; Fratamico, P; Breidt, F; Oh, D-H

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this research was to determine the ability of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups to survive with exposure to synthetic gastric fluid (SGF) after adaptation to pineapple juice (PJ) at room and refrigerated temperatures compared to E. coli O157:H7 and to examine the relative transcriptional expression of acid resistance (AR) genes, rpoS, gadA and adiA. Resistant and sensitive strains belonging to five different STEC serogroups (O26, O103, O104, O111 and O157; n = 10) were used in this study. All strains were adapted in PJ (pH 3·8) stored at 4 and 20°C for 24 h, and then the relative transcription levels of genes in all strains were quantified using a real-time quantitative-PCR assay. After adaptation in PJ, the STEC strains were exposed to SGF (pH 1·5 and 2·0) at 37°C for 2 h. Generally, the STEC adapted in PJ at 4°C displayed enhanced survival compared to acid adaptation in PJ at 20°C and nonadapted controls with exposure to SGF (P < 0·05). Moreover, resistant strains exhibited higher survival rates compared to sensitive strains (P < 0·05). Overall, adaptation at 4°C resulted in significantly (P < 0·05) enhanced gene expression levels in PJ, and transcript levels of gadA were higher than those of the rpoS and adiA genes. The up-regulation of AR genes due to adaptation in PJ at low temperature may increase STEC survival in acidic environments such as the gastrointestinal tract. Some non-O157 STEC strains, including serotypes O103:H2 and O111:H8, showed relatively high AR levels similar to those of STEC O157:H7. Induction of AR genes in acidic fruit juice, and potentially in other acidic foods may increase the risk of foodborne illness by non-O157 STEC serogroups. © 2016 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  8. Inactivation of allergens and toxins.

    PubMed

    Morandini, Piero

    2010-11-30

    Plants are replete with thousands of proteins and small molecules, many of which are species-specific, poisonous or dangerous. Over time humans have learned to avoid dangerous plants or inactivate many toxic components in food plants, but there is still room for ameliorating food crops (and plants in general) in terms of their allergens and toxins content, especially in their edible parts. Inactivation at the genetic rather than physical or chemical level has many advantages and classical genetic approaches have resulted in significant reduction of toxin content. The capacity, offered by genetic engineering, of turning off (inactivating) specific genes has opened up the possibility of altering the plant content in a far more precise manner than previously available. Different levels of intervention (genes coding for toxins/allergens or for enzymes, transporters or regulators involved in their metabolism) are possible and there are several tools for inactivating genes, both direct (using chemical and physical mutagens, insertion of transposons and other genetic elements) and indirect (antisense RNA, RNA interference, microRNA, eventually leading to gene silencing). Each level/strategy has specific advantages and disadvantages (speed, costs, selectivity, stability, reversibility, frequency of desired genotype and regulatory regime). Paradigmatic examples from classical and transgenic approaches are discussed to emphasize the need to revise the present regulatory process. Reducing the content of natural toxins is a trade-off process: the lesser the content of natural toxins, the higher the susceptibility of a plant to pests and therefore the stronger the need to protect plants. As a consequence, more specific pesticides like Bt are needed to substitute for general pesticides.

  9. Bullous impetigo in children infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus alone or in combination with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus: analysis of genetic characteristics, including assessment of exfoliative toxin gene carriage.

    PubMed

    Shi, Da; Higuchi, Wataru; Takano, Tomomi; Saito, Kohei; Ozaki, Kyoko; Takano, Misao; Nitahara, Yoshiyuki; Yamamoto, Tatsuo

    2011-05-01

    Among bullous impetigo isolates, exfoliative toxin (ET) gene carriage was found in 61.5% of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates versus 90.6% of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates. MRSA-only cases were ETB or ETA positive, while MRSA/MSSA coinfection cases were ET negative for MRSA but ETA positive for MSSA. Collagen adhesin may facilitate some MRSA infections.

  10. Bullous Impetigo in Children Infected with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Alone or in Combination with Methicillin-Susceptible S. aureus: Analysis of Genetic Characteristics, Including Assessment of Exfoliative Toxin Gene Carriage▿

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Da; Higuchi, Wataru; Takano, Tomomi; Saito, Kohei; Ozaki, Kyoko; Takano, Misao; Nitahara, Yoshiyuki; Yamamoto, Tatsuo

    2011-01-01

    Among bullous impetigo isolates, exfoliative toxin (ET) gene carriage was found in 61.5% of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates versus 90.6% of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates. MRSA-only cases were ETB or ETA positive, while MRSA/MSSA coinfection cases were ET negative for MRSA but ETA positive for MSSA. Collagen adhesin may facilitate some MRSA infections. PMID:21430094

  11. Expression profile of eight glutathione S-transferase genes in Crassostrea ariakensis after exposure to DSP toxins producing dinoflagellate Prorocentrum lima.

    PubMed

    Zou, Ying; Wei, Xiao-Meng; Weng, Hui-Wen; Li, Hong-Ye; Liu, Jie-Sheng; Yang, Wei-Dong

    2015-10-01

    In this study, changes in eight GSTs mRNA level including GST-α, GST-σ, GST-ω, GST-π, GST-μ, GST-ρ, GST-θ and microsomal GST (mGST) in the oyster Crassostrea ariakensis after exposure to Prorocentrum lima have been evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Additionally, the contents of five GST isoforms were detected by ELISA. After exposure to P. lima at density of 2 × 10(5) cells/L, mGST mRNA significantly increased in gill, while GST-σ was induced in digestive gland. After exposure to P. lima at density of 2 × 10(6) cells/L, GST-ω and mGST expressions increased in gill, whereas GST-α and GST-σ were induced in digestive gland. The GST content and activity in oysters exposed to P. lima also showed a different pattern when the different isoforms and organs were compared. After exposure to P. lima (2 × 10(6) cell/L), GST-π increased in gill but decreased in digestive gland. The total GST enzyme activity increased in gill, while remained unchanged in digestive gland. These various regulation of GST gene expressions indicated that the GSTs isoenzymes might play divergent physiological roles in the detoxification of DSP toxins in C. ariakensis.

  12. Expression of tetanus toxin fragment C in yeast: gene synthesis is required to eliminate fortuitous polyadenylation sites in AT-rich DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Romanos, M A; Makoff, A J; Fairweather, N F; Beesley, K M; Slater, D E; Rayment, F B; Payne, M M; Clare, J J

    1991-01-01

    Fragment C is a non-toxic 50 kDa fragment of tetanus toxin which is a candidate subunit vaccine against tetanus. The AT-rich Clostridium tetani DNA encoding fragment C could not be expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae due to the presence of several fortuitous polyadenylation sites which gave rise to truncated mRNAs. The polyadenylation sites were eliminated by chemically synthesising the DNA with increased GC-content (from 29% to 47%). Synthesis of the entire gene (1400 base pairs) was necessary to generate full-length transcripts and for protein production in yeast. Using a GAL1 promoter vector, fragment C was expressed to 2-3% of soluble cell protein. Fragment C could also be secreted using the alpha-factor leader peptide as a secretion signal. The protein was present at 5-10 mg/l in the culture medium in two forms: a high molecular mass hyper-glycosylated protein (75-200 kDa) and a core-glycosylated protein (65 kDa). Intracellular fragment C was as effective in vaccinating mice against tetanus authentic fragment C. The glycosylated material was inactive, though it was rendered fully active by de-glycosylation. Images PMID:2027754

  13. Plasmids from Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Strains with Rare Enterohemolysin Gene (ehxA) Subtypes Reveal Pathogenicity Potential and Display a Novel Evolutionary Path

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Sandra C.; Monday, Steven R.; Hoffmann, Maria; Fischer, Markus

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Most Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains associated with severe disease, such as hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), carry large enterohemolysin-encoding (ehxA) plasmids, e.g., pO157 and pO103, that contribute to STEC clinical manifestations. Six ehxA subtypes (A through F) exist that phylogenetically cluster into eae-positive (B, C, F), a mix of eae-positive (E) and eae-negative (A), and a third, more distantly related, cluster of eae-negative (D) STEC strains. While subtype B, C, and F plasmids share a number of virulence traits that are distinct from those of subtype A, sequence data have not been available for subtype D and E plasmids. Here, we determined and compared the genetic composition of four subtype D and two subtype E plasmids to establish their evolutionary relatedness among ehxA subtypes and define their potential role in pathogenicity. We found that subtype D strains carry one exceptionally large plasmid (>200 kbp) that carries a variety of virulence genes that are associated with enterotoxigenic and enterohemorrhagic E. coli, which, quite possibly, enables these strains to cause disease despite being food isolates. Our data offer further support for the hypothesis that this subtype D plasmid represents a novel virulence plasmid, sharing very few genetic features with other plasmids; we conclude that these plasmids have evolved from a different evolutionary lineage than the plasmids carrying the other ehxA subtypes. In contrast, the 50-kbp plasmids of subtype E (pO145), although isolated from HUS outbreak strains, carried only few virulence-associated determinants, suggesting that the clinical presentation of subtype E strains is largely a result of chromosomally encoded virulence factors. IMPORTANCE Bacterial plasmids are known to be key agents of change in microbial populations, promoting the dissemination of various traits, such as drug resistance and virulence. This study determined the genetic makeup of virulence

  14. Species diversity and peptide toxins blocking selectivity of ether-a-go-go-related gene subfamily K+ channels in the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Korolkova, Yuliya V; Diochot, Sylvie; Gurrola, Georgina; Guasti, Leonardo; Possani, Lourival D; Lazdunski, Michel; Grishin, Eugene V; Arcangeli, Annarosa; Wanke, Enzo

    2006-05-01

    The ether-à-go-go-related gene (erg) K+ channels are known to be crucial for life in Caenorhabditis elegans (mating), Drosophila melanogaster (seizure), and humans (LQT syndrome). The erg genes known to date (erg1, erg2, and erg3) are highly expressed in various areas of the rat and mouse central nervous system (CNS), and ERG channel blockers alter firing accommodation. To assign physiological roles to each isoform, it is necessary to design pharmacological strategies to distinguish individual currents. To this purpose, we have investigated the blocking properties of specific peptide inhibitors of hERG1 channels on the human and rat isoforms. In particular, we have tested ErgTx1 (from the scorpion Centruroides noxious), BeKm-1 (from the scorpion Buthus eupeus), and APETx1 (from the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima). Because these peptides had different species-specific effects on the six different channels, we have also carried out a biophysical characterization of hERG2 and hERG3 channels that turned out to be different from the rat homologs. It emerged that APETx1 is exquisitely selective for ERG1 and does not compete with the other two toxins. BeKm-1 discriminates well among the three rat members. ErgTx1 is unable to block hERG2, but blocks rERG2 and has the lowest KD for hERG3. BeKm-1 and ErgTx1 compete for hERG3 but not for rERG2 blockade. Our findings should be helpful for structure-function studies and for novel CNS ERG-specific drug design.

  15. Gene Discovery and Expression Profiling in the Toxin-Producing Marine Diatom, Pseudo-nitzschia Multiseries (Hasle) Hasle

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-09-01

    measuring mRNAs. Comparing the amount of specific mRNAs between two samples provides a mechanism to screen for genes that are turned on or off under defined ...were based on a comparison of different criteria and software packages that revealed that Seqman (DNAStar) yielded the most consistent results using...branches of the eukaryotic tree and to further define the root of the tree. Multiple copies of actin, beta-tubulin, and EF- 1 alpha were identified in P

  16. Hfr-2, a wheat cytolytic toxin-like gene, is up-regulated by virulent Hessian fly larval feedingdouble dagger.

    PubMed

    Puthoff, David P; Sardesai, Nagesh; Subramanyam, Subhashree; Nemacheck, Jill A; Williams, Christie E

    2005-07-01

    SUMMARY Both yield and grain-quality are dramatically decreased when susceptible wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants are infested by Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor) larvae. Examination of the changes in wheat gene expression during infestation by virulent Hessian fly larvae has identified the up-regulation of a gene, Hessian fly responsive-2 (Hfr-2), which contains regions similar to genes encoding seed-specific agglutinin proteins from Amaranthus. Hfr-2, however, did not accumulate in developing seeds, as do other wheat seed storage proteins. Additionally, a separate region of the HFR-2 predicted amino acid sequence is similar to haemolytic proteins, from both mushroom and bacteria, that are able to form pores in cell membranes of mammalian red blood cells. The involvement of Hfr-2 in interactions with insects was supported by experiments demonstrating its up-regulation by both fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) infestations but not by virus infection. Examination of wheat defence response pathways showed Hfr-2 up-regulation following methyl jasmonate treatment and only slight up-regulation in response to salicylic acid, abscisic acid and wounding treatments. Like related proteins, HFR-2 may normally function in defence against certain insects or pathogens. However, we propose that as virulent Hessian fly larvae manipulate the physiology of the susceptible host, the HFR-2 protein inserts in plant cell membranes at the feeding sites and by forming pores provides water, ions and other small nutritive molecules to the developing larvae.

  17. Multiplex Real-Time PCR Assays for Screening of Shiga Toxin 1 and 2 Genes, Including All Known Subtypes, and Escherichia coli O26-, O111-, and O157-Specific Genes in Beef and Sprout Enrichment Cultures.

    PubMed

    Harada, Tetsuya; Iguchi, Atsushi; Iyoda, Sunao; Seto, Kazuko; Taguchi, Masumi; Kumeda, Yuko

    2015-10-01

    Shiga toxin family members have recently been classified using a new nomenclature into three Stx1 subtypes (Stx1a, Stx1c, and Stx1d) and seven Stx2 subtypes (Stx2a, Stx2b, Stx2c, Stx2d, Stx2e, Stx2f, and Stx2g). To develop screening methods for Stx genes, including all of these subtype genes, and Escherichia coli O26-, O111-, and O157-specific genes in laboratory investigations of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) foodborne cases, we developed multiplex real-time PCR assays and evaluated their specificity and quantitative accuracy using STEC and non-STEC isolates, recombinant plasmids, and food enrichment cultures and by performing STEC spiking experiments with beef and sprout enrichment cultures. In addition, we evaluated the relationship between the recovery rates of the target strains by direct plating and immunomagnetic separation and the cycle threshold (CT) values of the real-time PCR assays for the Stx subtypes and STEC O26, O111, and O157 serogroups. All three stx1- and seven stx2-subtype genes were detected by real-time PCR with high sensitivity and specificity, and the quantitative accuracy of this assay was confirmed using control plasmids and STEC spiking experiments. The results of the STEC spiking experiments suggest that it is not routinely possible to isolate STEC from enrichment cultures with real-time PCR CT values greater than 30 by direct plating on MacConkey agar, although highly selective media and immunomagnetic beads were able to isolate the inoculated strains from the enrichment cultures. These data suggest that CT values obtained from the highly quantitative real-time PCR assays developed in this study provide useful information to develop effective isolation strategies for STEC from food samples. The real-time PCR assays developed here are expected to aid in investigations of infections or outbreaks caused by STEC harboring any of the stx-subtype genes in the new Stx nomenclature, as well as STEC O26, O111, and O157.

  18. Verification of the Usefulness of the Trimble Rtx Extended Satellite Technology with the Xfill Function in the Local Network Implementing Rtk Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siejka, Zbigniew

    2014-12-01

    The paper presents the method of satellite measurements, which gives users the ability of GNSS continuous precise positioning in real time, even in the case of short interruptions in receiving the correction of the local ground system of measurements support. The proposed method is a combination of two satellite positioning technologies RTN GNSS and RTX Extended. In technology RTX Extended the xFill function was used for precise positioning in real time and in the local reference system. This function provides the ability to perform measurement without the need for constant communication with the ground support satellite system. Test measurements were performed on a test basis located in Krakow, and RTN GNSS positioning was done based on the national network of reference stations of the ASGEUPOS. The solution allows for short (up to 5 minutes) interruptions in radio or internet communication. When the primary stream of RTN correction is not available, then the global corrections Trimble xFill broadcasted by satellite are used. The new technology uses in the real-time data from the global network of tracking stations and contributes significantly to improving the quality and efficiency of surveying works. At present according to the authors, technology Trimble CenterPoint RTX can guarantee repeatability of measurements not worse than 3.8 cm (Trimble Survey Division, 2012). In the paper the comparative analysis of measurement results between the two technologies was performed: RTN carried out in the classic way, which was based on the corrections of the terrestrial local network of the Polish system of active geodetic network (ASG-EUPOS) and RTK xFill technology. The results were related to the data of test network, established as error free. The research gave satisfactory results and confirmed the great potential of the use of the new technology in the geodetic work realization. By combining these two technologies of GNSS surveying the user can greatly improve the

  19. *CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are naturally-occurring contaminants of surface waters worldwide. These photosynthesizing prokaryotes thrive in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich waters. Many produce potent toxins as secondary metabolites. Cyanobacteria toxins have been document...

  20. *CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are naturally-occurring contaminants of surface waters worldwide. These photosynthesizing prokaryotes thrive in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich waters. Many produce potent toxins as secondary metabolites. Cyanobacteria toxins have been document...

  1. Functional characterization of SOR1, a gene required for resistance to photosensitizing toxins in the fungus Cercospora nicotianae.

    PubMed

    Ehrenshaft, M; Chung, K R; Jenns, A E; Daub, M E

    1999-01-01

    The Cercospora nicotianae SOR1 gene is required for resistance to singlet oxygen-generating photosensitizers. SOR1 was characterized in the wild-type and in five photosensitizer-sensitive mutant strains which are complemented to photosensitizer resistance by transformation with SOR1. Sequence analysis determined that three of the mutants contain SOR1 copies with mutations encoding substitutions in the protein-coding sequence; however, two other mutants had wild-type SOR1 protein and promoter sequences. All five mutants accumulate SOR1 mRNA at levels comparable to that of the wild-type strain. In the wild-type strain, SOR1 accumulation is enhanced two-fold by light, but is unaffected by the presence of cercosporin, the photosensitizer synthesized by C. nicotianae. Southern analysis indicates that SOR1 is present in other fungi that synthesize structurally related perylenequinone photosensitizers.

  2. Detection of Protein Toxins

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We have focused on ricin, shiga-like toxin, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), and staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), developing sensitive test methods for toxins and marker compounds in food matrices. Although animal models provide the best means for risk assessment, especially for crude toxins in compl...

  3. Vibrio cholerae cytolysin is essential for high enterotoxicity and apoptosis induction produced by a cholera toxin gene-negative V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strain.

    PubMed

    Saka, Hector Alex; Bidinost, Carla; Sola, Claudia; Carranza, Pablo; Collino, Cesar; Ortiz, Susana; Echenique, Jose Ricardo; Bocco, José Luis

    2008-02-01

    Cholera toxin (CT) gene-negative Vibrio cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strains may cause severe diarrhea though their pathogenic mechanism remains unclear. V. cholerae cytolysin (VCC) is a pore-forming exotoxin encoded in the hlyA gene of V. cholerae whose contribution to the pathogenesis is not fully understood. In this work, the virulence properties of a CT gene-negative V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strain causing a cholera-like syndrome were analyzed. Inoculation of rabbit ileal loops with the wild type strain induced extensive fluid accumulation, accompanied by severe histopathological damage characterized by villus shortening, lymphangiectasia and focal areas of necrosis. These pathogenic effects were abrogated by mutation of the hlyA gene thus pointing out the main role of VCC in the virulence of the strain. Interestingly, this toxin was capable of triggering apoptosis in human intestinal cell lines due to its anion channel activity. Moreover, the wild type strain also induced increased apoptosis of the intestinal epithelium cells which was not observed upon inoculation of the VCC null mutant strain, indicating that VCC may trigger apoptotic cell death during infection in vivo. Altogether, these results support a main role of VCC in the pathogenesis of the CT gene-negative V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strain and identify apoptosis as a previously unrecognized cell death pathway triggered by VCC.

  4. Bacteriophage ΦM1 of Pectobacterium evolves to escape two bifunctional Type III toxin-antitoxin and abortive infection systems through mutations in a single viral gene.

    PubMed

    Blower, Tim R; Chai, Ray; Przybilski, Rita; Chindhy, Shahzad; Fang, Xinzhe; Kidman, Samuel E; Tan, Hui; Luisi, Ben F; Fineran, Peter C; Salmond, George P C

    2017-02-03

    Some bacteria, when infected by their viral parasites (bacteriophages), undergo a suicidal response that also terminates productive viral replication (abortive infection; Abi). This response can be viewed as an altruistic act protecting the uninfected bacterial clonal population. Abortive infection can occur through the action of Type III protein-RNA toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems, such as ToxINPa from the phytopathogen, Pectobacterium atrosepticum Rare spontaneous mutants evolved in the generalized transducing phage, ΦM1, which escaped ToxINPa-mediated abortive infection in P. atrosepticum ΦM1 is a member of the Podoviridae and member of the "KMV-like viruses", a subset of the T7 supergroup. Genomic sequencing of ΦM1 escape mutants revealed single-base changes which clustered in a single open reading frame. The "escape" gene product, M1-23, was highly toxic to the host bacterium when over-expressed, but mutations in M1-23 that enabled an escape phenotype caused M1-23 to be less toxic. M1-23 is encoded within the DNA metabolism modular section of the phage genome, and when it was over-expressed, it co-purified with the host nucleotide excision repair protein, UvrA. While the M1-23 protein interacted with UvrA in co-immunoprecipitation assays, a UvrA mutant strain still aborted ΦM1, suggesting that the interaction is not critical for the Type III TA Abi activity. Additionally, ΦM1 escaped a heterologous Type III TA system (TenpINPl) from Photorhabdus luminescens (reconstituted in P. atrosepticum) through mutations in the same protein, M1-23. The mechanistic action of M1-23 is currently unknown but further analysis of this protein could provide insights into the mode of activation of both systems.

  5. Plasmids from Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Strains with Rare Enterohemolysin Gene (ehxA) Subtypes Reveal Pathogenicity Potential and Display a Novel Evolutionary Path.

    PubMed

    Lorenz, Sandra C; Monday, Steven R; Hoffmann, Maria; Fischer, Markus; Kase, Julie A

    2016-11-01

    Most Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains associated with severe disease, such as hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), carry large enterohemolysin-encoding (ehxA) plasmids, e.g., pO157 and pO103, that contribute to STEC clinical manifestations. Six ehxA subtypes (A through F) exist that phylogenetically cluster into eae-positive (B, C, F), a mix of eae-positive (E) and eae-negative (A), and a third, more distantly related, cluster of eae-negative (D) STEC strains. While subtype B, C, and F plasmids share a number of virulence traits that are distinct from those of subtype A, sequence data have not been available for subtype D and E plasmids. Here, we determined and compared the genetic composition of four subtype D and two subtype E plasmids to establish their evolutionary relatedness among ehxA subtypes and define their potential role in pathogenicity. We found that subtype D strains carry one exceptionally large plasmid (>200 kbp) that carries a variety of virulence genes that are associated with enterotoxigenic and enterohemorrhagic E. coli, which, quite possibly, enables these strains to cause disease despite being food isolates. Our data offer further support for the hypothesis that this subtype D plasmid represents a novel virulence plasmid, sharing very few genetic features with other plasmids; we conclude that these plasmids have evolved from a different evolutionary lineage than the plasmids carrying the other ehxA subtypes. In contrast, the 50-kbp plasmids of subtype E (pO145), although isolated from HUS outbreak strains, carried only few virulence-associated determinants, suggesting that the clinical presentation of subtype E strains is largely a result of chromosomally encoded virulence factors.

  6. The Cercospora nicotianae gene encoding dual O-methyltransferase and FAD-dependent monooxygenase domains mediates cercosporin toxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Katherine L; You, Bang-Jau; Gowda, Vivek S; Liao, Hui-Ling; Lee, Miin-Huey; Bau, Huey-Jiunn; Ueng, Peter P; Chung, Kuang-Ren

    2007-05-01

    Cercosporin, a photo-activated, non-host-selective phytotoxin produced by many species of the plant pathogenic fungus Cercospora, causes peroxidation of plant cell membranes by generating reactive oxygen species and is an important virulence determinant. Here we report a new gene, CTB3 that is involved in cercosporin biosynthesis in Cercospora nicotianae. CTB3 is adjacent to a previously identified CTB1 encoding a polyketide synthase which is also required for cercosporin production. CTB3 contains a putative O-methyltransferase domain in the N-terminus and a putative flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent monooxygenase domain in the C-terminus. The N-terminal amino acid sequence also is similar to that of the transcription enhancer AFLS (formerly AFLJ) involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. Expression of CTB3 was differentially regulated by light, medium, nitrogen and carbon sources and pH. Disruption of the N- or C-terminus of CTB3 yielded mutants that failed to accumulate the CTB3 transcript and cercosporin. The Deltactb3 disruptants produced a yellow pigment that is not toxic to tobacco suspension cells. Production of cercosporin in a Deltactb3 null mutant was fully restored when transformed with a functional CTB3 clone or when paired with a Deltactb1-null mutant (defective in polyketide synthase) by cross feeding of the biosynthetic intermediates. Pathogenicity assays using detached tobacco leaves revealed that the Deltactb3 disruptants drastically reduced lesion formation.

  7. Molecular Characterization of High-Level-Cholera-Toxin-Producing El Tor Variant Vibrio cholerae Strains in the Zanzibar Archipelago of Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Naha, A.; Chowdhury, G.; Ghosh-Banerjee, J.; Senoh, M.; Takahashi, T.; Ley, B.; Thriemer, K.; Deen, J.; Seidlein, L. V.; Ali, S. M.; Khatib, A.; Ramamurthy, T.; Nandy, R. K.; Nair, G. B.; Takeda, Y.

    2013-01-01

    Analysis of 1,180 diarrheal stool samples in Zanzibar detected 247 Vibrio cholerae O1, Ogawa strains in 2009. Phenotypic traits and PCR-based detection of rstR, rtxC, and tcpA alleles showed that they belonged to the El Tor biotype. Genetic analysis of ctxB of these strains revealed that they were classical type, and production of classical cholera toxin B (CTB) was confirmed by Western blotting. These strains produced more CT than the prototype El Tor and formed a separate cluster by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. PMID:23325815

  8. Molecular characterization of high-level-cholera-toxin-producing El Tor variant Vibrio cholerae strains in the Zanzibar Archipelago of Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Naha, A; Chowdhury, G; Ghosh-Banerjee, J; Senoh, M; Takahashi, T; Ley, B; Thriemer, K; Deen, J; Seidlein, L V; Ali, S M; Khatib, A; Ramamurthy, T; Nandy, R K; Nair, G B; Takeda, Y; Mukhopadhyay, A K

    2013-03-01

    Analysis of 1,180 diarrheal stool samples in Zanzibar detected 247 Vibrio cholerae O1, Ogawa strains in 2009. Phenotypic traits and PCR-based detection of rstR, rtxC, and tcpA alleles showed that they belonged to the El Tor biotype. Genetic analysis of ctxB of these strains revealed that they were classical type, and production of classical cholera toxin B (CTB) was confirmed by Western blotting. These strains produced more CT than the prototype El Tor and formed a separate cluster by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis.

  9. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  10. Bacterial toxins as immunomodulators.

    PubMed

    Donaldson, David S; Williams, Neil A

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial toxins are the causative agent at pathology in a variety of diseases. Although not always the primary target of these toxins, many have been shown to have potent immunomodulatory effects, for example, inducing immune responses to co-administered antigens and suppressing activation of immune cells. These abilities of bacterial toxins can be harnessed and used in a therapeutic manner, such as in vaccination or the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, the ability of toxins to gain entry to cells can be used in novel bacterial toxin based immuno-therapies in order to deliver antigens into MHC Class I processing pathways. Whether the immunomodulatory properties of these toxins arose in order to enhance bacterial survival within hosts, to aid spread within the population or is pure serendipity, it is interesting to think that these same toxins potentially hold the key to preventing or treating human disease.

  11. Prevalence of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli stx1, stx2, eaeA, and rfbE Genes and Survival of E. coli O157:H7 in Manure from Organic and Low-Input Conventional Dairy Farms▿

    PubMed Central

    Franz, Eelco; Klerks, Michel M.; De Vos, Oscar J.; Termorshuizen, Aad J.; van Bruggen, Ariena H. C.

    2007-01-01

    Manure samples were collected from 16 organic (ORG) and 9 low-input conventional (LIC) Dutch dairy farms during August and September 2004 to determine the prevalence of the STEC virulence genes stx1 (encoding Shiga toxin 1), stx2 (encoding Shiga toxin 2), and eaeA (encoding intimin), as well as the rfbE gene, which is specific for Escherichia coli O157. The rfbE gene was present at 52% of the farms. The prevalence of rfbE was higher at ORG farms (61%) than at LIC farms (36%), but this was not significant. Relatively more LIC farms were positive for all Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) virulence genes eaeA, stx1, and stx2, which form a potentially highly virulent combination. Species richness of Enterobacteriaceae, as determined by DGGE, was significantly lower in manure positive for rfbE. Survival of a green fluorescent protein-expressing E. coli O157:H7 strain was studied in the manure from all farms from which samples were obtained and was modeled by a biphasic decline model. The time needed to reach the detection limit was predominantly determined by the level of native coliforms and the pH (both negative relationships). Initial decline was faster for ORG manure but leveled off earlier, resulting in longer survival than in LIC manure. Although the nonlinear decline curve could theoretically be explained as the cumulative distribution of an underlying distribution of decline kinetics, it is proposed that the observed nonlinear biphasic pattern of the survival curve is the result of changing nutrient status of the manure over time (and thereby changing competition pressure), instead of the presence of subpopulations differing in the level of resistance. PMID:17277204

  12. Prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli stx1, stx2, eaeA, and rfbE genes and survival of E. coli O157:H7 in manure from organic and low-input conventional dairy farms.

    PubMed

    Franz, Eelco; Klerks, Michel M; De Vos, Oscar J; Termorshuizen, Aad J; van Bruggen, Ariena H C

    2007-04-01

    Manure samples were collected from 16 organic (ORG) and 9 low-input conventional (LIC) Dutch dairy farms during August and September 2004 to determine the prevalence of the STEC virulence genes stx(1) (encoding Shiga toxin 1), stx(2) (encoding Shiga toxin 2), and eaeA (encoding intimin), as well as the rfbE gene, which is specific for Escherichia coli O157. The rfbE gene was present at 52% of the farms. The prevalence of rfbE was higher at ORG farms (61%) than at LIC farms (36%), but this was not significant. Relatively more LIC farms were positive for all Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) virulence genes eaeA, stx(1), and stx(2), which form a potentially highly virulent combination. Species richness of Enterobacteriaceae, as determined by DGGE, was significantly lower in manure positive for rfbE. Survival of a green fluorescent protein-expressing E. coli O157:H7 strain was studied in the manure from all farms from which samples were obtained and was modeled by a biphasic decline model. The time needed to reach the detection limit was predominantly determined by the level of native coliforms and the pH (both negative relationships). Initial decline was faster for ORG manure but leveled off earlier, resulting in longer survival than in LIC manure. Although the nonlinear decline curve could theoretically be explained as the cumulative distribution of an underlying distribution of decline kinetics, it is proposed that the observed nonlinear biphasic pattern of the survival curve is the result of changing nutrient status of the manure over time (and thereby changing competition pressure), instead of the presence of subpopulations differing in the level of resistance.

  13. Identification and molecular characterization of three new K+-channel specific toxins from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch revealing intronic number polymorphism and alternative splicing in duplicated genes.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Zhang, Lei; Nie, Yao; Luo, Xuesong

    2012-04-01

    K(+)-channel specific toxins from scorpions are powerful probes used in the structural and functional characterization of different subfamilies of K(+)-channels which are thought to be the most diverse ion channels. However, only a limited number of K(+)-channel toxins have been identified from scorpions so far; moreover, little is known about the mechanisms for the generation of a combinatorial peptide library in a venom gland of a scorpion. Here, we identified and characterized three new K(+)-channel toxin-like peptides from the scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch, which were referred to as BmKcug1, BmKcug2 and BmKcugx, respectively. BmKcug1 and BmKcug2 are two new members of α-KTx1 subfamily, and have been classified as α-KTx1.14 and α-KTx1.15, respectively. BmKcugx represents a new subfamily of K(+)-channel specific toxins which was classified into α-KTx22. BmKcugx was thus classified as α-KTx22.1. Genomic analysis demonstrated that BmKcugx gene has two exons interrupted by an intron inserted in the signal peptide encoding region, whereas BmKcug1a (a close homologue of BmKcug1)/BmKcug2 gene was interrupted by two introns, located within the 5'UTR of the gene and in the signal peptide encoding region, respectively. Transcriptomic analysis for the venom glands of M. martensii Karsch indicated that the abundances of the transcripts of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 are much higher than that of BmKcugx; it suggests that the intron in 5'UTR could markedly increase the expression level of the K(+)-channel toxins. Alignment of the genomic sequences of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 revealed that an alternative splicing event occurred at the intron 1-exon 2 junction in the 5'UTR of BmKcug2 transcript.

  14. Sensitive quantification of Clostridium perfringens in human feces by quantitative real-time PCR targeting alpha-toxin and enterotoxin genes.

    PubMed

    Nagpal, Ravinder; Ogata, Kiyohito; Tsuji, Hirokazu; Matsuda, Kazunori; Takahashi, Takuya; Nomoto, Koji; Suzuki, Yoshio; Kawashima, Kazunari; Nagata, Satoru; Yamashiro, Yuichiro

    2015-10-19

    Clostridium perfringens is a widespread pathogen, but the precise quantification of this subdominant gut microbe remains difficult due to its low fecal count (particularly in asymptomatic subjects) and also due to the presence of abundant polymerase-inhibitory substances in human feces. Also, information on the intestinal carriage of toxigenic C. perfringens strains in healthy subjects is sparse. Therefore, we developed a sensitive quantitative real-time PCR assays for quantification of C. perfringens in human feces by targeting its α-toxin and enterotoxin genes. To validate the assays, we finally observed the occurrence of α-toxigenic and enterotoxigenic C. perfringens in the fecal microbiota of healthy Japanese infants and young adults. The plc-specific qPCR assay was newly validated, while primers for 16S rRNA and cpe genes were retrieved from literature. The assays were validated for specificity and sensitivity in pre-inoculated fecal samples, and were finally applied to quantify C. perfringens in stool samples from apparently healthy infants (n 124) and young adults (n 221). The qPCR assays were highly specific and sensitive, with a minimum detection limit of 10(3) bacterial cells/g feces. Alpha-toxigenic C. perfringens was detected in 36% infants and 33% adults, with counts ranging widely (10(3)-10(7) bacterial cells/g). Intriguingly, the mean count of α-toxigenic C. perfringens was significantly higher in infants (6.0±1.5 log10 bacterial cells/g), as compared to that in adults (4.8±1.2). Moreover, the prevalence of enterotoxigenic C. perfringens was also found to be significantly higher in infants, as compared to that in adults. The mean enterotoxigenic C. perfringens count was 5.9±1.9 and 4.8±0.8 log10 bacterial cells/g in infants and adults, respectively. These data indicate that some healthy infants and young adults carry α-toxigenic and enterotoxigenic C. perfringens at significant levels, and may be predisposed to related diseases. Thus, high

  15. Clonal spread of catalase-negative ST5/SCCmec II Staphylococcus aureus carrying the staphylococcal enterotoxin A (sea), staphylococcal enterotoxin b (seb), and toxic shock toxin (tst) virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hae Kyung; Kim, Jung-Beom; Kim, Hyunjung; Jekarl, Dong Wook; Kim, Yang Ree; Yu, Jin Kyung; Park, Yeon-Joon

    2014-01-01

    17 catalase-negative methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates were recovered from respiratory specimens of patients at a 700-bed hospital in Korea. The goal of this study was to determine the molecular characteristics of catalase-negative MRSA strains in Korea for the first time. Characteristics that we explored included kat A gene mutation sequence, sequence type, staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) mec subtype classification, and toxin gene profiles. All 17 isolates showed similar pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern. Four mutations were identified in the kat A gene of a representative catalase-negative MRSA strain: A602G causing a histidine 201 to arginine change, A695T causing a glutamic acid 232 to valine change, T778A causing a tryptophan 260 to arginine change, and G1438A causing a glycine 480 to serine change. Previous studies suggest that the A695T and T778A mutations may have strong effects on the catalase activity of catalase-negative MRSA. The sequence type (ST) and SCCmec type of this isolate were ST 5 and SCCmec type II, respectively. All 17 isolates harbored toxic shock toxin (tst), staphylococcal enterotoxin A (sea), and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (seb) virulence genes. The mortality rate of the present study was 11.8%, suggesting that the clinical relevance of catalase-negative MRSA requires further study in the future.

  16. Detection of shiga-like toxin (stx1 and stx2), intimin (eaeA), and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) hemolysin (EHEC hlyA) genes in animal feces by multiplex PCR.

    PubMed

    Fagan, P K; Hornitzky, M A; Bettelheim, K A; Djordjevic, S P

    1999-02-01

    A multiplex PCR was developed for the rapid detection of genes encoding Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (stx1 and stx2), intimin (eaeA), and enterohemolysin A (hlyA) in 444 fecal samples derived from healthy and clinically affected cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats. The method involved non-solvent-based extraction of nucleic acid from an aliquot of an overnight culture of feces in EC (modified) broth. The detection limit of the assay for both fecal samples and pure cultures was between 18 and 37 genome equivalents. stx1 and hlyA were the most commonly encountered virulence factors.

  17. Sea Anemone (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria) Toxins: An Overview

    PubMed Central

    Frazão, Bárbara; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-01-01

    The Cnidaria phylum includes organisms that are among the most venomous animals. The Anthozoa class includes sea anemones, hard corals, soft corals and sea pens. The composition of cnidarian venoms is not known in detail, but they appear to contain a variety of compounds. Currently around 250 of those compounds have been identified (peptides, proteins, enzymes and proteinase inhibitors) and non-proteinaceous substances (purines, quaternary ammonium compounds, biogenic amines and betaines), but very few genes encoding toxins were described and only a few related protein three-dimensional structures are available. Toxins are used for prey acquisition, but also to deter potential predators (with neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity effects) and even to fight territorial disputes. Cnidaria toxins have been identified on the nematocysts located on the tentacles, acrorhagi and acontia, and in the mucous coat that covers the animal body. Sea anemone toxins comprise mainly proteins and peptides that are cytolytic or neurotoxic with its potency varying with the structure and site of action and are efficient in targeting different animals, such as insects, crustaceans and vertebrates. Sea anemones toxins include voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels toxins, acid-sensing ion channel toxins, Cytolysins, toxins with Kunitz-type protease inhibitors activity and toxins with Phospholipase A2 activity. In this review we assessed the phylogentic relationships of sea anemone toxins, characterized such toxins, the genes encoding them and the toxins three-dimensional structures, further providing a state-of-the-art description of the procedures involved in the isolation and purification of bioactive toxins. PMID:23015776

  18. Sea anemone (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria) toxins: an overview.

    PubMed

    Frazão, Bárbara; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-08-01

    The Cnidaria phylum includes organisms that are among the most venomous animals. The Anthozoa class includes sea anemones, hard corals, soft corals and sea pens. The composition of cnidarian venoms is not known in detail, but they appear to contain a variety of compounds. Currently around 250 of those compounds have been identified (peptides, proteins, enzymes and proteinase inhibitors) and non-proteinaceous substances (purines, quaternary ammonium compounds, biogenic amines and betaines), but very few genes encoding toxins were described and only a few related protein three-dimensional structures are available. Toxins are used for prey acquisition, but also to deter potential predators (with neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity effects) and even to fight territorial disputes. Cnidaria toxins have been identified on the nematocysts located on the tentacles, acrorhagi and acontia, and in the mucous coat that covers the animal body. Sea anemone toxins comprise mainly proteins and peptides that are cytolytic or neurotoxic with its potency varying with the structure and site of action and are efficient in targeting different animals, such as insects, crustaceans and vertebrates. Sea anemones toxins include voltage-gated Na⁺ and K⁺ channels toxins, acid-sensing ion channel toxins, Cytolysins, toxins with Kunitz-type protease inhibitors activity and toxins with Phospholipase A2 activity. In this review we assessed the phylogentic relationships of sea anemone toxins, characterized such toxins, the genes encoding them and the toxins three-dimensional structures, further providing a state-of-the-art description of the procedures involved in the isolation and purification of bioactive toxins.

  19. Quality and safety evaluation of genetically modified potatoes spunta with Cry V gene: compositional analysis, determination of some toxins, antinutrients compounds and feeding study in rats.

    PubMed

    El Sanhoty, Rafaat; El-Rahman, Ahamed Ali Abd; Bögl, Klaus Werner

    2004-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the composition, nutritional and toxicology safety of GM potato Spunta lines compared to that of conventional potato Spunta. Compositional analyses were conducted to measure the proximate chemical composition with references to 14 components, total solid, protein, lipid, crude fibre, ash, carbohydrate, starch, reducing sugar, nonreducing sugar, sodium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and ascorbic acid. Some toxins and anti-nutrients compounds were determined. Feeding study of GM potatoes line (G2 and G3) in rats were done for 30 days. Four groups of albino rats were used for studying the effect and the safety assessment of GM potatoes Spunta G2 and G3. Group (I) was fed on control basal diet, group (II) was fed on control diet plus 30% freeze-dried nongenetically modified potato Spunta, group (III) was fed on control diet plus 30% freeze-dried genetically modified potato Spunta, and group (IV) was fed on control diet plus 30% freeze-dried genetically modified potato Spunta GMO G3. There were no significant differences between GM potatoes G2, G3, and Spunta control potato line in the proximate chemical composition. The levels of glycoalkaloids in transgenic potato tubers and nontransgenic were determined and there were also no significant differences between the GM potatoes and conventional potato line, the levels were in agreement with a safety level recommended by FAO/WHO (200 mg/ kg) for acute toxicity. Protease inhibitor activity and total phenol were estimated and no significant differences between the GM potatoes line and conventional potato Spunta line were found. During the period tested, rats in each group (I, II, III, IV) grew well without marked differences in appearance. No statistical difference were found in food intake, daily body weight gain and feed efficiency. But there is a slightly significant difference in finally body weight between the control group and experimental groups. No significant difference were

  20. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon.

  1. Prolonged colonization of mice by Vibrio cholerae El Tor O1 depends on accessory toxins.

    PubMed

    Olivier, Verena; Salzman, Nita H; Satchell, Karla J Fullner

    2007-10-01

    Cholera epidemics caused by Vibrio cholerae El Tor O1 strains are typified by a large number of asymptomatic carriers who excrete vibrios but do not develop diarrhea. This carriage state was important for the spread of the seventh cholera pandemic as the bacterium was mobilized geographically, allowing the global dispersion of this less virulent strain. Virulence factors associated with the development of the carriage state have not been previously identified. We have developed an animal model of cholera in adult C57BL/6 mice wherein V. cholerae colonizes the mucus layer and forms microcolonies in the crypts of the distal small bowel. Colonization occurred 1 to 3 h after oral inoculation and peaked at 10 to 12 h, when bacterial loads exceeded the inoculum by 10- to 200-fold, indicating bacterial growth within the small intestine. After a clearance phase, the number of bacteria within the small intestine, but not those in the cecum or colon, stabilized and persisted for at least 72 h. The ability of V. cholerae to prevent clearance and establish this prolonged colonization was associated with the accessory toxins hemolysin, the multifunctional autoprocessing RTX toxin, and hemagglutinin/protease and did not require cholera toxin or toxin-coregulated pili. The defect in colonization attributed to the loss of the accessory toxins may be extracellularly complemented by inoculation of the defective strain with an isogenic colonization-proficient V. cholerae strain. This work thus demonstrates that secreted accessory toxins modify the host environment to enable prolonged colonization of the small intestine in the absence of overt disease symptoms and thereby contribute to disease dissemination via asymptomatic carriers.

  2. Regulation of Toxin Production in Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru

    2016-01-01

    The Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens is widely distributed in nature, especially in soil and the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. C. perfringens causes gas gangrene and food poisoning, and it produces extracellular enzymes and toxins that are thought to act synergistically and contribute to its pathogenesis. A complicated regulatory network of toxin genes has been reported that includes a two-component system for regulatory RNA and cell-cell communication. It is necessary to clarify the global regulatory system of these genes in order to understand and treat the virulence of C. perfringens. We summarize the existing knowledge about the regulatory mechanisms here. PMID:27399773

  3. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox - larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography - guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy - ...

  4. Chorea caused by toxins.

    PubMed

    Miyasaki, Janis M

    2011-01-01

    Chorea is uncommonly caused by toxins. Anecdotal evidence from cases of toxin-induced chorea assists in our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases associated with chorea. Beginning in medieval Europe with ergotism and the "fire that twisted people," spanning to crack dancing in contemporary times and the coexistence of alcohol abuse with chorea, toxins may exert direct effects to enhance mesolimbic dopamine transmission or indirect effects through gamma-aminobutyric acid modulation. The following chapter will discuss toxins associated with chorea and the presumed pathophysiology underlying the movement disorders in these case series. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Genome-Wide Analysis of Oceanimonas sp. GK1 Isolated from Gavkhouni Wetland (Iran) Demonstrates Presence of Genes for Virulence and Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Parsa Yeganeh, Laleh; Azarbaijani, Reza; Mousavi, Hossein; Shahzadeh Fazeli, Seyed Abolhassan; Amoozgar, Mohammad Ali; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2015-01-01

    Objective The bacterium Oceanimonas sp. (O. sp.) GK1 is a member of the Aeromonadaceae family and its genome represents several virulence genes involved in fish and human pathogenicity. In this original research study we aimed to identify and characterize the putative virulence factors and pathogenicity of this halotolerant marine bacterium using genome wide analysis. Materials and Methods The genome data of O. sp. GK1 was obtained from NCBI. Comparative genomic study was done using MetaCyc database. Results Whole genome data analysis of the O. sp. GK1 revealed that the bacterium possesses some important virulence genes (e.g. ZOT, RTX toxin, thermostable hemolysin, lateral flagella and type IV pili) which have been implicated in adhesion and biofilm formation and infection in some other pathogenic bacteria. Conclusion This is the first report of the putative pathogenicity of O. sp.GK1. The genome wide analysis of the bacterium demonstrates the presence of virulence genes causing infectious diseases in many warmand cold-blooded animals. PMID:26464816

  6. A conserved PapB family member, TosR, regulates expression of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli RTX nonfimbrial adhesin TosA while conserved LuxR family members TosE and TosF suppress motility.

    PubMed

    Engstrom, Michael D; Alteri, Christopher J; Mobley, Harry L T

    2014-09-01

    A heterogeneous subset of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains, referred to as uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), causes most uncomplicated urinary tract infections. However, no core set of virulence factors exists among UPEC strains. Instead, the focus of the analysis of urovirulence has shifted to studying broad classes of virulence factors and the interactions between them. For example, the RTX nonfimbrial adhesin TosA mediates adherence to host cells derived from the upper urinary tract. The associated tos operon is well expressed in vivo but poorly expressed in vitro and encodes TosCBD, a predicted type 1 secretion system. TosR and TosEF are PapB and LuxR family transcription factors, respectively; however, no role has been assigned to these potential regulators. Thus, the focus of this study was to determine how TosR and TosEF regulate tosA and affect the reciprocal expression of adhesins and flagella. Among a collection of sequenced UPEC strains, 32% (101/317) were found to encode TosA, and nearly all strains (91% [92/101]) simultaneously carried the putative regulatory genes. Deletion of tosR alleviates tosA repression. The tos promoter was localized upstream of tosR using transcriptional fusions of putative promoter regions with lacZ. TosR binds to this region, affecting a gel shift. A 100-bp fragment 220 to 319 bp upstream of tosR inhibits binding, suggesting localization of the TosR binding site. TosEF, on the other hand, downmodulate motility when overexpressed by preventing the expression of fliC, encoding flagellin. Deletion of tosEF increased motility. Thus, we present an additional example of the reciprocal control of adherence and motility. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  7. A Conserved PapB Family Member, TosR, Regulates Expression of the Uropathogenic Escherichia coli RTX Nonfimbrial Adhesin TosA while Conserved LuxR Family Members TosE and TosF Suppress Motility

    PubMed Central

    Engstrom, Michael D.; Alteri, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    A heterogeneous subset of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains, referred to as uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), causes most uncomplicated urinary tract infections. However, no core set of virulence factors exists among UPEC strains. Instead, the focus of the analysis of urovirulence has shifted to studying broad classes of virulence factors and the interactions between them. For example, the RTX nonfimbrial adhesin TosA mediates adherence to host cells derived from the upper urinary tract. The associated tos operon is well expressed in vivo but poorly expressed in vitro and encodes TosCBD, a predicted type 1 secretion system. TosR and TosEF are PapB and LuxR family transcription factors, respectively; however, no role has been assigned to these potential regulators. Thus, the focus of this study was to determine how TosR and TosEF regulate tosA and affect the reciprocal expression of adhesins and flagella. Among a collection of sequenced UPEC strains, 32% (101/317) were found to encode TosA, and nearly all strains (91% [92/101]) simultaneously carried the putative regulatory genes. Deletion of tosR alleviates tosA repression. The tos promoter was localized upstream of tosR using transcriptional fusions of putative promoter regions with lacZ. TosR binds to this region, affecting a gel shift. A 100-bp fragment 220 to 319 bp upstream of tosR inhibits binding, suggesting localization of the TosR binding site. TosEF, on the other hand, downmodulate motility when overexpressed by preventing the expression of fliC, encoding flagellin. Deletion of tosEF increased motility. Thus, we present an additional example of the reciprocal control of adherence and motility. PMID:24935980

  8. Overview of scorpion species from China and their toxins.

    PubMed

    Cao, Zhijian; Di, Zhiyong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin

    2014-02-26

    Scorpions are one of the most ancient groups of terrestrial animals. They have maintained a steady morphology over more than 400 million years of evolution. Their venom arsenals for capturing prey and defending against predators may play a critical role in their ancient and conservative appearance. In the current review, we present the scorpion fauna of China: 53 species covering five families and 12 genera. We also systematically list toxins or genes from Chinese scorpion species, involving eight species covering four families. Furthermore, we review the diverse functions of typical toxins from Chinese scorpion species, involving Na+ channel modulators, K+ channel blockers, antimicrobial peptides and protease inhibitors. Using scorpion species and their toxins from China as an example, we build the bridge between scorpion species and their toxins, which helps us to understand the molecular and functional diversity of scorpion venom arsenal, the dynamic and functional evolution of scorpion toxins, and the potential relationships of scorpion species and their toxins.

  9. Overview of Scorpion Species from China and Their Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Zhijian; Di, Zhiyong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin

    2014-01-01

    Scorpions are one of the most ancient groups of terrestrial animals. They have maintained a steady morphology over more than 400 million years of evolution. Their venom arsenals for capturing prey and defending against predators may play a critical role in their ancient and conservative appearance. In the current review, we present the scorpion fauna of China: 53 species covering five families and 12 genera. We also systematically list toxins or genes from Chinese scorpion species, involving eight species covering four families. Furthermore, we review the diverse functions of typical toxins from Chinese scorpion species, involving Na+ channel modulators, K+ channel blockers, antimicrobial peptides and protease inhibitors. Using scorpion species and their toxins from China as an example, we build the bridge between scorpion species and their toxins, which helps us to understand the molecular and functional diversity of scorpion venom arsenal, the dynamic and functional evolution of scorpion toxins, and the potential relationships of scorpion species and their toxins. PMID:24577583

  10. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Christopher F.; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142

  11. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Christopher F; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-05-05

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery.

  12. Sequence Analysis of Toxin Gene–Bearing Corynebacterium diphtheriae Strains, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Mazins, Adam; Graham, Rikki M.A.; Fang, Ning-Xia; Smith, Helen V.; Jennison, Amy V.

    2017-01-01

    By conducting a molecular characterization of Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains in Australia, we identified novel sequences, nonfunctional toxin genes, and 5 recent cases of toxigenic cutaneous diphtheria. These findings highlight the importance of extrapharyngeal infections for toxin gene–bearing (functional or not) and non–toxin gene–bearing C. diphtheriae strains. Continued surveillance is recommended. PMID:27983494

  13. Comparative validation study to demonstrate the equivalence of a minor modification to AOAC Official Method 2005.05 Assurance GDS shiga Toxin Genes (O157) method to the reference culture method: 375 gram sample size.

    PubMed

    Feldsine, Philip T; Montgomery-Fullerton, Megan; Roa, Nerie; Kaur, Mandeep; Kerr, David E; Lienau, Andrew H; Jucker, Markus

    2013-01-01

    The Assurance GDS Shiga Toxin Genes (0157), AOAC Official MethodsM 2005.05, has been modified to include a larger sample size of 375 g. A methods comparison study was conducted to demonstrate the equivalence of this modification to the reference culture method. Ninety samples and controls, representing three foods, were analyzed. Results show no statistically detectable difference between the Assurance GDS Escherichia coli O157:H7 assay and the reference culture methods for the detection of E. coli O157:H7, other than the low level of inoculation for leaf lettuce for which the GDS gave noticeably higher recovery [difference in Probability of Detection between candidate methods (dPODc = +0.45)]. There were also suggestions of moderate differences (dPODc = +0.15 to +0.20) for ground beef and the high level of leaf lettuce, but the study size was too small to detect differences of this size. Results showed that the Assurance GDS Shiga Toxin Genes (0157) method is equivalent to the reference culture methods for the detection of Shiga toxigenic E. coli O157:H7.

  14. Defense against toxin weapons

    SciTech Connect

    Franz, D.R.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this manual is to provide basic information on biological toxins to military leaders and health-care providers at all levels to help them make informed decisions on protecting their troops from toxins. Much of the information contained herein will also be of interest to individuals charged with countering domestic and international terrorism. We typically fear what we do not understand.

  15. Protection against Shiga Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Kavaliauskiene, Simona; Dyve Lingelem, Anne Berit; Skotland, Tore; Sandvig, Kirsten

    2017-01-01

    Shiga toxins consist of an A-moiety and five B-moieties able to bind the neutral glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) on the cell surface. To intoxicate cells efficiently, the toxin A-moiety has to be cleaved by furin and transported retrogradely to the Golgi apparatus and to the endoplasmic reticulum. The enzymatically active part of the A-moiety is then translocated to the cytosol, where it inhibits protein synthesis and in some cell types induces apoptosis. Protection of cells can be provided either by inhibiting binding of the toxin to cells or by interfering with any of the subsequent steps required for its toxic effect. In this article we provide a brief overview of the interaction of Shiga toxins with cells, describe some compounds and conditions found to protect cells against Shiga toxins, and discuss whether they might also provide protection in animals and humans. PMID:28165371

  16. Negatively charged residues of the segment linking the enzyme and cytolysin moieties restrict the membrane-permeabilizing capacity of adenylate cyclase toxin

    PubMed Central

    Masin, Jiri; Osickova, Adriana; Sukova, Anna; Fiser, Radovan; Halada, Petr; Bumba, Ladislav; Linhartova, Irena; Osicka, Radim; Sebo, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The whooping cough agent, Bordetella pertussis, secretes an adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA) that plays a crucial role in host respiratory tract colonization. CyaA targets CR3-expressing cells and disrupts their bactericidal functions by delivering into their cytosol an adenylate cyclase enzyme that converts intracellular ATP to cAMP. In parallel, the hydrophobic domain of CyaA forms cation-selective pores that permeabilize cell membrane. The invasive AC and pore-forming domains of CyaA are linked by a segment that is unique in the RTX cytolysin family. We used mass spectrometry and circular dichroism to show that the linker segment forms α-helical structures that penetrate into lipid bilayer. Replacement of the positively charged arginine residues, proposed to be involved in target membrane destabilization by the linker segment, reduced the capacity of the toxin to translocate the AC domain across cell membrane. Substitutions of negatively charged residues then revealed that two clusters of negative charges within the linker segment control the size and the propensity of CyaA pore formation, thereby restricting the cell-permeabilizing capacity of CyaA. The ‘AC to Hly-linking segment’ thus appears to account for the smaller size and modest cell-permeabilizing capacity of CyaA pores, as compared to typical RTX hemolysins. PMID:27581058

  17. Association of Clostridium difficile ribotype 078 with detectable toxin in human stool specimens.

    PubMed

    Fairley, Derek J; McKenna, James P; Stevenson, Mike; Weaver, Jeremy; Gilliland, Carol; Watt, Alison; Coyle, Peter V

    2015-11-01

    Using a Clostridium difficile glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) immunoassay and a sensitive C. difficile toxin A/B immunoassay, human stool specimens from patients with diarrhoea (n = 1085) were classified as either GDH positive/toxin negative, or GDH positive/toxin positive. Overall, 528/725 (73%) of the GDH-positive/toxin-negative specimens contained viable C. difficile, and 433/528 (82%) of these C. difficile isolates were PCR positive for the toxin gene pathogenicity locus. Overall, 867/1078 (80%) of the GDH-positive specimens contained viable C. difficile, and 433/725 (60%) of the GDH-positive/toxin-negative specimens contained a toxigenic C. difficile strain. The diversity of toxigenic C. difficile ribotypes isolated from toxin-negative specimens (n = 433) and toxin-positive specimens (n = 339) was significantly different (P < 0.0001). Specifically, the presence of ribotype 078 strains was very strongly associated (P < 0.0001) with detection of toxin in clinical specimens using a sensitive toxin immunoassay. Specimens positive for ribotype 078 were almost twice as likely to be toxin positive as opposed to toxin negative (risk ratio = 1.90, 95% confidence interval 1.64-2.19). In contrast, other circulating ribotypes were seen with similar frequency in specimens with and without detectable toxin. This supports the view that ribotype 078 strains may be more virulent than other common ribotypes in terms of toxin production.

  18. Understanding malarial toxins.

    PubMed

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. About lipids and toxins.

    PubMed

    Reig, Núria; van der Goot, F Gisou

    2006-10-09

    Many mono or multicellular organisms secrete soluble proteins, referred to as protein toxins, which alter the behavior of foreign, or target cells, possibly leading to their death. These toxins affect either the cell membrane by forming pores or modifying lipids, or some intracellular target. To reach this target, they must cross one of the cellular membranes, generally that of an intracellular organelle. As described in this minireview, lipids play crucial roles in the intoxication process of most if not all toxins, by allowing/promoting binding, endocytosis, trafficking and/or translocation into the cytoplasm.

  20. Role of Receptors in Bacillus thuringiensis Crystal Toxin Activity

    PubMed Central

    Pigott, Craig R.; Ellar, David J.

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis produces crystalline protein inclusions with insecticidal or nematocidal properties. These crystal (Cry) proteins determine a particular strain's toxicity profile. Transgenic crops expressing one or more recombinant Cry toxins have become agriculturally important. Individual Cry toxins are usually toxic to only a few species within an order, and receptors on midgut epithelial cells have been shown to be critical determinants of Cry specificity. The best characterized of these receptors have been identified for lepidopterans, and two major receptor classes have emerged: the aminopeptidase N (APN) receptors and the cadherin-like receptors. Currently, 38 different APNs have been reported for 12 different lepidopterans. Each APN belongs to one of five groups that have unique structural features and Cry-binding properties. While 17 different APNs have been reported to bind to Cry toxins, only 2 have been shown to mediate toxin susceptibly in vivo. In contrast, several cadherin-like proteins bind to Cry toxins and confer toxin susceptibility in vitro, and disruption of the cadherin gene has been associated with toxin resistance. Nonetheless, only a small subset of the lepidopteran-specific Cry toxins has been shown to interact with cadherin-like proteins. This review analyzes the interactions between Cry toxins and their receptors, focusing on the identification and validation of receptors, the molecular basis for receptor recognition, the role of the receptor in resistant insects, and proposed models to explain the sequence of events at the cell surface by which receptor binding leads to cell death. PMID:17554045

  1. Indicators: Algal Toxins (microcystin)

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Algal toxins are toxic substances released by some types of algae (phytoplankton) when they are present in large quantities (blooms) and decay or degrade. High nutrient levels and warm temperatures often result in favorable conditions for algae blooms.

  2. Staphylococcus aureus toxins.

    PubMed

    Otto, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous pathogen that causes a variety of severe diseases. The virulence of S. aureus is defined by a large repertoire of virulence factors, among which secreted toxins play a preeminent role. Many S. aureus toxins damage biological membranes, leading to cell death. In particular, S. aureus produces potent hemolysins and leukotoxins. Among the latter, some were recently identified to lyse neutrophils after ingestion, representing an especially powerful weapon against bacterial elimination by innate host defense. Furthermore, S. aureus secretes many factors that inhibit the complement cascade or prevent recognition by host defenses. Several further toxins add to this multi-faceted program of S. aureus to evade elimination in the host. This review will give an overview over S. aureus toxins focusing on recent advances in our understanding of how leukotoxins work in receptor-mediated or receptor-independent fashions. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Wallpaper May Breed Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    ... toxins are likely to be located on fungal spores, but we also demonstrated that part of the ... News Related MedlinePlus Health Topics Indoor Air Pollution Molds About MedlinePlus Site Map FAQs Customer Support Get ...

  4. Cloning and expression of mamba toxins.

    PubMed

    Smith, L A; Olson, M A; Lafaye, P J; Dolly, J O

    1995-04-01

    Mamba venoms contain pharmacologically active proteins that interfere with neuromuscular transmission by binding to and altering the normal functioning of neuronal proteins involved, directly or indirectly, with regulating nerve transmission. Of the mamba toxins studied to date, many act on voltage-sensitive K+ channels, nicotinic or muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, or acetylcholinesterase. In an attempt to clone, characterize, and express the genes encoding these toxins, as well as other genes specifying activities not completely elucidated as yet, a cDNA library was constructed from mRNA isolated from the glands of the black mamba. Clones from the library harboring sequences encoding 14 different mamba toxins were isolated and characterized by nucleotide sequence analysis. Genes coding for three proteins, dendrotoxins (DTX) K, I, and E, were expressed as maltose-binding (MBP) fusion proteins in the periplasmic space of Escherichia coli. The DTXK-MBP fusion protein was affinity purified, cleaved from its chaperon, and the recombinant DTXK purified from MBP. Recombinant DTXK was shown to be identical to native DTXK in its N-terminal sequence, chromatographic behavior, convulsion-inducing activity, and binding to voltage-activated K+ channels in bovine synaptic membranes. Computer modeling was employed to create three-dimensional structures of DTXK and DTX1 from the X-ray crystal structure of alpha-DTX utilizing both structural and sequence homologies. Comparisons were made between the three toxins, providing a framework for site-directed mutagenesis.

  5. [Natural toxin poisoning].

    PubMed

    Tsunematsu, Satoshi

    2012-08-01

    Natural toxin poisoning often occurs when amateur who has no expert knowledge of food collects and cooks the wrong material. In many cases, the symptoms of natural toxin poisoning are mild and the patients recover from illness within a day. However, if the patients have respiratory or neurological symptoms after several hours of intake, the patients must go to hospital immediately. Mushroom poisoning is often reported and puffer fish poisoning is sometimes reported in Japan.

  6. A regulatory role for Staphylococcus aureus toxin-antitoxin system PemIKSa.

    PubMed

    Bukowski, Michal; Lyzen, Robert; Helbin, Weronika M; Bonar, Emilia; Szalewska-Palasz, Agnieszka; Wegrzyn, Grzegorz; Dubin, Grzegorz; Dubin, Adam; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2013-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin systems were shown to be involved in plasmid maintenance when they were initially discovered, but other roles have been demonstrated since. Here we identify and characterize a novel toxin-antitoxin system (pemIKSa) located on Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pCH91. The toxin (PemKSa) is a sequence-specific endoribonuclease recognizing the tetrad sequence U↓AUU, and the antitoxin (PemISa) inhibits toxin activity by physical interaction. Although the toxin-antitoxin system is responsible for stable plasmid maintenance our data suggest the participation of pemIKSa in global regulation of staphylococcal virulence by alteration of the translation of large pools of genes. We propose a common mechanism of reversible activation of toxin-antitoxin systems based on antitoxin transcript resistance to toxin cleavage. Elucidation of this mechanism is particularly interesting because reversible activation is a prerequisite for the proposed general regulatory role of toxin-antitoxin systems.

  7. Association of genetic variation in the organic cation transporters OCT1, OCT2 and multidrug and toxin extrusion 1 transporter protein genes with the gastrointestinal side effects and lower BMI in metformin-treated type 2 diabetes patients.

    PubMed

    Tarasova, Linda; Kalnina, Ineta; Geldnere, Kristine; Bumbure, Alda; Ritenberga, Rota; Nikitina-Zake, Liene; Fridmanis, Davids; Vaivade, Iveta; Pirags, Valdis; Klovins, Janis

    2012-09-01

    Metformin is the most widely used oral antidiabetic drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). So far, the number of polymorphisms in SLC22A1, SLC22A2, and SLC47A1 genes coding for organic cation transporter 1 (OCT1), OCT2, and multidrug and toxin extrusion transporter 1 (MATE1) metformin transporters have been described in association with the efficacy of metformin. However, there is no information on the influence of genetic variations within these genes on the side effects of metformin. In this study, we assessed whether five single-nucleotide polymorphisms and two indel polymorphisms are associated with the side effects of metformin in patients with T2D. Seven polymorphisms in OCT1, OCT2, and MATE1 genes were compared between 53 T2D patients with side effects of metformin and 193 metformin users without symptoms of metformin intolerance. We found a statistically significant association between the A allele of the rs628031 (P=0.012, odds ratio=0.389, confidence interval 95% [0.186-0.815]) as well as 8 bp insertion (rs36056065) in the OCT1 gene (P=0.002, odds ratio=0.405, confidence interval 95% [0.226-0.724]) and the presence of the side effects of metformin. Two genetic variations in OCT1 that are in strong linkage disequilibrium may predispose toward an increased prevalence of the side effects of metformin in patients with T2D.

  8. Characterisation of multidrug-resistant Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli cultured from pigs in China: co-occurrence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase- and mcr-1-encoding genes on plasmids.

    PubMed

    Bai, Li; Hurley, Daniel; Li, Juan; Meng, Qiong; Wang, Juan; Fanning, Séamus; Xiong, Yanwen

    2016-10-01

    Identification of Enterobacteriaceae harbouring the plasmid-mediated transferable colistin resistance gene mcr-1 presents a new challenge to public health. The aim of this study was to characterise multidrug-resistant Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) harbouring the mcr-1 gene on plasmids cultured from pigs in China. Using CHROMagar™ ECC plates combined with stx gene detection by PCR, 93 STEC were recovered from 326 faecal, 351 small intestine content and 326 colon content samples taken from healthy pigs in 2011 and 2012 in China. This study, in which ten colistin-resistant isolates with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 8-12 mg/L were identified and found to be positive by PCR for the mcr-1 gene, is a follow-up to an earlier investigation. Plasmid profiling by S1-nuclease digestion followed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) identified several high-molecular-weight plasmids and these were typed by PCR-based replicon typing (PBRT). Two of the ten isolates, namely STEC-CQ09 (O116:H11/CC23/ST88) and CQ10 (O2:H32/ST3628), were selected for further study as described in this report.

  9. Targeted Silencing of Anthrax Toxin Receptors Protects against Anthrax Toxins*

    PubMed Central

    Arévalo, Maria T.; Navarro, Ashley; Arico, Chenoa D.; Li, Junwei; Alkhatib, Omar; Chen, Shan; Diaz-Arévalo, Diana; Zeng, Mingtao

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax spores can be aerosolized and dispersed as a bioweapon. Current postexposure treatments are inadequate at later stages of infection, when high levels of anthrax toxins are present. Anthrax toxins enter cells via two identified anthrax toxin receptors: tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2). We hypothesized that host cells would be protected from anthrax toxins if anthrax toxin receptor expression was effectively silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Thus, anthrax toxin receptors in mouse and human macrophages were silenced using targeted siRNAs or blocked with specific antibody prior to challenge with anthrax lethal toxin. Viability assays were used to assess protection in macrophages treated with specific siRNA or antibody as compared with untreated cells. Silencing CMG2 using targeted siRNAs provided almost complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cytotoxicity and death in murine and human macrophages. The same results were obtained by prebinding cells with specific antibody prior to treatment with anthrax lethal toxin. In addition, TEM8-targeted siRNAs also offered significant protection against lethal toxin in human macrophage-like cells. Furthermore, silencing CMG2, TEM8, or both receptors in combination was also protective against MEK2 cleavage by lethal toxin or adenylyl cyclase activity by edema toxin in human kidney cells. Thus, anthrax toxin receptor-targeted RNAi has the potential to be developed as a life-saving, postexposure therapy against anthrax. PMID:24742682

  10. Targeted silencing of anthrax toxin receptors protects against anthrax toxins.

    PubMed

    Arévalo, Maria T; Navarro, Ashley; Arico, Chenoa D; Li, Junwei; Alkhatib, Omar; Chen, Shan; Diaz-Arévalo, Diana; Zeng, Mingtao

    2014-05-30

    Anthrax spores can be aerosolized and dispersed as a bioweapon. Current postexposure treatments are inadequate at later stages of infection, when high levels of anthrax toxins are present. Anthrax toxins enter cells via two identified anthrax toxin receptors: tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2). We hypothesized that host cells would be protected from anthrax toxins if anthrax toxin receptor expression was effectively silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) technology. Thus, anthrax toxin receptors in mouse and human macrophages were silenced using targeted siRNAs or blocked with specific antibody prior to challenge with anthrax lethal toxin. Viability assays were used to assess protection in macrophages treated with specific siRNA or antibody as compared with untreated cells. Silencing CMG2 using targeted siRNAs provided almost complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cytotoxicity and death in murine and human macrophages. The same results were obtained by prebinding cells with specific antibody prior to treatment with anthrax lethal toxin. In addition, TEM8-targeted siRNAs also offered significant protection against lethal toxin in human macrophage-like cells. Furthermore, silencing CMG2, TEM8, or both receptors in combination was also protective against MEK2 cleavage by lethal toxin or adenylyl cyclase activity by edema toxin in human kidney cells. Thus, anthrax toxin receptor-targeted RNAi has the potential to be developed as a life-saving, postexposure therapy against anthrax.

  11. [Botulism: structure and function of botulinum toxin and its clinical application].

    PubMed

    Oguma, Keiji; Yamamoto, Yumiko; Suzuki, Tomonori; Fatmawati, Ni Nengah Dwi; Fujita, Kumiko

    2012-08-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces seven immunological distinct poisonous neurotoxins, A to G, with molecular masses of approximately 150kDa. In acidic foods and culture fluid, the neurotoxins associate with non-toxic components, and form large complexes designated progenitor toxins. The progenitor toxins are found in three forms named LL, L, and M. These neurotoxins and progenitor toxins were purified, and whole nucleotide sequences of their structure genes were determined. In this manuscript, the structure and function of these toxins, and the application of these toxins to clinical usage have been described.

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-06-01

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

  13. Expression of the p20 Gene from Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 Increases Cry11A Toxin Production and Enhances Mosquito-Larvicidal Activity in Recombinant Gram-Negative Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Y.; Nagai, M.; Bagdasarian, M.; Smith, T. W.; Walker, E. D.

    2001-01-01

    Experimental analyses with recombinant Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas putida transformed with plasmids bearing genes coding for the Cry11A toxin and P20 protein from Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 showed that cells producing both proteins were more toxic when fed to third-instar Aedes aegypti larvae than were cells expressing cry11A alone; the 50% lethal concentrations were in the range of 104 to 105 cells/ml. Western blots revealed a higher production of Cry11A when the p20 gene was coexpressed. Cry11A was detected primarily in insoluble form in recombinant cells. Cry11A was not detected in P. putida when P20 was not coproduced, and these recombinants were not toxic to larvae, whereas P. putida recombinants producing both proteins were toxic at concentrations similar to those for E. coli. A coelution experiment was conducted, in which a p20 gene construct producing the P20 protein with an extension of six histidines on the C terminus was mixed with the Cry11A protein. The results showed that Cry11A bound to the P20(His6) on a nickel chelating column, whereas Cry11A produced without the P20(His6) protein was washed through the column, thus indicating that Cry11A and P20 physically interact. Thus, P20 protein either stabilizes Cry11A or helps it attain the folding important for its toxic activity. PMID:11425714

  14. Naturally Occurring Food Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Laurie C.; Matulka, Ray A.; Burdock, George A.

    2010-01-01

    Although many foods contain toxins as a naturally-occurring constituent or, are formed as the result of handling or processing, the incidence of adverse reactions to food is relatively low. The low incidence of adverse effects is the result of some pragmatic solutions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies through the creative use of specifications, action levels, tolerances, warning labels and prohibitions. Manufacturers have also played a role by setting limits on certain substances and developing mitigation procedures for process-induced toxins. Regardless of measures taken by regulators and food producers to protect consumers from natural food toxins, consumption of small levels of these materials is unavoidable. Although the risk for toxicity due to consumption of food toxins is fairly low, there is always the possibility of toxicity due to contamination, overconsumption, allergy or an unpredictable idiosyncratic response. The purpose of this review is to provide a toxicological and regulatory overview of some of the toxins present in some commonly consumed foods, and where possible, discuss the steps that have been taken to reduce consumer exposure, many of which are possible because of the unique process of food regulation in the United States. PMID:22069686

  15. Naturally occurring food toxins.

    PubMed

    Dolan, Laurie C; Matulka, Ray A; Burdock, George A

    2010-09-01

    Although many foods contain toxins as a naturally-occurring constituent or, are formed as the result of handling or processing, the incidence of adverse reactions to food is relatively low. The low incidence of adverse effects is the result of some pragmatic solutions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies through the creative use of specifications, action levels, tolerances, warning labels and prohibitions. Manufacturers have also played a role by setting limits on certain substances and developing mitigation procedures for process-induced toxins. Regardless of measures taken by regulators and food producers to protect consumers from natural food toxins, consumption of small levels of these materials is unavoidable. Although the risk for toxicity due to consumption of food toxins is fairly low, there is always the possibility of toxicity due to contamination, overconsumption, allergy or an unpredictable idiosyncratic response. The purpose of this review is to provide a toxicological and regulatory overview of some of the toxins present in some commonly consumed foods, and where possible, discuss the steps that have been taken to reduce consumer exposure, many of which are possible because of the unique process of food regulation in the United States.

  16. Selective alteration of sodium channel gating by Australian funnel-web spider toxins.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, G M; Little, M J; Tyler, M; Narahashi, T

    1996-01-01

    The actions of potent mammalian neurotoxins isolated from the venom of two Australian funnel-web spiders were investigated using both electrophysiological and neurochemical techniques. Whole-cell patch clamp recording of sodium currents in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons revealed that versutoxin (VTX), isolated from the venom of Hadronyche versuta, produced a concentration-dependent slowing or removal of tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) sodium current inactivation and a reduction in peak TTX-S sodium current. In contrast, VTX had no effect on tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) sodium currents or potassium currents. VTX also shifted the voltage dependence of sodium channel activation in the hyperpolarizing direction and increased the rate of recovery from inactivation. Ion flux studies performed in rat brain synaptosomes also revealed that robustoxin (RTX), from the venom of Atrax robustus, and VTX both produced a partial activation of 22Na+ flux and an inhibition of batrachotoxin-activated 22Na+ flux. This inhibition of flux through batrachotoxin-activated channels was not due to an interaction with neurotoxin receptor site 1 since [3H]saxitoxin binding was unaffected. In addition, the partial activation of 22Na+ flux was not enhanced in the presence of alpha-scorpion toxin and further experiments suggest that VTX also enhances [3H]batrachotoxin binding. These selective actions of funnel-web spider toxins on sodium channel function are comparable to those of alpha-scorpion and sea anemone toxins which bind to neurotoxin receptor site 3 on the channel to slow channel inactivation profoundly. Also, these modifications of sodium channel gating and kinetics are consistent with actions of the spider toxins to produce repetitive firing of action potentials.

  17. A New Family of Secreted Toxins in Pathogenic Neisseria Species

    PubMed Central

    Jamet, Anne; Jousset, Agnès B.; Euphrasie, Daniel; Mukorako, Paulette; Boucharlat, Alix; Ducousso, Alexia; Charbit, Alain; Nassif, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    The genus Neisseria includes both commensal and pathogenic species which are genetically closely related. However, only meningococcus and gonococcus are important human pathogens. Very few toxins are known to be secreted by pathogenic Neisseria species. Recently, toxins secreted via type V secretion system and belonging to the widespread family of contact-dependent inhibition (CDI) toxins have been described in numerous species including meningococcus. In this study, we analyzed loci containing the maf genes in N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae and proposed a novel uniform nomenclature for maf genomic islands (MGIs). We demonstrated that mafB genes encode secreted polymorphic toxins and that genes immediately downstream of mafB encode a specific immunity protein (MafI). We focused on a MafB toxin found in meningococcal strain NEM8013 and characterized its EndoU ribonuclease activity. maf genes represent 2% of the genome of pathogenic Neisseria, and are virtually absent from non-pathogenic species, thus arguing for an important biological role. Indeed, we showed that overexpression of one of the four MafB toxins of strain NEM8013 provides an advantage in competition assays, suggesting a role of maf loci in niche adaptation. PMID:25569427

  18. A new family of secreted toxins in pathogenic Neisseria species.

    PubMed

    Jamet, Anne; Jousset, Agnès B; Euphrasie, Daniel; Mukorako, Paulette; Boucharlat, Alix; Ducousso, Alexia; Charbit, Alain; Nassif, Xavier

    2015-01-01

    The genus Neisseria includes both commensal and pathogenic species which are genetically closely related. However, only meningococcus and gonococcus are important human pathogens. Very few toxins are known to be secreted by pathogenic Neisseria species. Recently, toxins secreted via type V secretion system and belonging to the widespread family of contact-dependent inhibition (CDI) toxins have been described in numerous species including meningococcus. In this study, we analyzed loci containing the maf genes in N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae and proposed a novel uniform nomenclature for maf genomic islands (MGIs). We demonstrated that mafB genes encode secreted polymorphic toxins and that genes immediately downstream of mafB encode a specific immunity protein (MafI). We focused on a MafB toxin found in meningococcal strain NEM8013 and characterized its EndoU ribonuclease activity. maf genes represent 2% of the genome of pathogenic Neisseria, and are virtually absent from non-pathogenic species, thus arguing for an important biological role. Indeed, we showed that overexpression of one of the four MafB toxins of strain NEM8013 provides an advantage in competition assays, suggesting a role of maf loci in niche adaptation.

  19. Structural Characterization of Humanized Nanobodies with Neutralizing Activity against the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin: Implications for a Potential Epitope of Toxin-Protective Antigen

    PubMed Central

    Malik, Aijaz Ahmad; Imtong, Chompounoot; Sookrung, Nitat; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Chaicumpa, Wanpen; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2016-01-01

    Previously, the 126-kDa CyaA-hemolysin (CyaA-Hly) fragment cloned from Bordetella pertussis—the causative agent of whooping cough—and functionally expressed in Escherichia coli was revealed as a key determinant for CyaA-mediated hemolysis against target erythrocytes. Here, phagemid-transfected E. coli clones producing nanobodies capable of binding to CyaA-Hly were selected from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage-display library. Subsequently verified for binding activities by indirect ELISA and Western blotting, four CyaA-Hly-specific nanobodies were obtained and designated according to the presence/absence of VHH-hallmark amino acids as VHH2, VH5, VH18 and VHH37. In vitro neutralization assay revealed that all four ~17-kDa His-tagged VH/VHH nanobodies, in particular VHH37, which were over-expressed as inclusions and successfully unfolded-refolded, were able to effectively inhibit CyaA-Hly-mediated hemolysis. Phage-mimotope searching revealed that only peptides with sequence homologous to Linker 1 connecting Blocks I and II within the CyaA-RTX subdomain were able to bind to these four CyaA-Hly-specific nanobodies. Structural analysis of VHH37 via homology modeling and intermolecular docking confirmed that this humanized nanobody directly interacts with CyaA-RTX/Linker 1 through multiple hydrogen and ionic bonds. Altogether, our present data demonstrate that CyaA-RTX/Linker 1 could serve as a potential epitope of CyaA-protective antigen that may be useful for development of peptide-based pertussis vaccines. Additionally, such toxin-specific nanobodies have a potential for test-driven development of a ready-to-use therapeutic in passive immunization for mitigation of disease severity. PMID:27043627

  20. Anti-Idiotype Probes for Toxin Detection

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-09-13

    enterotoxins A and B, the exfoliative toxins A and B and toxic shock syndrome syndrome toxin-1 to activate macrophages. All the toxins tested had the...Staphylococcal enterotoxin A, toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 and both exfoliative toxins triggered C3HeB/FeJ macrophages to secrete tumor necrosis...toxins A and B and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 to activate macrophages. All the toxins tested had the potential to stimulate tumoricidal activity in

  1. Genetic analysis of host-toxin interactions in the wheat-Stagonospora nodorum pathosystem

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Stagonospora nodorum, causal agent of Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) in wheat, produces multiple necrosis-inducing host-selective toxins (HSTs) that interact with dominant host sensitivity genes to cause disease. Absence of either the toxin or the dominant host gene precludes recognition and resu...

  2. Toxin Diversity Revealed by a Transcriptomic Study of Ornithoctonus huwena

    PubMed Central

    He, Quanze; Liu, Jinyan; Luo, Ji; Zhu, Li; Lu, Shanshan; Huang, Pengfei; Chen, Xinyi; Zeng, Xiongzhi; Liang, Songping

    2014-01-01

    Spider venom comprises a mixture of compounds with diverse biological activities, which are used to capture prey and defend against predators. The peptide components bind a broad range of cellular targets with high affinity and selectivity, and appear to have remarkable structural diversity. Although spider venoms have been intensively investigated over the past few decades, venomic strategies to date have generally focused on high-abundance peptides. In addition, the lack of complete spider genomes or representative cDNA libraries has presented significant limitations for researchers interested in molecular diversity and understanding the genetic mechanisms of toxin evolution. In the present study, second-generation sequencing technologies, combined with proteomic analysis, were applied to determine the diverse peptide toxins in venom of the Chinese bird spider Ornithoctonus huwena. In total, 626 toxin precursor sequences were retrieved from transcriptomic data. All toxin precursors clustered into 16 gene superfamilies, which included