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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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. RTX toxin genotypes and phenotypes in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae field strains.

    PubMed Central

    Beck, M; van den Bosch, J F; Jongenelen, I M; Loeffen, P L; Nielsen, R; Nicolet, J; Frey, J

    1994-01-01

    Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype reference strains and 204 A. pleuropneumoniae field strains representing all 12 serotypes and both biovars 1 and 2, obtained from laboratories from various countries worldwide, were analyzed for the presence of the toxin genes apxIC, apxIA, apxIB, apxID, apxIIC, apxIIA, apxIIIC, apxIIIA, apxIIIB, and apxIIID by DNA-DNA hybridization with specific gene probes. Expression of the toxins ApxI, ApxII, and ApxIII was assessed by immunoblot analysis with monoclonal antibodies. The results show that the patterns of apx genes and those of the expressed Apx toxins in biovar 1 field strains are the same as those of the genes and toxins of corresponding serotype reference strain. We found only three strains which had certain apx genes missing compared with the genes in their serotype reference strains. Analysis of the expression of the three toxins showed that nearly all strains expressed their apx genes and produced the same Apx toxins as their serotype reference strain. We found only one strain that did not produce ApxI, although it contained the apxICABD genes, and one strain which did not express ApxII but which contained apxIICA. Several field strains which initially showed that their serotype did not correspond to the apx gene profile of the reference strain and which had an unexpected virulence for the given serotype revealed that their initial serotyping was erroneous. We show that the apx gene profiles are inherent to a given serotype. The method cannot differentiate between all 12 serotypes. However, it allowed us to distinguish five groups of toxin gene patterns which showed pathological, toxicological, and epidemiological significance. None of the biovar 2 strains contained apxIII genes. The apxI and apxII genes in the biovar 2 strains, however, were the same as those found in the serotype reference strains of biovar 1. PMID:7852567

  5. Bacterial RTX toxins allow acute ATP release from human erythrocytes directly through the toxin pore.

    PubMed

    Skals, Marianne; Bjaelde, Randi G; Reinholdt, Jesper; Poulsen, Knud; Vad, Brian S; Otzen, Daniel E; Leipziger, Jens; Praetorius, Helle A

    2014-07-01

    ATP is as an extracellular signaling molecule able to amplify the cell lysis inflicted by certain bacterial toxins including the two RTX toxins α-hemolysin (HlyA) from Escherichia coli and leukotoxin A (LtxA) from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. Inhibition of P2X receptors completely blocks the RTX toxin-induced hemolysis over a larger concentration range. It is, however, at present not known how the ATP that provides the amplification is released from the attacked cells. Here we show that both HlyA and LtxA trigger acute release of ATP from human erythrocytes that preceded and were not caused by cell lysis. This early ATP release did not occur via previously described ATP-release pathways in the erythrocyte. Both HlyA and LtxA were capable of triggering ATP release in the presence of the pannexin 1 blockers carbenoxolone and probenecid, and the HlyA-induced ATP release was found to be similar in erythrocytes from pannexin 1 wild type and knock-out mice. Moreover, the voltage-dependent anion channel antagonist TRO19622 had no effect on ATP release by either of the toxins. Finally, we showed that both HlyA and LtxA were able to release ATP from ATP-loaded lipid (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine) vesicles devoid of any erythrocyte channels or transporters. Again we were able to show that this happened in a non-lytic fashion, using calcein-containing vesicles as controls. These data show that both toxins incorporate into lipid vesicles and allow ATP to be released. We suggest that both toxins cause acute ATP release by letting ATP pass the toxin pores in both human erythrocytes and artificial membranes.

  6. 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

  7. Mutation in the LPS outer core biosynthesis gene, galU, affects LPS interaction with the RTX toxins ApxI and ApxII and cytolytic activity of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 1.

    PubMed

    Ramjeet, Mahendrasingh; Cox, Andrew D; Hancock, Mark A; Mourez, Michael; Labrie, Josée; Gottschalk, Marcelo; Jacques, Mario

    2008-10-01

    Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and Apx toxins are major virulence factors of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, a pathogen of the respiratory tract of pigs. Here, we evaluated the effect of LPS core truncation in haemolytic and cytotoxic activities of this microorganism. We previously generated a highly attenuated galU mutant of A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 that has an LPS molecule lacking the GalNAc-Gal II-Gal I outer core residues. Our results demonstrate that this mutant exhibits wild-type haemolytic activity but is significantly less cytotoxic to porcine alveolar macrophages. However, no differences were found in gene expression and secretion of the haemolytic and cytotoxic toxins ApxI and ApxII, both secreted by A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1. This suggests that the outer core truncation mediated by the galU mutation affects the toxins in their cytotoxic activities. Using both ELISA and surface plasmon resonance binding assays, we demonstrate a novel interaction between LPS and the ApxI and ApxII toxins via the core oligosaccharide. Our results indicate that the GalNAc-Gal II-Gal I trisaccharide of the outer core is fundamental to mediating LPS/Apx interactions. The present study suggests that a lack of binding between LPS and ApxI/II affects the cytotoxicity and virulence of A. pleuropneumoniae. PMID:18713318

  8. 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

  9. Early steps in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla)-Vibrio vulnificus interaction in the gills: role of the RtxA13 toxin.

    PubMed

    Callol, Agnès; Pajuelo, David; Ebbesson, Lars; Teles, Mariana; MacKenzie, Simon; Amaro, Carmen

    2015-04-01

    Vibrio vulnificus is an aquatic gram-negative bacterium that causes a systemic disease in eels called warm-water vibriosis. Natural disease occurs via water born infection; bacteria attach to the gills (the main portal of entry) and spread to the internal organs through the bloodstream, provoking host death by haemorrhagic septicaemia. V. vulnificus produces a toxin called RtxA13 that hypothetically interferes with the eel immune system facilitating bacterial invasion and subsequent death by septic shock. The aim of this work was to study the early steps of warm-water vibriosis by analysing the expression of three marker mRNA transcripts related to pathogen recognition (tlr2 and tlr5) and inflammation (il-8) in the gills of eels infected by immersion with either the pathogen or a mutant deficient in rtxA13. Results indicate a differential response that is linked to the rtx toxin in the expression levels of the three measured mRNA transcripts. The results suggest that eels are able to distinguish innocuous from harmful microorganisms by the local action of their toxins rather than by surface antigens. Finally, the cells that express these transcripts in the gills are migratory cells primarily located in the second lamellae that re-locate during infection suggesting the activation of a specific immune response to pathogen invasion in the gill.

  10. 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. PMID:25232897

  11. Inducible Polymerization and Two-Dimensional Assembly of the Repeats-in-Toxin (RTX) Domain from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Alkaline Protease

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25232897

  12. 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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  13. 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

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:27058787

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Mechanism of Gene Regulation by a Staphylococcus aureus Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Joo, Hwang-Soo; Chatterjee, Som S.; Villaruz, Amer E.; Dickey, Seth W.; Tan, Vee Y.; Chen, Yan; Sturdevant, Daniel E.; Ricklefs, Stacy M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The virulence of many bacterial pathogens, including the important human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, depends on the secretion of frequently large amounts of toxins. Toxin production involves the need for the bacteria to make physiological adjustments for energy conservation. While toxins are primarily targets of gene regulation, such changes may be accomplished by regulatory functions of the toxins themselves. However, mechanisms by which toxins regulate gene expression have remained poorly understood. We show here that the staphylococcal phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) toxins have gene regulatory functions that, in particular, include inducing expression of their own transport system by direct interference with a GntR-type repressor protein. This capacity was most pronounced in PSMs with low cytolytic capacity, demonstrating functional specification among closely related members of that toxin family during evolution. Our study presents a molecular mechanism of gene regulation by a bacterial toxin that adapts bacterial physiology to enhanced toxin production. PMID:27795396

  19. 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.

  20. Deletions in the repeating sequences of the toxin A gene of toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive Clostridium difficile strains.

    PubMed

    Kato, H; Kato, N; Katow, S; Maegawa, T; Nakamura, S; Lyerly, D M

    1999-06-15

    The repeating sequences of the toxin A gene from toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive (toxin A-, toxin B+) strains of Clostridium difficile which were isolated in geographically separated facilities in Japan and Indonesia were determined. All six strains tested had identical repeating sequences with two deletions (1548 and 273 nucleotides in size) in the toxin A gene. A PCR method was designed to detect the deletions and the deletions were confirmed in all 50 toxin A-, toxin B+ strains examined by this method. Western immunoblot analysis revealed that polyclonal antiserum against native toxin A did not react with the concentrated culture filtrates of the toxin A-, toxin B+ strains. These results may suggest that toxin A-, toxin B+ strains have deletions of the two thirds of the repeating regions of the toxin A gene, which encodes the epitopes fully responsible for the reaction with the polyclonal antiserum.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Vibrio cholerae MARTX toxin heterologous translocation of beta-lactamase and roles of individual effector domains on cytoskeleton dynamics.

    PubMed

    Dolores, Jazel S; Agarwal, Shivani; Egerer, Martina; Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-02-01

    The Vibrio cholerae MARTXVc toxin delivers three effector domains to eukaryotic cells. To study toxin delivery and function of individual domains, the rtxA gene was modified to encode toxin with an in-frame beta-lactamase (Bla) fusion. The hybrid RtxA::Bla toxin was Type I secreted from bacteria; and then Bla was translocated into eukaryotic cells and delivered by autoprocessing, demonstrating that the MARTXVc toxin is capable of heterologous protein transfer. Strains that produce hybrid RtxA::Bla toxins that carry one effector domain in addition to Bla were found to more efficiently translocate Bla. In cell biological assays, the actin cross-linking domain (ACD) and Rho-inactivation domain (RID) are found to cross-link actin and inactivate RhoA, respectively, when other effector domains are absent, with toxin autoprocessing required for high efficiency. The previously unstudied alpha-beta hydrolase domain (ABH) is shown here to activate CDC42, although the effect is ameliorated when RID is also present. Despite all effector domains acting on cytoskeleton assembly, the ACD was sufficient to rapidly inhibit macrophage phagocytosis. Both the ACD and RID independently disrupted polarized epithelial tight junction integrity. The sufficiency of ACD but strong selection for retention of RID and ABH suggests these two domains may primarily function by modulating cell signaling.

  6. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts. Most toxins that cause problems ...

  7. Gene-Trap Mutagenesis Identifies Mammalian Genes Contributing to Intoxication by Clostridium perfringens ε-Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Ivie, Susan E.; Fennessey, Christine M.; Sheng, Jinsong; Rubin, Donald H.; McClain, Mark S.

    2011-01-01

    The Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin is an extremely potent toxin associated with lethal toxemias in domesticated ruminants and may be toxic to humans. Intoxication results in fluid accumulation in various tissues, most notably in the brain and kidneys. Previous studies suggest that the toxin is a pore-forming toxin, leading to dysregulated ion homeostasis and ultimately cell death. However, mammalian host factors that likely contribute to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity are poorly understood. A library of insertional mutant Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, which are highly susceptible to the lethal affects of ε-toxin, was used to select clones of cells resistant to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. The genes mutated in 9 surviving resistant cell clones were identified. We focused additional experiments on one of the identified genes as a means of validating the experimental approach. Gene expression microarray analysis revealed that one of the identified genes, hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1, KIM-1, TIM1), is more abundantly expressed in human kidney cell lines than it is expressed in human cells known to be resistant to ε-toxin. One human kidney cell line, ACHN, was found to be sensitive to the toxin and expresses a larger isoform of the HAVCR1 protein than the HAVCR1 protein expressed by other, toxin-resistant human kidney cell lines. RNA interference studies in MDCK and in ACHN cells confirmed that HAVCR1 contributes to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. Additionally, ε-toxin was shown to bind to HAVCR1 in vitro. The results of this study indicate that HAVCR1 and the other genes identified through the use of gene-trap mutagenesis and RNA interference strategies represent important targets for investigation of the process by which ε-toxin induces cell death and new targets for potential therapeutic intervention. PMID:21412435

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-13

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Functional Analysis of a Putative Dothistromin Toxin MFS Transporter Gene

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, Rosie E.; Feng, Zhilun; Schwelm, Arne; Yang, Yongzhi; Zhang, Shuguang

    2009-01-01

    Dothistromin is a non-host selective toxin produced by the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum. Dothistromin is not required for pathogenicity, but may have a role in competition and niche protection. To determine how D. septosporum tolerates its own toxin, a putative dothistromin transporter, DotC, was investigated. Studies with mutants lacking a functional dotC gene, overproducing DotC, or with a DotC-GFP fusion gene, did not provide conclusive evidence of a role in dothistromin efflux. The mutants revealed a major effect of DotC on dothistromin biosynthesis but were resistant to exogenous dothistromin. Intracellular localization studies suggest that compartmentalization may be important for dothistromin tolerance. PMID:22069539

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

    PubMed

    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, stx 2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx 1a (14%), stx 2d (3%), and stx 1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx 2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx 2a and stx 2c, the stx 2d 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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  15. 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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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 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

  17. Identification of toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains by using a toxin A gene-specific probe.

    PubMed Central

    Wren, B W; Clayton, C L; Castledine, N B; Tabaqchali, S

    1990-01-01

    A 4.5-kilobase PstI fragment encoding part of the toxin A gene was isolated and used as a DNA probe in colony hybridization studies with 58 toxigenic and 17 nontoxigenic Clostridium difficile strains. All 58 toxigenic strains showed positive hybridization, in contrast to the 17 nontoxigenic strains. Southern blot analysis with the toxin A gene probe showed hybridization to a single fragment of equal intensities for HindIII-digested genomic DNAs isolated from C. difficile strains of wide-ranging toxin production. The positive hybridization signals were due to fragments of heterogeneous lengths (9 to 13 kilobases) for toxigenic strains of different types but were absent for the nontoxigenic strains. These results suggest the presence of a single copy of the toxin A gene on the genome of C. difficile strains, and the wide variation of toxin expression is not a reflection of gene copy number. The lack of toxin activity for nontoxigenic strains can be explained by the absence of at least part of the toxin A gene. The toxin A gene probe was tested against clostridial strains from 18 other species, of which only toxigenic C. sordellii strains showed positive hybridization. The specificity of the toxin A gene probe for toxigenic strains may lead to improved methods for the specific identification of toxigenic C. difficile strains from clinical specimens. Images PMID:2118549

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  20. A single gene encodes a selective toxin causal to the development of tan spot of wheat.

    PubMed Central

    Ciuffetti, L M; Tuori, R P; Gaventa, J M

    1997-01-01

    The identification and characterization of pathogenicity factors are essential to an understanding of the molecular events that regulate the interaction of plant-pathogenic microbes with their hosts. We have isolated the gene that encodes a host-selective toxic protein produced by the fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis and confirmed that this gene functions in the plant as the primary determinant of pathogenicity in the Pyrenophora-wheat interaction. These results demonstrate that a single gene encodes the production of a host-selective toxin and that transformation of this gene into a non-toxin-producing isolate of P. tritici-repentis leads to both toxin production and pathogenicity. PMID:9061946

  1. Introns in the Cytolethal Distending Toxin Gene of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Kai Soo; Ong, Grace; Song, Keang Peng

    2005-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, genes are interrupted by intervening sequences called introns. Introns are transcribed as part of a precursor RNA that is subsequently removed by splicing, giving rise to mature mRNA. However, introns are rarely found in bacteria. Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is a periodontal pathogen implicated in aggressive forms of periodontal disease. This organism has been shown to produce cytolethal distending toxin (CDT), which causes sensitive eukaryotic cells to become irreversibly blocked at the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. In this study, we report the presence of introns within the cdt gene of A. actinomycetemcomitans. By use of reverse transcription-PCR, cdt transcripts of 2.123, 1.572, and 0.882 kb (RTA1, RTA2, and RTA3, respectively) were detected. In contrast, a single 2.123-kb amplicon was obtained by PCR with the genomic DNA. Similar results were obtained when a plasmid carrying cdt was cloned into Escherichia coli. Sequence analysis of RTA1, RTA2, and RTA3 revealed that RTA1 had undergone splicing, giving rise to RTA2 and RTA3. Two exon-intron boundaries, or splice sites, were identified at positions 863 to 868 and 1553 to 1558 of RTA1. Site-directed and deletion mutation studies of the splice site sequence indicated that sequence conservation was important in order for accurate splicing to occur. The catalytic region of the cdt RNA was located within the cdtC gene. This 0.56-kb RNA behaved independently as a catalytically active RNA molecule (a ribozyme) in vitro, capable of splicing heterologous RNA in both cis and trans configurations. PMID:15629928

  2. [Electrochemical detection of toxin gene in Listeria monocytogenes].

    PubMed

    Wu, Ling-Wei; Liu, Quan-Jun; Wu, Zhong-Wei; Lu, Zu-Hong

    2010-05-01

    Listeria monocytogenes (LM) is a food-borne pathogen inducing listeriosis, an illness characterized by encephalitis, septicaemia, and meningitis. Listeriolysin O (LLO) is absolutely required for virulence by L. monocytogenes, and is found only in virulent strains of the species. One of the best ways to detect and confirm the pathogen is detection of one of the virulence factors, LLO, produced by the microorganism. This paper focused on the electrical method used to detect the LLO toxin gene in food products and organism without labeling the target DNA. The electrochemical sensor was obtained by immobilizing single-stranded oligonucleotides onto the gold electrode with the mercaptan activated by N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide (NHS) and N-(3-dimethylamion)propyl-N'-ethyl carbodiimidehydrochloride (EDC). The hy-bridization reaction that occurred on the electrode surface was evidenced by Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) analysis using [Co(phen)3](ClO4)3 as an indicator. The covalently immobilized single-stranded DNA could selectively hybridize to its complementary DNA in solution to form double-stranded DNA on the gold surface. A significant increase of the peak cur-rent of Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) upon hybridization of immobilized ssDNA with PCR amplification products in the solu-tion was observed. This peak current change was used to monitor the amount of PCR amplification products. Factors deter-mining the sensitivity of the electrochemical assay, such as DNA target concentration and hybridization conditions, were investigated. The coupling of DNA to the electrochemical sensors has the potential of the quantitative evaluation of gene.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. Nucleotide sequence of the structural gene for diphtheria toxin carried by corynebacteriophage beta.

    PubMed Central

    Greenfield, L; Bjorn, M J; Horn, G; Fong, D; Buck, G A; Collier, R J; Kaplan, D A

    1983-01-01

    A 1,942-base-pair DNA segment encoding the structural gene for diphtheria toxin was sequenced, and the primary structure of the toxin was deduced. Restriction enzyme fragments corresponding to nontoxic or hypotoxic peptides of the toxin were isolated from corynebacteriophage beta and cloned into Escherichia coli on plasmid pBR322, and the sequence was determined. The mature toxin molecule deduced from the sequence has 535 amino acid residues and a molecular weight of 58,342. The deduced sequence for the fragment A moiety was the same as that determined at the protein level, except for a single serine residue, which had been mispositioned in the earlier study. Several differences were noted with respect to the partial sequence data available on the fragment B moiety, some or all of which may reflect genetic variations among populations of corynephages carrying the toxin gene. The DNA sequence predicts a 25-residue leader peptide preceding the mature protein, which is presumably involved in secretion of the toxin from lysogenized Corynebacterium diphtheriae. We infer that initiation of translation probably occurs at a GTG codon (codon -25). Cloned restriction fragments containing sequences for the amino-terminal region of toxin, together with 5' flanking regions, were expressed in E. coli. Toxin-related peptides were synthesized and secreted into the periplasmic space. These results provide a basis for applying recombinant DNA methods to the study of diphtheria toxin and for producing novel, genetically altered forms of the toxin suited to the construction of new classes of immunotoxins. PMID:6316330

  5. 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.

  6. Genes and evolution of two-domain toxins from lynx spider venom.

    PubMed

    Sachkova, Maria Y; Slavokhotova, Anna A; Grishin, Eugene V; Vassilevski, Alexander A

    2014-03-01

    Spiderines are comparatively long polypeptide toxins (∼110 residues) from lynx spiders (genus Oxyopes). They are built of an N-terminal linear cationic domain (∼40 residues) and a C-terminal knottin domain (∼60 residues). The linear domain empowers spiderines with strong cytolytic activity. In the present work we report 16 novel spiderine sequences from Oxyopes takobius and Oxyopes lineatus classified into two subfamilies. Strikingly, negative selection acts on both linear and knottin domains. Genes encoding Oxyopes two-domain toxins were sequenced and found to be intronless. We further discuss a possible scenario of lynx spider modular toxin evolution.

  7. 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. PMID:22092859

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Prevalence of genes for enterotoxins, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and exfoliative toxin among clinical isolates of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius from canine origin.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jang W; Lee, Gi-Jong; Lee, So-Young; Park, Chul; Yoo, Jong-Hyun; Park, Hee-Myung

    2010-10-01

    A total of 74 Staphylococcus pseudintermedius strains were isolated from the 99 clinical cases of canine pyoderma or chronic otitis in our veterinary teaching hospital during May 2006-February 2008. In this study, we examined the genetic distribution of staphylococcal pyogenic toxins such as staphylococcal enterotoxins A (sea), B (seb), C (sec), D (sed), E (see), and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (tst) as well as the previously characterized S. intermedius exfoliative toxin (siet) among those isolates. The polymerase chain reaction analyses with the toxin gene-specific primers revealed that 18 (24.3%) of 74 S. pseudintermedius isolates carried the sec genes, but none of the sea, seb, sed, see and tst genes. Further DNA sequencing analysis of the amplified sec genes revealed that they all belonged to the canine type C staphylococcal enterotoxin (SEC(canine) ) whose superantigenic activity has been demonstrated. In addition to the sec(canine) genes, our polymerase chain reaction results showed that all the 74 isolates carried the siet gene. Since both SEC(canine) and SIET toxins are known to be biologically active, it would be interesting to investigate how those toxins are involved in the pathogenesis of the canine diseases by S. pseudintermedius such as pyoderma or chronic otitis.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Conservation of the genes for HC-toxin biosynthesis in Alternaria jesenskae

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background HC-toxin, a cyclic tetrapeptide, is a virulence determinant for the plant pathogenic fungus Cochliobolus carbonum. It was recently discovered that another fungus, Alternaria jesenskae, also produces HC-toxin. Results The major genes (collectively known as AjTOX2) involved in the biosynthesis of HC-toxin were identified from A. jesenskae by genomic sequencing. The encoded orthologous proteins share 75-85% amino acid identity, and the genes for HC-toxin biosynthesis are duplicated in both fungi. The genomic organization of the genes in the two fungi show a similar but not identical partial clustering arrangement. A set of representative housekeeping proteins show a similar high level of amino acid identity between C. carbonum and A. jesenskae, which is consistent with the close relatedness of these two genera within the family Pleosporaceae (Dothideomycetes). Conclusions This is the first report that the plant virulence factor HC-toxin is made by an organism other than C. carbonum. The genes may have moved by horizontal transfer between the two species, but it cannot be excluded that they were present in a common ancestor and lost from other species of Alternaria and Cochliobolus. PMID:23865912

  14. 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. PMID:26042786

  15. Toxin Genes and Other Characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Milk of Cows with Mastitis

    PubMed Central

    Akineden, Ö.; Annemüller, C.; Hassan, A. A.; Lämmler, C.; Wolter, W.; Zschöck, M.

    2001-01-01

    In the present study, 103 Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from milk samples from 60 cows with mastitis from eight different farms in seven different locations in one region of Germany were compared pheno- and genotypically and by identification of various toxins. On the basis of culture and hemolytic properties and by determination of the tube coagulase reaction, all of the isolates could be identified as S. aureus. This could be confirmed by PCR amplification of species-specific parts of the gene encoding the 23S rRNA. In addition, all of the S. aureus isolates harbored the genes encoding staphylococcal coagulase and clumping factor and the genes encoding the X region and the immunoglobulin G binding region of protein A. These four genes displayed size polymorphisms. By PCR amplification, the genes for the toxins staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), SEC, SED, SEG, SEI, SEJ, and TSST-1 but not those for SEB, SEE, SEH, and the exfoliative toxins ETA and ETB could be detected. To analyze the epidemiological relationships, the isolates were subjected to DNA fingerprinting by macrorestriction analysis of their chromosomal DNAs. According to the observed gene polymorphisms, the toxin patterns, and the information given by macrorestriction analysis of the isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, a limited number of clones seemed to be responsible for the cases of bovine mastitis on the various farms. PMID:11527811

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Tabashnik, B E; Liu, Y B; Finson, N; Masson, L; Heckel, D G

    1997-03-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Nucleotide sequence of the Shiga-like toxin genes of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Calderwood, S B; Auclair, F; Donohue-Rolfe, A; Keusch, G T; Mekalanos, J J

    1987-01-01

    We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the sltA and sltB genes that encode the Shiga-like toxin (SLT) produced by Escherichia coli phage H19B. The amino acid composition of the A and B subunits of SLT is very similar to that previously established for Shiga toxin from Shigella dysenteriae 1, and the deduced amino acid sequence of the B subunit of SLT is identical with that reported for the B subunit of Shiga toxin. The genes for the A and B subunits of SLT apparently constitute an operon, with only 12 nucleotides separating the coding regions. There is a 21-base-pair region of dyad symmetry overlapping the proposed promoter of the slt operon that may be involved in regulation of SLT production by iron. The peptide sequence of the A subunit of SLT is homologous to the A subunit of the plant toxin ricin, providing evidence for the hypothesis that certain prokaryotic toxins may be evolutionarily related to eukaryotic enzymes. Images PMID:3299365

  20. Characterization of SCCmec types, antibiotic resistance, and toxin gene profiles of Staphylococcus aureus strains.

    PubMed

    Szczuka, Ewa; Grabska, Katarzyna; Trawczyński, Krzysztof; Bosacka, Karolina; Kaznowski, Adam

    2013-09-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes serious nosocomial and community acquired infections. Resistance to methicillin is mediated by the mecA gene, which is inserted in a mobile genetic element called staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). We determined the SCCmec types, the occurrence of genes encoding toxic shock syndrome toxin (tst), exfoliative toxin (eta, etb), Panton-Valentine leukocidin (pvl) as well as antibiotic susceptibility of these isolates. Among 65 hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (HA-MRSA) strains, SCCmec types II, III and IV were identified. Type III SCCmec was the most prevalent (62%), followed by mec types II (24%) and IV (14%). Four community acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) strains carried SCCmec type IV and were pvl-positive. The most prevalent gene among HA-MRSA was pvl. The toxic shock syndrome toxin and exfoliative toxin genes were found only in hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus. The results of this study demonstrate that the SCCmec type III is predominant among strains recovered from hospitalized patients with infections and that these strains were resistant to many antibiotics used in the treatment of staphylococcal infections.

  1. Toxin-Resistant Sodium Channels: Parallel Adaptive Evolution across a Complete Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hillis, David M.; Lu, Ying; Kyle, John W.; Fozzard, Harry A.; Zakon, Harold H.

    2008-01-01

    Approximately 75% of vertebrate proteins belong to protein families encoded by multiple evolutionarily related genes, a pattern that emerged as a result of gene and genome duplications over the course of vertebrate evolution. In families of genes with similar or related functions, adaptation to a strong selective agent should involve multiple adaptive changes across the entire gene family. However, we know of no evolutionary studies that have explicitly addressed this point. Here, we show how 4 taxonomically diverse species of pufferfishes (Tetraodontidae) each evolved resistance to the guanidinium toxins tetrodotoxin (TTX) and saxitoxin (STX) via parallel amino acid replacements across all 8 sodium channels present in teleost fish genomes. This resulted in diverse suites of coexisting sodium channel types that all confer varying degrees of toxin resistance, yet show remarkable convergence among genes and phylogenetically diverse species. Using site-directed mutagenesis and expression of a vertebrate sodium channel, we also demonstrate that resistance to TTX/STX is enhanced up to 15-fold by single, frequently observed replacements at 2 sites that have not previously been implicated in toxin binding but show similar or identical replacements in pufferfishes and in distantly related vertebrate and nonvertebrate animals. This study presents an example of natural selection acting upon a complete gene family, repeatedly arriving at a diverse but limited number of adaptive changes within the same genome. To be maximally informative, we suggest that future studies of molecular adaptation should consider all functionally similar paralogs of the affected gene family. PMID:18258611

  2. Shiga toxin-encoding genes (stx genes) in human faecal samples.

    PubMed

    Urdahl, Anne Margrete; Solheim, Heidi Tetlie; Vold, Line; Hasseltvedt, Viggo; Wasteson, Yngvild

    2013-03-01

    The aim of the two studies reported here was to investigate the distribution of stx genes in human faecal samples from volunteers and in faecal samples submitted to a regional microbiology hospital laboratory, and to isolate and characterize STEC from stx-positive samples. In total, faecal samples from 13.9% of 165 volunteers and 36.1% of 416 swabs from the regional microbiology hospital laboratory were positive for stx genes after screening by PCR. Isolation of STEC and of E. coli O157 from stx-positive faecal samples was performed by a filter-hybridization protocol and by automated immunomagnetic separation, respectively, and isolates were further characterized by serotyping, virulence typing by PCR and toxin production by the Vero cell assay. STEC were isolated from two samples only, an O146:H21 isolate from one of the volunteers and an O157:H7 isolate from a human case of diarrhoea. To conclude; the results show that it is not unusual to detect stx genes in faecal samples from humans in Norway, both from asymptomatic people and from people with gastrointestinal illness. This finding emphasizes the importance of correct diagnostic criteria for interpretation of the finding of an occasional stx-positive sample or an STEC isolate when searching for an aetiological agent of human cases of diarrhoea.

  3. Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in bacterial pathogens by toxin-antitoxin systems

    PubMed Central

    Bertram, Ralph; Schuster, Christopher F.

    2014-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements ubiquitous in prokaryotic genomes that encode toxic proteins targeting various vital cellular functions. Typically, toxin activity is controlled by adjacently encoded protein or RNA antitoxins and unleashed as a consequence of genetic fluctuations or stressful conditions. Whereas some TA systems interfere with replication or cell wall synthesis, most of them influence transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation. Antitoxin proteins often act as DNA binding transcriptional regulators and many TA toxins exhibit endoribonuclease activity to selectively degrade different RNA species and thus alter gene expression patterns. Some TA RNases cleave tRNA, tmRNAs or rRNAs, whereas most commonly mRNAs either in association with the ribosome or as free transcripts, are targeted. Examples are provided on how TA toxins differentially shape gene expression in bacterial pathogens by creating specialized ribosomes or by altering the transcriptome and how this may be tied in the control of pathogenicity factors. PMID:24524029

  4. Bacteriophage-encoded shiga toxin gene in atypical bacterial host

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Contamination from fecal bacteria in recreational waters is a major health concern since bacteria capable of causing human disease can be found in animal feces. The Dog Beach area of Ocean Beach in San Diego, California is a beach prone to closures due to high levels of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB). A potential source of these FIB could be the canine feces left behind by owners who do not clean up after their pets. We tested this hypothesis by screening the DNA isolated from canine feces for the bacteriophage-encoded stx gene normally found in the virulent strains of the fecal bacterium Escherichia coli. Results Twenty canine fecal samples were collected, processed for total and bacterial fraction DNA, and screened by PCR for the stx gene. The stx gene was detected in the total and bacterial fraction DNA of one fecal sample. Bacterial isolates were then cultivated from the stx-positive fecal sample. Eighty nine of these canine fecal bacterial isolates were screened by PCR for the stx gene. The stx gene was detected in five of these isolates. Sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA gene PCR products from the canine fecal bacterial isolates indicated that they were Enterococcus and not E. coli. Conclusions The bacteriophage-encoded stx gene was found in multiple species of bacteria cultivated from canine fecal samples gathered at the shoreline of the Dog Beach area of Ocean Beach in San Diego, California. The canine fecal bacteria carrying the stx gene were not the typical E. coli host and were instead identified through phylogenetic analyses as Enterococcus. This suggests a large degree of horizontal gene transfer of exotoxin genes in recreational waters. PMID:21733190

  5. Specific detection of the toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 gene using the polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Jaulhac, B; Prevost, G; Piemont, Y

    1991-08-01

    A rapid and specific assay for toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 gene (tst gene) detection in Staphylococcus aureus was developed using the polymerase chain reaction. A two-primer set and an oligonucleotide detection probe were synthesized. After 40 cycles of amplification, detection of a 160-bp amplified DNA fragment was carried out by agarose gel electrophoresis and Southern blot hybridization. This assay was sensitive since it was able to detect 1-10 bacteria. It was also specific since no amplification was documented with DNAs from enterotoxigenic S. aureus or Gram-negative bacteria devoid of the tst gene.

  6. Sequence of Shiga Toxin 2 Phage 933W from Escherichia coli O157:H7: Shiga Toxin as a Phage Late-Gene Product†

    PubMed Central

    Plunkett, Guy; Rose, Debra J.; Durfee, Timothy J.; Blattner, Frederick R.

    1999-01-01

    Lysogenic bacteriophages are major vehicles for the transfer of genetic information between bacteria, including pathogenicity and/or virulence determinants. In the enteric pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7, which causes hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome, Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2) are phage encoded. The sequence and analysis of the Stx2 phage 933W is presented here. We find evidence that the toxin genes are part of a late-phage transcript, suggesting that toxin production may be coupled with, if not dependent upon, phage release during lytic growth. Another phage gene, stk, encodes a product resembling eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinases. Based on its position in the sequence, Stk may be produced by the prophage in the lysogenic state, and, like the YpkA protein of Yersinia species, it may interfere with the signal transduction pathway of the mammalian host. Three novel tRNA genes present in the phage genome may serve to increase the availability of rare tRNA species associated with efficient expression of pathogenicity determinants: both the Shiga toxin and serine/threonine kinase genes contain rare isoleucine and arginine codons. 933W also has homology to lom, encoding a member of a family of outer membrane proteins associated with virulence by conferring the ability to survive in macrophages, and bor, implicated in serum resistance. PMID:10074068

  7. Prevalence, toxin gene profiles, and antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from quick-frozen dumplings.

    PubMed

    Hao, Dan; Xing, Xiaonan; Li, Guanghui; Wang, Xin; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Weisong; Xia, Xiaodong; Meng, Jianghong

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus in quick-frozen dumplings and to characterize these strains. A total of 120 dumpling samples, including lamb (n = 13), vegetarian (n = 14), seafood (n = 12), and pork (n = 81) stuffing, were collected in Shaanxi province in China and screened for S. aureus. All S. aureus isolates were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and detection of genes encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins, exfoliative toxins A and B (eta and etb), toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (tsst-1), and resistance to methicillin-oxacillin (mecA). In all, 60.0% of all samples were positive for S. aureus, and 117 S. aureus isolates, including seven mecA-positive strains, were recovered from these positive samples. In addition, all mecA-positive S. aureus isolates were recovered from products of animal origin. In these S. aureus isolates, resistance was observed most frequently to ampicillin (92.3%) and penicillin (86.3%), followed by clarithromycin, erythromycin, midecamycin, tetracycline, and kanahemycin (from 53.8 to 28.2%). All isolates were sensitive to cefoperazone, minocycline, vancomycin, and ofloxacin. The predominant toxin gene was sec (38.5%), followed by seg (19.7%), sej (16.2%), see (12.8%), sea (11.1%), and seb (10.3%), whereas eta, etb, and tsst-1 genes were not detected. These findings indicate that S. aureus was present commonly in quick-frozen dumplings, accompanied by multiple antimicrobial resistance and toxin genes. Our findings highlight the urgency for stricter hygiene strategies in food production and the prudent use of antibiotics in the breeding industry.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26371554

  13. Detection by in vitro amplification of the alpha-toxin (phospholipase C) gene from Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

    Fach, P; Guillou, J P

    1993-01-01

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with thermostable DNA polymerase from Thermus aquaticus is described for the specific amplification of the phospholipase C (alpha-toxin) gene of Clostridium perfringens. A set of primers selected for their high specificity could detect Cl. perfringens in stools with a detection limit of approximately 5 x 10(2) bacteria, after bi-amplification. A modified PCR without thermal steps was performed to rapidly amplify, with a yield of 60%, the DNA template. With this PCR method Cl. perfringens alpha-toxin gene could be detected within 2 h. The PCR method detected alpha-toxin positive Cl. perfringens but did not react with phospholipase C-producing Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Cl. sordellii and Cl. bifermentans. The amplified PCR products were screened through ethidium bromide agarose gel electrophoresis or, in only 1 h, with the PhastSystem (Pharmacia). This PCR satisfies the criteria of specificity, sensitivity and rapidity required for a useful tool in epidemiology and for the diagnosis of the pathogen Cl. perfringens as it may be used directly on stool samples.

  14. Identification of anthrax toxin genes in a Bacillus cereus associated with an illness resembling inhalation anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Ravel, Jacques; Rasko, David A.; Chapman, Gail D.; Chute, Michael D.; Marston, Chung K.; De, Barun K.; Sacchi, Claudio T.; Fitzgerald, Collette; Mayer, Leonard W.; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Priest, Fergus G.; Barker, Margaret; Jiang, Lingxia; Cer, Regina Z.; Rilstone, Jennifer; Peterson, Scott N.; Weyant, Robbin S.; Galloway, Darrell R.; Read, Timothy D.; Popovic, Tanja; Fraser, Claire M.

    2004-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the etiologic agent of anthrax, an acute fatal disease among mammals. It was thought to differ from Bacillus cereus, an opportunistic pathogen and cause of food poisoning, by the presence of plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, which encode the lethal toxin complex and the poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule, respectively. This work describes a non-B. anthracis isolate that possesses the anthrax toxin genes and is capable of causing a severe inhalation anthrax-like illness. Although initial phenotypic and 16S rRNA analysis identified this isolate as B. cereus, the rapid generation and analysis of a high-coverage draft genome sequence revealed the presence of a circular plasmid, named pBCXO1, with 99.6% similarity with the B. anthracis toxin-encoding plasmid, pXO1. Although homologues of the pXO2 encoded capsule genes were not found, a polysaccharide capsule cluster is encoded on a second, previously unidentified plasmid, pBC218. A/J mice challenged with B. cereus G9241 confirmed the virulence of this strain. These findings represent an example of how genomics could rapidly assist public health experts responding not only to clearly identified select agents but also to novel agents with similar pathogenic potentials. In this study, we combined a public health approach with genome analysis to provide insight into the correlation of phenotypic characteristics and their genetic basis. PMID:15155910

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-26

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular analysis of a novel gene cluster encoding an insect toxin in plant-associated strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    PubMed

    Péchy-Tarr, Maria; Bruck, Denny J; Maurhofer, Monika; Fischer, Esther; Vogne, Christelle; Henkels, Marcella D; Donahue, Kelly M; Grunder, Jürg; Loper, Joyce E; Keel, Christoph

    2008-09-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens CHA0 and the related strain Pf-5 are well-characterized representatives of rhizosphere bacteria that have the capacity to protect crop plants from fungal root diseases, mainly by releasing a variety of exoproducts that are toxic to plant pathogenic fungi. Here, we report that the two plant-beneficial pseudomonads also exhibit potent insecticidal activity. Anti-insect activity is linked to a novel genomic locus encoding a large protein toxin termed Fit (for P. fluorescensinsecticidal toxin) that is related to the insect toxin Mcf (Makes caterpillars floppy) of the entomopathogen Photorhabdus luminescens, a mutualist of insect-invading nematodes. When injected into the haemocoel, even low doses of P. fluorescens CHA0 or Pf-5 killed larvae of the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta and the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella. In contrast, mutants of CHA0 or Pf-5 with deletions in the Fit toxin gene were significantly less virulent to the larvae. When expressed from an inducible promoter in a non-toxic Escherichia coli host, the Fit toxin gene was sufficient to render the bacterium toxic to both insect hosts. Our findings establish the Fit gene products of P. fluorescens CHA0 and Pf-5 as potent insect toxins that define previously unappreciated anti-insect properties of these plant-colonizing bacteria. PMID:18484997

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Cloning and expression of the Pasteurella multocida toxin gene, toxA, in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, S K; Foged, N T

    1989-01-01

    A chromosomal DNA library of a toxigenic type D strain of Pasteurella multocida subsp. multocida was established in Escherichia coli. From this library two clones, SPE308 and SPE312, were identified by using a monoclonal antibody against the osteoclast-stimulating P. multocida toxin (PMT). Extracts of these clones showed cytopathic activity identical to that of extracts of toxigenic P. multocida. The recombinant plasmids, pSPE308 and pSPE312, directed the synthesis of a protein with an apparent molecular weight of 143,000 which could be specifically detected by anti-PMT antibody. The recombinant toxin, which was located in the cytoplasm of E. coli, was purified by affinity chromatography with immobilized monoclonal antibody and was shown to react in a manner identical to that of PMT in a quantitative structural test using a series of monoclonal antibodies as well as in all quantitative functional tests used, i.e., tests for dermonecrotic activity and mouse lethality and the embryonic bovine lung cell test for cytopathic activity. The gene encoding this toxic activity was named toxA and was found to be present in the chromosome of toxigenic strains only of P. multocida. A probe spanning the toxA gene therefore has potential in the diagnosis and surveillance of progressive atrophic rhinitis in pigs. Images PMID:2680987

  1. 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. PMID:24395740

  2. Diverse Virulence Gene Content of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli from Finishing Swine

    PubMed Central

    Fratamico, Pina M.; Bagi, Lori; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Manning, Shannon D.; Funk, Julie A.

    2014-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are a critical public health concern because they can cause severe clinical outcomes, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome, in humans. Determining the presence or absence of virulence genes is essential in assessing the potential pathogenicity of STEC strains. Currently, there is limited information about the virulence genes carried by swine STEC strains; therefore, this study was conducted to examine the presence and absence of 69 virulence genes in STEC strains recovered previously from finishing swine in a longitudinal study. A subset of STEC strains was analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to examine their genetic relatedness. Swine STEC strains (n = 150) were analyzed by the use of a high-throughput real-time PCR array system, which included 69 virulence gene targets. Three major pathotypes consisted of 16 different combinations of virulence gene profiles, and serotypes were determined in the swine STEC strains. The majority of the swine STEC strains (n = 120) belonged to serotype O59:H21 and carried the same virulence gene profile, which consisted of 9 virulence genes: stx2e, iha, ecs1763, lpfAO113, estIa (STa), ehaA, paa, terE, and ureD. The eae, nleF, and nleH1-2 genes were detected in one swine STEC strain (O49:H21). Other genes encoding adhesins, including iha, were identified (n = 149). The PFGE results demonstrated that swine STEC strains from pigs raised in the same finishing barn were closely related. Our results revealed diverse virulence gene contents among the members of the swine STEC population and enhance understanding of the dynamics of transmission of STEC strains among pigs housed in the same barn. PMID:25107960

  3. Bacteriophage-encoding cytolethal distending toxin type V gene induced from nonclinical Escherichia coli isolates.

    PubMed

    Allué-Guardia, Anna; García-Aljaro, Cristina; Muniesa, Maite

    2011-08-01

    Cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is produced by a variety of pathogenic bacteria, including pathogenic serotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). The Cdt family comprises five variants (Cdt-I to Cdt-V) encoded by three genes located within the chromosome or plasmids or, in the case of Cdt-I, within bacteriophages. In this study, we evaluated the occurrence of the cdt gene in a collection of 140 environmental STEC isolates. cdt was detected in 12.1% of strains, of which five strains carried inducible bacteriophages containing the Cdt-V variant. Two Cdt-V phages of the Siphoviridae morphology lysogenized Shigella sonnei, generating two lysogens: a single Cdt phage lysogen and a double lysogen, containing a Cdt phage and an Stx phage, both from the wild-type strain. The rates of induction of Cdt phages were evaluated by quantitative PCR, and spontaneous induction of Cdt-V phage was observed, whereas induction of Stx phage in the double lysogen was mitomycin C dependent. The Cdt distending effect was observed in HeLa cells inoculated with the supernatant of the Cdt-V phage lysogen. A ClaI fragment containing the cdt-V gene of one phage was cloned, and sequencing confirmed the presence of Cdt-V, as well as a fragment downstream from the cdt homolog to gpA, encoding a replication protein of bacteriophage P2. Evaluation of Cdt-V phages in nonclinical water samples showed densities of 10(2) to 10(9) gene copies in 100 ml, suggesting the high prevalence of Cdt phages in nonclinical environments. PMID:21646456

  4. Recruitment of genes and enzymes conferring resistance to the nonnatural toxin bromoacetate

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Kevin K.; Miller, Brian G.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial niches contain toxic chemicals capable of forcing organisms into periods of intense natural selection to afford survival. Elucidating the mechanisms by which microbes evade environmental threats has direct relevance for understanding and combating the rise of antibiotic resistance. In this study we used a toxic small-molecule, bromoacetate, to model the selective pressures imposed by antibiotics and anthropogenic toxins. We report the results of genetic selection experiments that identify nine genes from Escherichia coli whose overexpression affords survival in the presence of a normally lethal concentration of bromoacetate. Eight of these genes encode putative transporters or transmembrane proteins, while one encodes the essential peptidoglycan biosynthetic enzyme, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine enolpyruvoyl transferase (MurA). Biochemical studies demonstrate that the primary physiological target of bromoacetate is MurA, which becomes irreversibly inactivated via alkylation of a critical active-site cysteine. We also screened a comprehensive library of E. coli single-gene deletion mutants and identified 63 strains displaying increased susceptibility to bromoacetate. One hypersensitive bacterium lacks yliJ, a gene encoding a predicted glutathione transferase. Herein, YliJ is shown to catalyze the glutathione-dependent dehalogenation of bromoacetate with a kcat/Km value of 5.4 × 103 M-1 s-1. YliJ displays exceptional substrate specificity and produces a rate enhancement exceeding 5 orders of magnitude, remarkable characteristics for reactivity with a nonnatural molecule. This study illustrates the wealth of intrinsic survival mechanisms that can be exploited by bacteria when they are challenged with toxins. PMID:20921376

  5. 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

  6. Dissemination of the gene encoding exfoliative toxin of Staphylococcus intermedius among strains isolated from dogs during routine microbiological diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Lautz, S; Kanbar, T; Alber, J; Lämmler, C; Weiss, R; Prenger-Berninghoff, E; Zschöck, M

    2006-11-01

    Phenotypic properties and species-specific PCR tests based on the nuc gene of Staphylococcus intermedius and S. aureus, and a conserved region of 16S rDNA were used to identify 45 S. intermedius and four S. aureus isolated from samples of dogs during routine diagnostics. Four S. pseudintermedius strains used for control purposes reacted positively with the S. intermedius nuc PCR showing the close relationship between both species. Investigating the 45 S. intermedius and four S. pseudintermedius strains for the prevalence of the exfoliative toxin SIET encoding gene yielded the presence of the gene for 21 of the S. intermedius and two of the S. pseudintermedius strains. Partial sequencing of the toxin gene of a single S. intermedius strain and comparing this sequence with that obtained from GenBank revealed an almost complete identity. The presence of the exfoliative toxin gene could mainly be found among S. intermedius isolated from skin and wound infections and from otitis externa possibly indicating a role of this toxin for the clinical symptoms.

  7. 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.

  8. The Bacteroides fragilis Toxin Gene Is Prevalent in the Colon Mucosa of Colorectal Cancer Patients

    PubMed Central

    Boleij, Annemarie; Hechenbleikner, Elizabeth M.; Goodwin, Andrew C.; Badani, Ruchi; Stein, Ellen M.; Lazarev, Mark G.; Ellis, Brandon; Carroll, Karen C.; Albesiano, Emilia; Wick, Elizabeth C.; Platz, Elizabeth A.; Pardoll, Drew M.; Sears, Cynthia L.

    2015-01-01

    Background. Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) produces the Bacteroides fragilis toxin, which has been associated with acute diarrheal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer (CRC). ETBF induces colon carcinogenesis in experimental models. Previous human studies have demonstrated frequent asymptomatic fecal colonization with ETBF, but no study has investigated mucosal colonization that is expected to impact colon carcinogenesis. Methods. We compared the presence of the bft gene in mucosal samples from colorectal neoplasia patients (cases, n = 49) to a control group undergoing outpatient colonoscopy for CRC screening or diagnostic workup (controls, n = 49). Single bacterial colonies isolated anaerobically from mucosal colon tissue were tested for the bft gene with touch-down polymerase chain reaction. Results. The mucosa of cases was significantly more often bft-positive on left (85.7%) and right (91.7%) tumor and/or paired normal tissues compared with left and right control biopsies (53.1%; P = .033 and 55.5%; P = .04, respectively). Detection of bft was concordant in most paired mucosal samples from individual cases or controls (75% cases; 67% controls). There was a trend toward increased bft positivity in mucosa from late- vs early-stage CRC patients (100% vs 72.7%, respectively; P = .093). In contrast to ETBF diarrheal disease where bft-1 detection dominates, bft-2 was the most frequent toxin isotype identified in both cases and controls, whereas multiple bft isotypes were detected more frequently in cases (P ≤ .02). Conclusions. The bft gene is associated with colorectal neoplasia, especially in late-stage CRC. Our results suggest that mucosal bft exposure is common and may be a risk factor for developing CRC. PMID:25305284

  9. Identification and phylogeny of putative PEPC genes in three toxin-producing Karenia (Dinophyta) species.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Darcie E; Campbell, Lisa

    2016-08-01

    Dense blooms of toxin-producing Karenia brevis increase local surface ocean pH through CO2 uptake. To identify genes that may contribute to bloom-related environmental pH and pCO2 changes, transcriptomes with RNA from K. brevis Wilson cultures that had been acclimated to low CO2 (250 ppm) or recent CO2 (350 ppm) pCO2 levels were assembled. Among the annotated transcripts were PEPC, PPDK, and PEPCK enzymes found in the model C4 carbon fixation pathway. Previous studies have demonstrated that the enzymatic activity of PEPC, PPDK, and/or PEPCK in some algae species, including marine diatoms, is influenced by variations in dissolved inorganic carbon. We found significantly similar PEPC, PPDK, and PEPCK enzymes in the transcriptomes of K. brevis and two sister species Karenia papilionacea, and Karenia mikimotoi. One or more isoforms of PEPC were also identified in the transcriptomes of thirty additional photosynthetic phytoplankton species from nine phyla. Phylogenetic trees were constructed with neighbor joining and maximum likelihood techniques to characterize the evolutionary relationship among phytoplankton, terrestrial plant C4, and terrestrial plant C3 PEPC sequences. Based on the nucleotide trees constructed during this study, the Karenia PEPC transcripts were more closely related to the terrestrial C4 genes than the terrestrial C3 genes. Furthermore, PEPC phylogeny among phytoplankton closely resembles phylogenetic trees constructed with ribosomal RNA. This study confirmed that the toxin-producing dinoflagellates K. brevis, K. mikimotoi, and K. papilionacea express putative PEPC, PEPCK, and PPDK transcripts.

  10. Identification and phylogeny of putative PEPC genes in three toxin-producing Karenia (Dinophyta) species.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Darcie E; Campbell, Lisa

    2016-08-01

    Dense blooms of toxin-producing Karenia brevis increase local surface ocean pH through CO2 uptake. To identify genes that may contribute to bloom-related environmental pH and pCO2 changes, transcriptomes with RNA from K. brevis Wilson cultures that had been acclimated to low CO2 (250 ppm) or recent CO2 (350 ppm) pCO2 levels were assembled. Among the annotated transcripts were PEPC, PPDK, and PEPCK enzymes found in the model C4 carbon fixation pathway. Previous studies have demonstrated that the enzymatic activity of PEPC, PPDK, and/or PEPCK in some algae species, including marine diatoms, is influenced by variations in dissolved inorganic carbon. We found significantly similar PEPC, PPDK, and PEPCK enzymes in the transcriptomes of K. brevis and two sister species Karenia papilionacea, and Karenia mikimotoi. One or more isoforms of PEPC were also identified in the transcriptomes of thirty additional photosynthetic phytoplankton species from nine phyla. Phylogenetic trees were constructed with neighbor joining and maximum likelihood techniques to characterize the evolutionary relationship among phytoplankton, terrestrial plant C4, and terrestrial plant C3 PEPC sequences. Based on the nucleotide trees constructed during this study, the Karenia PEPC transcripts were more closely related to the terrestrial C4 genes than the terrestrial C3 genes. Furthermore, PEPC phylogeny among phytoplankton closely resembles phylogenetic trees constructed with ribosomal RNA. This study confirmed that the toxin-producing dinoflagellates K. brevis, K. mikimotoi, and K. papilionacea express putative PEPC, PEPCK, and PPDK transcripts. PMID:27136041

  11. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. 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. PMID:23512843

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    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.

  16. Registration of RTx430/gaigaoliang sorghum [sorghum bicolor (L.) moench]recombinant inbred line mapping population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The RTx430 x ‘Gaigaoliang’ (PI610727) sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.] (Reg. No. MP-__; NSL ____ MAP) recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping population was developed at the Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Unit, Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Lubbock, TX and released in 2...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Is Mutation Random or Targeted?: No Evidence for Hypermutability in Snail Toxin Genes.

    PubMed

    Roy, Scott W

    2016-10-01

    Ever since Luria and Delbruck, the notion that mutation is random with respect to fitness has been foundational to modern biology. However, various studies have claimed striking exceptions to this rule. One influential case involves toxin-encoding genes in snails of the genus Conus, termed conotoxins, a large gene family that undergoes rapid diversification of their protein-coding sequences by positive selection. Previous reconstructions of the sequence evolution of conotoxin genes claimed striking patterns: (1) elevated synonymous change, interpreted as being due to targeted "hypermutation" in this region; (2) elevated transversion-to-transition ratios, interpreted as reflective of the particular mechanism of hypermutation; and (3) much lower rates of synonymous change in the codons encoding several highly conserved cysteine residues, interpreted as strong position-specific codon bias. This work has spawned a variety of studies on the potential mechanisms of hypermutation and on causes for cysteine codon bias, and has inspired hypermutation hypotheses for various other fast-evolving genes. Here, I show that all three findings are likely to be artifacts of statistical reconstruction. First, by simulating nonsynonymous change I show that high rates of dN can lead to overestimation of dS. Second, I show that there is no evidence for any of these three patterns in comparisons of closely related conotoxin sequences, suggesting that the reported findings are due to breakdown of statistical methods at high levels of sequence divergence. The current findings suggest that mutation and codon bias in conotoxin genes may not be atypical, and that random mutation and selection can explain the evolution of even these exceptional loci. PMID:27486220

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:26563301

  2. 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.

  3. Emergence of Staphylococcus aureus carrying multiple drug resistance genes on a plasmid encoding exfoliative toxin B.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. Emergence of Staphylococcus aureus carrying multiple drug resistance genes on a plasmid encoding exfoliative toxin B.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  6. Impact of nitrogen sources on gene expression and toxin production in the diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and non-diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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

  7. Impact of nitrogen sources on gene expression and toxin production in the diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and non-diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-20

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Isolated CyaA-RTX subdomain from Bordetella pertussis: Structural and functional implications for its interaction with target erythrocyte membranes.

    PubMed

    Pandit, Riyaz Ahmad; Meetum, Kanungsuk; Suvarnapunya, Kittipong; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Chaicumpa, Wanpen; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2015-10-01

    The 126-kDa Bordetella pertussis CyaA-hemolysin (CyaA-Hly) was previously expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble precursor that can be acylated to retain hemolytic activity. Here, we investigated structural and functional characteristics of a ∼100-kDa isolated RTX (Repeat-in-ToXin) subdomain (CyaA-RTX) of CyaA-Hly. Initially, we succeeded in producing a large amount with high purity of the His-tagged CyaA-RTX fragment and in establishing the interaction of acylated CyaA-Hly with sheep red blood cell (sRBC) membranes by immuno-localization. Following pre-incubation of sRBCs with non-acylated CyaA-Hly or with the CyaA-RTX fragment that itself produces no hemolytic activity, there was a dramatic decrease in CyaA-Hly-induced hemolysis. When CyaA-RTX was pre-incubated with anti-CyaA-RTX antisera, the capability of CyaA-RTX to neutralize the hemolytic activity of CyaA-Hly was greatly decreased. A homology-based model of the 100-kDa CyaA-RTX subdomain revealed a loop structure in Linker II sharing sequence similarity to human WW domains. Sequence alignment of Linker II with the human WW-domain family revealed highly conserved aromatic residues important for protein-protein interactions. Altogether, our present study demonstrates that the recombinant CyaA-RTX subdomain retains its functionality with respect to binding to target erythrocyte membranes and the WW-homologous region in Linker II conceivably serves as a functional segment required for receptor-binding activity.

  11. Identification of Tomato Leaf Factors that Activate Toxin Gene Expression in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000.

    PubMed

    Li, X Z; Starratt, A N; Cuppels, D A

    1998-10-01

    ABSTRACT Coronatine is a non-host-specific chlorosis-inducing phytotoxin produced by the tomato and crucifer pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000. How the chromosomal gene cluster controlling toxin synthesis in this strain is regulated in planta is unknown. Ice nucleation-active cor:inaZ marker-exchange derivatives of strain DC3000 were used to determine coronatine gene expression in various host and nonhost plants and in a minimal medium supplemented with selected tomato plant constituents. Ice nucleation activity, which was first detected 4 h after inoculation, was highest in cabbage, tomato, and soybean and lowest in melon and cucumber. No correlation existed between bacterial population size and expression level on the various plants. Crude tomato leaf extract and intercellular fluid were strong inducers of toxin synthesis. Based on high-performance liquid chromatography analyses and bioassays, we concluded that the active components of both preparations were malic and citric acids, with minor contributions coming from shikimic and quinic acid. Although several compounds including glucose and inositol activated the toxin genes when tested at high concentrations (3 to 5 mM), shikimic and quinic acids were the only ones with activity at concentrations below 0.1 mM. Neither acid could be used as a sole carbon source by strain DC3000. The signal activity of shikimic acid was enhanced 10-fold by the addition of glucose. None of the plant phenolics that we screened affected coronatine gene expression. PMID:18944822

  12. A New Type of Toxin A-Negative, Toxin B-Positive Clostridium difficile Strain Lacking a Complete tcdA Gene

    PubMed Central

    Marín, Mercedes; Martín, Adoración; Rupnik, Maja

    2014-01-01

    Toxins A and B are the main virulence factors of Clostridium difficile and are the targets for molecular diagnostic tests. Here, we describe a new toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive, binary toxin CDT (Clostridium difficile transferase)-negative (A− B+ CDT−) toxinotype (XXXII) characterized by a variant type of pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) without tcdA and with atypical organization of the PaLoc integration site. PMID:25428159

  13. 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

  14. Identification of five Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli genes by Luminex microbead-based suspension array.

    PubMed

    Son, Insook; Binet, Rachel; Lin, Andrew; Hammack, Thomas S; Kase, Julie A

    2015-04-01

    To rapidly identify the presence of potentially virulent O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), a PCR-based Luminex suspension assay was developed to detect the genes coding for four virulence factors (stx1, stx2, eae, and ehxA) plus the O157:H7-specific +93 uidA single nucleotide polymorphism.

  15. [Expression and characterization of the dermonecrotic toxin gene of Bordetella bronchiseptica].

    PubMed

    Xue, Yun; Zhao, Zhanqin; Pei, Jie; Wang, Chen; Ding, Ke; Cheng, Xiangchao

    2011-12-01

    Dermonecrotic toxin (DNT) is identified as one of the most important virulence factor of Bordetella bronchiseptica. The complete coding sequence (4 356 bp) of the dnt gene was cloned into the prokaryotic expression vector pET-28a, and expressed in the Eschierichia coli BL21 (DE3) under IPTG (Isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside) induction. The recombinant His6-DNT protein showed immunological reactivity in the Western-blot analysis. The recombinant protein was purified from crude lysates of BL21 harboring pET-DNT with the purity of 93.2%. His6-DNT showed the dermonecrotic effects in the infant mouse assay. However, rabbit anti-serum against recombinant DNT protein could neutralize the dermonecrotic effects of native DNT to the infant mice in vivo. These findings suggest that the recombinant DNT protein retained the characteristics and immunogenicity of native DNT. Furthermore, this approach could be used to induce active immunity and serum immunoglobulin for production of a passive therapeutic reagent. In this study, we have shown that the recombinant His6-DNT protein retained the characteristics of native DNT of B. bronchiseptica, which built a good foundation for the further research on the structure and function of DNT.

  16. 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

  17. The sxt Gene and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins as Markers for the Monitoring of Toxic Alexandrium Species Blooms.

    PubMed

    Penna, Antonella; Perini, Federico; Dell'Aversano, Carmela; Capellacci, Samuela; Tartaglione, Luciana; Giacobbe, Maria Grazia; Casabianca, Silvia; Fraga, Santiago; Ciminiello, Patrizia; Scardi, Michele

    2015-12-15

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a serious human illness caused by the ingestion of seafood contaminated with saxitoxin and its derivatives (STXs). These toxins are produced by some species of marine dinoflagellates within the genus Alexandrium. In the Mediterranean Sea, toxic Alexandrium spp. blooms, especially of A. minutum, are frequent and intense with negative impact to coastal ecosystem, aquaculture practices and other economic activities. We conducted a large scale study on the sxt gene and toxin distribution and content in toxic dinoflagellate A. minutum of the Mediterranean Sea using both quantitative PCR (qPCR) and HILIC-HRMS techniques. We developed a new qPCR assay for the estimation of the sxtA1 gene copy number in seawater samples during a bloom event in Syracuse Bay (Mediterranean Sea) with an analytical sensitivity of 2.0 × 10° sxtA1 gene copy number per reaction. The linear correlation between sxtA1 gene copy number and microalgal abundance and between the sxtA1 gene and STX content allowed us to rapidly determine the STX-producing cell concentrations of two Alexandrium species in environmental samples. In these samples, the amount of sxtA1 gene was in the range of 1.38 × 10(5) - 2.55 × 10(8) copies/L and the STX concentrations ranged from 41-201 nmol/L. This study described a potential PSP scenario in the Mediterranean Sea. PMID:26580419

  18. 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.

  19. Streptococcus sp. and Staphylococcus aureus isolates from patients with psoriasis possess genes that code for toxins (superantigens): clinical and therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    El Ferezli, Jessica; Jenbazian, Lori; Rubeiz, Nelly; Kibbi, Abdul-Ghani; Zaynoun, Shukrallah; Abdelnoor, Alexander M

    2008-01-01

    Superantigens are powerful T lymphocyte-stimulating agents that are believed to contribute to the pathogenesis of certain diseases such as psoriasis. Toxins produced by Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus are superantigens. The aim of this study was to detect genes that code for superantigens in Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus isolates from psoriatic patients. Primers to amplify streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A, B, and C and streptolysin O genes and staphylococcal enterotoxin A, B, C, and D genes were used. Streptococcal exotoxin B was detected in five streptococcal isolates. Staphyloccocus aureus enterotoxin A and/or C genes were detected in nine S. aureus isolates. Isolates from 13 of 22 patients possesed gene(s) that code for toxin(s) (superantigens). These results might support the role of superantigens in the exacerbation of psoriasis.

  20. A longevity assurance gene homolog of tomato mediates resistance to Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici toxins and fumonisin B1

    PubMed Central

    Brandwagt, Bas F.; Mesbah, Laurent A.; Takken, Frank L. W.; Laurent, Pascal L.; Kneppers, Tarcies J. A.; Hille, Jacques; Nijkamp, H. John J.

    2000-01-01

    The phytopathogenic fungus Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici (AAL) produces toxins that are essential for pathogenicity of the fungus on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). AAL toxins and fumonisins of the unrelated fungus Fusarium moniliforme are sphinganine-analog mycotoxins (SAMs), which cause inhibition of sphingolipid biosynthesis in vitro and are toxic for some plant species and mammalian cell lines. Sphingolipids can be determinants in the proliferation or death of cells. We investigated the tomato Alternaria stem canker (Asc) locus, which mediates resistance to SAM-induced apoptosis. Until now, mycotoxin resistance of plants has been associated with detoxification and altered affinity or absence of the toxin targets. Here we show that SAM resistance of tomato is determined by Asc-1, a gene homologous to the yeast longevity assurance gene LAG1 and that susceptibility is associated with a mutant Asc-1. Because both sphingolipid synthesis and LAG1 facilitate endocytosis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins in yeast, we propose a role for Asc-1 in a salvage mechanism of sphingolipid-depleted plant cells. PMID:10781105

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Short-tailed stx phages exploit the conserved YaeT protein to disseminate Shiga toxin genes among enterobacteria.

    PubMed

    Smith, Darren L; James, Chloë E; Sergeant, Martin J; Yaxian, Yan; Saunders, Jon R; McCarthy, Alan J; Allison, Heather E

    2007-10-01

    Infection of Escherichia coli by Shiga toxin-encoding bacteriophages (Stx phages) was the pivotal event in the evolution of the deadly Shiga toxin-encoding E. coli (STEC), of which serotype O157:H7 is the most notorious. The number of different bacterial species and strains reported to produce Shiga toxin is now more than 500, since the first reported STEC infection outbreak in 1982. Clearly, Stx phages are spreading rapidly, but the underlying mechanism for this dissemination has not been explained. Here we show that an essential and highly conserved gene product, YaeT, which has an essential role in the insertion of proteins in the gram-negative bacterial outer membrane, is the surface molecule recognized by the majority (ca. 70%) of Stx phages via conserved tail spike proteins associated with a short-tailed morphology. The yaeT gene was initially identified through complementation, and its role was confirmed in phage binding assays with and without anti-YaeT antiserum. Heterologous cloning of E. coli yaeT to enable Stx phage adsorption to Erwinia carotovora and the phage adsorption patterns of bacterial species possessing natural yaeT variants further supported this conclusion. The use of an essential and highly conserved protein by the majority of Stx phages is a strategy that has enabled and promoted the rapid spread of shigatoxigenic potential throughout multiple E. coli serogroups and related bacterial species. Infection of commensal bacteria in the mammalian gut has been shown to amplify Shiga toxin production in vivo, and the data from this study provide a platform for the development of a therapeutic strategy to limit this YaeT-mediated infection of the commensal flora.

  4. 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. PMID:16689684

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Identification and characterization of the insecticidal toxin "makes caterpillars floppy" in Photorhabdus temperata M1021 using a cosmid library.

    PubMed

    Ullah, Ihsan; Jang, Eun-Kyung; Kim, Min-Sung; Shin, Jin-Ho; Park, Gun-Seok; Khan, Abdur Rahim; Hong, Sung-Jun; Jung, Byung-Kwon; Choi, JungBae; Park, YeongJun; Kwak, Yunyoung; Shin, Jae-Ho

    2014-01-01

    Photorhabdus temperata is an entomopathogenic enterobacterium; it is a nematode symbiont that possesses pathogenicity islands involved in insect virulence. Herein, we constructed a P. temperata M1021 cosmid library in Escherichia coli XL1-Blue MRF` and obtained 7.14 × 105 clones. However, only 1020 physiologically active clones were screened for insect virulence factors by injection of each E. coli cosmid clone into Galleria mellonella and Tenebrio molitor larvae. A single cosmid clone, PtC1015, was consequently selected due to its characteristic virulent properties, e.g., loss of body turgor followed by death of larvae when the clone was injected into the hemocoel. The sequence alignment against the available sequences in Swiss-Prot and NCBI databases, confirmed the presence of the mcf gene homolog in the genome of P. temperata M1021 showing 85% homology and 98% query coverage with the P. luminescens counterpart. Furthermore, a 2932 amino acid long Mcf protein revealed limited similarity with three protein domains. The N-terminus of the Mcf encompassed consensus sequence for a BH3 domain, the central region revealed similarity to toxin B, and the C-terminus of Mcf revealed similarity to the bacterial export domain of ApxIVA, an RTX-like toxin. In short, the Mcf toxin is likely to play a role in the elimination of insect pests, making it a promising model for use in the agricultural field.

  8. Identification and characterization of the insecticidal toxin "makes caterpillars floppy" in Photorhabdus temperata M1021 using a cosmid library.

    PubMed

    Ullah, Ihsan; Jang, Eun-Kyung; Kim, Min-Sung; Shin, Jin-Ho; Park, Gun-Seok; Khan, Abdur Rahim; Hong, Sung-Jun; Jung, Byung-Kwon; Choi, JungBae; Park, YeongJun; Kwak, Yunyoung; Shin, Jae-Ho

    2014-01-01

    Photorhabdus temperata is an entomopathogenic enterobacterium; it is a nematode symbiont that possesses pathogenicity islands involved in insect virulence. Herein, we constructed a P. temperata M1021 cosmid library in Escherichia coli XL1-Blue MRF` and obtained 7.14 × 105 clones. However, only 1020 physiologically active clones were screened for insect virulence factors by injection of each E. coli cosmid clone into Galleria mellonella and Tenebrio molitor larvae. A single cosmid clone, PtC1015, was consequently selected due to its characteristic virulent properties, e.g., loss of body turgor followed by death of larvae when the clone was injected into the hemocoel. The sequence alignment against the available sequences in Swiss-Prot and NCBI databases, confirmed the presence of the mcf gene homolog in the genome of P. temperata M1021 showing 85% homology and 98% query coverage with the P. luminescens counterpart. Furthermore, a 2932 amino acid long Mcf protein revealed limited similarity with three protein domains. The N-terminus of the Mcf encompassed consensus sequence for a BH3 domain, the central region revealed similarity to toxin B, and the C-terminus of Mcf revealed similarity to the bacterial export domain of ApxIVA, an RTX-like toxin. In short, the Mcf toxin is likely to play a role in the elimination of insect pests, making it a promising model for use in the agricultural field. PMID:25014195

  9. Autoselection of cytoplasmic yeast virus like elements encoding toxin/antitoxin systems involves a nuclear barrier for immunity gene expression.

    PubMed

    Kast, Alene; Voges, Raphael; Schroth, Michael; Schaffrath, Raffael; Klassen, Roland; Meinhardt, Friedhelm

    2015-05-01

    Cytoplasmic virus like elements (VLEs) from Kluyveromyces lactis (Kl), Pichia acaciae (Pa) and Debaryomyces robertsiae (Dr) are extremely A/T-rich (>75%) and encode toxic anticodon nucleases (ACNases) along with specific immunity proteins. Here we show that nuclear, not cytoplasmic expression of either immunity gene (PaORF4, KlORF3 or DrORF5) results in transcript fragmentation and is insufficient to establish immunity to the cognate ACNase. Since rapid amplification of 3' ends (RACE) as well as linker ligation of immunity transcripts expressed in the nucleus revealed polyadenylation to occur along with fragmentation, ORF-internal poly(A) site cleavage due to the high A/T content is likely to prevent functional expression of the immunity genes. Consistently, lowering the A/T content of PaORF4 to 55% and KlORF3 to 46% by gene synthesis entirely prevented transcript cleavage and permitted functional nuclear expression leading to full immunity against the respective ACNase toxin. Consistent with a specific adaptation of the immunity proteins to the cognate ACNases, cross-immunity to non-cognate ACNases is neither conferred by PaOrf4 nor KlOrf3. Thus, the high A/T content of cytoplasmic VLEs minimizes the potential of functional nuclear recruitment of VLE encoded genes, in particular those involved in autoselection of the VLEs via a toxin/antitoxin principle. PMID:25973601

  10. Distribution of the cytolethal distending toxin A gene (cdtA) among species of Shigella and Vibrio, and cloning and sequencing of the cdt gene from Shigella dysenteriae.

    PubMed

    Okuda, J; Kurazono, H; Takeda, Y

    1995-03-01

    We investigated the distribution of the cytolethal distending toxin A gene (cdtA) among S. dysenteriae, Vibrio cholerae 01 and Vibrio parahaemolyticus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers constructed from the nucleotide sequences of Escherichia coli cdtA gene reported independently by Scott and Kaper (Infect Immun 1994; 62: 244-51) and by Pickett et al. (Infect Immun 1994; 62: 1046-51). The cdtA gene reported by Scott and Kaper was found to occur among eight of the 35 strains of S. dysenteriae but was not found among V. cholerae O1 and V. parahaemolyticus. The cdtA gene reported by Pickett et al. was not found among S. dysenteriae, V. cholerae O1 and V. parahaemolyticus. To further investigate the distribution of the cdtA gene among a large number of Shigella spp. (S. dysenteriae, S. flexneri, S. boydii and S. sonnei), and among Vibrio spp. (Vibrio cholerae O1, V. cholerae O139 and V. parahaemolyticus) by colony hybridization test, we constructed a cdtA gene specific DNA probe by amplifying the cdtA gene by PCR with primers designed from the nucleotide sequence of the cdtA gene reported by Scott and Kaper. The cdtA gene reported by Scott and Kaper was found to occur among eight of the 35 strains of S. dysenteriae and one of the 100 strains of S. sonnei, but was not found among other species of Shigella or among the Vibrio species examined. From one cdtA gene-positive S. dysenteriae strain that showed cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) activity on Chinese hamster ovary cells, we cloned and sequenced the entire cdt gene comprising cdtA, cdtB and cdtC genes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  11. 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).

  12. Stable Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin content in interspecific F1 and backcross populations of wild Brassica rapa after Bt gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Zhu, B; Lawrence, J R; Warwick, S I; Mason, P; Braun, L; Halfhill, M D; Stewart, C N

    2004-01-01

    Stable expression of a transgene may lead to increased fitness for wild plants after acquiring the transgene via crop-weed hybridization. Here, we investigate the stability of Bt toxin content in wild Brassica rapa acquiring the Bt gene from Bt Brassica napus. The Bt toxin content in nine Bt-expressing B. napus lines was 0.80-1.70 micro g/g leaf tissue throughout the growing season. These nine lines were crossed with three accessions of wild B. rapa and the Bt gene was successfully transferred to interspecific hybrids (F1) and successive backcross generations (BC1 to BC4). The Bt toxin level in F1 and BC progenies containing the Bt gene remained at 0.90-3.10 micro g/g leaf tissue. This study indicates that the Bt gene can persist and be stably expressed in wild B. rapa.

  13. Stable Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin content in interspecific F1 and backcross populations of wild Brassica rapa after Bt gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Zhu, B; Lawrence, J R; Warwick, S I; Mason, P; Braun, L; Halfhill, M D; Stewart, C N

    2004-01-01

    Stable expression of a transgene may lead to increased fitness for wild plants after acquiring the transgene via crop-weed hybridization. Here, we investigate the stability of Bt toxin content in wild Brassica rapa acquiring the Bt gene from Bt Brassica napus. The Bt toxin content in nine Bt-expressing B. napus lines was 0.80-1.70 micro g/g leaf tissue throughout the growing season. These nine lines were crossed with three accessions of wild B. rapa and the Bt gene was successfully transferred to interspecific hybrids (F1) and successive backcross generations (BC1 to BC4). The Bt toxin level in F1 and BC progenies containing the Bt gene remained at 0.90-3.10 micro g/g leaf tissue. This study indicates that the Bt gene can persist and be stably expressed in wild B. rapa. PMID:14653804

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:27580176

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Phylogenetic Comparisons Reveal Multiple Acquisitions of the Toxin Genes by Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Strains of Different Evolutionary Lineages▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Sue M.; Chaudhuri, Roy R.; Jiang, Zhi-Dong; DuPont, Herbert; Gyles, Carlton; Penn, Charles W.; Pallen, Mark J.; Henderson, Ian R.

    2006-01-01

    Escherichia coli is a diverse bacterial species which is widely distributed in the environment but also exists as a commensal and pathogen of different host species. Human intestinal pathogenic E. coli causes over 160 million cases of diarrhea and an estimated 1 million deaths per year. The majority of deaths are attributable to one pathovar of E. coli, namely, enterotoxigenic E. coli. The pathogenesis of enterotoxigenic E. coli is dependent on the production of a colonization factor to promote adhesion to the intestinal epithelium and the elaboration of heat-labile or heat-stable toxins which induce a secretory diarrhea. Despite the high morbidity and mortality associated with enterotoxigenic E. coli infection, little is known of the genetic background of this global pathogen. Here we demonstrate by multilocus sequence typing that enterotoxigenic E. coli isolates are present in all phylogenetic lineages of E. coli, indicating that acquisition of the toxin genes may be sufficient to generate an enterotoxigenic E. coli strain. In addition, screening of diarrheal isolates for the presence of additional genes previously associated with the virulence of enterotoxigenic E. coli revealed that they were not abundant. These observations have significant implications for disease epidemiology and for the design of effective vaccines. PMID:17050815

  1. The midgut cadherin-like gene is not associated with resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ac in Plutella xylostella (L.).

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaojiang; Kang, Shi; Zhu, Xun; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-03-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces Cry toxins that have been used to control important agricultural pests. Evolution of resistance in target pests threatens the effectiveness of these toxins when used either in sprayed biopesticides or in Bt transgenic crops. Although alterations of the midgut cadherin-like receptor can lead to Bt Cry toxin resistance in many insects, whether the cadherin gene is involved in Cry1Ac resistance of Plutella xylostella (L.) remains unclear. Here, we present experimental evidence that resistance to Cry1Ac or Bt var. kurstaki (Btk) in P. xylostella is not due to alterations of the cadherin gene. The bona fide P. xylostella cadherin cDNA sequence was cloned and analyzed, and comparisons of the cadherin cDNA sequence among susceptible and resistant P. xylostella strains confirmed that Cry1Ac resistance was independent of mutations in this gene. In addition, real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) indicated that cadherin transcript levels did not significantly differ among susceptible and resistant P. xylostella strains. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated suppression of cadherin gene expression did not affect larval susceptibility to Cry1Ac toxin. Furthermore, genetic linkage assays using four cadherin gDNA allelic biomarkers confirmed that the cadherin gene is not linked to resistance against Cry1Ac in P. xylostella. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Cry1Ac resistance of P. xylostella is independent of the cadherin gene. PMID:25595643

  2. Toxin plasmids of Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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.

  3. 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

    Sharma-Kuinkel, Batu K; 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; Fowler, Vance G; Esser, Mark T

    2015-01-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Detection of the heat-stable toxin coding gene (ST-gene) in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli: development of a colour amplified PCR detection system.

    PubMed

    Fanning, S; O'Mullane, J; O'Meara, D; Ward, A; Joyce, C; Delaney, M; Cryan, B

    1995-12-01

    Screening biological samples using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has obvious advantages compared with current molecular analytical methods based on gel electrophoresis and/or hybridisation, both of which are expensive and time-consuming, therefore the development of a PCR assay format that is applicable to large sample numbers and that can readily use equipment commonly found in diagnostic laboratories would be advantageous. This report describes the development of a colour amplified PCR detection system which is simple in design and could be universally applied to the detection of any DNA template. As an example, the system has been applied in the detection of the heat-stable toxin coding gene (ST-gene) from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). The assay is sensitive, detecting 10 fg of a purified DNA template and 270 cfu of an ST-gene-positive ETEC strain. PMID:8555786

  6. Homologs to Cry toxin receptor genes in a de novo transcriptome and their altered expression in resistant Spodoptera litura larvae.

    PubMed

    Gong, Liang; Wang, Huidong; Qi, Jiangwei; Han, Lanzhi; Hu, Meiying; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis

    2015-07-01

    Insect resistance threatens sustainability of insecticides based on Cry proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Since high levels of resistance to Cry proteins involve alterations in Cry-binding midgut receptors, their identification is needed to develop resistance management strategies. Through Illumina sequencing we generated a transcriptome containing 16,161 annotated unigenes for the Oriental leafworm (Spodoptera litura). Transcriptome mining identified 6 contigs with identity to reported lepidopteran Cry toxin receptors. Using PCR we confirmed their expression during the larval stage and compared their quantitative expression in larvae from susceptible and a field-derived Cry1Ca resistant strain of S. litura. Among reduced transcript levels detected for most tested contigs in the Cry1Ca-resistant S. litura larvae, the most dramatic reduction (up to 99%) was detected for alkaline phosphatase contigs. This study significantly expands S. litura transcriptomic resources and provides preliminary identification of putative receptor genes with altered expression in S. litura resistant to Cry1Ca toxin. PMID:25981133

  7. 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

    2015-11-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. Prevalence of Escherichia coli O-types and Shiga toxin genes in fecal samples from feedlot cattle.

    PubMed

    Dargatz, David A; Bai, Jianfa; Lubbers, Brian V; Kopral, Christine A; An, Baoyan; Anderson, Gary A

    2013-04-01

    While efforts to control foodborne illness associated with the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 through processes and procedures implemented at harvest facilities have been very successful, there is concern about the burden of illness associated with other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service announced plans to classify an additional six non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli as adulterants. Little is known about the prevalence and distribution of these E. coli in the animal production environment. An investigation of the prevalence of O157 and the six major non-O157 E. coli serogroups was conducted in 21 feedlots over the period July 2011 to October 2011. Individual fecal swabs were collected from cattle approximately 60 days after their arrival in the feedlot and were pooled for evaluation using a polymerase chain reaction assay to identify the presence of seven E. coli O-types (O157, O45, O103, O121, O145, O26, and O111) and four virulence genes (stx1, stx2, eaeA, and ehxA). Overall, 1145 fecal pools were evaluated, with 506 (44.2%) being positive for one or more of the E. coli O-serogroups. The pool prevalences for E. coli O157, O45, O26, O103, O121, O145, and O111 were 19.7%, 13.8%, 9.9%, 9.3%, 5.5%, 1.1%, and 0.5%, respectively. Nearly all pools were positive for ehxA (99.7%) or stx2 (98.6%). The pool level prevalence for stx1 and eae was 65.5% and 69.3%, respectively. Pools that were positive for one or more of the other E. coli O-serogroups were 1.37 times more likely to be positive for E. coli O157. Conversely, pools that were positive for E. coli O157 were 1.43 times more likely to be positive for at least one of the other E. coli O-serogroups evaluated. These data will be useful to understand the expected prevalence of potential Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in cattle feedlots.

  10. Delivery of Large Heterologous Polypeptides across the Cytoplasmic Membrane of Antigen-Presenting Cells by the Bordetella RTX Hemolysin Moiety Lacking the Adenylyl Cyclase Domain

    PubMed Central

    Holubova, Jana; Jelinek, Jiri; Tomala, Jakub; Masin, Jiri; Kosova, Martina; Stanek, Ondrej; Bumba, Ladislav; Michalek, Jaroslav; Kovar, Marek; Sebo, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA; also called ACT or AC-Hly) targets CD11b-expressing phagocytes and translocates into their cytosol an adenylyl cyclase (AC) that hijacks cellular signaling by conversion of ATP to cyclic AMP (cAMP). Intriguingly, insertion of large passenger peptides removes the enzymatic activity but not the cell-invasive capacity of the AC domain. This has repeatedly been exploited for delivery of heterologous antigens into the cytosolic pathway of CD11b-expressing dendritic cells by CyaA/AC− toxoids, thus enabling their processing and presentation on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules to cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs). We produced a set of toxoids with overlapping deletions within the first 371 residues of CyaA and showed that the structure of the AC enzyme does not contain any sequences indispensable for its translocation across target cell membrane. Moreover, replacement of the AC domain (residues 1 to 371) with heterologous polypeptides of 40, 146, or 203 residues yielded CyaAΔAC constructs that delivered passenger CTL epitopes into antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and induced strong antigen-specific CD8+ CTL responses in vivo in mice and ex vivo in human peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures. This shows that the RTX (repeats in toxin) hemolysin moiety, consisting of residues 374 to 1706 of CyaA, harbors all structural information involved in translocation of the N-terminal AC domain across target cell membranes. These results decipher the extraordinary capacity of the AC domain of CyaA to transport large heterologous cargo polypeptides into the cytosol of CD11b+ target cells and pave the way for the construction of CyaAΔAC-based polyvalent immunotherapeutic T cell vaccines. PMID:22215742

  11. 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.

  12. Population structure and characterisation of Staphylococcus aureus from bacteraemia at multiple hospitals in China: association between antimicrobial resistance, toxin genes and genotypes.

    PubMed

    He, Wenqiang; Chen, Hongbin; Zhao, Chunjiang; Zhang, Feifei; Li, Henan; Wang, Qi; Wang, Xiaojuan; Wang, Hui

    2013-09-01

    Staphylococcus aureus from bacteraemia at multiple hospitals in China were genetically characterised to improve understanding of its epidemiology. A total of 236 consecutive, non-duplicate S. aureus bacteraemia isolates were collected at 16 Chinese hospitals. Isolates were characterised by antimicrobial resistance, 19 toxin genes, agr alleles, multilocus sequence typing and spa typing. The prevalence of meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was 47.5% (112/236). Forty-two sequence types (STs) and 63 spa types were identified, including 14 STs and 14 spa types for MRSA. Clonal complex (CC) 8, CC5, ST7 and CC188 accounted for 67.4% of the isolates. ST239-t030/t037-SCCmecIII-agrI was the predominant MRSA genotype (50%), followed by ST5-t002/t570-SCCmecII-agrII (8%). A vancomycin MIC ≥ 1mg/L was detected significantly more often in ST5-SCCmecII and ST239-t037-SCCmecIII, whereas rifampicin resistance was overwhelmingly associated with ST239-t030-SCCmecIII (P<0.001). Oxacillin MICs were relatively low for ST59-MRSA. Major genotypes of meticillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) were ST7-t091/t796-agrI (16.1%), ST188-t189-agrI (12.1%) and ST398-t571/t034-agrI (5.6%). Toxin genes were identified in 95.8% of isolates and formed 89 toxin gene profiles. The toxin genes sea, selk, selq and sell were significantly more common in MRSA, whilst tsst-1, seb, sed, selm, seln, selp and selj were more prevalent in MSSA (P<0.001). The pvl gene was more commonly detected in CC59, whereas tsst-1 was more frequent in CC15, CC188 and ST398 (P<0.001). The major genotypes were associated with specific antimicrobial resistance and toxin gene profiles.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  15. 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)

  16. cDNAs of aminopeptidase-like protein genes from Plodia interpunctella strains with different susceptibilities to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Y C; Kramer, K J; Oppert, B; Dowdy, A K

    2000-03-01

    Aminopeptidase N has been reported to be a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A toxin-binding protein in several lepidopteran insects. cDNAs of aminopeptidase-like proteins from both Bt-susceptible RC688s and Bt-resistant HD198r strains of the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella, were cloned and sequenced. They contain 3345 and 3358 nucleotides, respectively, and each has a 3048 bp open reading frame that encodes 1016 amino acids. Putative protein sequences include 10 potential glycosylation sites and a zinc metal binding site motif of HEXXH, which is typical of the active site of zinc-dependent metallopeptidases. Sequence analysis indicated that the deduced protein sequences are most similar to an aminopeptidase from Heliothis virescens with 62% sequence identity and highly similar to three other lepidopteran aminopeptidases from Plutella xylostella, Manduca sexta, Bombyx mori with sequence identities of 51-52%. Four nucleotide differences were observed in the open reading frames that translated into two amino acid differences in the putative protein sequences. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed an aminopeptidase gene coding difference between RC688s and HD198r strains of P. interpunctella in the PCR amplification of a specific allele (PASA) using preferential primers designed from a single base substitution. The gene mutation for Asp185-->Glu185 was also confirmed in two additional Bt-resistant P. interpunctella strains. This mutation is located within a region homologous to the conserved Cry1Aa toxin binding regions from Bombyx mori and Plutella xylostella. The aminopeptidase-like mRNA expression levels in the Bt-resistant strain were slightly higher than those in the Bt-susceptible strain. The sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the GenBank database (accession numbers AF034483 for susceptible strain RC688s and AF034484 for resistant strain HD198r).

  17. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis relBE toxin:antitoxin genes are stress-responsive modules that regulate growth through translation inhibition.

    PubMed

    Korch, Shaleen B; Malhotra, Vandana; Contreras, Heidi; Clark-Curtiss, Josephine E

    2015-11-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) genes are ubiquitous among bacteria and are associated with persistence and dormancy. Following exposure to unfavorable environmental stimuli, several species (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Myxococcus xanthus) employ toxin proteins such as RelE and MazF to downregulate growth or initiate cell death. Mycobacterium tuberculosis possesses three Rel TA modules (Rel Mtb ): RelBE Mtb , RelFG Mtb and RelJK Mtb (Rv1246c-Rv1247c, Rv2865-Rv2866, and Rv3357-Rv3358, respectively), which inhibit mycobacterial growth when the toxin gene (relE, relG, relK) is expressed independently of the antitoxin gene (relB, relF, relJ). In the present study, we examined the in vivo mechanism of the RelE Mtb toxin protein, the impact of RelE Mtb on M. tuberculosis physiology and the environmental conditions that regulate all three rel Mtb modules. RelE Mtb negatively impacts growth and the structural integrity of the mycobacterial envelope, generating cells with aberrant forms that are prone to extensive aggregation. At a time coincident with growth defects, RelE Mtb mediates mRNA degradation in vivo resulting in significant changes to the proteome. We establish that rel Mtb modules are stress responsive, as all three operons are transcriptionally activated following mycobacterial exposure to oxidative stress or nitrogen-limiting growth environments. Here we present evidence that the rel Mtb toxin:antitoxin family is stress-responsive and, through the degradation of mRNA, the RelE Mtb toxin influences the growth, proteome and morphology of mycobacterial cells.

  18. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis relBE toxin:antitoxin genes are stress-responsive modules that regulate growth through translation inhibition.

    PubMed

    Korch, Shaleen B; Malhotra, Vandana; Contreras, Heidi; Clark-Curtiss, Josephine E

    2015-11-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) genes are ubiquitous among bacteria and are associated with persistence and dormancy. Following exposure to unfavorable environmental stimuli, several species (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Myxococcus xanthus) employ toxin proteins such as RelE and MazF to downregulate growth or initiate cell death. Mycobacterium tuberculosis possesses three Rel TA modules (Rel Mtb ): RelBE Mtb , RelFG Mtb and RelJK Mtb (Rv1246c-Rv1247c, Rv2865-Rv2866, and Rv3357-Rv3358, respectively), which inhibit mycobacterial growth when the toxin gene (relE, relG, relK) is expressed independently of the antitoxin gene (relB, relF, relJ). In the present study, we examined the in vivo mechanism of the RelE Mtb toxin protein, the impact of RelE Mtb on M. tuberculosis physiology and the environmental conditions that regulate all three rel Mtb modules. RelE Mtb negatively impacts growth and the structural integrity of the mycobacterial envelope, generating cells with aberrant forms that are prone to extensive aggregation. At a time coincident with growth defects, RelE Mtb mediates mRNA degradation in vivo resulting in significant changes to the proteome. We establish that rel Mtb modules are stress responsive, as all three operons are transcriptionally activated following mycobacterial exposure to oxidative stress or nitrogen-limiting growth environments. Here we present evidence that the rel Mtb toxin:antitoxin family is stress-responsive and, through the degradation of mRNA, the RelE Mtb toxin influences the growth, proteome and morphology of mycobacterial cells. PMID:26502963

  19. [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.

  20. Homologues of Insecticidal Toxin Complex Genes in Yersinia enterocolitica Biotype 1A and Their Contribution to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Tennant, Sharon M.; Skinner, Narelle A.; Joe, Angela; Robins-Browne, Roy M.

    2005-01-01

    Yersinia enterocolitica is an enteric pathogen that consists of six biotypes: 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Strains of the latter five biotypes can carry a virulence plasmid, known as pYV, and several well-characterized chromosomally encoded virulence determinants. Y. enterocolitica strains of biotype 1A lack the virulence-associated markers of pYV-bearing strains and were once considered to be avirulent. There is growing epidemiological, clinical, and experimental evidence, however, to suggest that some biotype 1A strains are virulent and can cause gastrointestinal disease. To identify potential virulence genes of pathogenic strains of Y. enterocolitica biotype 1A, we used genomic subtractive hybridization to determine genetic differences between two biotype 1A strains: an environmental isolate, Y. enterocolitica IP2222, and a clinical isolate, Y. enterocolitica T83. Among the Y. enterocolitica T83-specific genes we identified were three, tcbA, tcaC, and tccC, that showed homology to the insecticidal toxin complex (TC) genes first discovered in Photorhabdus luminescens. The Y. enterocolitica T83 TC gene homologues were expressed by Y. enterocolitica T83 and were significantly more prevalent among clinical biotype 1A strains than other Yersinia isolates. Inactivation of the TC genes in Y. enterocolitica T83 resulted in mutants which were attenuated in the ability to colonize the gastrointestinal tracts of perorally infected mice. These results indicate that products of the TC gene complex contribute to the virulence of some strains of Y. enterocolitica biotype 1A, possibly by facilitating their persistence in vivo. PMID:16177365

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2007-02-01

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2016-09-01

    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. PMID:27257743

  7. Presence of pathogenicity island related and plasmid encoded virulence genes in cytolethal distending toxin producing Escherichia coli isolates from diarrheal cases

    PubMed Central

    Oloomi, Mana; Javadi, Maryam; Bouzari, Saeid

    2015-01-01

    Context: Mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, bacteriophages, insertion elements, and genomic islands play a critical role in virulence of bacterial pathogens. These elements transfer horizontally and could play an important role in the evolution and virulence of many pathogens. A broad spectrum of gram-negative bacterial species has been shown to produce a cytolethal distending toxin (CDT). On the other hand, Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli are the one carry virulence genes such as stx 1 and stx 2 (Shiga toxin) and these genes can be acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of other virulence associated genes among CDT producing E. coli strains. Materials and Methods: Thirty CDT positive strains isolated from patients with diarrhea were characterized. Thereafter, the association with virulent genetic elements in known pathogenicity islands (PAIs) was assessed by polymerase chain reaction. Results: In this study, it was shown that the most CDT producing E. coli isolates express Shiga toxin. Moreover, the presence of prophages framing cdt genes (like P2 phage) was also identified in each cdt-type genomic group. Flanked regions of cdt-I, cdt-IV, and cdt-V-type was similar to plasmid sequences while cdt-II and cdt-III-type regions similarity with hypothetical protein (orf3) was observed. Conclusion: The occurrence of each cdt-type groups with specific virulence genes and PAI genetic elements is indicative of horizontal gene transfer by these mobile genetic elements, which could lead to diversity among the isolates. PMID:26539367

  8. Sequence Analysis of Staphylococcus hyicus ATCC 11249T, an Etiological Agent of Exudative Epidermitis in Swine, Reveals a Type VII Secretion System Locus and a Novel 116-Kilobase Genomic Island Harboring Toxin-Encoding Genes

    PubMed Central

    Foecking, Mark F.; Hsieh, Hsin-Yeh; Adkins, Pamela R. F.; Stewart, George C.; Middleton, John R.

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus hyicus is the primary etiological agent of exudative epidermitis in swine. Analysis of the complete genome sequence of the type strain revealed a locus encoding a type VII secretion system and a large chromosomal island harboring the genes encoding exfoliative toxin ExhA and an EDIN toxin homolog. PMID:25700402

  9. Mutation of an aminopeptidase N gene is associated with Helicoverpa armigera resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shaoping; Cheng, Hongmei; Gao, Yulin; Wang, Guirong; Liang, Gemei; Wu, Kongming

    2009-07-01

    A Cry1Ac-resistant strain (Bt-R) of Helicoverpa armigera, with 2971-fold resistance, was derived by selection with Cry1Ac toxin for 75 generations. We used cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis to identify those genes differentially expressed in the Cry1Ac-resistant and -susceptible strains, which revealed 212 differentially expressed transcripts among 2000 screened cDNAs. Among these transcript-derived fragments (TDFs), 37 showed some homology to known sequences, including Aminopeptidase N (APN), which is expressed in the midgut epithelium and has been implicated as a Cry1A subfamily receptor in several moths, including H. armigera. We confirmed the TDF by RT-PCR and identified a deletion mutation of apn1 in the Bt-R strain. We expressed the TDF in bacteria. The partial HaAPN1-96S wild-type protein, bound to Cry1Ac on ligand blots, whereas HaAPN1-BtR did not. This suggested that HaAPN1 is a receptor for Bt Cry1Ac and that its deletion mutation is associated with Cry1Ac resistance in H. armigera. The absence of one binding site is responsible for its resistance to Cry1Ac. We developed an allele-specific PCR to monitor whether the apn1 gene in an H. armigera field population produced a similar mutation. No deleted mutants were found in 2250 individuals collected from the field in 2006-2007. PMID:19376227

  10. Candidate gene expression analysis of toxin-induced dilated cardiomyopathy in the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).

    PubMed

    Lin, K-C; Gyenai, K; Pyle, R L; Geng, T; Xu, J; Smith, E J

    2006-12-01

    Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart disease, affects many vertebrates including humans and poultry. The disease can be either idiopathic (IDCM) or toxin-induced (TIDCM). Although genetic and other studies of IDCM are extensive, the specific etiology of TIDCM is still unknown. In this study, we compared mRNA levels of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) and phospholamban (PLN) in turkeys affected and unaffected by TIDCM. Cardiac TnT and PLN were chosen because their altered expression has been observed in IDCM-affected birds. A total of 72 birds, 44 affected and 28 unaffected with TIDCM, were used. Differences in the mRNA levels of cTnT and PLN between affected and unaffected turkeys were significant only for cTnT. The sequence of the turkey PLN showed significant similarity at the nucleotide level to the reference chicken sequence and to those of other species. In addition to implicating cTnT in TIDCM, the present work describes a partial turkey PLN coding sequence that could be useful for future studies.

  11. Development of a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay for detection and subtyping of cholix toxin variant genes of Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Awasthi, Sharda Prasad; Asakura, Masahiro; Neogi, Sucharit Basu; Hinenoya, Atsushi; Ramamurthy, T; Yamasaki, Shinji

    2014-05-01

    Cholix toxin (ChxA) is an exotoxin reported in Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-O139. Apart from its prototype (ChxA I) we have recently identified two novel variants of this toxin, ChxA II and ChxA III. Our previous investigations indicated that the first two variants may instigate extra-intestinal infections and ChxA II can be more lethal than ChxA I in mice. However, all three cholix toxins (ChxA I to III) failed to show any enterotoxicity in rabbit ileal loops. In this study we developed a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay to differentiate all three chxA variants to further understand the importance of each subtype. By using 53 V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139 strains harbouring chxA genes, which were previously categorized by sequencing, and various other strains as negative controls, the PCR-RFLP assay showed 100 % typability and specificity. Furthermore, when applied to differentiate additional V. cholerae strains, which were also screened for the chxA gene by colony hybridization, this assay identified chxA I and chxA II genes among 18.5 % and 4.5 % of non-O1/non-O139 strains (n = 178), respectively. One non-O1/non-O139 strain was untypable due to the insertion of an IS911-like element. Interestingly, the chxA I gene was detected in 10 out of 137 cholera toxin gene-negative V. cholerae O1 strains. These results suggest that the PCR-RFLP assay developed in this study can be a rapid and simple method to differentiate the chxA subtypes.

  12. Prevalence of Toxin Genes among the Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and its Clinical Impact

    PubMed Central

    Deodhar, Divya; Varghese, George; Balaji, Veeraraghavan; John, James; Rebekah, Grace; Janardhanan, Jeshina; Jeyaraman, Ranjith; Jasmine, Sudha; Mathews, Prasad

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) causes a variety of infections, ranging from a mild skin infection to blood stream infections and deep seated infections. As Stapylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) has the tendency to cause endovascular and metastatic infections, complications can occur at almost all sites of the body. Hence, SAB is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in spite of appropriate antimicrobial treatment. The virulence in S. aureus is determined by the presence of adhesins and toxins, which behave like superantigens (SAgs) and leads to a massive release of proinflammatory cytokines causing overwhelming inflammatory response leading to endothelial leakage, hemodynamic shock, multiorgan failure, and possibly death. Materials and Methods: One year prospective study conducted in a tertiary care hospital in southern part of India included all patients with SAB. Clinical details were filled according to. All isolates were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for enterotoxin profiling. Results: A total of 101 patients of SAB were identified which comprises of 61 (60.4%) patients with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and 40 (39.6%) patients with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Most common predictors of mortality were prior hospitalization and antibiotic intake, severe organ dysfunction, shock, tachycardia, and leukocytosis. Two-third of the isolates had at least one enterotoxin, most prevalent was sea; 28% and 27% (P - value = 0.001) MSSA isolates had seg and sei; whereas, 38.6% (P - value < 0.001) of MRSA isolates were found to have sea. The most common enterotoxin associated with mortality was sei, which comprised of 38% of all mortality. Conclusion: In SAB, the significant predictors of mortality were prior hospitalization and antibiotic intake, presence of multiorgan dysfunction, and shock. Although overall significance between the enterotoxin and shock could not be demonstrated, it successfully demonstrated

  13. Magnetocaloric effects in RTX intermetallic compounds (R = Gd-Tm, T = Fe-Cu and Pd, X = Al and Si)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hu; Shen, Bao-Gen

    2015-12-01

    The magnetocaloric effect (MCE) of RTSi and RT Al systems with R = Gd-Tm, T = Fe-Cu and Pd, which have been widely investigated in recent years, is reviewed. It is found that these RTX compounds exhibit various crystal structures and magnetic properties, which then result in different MCE. Large MCE has been observed not only in the typical ferromagnetic materials but also in the antiferromagnetic materials. The magnetic properties have been studied in detail to discuss the physical mechanism of large MCE in RTX compounds. Particularly, some RTX compounds such as ErFeSi, HoCuSi, HoCuAl exhibit large reversible MCE under low magnetic field change, which suggests that these compounds could be promising materials for magnetic refrigeration in a low temperature range. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51371026, 11274357, and 51327806) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant Nos. FRF-TP-14-011A2 and FRF-TP-15-002A3).

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Toxic Microcystis is widespread in Lake Erie: PCR detection of toxin genes and molecular characterization of associated cyanobacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Ouellette, Anthony J A; Handy, Sara M; Wilhelm, Steven W

    2006-02-01

    During the past decade, algae blooms, which include the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis, have reoccurred in the Laurentian Great Lakes, most commonly in the western basin of Lake Erie. Whereas the western basin is the most impacted by toxic Microcystis in Lake Erie, there has historically been little effort focused on identifying the spatial distribution of Microcystis throughout this lake. To address this lack of knowledge, we have employed a polymerase-chain-reaction-based detection of genes required for synthesis of the toxin microcystin (mcyD and mcyB), as well as 16S rDNA fragments specific to either all Microcystis or all cyanobacteria. Using a multiplex approach, we tested 21 samples from 13 field stations and found that toxigenic Microcystis were present in the western and eastern basins in the summers of 1999, 2000, and 2002 and the central basin in 1999 and 2002. This is the most extensive distribution of Microcystis reported in Lake Erie. Clone libraries (16S rDNA) of these cyanobacterial communities were generated from 7 of the 13 field stations (representing all three basins) to partially characterize this microbial community. These libraries were shown to be dominated by sequences assigned to the Synechococcus and Cyanobium phylogenetic cluster, indicating the importance of picoplankton in this large lake system. PMID:16435169

  17. 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.

  18. Gene detection and toxin production evaluation of hemolysin BL of Bacillus cereus isolated from milk and dairy products marketed in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Reis, Andre L S; Montanhini, Maike T M; Bittencourt, Juliana V M; Destro, Maria T; Bersot, Luciano S

    2013-12-01

    Bacillus cereusis an ubiquitous, spore-forming bacteria that can survive pasteurization and the majority of the heating processes used in the dairy industry. Besides, it is a pathogen responsible for different types of food poisoning. One type of foodborne disease caused by B.cereusis the diarrheal syndrome, which is caused by the ingestion of vegetative cells producing toxins in the small intestine. One virulence factor for the diarrheal syndrome is the toxin hemolysin BL (HBL), a three-component protein formed by the L1, L2 and B components. In order to evaluate the presence of diarrheal strains isolated from milk and dairy products, 63 B. cereus isolates were obtained from 260 samples of UHT milk, pasteurized milk and powdered milk, sold in commercial establishments and from different brands. The isolates were subjected to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for the detection of the encoding genes for the L1, L2 and B components and the toxin production capacity were evaluated with an immunoassay. A total of 23 [36.5%] isolates were identified carrying simultaneously the three tested genes, from which, 20 [86.9%] showed toxigenic capacity. 26 [41.3%] isolates did not carry any of genes tested and the other 14 [22.2%] were positive for one or two of them. The results showed a high toxigenic capacity among the B. cereus isolates able to produce the HBL, indicating a potential risk for consumers.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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

    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.

  2. Reduced virulence of Gibberella zeae caused by disruption of a trichothecene toxin biosynthetic gene.

    PubMed

    Proctor, R H; Hohn, T M; McCormick, S P

    1995-01-01

    The production of trichothecene mycotoxins by some plant pathogenic species of Fusarium is thought to contribute to their virulence. Gibberella zeae (F. graminearum) is an important cereal pathogen that produces the trichothecene deoxynivalenol. To determine if trichothecene production contributes to the virulence of G. zeae, we generated trichothecene-deficient mutants of the fungus by gene disruption. The disrupted gene, Tri5, encodes the enzyme trichodiene synthase, which catalyzes the first step in trichothecene biosynthesis. To disrupt Tri5, G. zeae was transformed with a plasmid carrying a doubly truncated copy of the Tri5 coding region interrupted by a hygromycin B resistance gene. Tri5- transformants were selected by screening for the inability to produce trichothecenes and by Southern blot analysis. Tri5- strains exhibited reduced virulence on seedlings of Wheaton wheat and common winter rye, but wild-type virulence on seedlings of Golden Bantam maize. On Caldwell and Marshall wheat and Porter oat seedlings, Tri5- strains were inconsistent in causing less disease than their wild-type progenitor strain. Head blight developed more slowly on Wheaton when inoculated with Tri5- mutants than when inoculated with wild-type strains. These results suggest that trichothecene production contributes to the virulence of G. zeae on some hosts. PMID:8589414

  3. 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.

  4. Bacteriophage 2851 Is a Prototype Phage for Dissemination of the Shiga Toxin Variant Gene 2c in Escherichia coli O157:H7▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Strauch, Eckhard; Hammerl, Jens Andre; Konietzny, Antje; Schneiker-Bekel, Susanne; Arnold, Walter; Goesmann, Alexander; Pühler, Alfred; Beutin, Lothar

    2008-01-01

    The production of Shiga toxin (Stx) (verocytotoxin) is a major virulence factor of Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli [STEC] O157). Two types of Shiga toxins, designated Stx1 and Stx2, are produced in STEC O157. Variants of the Stx2 type (Stx2, Stx2c) are associated with high virulences of these strains for humans. A bacteriophage designated 2851 from a human STEC O157 encoding the Stx2c variant was described previously. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the phage 2851 genome revealed 75 predicted coding sequences and indicated a mosaic structure typical for lambdoid phages. Analyses of free phages and K-12 phage 2851 lysogens revealed that upon excision from the bacterial chromosome, the loss of a phage-encoded IS629 element leads to fusion of phage antA and antB genes, with the generation of a recombined antAB gene encoding a strong antirepressor. In wild-type E. coli O157 as well as in K-12 strains, phage 2851 was found to be integrated in the sbcB locus. Additionally, phage 2851 carries an open reading frame which encodes an OspB-like type III effector similar to that found in Shigella spp. Investigation of 39 stx2c E. coli O157 strains revealed that all except 1 were positive for most phage 2851-specific genes and possessed a prophage with the same border sequences integrated into the sbcB locus. Phage 2851-specific sequences were absent from most stx2c-negative E. coli O157 strains, and we suggest that phage 2851-like phages contributed significantly to the dissemination of the Stx2c variant toxin within this group of E. coli. PMID:18824528

  5. 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.

  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. Cloning and expression of a toxin gene from Pseudomonas fluorescens GcM5-1A.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingying; Guo, Daosen; Zhou, Shiyi; Yu, Xinlei; Hou, Guixue; Li, Ronggui; Zhao, Boguang

    2010-07-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens GcM5-1A was isolated from the pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, obtained from wilted Japanese black pine, Pinus thumbergii, in China. In this paper, a genomic library of the GcM5-1A strain was constructed and a toxin-producing clone was isolated by bioassay. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame of 1,290 bp encoding a protein of 429 amino acids with N-terminal putative signal peptide of 36 amino acids, which shared a similarity of 83, 82 and 80% identity with hypothetical protein PFLU2919 from P. fluorescens SBW25, Dyp-type peroxidase family protein from P. fluorescens Pf-5 and Tat-translocated enzyme from P. fluorescens Pf0-1, respectively. The gene encoding a full-length protein or without the putative signal peptide was cloned and expressed as a soluble protein in E. coli. The recombinant protein was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by affinity chromatography using a Ni2+ matrix column. Its relative molecular weight was estimated to be 48.5 kDa by SDS-PAGE for full-length protein, and 45.0 kDa for the recombinant protein without putative signal peptide. Bioassay results showed that the recombinant protein with or without the putative signal peptide was toxic to both suspension cells and P. thunbergii seedlings. HPLC analysis demonstrated that components in branch extracts of P. thunbergii were significantly changed after addition of the recombinant full-length protein and hydrogen peroxide, which indicated that it is probably a peroxidase. This study offers information that can be used to determine the mechanism of pine wilt disease caused by the PWN.

  8. Improvement of Bacillus sphaericus toxicity against dipteran larvae by integration, via homologous recombination, of the Cry11A toxin gene from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis.

    PubMed Central

    Poncet, S; Bernard, C; Dervyn, E; Cayley, J; Klier, A; Rapoport, G

    1997-01-01

    Integrative plasmids were constructed to enable integration of foreign DNA into the chromosome of Bacillus sphaericus 2297 by in vivo recombination. Integration of the aphA3 kanamycin resistance gene by a two-step procedure demonstrated that this strategy was applicable with antibiotic resistance selection. Hybridization experiments evidenced two copies of the operon encoding the binary toxin from B. sphaericus in the recipient strain. The Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis cry11Aal gene (referred to as cry11A), encoding a delta-endotoxin with toxicity against Culex, Aedes, and Anopheles larvae, was integrated either by a single crossover event [strain 2297 (::pHT5601), harboring the entire recombinant plasmid] or by two successive crossover events [strain 2297 (::cry11A)]. The level of the Cry11A production in B. sphaericus was high; two crystalline inclusions were produced in strain 2297 (::pHT5601). Synthesis of the Cry11A toxin conferred toxicity to the recombinant strains against Aedes aegypti larvae, for which the parental strain was not toxic. Interestingly, the level of larvicidal activity of strain 2297 (::pHT5601) against Anopheles stephensi was as high as that of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and suggested synergy between the B. thuringiensis and B. sphaericus toxins. The toxicities of parental and recombinant B. sphaericus strains against Culex quinquefasciatus were similar, but the recombinant strains killed the larvae more rapidly. The production of the Cry11A toxin in B. sphaericus also partially restored toxicity for C. quinquefasciatus larvae from a population resistant to B. sphaericus 1593. In vivo recombination therefore appears to be a promising approach to the creation of new B. sphaericus strains for vector control. PMID:9361428

  9. PCR detection of Shiga toxins, enterohaemolysin and intimin virulence genes of Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains isolated from faeces of Anatolian water buffaloes in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Seker, E; Kuyucuoğlu, Y; Sareyyüpoğlu, B; Yardımcı, H

    2010-12-01

    The aim of this study was to detect Shiga toxins (stx1 and stx2), enterohaemolysin (EhlyA) and intimin (eaeA) virulence genes of 11 Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains isolated from faecal samples of 300 clinically healthy Anatolian water buffaloes by PCR. Multiplex PCR was used for the detection of stx1 and stx2, and singleplex PCRs were used for the detection of EhlyA and eaeA virulence genes respectively. A total of three (27.3%) strains were determined to harbour both of the stx1 and stx2 genes, of these, one (9.1%) only harboured these two genes alone, one (9.1%) also contained the EhlyA gene and one (9.1%) additionally contained the EhlyA and the eaeA genes. EhlyA gene was obtained from eight (72.7%) strains, six (54.5%) of these were alone. eaeA gene was positive in only one (9.1%) strain. Only one (9.1%) of the 11 E. coli O157:H7 strains harboured all the four virulence genes. Two (18.2%) of the isolates had none of the virulence genes. Enterohaemolysin was found to be the most common virulence factor. In conclusion, the virulence factors of E. coli O157:H7 strains isolated from the faeces of Anatolian water buffaloes were investigated and detected for the first time in Turkey.

  10. Isolation of a lysogenic bacteriophage carrying the stx(1(OX3)) gene, which is closely associated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains from sheep and humans.

    PubMed

    Koch, C; Hertwig, S; Lurz, R; Appel, B; Beutin, L

    2001-11-01

    A specific PCR for the detection of a variant of the gene encoding Shiga toxin 1 (stx(1)) called stx(1(OX3)) (GenBank accession no. Z36901) was developed. The PCR was used to investigate 148 Stx(1)-producing Escherichia coli strains from human patients (n = 72), cattle (n = 27), sheep (n = 48), and a goat (n = 1) for the presence of the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was present in 38 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains from sheep belonging to serogroups O5, O125, O128, O146, and OX3 but was absent from Stx(1)-positive ovine STEC O91 strains. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was also detected in 22 STEC strains from humans with nonbloody diarrhea and from asymptomatic excreters. Serotypes O146:H21 and O128:H2 were most frequently associated with stx(1(OX3))-carrying STEC from sheep and humans. In contrast, Stx(1)-producing STEC strains from cattle and goats and 50 STEC strains from humans were all negative for the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3))-negative strains belonged to 13 serotypes which were different from those of the stx(1(OX3))-positive STEC strains. Moreover, the stx(1(OX3)) gene was not associated with STEC belonging to enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) serogroups O26, O103, O111, O118, O145, and O157. A bacteriophage carrying the stx(1(OX3)) gene (phage 6220) was isolated from a human STEC O146:H21 strain. The phage was able to lysogenize laboratory E. coli K-12 strain C600. Phage 6220 shared a similar morphology and a high degree of DNA homology with Stx(2)-encoding phage 933W, which originates from EHEC O157. In contrast, few similarities were found between phage 6220 and Stx(1)-encoding bacteriophage H-19B from EHEC O26.

  11. Heterogeneity of Bordetella bronchiseptica adenylate cyclase (cyaA) RTX domain.

    PubMed

    Wehmann, Enikő; Khayer, Bernadett; Magyar, Tibor

    2015-01-01

    Bordetella bronchiseptica is a widespread pathogen, with a broad host range, occasionally including humans. Diverse virulence factors (adhesins, toxins) allow its adaptation to its host, but this property of the adenylate cyclase (cyaA) toxin is not well understood. In this study, we analyzed the repeats-in-toxin domain of B. bronchiseptica cyaA with PCR, followed by restriction fragment length analysis. Of ninety-two B. bronchiseptica strains collected from different hosts and geographic regions, 72 (78.3 %) carried cyaA and four RFLP types (A-D) were established using NarI and SalI. However, in 20 strains, cyaA was replaced with a peptide transport protein operon. A phylogenetic tree based on partial nucleotide sequences of cyaA revealed that group 2 contains strains of specifically human origin, whereas subgroup 1a contains all but one of the strains from pigs. The human strains showed many PCR-RFLP and sequence variants, confirming the clonal population structure of B. bronchiseptica. PMID:25475014

  12. Heterogeneity of Bordetella bronchiseptica adenylate cyclase (cyaA) RTX domain.

    PubMed

    Wehmann, Enikő; Khayer, Bernadett; Magyar, Tibor

    2015-01-01

    Bordetella bronchiseptica is a widespread pathogen, with a broad host range, occasionally including humans. Diverse virulence factors (adhesins, toxins) allow its adaptation to its host, but this property of the adenylate cyclase (cyaA) toxin is not well understood. In this study, we analyzed the repeats-in-toxin domain of B. bronchiseptica cyaA with PCR, followed by restriction fragment length analysis. Of ninety-two B. bronchiseptica strains collected from different hosts and geographic regions, 72 (78.3 %) carried cyaA and four RFLP types (A-D) were established using NarI and SalI. However, in 20 strains, cyaA was replaced with a peptide transport protein operon. A phylogenetic tree based on partial nucleotide sequences of cyaA revealed that group 2 contains strains of specifically human origin, whereas subgroup 1a contains all but one of the strains from pigs. The human strains showed many PCR-RFLP and sequence variants, confirming the clonal population structure of B. bronchiseptica.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25875245

  16. Virulence gene profiles of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from fecal samples of finishing swine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  17. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. BOTULINUM TOXIN

    PubMed Central

    Nigam, P K; Nigam, Anjana

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G). All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice. PMID:20418969

  19. 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

    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 stx 1/stx 2 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.

  20. 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

  1. [Carriage of Streptococcus pyogenes in primary school children: M-protein types, pyrogenic toxin genes, and investigation of the clonal relationships between the isolates].

    PubMed

    Otlu, Barış; Karakurt, Cemşit; Bayındır, Yaşar; Kayabaş, Üner; Yakupoğulları, Yusuf; Gözükara Bağ, Harika

    2015-07-01

    M-protein and pyrogenic toxins are the most important virulence factors of Streptococcus pyogenes, and they play significant role in the pathophysiology of acute rheumatoid fever and scarlet fever, respectively. In this study, the pharyngeal carriage of S.pyogenes of the primary school children, clonal relationship of the strains, M-protein types, and the presence of pyrogenic toxin genes were aimed to be investigated. A total of 668 throat cultures obtained from children (age range: 6-16 years) in two primary schools in our region, were included in the study. The clonal relationships of the isolated group A streptococci (GAS) strains were investigated by DiversiLab assay (BioMérieux, France), and the clonal relatedness was confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) method. M-protein (emm) typing was performed by DNA sequencing as suggested by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The genes encoding pyrogenic toxins, speA and speC, were investigated by an in-house multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. S.pyogenes was isolated from 134 (20.05%) of the throat samples. The GAS carriage rate of the students aged ≥10 was statistically higher than those 7-9 years age group (%22 vs %16.4, p<0.05). The M protein gene could be characterized only among 123 isolates by DNA sequencing, and 20 different emm types were detected. The most frequent emm type was emm1 (n=38, 30.9%) followed by emm12 (n=18, 14.6%), emm89 (n=10, 8.1%), emm118 (n=9, 7.3%), and emm4 (n=7, 5.7%). Pyrogenic toxin genes were found in 25 (18.6%) of the isolates, including speA in 11 isolates (8.2%) and speC in 12 isolates (8.9%) and both genes were detected in 2 isolates (1.5%). Sixty-two different Rep (Repetitive extragenic palindromic)-PCR profiles were detected in 134 S.pyogenes isolates by DiversiLab method. Thirteen different clusters were formed by a total of clonally related 36 isolates revealing a strain clustering ratio of 26.9%. Clonal relationship of all

  2. Photorhabdus insect-related (Pir) toxin-like genes in a plasmid of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, the causative agent of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) of shrimp.

    PubMed

    Han, Jee Eun; Tang, Kathy F J; Tran, Loc H; Lightner, Donald V

    2015-02-10

    The 69 kb plasmid pVPA3-1 was identified in Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain 13‑028/A3 that can cause acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND). This disease is responsible for mass mortalities in farmed penaeid shrimp and is referred to as early mortality syndrome (EMS). The plasmid has a GC content of 45.9% with a copy number of 37 per bacterial cell as determined by comparative quantitative PCR analyses. It consists of 92 open reading frames that encode mobilization proteins, replication enzymes, transposases, virulence-associated proteins, and proteins similar to Photorhabdus insect-related (Pir) toxins. In V. parahaemolyticus, these Pir toxin-like proteins are encoded by 2 genes (pirA- and pirB-like) located within a 3.5 kb fragment flanked with inverted repeats of a transposase-coding sequence (1 kb). The GC content of these 2 genes is only 38.2%, substantially lower than that of the rest of the plasmid, which suggests that these genes were recently acquired. Based on a proteomic analysis, the pirA-like (336 bp) and pirB-like (1317 bp) genes encode for 13 and 50 kDa proteins, respectively. In laboratory cultures of V. parahaemolyticus 13-028/A3, both proteins were secreted into the culture medium. We developed a duplex PCR diagnostic method, with a detection limit of 10(5) CFU ml(-1) and targeting pirA- and pirB-like genes in this strain of V. parahaemolyticus. This PCR protocol can reliably detect AHPND-causing strains of V. parahaemolyticus and does not cross react with non-pathogenic strains or with other species of Vibrio isolated from shrimp ponds. PMID:25667334

  3. CPDadh: A new peptidase family homologous to the cysteine protease domain in bacterial MARTX toxins

    PubMed Central

    Pei, Jimin; Lupardus, Patrick J; Garcia, K Christopher; Grishin, Nick V

    2009-01-01

    A cysteine protease domain (CPD) has been recently discovered in a group of multifunctional, autoprocessing RTX toxins (MARTX) and Clostridium difficile toxins A and B. These CPDs (referred to as CPDmartx) autocleave the toxins to release domains with toxic effects inside host cells. We report identification and computational analysis of CPDadh, a new cysteine peptidase family homologous to CPDmartx. CPDadh and CPDmartx share a Rossmann-like structural core and conserved catalytic residues. In bacteria, domains of the CPDadh family are present at the N-termini of a diverse group of putative cell-cell interaction proteins and at the C-termini of some RHS (recombination hot spot) proteins. In eukaryotes, catalytically inactive members of the CPDadh family are found in cell surface protein NELF (nasal embryonic LHRH factor) and some putative signaling proteins. PMID:19309740

  4. Identification of the newly identified subtilase cytotoxin-encoding gene (subAB2-2) among clinical Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolates.

    PubMed

    Son, Hoang Minh; Duc, Hoang Minh; Honjoh, Ken-Ichi; Miyamoto, Takahisa

    2015-12-01

    Subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB) is an important virulence factor of eae-negative Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Three variants of SubAB-encoding genes have been reported in the literature; however, the newly described subAB variant (subAB2-2) was found only in STEC strains from deer meat, sheep, and some wild animals. In this study, subAB variants were detected by PCR and DNA sequencing in 5 out of 12 (41.6%) eae-negative STEC strains isolated from patients. Most subAB-positive STEC strains (80%) harbored the subAB1 gene. The subAB2-2 gene was detected for the first time in the clinical STEC O128:H2 strain. Other virulence genes including stx1a, stx1c, stx2b, ehxA, and tia were also detected in this strain. The DNA sequence analyses of the subAB1 and subAB2-2 genes of the clinical STEC strains showed 99% and 100% identity to those of the reference strains 98NK2 and LM27558stx2, respectively. This is the first report on the detection of the subAB2-2 gene in a clinical STEC isolate.

  5. Functional validation of putative toxin-antitoxin genes from the Gram-positive pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae: phd-doc is the fourth bona-fide operon

    PubMed Central

    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 Hungary19A-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. PMID:25538695

  6. 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

  7. The effect of oxidative stress on gene expression of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 and non-O157 serotypes.

    PubMed

    Mei, Gui-Ying; Tang, Joshua; Carey, Christine; Bach, Susan; Kostrzynska, Magdalena

    2015-12-23

    Understanding the survival mechanisms used by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including O157:H7 and non-O157 serotypes, is important for minimizing contamination of fresh produce and occurrence of foodborne outbreaks. Recent outbreaks linked to leafy green vegetables and sprouted seeds have prompted researchers to focus on investigating decontamination strategies. Several studies showed that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment has been effective in reducing pathogens on fresh produce. As such, the effect of hydrogen peroxide on stress-associated and virulence gene expression in six STEC isolates was investigated in this study. Logarithmic phase cells of E. coli O157:H7 (EDL933) and non-O157 serotypes, including E. coli O26:H11 (EC20070549), O103:H2 (EC19970811), O104:H4 (NML#11-3088), O111:NM (EC20070546) and O145:NM (EC19970355) were exposed to 2.5mM H2O2 for 40 min and gene expression was evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR. Different patterns of gene expression were observed in E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 serotypes. Particularly, Shiga toxin gene stx2 was upregulated in O157:H7, but not in O104:H4. Moreover, stx1 was significantly upregulated in STEC O157:H7, but only slightly upregulated Stx1-positive non-O157 serotypes. However genes related to motility (fliC) and intimin gene (eae) were downregulated in most strains. Stress-associated sodA gene encoding manganese superoxide dismutase was significantly upregulated in all serotypes. The dps gene coding for non-specific DNA binding protein was upregulated in O145:NM, O111:NM, O103:H2 and O26:H11. However genes related to cold shock (cspC) and acid resistance (gadW) were significantly downregulated in all strains tested. The results of this study provide a basic understanding of the oxidative stress impact on survival and virulence of non-O157 serotype STEC strains.

  8. YtxR, a Conserved LysR-Like Regulator That Induces Expression of Genes Encoding a Putative ADP-Ribosyltransferase Toxin Homologue in Yersinia enterocolitica▿

    PubMed Central

    Axler-DiPerte, Grace L.; Miller, Virginia L.; Darwin, Andrew J.

    2006-01-01

    Yersinia enterocolitica causes human gastroenteritis, and many isolates have been classified as either “American” or “non-American” strains based on their geographic prevalence and virulence properties. In this study we describe identification of a transcriptional regulator that controls expression of the Y. enterocolitica ytxAB genes. The ytxAB genes have the potential to encode an ADP-ribosylating toxin with similarity to pertussis toxin. However, a ytxAB null mutation did not affect virulence in mice. Nevertheless, the ytxAB genes are conserved in many Y. enterocolitica strains. Interestingly, American and non-American strains have different ytxAB alleles encoding proteins that are only 50 to 60% identical. To obtain further insight into the ytxAB locus, we investigated whether it is regulated as part of a known or novel regulon. Transposon mutagenesis identified a LysR-like regulator, which we designated YtxR. Expression of ytxR from a nonnative promoter increased Φ(ytxA-lacZ) operon fusion expression up to 35-fold. YtxR also activated expression of its own promoter. DNase I footprinting showed that a His6-YtxR fusion protein directly interacted with the ytxA and ytxR control regions at similar distances upstream of their probable transcription initiation sites, identified by primer extension. Deletion analysis demonstrated that removal of the regions protected by His6-YtxR in vitro eliminated YtxR-dependent induction in vivo. The ytxAB locus is not present in most Yersinia species. In contrast, ytxR is conserved in multiple Yersinia species, as well as in the closely related organisms Photorhabdus luminescens and Photorhabdus asymbiotica. These observations suggest that YtxR may play a conserved role involving regulation of other genes besides ytxAB. PMID:16997967

  9. 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

    2008-04-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Actinobacillus suis strains isolated from healthy and diseased swine are clonal and carry apxICABDvar. suis and apxIICAvar. suis toxin genes.

    PubMed Central

    Van Ostaaijen, J; Frey, J; Rosendal, S; MacInnes, J I

    1997-01-01

    Actinobacillus suis isolates recovered from both healthy and diseased pigs were characterized by biochemical testing, serotyping, restriction endonuclease fingerprinting, and apx toxin gene typing. The clinical isolates analyzed were collected over a 10-year period from approximately 40 different locations in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Little variation in the biochemical profiles of these isolates was seen, and all isolates reacted strongly with rabbit antisera prepared against one of the strains. Similarly, by using BamHI and BglII for restriction endonuclease fingerprinting (REF) analysis, all isolates were found to belong to a single REF group. Minor variations could be detected, especially in the BglII fingerprints, but overall the patterns were remarkably similar. Sequences that could be amplified by PCR with primers to the apxICA and apxIICA genes of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae were detected in all strains. Although no amplification was obtained with primers to the A. pleuropneumoniae apxIBD genes, sequences with homology to apxIBD were detected by hybridization. There was no evidence of apxIII homologs. Taken together, these data suggest that A. suis isolates are genotypically and phenotypically very similar, regardless of their source, and that they contain genes similar to, but not identical to, the apxICABD and apxIICA genes of A. pleuropneumoniae. PMID:9114394

  12. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Evaluation in broilers of the probiotic properties of Pichia pastoris and a recombinant P. pastoris containing the Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin gene.

    PubMed

    Gil de los Santos, João Rodrigo; Storch, Otávio Brod; Fernandes, Cristina Gevehr; Gil-Turnes, Carlos

    2012-05-01

    The probiotic properties of Pichia pastoris and of a recombinant P. pastoris containing the Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin gene were evaluated in broilers. One-day-old chicks randomly divided in four groups were fed with commercial feed devoid of antibacterials. The control group (1) received plain food, while the other groups were supplemented with either P. pastoris (2), the recombinant P. pastoris (3) or Bacillus cereus var. Toyoi (4). At day 49, live weights, feed efficiency and seroconversions were higher (P<0.05) in the supplemented groups than in the control groups. Group 3 showed the best results, while group 2 had lower weight gain than groups 3 and 4 although food conversion was better than in group 4. Seroconversions were not different (P>0.05) among the supplemented groups. Adverse reactions were not observed in histopathologic evaluation. We concluded that P. pastoris and the recombinant P. pastoris could be used as probiotics in broilers. PMID:22176763

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:25313936

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Central Greece: prevalence and virulence genes of O157:H7 and non-O157 in animal feces, vegetables, and humans.

    PubMed

    Pinaka, O; Pournaras, S; Mouchtouri, V; Plakokefalos, E; Katsiaflaka, A; Kolokythopoulou, F; Barboutsi, E; Bitsolas, N; Hadjichristodoulou, C

    2013-11-01

    In Greece, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have only been sporadically reported. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of STEC and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in farm animals, vegetables, and humans in Greece. A total number of 1,010 fecal samples were collected from farm animals (sheep, goats, cattle, chickens, pigs), 667 diarrheal samples from humans, and 60 from vegetables, which were cultured in specific media for STEC isolates. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect toxin-producing colonies, which, subsequently, were subjected to a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for stx1, stx2, eae, rfbE O157, and fliC h7 genes. Eighty isolates (7.9 %) from animal samples were found to produce Shiga toxin by ELISA, while by PCR, O157 STEC isolates were detected from 8 (0.8 %) samples and non-O157 STEC isolates from 43 (4.2 %) samples. STEC isolates were recovered mainly from sheep and goats, rarely from cattle, and not from pigs and chickens, suggesting that small ruminants constitute a potential risk for human infections. However, only three human specimens (0.4 %) were positive for the detection of Shiga toxins and all were PCR-negative. Similarly, all 60 vegetable samples were negative for toxin production and for toxin genes, but three samples (two roman rockets and one spinach) were positive by PCR for rfbE O157 and fliC h7 genes. These findings indicate that sheep, goats, cattle, and leafy vegetables can be a reservoir of STEC and Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates in Greece, which are still rarely detected among humans. PMID:23677425

  20. Expression of Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) in highly virulent Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) carrying different anti-terminator (q) genes.

    PubMed

    Olavesen, Kristoffer K; Lindstedt, Bjørn-Arne; Løbersli, Inger; Brandal, Lin T

    2016-08-01

    Shiga toxins (Stx) are key virulence factors of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) during development of haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). It has been suggested that not only specific stx2 subtypes, but also the amount of Stx2 expressed might be essential for STEC pathogenicity. We aimed to investigate if various anti-terminator (q) genes might influence the expression level of Stx2 in highly virulent STEC. A multiplex PCR detecting q933, q21, and qO111 was run on 20 stx2a-positive STEC strains, of which 18 were HUS associated serotypes (HAS) and two non-HAS. Relative expression of Stx2 mRNA was assessed for all strains, both in non-induced and induced (mitomycin C) state. The HAS STEC carried either q933 (n = 8), qO111 (n = 8), or both (n = 2). In basal state, no STEC strains showed higher expression of Stx2 mRNA than the calibrator EDL933 (non-sorbitol fermenting (NSF) O157:H7carrying q933). Variations among strains were not associated with different q genes present, but rather related to specific serogroups. In induced state, O104:H4 strains (q933) showed higher Stx2 mRNA level than EDL933, whereas sorbitol fermenting (SF) O157:H- (qO111) and O121:H? (q933) STEC showed levels comparable with EDL933. An association between the presence of q933 and higher Stx2 level was seen within some HAS, but not all. Interestingly, the O103:H25 STEC strains, responsible for a HUS outbreak in Norway, carried both q933 and qO111. However, the Stx2 mRNA level in these strains was significantly lower than EDL933 in both states, indicating that other factors than the level of Stx2 might explain the aggressiveness of these bacteria. The two non-HAS STEC did not carry any of the examined q genes. In induced state, these bacteria showed the lowest Stx2 mRNA level compared to EDL933. One of the non-HAS STEC was not induced by mitomycin C, suggesting that stx2a might be located on a defect bacteriophage. No association between specific q genes and Stx2 mRNA expression

  1. 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

  2. Antibiotic Resistance, Virulence Gene, and Molecular Profiles of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Diverse Sources in Calcutta, India

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Asis; Das, S. C.; Ramamurthy, T.; Sikdar, A.; Khanam, J.; Yamasaki, S.; Takeda, Y.; Nair, G. Balakrish

    2002-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance, virulence gene, and molecular profiles of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) non-O157 strains isolated from human stool samples, cow stool samples, and beef samples over a period of 2 years in Calcutta, India, were determined. Resistance to one or more antibiotics was observed in 49.2% of the STEC strains, with some of the strains exhibiting multidrug resistance. The dominant combinations of virulence genes present in the strains studied were stx1 and stx2 (44.5% of strains) and stx1, stx2, and hlyA (enterohemorrhagic E. coli hemolysin gene) (19% of strains). Only 6.4% of the STEC strains harbored eae. The diversity of STEC strains from various sources was assessed by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). STEC strains that gave identical or nearly similar DNA fingerprints in RAPD-PCR and had similar virulence genotypes were further characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Identical RAPD and PFGE profiles were observed in four sets of strains, with each set comprising two strains. There was no match in the RAPD and PFGE profiles between strains of STEC isolated from cows and those isolated from humans. It appears that the clones present in bovine sources are not transmitted to humans in the Calcutta setting although these strains showed evolutionary relatedness. Maybe for this reason, STEC has still not become a major problem in India. PMID:12037056

  3. Hypothesis: type I toxin-antitoxin genes enter the persistence field-a feedback mechanism explaining membrane homoeostasis.

    PubMed

    Gerdes, Kenn

    2016-11-01

    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'.

  4. Hypothesis: type I toxin-antitoxin genes enter the persistence field-a feedback mechanism explaining membrane homoeostasis.

    PubMed

    Gerdes, Kenn

    2016-11-01

    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'. PMID:27672159

  5. Adaptive evolution of animal toxin multigene families.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    2000-12-30

    Animal toxins comprise a diverse array of proteins that have a variety of biochemical and pharmacological functions. A large number of animal toxins are encoded by multigene families. From studies of several toxin multigene families at the gene level the picture is emerging that most have been functionally diversified by gene duplication and adaptive evolution. The number of pharmacological activities in most toxin multigene families results from their adaptive evolution. The molecular evolution of animal toxins has been analysed in some multigene families, at both the intraspecies and interspecies levels. In most toxin multigene families, the rate of non-synonymous to synonymous substitutions (dN/dS) is higher than one. Thus natural selection has acted to diversify coding sequences and consequently the toxin functions. The selection pressure for the rapid adaptive evolution of animal toxins is the need for quick immobilization of the prey in classical predator and prey interactions. Currently available evidence for adaptive evolution in animal toxin multigene families will be considered in this review.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:16145834

  8. Structural analysis of phage-borne stx genes and their flanking sequences in shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Shigella dysenteriae type 1 strains.

    PubMed

    Unkmeir, A; Schmidt, H

    2000-09-01

    The stx-flanking regions of 49 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains and nine Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 strains containing either stx, stx(1), stx(2), or stx(2) variant genes, were examined. We analyzed these regions by PCR using a set of primers with one primer specific for the respective stx gene and a second primer complementary to sequences of Stx phages H-19B and 933W. We further characterized the amplification products by restriction endonuclease digestion and nucleotide sequencing. PCR products of stx(1)-containing E. coli strains of serogroups O157, O26, and 0103 showed the same lengths and similar restriction patterns. However, we failed to amplify the 3' stx-flanking region in stx(1)-harboring E. coli O111:H(-) strains. Stx2-producing E. coli strains revealed amplification products of different lengths and restriction patterns, suggesting greater heterogeneity than in stx(1)-positive strains. We also obtained specific PCR products for two Stx2c-producing and seven Stx2f-producing E. coli strains when they were subjected to PCR analysis. In nine S. dysenteriae type 1 strains, H-19B- and 933W-specific primers amplified only the 3' stx-flanking region. The results of our study demonstrate that the stx genes of all strains investigated are continuous with phage sequences. Whereas almost all strains except E. coli O111:H(-) strains were associated with a S-like gene, association with Q could not be demonstrated in nine S. dysenteriae type 1 strains and three E. coli strains. Furthermore, we showed that the organization of the stx-flanking regions is similar in all strains investigated, whereas fine-structure analysis showed subtle differences among the sequences examined. Our results support the hypothesis that stx genes in E. coli and S. dysenteriae are generally phage-borne.

  9. Molecular evolution and diversity of Conus peptide toxins, as revealed by gene structure and intron sequence analyses.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yun; Wang, Lei; Zhou, Maojun; You, Yuwen; Zhu, Xiaoyan; Qiang, Yuanyuan; Qin, Mengying; Luo, Shaonan; Ren, Zhenghua; Xu, Anlong

    2013-01-01

    Cone snails, which are predatory marine gastropods, produce a cocktail of venoms used for predation, defense and competition. The major venom component, conotoxin, has received significant attention because it is useful in neuroscience research, drug development and molecular diversity studies. In this study, we report the genomic characterization of nine conotoxin gene superfamilies from 18 Conus species and investigate the relationships among conotoxin gene structure, molecular evolution and diversity. The I1, I2, M, O2, O3, P, S, and T superfamily precursors all contain three exons and two introns, while A superfamily members contain two exons and one intron. The introns are conserved within a certain gene superfamily, and also conserved across different Conus species, but divergent among different superfamilies. The intronic sequences contain many simple repeat sequences and regulatory elements that may influence conotoxin gene expression. Furthermore, due to the unique gene structure of conotoxins, the base substitution rates and the number of positively selected sites vary greatly among exons. Many more point mutations and trinucleotide indels were observed in the mature peptide exon than in the other exons. In addition, the first example of alternative splicing in conotoxin genes was found. These results suggest that the diversity of conotoxin genes has been shaped by point mutations and indels, as well as rare gene recombination or alternative splicing events, and that the unique gene structures could have made a contribution to the evolution of conotoxin genes.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Southern analysis of BT-R1, the Manduca sexta gene encoding the receptor for the Cry1Ab toxin of Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Franklin, S E; Young, L; Watson, D; Cigan, A; Meyer, T; Bulla, L A

    1997-11-01

    Various subspecies of the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis are known to produce a wide array of insecticidal crystal proteins (ICPs) upon sporulation. These ICPs act primarily on the brush border of midgut epithelial cells of susceptible larvae. Recently, a protein of 210 kDa, isolated from the midgut of Manduca sexta, has been demonstrated to bind the Cry1Ab toxin produced by B. thuringiensis subsp, berliner and is therefore postulated to be involved in mediating the toxicity of Cry1Ab. The cDNA encoding the 210 kDa protein, termed BT-R1 (Bacillus thuringiensis receptor-1), was recently cloned, and shows limited homology to the cadherin superfamily of proteins. Quite naturally, there is a great deal of interest in the characterization of BT-R1, the gene encoding the 210 kDa Cry1Ab binding protein. The studies presented here involve the use of various restriction fragments prepared from the cDNA encoding BT-R1 as probes of Southern blots bearing M. sexta genomic DNA cleaved with a variety of restriction endonucleases. These Southern blot data reveal that there are two discrete regions within the M. sexta genome which encode sequences homologous to BT-R1. On the basis of the signal intensities seen on Southern blots, it appears that only one of these genes encodes BT-R1, whereas the other is a closely related homologue. PMID:9413435

  14. 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. PMID:25925572

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins.

    PubMed

    Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

  19. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26444071

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:27605908

  3. 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

  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.

  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

    Gao, Yan; Yu, Ren-Cheng; Murray, Shauna A; Chen, Jian-Hua; Kang, Zhen-Jun; Zhang, Qing-Chun; Kong, Fan-Zhou; Zhou, Ming-Jiang

    2015-10-01

    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.

  7. 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

    Gao, Yan; Yu, Ren-Cheng; Murray, Shauna A; Chen, Jian-Hua; Kang, Zhen-Jun; Zhang, Qing-Chun; Kong, Fan-Zhou; Zhou, Ming-Jiang

    2015-10-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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

    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.

  11. The toxin and antidote puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Insects carry out essential ecological functions, such as pollination, but also cause extensive damage to agricultural crops and transmit human diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Advances in insect transgenesis are making it increasingly feasible to engineer genes conferring desirable phenotypes, and gene drive systems are required to spread these genes into wild populations. Medea provides one solution, being able to spread into a population from very low initial frequencies through the action of a maternally-expressed toxin linked to a zygotically-expressed antidote. Several other toxin-antidote combinations are imaginable that distort the offspring ratio in favor of a desired transgene, or drive the population towards an all-male crash. We explore two such systems—Semele, which is capable of spreading a desired transgene into an isolated population in a confined manner; and Merea, which is capable of inducing a local population crash when located on the Z chromosome of a Lepidopteron pest. PMID:21876382

  12. 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.

  13. *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...

  14. Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

    MedlinePlus

    ... people when there are many effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can temporarily reduce a very prominent ... form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc). Botulinum toxin, what we will now ...

  15. 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

  16. Development and accuracy of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assays for detection and quantification of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) heat labile and heat stable toxin genes in travelers' diarrhea samples.

    PubMed

    Youmans, Bonnie P; Ajami, Nadim J; Jiang, Zhi-Dong; Petrosino, Joseph F; DuPont, Herbert L; Highlander, Sarah K

    2014-01-01

    Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), the leading bacterial pathogen of travelers' diarrhea, is routinely detected by an established DNA hybridization protocol that is neither sensitive nor quantitative. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays that detect the ETEC toxin genes eltA, sta1, and sta2 in clinical stool samples were developed and tested using donor stool inoculated with known quantities of ETEC bacteria. The sensitivity of the qPCR assays is 89%, compared with 22% for the DNA hybridization assay, and the limits of detection are 10,000-fold lower than the DNA hybridization assays performed in parallel. Ninety-three clinical stool samples, previously characterized by DNA hybridization, were tested using the new ETEC qPCR assays. Discordant toxin profiles were observed for 22 samples, notably, four samples originally typed as ETEC negative were ETEC positive. The qPCR assays are unique in their sensitivity and ability to quantify the three toxin genes in clinical stool samples.

  17. Evaluation of 3 automated real-time PCR (Xpert C. difficile assay, BD MAX Cdiff, and IMDx C. difficile for Abbott m2000 assay) for detecting Clostridium difficile toxin gene compared to toxigenic culture in stool specimens.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Jaeeun; Lee, Hyeyoung; Park, Kang Gyun; Lee, Gun Dong; Park, Yong Gyu; Park, Yeon-Joon

    2015-09-01

    We evaluated the performance of the 3 automated systems (Cepheid Xpert, BD MAX, and IMDx C. difficile for Abbott m2000) detecting Clostridium difficile toxin gene compared to toxigenic culture. Of the 254 stool specimens tested, 87 (48 slight, 35 moderate, and 4 heavy growth) were toxigenic culture positive. The overall sensitivities and specificities were 82.8% and 98.8% for Xpert, 81.6% and 95.8% for BD MAX, and 62.1% and 99.4% for IMDx, respectively. The specificity was significantly higher in IMDx than BD MAX (P= 0.03). All stool samples underwent toxin A/B enzyme immunoassay testing, and of the 254 samples, only 29 samples were positive and 2 of them were toxigenic culture negative. Considering the rapidity and high specificity of the real-time PCR assays compared to the toxigenic culture, they can be used as the first test method for C. difficile infection/colonization.

  18. Identification, characterization, and distribution of a Shiga toxin 1 gene variant (stx(1c)) in Escherichia coli strains isolated from humans.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenlan; Bielaszewska, Martina; Kuczius, Thorsten; Karch, Helge

    2002-04-01

    By using sequence analysis of Shiga toxin 1 (Stx 1) genes from human and ovine Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, we identified an Stx1 variant in STEC of human origin that was identical to the Stx1 variant from ovine STEC, but demonstrated only 97.1 and 96.6% amino acid sequence identity in its A and B subunits, respectively, to the Stx1 encoded by bacteriophage 933J. We designated this variant "Stx1c" and developed stxB(1) restriction fragment length polymorphism and stx(1c)-specific PCR strategies to determine the frequency and distribution of stx(1c) among 212 STEC strains isolated from humans. stx(1c) was identified in 36 (17.0%) of 212 STEC strains, 19 of which originated from asymptomatic subjects and 16 of which were from patients with uncomplicated diarrhea. stx(1c) was most frequently (in 23 STEC strains [63.9%]) associated with stx(2d), but 12 (33.3%) of the 36 STEC strains possessed stx(1c) only. A single STEC strain possessed stx(1c) together with stx(2) and was isolated from a patient with hemolytic-uremic syndrome. All 36 stx(1c)-positive STEC strains were eae negative and belonged to 10 different serogroups, none of which was O157, O26, O103, O111, or O145. Stx1c was produced by all stx(1c)-containing STEC strains, but reacted weakly with a commercial immunoassay. We conclude that STEC strains harboring the stx(1c) variant account for a significant proportion of human STEC isolates. The procedures developed in this study now allow the determination of the frequency of STEC strains harboring stx(1c) among clinical STEC isolates and their association with human disease in prospective studies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:25361922

  3. Inhibition of maize histone deacetylases by HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of Cochliobolus carbonum.

    PubMed Central

    Brosch, G; Ransom, R; Lechner, T; Walton, J D; Loidl, P

    1995-01-01

    HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of the maize pathogen Cochliobolus carbonum, inhibited maize histone deacetylase (HD) at 2 microM. Chlamydocin, a related cyclic tetrapeptide, also inhibited HD activity. The toxins did not affect histone acetyltransferases. After partial purification of histone deacetylases HD1-A, HD1-B, and HD2 from germinating maize embryos, we demonstrated that the different enzymes were similarly inhibited by the toxins. Inhibitory activities were reversibly eliminated by treating toxins with 2-mercaptoethanol, presumably by modifying the carbonyl group of the epoxide-containing amino acid Aeo (2-amino-9,10-epoxy-8-oxodecanoic acid). Kinetic studies revealed that inhibition of HD was of the uncompetitive type and reversible. HC toxin, in which the epoxide group had been hydrolyzed, completely lost its inhibitory activity; when the carbonyl group of Aeo had been reduced to the corresponding alcohol, the modified toxin was less active than native toxin. In vivo treatment of embryos with HC toxin caused the accumulation of highly acetylated histone H4 subspecies and elevated acetate incorporation into H4 in susceptible-genotype embryos but not in the resistant genotype. HDs from chicken and the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum were also inhibited, indicating that the host selectivity of HC toxin is not determined by its inhibitory effect on HD. Consistent with these results, we propose a model in which HC toxin promotes the establishment of pathogenic compatibility between C. carbonum and maize by interfering with reversible histone acetylation, which is implicated in the control of fundamental cellular processes, such as chromatin structure, cell cycle progression, and gene expression. PMID:8535144

  4. Characterization of Shiga toxin gene (stx)-positive and intimin gene (eae)-positive Escherichia coli isolates from wastewater of slaughterhouses in France.

    PubMed

    Loukiadis, Estelle; Kérourédan, Monique; Beutin, Lothar; Oswald, Eric; Brugère, Hubert

    2006-05-01

    Wastewater samples from 12 slaughterhouses located in different regions in France were tested for the presence of stx-positive and eae-positive Escherichia coli isolates, and characteristics of the isolates obtained were determined. A total of 224 wastewater samples were collected in wastewater treatment plants at different stages of wastewater processing. Altogether, 5,001 E. coli isolates were obtained by colony counting and screened for the presence of stx and eae genes by multiplex PCR. stx-positive and eae-positive E. coli isolates were detected in 25% of the samples collected; they were found in 13% and 3% of the samples obtained from treated effluent and sludge, respectively, suggesting that they could be spread into the environment. Screening of the samples collected by immunomagnetic separation allowed us to isolate 31 additional E. coli serogroup O157 isolates. Four of these isolates harbored stx and eae genes. All stx-positive and eae-positive E. coli isolates were analyzed for eae and stx genetic variants, as well as for additional virulence factors and serotypes. Our results suggest that the majority of the stx- and eae-positive E. coli isolates from wastewater have low virulence for humans. However, the diversity of the enterohemorrhagic E. coli-associated virulence factors in the strains indicates that the environment may play an important role in the emergence of new pathogenic enterohemorrhagic E. coli strains.

  5. Toxin-Deficient Mutants from a Toxin-Sensitive Transformant of Cochliobolus Heterostrophus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, G.; Turgeon, B. G.; Yoder, O. C.

    1994-01-01

    Tox1 is the only genetic element identified which controls production of T-toxin, a linear polyketide involved in the virulence of Cochliobolus heterostrophus to its host plant, corn. Previous attempts to induce toxin-deficient (Tox(-)) mutants, using conventional mutagenesis and screening procedures, have been unsuccessful. As a strategy to enrich for Tox(-) mutants, we constructed a Tox1(+) strain that carried the corn T-urf13 gene (which confers T-toxin sensitivity) fused to a fungal mitochondrial signal sequence; the fusion was under control of the inducible Aspergillus nidulans pelA promoter which, in both A. nidulans and C. heterostrophus, is repressed by glucose and induced by polygalacturonic acid (PGA). We expected that a transformant carrying this construction would be sensitive to its own toxin when the T-urf13 gene was expressed. Indeed, the strain grew normally on medium containing glucose but was inhibited on medium containing PGA. Conidia of this strain were treated with ethylmethanesulfonate and plated on PGA medium. Among 362 survivors, 9 were defective in T-toxin production. Authenticity of each mutant was established by the presence of the transformation vector, proper mating type, and a restiction fragment length polymorphism tightly linked to the Tox1(+) locus. Progeny of each mutant crossed to a Tox1(+) tester segregated 1:1 (for wild type toxin production vs. no or reduced toxin production), indicating a single gene mutation in each case. Progeny of each mutant crossed to a Tox1(-) tester segregated 1 : 1 (for no toxin production vs. no or reduced toxin production) indicating that each mutation mapped at the Tox1 locus. Availability of Tox(-) mutants will permit mapping in the Tox1 region without interference from a known Tox1 linked translocation breakpoint. PMID:8088521

  6. 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

  7. Serotypes, virulence genes and intimin types of Shiga toxin (verocytotoxin)-producing Escherichia coli isolates from minced beef in Lugo (Spain) from 1995 through 2003

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Azucena; Blanco, Miguel; Blanco, Jesús E; Dahbi, Ghizlane; López, Cecilia; Justel, Paula; Alonso, María Pilar; Echeita, Aurora; Bernárdez, María Isabel; González, Enrique A; Blanco, Jorge

    2007-01-01

    Background Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have emerged as pathogens that can cause food-borne infections and severe and potentially fatal illnesses in humans, such as haemorrhagic colitis (HC) and haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). In Spain, like in many other countries, STEC strains have been frequently isolated from ruminants, and represent a significant cause of sporadic cases of human infection. In view of the lack of data on STEC isolated from food in Spain, the objectives of this study were to determine the level of microbiological contamination and the prevalence of STEC O157:H7 and non-O157 in a large sampling of minced beef collected from 30 local stores in Lugo city between 1995 and 2003. Also to establish if those STEC isolated from food possessed the same virulence profiles as STEC strains causing human infections. Results STEC were detected in 95 (12%) of the 785 minced beef samples tested. STEC O157:H7 was isolated from eight (1.0%) samples and non-O157 STEC from 90 (11%) samples. Ninety-six STEC isolates were further characterized by PCR and serotyping. PCR showed that 28 (29%) isolates carried stx1 genes, 49 (51%) possessed stx2 genes, and 19 (20%) both stx1 and stx2. Enterohemolysin (ehxA) and intimin (eae) virulence genes were detected in 43 (45%) and in 25 (26%) of the isolates, respectively. Typing of the eae variants detected four types: γ1 (nine isolates), β1 (eight isolates), ε1 (three isolates), and θ (two isolates). The majority (68%) of STEC isolates belonged to serotypes previously detected in human STEC and 38% to serotypes associated with STEC isolated from patients with HUS. Ten new serotypes not previously described in raw beef products were also detected. The highly virulent seropathotypes O26:H11 stx1 eae-β1, O157:H7 stx1stx2 eae-γ1 and O157:H7 stx2eae-γ1, which are the most frequently observed among STEC causing human infections in Spain, were detected in 10 of the 96 STEC isolates. Furthermore, phage typing

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. [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. PMID:26449577

  13. 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

  14. 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- ...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Toxins from Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Henkel, James S.; Baldwin, Michael R.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial toxins damage the host at the site of bacterial infection or distanced from the site of infections. Bacterial toxins can be single proteins or organized as oligomeric protein complexes and are organized with distinct AB structure-function properties. The A domain encodes a catalytic activity; ADP-ribosylation of host proteins is the earliest post-translational modification determine to be performed by bacterial toxin, and now include glucosylation and proteolysis among other s. Bacterial toxins also catalyze the non-covalent modification of host protein function or can modify host cell properties through direct protein-protein interactions. The B domain includes two functional domains: a receptor-binding domain, which defines the tropism of a toxin for a cell and a translocation domain that delivers A domain across a lipid bilayer, either on the plasma membrane or the endosome. Bacterial toxins are often characterized based upon the section mechanism that delivers the toxin out of the bacterium, termed type I–VII. This review will overview the major families of bacterial toxins and will also describe the specific structure-function properties of the botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:20358680

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Negatively charged residues of the segment linking the enzyme and cytolysin moieties restrict the membrane-permeabilizing capacity of adenylate cyclase toxin.

    PubMed

    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

  3. Shiga toxins and stx phages: highly diverse entities.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Alejandra; Lucchesi, Paula M A

    2015-03-01

    Shiga toxins are the main virulence factors of a group of Escherichia coli strains [Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)] that cause severe human diseases, such as haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic-uraemic syndrome. The Shiga toxin family comprises several toxin subtypes, which have been differentially related to clinical manifestations. In addition, the phages that carry the Shiga toxin genes (stx phages) are also diverse. These phages play an important role not only in the dissemination of Shiga toxin genes and the emergence of new STEC strains, but also in the regulation of Shiga toxin production. Consequently, differences in stx phages may affect the dissemination of stx genes as well as the virulence of STEC strains. In addition to presenting an overview of Shiga toxins and stx phages, in this review we highlight current knowledge about the diversity of stx phages, with emphasis on its impact on STEC virulence. We consider that this diversity should be taken into account when developing STEC infection treatments and diagnostic approaches, and when conducting STEC control in reservoirs. PMID:25479836

  4. Shiga toxins and stx phages: highly diverse entities.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Alejandra; Lucchesi, Paula M A

    2015-03-01

    Shiga toxins are the main virulence factors of a group of Escherichia coli strains [Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)] that cause severe human diseases, such as haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic-uraemic syndrome. The Shiga toxin family comprises several toxin subtypes, which have been differentially related to clinical manifestations. In addition, the phages that carry the Shiga toxin genes (stx phages) are also diverse. These phages play an important role not only in the dissemination of Shiga toxin genes and the emergence of new STEC strains, but also in the regulation of Shiga toxin production. Consequently, differences in stx phages may affect the dissemination of stx genes as well as the virulence of STEC strains. In addition to presenting an overview of Shiga toxins and stx phages, in this review we highlight current knowledge about the diversity of stx phages, with emphasis on its impact on STEC virulence. We consider that this diversity should be taken into account when developing STEC infection treatments and diagnostic approaches, and when conducting STEC control in reservoirs.

  5. Isolation and characterization of the Shiga toxin gene (stx)-bearing Escherichia coli O157 and non-O157 from retail meats in Shandong Province, China, and characterization of the O157-derived stx2 phages.

    PubMed

    Koitabashi, Tsutomu; Cui, Shan; Kamruzzaman, Muhammad; Nishibuchi, Mitsuaki

    2008-04-01

    Infection by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli of non-O157 and O157 serotypes are rare in China, but infection by O157 serotype was found in Shandong Province and three other provinces in China. To understand the reason for these rare infections and to determine the safety of retail meats in Shandong Province, we examined the distribution of Shiga toxin gene (stx)-bearing E. coli in retail meats and characterized the isolated stx-bearing strains. We used hybridization with DNA probes and isolated stx1- and/or stx2-positive E. coli from 31 (58%) of 53 retail meat samples, with beef showing the highest frequency (68%). Of 42 stx-positive isolates, none belonged to O157. Using the O157-specific immunomagnetic bead technique, we isolated E. coli O157 carrying the eae and stx2 genes from eight beef samples (26%). These strains produced little or no Stx2 and carried a unique q gene. Replication of the stx2 phages was detected in these strains, whereas stx2 phage replication was not detected in our previous study in which we examined similar stx2-bearing E. coli O157 strains from other Asian countries. Analysis of E. coli C600 lysogenized with the stx2 phages found in this study suggests that the lack of Stx2 production is due to changes in non-q gene region(s) of the phage genome or chromosomal mutation(s) in the host. Our data and reports by other workers suggest it is necessary to determine if various stx2-bearing E. coli O157 strains producing Stx2 to varying degrees are distributed in meats in various locations in China.

  6. Oligomerization of Clostridium perfringens Epsilon Toxin Is Dependent upon Caveolins 1 and 2

    PubMed Central

    Fennessey, Christine M.; Sheng, Jinsong; Rubin, Donald H.; McClain, Mark S.

    2012-01-01

    Evidence from multiple studies suggests that Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin is a pore-forming toxin, assembling into oligomeric complexes in the plasma membrane of sensitive cells. In a previous study, we used gene-trap mutagenesis to identify mammalian factors contributing to toxin activity, including caveolin-2 (CAV2). In this study, we demonstrate the importance of caveolin-2 and its interaction partner, caveolin-1 (CAV1), in ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. Using CAV2-specific shRNA in a toxin-sensitive human kidney cell line, ACHN, we confirmed that cells deficient in CAV2 exhibit increased resistance to ε-toxin. Similarly, using CAV1-specific shRNA, we demonstrate that cells deficient in CAV1 also exhibit increased resistance to the toxin. Immunoprecipitation of CAV1 and CAV2 from ε-toxin-treated ACHN cells demonstrated interaction of both CAV1 and -2 with the toxin. Furthermore, blue-native PAGE indicated that the toxin and caveolins were components of a 670 kDa protein complex. Although ε-toxin binding was only slightly perturbed in caveolin-deficient cells, oligomerization of the toxin was dramatically reduced in both CAV1- and CAV2-deficient cells. These results indicate that CAV1 and -2 potentiate ε-toxin induced cytotoxicity by promoting toxin oligomerization – an event which is requisite for pore formation and, by extension, cell death. PMID:23056496

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27353131

  9. 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

  10. Role of receptors in Bacillus thuringiensis crystal toxin activity.

    PubMed

    Pigott, Craig R; Ellar, David J

    2007-06-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Selection and characterization of cells resistant to diphtheria toxin and pseudomonas exotoxin A: presumptive translational mutants.

    PubMed

    Moehring, T J; Moehring, J M

    1977-06-01

    Two classes of diphtheria toxin-resistant variants were selected from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) cells: permeability variants, in which uptake of toxin was impaired, and a new class of cytoplasmic variants, which were cross-resistant to Pseudomonas exotoxin. EF-2 prepared from the cytoplasmic variants was resistant to ADP-ribosylation by either toxin. The evidence presented suggests that these are translational variants possessing a mutationally altered EF-2 gene product. These studies also confirmed that Pseudomonas toxin ADP-ribosylates EF-2 in toxin-sensitive intact cells, as well as in cell-free systems.

  16. Characterization of two different toxins of Wickerhamomyces anomalus (Pichia anomala) VKM Y-159.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Z; Márki-Zay, J; Kucsera, Judit; Vágvölgyi, Cs; Golubev, W I; Pfeiffer, Ilona

    2012-06-01

    Wickerhamomyces anomalus VKM Y-159 strain produces two types of toxin designated as WAKT a and WAKT b, encoded by chromosomal genes. The WAKT a toxin is heat-labile, pronase sensitive acting in pH range 3-4 affecting on several yeasts including pathogenic Candida species while the WAKT b toxin is protease- and thermo-resistant, acting in pH range 3-7 on two species, Candida alai and Candida norvegica. The rapid decrease of the number of viable cells after toxin treatment demonstrates that both toxins have cytocidic effect. PMID:22695525

  17. 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

  18. Structural Characterization of Humanized Nanobodies with Neutralizing Activity against the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin: Implications for a Potential Epitope of Toxin-Protective Antigen.

    PubMed

    Malik, Aijaz Ahmad; Imtong, Chompounoot; Sookrung, Nitat; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Chaicumpa, Wanpen; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2016-04-01

    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.

  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

    Malik, Aijaz Ahmad; Imtong, Chompounoot; Sookrung, Nitat; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Chaicumpa, Wanpen; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2016-04-01

    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. 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

  1. Engineering cyclic peptide toxins.

    PubMed

    Clark, Richard J; Craik, David J

    2012-01-01

    Peptide-based toxins have attracted much attention in recent years for their exciting potential applications in drug design and development. This interest has arisen because toxins are highly potent and selectively target a range of physiologically important receptors. However, peptides suffer from a number of disadvantages, including poor in vivo stability and poor bioavailability. A number of naturally occurring cyclic peptides have been discovered in plants, animals, and bacteria that have exceptional stability and potentially ameliorate these disadvantages. The lessons learned from studies of the structures, stabilities, and biological activities of these cyclic peptides can be applied to the reengineering of toxins that are not naturally cyclic but are amenable to cyclization. In this chapter, we describe solid-phase chemical synthetic methods for the reengineering of peptide toxins to improve their suitability as therapeutic, diagnostic, or imaging agents. The focus is on small disulfide-rich peptides from the venoms of cone snails and scorpions, but the technology is potentially widely applicable to a number of other peptide-based toxins. PMID:22230565

  2. Oxidative Stress in Shiga Toxin Production by Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Licznerska, Katarzyna; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Dydecka, Aleksandra; Topka, Gracja; Gąsior, Tomasz; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2016-01-01

    Virulence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains depends on production of Shiga toxins. These toxins are encoded in genomes of lambdoid bacteriophages (Shiga toxin-converting phages), present in EHEC cells as prophages. The genes coding for Shiga toxins are silent in lysogenic bacteria, and prophage induction is necessary for their efficient expression and toxin production. Under laboratory conditions, treatment with UV light or antibiotics interfering with DNA replication are commonly used to induce lambdoid prophages. Since such conditions are unlikely to occur in human intestine, various research groups searched for other factors or agents that might induce Shiga toxin-converting prophages. Among other conditions, it was reported that treatment with H2O2 caused induction of these prophages, though with efficiency significantly lower relative to UV-irradiation or mitomycin C treatment. A molecular mechanism of this phenomenon has been proposed. It appears that the oxidative stress represents natural conditions provoking induction of Shiga toxin-converting prophages as a consequence of H2O2 excretion by either neutrophils in infected humans or protist predators outside human body. Finally, the recently proposed biological role of Shiga toxin production is described in this paper, and the “bacterial altruism” and “Trojan Horse” hypotheses, which are connected to the oxidative stress, are discussed. PMID:26798420

  3. Occurrence of virulent genes among environmental isolates of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains from various parts of peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Arushothy, Revathy; Ahmad, Norazah

    2008-12-01

    Legionella pneumophila are intracellular pathogens, associated with human disease, attributed to the presence and absence of certain virulent genes. In this study, virulent gene loci (lvh and rtxA regions) associated with human disease were determined. Thirty-three cooling tower water isolates, isolated between 2004 to 2006, were analyzed for the presence of these genes by PCR method. Results showed that 19 of 33 (57.5%) of the L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates have both the genes. Six (18.2%) of the isolates have only the lvh gene and 2 (6.1%) of the isolates have only the rtxA gene. However, both genes were absent in 6 (18.2%) of the L. pneumophila isolates. The result of our study provides some insight into the presence of the disease causing L. pneumophila serogroup 1 in the environment. Molecular epidemiological studies will provide better understanding of the prevalence of the disease in Malaysia. PMID:19287368

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 six novel superfamilies and six novel cysteine patterns. A surprisingly high number of hypermutations and fragment insertions/deletions were detected, which accounted for the majority of toxin gene sequences with low-level expression. These mutations contribute to the formation of diverse cysteine patterns and highly variable isoforms. Furthermore, intraspecific venom variability, in combination with variable transcripts and peptide processing, contributes to the hypervariability of toxins in venoms, and associated rapid and adaptive evolution of toxins for prey capture and defense. PMID:24949878

  7. Marine and freshwater toxins.

    PubMed

    Hungerford, James M

    2006-01-01

    In a very busy and exciting year, 2005 included First Action approval of a much needed official method for paralytic shellfish toxins and multiple international toxin symposia highlighted by groundbreaking research. These are the first-year milestones and activities of the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force and Analytical Community. Inaugurated in 2004 and described in detail in last year's General Referee Report (1) this international toxins group has grown to 150 members from many regions and countries. Perhaps most important they are now making important and global contributions to food safety and to providing alternatives to animal-based assays. Official Method 2005.06 was first approved in late 2004 by the Task Force and subsequently Official First Action in 2005 (2) by the Methods Committee on Natural Toxins and Food Allergens and the Official Methods Board. This nonproprietary method (3) is a precolumn oxidation, liquid chromatographic method that makes good use of fluorescence detection to provide high sensitivity detection of the saxitoxins. It has also proven to be rugged enough for regulatory use and the highest level of validation. As pointed out in the report of method principle investigator and Study Director James Lawrence, approval of 2005.06 now provides the first official alternative to the mouse bioassay after many decades of shellfish monitoring. This past year in April 2005 the group also held their first international conference, "Marine and Freshwater Toxins Analysis: Ist Joint Symposium and AOAC Task Force Meeting," in Baiona, Spain. The 4-day conference consisted of research and stakeholder presentations and symposium-integrated subgroup sessions on ciguatoxins, saxitoxin assays and liquid chromatography (LC) methods for saxitoxins and domoic acids, okadaiates and azaspiracids, and yessotoxins. Many of these subgroups were recently formed in 2005 and are working towards their goals of producing officially validated analytical methods

  8. Marine Neurotoxins: Ingestible Toxins.

    PubMed

    Stommel, Elijah W.; Watters, Michael R.

    2004-03-01

    Fish and shellfish account for a significant portion of food-borne illnesses throughout the world. In general, three classes of diseases result from seafood consumption--intoxication, allergies, and infections. In this review, the authors discuss several seafood-borne toxins, including domoic acid, which acts on the central nervous system. In addition, the authors discuss ciguatoxin-, brevetoxin-, saxitoxin-, tetrodotoxin-, and scombroid-related histamine toxicity, all of which act primarily on the peripheral nervous system. Fish has become a very popular food in the US mostly related to its potential health benefits. Fish is consumed to such a degree that fishing stocks are reportedly at an all time low from what seemed like an endless supply even 30 years ago. One of the most significant threats to human intoxication is the recreational harvest of shellfish, often times located in remote locations where the harvesters are subsistent on fishery resources and have no monitoring in place. The hazard to intoxication is not as common in purchased seafood, which is more stringently regulated, yet still is a serious problem. Most ingestible toxins are thermo-stable and therefore unaffected by cooking, freezing, or salting. Air transport of consumable products throughout the world makes it easy to obtain exotic edibles from far away countries. A seemingly unusual toxin can be more commonly encountered than previously thought and it is important to consider this when evaluating patients. Recognition and treatment of various neurologic symptoms related to seafood ingestion is paramount in today's mobile, gastronomic world. Specific treatments vary with each individual toxin and with the individual's specific reaction to the toxin. Generally, some degree of medical care is required with all ingestible toxin exposure, ranging from simple administration of medication and hydration to ventilatory and cardiovascular support.

  9. Toxin Profile, Biofilm Formation, and Molecular Characterization of Emetic Toxin-Producing Bacillus cereus Group Isolates from Human Stools.

    PubMed

    Oh, Su Kyung; Chang, Hyun-Joo; Choi, Sung-Wook; Ok, Gyeongsik; Lee, Nari

    2015-11-01

    Emetic toxin-producing Bacillus cereus group species are an important problem, because the staple food for Korean is grains such as rice. In this study, we determined the prevalence (24 of 129 isolates) of emetic B. cereus in 36,745 stool samples from sporadic food-poisoning cases in Korea between 2007 and 2008. The toxin gene profile, toxin production, and biofilm-forming ability of the emetic B. cereus isolates were investigated. Repetitive element sequence polymorphism polymerase chain reaction fingerprints (rep-PCR) were also used to assess the intraspecific biodiversity of these isolates. Emetic B. cereus was present in 0.07% of the sporadic food-poisoning cases. The 24 emetic isolates identified all carried the nheABC and entFM genes and produced NHE enterotoxin. However, they did not have hemolysin BL toxin or related genes. A relationship between biofilm formation and toxin production was not observed in this study. The rep-PCR fingerprints of the B. cereus isolates were not influenced by the presence of toxin genes, or biofilm-forming ability. The rep-PCR assay discriminated emetic B. cereus isolates from nonemetic isolates, even if this assay did not perfectly discriminate these isolates. Further study on emetic isolates possessing a high degree of diversity may be necessary to evaluate the performance of the subtyping assay to discriminate emetic and nonemetic B. cereus isolates and could provide a more accurate indication of the risk from B. cereus strains.

  10. Characterization of the Enzymatic Activity of the Actin Cross-Linking Domain from the Vibrio cholerae MARTXVc Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Kudryashov, Dmitri S.; Cordero, Christina L.; Reisler, Emil; Fullner Satchell, Karla J.

    2008-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterial pathogen that exports enterotoxins which alter host cells through a number of mechanisms resulting in diarrheal disease. Among the secreted toxins is the multifunctional, autoprocessing RTX toxin (MARTXVc), which disrupts actin cytoskeleton by covalently cross-linking actin monomers into oligomers. The region of the toxin responsible for cross-linking activity is the actin cross-linking domain (ACD). In this study, we demonstrate unambiguously that ACD utilizes G- and not F-actin as a substrate for the cross-linking reaction and hydrolyzes one molecule of ATP per cross-linking event. Furthermore, major actin binding proteins that regulate actin cytoskeleton in vivo do not block the cross-linking reaction in vitro. Cofilin inhibits the cross-linking of G- and F-actin at high mole ratio to actin, but accelerates F-actin cross-linking at low mole ratios. DNase I blocks completely the cross-linking of actin, likely due to steric hindrance with one of the cross-linking sites on actin. In the context of the holotoxin, the inhibition of Rho by the Rho-inactivating domain of MARTXVc (Sheahan, K.L., Satchell, K.J.F. 2007 Cellular Microbiology 9:1324-1335) would accelerate F-actin depolymerization and provide G-actin, alone or in complex with actin binding proteins, for cross-linking by ACD, ultimately leading to the observed rapid cell rounding. PMID:17951576

  11. T3DB: a comprehensively annotated database of common toxins and their targets.

    PubMed

    Lim, Emilia; Pon, Allison; Djoumbou, Yannick; Knox, Craig; Shrivastava, Savita; Guo, An Chi; Neveu, Vanessa; Wishart, David S

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to capture meaningful biological, chemical and mechanistic information about clinically relevant, commonly encountered or important toxins, we have developed the Toxin and Toxin-Target Database (T3DB). The T3DB is a unique bioinformatics resource that compiles comprehensive information about common or ubiquitous toxins and their toxin-targets into a single electronic repository. The database currently contains over 2900 small molecule and peptide toxins, 1300 toxin-targets and more than 33,000 toxin-target associations. Each T3DB record (ToxCard) contains over 80 data fields providing detailed information on chemical properties and descriptors, toxicity values, protein and gene sequences (for both targets and toxins), molecular and cellular interaction data, toxicological data, mechanistic information and references. This information has been manually extracted and manually verified from numerous sources, including other electronic databases, government documents, textbooks and scientific journals. A key focus of the T3DB is on providing 'depth' over 'breadth' with detailed descriptions, mechanisms of action, and information on toxins and toxin-targets. T3DB is fully searchable and supports extensive text, sequence, chemical structure and relational query searches, similar to those found in the Human Metabolome Database (HMDB) and DrugBank. Potential applications of the T3DB include clinical metabolomics, toxin target prediction, toxicity prediction and toxicology education. The T3DB is available online at http://www.t3db.org. PMID:19897546

  12. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats.

  13. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats. PMID:26449572

  14. Development of a Single-Reaction Multiplex PCR Toxin Typing Assay for Staphylococcus aureus Strains

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Naresh K.; Rees, Catherine E. D.; Dodd, Christine E. R.

    2000-01-01

    We describe here the development of a single-reaction multiplex PCR assay for the enterotoxin genes from Staphylococcus aureus that utilizes a universal toxin gene primer in combination with toxin-specific primers to amplify characteristic toxin gene products. In combination with a new DNA purification method, the assay can detect enterotoxin genes A to E from a pure culture within 3 to 4 h. The test was used to characterize a diverse set of environmental S. aureus isolates, and a 99% correlation with toxin typing using standard immunological tests was found. The design of the assay allows it to be extended to include both newly characterized and as-yet-unknown toxin genes. PMID:10742210

  15. Evaluation of a new commercial TaqMan PCR assay for direct detection of the clostridium difficile toxin B gene in clinical stool specimens.

    PubMed

    Stamper, Paul D; Babiker, Wisal; Alcabasa, Romina; Aird, Deborah; Wehrlin, Jennifer; Ikpeama, Ijeoma; Gluck, Linda; Carroll, Karen C

    2009-12-01

    The ProGastro Cd assay (Prodesse, Inc., Waukesha, WI) is a new commercial TaqMan PCR assay that detects tcdB. The ProGastro Cd assay was compared to the Wampole Clostridium difficile toxin B test (TOX-B test; TechLab, Blacksburg, VA), a cell culture cytotoxicity neutralization assay (CCCNA), and to anaerobic toxigenic bacterial culture, as the "gold standard," for 285 clinical stool specimens. Assays were independently performed according to manufacturers' directions. A 1.0-ml sample was removed from the stool specimen, of which 20 microl was used for extraction on the NucliSENS easyMAG platform (bioMérieux, Inc., Durham, NC) for the Prodesse ProGastro Cd assay and 200 microl of the stool filtrate was used for the TOX-B CCCNA. Anaerobic toxigenic culture was done by heating an additional 1.0 ml of the stool sample to 80 degrees C for 10 min before inoculation onto modified cycloserine, cefoxitin, and fructose agar with horse blood (Remel, Lenexa, KS) and into a prereduced chopped meat glucose broth (BBL, BD Diagnostics, Sparks, MD). The prevalence of toxin-producing strains of C. difficile was 15.7% (n = 44) as determined by anaerobic toxigenic culture. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the Prodesse ProGastro Cd assay compared to the TOX-B test were 83.3%, 95.6%, 69.4%, and 98%, respectively. Compared to toxigenic culture, the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the Prodesse ProGastro Cd assay were 77.3%, 99.2%, 94.4%, and 95.9%, respectively, and those of the TOX-B test were 63.6%, 99.2%, 93.3%, and 93.6%, respectively. Although no statistical difference (Fisher's exact test) was detected (P = 0.242) between the sensitivities of the Prodesse ProGastro Cd assay and a standard CCCNA compared to anaerobic culture for the detection of toxigenic C. difficile, the Prodesse ProGastro Cd assay did detect more toxigenic C. difficile isolates than the CCCNA.

  16. Phage types, virulence genes and PFGE profiles of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolated from raw beef, soft cheese and vegetables in Lima (Peru).

    PubMed

    Mora, Azucena; León, Santana L; Blanco, Miguel; Blanco, Jesús E; López, Cecilia; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Echeita, Aurora; González, Enrique A; Blanco, Jorge

    2007-03-10

    The present study was conducted in Lima Metropolitana to evaluate the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 in raw beef, raw ground beef, soft cheese and fresh vegetables, sampled at different markets in the city. Between October 2000 and February 2001, 407 food samples were collected from different markets in the 42 districts of Lima Metropolitana. Samples were assayed for E. coli O157 by selective enrichment in modified Tryptic Soy Broth containing novobiocin, followed by immunomagnetic separation (IMS) and plating onto sorbitol MacConkey agar supplemented with cefixime and potassium tellurite. Fifty (12.3%) of 407 food samples resulted positive for E. coli O157 isolation (23 of 102 ground beef; 15 of 102 beef meat; eight of 102 soft cheese and four of 101 fresh vegetables). Thirty-five E. coli O157 isolates were further analysed for the presence of virulence genes. All 35 were positive by PCR for O157 rfbE, fliCh7, eae-gamma1 and ehxA genes. In addition, genes encoding Shiga toxins were detected in 33 of 35 isolates, five isolates (14%) encoded stx(1), stx(2), and 28 (80%) stx2 only. The isolates were of seven different phage types (PT4, PT8, PT14, PT21, PT34, PT54, and PT87) with three phage types accounting for 80% of isolates: PT4 (15 isolates), PT14 (8 isolates), and PT21 (5 isolates). Interestingly, the majority (31 of 35; 89%) of E. coli O157:H7 isolates characterized in this study belonged mainly to the phage types previously found in STEC O157:H7 strains associated with severe human disease in Europe and Canada. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of 32 isolates revealed 14 XbaI-PFGE groups (I to XIV) of similarity >85%, with 23 (72%) isolates grouped in five clusters. Some isolates from different districts presented a high clonal relatedness. Thus, PFGE group VIII clustered eleven strains from nine different districts. The broad range of PFGE subtypes found in this study demonstrates the natural occurrence of many

  17. Pyrenophora bromi, causal agent of brownspot of bromegrass, expresses a gene encoding a protein with homology and similar activity to Ptr ToxB, a host-selective toxin of wheat.

    PubMed

    Andrie, Rachael M; Ciuffetti, Lynda M

    2011-03-01

    Ptr ToxB, encoded by ToxB, is one of multiple host-selective toxins (HST) produced by the wheat pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis. Homologs of ToxB are found in several ascomycetes, including sister species Pyrenophora bromi, causal agent of brownspot of bromegrass. Due to the close evolutionary relatedness of P. tritici-repentis and P. bromi and that of their grass hosts, we hypothesized that homologs of ToxB in P. bromi may act as HST in the disease interaction between P. bromi and bromegrass. A representative set of transcriptionally active P. bromi ToxB genes were heterologously expressed in Pichia pastoris and the resultant proteins tested for their ability to act as HST on bromegrass. The tested Pyrenophora bromi ToxB (Pb ToxB) proteins were not toxic to bromegrass; thus, Pb ToxB does not appear to function as an HST in the P. bromi-bromegrass interaction. Instead, we revealed that the Pb ToxB proteins can be toxic to Ptr ToxB-sensitive wheat, at levels similar to Ptr ToxB, and the corresponding P. bromi ToxB genes are expressed in P. bromi-inoculated wheat. Our data suggest that P. bromi possesses the potential to become a wheat pathogen and highlights the importance of investigating the interaction between P. bromi and wheat. PMID:21091157

  18. Different Expression Patterns of Genes from the Exo-Xis Region of Bacteriophage λ and Shiga Toxin-Converting Bacteriophage Ф24B following Infection or Prophage Induction in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Sylwia; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Dydecka, Aleksandra; Łoś, Joanna M.; Felczykowska, Agnieszka; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2014-01-01

    Lambdoid bacteriophages serve as useful models in microbiological and molecular studies on basic biological process. Moreover, this family of viruses plays an important role in pathogenesis of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains, as they are carriers of genes coding for Shiga toxins. Efficient expression of these genes requires lambdoid prophage induction and multiplication of the phage genome. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes appears essential for both basic knowledge and potential anti-EHEC applications. The exo-xis region, present in genomes of lambdoid bacteriophages, contains highly conserved genes of largely unknown functions. Recent report indicated that the Ea8.5 protein, encoded in this region, contains a newly discovered fused homeodomain/zinc-finger fold, suggesting its plausible regulatory role. Moreover, subsequent studies demonstrated that overexpression of the exo-xis region from a multicopy plasmid resulted in impaired lysogenization of E. coli and more effective induction of λ and Ф24B prophages. In this report, we demonstrate that after prophage induction, the increase in phage DNA content in the host cells is more efficient in E. coli bearing additional copies of the exo-xis region, while survival rate of such bacteria is lower, which corroborated previous observations. Importantly, by using quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR, we have determined patterns of expressions of particular genes from this region. Unexpectedly, in both phages λ and Ф24B, these patterns were significantly different not only between conditions of the host cells infection by bacteriophages and prophage induction, but also between induction of prophages with various agents (mitomycin C and hydrogen peroxide). This may shed a new light on our understanding of regulation of lambdoid phage development, depending on the mode of lytic cycle initiation. PMID:25310402

  19. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  20. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  1. Expression in sugar beet of the introduced cercosporin toxin export (CFP) gene from Cercospora kikuchii, the causative organism of purple seed stain in soybean.

    PubMed

    Kuykendall, L David; Upchurch, Robert G

    2004-05-01

    The Cercospora kikuchii cercosporin export gene, CFP, introduced into Beta vulgaris L. by conjugation with Rhizobium radiobacter, was stably maintained during vegetative propagation as verified by PCR using primers specific for the CFP gene. Transcriptional expression of the CFP gene in leaves was determined by RT-PCR using CFP-specific primers. CFP protein was detected using Western analysis with an affinity-purified polypeptide-specifc antibody. Analysis of the relative susceptibility of CFP-transgenic and non-transgenic sugar beet plants is planned but will probably take several years to complete.

  2. Calcium, acylation, and molecular confinement favor folding of Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase CyaA toxin into a monomeric and cytotoxic form.

    PubMed

    Karst, Johanna C; Ntsogo Enguéné, V Yvette; Cannella, Sara E; Subrini, Orso; Hessel, Audrey; Debard, Sylvain; Ladant, Daniel; Chenal, Alexandre

    2014-10-31

    The adenylate cyclase (CyaA) toxin, a multidomain protein of 1706 amino acids, is one of the major virulence factors produced by Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough. CyaA is able to invade eukaryotic target cells in which it produces high levels of cAMP, thus altering the cellular physiology. Although CyaA has been extensively studied by various cellular and molecular approaches, the structural and functional states of the toxin remain poorly characterized. Indeed, CyaA is a large protein and exhibits a pronounced hydrophobic character, making it prone to aggregation into multimeric forms. As a result, CyaA has usually been extracted and stored in denaturing conditions. Here, we define the experimental conditions allowing CyaA folding into a monomeric and functional species. We found that CyaA forms mainly multimers when refolded by dialysis, dilution, or buffer exchange. However, a significant fraction of monomeric, folded protein could be obtained by exploiting molecular confinement on size exclusion chromatography. Folding of CyaA into a monomeric form was found to be critically dependent upon the presence of calcium and post-translational acylation of the protein. We further show that the monomeric preparation displayed hemolytic and cytotoxic activities suggesting that the monomer is the genuine, physiologically active form of the toxin. We hypothesize that the structural role of the post-translational acylation in CyaA folding may apply to other RTX toxins.

  3. Cyanobacterial toxins: biosynthetic routes and evolutionary roots.

    PubMed

    Dittmann, Elke; Fewer, David P; Neilan, Brett A

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria produce an unparalleled variety of toxins that can cause severe health problems or even death in humans, and wild or domestic animals. In the last decade, biosynthetic pathways have been assigned to the majority of the known toxin families. This review summarizes current knowledge about the enzymatic basis for the production of the hepatotoxins microcystin and nodularin, the cytotoxin cylindrospermopsin, the neurotoxins anatoxin and saxitoxin, and the dermatotoxin lyngbyatoxin. Elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways of the toxins has paved the way for the development of molecular techniques for the detection and quantification of the producing cyanobacteria in different environments. Phylogenetic analyses of related clusters from a large number of strains has also allowed for the reconstruction of the evolutionary scenarios that have led to the emergence, diversification, and loss of such gene clusters in different strains and genera of cyanobacteria. Advances in the understanding of toxin biosynthesis and evolution have provided new methods for drinking-water quality control and may inspire the development of techniques for the management of bloom formation in the future.

  4. Comparison of E. coli O157 and Shiga toxin-encoding genes (stx) prevalence between Ohio, USA and Norwegian dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    LeJeune, Jeffrey T; Hancock, Dale; Wasteson, Yngvild; Skjerve, Eystein; Urdahl, Anne Margrete

    2006-05-25

    Environmental and food contamination with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) pose a threat to public health worldwide, with notable geographic differences in incidence of human disease caused by these organisms. The prevalence of E. coli O157 and total stx-positive specimens collected from mature dairy cattle in Ohio and Norwegian dairy farms was compared using identical laboratory methods in a cross-sectional survey. E. coli O157 was isolated from 5/750 (0.66%) of Ohio dairy cows from 4/50 (8%) different herds, whereas E. coli O157 was not isolated from any (0/680) cattle present in 50 Norwegian dairy herds. In contrast, at least one stx-positive faecal sample was identified by PCR on all (50/50) Norwegian farms but only on 70% (35/50) of Ohio farms. Average animal stx prevalence on Ohio farms was also lower; 14% vs. 61% in Ohio and Norwegian herds, respectively. Livestock feed contamination with generic E. coli was uncommon in Norway, 1/50 feeds testing positive, whereas 19/50 (38%) of feeds collected from Ohio farms were contaminated, some as high as 10(5) CFU/g. Despite extreme differences in on-farm management practices between countries, stx appear to be widely disseminated in cattle in both countries, while the human pathogenic O157 serotype is less widely disseminated in Norway than it is in Ohio. Geographic distribution differences of human pathogenic STEC serogroups in the bovine reservoir, as opposed to specific farm management practices affecting on farm STEC prevalence, may be an important defining factor influencing the incidence of human illnesses associated in different areas of the world.

  5. Virulence Characterization of Salmonella enterica by a New Microarray: Detection and Evaluation of the Cytolethal Distending Toxin Gene Activity in the Unusual Host S. Typhimurium

    PubMed Central

    Figueiredo, Rui; Card, Roderick; Nunes, Carla; AbuOun, Manal; Bagnall, Mary C.; Nunez, Javier; Mendonça, Nuno; Anjum, Muna F.; da Silva, Gabriela Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic foodborne pathogen that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans. We assessed the virulence potential of one-hundred and six Salmonella strains isolated from food animals and products. A high through-put virulence genes microarray demonstrated Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands (SPI) and adherence genes were highly conserved, while prophages and virulence plasmid genes were variably present. Isolates were grouped by serotype, and virulence plasmids separated S. Typhimurium in two clusters. Atypical microarray results lead to whole genome sequencing (WGS) of S. Infantis Sal147, which identified deletion of thirty-eight SPI-1 genes. Sal147 was unable to invade HeLa cells and showed reduced mortality in Galleria mellonella infection model, in comparison to a SPI-1 harbouring S. Infantis. Microarray and WGS of S. Typhimurium Sal199, established for the first time in S. Typhimurium presence of cdtB and other Typhi-related genes. Characterization of Sal199 showed cdtB genes were upstream of transposase IS911, and co-expressed with other Typhi-related genes. Cell cycle arrest, cytoplasmic distension, and nuclear enlargement were detected in HeLa cells infected by Sal199, but not with S. Typhimurium LT2. Increased mortality of Galleria was detected on infection with Sal199 compared to LT2. Thus, Salmonella isolates were rapidly characterized using a high through-put microarray; helping to identify unusual virulence features which were corroborated by further characterisation. This work demonstrates that the use of suitable screening methods for Salmonella virulence can help assess the potential risk associated with certain Salmonella to humans. Incorporation of such methodology into surveillance could help reduce the risk of emergence of epidemic Salmonella strains. PMID:26244504

  6. Virulence Characterization of Salmonella enterica by a New Microarray: Detection and Evaluation of the Cytolethal Distending Toxin Gene Activity in the Unusual Host S. Typhimurium.

    PubMed

    Figueiredo, Rui; Card, Roderick; Nunes, Carla; AbuOun, Manal; Bagnall, Mary C; Nunez, Javier; Mendonça, Nuno; Anjum, Muna F; da Silva, Gabriela Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic foodborne pathogen that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans. We assessed the virulence potential of one-hundred and six Salmonella strains isolated from food animals and products. A high through-put virulence genes microarray demonstrated Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands (SPI) and adherence genes were highly conserved, while prophages and virulence plasmid genes were variably present. Isolates were grouped by serotype, and virulence plasmids separated S. Typhimurium in two clusters. Atypical microarray results lead to whole genome sequencing (WGS) of S. Infantis Sal147, which identified deletion of thirty-eight SPI-1 genes. Sal147 was unable to invade HeLa cells and showed reduced mortality in Galleria mellonella infection model, in comparison to a SPI-1 harbouring S. Infantis. Microarray and WGS of S. Typhimurium Sal199, established for the first time in S. Typhimurium presence of cdtB and other Typhi-related genes. Characterization of Sal199 showed cdtB genes were upstream of transposase IS911, and co-expressed with other Typhi-related genes. Cell cycle arrest, cytoplasmic distension, and nuclear enlargement were detected in HeLa cells infected by Sal199, but not with S. Typhimurium LT2. Increased mortality of Galleria was detected on infection with Sal199 compared to LT2. Thus, Salmonella isolates were rapidly characterized using a high through-put microarray; helping to identify unusual virulence features which were corroborated by further characterisation. This work demonstrates that the use of suitable screening methods for Salmonella virulence can help assess the potential risk associated with certain Salmonella to humans. Incorporation of such methodology into surveillance could help reduce the risk of emergence of epidemic Salmonella strains.

  7. A Four-Plex Real-Time PCR Assay, Based on rfbE, stx1, stx2, and eae Genes, for the Detection and Quantification of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157 in Cattle Feces.

    PubMed

    Noll, Lance W; Shridhar, Pragathi B; Shi, Xiaorong; An, Baoyan; Cernicchiaro, Natalia; Renter, David G; Nagaraja, Tiruvoor G; Bai, Jianfa

    2015-09-01

    Several real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays have been developed to detect and quantify Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7, but none have targeted the O-antigen specific gene (rfbEO157) in combination with the three major virulence genes, stx1, stx2, and eae. Our objectives were to develop and validate a four-plex, quantitative PCR (mqPCR) assay targeting rfbE(O157), stx1, stx2, and eae for the detection and quantification of STEC O157 in cattle feces, and compare the applicability of the assay to detect STEC O157 to a culture method and conventional PCR (cPCR) targeting the same four genes. Specificity of the mqPCR assay to differentially detect the four genes was confirmed with strains of O157 and non-O157 STEC with different profiles of target genes. In cattle feces spiked with pure cultures, detection limits were 2.8×10(4) and 2.8×10(0) colony-forming units/g before and after enrichment, respectively. Detection of STEC O157 in feedlot cattle fecal samples (n=278) was compared between mqPCR, cPCR, and a culture method. The mqPCR detected 48.9% (136/278) of samples as positive for E. coli O157. Of the 100 samples that were randomly picked from 136 mqPCR-positive samples, 35 and 48 tested positive by cPCR and culture method, respectively. Of the 100 samples randomly chosen from 142 mqPCR-negative samples, all were negative by cPCR, but 21 samples tested positive by the culture method. McNemar's chi-square tests indicated significant disagreement between the proportions of positive samples detected by the three methods. In conclusion, the mqPCR assay that targets four genes is a novel and more sensitive method than the cPCR or culture method to detect STEC O157 in cattle feces. However, the use of real-time PCR as a screening method to identify positive samples and then subjecting only positive samples to a culture method may underestimate the presence of STEC O157 in fecal samples. PMID:26317538

  8. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin susceptibility and isolation of resistance mutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Marroquin, L D; Elyassnia, D; Griffitts, J S; Feitelson, J S; Aroian, R V

    2000-01-01

    The protein toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are the most widely used natural insecticides in agriculture. Despite successful and extensive use of these toxins in transgenic crops, little is known about toxicity and resistance pathways in target insects since these organisms are not ideal for molecular genetic studies. To address this limitation and to investigate the potential use of these toxins to control parasitic nematodes, we are studying Bt toxin action and resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate for the first time that a single Bt toxin can target a nematode. When fed Bt toxin, C. elegans hermaphrodites undergo extensive damage to the gut, a decrease in fertility, and death, consistent with toxin effects in insects. We have screened for and isolated 10 recessive mutants that resist the toxin's effects on the intestine, on fertility, and on viability. These mutants define five genes, indicating that more components are required for Bt toxicity than previously known. We find that a second, unrelated nematicidal Bt toxin may utilize a different toxicity pathway. Our data indicate that C. elegans can be used to undertake detailed molecular genetic analysis of Bt toxin pathways and that Bt toxins hold promise as nematicides. PMID:10924467

  9. Toxins and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process.

  10. A combination of targeted toxin technology and the piggyBac-mediated gene transfer system enables efficient isolation of stable transfectants in nonhuman mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Sato, Masahiro; Inada, Emi; Saitoh, Issei; Matsumoto, Yuko; Ohtsuka, Masato; Miura, Hiromi; Nakamura, Shingo; Sakurai, Takayuki; Watanabe, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Isolation of cells harboring exogenous DNA is typically achieved by the introduction of plasmids, but its efficiency remains still low. In this study, we developed a novel strategy to obtain stable transfectants efficiently. Porcine embryonic fibroblasts were transfected with two plasmids: (i) pTransIEnd, which comprises the ubiquitous promoter, the piggyBac (PB) transposase gene, an internal ribosomal entry site, the Clostridium perfringens-derived endo-β-galactosidase C (EndoGalC) gene, and a poly(A) tail and (ii) a PB-based plasmid, termed pT-EGFP, which contains enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression unit flanked by PB acceptor sites. The PB transposase can accelerate the chromosomal integration of transposon vectors. EndoGalC expression results in removal of a cell surface α-Gal epitope, which is specifically recognized by Bandeiraea simplicifolia isolectin-B4 (IB4). Four days after transfection, cells were treated with IB4SAP (IB4 conjugated to saporin, which eliminates any α-Gal epitope-expressing cells) for a short period, followed by standard culture for approximately 10 days. Several colonies emerged, most of which were positive for EGFP expression and lacked TransIEnd. These results indicated that the proposed approach is useful and efficient for obtaining stable transfectants without the use of drug-resistance genes, and offers a novel route for gene manipulation in cultured nonhuman mammalian cells. PMID:25345906

  11. A combination of targeted toxin technology and the piggyBac-mediated gene transfer system enables efficient isolation of stable transfectants in nonhuman mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Sato, Masahiro; Inada, Emi; Saitoh, Issei; Matsumoto, Yuko; Ohtsuka, Masato; Miura, Hiromi; Nakamura, Shingo; Sakurai, Takayuki; Watanabe, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Isolation of cells harboring exogenous DNA is typically achieved by the introduction of plasmids, but its efficiency remains still low. In this study, we developed a novel strategy to obtain stable transfectants efficiently. Porcine embryonic fibroblasts were transfected with two plasmids: (i) pTransIEnd, which comprises the ubiquitous promoter, the piggyBac (PB) transposase gene, an internal ribosomal entry site, the Clostridium perfringens-derived endo-β-galactosidase C (EndoGalC) gene, and a poly(A) tail and (ii) a PB-based plasmid, termed pT-EGFP, which contains enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression unit flanked by PB acceptor sites. The PB transposase can accelerate the chromosomal integration of transposon vectors. EndoGalC expression results in removal of a cell surface α-Gal epitope, which is specifically recognized by Bandeiraea simplicifolia isolectin-B4 (IB4). Four days after transfection, cells were treated with IB4SAP (IB4 conjugated to saporin, which eliminates any α-Gal epitope-expressing cells) for a short period, followed by standard culture for approximately 10 days. Several colonies emerged, most of which were positive for EGFP expression and lacked TransIEnd. These results indicated that the proposed approach is useful and efficient for obtaining stable transfectants without the use of drug-resistance genes, and offers a novel route for gene manipulation in cultured nonhuman mammalian cells.

  12. Influence of primer sequences and DNA extraction method on detection of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in ground beef by real-time PCR targeting the eae, stx, and serogroup-specific genes.

    PubMed

    Wasilenko, Jamie L; Fratamico, Pina M; Narang, Neelam; Tillman, Glenn E; Ladely, Scott; Simmons, Mustafa; Cray, William C

    2012-11-01

    Non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections, particularly those caused by the "big six" or "top six" non-O157 serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) can result in severe illness and complications. Because of their significant public health impact and the notable prevalence of STEC in cattle, methods for detection of the big six non-O157 STEC in ground beef have been established. Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service detection methods for screening beef samples for non-O157 STEC target the stx(1), stx(2), and eae virulence genes, with the 16S rRNA gene as an internal control, in a real-time PCR multiplex assay. Further, the serogroup is determined by PCR targeting genes in the E. coli O-antigen gene clusters of the big six non-O157 serogroups. The method that we previously reported was improved so that additional stx variants, stx(1d), stx(2e), and stx(2g), are detected. Additionally, alignments of the primers targeting the eae gene were used to improve the detection assay so that eae subtypes that could potentially be of clinical significance would also be detected. Therefore, evaluation of alternative real-time PCR assay primers and probes for the stx and eae reactions was carried out in order to increase the stx and eae subtypes detected. Furthermore, a Tris-EDTA DNA extraction method was compared with a previously used procedure that was based on a commercially available reagent. The Tris-EDTA DNA extraction method significantly decreased the cycle threshold values for the stx assay (P < 0.0001) and eae assay (P < 0.0001), thereby increasing the ability to detect the targets. The use of different stx primers and probes increased the subtypes detected to include stx(1d), stx(2e), and stx(2g), and sequence data showed that modification of the eae primer should allow the known eae subtypes to be detected.

  13. Tobacco plants expressing the Cry1AbMod toxin suppress tolerance to Cry1Ab toxin of Manduca sexta cadherin-silenced larvae.

    PubMed

    Porta, Helena; Jiménez, Gladys; Cordoba, Elizabeth; León, Patricia; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra

    2011-07-01

    Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria are insecticidal proteins used worldwide in the control of different insect pests. Alterations in toxin-receptor interaction represent the most common mechanism to induce resistance to Cry toxins in lepidopteran insects. Cry toxins bind with high affinity to the cadherin protein present in the midgut cells and this interaction facilitates the proteolytic removal of helix α-1 and pre-pore oligomer formation. Resistance to Cry toxins has been linked with mutations in the cadherin gene. One strategy effective to overcome larval resistance to Cry1A toxins is the production of Cry1AMod toxins that lack helix α-1. Cry1AMod are able to form oligomeric structures without binding to cadherin receptor and were shown to be toxic to cadherin-silenced Manduca sexta larvae and Pectinophora gossypiella strain with resistance linked to mutations in a cadherin gene. We developed Cry1AbMod tobacco transgenic plants to analyze if Cry1AMod toxins can be expressed in transgenic crops, do not affect plant development and are able to control insect pests. Our results show that production of the Cry1AbMod toxin in transgenic plants does not affect plant development, since these plants exhibited healthy growth, produced abundant seeds, and were virtually undistinguishable from control plants. Most importantly, Cry1AbMod protein produced in tobacco plants retains its functional toxic activity against susceptible and tolerant M. sexta larvae due to the silencing of cadherin receptor by RNAi. These results suggest that CryMod toxins could potentially be expressed in other transgenic crops to protect them against both toxin-susceptible and resistant lepidopteran larvae affected in cadherin gene. PMID:21621616

  14. Method for detecting biological toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  15. [Today's threat of ricin toxin].

    PubMed

    From, Sławomir; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Since the late 70s of the last century there were more than 700 incidents related to the use of the ricin toxin. For this reason, CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recognized toxin as a biological weapon category B. The lethal dose of ricin toxin after parenteral administration is 0.0001 mg/kg and after oral administration 0.2 mg. The first symptoms of poisoning occur within a few hours after application of toxin as a nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In the final stage there are observed: cardiac arrhythmia, collapse and symptoms suggestive of involvement of the central nervous system. Stage immediately preceding death is a state of coma. The ricin toxin is still the substance against which action has no optimal antidote. Developed a vaccine called RiVax is waiting for its registration. It should be pointed out that the availability of a ricin toxin makes it possible to use it for real bioterrorists.

  16. Response of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar to transgenic poplar, Populus simonii x P. nigra, expressing fusion protein gene of the spider insecticidal peptide and Bt-toxin C-peptide.

    PubMed

    Cao, Chuan-Wang; Liu, Gui-Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ying; Yan, Shan-Chun; Ma, Ling; Yang, Chuan-Ping

    2010-01-01

    The response of the Asian gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) to a fusion gene consisting of the spider, Atrax robustus Simon (Araneae: Hexanthelidae) ω-ACTX-Ar1 sequence coding for an ω-atracotoxin and a sequence coding for the Bt-toxin C-peptide, expressed in transgenic poplar Populus simonii x P. nigra L. (Malphigiales: Salicaceae) was investigated. Individual performance, feeding selection, midgut proteinase activity and nutrition utilization were monitored. The growth and development of L. dispar were significantly affected by continually feeding on the transgenic poplar, with the larval instars displaying significantly shorter developmental times than those fed on nontransgenic poplar, but pupation was delayed. Mortality was higher in populations fed transgenic poplar leaves, than for larvae fed nontransgenic poplar leaves. The cumulative mortality during all stages of larvae fed transgenic leaves was 92% compared to 16.7% of larvae on nontransgenic leaves. The highest mortality observed was 71.7% in the last larval instar stage. A two-choice test showed that fifth-instar larvae preferred to feed on nontransgenic leaves at a ratio of 1:1.4. Feeding on transgenic leaves had highly significant negative effects on relative growth of larvae, and the efficiency of conversion of ingested and digested food. Activity of major midgut proteinases was measured using substrates TAME and BTEE showed significant increases in tryptase and chymotrypsinlike activity (9.2- and 9.0-fold, respectively) in fifth-instar larvae fed on transgenic leaves over control. These results suggest transgenic poplar is resistant to L. dispar, and the mature L. dispar may be weakened by the transgenic plants due to Bt protoxins activated by elevated major midgut proteinase activity. The new transgenic poplar expressing fusion protein genes of Bt and a new spider insecticidal peptide are good candidates for managing gypsy moth.

  17. Inhibitory effect of eugenol on aflatoxin B1 production in Aspergillus parasiticus by downregulating the expression of major genes in the toxin biosynthetic pathway.

    PubMed

    Jahanshiri, Zahra; Shams-Ghahfarokhi, Masoomeh; Allameh, Abdolamir; Razzaghi-Abyaneh, Mehdi

    2015-07-01

    Aflatoxin contamination of grains and agro-products is a serious food safety issue and a significant economic concern worldwide. In the present study, the effects of eugenol on Aspergillus parasiticus growth and aflatoxin production were studied in relation to the expression of some essential genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway. The fungus was cultured in presence of serial two-fold concentrations of eugenol (15.62-500 μg mL(-1)) for 3 days at 28 °C. Mycelia dry weight was determined as an index of fungal growth, while aflatoxin production was assessed by high performance liquid chromatography. The expression of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes including ver-1, nor-1, pksA, omtA and aflR were evaluated by real-time PCR. Eugenol strongly inhibited A. parasiticus growth in the range of 19.16-95.83 % in a dose-dependent manner. Aflatoxin B1 production was also inhibited by the compound in the range of 15.07-98.0 %. The expressions of ver-1, nor-1, pksA, omtA and aflR genes were significantly suppressed by eugenol at concentrations of 62.5 and 125 μg mL(-1). These results indicate that eugenol may be considered as a good candidate to control toxigenic fungal growth and the subsequent contamination of food, feed and agricultural commodities by carcinogenic aflatoxins.

  18. Isolation and characterization of EG2158, a new strain of Bacillus thuringiensis toxic to coleopteran larvae, and nucleotide sequence of the toxin gene.

    PubMed

    Donovan, W P; Gonzalez, J M; Gilbert, M P; Dankocsik, C

    1988-11-01

    A novel strain of Bacillus thuringiensis was isolated from soybean grain dust from Kansas and found to be toxic to larvae of Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetle). The strain (EG2158) synthesized two parasporal crystals: a rhomboid crystal composed of a 73116 dalton protein of approximately 30 kDa. Plasmid transfer and gene cloning experiments demonstrated that the 73 kDa protein was encoded on an 88 MDa plasmid and that the protein was toxic to the larvae of Colorado potato beetle (CPB). The sequence of the 73 kDa protein, as deduced from the sequence of its gene (cryC), was found to have regions of similarity with several B. thuringiensis crystal proteins: the lepidopteran-toxic P1 proteins of var. kurstaki and berliner, the lepidopteran- and dipteran-toxic P2 (or CRYB1) protein of var. kurstaki, and the dipteran-toxic 130 kDa protein of var. israelensis. While B. megaterium cells harboring the cryC gene from EG2158 synthesized significant amounts of the 73 kDa CRYC protein, Escherichia coli cells did not. The cryC-containing B. megaterium cells produced rhomboid crystals that were toxic to CPB larvae. PMID:3146015

  19. Inotropic responses to human gene 2 (B29) relaxin in a rat model of myocardial infarction (MI): effect of pertussis toxin

    PubMed Central

    Kompa, Andrew R; Samuel, Chrishan S; Summers, Roger J

    2002-01-01

    Relaxin produces powerful inotropic and chronotropic responses in isolated atria. The effect of relaxin has been examined in a rat model of cardiac failure, induced by myocardial infarction (MI). Maximum inotropic responses to isoprenaline (sham 5.4±0.3 mN; MI 2.6±0.3 mN; P<0.001) and relaxin (sham 5.1±0.6 mN; MI 2.8±0.5 mN; P=0.013) were reduced in left atria following MI. No change in chronotropic responsiveness was observed in right atria. Pertussis toxin (PTX) treatment restored inotropic responses to isoprenaline (sham 5.5±1.3 mN; MI 5.8±1.0 mN; P=0.850) but not to relaxin. Instead, PTX reduced inotropic responses to relaxin in sham animals to the same level seen in the MI group (sham 3.2±1.7 mN; MI 2.8±0.6 mN; P=0.847). In right atria, PTX treatment did not affect the maximum chronotropic response to isoprenaline, but reduced responses to relaxin in both sham and MI animals. R3 relaxin and relaxin receptor (LGR7) mRNA was present in atria and left ventricle (LV) from sham and MI animals. R3 relaxin mRNA expression was increased in atria but not LV from MI animals. LGR7 mRNA expression was reduced in atria and LV from MI animals. PTX treatment in unoperated rats increased chronotropic responses (vehicle 184.3±5.3 beats min−1; PTX 211.3±9.5 beats min−1; P=0.029) and produced a rightward shift in the concentration-response curve to isoprenaline in left atria. PTX reduced inotropic (vehicle 3.3±0.7 mN; PTX 0.8±0.2 mN; P=0.005) and chronotropic (vehicle 130.2±8.1 beats min−1; PTX 90.6±11.1 beats min−1; P=0.012) responses to relaxin. In left atria, relaxin produced a small increase in cAMP compared to those produced by isoprenaline and forskolin. However, PTX treatment significantly reduced relaxin-, isoprenaline- and forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation. Cardiac failure in MI animals caused a reduced inotropic response to both relaxin and (−)-isoprenaline. In non-MI animals, PTX treatment also reduced inotropic responses to relaxin

  20. Pore formation by Cry toxins.

    PubMed

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo, Liliana; Muñóz-Garay, Carlos; Sánchez, Jorge; Gómez, Isabel; Porta, Helena; Bravo, Alejandra

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria produce insecticidal Cry and Cyt proteins used in the biological control of different insect pests. In this review, we will focus on the 3d-Cry toxins that represent the biggest group of Cry proteins and also on Cyt toxins. The 3d-Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins that induce cell death by forming ionic pores into the membrane of the midgut epithelial cells in their target insect. The initial steps in the mode of action include ingestion of the protoxin, activation by midgut proteases to produce the toxin fragment and the interaction with the primary cadherin receptor. The interaction of the monomeric CrylA toxin with the cadherin receptor promotes an extra proteolytic cleavage, where helix alpha-1 of domain I is eliminated and the toxin oligomerization is induced, forming a structure of 250 kDa. The oligomeric structure binds to a secondary receptor, aminopeptidase N or alkaline phosphatase. The secondary receptor drives the toxin into detergent resistant membrane microdomains formingpores that cause osmotic shock, burst of the midgut cells and insect death. Regarding to Cyt toxins, these proteins have a synergistic effect on the toxicity of some Cry toxins. Cyt proteins are also proteolytic activated in the midgut lumen of their target, they bind to some phospholipids present in the mosquito midgut cells. The proposed mechanism of synergism between Cry and Cyt toxins is that Cyt1Aa function as a receptor for Cry toxins. The Cyt1A inserts into midgut epithelium membrane and exposes protein regions that are recognized by Cry11Aa. It was demonstrated that this interaction facilitates the oligomerization of Cry11Aa and also its pore formation activity.

  1. Clostridium Perfringens Toxins Involved in Mammalian Veterinary Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Uzal, F. A.; Vidal, J. E.; McClane, B. A.; Gurjar, A. A.

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is a gram-positive anaerobic rod that is classified into 5 toxinotypes (A, B, C, D, and E) according to the production of 4 major toxins, namely alpha (CPA), beta (CPB), epsilon (ETX) and iota (ITX). However, this microorganism can produce up to 16 toxins in various combinations, including lethal toxins such as perfringolysin O (PFO), enterotoxin (CPE), and beta2 toxin (CPB2). Most diseases caused by this microorganism are mediated by one or more of these toxins. The role of CPA in intestinal disease of mammals is controversial and poorly documented, but there is no doubt that this toxin is essential in the production of gas gangrene of humans and several animal species. CPB produced by C. perfringens types B and C is responsible for necrotizing enteritis and enterotoxemia mainly in neonatal individuals of several animal species. ETX produced by C. perfringens type D is responsible for clinical signs and lesions of enterotoxemia, a predominantly neurological disease of sheep and goats. The role of ITX in disease of animals is poorly understood, although it is usually assumed that the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases produced by C. perfringens type E is mediated by this toxin. CPB2, a necrotizing and lethal toxin that can be produced by all types of C. perfringens, has been blamed for disease in many animal species, but little information is currently available to sustain or rule out this claim. CPE is an important virulence factor for C. perfringens type A gastrointestinal disease in humans and dogs; however, the data implicating CPE in other animal diseases remains ambiguous. PFO does not seem to play a direct role as the main virulence factor for animal diseases, but it may have a synergistic role with CPA-mediated gangrene and ETX-mediated enterotoxemia. The recent improvement of animal models for C. perfringens infection and the use of toxin gene knock-out mutants have demonstrated the specific pathogenic role of several toxins of C

  2. The DinJ/RelE toxin-antitoxin system suppresses virulence in Xylella fastidiosa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of a number agriculturally important plant diseases, encodes multiple toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems. TA modules consist of a toxin protein co-expressed with a specific antitoxin, and are often acquired through horizontal gene transfer. Antitoxin molecules (RNA or ...

  3. Comparison of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli detection systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Category: methodology improvements Objective: To identify strengths and weaknesses of commercial Shiga toxin-producing E. coli detection systems and kits in a side by side fashion. Experimental Design: Three commercial Shiga toxin-producing E. coli detection tests (BAX, GDS, and GeneDisc) and two t...

  4. Geraniol synthase whose mRNA is induced by host-selective ACT-toxin in the ACT-toxin-insensitive rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri).

    PubMed

    Shishido, Hodaka; Miyamoto, Yoko; Ozawa, Rika; Taniguchi, Shiduku; Takabayashi, Junji; Akimitsu, Kazuya; Gomi, Kenji

    2012-09-15

    Host-selective toxins (HSTs) produced by some strains of Alternaria alternata are selectively toxic to certain cultivars of plants. However, the role of HSTs in toxin-insensitive plants is currently unknown. Here, we studied the role of ACT-toxin using an ACT-toxin producing A. alternata strain SH20 and the ACT-toxin-insensitive plant rough lemon. Induction of some defense related genes in response to SH20 were faster or stronger than in response to the ACT-toxin deficient SH20 mutant. By sequencing subtractive PCR clones obtained from mRNA of rough lemon leaves inoculated with SH20 after subtraction with that of the ACT-toxin deficient SH20 mutant, we isolated the SH20-responsive genes in rough lemon. Among the SH20-responsive genes analyzed in this study, we isolated a terpene synthase (TPS) gene, RlemTPS3. We also determined that RlemTPS3 localizes to the chloroplast and produces the monoterpene geraniol.

  5. The toxins of Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Patocka, J

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacteria, formerly called "blue-green algae", are simple, primitive photosynthetic microorganism wide occurrence in fresh, brackish and salt waters. Forty different genera of Cyanobacteria are known and many of them are producers of potent toxins responsible for a wide array of human illnesses, aquatic mammal and bird morbidity and mortality, and extensive fish kills. These cyanotoxins act as neurotoxins or hepatotoxins and are structurally and functionally diverse, and many are derived from unique biosynthetic pathways. All known cyanotoxins and their chemical and toxicological characteristics are presented in this article.

  6. Sensitivity to Alternaria alternata toxin in citrus because of altered mitochondrial RNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Ohtani, Kouhei; Yamamoto, Hiroyuki; Akimitsu, Kazuya

    2002-01-01

    Specificity in the interaction between rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri Lush.) and the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata rough lemon pathotype is determined by a host-selective toxin, ACR-toxin. Mitochondria from rough lemon are sensitive to ACR-toxin whereas mitochondria from resistant plants, including other citrus species, are resistant. We have identified a C. jambhiri mitochondrial DNA sequence, designated ACRS (ACR-toxin sensitivity gene), that confers toxin sensitivity to Escherichia coli. ACRS is located in the group II intron of the mitochondrial tRNA-Ala and is translated into a SDS-resistant oligomeric protein in C. jambhiri mitochondria but is not translated in the toxin-insensitive mitochondria. ACRS is present in the mitochondrial genome of both toxin-sensitive and -insensitive citrus. However, in mitochondria of toxin-insensitive plants, the transcripts from ACRS are shorter than those in mitochondria of sensitive plants. These results demonstrate that sensitivity to ACR-toxin and hence specificity of the interaction between A. alternata rough lemon pathotype and C. jambhiri is due to differential posttranscriptional processing of a mitochondrial gene. PMID:11842194

  7. Identification of first exfoliative toxin in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius.

    PubMed

    Futagawa-Saito, Keiko; Makino, Shinichiroh; Sunaga, Fujiko; Kato, Yukio; Sakurai-Komada, Naomi; Ba-Thein, William; Fukuyasu, Tsuguaki

    2009-12-01

    Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus hyicus, and Staphylococcus chromogenes are known to cause skin infections in human or animals by producing exfoliative toxins (ETs). Staphylococcus pseudintermedius can also cause canine pyoderma, but no exfoliative toxins or similar toxins have been reported. PCR with degenerate primers targeted to the conserved regions in ETA, ETB, and ETD from S. aureus and SHETB from S. hyicus, and subsequent chromosome walking identified a novel gene, designated as exi (exfoliative toxin of pseudintermedius) in S. pseudintermedius. EXI had significant homologies with the exfoliative toxins (43-68% identity), particularly with ETB (67.1%), ETD (67.9%), and SHETB (65.1%). Phylogenetic analysis showed close relation between EXI and ETB with a bootstrap value of 80%. Neonatal mice injected with the crude proteins from the culture supernatant or recombinant EXI showed gross blisters and/or characteristic skin exfoliation. The prevalence of exi assessed by dot-blot hybridization was 23.3% (10/43) in S. pseudintermedius isolates from canine pyoderma. The EXI reported herein is the first exfoliative toxin identified in S. pseudintermedius. PMID:19891731

  8. The assay of diphtheria toxin

    PubMed Central

    Gerwing, Julia; Long, D. A.; Mussett, Marjorie V.

    1957-01-01

    A precise assay of diphtheria toxin is described, based on the linear relationship between the diameter of the skin reaction to, and logarithm of the dose of, toxin. It eliminates the need for preliminary titrations, is economical, provides information about the slope of the log-dose response lines and, therefore, of the validity of the assay, and yields limits of error of potency from the internal evidence of the assay. A study has been made of the effects of avidity, combining power, toxicity and buffering on the assay of diphtheria toxins against the International Standards for both Diphtheria Antitoxin and Schick-Test Toxin. All the toxins assayed against the standard toxin, whatever their other properties might be, gave log-dose response lines of similar slope provided that they were diluted in buffered physiological saline. The assays were therefore valid. These experiments were repeated concurrently in non-immune and in actively immunized guinea-pigs, and comparable figures for potency obtained in both groups. The result was not significantly affected by the avidity or combining power of the toxin. However, non-avid toxins gave low values in Schick units when assayed, by the Römer & Sames technique, in terms of the International Standard for Diphtheria Antitoxin. The problem of the ultimate standard and the implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:13511133

  9. Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins: mode of action, insect resistance and consequences for crop protection.

    PubMed

    Pardo-López, Liliana; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria are insect pathogens that produce different Cry and Cyt toxins to kill their hosts. Here we review the group of three-domain Cry (3d-Cry) toxins. Expression of these 3d-Cry toxins in transgenic crops has contributed to efficient control of insect pests and a reduction in the use of chemical insecticides. The mode of action of 3d-Cry toxins involves sequential interactions with several insect midgut proteins that facilitate the formation of an oligomeric structure and induce its insertion into the membrane, forming a pore that kills midgut cells. We review recent progress in our understanding of the mechanism of action of these Cry toxins and focus our attention on the different mechanisms of resistance that insects have evolved to counter their action, such as mutations in cadherin, APN and ABC transporter genes. Activity of Cry1AMod toxins, which are able to form toxin oligomers in the absence of receptors, against different resistant populations, including those affected in the ABC transporter and the role of dominant negative mutants as antitoxins, supports the hypothesis that toxin oligomerization is a limiting step in the Cry insecticidal activity. Knowledge of the action of 3d-Cry toxin and the resistance mechanisms to these toxins will set the basis for a rational design of novel toxins to overcome insect resistance, extending the useful lifespan of Cry toxins in insect control programs.

  10. The primary structure of Clostridium septicum alpha-toxin exhibits similarity with that of Aeromonas hydrophila aerolysin.

    PubMed Central

    Ballard, J; Crabtree, J; Roe, B A; Tweten, R K

    1995-01-01

    The gene for Clostridium septicum alpha-toxin was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli from C. septicum BX96. The toxin was determined to be 443 amino acids in length, with a 31-residue signal peptide that was removed from the toxin during secretion. No extended hydrophobic regions were observed in the mature toxin sequence. Expression of alpha-toxin in E. coli BL21 resulted in the production of ATpro, which was identical to native toxin from C. septicum with respect to activity and activation. The proteolytic activation site for alpha-toxin was determined to be on the carboxy-terminal side of arginine 398, which lies within the sequence KKRRGKR-398SVD. Previous work showing similarities in activation and mechanism between alpha-toxin and Aeromonas hydrophila aerolysin was extended to the primary structures of both toxins. The DNA-derived primary sequence of alpha-toxin exhibited 27% identity and 72% similarity over a 387-residue region with the primary structure of the A. hydrophila aerolysin toxin, a level of similarity heretofore unobserved between toxins produced by a gram-positive organism and a gram-negative organism. PMID:7806374

  11. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  12. Three toxins, two receptors, one mechanism: Mode of action of Cry1A toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis in Heliothis virescens.

    PubMed

    Bretschneider, Anne; Heckel, David G; Pauchet, Yannick

    2016-09-01

    Insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are highly active against Lepidoptera. However, field-evolved resistance to Bt toxins is on the rise. The 12-cadherin domain protein HevCaLP and the ABC transporter HevABCC2 are both genetically linked to Cry toxin resistance in Heliothis virescens. We investigated their interaction using stably expressing non-lytic clonal Sf9 cell lines expressing either protein or both together. Untransfected Sf9 cells are innately sensitive to Cry1Ca toxin, but not to Cry1A toxins; and quantitative PCR revealed negligible expression of genes involved in Cry1A toxicity such as cadherin, ABCC2, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and aminopeptidase N (APN). Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab or Cry1Ac caused swelling of Sf9 cells expressing HevABCC2, and caused faster swelling, lysis and up to 86% mortality in cells expressing both proteins. No such effect was observed in control Sf9 cells or in cells expressing only HevCaLP. The results of a mixing experiment demonstrated that both proteins need to be expressed within the same cell for high cytotoxicity, and suggest a novel role for HevCaLP. Binding assays showed that the toxin-receptor interaction is specific. Our findings confirm that HevABCC2 is the central target in Cry1A toxin mode of action, and that HevCaLP plays a supporting role in increasing Cry1A toxicity. PMID:27456115

  13. Preponderance of toxigenic Escherichia coli in stool pathogens correlates with toxin detection in accessible drinking-water sources.

    PubMed

    Igbokwe, H; Bhattacharyya, S; Gradus, S; Khubbar, M; Griswold, D; Navidad, J; Igwilo, C; Masson-Meyers, D; Azenabor, A A

    2015-02-01

    Since early detection of pathogens and their virulence factors contribute to intervention and control strategies, we assessed the enteropathogens in diarrhoea disease and investigated the link between toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli from stool and drinking-water sources; and determined the expression of toxin genes by antibiotic-resistant E. coli in Lagos, Nigeria. This was compared with isolates from diarrhoeal stool and water from Wisconsin, USA. The new Luminex xTAG GPP (Gastroplex) technique and conventional real-time PCR were used to profile enteric pathogens and E. coli toxin gene isolates, respectively. Results showed the pathogen profile of stool and indicated a relationship between E. coli toxin genes in water and stool from Lagos which was absent in Wisconsin isolates. The Gastroplex technique was efficient for multiple enteric pathogens and toxin gene detection. The co-existence of antibiotic resistance with enteroinvasive E. coli toxin genes suggests an additional prognostic burden on patients.

  14. Different Susceptibility to the Parkinson's Toxin MPTP in Mice Lacking the Redox Master Regulator Nrf2 or Its Target Gene Heme Oxygenase-1

    PubMed Central

    Innamorato, Nadia G.; Jazwa, Agnieszka; Rojo, Ana I.; García, Concepción; Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Grochot–Przeczek, Anna; Stachurska, Anna; Jozkowicz, Alicja; Dulak, Jozef; Cuadrado, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    Background The transcription factor Nrf2 (NF-E2-related factor 2) and its target gene products, including heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), elicit an antioxidant response that may have therapeutic value for Parkinson's disease (PD). However, HO-1 protein levels are increased in dopaminergic neurons of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, suggesting its participation in free-iron deposition, oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. Before targeting Nrf2 for PD therapy it is imperative to determine if HO-1 is neurotoxic or neuroprotective in the basal ganglia. Methodology We addressed this question by comparing neuronal damage and gliosis in Nrf2- or HO-1-knockout mice submitted to intraperitoneal injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) for five consecutive days. Nrf2-knockout mice showed exacerbated gliosis and dopaminergic nigrostriatal degeneration, as determined by immunohistochemical staining of tyrosine hydroxylase in striatum (STR) and substantia nigra (SN) and by HPLC determination of striatal dopamine and 3,4- dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC). On the other hand, the severity of gliosis and dopaminergic degeneration in HO-1-null mice was neither increased nor reduced. Regarding free-iron deposition, both Nrf2- and HO-1-deficient mice exhibited similar number of deposits as determined by Perl's staining, therefore indicating that these proteins do not contribute significantly to iron accumulation or clearance in MPTP-induced Parkinsonism. Conclusions These results suggest that HO-1 does not protect or enhance the sensitivity to neuronal death in Parkinson's disease and that pharmacological or genetic intervention on Nrf2 may provide a neuroprotective benefit as add on therapy with current symptomatic protocols. PMID:20676377

  15. Phage-mediated Shiga toxin (Stx) horizontal gene transfer and expression in non-Shiga toxigenic Enterobacter and Escherichia coli strains.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Rowaida K S; Skinner, Craig; Patfield, Stephanie; He, Xiaohua

    2016-07-01

    Enterobacter cloacae M12X01451 strain recently identified from a clinical specimen produces a new Stx1 subtype (Stx1e) that was not neutralized by existing anti-Stx1 monoclonal antibodies. Acquisition of stx by Ent. cloacae is rare and origin/stability of stx1e in M12X01451 is not known. In this study, we confirmed the ability of Stx1a- and Stx1e-converting phages from an Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain RM8530 and M12X01451 respectively to infect several E. coli and Ent. cloacae strains. stx1e was detected in 97.5% and 72.5% of progenies of strains lysogenized by stx1e phage after 10 (T10) and 20 (T20) subcultures, versus 65% and 17.5% for stx1a gene. Infection of M12X01451 and RM8530 with each other's phages generated double lysogens containing both phages. stx1a was lost after T10, whereas the stx1e was maintained even after T20 in M12X01451 lysogens. In RM8530 lysogens, the acquired stx1e was retained with no mutations, but 20% of stx1a was lost after T20 ELISA and western blot analyses demonstrated that Stx1e was produced in all strains lysogenized by stx1e phage; however, Stx1a was not detected in any lysogenized strain. The study results highlight the potential risks of emerging Stx-producing strains via bacteriophages either in the human gastrointestinal tract or in food production environments, which are matters of great concern and may have serious impacts on human health.

  16. Suppression subtractive hybridization and comparative expression of a pore-forming toxin and glycosyl hydrolase genes in Rhizoctonia solani during potato sprout infection.

    PubMed

    Chamoun, Rony; Samsatly, Jamil; Pakala, Suman B; Cubeta, Marc A; Jabaji, Suha

    2015-06-01

    Rhizoctonia solani is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes black scurf on tubers and stem and stolon canker on underground parts of potato plant. Early in the season, the fungus attacks germinating sprouts underground before they emerge from the soil. Damage at this stage results in delayed emergence of weakened plants with poor and uneven stands. The mechanism underlying this phenomenon has been investigated in this study by coupling a cDNA-suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) library to differential screening to identify transcripts of R. solani that are down-regulated during infection of potato sprouts. We report on the identification of 33 unique genes with functions related to carbohydrate binding, vitamin synthesis, pathogenicity, translation, ATP and nucleic acid binding and other categories. RACE-PCR was used to clone and characterize the first full-length cDNA clones, RSENDO1 and RSGLYC1 that encode for an eukaryotic delta-endotoxin CytB protein and an intracellular glycosyl hydrolase, respectively. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed the down-regulation of RSENDO1 during infection of potato sprouts and the up-regulation of RSGLYC1 when the fungus was grown on a cellulose-based nutrient medium. In contrast, additional experiments have highlighted the down-regulation of RSENDO1 when R. solani was co-cultured with the mycoparasite Stachybotrys elegans and the bacterial antagonist Bacillus subtilis B26. These results advance our understanding of R. solani-potato interaction in subterranean parts of the plant. Such approaches could be considered in building an efficient integrated potato disease management program. PMID:25472038

  17. Diagnostic multiplex PCR for toxin genotyping of Clostridium perfringens isolates.

    PubMed

    Baums, Christoph G; Schotte, Ulrich; Amtsberg, Gunter; Goethe, Ralph

    2004-05-20

    In this study we provide a protocol for genotyping Clostridium perfringens with a new multiplex PCR. This PCR enables reliable and specific detection of the toxin genes cpa, cpb, etx, iap, cpe and cpb2 from heat lysed bacterial suspensions. The efficiency of the protocol was demonstrated by typing C. perfringens reference strains and isolates from veterinary bacteriological routine diagnostic specimens.

  18. Stoichiometric regulation of phytoplankton toxins.

    PubMed

    Van de Waal, Dedmer B; Smith, Val H; Declerck, Steven A J; Stam, Eva C M; Elser, James J

    2014-06-01

    Ecological Stoichiometry theory predicts that the production, elemental structure and cellular content of biomolecules should depend on the relative availability of resources and the elemental composition of their producer organism. We review the extent to which carbon- and nitrogen-rich phytoplankton toxins are regulated by nutrient limitation and cellular stoichiometry. Consistent with theory, we show that nitrogen limitation causes a reduction in the cellular quota of nitrogen-rich toxins, while phosphorus limitation causes an increase in the most nitrogen-rich paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin. In addition, we show that the cellular content of nitrogen-rich toxins increases with increasing cellular N : P ratios. Also consistent with theory, limitation by either nitrogen or phosphorus promotes the C-rich toxin cell quota or toxicity of phytoplankton cells. These observed relationships may assist in predicting and managing toxin-producing phytoplankton blooms. Such a stoichiometric regulation of toxins is likely not restricted to phytoplankton, and may well apply to carbon- and nitrogen-rich secondary metabolites produced by bacteria, fungi and plants.

  19. Heterologous Expression of Toxins from Bacterial Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Eukaryotic Cells: Strategies and Applications.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Chew Chieng; Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Chan, Wai Ting; Espinosa, Manuel; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-02-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are found in nearly all prokaryotic genomes and usually consist of a pair of co-transcribed genes, one of which encodes a stable toxin and the other, its cognate labile antitoxin. Certain environmental and physiological cues trigger the degradation of the antitoxin, causing activation of the toxin, leading either to the death or stasis of the host cell. TA systems have a variety of functions in the bacterial cell, including acting as mediators of programmed cell death, the induction of a dormant state known as persistence and the stable maintenance of plasmids and other mobile genetic elements. Some bacterial TA systems are functional when expressed in eukaryotic cells and this has led to several innovative applications, which are the subject of this review. Here, we look at how bacterial TA systems have been utilized for the genetic manipulation of yeasts and other eukaryotes, for the containment of genetically modified organisms, and for the engineering of high expression eukaryotic cell lines. We also examine how TA systems have been adopted as an important tool in developmental biology research for the ablation of specific cells and the potential for utility of TA systems in antiviral and anticancer gene therapies. PMID:26907343

  20. Heterologous Expression of Toxins from Bacterial Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Eukaryotic Cells: Strategies and Applications.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Chew Chieng; Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Chan, Wai Ting; Espinosa, Manuel; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-02-19

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are found in nearly all prokaryotic genomes and usually consist of a pair of co-transcribed genes, one of which encodes a stable toxin and the other, its cognate labile antitoxin. Certain environmental and physiological cues trigger the degradation of the antitoxin, causing activation of the toxin, leading either to the death or stasis of the host cell. TA systems have a variety of functions in the bacterial cell, including acting as mediators of programmed cell death, the induction of a dormant state known as persistence and the stable maintenance of plasmids and other mobile genetic elements. Some bacterial TA systems are functional when expressed in eukaryotic cells and this has led to several innovative applications, which are the subject of this review. Here, we look at how bacterial TA systems have been utilized for the genetic manipulation of yeasts and other eukaryotes, for the containment of genetically modified organisms, and for the engineering of high expression eukaryotic cell lines. We also examine how TA systems have been adopted as an important tool in developmental biology research for the ablation of specific cells and the potential for utility of TA systems in antiviral and anticancer gene therapies.

  1. Heterologous Expression of Toxins from Bacterial Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Eukaryotic Cells: Strategies and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, Chew Chieng; Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Chan, Wai Ting; Espinosa, Manuel; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are found in nearly all prokaryotic genomes and usually consist of a pair of co-transcribed genes, one of which encodes a stable toxin and the other, its cognate labile antitoxin. Certain environmental and physiological cues trigger the degradation of the antitoxin, causing activation of the toxin, leading either to the death or stasis of the host cell. TA systems have a variety of functions in the bacterial cell, including acting as mediators of programmed cell death, the induction of a dormant state known as persistence and the stable maintenance of plasmids and other mobile genetic elements. Some bacterial TA systems are functional when expressed in eukaryotic cells and this has led to several innovative applications, which are the subject of this review. Here, we look at how bacterial TA systems have been utilized for the genetic manipulation of yeasts and other eukaryotes, for the containment of genetically modified organisms, and for the engineering of high expression eukaryotic cell lines. We also examine how TA systems have been adopted as an important tool in developmental biology research for the ablation of specific cells and the potential for utility of TA systems in antiviral and anticancer gene therapies. PMID:26907343

  2. Botulinum toxin for pain.

    PubMed

    Casale, Roberto; Tugnoli, Valeria

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) injection is being increasingly used 'off label' in the management of chronic pain. Data support the hypothesis of a direct analgesic effect of BTX, different to that exerted on muscle. Although the pain-reducing effect of BTX is mainly due to its ability to block acetylcholine release at the synapse, other effects on the nervous system are also thought to be involved. BTX affects cholinergic transmission in both the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems. Proposed mechanisms of action of BTX for pain relief of trigger points, muscular spasms, fibromyalgia and myofascial pain include direct action on muscle and indirect effects via action at the neuromuscular junction. Invitro and invivo data have shown that BTX has specific antinociceptive activity relating to its effects on inflammation, axonal transport, ganglion inhibition, and spinal and suprasegmental level inhibition. Our review of the mechanisms of action, efficacy, administration techniques and therapeutic dosage of BTX for the management of chronic pain in a variety of conditions shows that although muscular tone and movement disorders remain the most important therapeutic applications for BTX, research suggests that BTX can also provide benefits related to effects on cholinergic control of the vascular system, autonomic function, and cholinergic control of nociceptive and antinociceptive systems. Furthermore, it appears that BTX may influence the peripheral and central nervous systems. The therapeutic potential of BTX depends mainly on the ability to deliver the toxin to the target structures, cholinergic or otherwise. Evidence suggests that BTX can be administered at standard dosages in pain disorders, where the objective is alteration of muscle tone. For conditions requiring an analgesic effect, the optimal therapeutic dosage of BTX remains to be defined. PMID:18095750

  3. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  4. Detecting and discriminating among Shiga toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The virulence associated with Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections is from the Shiga toxins produced by the E. coli strain. Although Shiga toxins are associated with E. coli, the expression of the toxins is actually controlled by a temperate lambdoid phage that infects the host. ...

  5. [Shiga toxin and tetanus toxin as a potential biologic weapon].

    PubMed

    Toczyska, Izabela; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Toxins produced by the bacteria are of particular interest as potential cargo combat possible for use in a terrorist attack or war. Shiga toxin is usually produced by shiga toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli (STEC - shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli). To infection occurs mostly after eating contaminated beef. Clinical syndromes associated with Shiga toxin diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS - hemolytic uremic syndrome) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Treatment is symptomatic. In HUS, in which mortality during an epidemic reaches 20%, extending the kidney injury dialysis may be necessary. Exposure to tetanus toxin produced by Clostridium tetani, resulting in the most generalized tetanus, characterized by increased muscle tension and painful contractions of individual muscle groups. In the treatment beyond symptomatic behavior (among others spasticity medications, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants) is used tetanus antitoxin and antibiotics (metronidazole choice). A common complication is acute respiratory failure - then it is necessary to implement mechanical ventilation. PMID:26449578

  6. Bioactive toxins from stinging jellyfish.

    PubMed

    Badré, Sophie

    2014-12-01

    Jellyfish blooms occur throughout the world. Human contact with a jellyfish induces a local reaction of the skin, which can be painful and leave scaring. Systemic symptoms are also observed and contact with some species is lethal. A number of studies have evaluated the in vitro biological activity of whole jellyfish venom or of purified fractions. Hemolytic, cytotoxic, neurotoxic or enzymatic activities are commonly observed. Some toxins have been purified and characterized. A family of pore forming toxins specific to Medusozoans has been identified. There remains a need for detailed characterization of jellyfish toxins to fully understand the symptoms observed in vivo.

  7. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli.

  8. THE PRODUCTION OF DIPHTHERIA TOXIN.

    PubMed

    Park, W H; Williams, A W

    1896-01-01

    Toxin of sufficient strength to kill a 400-gramme guinea-pig in three days and a half in a dose of 0.cubic centimetre developed in suitable bouillon, contained in ordinary Erlenmeyer flasks, within a period of twenty-four hours. In such boullon the toxin reached its greatest strength in from four to seven days (0.005 cubic centimetre killing a 500-gramme guinea-pig in three days). This period of time covered that of the greatest growth of the bacilli, as shown both by the appearance of the culture and by the number of colonies developing an agar plates. The bodies of the diphtheria bacili did not at any time contain toxin in cosiderable amounts. The type of growth of the bacili and the rapidity and extent of the production of toxin depended more on the reaction of the bouillon than upon any other single factor. The best results were obtained in bouillon which, after being neutralized to litmus, had about seven cubic centimetres of normal soda solution added to each litre. An excessive amount of either acid or alkali prevented the development of toxin. Strong toxin was produced in bouillon containing peptone ranging from one to ten per cent. The strength of toxin averaged greater in the two and four-per-cent peptone solutions than in the one-percent. When the stage of acid reaction was brief and the degree of acidity probably slight, strong toxin developed while the culture bouillon was still acid; but when the stage of acid reaction was prolonged, little if any toxin was produced until just before the fluid became alkaline. Glucose is deleterious to the growth of the diphtheria bacillus and to the production of toxin when it is present in sufficient amounts to cause by its disintegration too great a degree of acidity in the fluid culture. When the acid resulting from decomposition of glucose is neutralized by the addition of alkali the diphtheria bacilus again grows abundantly. Glucose is not present, at least as a rule, in sufficient amounts in the meat as

  9. Purification and characterization of the diphtheria toxin repressor.

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, M P; Twiddy, E M; Holmes, R K

    1992-01-01

    The diphtheria toxin repressor gene (dtxR) encodes a protein (DtxR) that regulates transcription of the diphtheria toxin gene (tox) by an iron-dependent mechanism. Cloned dtxR was expressed in Escherichia coli from the phage T7 gene 10 promoter, and DtxR was purified. Specific binding of DtxR to the tox+ operator was dependent on reduction of DtxR and the presence of ferrous ions. DtxR protected a sequence of approximately 30 nucleotide pairs, partially overlapping the tox promoter and containing a region of dyad symmetry, from digestion by DNase I. DtxR exhibited very little binding to the mutant tox-201 operator region and failed to bind to the promoter/operator region of the ferric uptake regulation (fur) gene of E. coli. Images PMID:1502169

  10. Evolution of phospholipase A2 toxins in venomous animals.

    PubMed

    Kordiš, Dušan

    2011-12-01

    Franc Gubenšek devoted much of his research career to the phospholipases A2 (PLA2), which are the major pharmacologically active components of snake venoms. Our long collaboration started with an analysis of Vipera ammodytes ammodytoxin and ammodytin cDNAs and genes. These PLA2 genes provided us with an entry into the exciting area of molecular evolution. We studied the structures of the PLA2 genes, the evolution of multigene families encoding PLA2 toxins, and the horizontal transfer of unusual retroelements that we found in these genes. In the last decade a number of novel features have emerged concerning the evolution of PLA2s in venomous animals. The large amount of recently accumulated data has provided a timely opportunity to review current understanding of the evolution of PLA2 toxins in venomous animals.

  11. Clostridium difficile Toxins A and B: Insights into Pathogenic Properties and Extraintestinal Effects

    PubMed Central

    Di Bella, Stefano; Ascenzi, Paolo; Siarakas, Steven; Petrosillo, Nicola; di Masi, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has significant clinical impact especially on the elderly and/or immunocompromised patients. The pathogenicity of Clostridium difficile is mainly mediated by two exotoxins: toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB). These toxins primarily disrupt the cytoskeletal structure and the tight junctions of target cells causing cell rounding and ultimately cell death. Detectable C. difficile toxemia is strongly associated with fulminant disease. However, besides the well-known intestinal damage, recent animal and in vitro studies have suggested a more far-reaching role for these toxins activity including cardiac, renal, and neurologic impairment. The creation of C. difficile strains with mutations in the genes encoding toxin A and B indicate that toxin B plays a major role in overall CDI pathogenesis. Novel insights, such as the role of a regulator protein (TcdE) on toxin production and binding interactions between albumin and C. difficile toxins, have recently been discovered and will be described. Our review focuses on the toxin-mediated pathogenic processes of CDI with an emphasis on recent studies. PMID:27153087

  12. Daphnia magna negatively affected by chronic exposure to purified Cry-toxins.

    PubMed

    Bøhn, Thomas; Rover, Carina Macagnan; Semenchuk, Philipp Robert

    2016-05-01

    Cry-toxin genes originating from Bacillus thuringiensis are inserted into genetically modified (GM) plants, often called Bt-plants, to provide insect resistance to pests. Significant amounts of Bt-plant residues, and thus Cry-toxins, will be shed to soil and aquatic environments. We exposed Daphnia magna to purified Cry1Ab and Cry2Aa toxins for the full life-span of the animals. We used single toxins in different doses and combinations of toxins and Roundup(®), another potential stressor on the rise in agricultural ecosystems. Animals exposed to 4.5 mg/L (ppm) of Cry1Ab, Cry2Aa and the combination of both showed markedly higher mortality, smaller body size and very low juvenile production compared to controls. Animals exposed to 0.75 mg/L also showed a tendency towards increased mortality but with increased early fecundity compared to the controls. Roundup(®) stimulated animals to strong early reproductive output at the cost of later rapid mortality. We conclude that i) purified Cry-toxins in high concentrations are toxic to D. magna, indicating alternative modes-of-action for these Cry-toxins; ii) Cry-toxins act in combination, indicating that 'stacked events' may have stronger effects on non-target organisms; iii) further studies need to be done on combinatorial effects of multiple Cry-toxins and herbicides that co-occur in the environment. PMID:26993955

  13. Clostridium difficile Toxins A and B: Insights into Pathogenic Properties and Extraintestinal Effects.

    PubMed

    Di Bella, Stefano; Ascenzi, Paolo; Siarakas, Steven; Petrosillo, Nicola; di Masi, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has significant clinical impact especially on the elderly and/or immunocompromised patients. The pathogenicity of Clostridium difficile is mainly mediated by two exotoxins: toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB). These toxins primarily disrupt the cytoskeletal structure and the tight junctions of target cells causing cell rounding and ultimately cell death. Detectable C. difficile toxemia is strongly associated with fulminant disease. However, besides the well-known intestinal damage, recent animal and in vitro studies have suggested a more far-reaching role for these toxins activity including cardiac, renal, and neurologic impairment. The creation of C. difficile strains with mutations in the genes encoding toxin A and B indicate that toxin B plays a major role in overall CDI pathogenesis. Novel insights, such as the role of a regulator protein (TcdE) on toxin production and binding interactions between albumin and C. difficile toxins, have recently been discovered and will be described. Our review focuses on the toxin-mediated pathogenic processes of CDI with an emphasis on recent studies. PMID:27153087

  14. Botulinum toxin in clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Jankovic, J

    2004-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, the most potent biological toxin, has become a powerful therapeutic tool for a growing number of clinical applications. This review draws attention to new findings about the mechanism of action of botulinum toxin and briefly reviews some of its most frequent uses, focusing on evidence based data. Double blind, placebo controlled studies, as well as open label clinical trials, provide evidence that, when appropriate targets and doses are selected, botulinum toxin temporarily ameliorates disorders associated with excessive muscle contraction or autonomic dysfunction. When injected not more often than every three months, the risk of blocking antibodies is slight. Long term experience with this agent suggests that it is an effective and safe treatment not only for approved indications but also for an increasing number of off-label indications. PMID:15201348

  15. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacterial growth arrest and persistence.

    PubMed

    Page, Rebecca; Peti, Wolfgang

    2016-04-01

    Bacterial persister cells constitute a subpopulation of genetically identical, metabolically slow-growing cells that are highly tolerant of antibiotics and other environmental stresses. Recent studies have demonstrated that gene loci known as toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules play a central role in the persister state. Under normal growth conditions, antitoxins potently inhibit the activities of the toxins. In contrast, under conditions of stress, the antitoxins are selectively degraded, freeing the toxins to inhibit essential cellular processes, such as DNA replication and protein translation. This inhibition results in rapid growth arrest. In this Review, we highlight recent discoveries of these multifaceted TA systems with a focus on the newly uncovered mechanisms, especially conditional cooperativity, that are used to regulate cell growth and persistence. We also discuss the potential for targeting TA systems for antimicrobial drug discovery.

  16. Gut microbes of mammalian herbivores facilitate intake of plant toxins.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Weiss, Robert B; Cox, James; Dale, Colin; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-10-01

    The foraging ecology of mammalian herbivores is strongly shaped by plant secondary compounds (PSCs) that defend plants against herbivory. Conventional wisdom holds that gut microbes facilitate the ingestion of toxic plants; however, this notion lacks empirical evidence. We investigated the gut microbiota of desert woodrats (Neotoma lepida), some populations of which specialise on highly toxic creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). Here, we demonstrate that gut microbes are crucial in allowing herbivores to consume toxic plants. Creosote toxins altered the population structure of the gut microbiome to facilitate an increase in abundance of genes that metabolise toxic compounds. In addition, woodrats were unable to consume creosote toxins after the microbiota was disrupted with antibiotics. Last, ingestion of toxins by naïve hosts was increased through microbial transplants from experienced donors. These results demonstrate that microbes can enhance the ability of hosts to consume PSCs and therefore expand the dietary niche breadth of mammalian herbivores.

  17. Characterisation of a synergohymenotropic toxin produced by Staphylococcus intermedius.

    PubMed

    Prevost, G; Bouakham, T; Piemont, Y; Monteil, H

    1995-12-01

    Staphylococcal synergohymenotropic (SHT) toxins damage membranes of host defence cells and erythrocytes by the synergy of two secreted and non-associated proteins: class S and class F components. Whereas Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL), gamma-hemolysin and Luk-M from Staphylococcus aureus are members of this toxin family, a new bi-component toxin (LukS-I + LukF-I) from Staphylococcus intermedius, a pathogen for small animals, was characterised and sequenced. It is encoded as a luk-I operon by two cotranscribed genes, like PVL, LukS-I + LukF-I shares a strong leukotoxicity of various PMNs, but only slight haemolytic properties on rabbit erythrocytes. When intradermally injected into rabbit skin, a 100 ng dose caused acute inflammatory reaction leading to tissue necrosis. The new SHT seemed to be largely distributed among various Staphylococcus intermedius strains.

  18. [Today's threat of ricin toxin].

    PubMed

    From, Sławomir; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Since the late 70s of the last century there were more than 700 incidents related to the use of the ricin toxin. For this reason, CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recognized toxin as a biological weapon category B. The lethal dose of ricin toxin after parenteral administration is 0.0001 mg/kg and after oral administration 0.2 mg. The first symptoms of poisoning occur within a few hours after application of toxin as a nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In the final stage there are observed: cardiac arrhythmia, collapse and symptoms suggestive of involvement of the central nervous system. Stage immediately preceding death is a state of coma. The ricin toxin is still the substance against which action has no optimal antidote. Developed a vaccine called RiVax is waiting for its registration. It should be pointed out that the availability of a ricin toxin makes it possible to use it for real bioterrorists. PMID:26449579

  19. The Regulatory Networks That Control Clostridium difficile Toxin Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Martin-Verstraete, Isabelle; Peltier, Johann; Dupuy, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenic clostridia cause many human and animal diseases, which typically arise as a consequence of the production of potent exotoxins. Among the enterotoxic clostridia, Clostridium difficile is the main causative agent of nosocomial intestinal infections in adults with a compromised gut microbiota caused by antibiotic treatment. The symptoms of C. difficile infection are essentially caused by the production of two exotoxins: TcdA and TcdB. Moreover, for severe forms of disease, the spectrum of diseases caused by C. difficile has also been correlated to the levels of toxins that are produced during host infection. This observation strengthened the idea that the regulation of toxin synthesis is an important part of C. difficile pathogenesis. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the regulators and sigma factors that have been reported to control toxin gene expression in response to several environmental signals and stresses, including the availability of certain carbon sources and amino acids, or to signaling molecules, such as the autoinducing peptides of quorum sensing systems. The overlapping regulation of key metabolic pathways and toxin synthesis strongly suggests that toxin production is a complex response that is triggered by bacteria in response to particular states of nutrient availability during infection. PMID:27187475

  20. The Regulatory Networks That Control Clostridium difficile Toxin Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Verstraete, Isabelle; Peltier, Johann; Dupuy, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenic clostridia cause many human and animal diseases, which typically arise as a consequence of the production of potent exotoxins. Among the enterotoxic clostridia, Clostridium difficile is the main causative agent of nosocomial intestinal infections in adults with a compromised gut microbiota caused by antibiotic treatment. The symptoms of C. difficile infection are essentially caused by the production of two exotoxins: TcdA and TcdB. Moreover, for severe forms of disease, the spectrum of diseases caused by C. difficile has also been correlated to the levels of toxins that are produced during host infection. This observation strengthened the idea that the regulation of toxin synthesis is an important part of C. difficile pathogenesis. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the regulators and sigma factors that have been reported to control toxin gene expression in response to several environmental signals and stresses, including the availability of certain carbon sources and amino acids, or to signaling molecules, such as the autoinducing peptides of quorum sensing systems. The overlapping regulation of key metabolic pathways and toxin synthesis strongly suggests that toxin production is a complex response that is triggered by bacteria in response to particular states of nutrient availability during infection. PMID:27187475

  1. Fusarial toxins: secondary metabolites of Fusarium fungi.

    PubMed

    Nesic, Ksenija; Ivanovic, Snezana; Nesic, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to mycotoxins occurs worldwide, even though there are geographic and climatic differences in the amounts produced and occurrence of these substances.Mycotoxins are secondary chemical metabolites of different fungi. They are natural contaminants of cereals, so their presence is often inevitable. Among many genera that produce mycotoxins, Fusarium fungi are the most widespread in cereal-growing areas of the planet. Fusarium fungi produce a diversity of mycotoxin types, whose distributions are also diverse. What is produced and where it is produced is influenced primarily by environmental conditions, and crop production and storage methods. The amount of toxin produced depends on physical (viz., moisture, relative humidity, temperature, and mechanical damage), chemical (viz., carbon dioxide,oxygen, composition of substrate, insecticides and fungicides), and biological factors (viz., plant variety, stress, insects, spore load, etc.). Moisture and temperature have a major influence on mold growth rate and mycotoxin production.Among the most toxic and prevalent fusaria) toxins are the following: zearalenone,fumonisins, moniliformin and trichothecenes (T-2/HT-2 toxin, deoxynivalenol,diacetoxyscirpenol, nivalenol). Zearalenone (ZEA; ZON, F-2 toxin) isaphy to estrogenic compound, primarily a field contaminant, which exhibits estrogenic activity and has been implicated in numerous mycotoxicoses of farm animals,especially pigs. Recently, evidence suggests that ZEA has potential to stimulate the growth of human breast cancer cells. Fumonisins are also cancer-promoting metabolites,of which Fumonisin 8 I (FBI) is the most important. Moniliformin (MON) isalso highly toxic to both animals and humans. Trichothecenes are classified as gastrointestinal toxins, dermatotoxins, immunotoxins, hematotoxins, and gene toxins.T-2 and HT-2 toxin, and diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS, anguidine) are the most toxic mycotoxins among the trichothecene group. Deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) and

  2. Fusarial toxins: secondary metabolites of Fusarium fungi.

    PubMed

    Nesic, Ksenija; Ivanovic, Snezana; Nesic, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to mycotoxins occurs worldwide, even though there are geographic and climatic differences in the amounts produced and occurrence of these substances.Mycotoxins are secondary chemical metabolites of different fungi. They are natural contaminants of cereals, so their presence is often inevitable. Among many genera that produce mycotoxins, Fusarium fungi are the most widespread in cereal-growing areas of the planet. Fusarium fungi produce a diversity of mycotoxin types, whose distributions are also diverse. What is produced and where it is produced is influenced primarily by environmental conditions, and crop production and storage methods. The amount of toxin produced depends on physical (viz., moisture, relative humidity, temperature, and mechanical damage), chemical (viz., carbon dioxide,oxygen, composition of substrate, insecticides and fungicides), and biological factors (viz., plant variety, stress, insects, spore load, etc.). Moisture and temperature have a major influence on mold growth rate and mycotoxin production.Among the most toxic and prevalent fusaria) toxins are the following: zearalenone,fumonisins, moniliformin and trichothecenes (T-2/HT-2 toxin, deoxynivalenol,diacetoxyscirpenol, nivalenol). Zearalenone (ZEA; ZON, F-2 toxin) isaphy to estrogenic compound, primarily a field contaminant, which exhibits estrogenic activity and has been implicated in numerous mycotoxicoses of farm animals,especially pigs. Recently, evidence suggests that ZEA has potential to stimulate the growth of human breast cancer cells. Fumonisins are also cancer-promoting metabolites,of which Fumonisin 8 I (FBI) is the most important. Moniliformin (MON) isalso highly toxic to both animals and humans. Trichothecenes are classified as gastrointestinal toxins, dermatotoxins, immunotoxins, hematotoxins, and gene toxins.T-2 and HT-2 toxin, and diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS, anguidine) are the most toxic mycotoxins among the trichothecene group. Deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) and

  3. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    SciTech Connect

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T.

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  4. Induction of apoptosis by Shiga toxins

    PubMed Central

    Tesh, Vernon L

    2010-01-01

    Shiga toxins comprise a family of structurally and functionally related protein toxins expressed by Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 and multiple serotypes of Escherichia coli. While the capacity of Shiga toxins to inhibit protein synthesis by catalytic inactivation of eukaryotic ribosomes has been well described, it is also apparent that Shiga toxins trigger apoptosis in many cell types. This review presents evidence that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis of epithelial, endothelial, leukocytic, lymphoid and neuronal cells. Apoptotic signaling pathways activated by the toxins are reviewed with an emphasis on signaling mechanisms that are shared among different cell types. Data suggesting that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis through the endoplasmic reticulum stress response and clinical evidence demonstrating apoptosis in humans infected with Shiga toxin-producing bacteria are briefly discussed. The potential for use of Shiga toxins to induce apoptosis in cancer cells is briefly reviewed. PMID:20210553

  5. Ehrlichia chaffeensis Tandem Repeat Proteins and Ank200 are Type 1 Secretion System Substrates Related to the Repeats-in-Toxin Exoprotein Family

    PubMed Central

    Wakeel, Abdul; den Dulk-Ras, Amke; Hooykaas, Paul J. J.; McBride, Jere W.

    2011-01-01

    Ehrlichia chaffeensis has type 1 and 4 secretion systems (T1SS and T4SS), but the substrates have not been identified. Potential substrates include secreted tandem repeat protein (TRP) 47, TRP120, and TRP32, and the ankyrin repeat protein, Ank200, that are involved in molecular host–pathogen interactions including DNA binding and a network of protein–protein interactions with host targets associated with signaling, transcriptional regulation, vesicle trafficking, and apoptosis. In this study we report that E. chaffeensis TRP47, TRP32, TRP120, and Ank200 were not secreted in the Agrobacterium tumefaciens Cre recombinase reporter assay routinely used to identify T4SS substrates. In contrast, all TRPs and the Ank200 proteins were secreted by the Escherichia coli complemented with the hemolysin secretion system (T1SS), and secretion was reduced in a T1SS mutant (ΔTolC), demonstrating that these proteins are T1SS substrates. Moreover, T1SS secretion signals were identified in the C-terminal domains of the TRPs and Ank200, and a detailed bioinformatic analysis of E. chaffeensis TRPs and Ank200 revealed features consistent with those described in the repeats-in-toxins (RTX) family of exoproteins, including glycine- and aspartate-rich tandem repeats, homology with ATP-transporters, a non-cleavable C-terminal T1SS signal, acidic pIs, and functions consistent with other T1SS substrates. Using a heterologous E. coli T1SS, this investigation has identified the first Ehrlichia T1SS substrates supporting the conclusion that the T1SS and corresponding substrates are involved in molecular host–pathogen interactions that contribute to Ehrlichia pathobiology. Further investigation of the relationship between Ehrlichia TRPs, Ank200, and the RTX exoprotein family may lead to a greater understanding of the importance of T1SS substrates and specific functions of T1SS in the pathobiology of obligately intracellular bacteria. PMID:22919588

  6. Expression and activity of a probable toxin from Photorhabdus luminescens.

    PubMed

    Li, Mei; Wu, Guofeng; Liu, Changkun; Chen, Yongqiang; Qiu, Lihong; Pang, Yi

    2009-04-01

    As an insect pathogen, Photorhabdus luminescens possesses an arsenal of toxins. Here we cloned and expressed a probable toxin from P. luminescens subsp. akhurstii YNd185, designated as Photorhabdus insecticidal toxin (Pit). The pit gene shares 94% nucleotide and 98% predicted amino acid sequence identity with plu1537, a predicted ORF from P. luminescens subsp. laumondii TT01 and 30% predicted amino acid sequence similarity to a fragment of a 13.6 kDa insecticidal crystal protein gene of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The pit was expressed as a GST-Pit fusion protein in E. coli, most of which was insoluble and sequestered into inclusion bodies. The inclusion bodies were harvested and dissolved. The resultant protein was purified and the Pit was cleaved from the fusion protein by thrombin and purified from GST then used for bioassay. Pit killed Galleria mellonella (LD(50), 30 ng/larva) and Spodoptera litura (LD(50), 191 ng/larva) via hemocoel injection. Relative to a control that lacked toxin, Pit did not significantly increase mortality of S. litura and Helicoverpa armigera when introduced orally, but the treatment did inhibit growth of the insects. The present study demonstrated that Pit possessed insecticidal activity. PMID:18409059

  7. Discovery of functional toxin/antitoxin systems in bacteria by shotgun cloning

    SciTech Connect

    Sberro, Hila; Leavitt, Azita; Kiro, Ruth; Koh, Eugene; Peleg, Yoav; Qimron, Udi; Sorek, Rotem

    2013-04-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules, composed of a toxic protein and a counteracting antitoxin, play important roles in bacterial physiology. We examined the experimental insertion of 1.5 million genes from 388 microbial genomes into an Escherichia coli host using over 8.5 million random clones. This revealed hundreds of genes (toxins) that could only be cloned when the neighboring gene (antitoxin) was present on the same clone. Clustering of these genes revealed TA families widespread in bacterial genomes, some of which deviate from the classical characteristics previously described for such modules. Introduction of these genes into E. coli validated that the toxin toxicity is mitigated by the antitoxin. Infection experiments with T7 phage showed that two of the new modules can provide resistance against phage. Moreover, our experiments revealed an 'anti-defense' protein in phage T7 that neutralizes phage resistance. Our results expose active fronts in the arms race between bacteria and phage.

  8. Discovery of functional toxin/antitoxin systems in bacteria by shotgun cloning.

    PubMed

    Sberro, Hila; Leavitt, Azita; Kiro, Ruth; Koh, Eugene; Peleg, Yoav; Qimron, Udi; Sorek, Rotem

    2013-04-11

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules, composed of a toxic protein and a counteracting antitoxin, play important roles in bacterial physiology. We examined the experimental insertion of 1.5 million genes from 388 microbial genomes into an Escherichia coli host using more than 8.5 million random clones. This revealed hundreds of genes (toxins) that could only be cloned when the neighboring gene (antitoxin) was present on the same clone. Clustering of these genes revealed TA families widespread in bacterial genomes, some of which deviate from the classical characteristics previously described for such modules. Introduction of these genes into E. coli validated that the toxin toxicity is mitigated by the antitoxin. Infection experiments with T7 phage showed that two of the new modules can provide resistance against phage. Moreover, our experiments revealed an "antidefense" protein in phage T7 that neutralizes phage resistance. Our results expose active fronts in the arms race between bacteria and phage.

  9. Laboratory and Clinical features of EIA Toxin-positive and EIA Toxin-negative Community-acquired Clostridium difficile Infection.

    PubMed

    Patel, Hiren; Randhawa, Jeewanjot; Nanavati, Sushant; Marton, L Randy; Baddoura, Walid J; DeBari, Vincent A

    2015-01-01

    Studies have described the clinical course of patients with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) with positive enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for toxins A and B. Limited information is available for the patients with negative EIA but positive for the toxin B gene (TcdB) by the PCR. The aim of our study is to determine if there are any differences that exist among the clinical and laboratory parameters in the patients tested to be positive by EIA for toxin and those who were negative. This is a retrospective cohort study conducted in a 700-bed teaching hospital. We reviewed charts of the patients with presumptive CDI between January 2006 and July 2013. We divided these patients into two groups, EIA-positive and EIA-negative, based on result of EIA for toxins A and B and the requirement for a positive PCR analysis of the TcdB gene. The EIA-positive group had significantly higher white blood cell counts (p<0.001), with a significantly greater percentage of bands (p<0.0001). Albumin and total protein both exhibit significantly (p<0.0001, both comparisons) lower values in the EIA-positive group. Among clinical findings, the EIA-positive group had significantly longer length of hospital stay (p=0.010). These data suggest that an infection with an EIA-negative strain of C. difficile presents laboratory markers closer to those of healthy subjects and clinical features suggesting considerably less severe than infection with EIA-positive C. difficile.

  10. Comparative genomics of Shiga toxin encoding bacteriophages

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Stx bacteriophages are responsible for driving the dissemination of Stx toxin genes (stx) across their bacterial host range. Lysogens carrying Stx phages can cause severe, life-threatening disease and Stx toxin is an integral virulence factor. The Stx-bacteriophage vB_EcoP-24B, commonly referred to as Ф24B, is capable of multiply infecting a single bacterial host cell at a high frequency, with secondary infection increasing the rate at which subsequent bacteriophage infections can occur. This is biologically unusual, therefore determining the genomic content and context of Ф24B compared to other lambdoid Stx phages is important to understanding the factors controlling this phenomenon and determining whether they occur in other Stx phages. Results The genome of the Stx2 encoding phage, Ф24B was sequenced and annotated. The genomic organisation and general features are similar to other sequenced Stx bacteriophages induced from Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), however Ф24B possesses significant regions of heterogeneity, with implications for phage biology and behaviour. The Ф24B genome was compared to other sequenced Stx phages and the archetypal lambdoid phage, lambda, using the Circos genome comparison tool and a PCR-based multi-loci comparison system. Conclusions The data support the hypothesis that Stx phages are mosaic, and recombination events between the host, phages and their remnants within the same infected bacterial cell will continue to drive the evolution of Stx phage variants and the subsequent dissemination of shigatoxigenic potential. PMID:22799768

  11. Sodium Channel Inhibiting Marine Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llewellyn, Lyndon E.

    Saxitoxin (STX), tetrodotoxin (TTX) and their many chemical relatives are part of our daily lives. From killing people who eat seafood containing these toxins, to being valuable research tools unveiling the invisible structures of their pharmacological receptor, their global impact is beyond measure. The pharmacological receptor for these toxins is the voltage-gated sodium channel which transports Na ions between the exterior to the interior of cells. The two structurally divergent families of STX and TTX analogues bind at the same location on these Na channels to stop the flow of ions. This can affect nerves, muscles and biological senses of most animals. It is through these and other toxins that we have developed much of our fundamental understanding of the Na channel and its part in generating action potentials in excitable cells.

  12. A novel regulator controls Clostridium difficile sporulation, motility and toxin production.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Adrianne N; Tamayo, Rita; McBride, Shonna M

    2016-06-01

    Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic pathogen that forms spores which promote survival in the environment and transmission to new hosts. The regulatory pathways by which C. difficile initiates spore formation are poorly understood. We identified two factors with limited similarity to the Rap sporulation proteins of other spore-forming bacteria. In this study, we show that disruption of the gene CD3668 reduces sporulation and increases toxin production and motility. This mutant was more virulent and exhibited increased toxin gene expression in the hamster model of infection. Based on these phenotypes, we have renamed this locus rstA, for regulator of sporulation and toxins. Our data demonstrate that RstA is a bifunctional protein that upregulates sporulation through an unidentified pathway and represses motility and toxin production by influencing sigD transcription. Conserved RstA orthologs are present in other pathogenic and industrial Clostridium species and may represent a key regulatory protein controlling clostridial sporulation. PMID:26915493

  13. Binary Toxin Production in Clostridium difficile Is Regulated by CdtR, a LytTR Family Response Regulator▿

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Glen P.; Lyras, Dena; Allen, David L.; Mackin, Kate E.; Howarth, Pauline M.; O'Connor, Jennifer R.; Rood, Julian I.

    2007-01-01

    Clostridium difficile binary toxin (CDT) is an actin-specific ADP-ribosyltransferase that is produced by various C. difficile isolates, including the “hypervirulent” NAP1/027 epidemic strains. In contrast to the two major toxins from C. difficile, toxin A and toxin B, little is known about the role of CDT in virulence or how C. difficile regulates its production. In this study we have shown that in addition to the cdtA and cdtB toxin structural genes, a functional cdt locus contains a third gene, here designated cdtR, which is predicted to encode a response regulator. By introducing functional binary toxin genes into cdtR+ and cdtR-negative strains of C. difficile, it was established that the CdtR protein was required for optimal expression of binary toxin. Significantly increased expression of functional binary toxin was observed in the presence of a functional cdtR gene; an internal deletion within cdtR resulted in a reduction in binary toxin production to basal levels. Strains that did not carry intact cdtAB genes or cdtAB pseudogenes also did not have cdtR, with the entire cdt locus, or CdtLoc, being replaced by a conserved 68-bp sequence. These studies have shown for the first time that binary toxin production is subject to strict regulatory control by the response regulator CdtR, which is a member of the LytTR family of response regulators and is related to the AgrA protein from Staphylococcus aureus. PMID:17693517

  14. Toxin yet not toxic: Botulinum toxin in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Archana, M S

    2016-04-01

    Paracelsus contrasted poisons from nonpoisons, stating that "All things are poisons, and there is nothing that is harmless; the dose alone decides that something is a poison". Living organisms, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms, constitute a huge source of pharmaceutically useful medicines and toxins. Depending on their source, toxins can be categorized as phytotoxins, mycotoxins, or zootoxins, which include venoms and bacterial toxins. Any toxin can be harmful or beneficial. Within the last 100 years, the perception of botulinum neurotoxin (BTX) has evolved from that of a poison to a versatile clinical agent with various uses. BTX plays a key role in the management of many orofacial and dental disorders. Its indications are rapidly expanding, with ongoing trials for further applications. However, despite its clinical use, what BTX specifically does in each condition is still not clear. The main aim of this review is to describe some of the unclear aspects of this potentially useful agent, with a focus on the current research in dentistry. PMID:27486290

  15. Reassessment of the toxin profile of Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii T3 and function of putative sulfotransferases in synthesis of sulfated and sulfonated PSP toxins.

    PubMed

    Soto-Liebe, Katia; Murillo, Alejandro A; Krock, Bernd; Stucken, Karina; Fuentes-Valdés, Juan J; Trefault, Nicole; Cembella, Allan; Vásquez, Mónica

    2010-12-01

    The toxigenic freshwater cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii T3 has been used as a model to study and elucidate the biosynthetic pathway of tetrahydropurine neurotoxins associated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). There are nevertheless several inconsistencies and contradictions in the toxin profile of this strain as published by different research groups, and claimed to include carbamoyl (STX, NEO, GTX2/3), decarbamoyl (dcSTX), and N-sulfocarbamoyl (C1/2, B1) derivatives. Our analysis of the complete genome of another PSP toxin-producing cyanobacterium, Raphidiopsis brookii D9, which is closely related to C. raciborskii T3, resolved many issues regarding the correlation between biosynthetic pathways, corresponding genes and the T3 toxin profile. The putative sxt gene cluster in R. brookii D9 has a high synteny with the T3 sxt cluster, with 100% nucleotide identity among the shared genes. We also compared the PSP toxin profile of the strains by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In contrast to published reports, our reassessment of the PSP toxin profile of T3 confirmed production of only STX, NEO and dcNEO. We gained significant insights via correlation between specific sxt genes and their role in PSP toxin synthesis in both D9 and T3 strains. In particular, analysis of sulfotransferase functions for SxtN (N-sulfotransferase) and SxtSUL (O-sulfotransferase) enzymes allowed us to propose an extension of the PSP toxin biosynthetic pathway from STX to the production of the derivatives GTX2/3, C1/2 and B1. This is a significantly revised view of the genetic mechanisms underlying synthesis of sulfated and sulfonated STX analogues in toxigenic cyanobacteria. PMID:20692275

  16. Comparative in vitro and in vivo assessment of toxin neutralization by anti-tetanus toxin monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed

    Yousefi, Mehdi; Khosravi-Eghbal, Roya; Reza Mahmoudi, Ahmad; Jeddi-Tehrani, Mahmood; Rabbani, Hodjatallah; Shokri, Fazel

    2014-01-01

    Tetanus is caused by the tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT), a 150 kDa single polypeptide molecule which is cleaved into an active two-chain molecule composed of a 50 kDa N-terminal light (L) and a 100 kDa C-terminal heavy (H) chains. Recently, extensive effort has focused on characterization of TeNT binding receptors and toxin neutralization by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Toxin binding inhibition and neutralization is routinely assessed either in vitro by the ganglioside GT1b binding inhibition assay or in vivo using an animal model. These two assay systems have never been compared. In the present study, we report characterization of eleven mAbs against different parts of TeNT. The toxin inhibitory and neutralization activity of the mAbs was assessed in vitro and in vivo respectively. Our data demonstrated that seven mAbs bind to fragment C of the heavy chain, two mAbs react with the light chain, one mAb recognizes both chains and one mAb reacts with neither light chain nor fragment C. Six fragment C specific mAbs were able to inhibit TeNT binding to GT1b ganglioside in vitro but three failed to neutralize the toxin in vivo. One in vitro inhibitory mAb (1F3E3) was found to synergize with the in vivo neutralizing mAbs to reduce toxin lethal activity in vivo. Sequencing of the immunoglobulin heavy and light chain variable region genes revealed that the three in vivo neutralizing mAbs were derived from a common origin. Altogether, our data suggests that fragment C specific mAbs contribute to toxin neutralization in both systems, though some of the GT1b binding inhibitory mAbs may not be able to neutralize TeNT in vivo.

  17. Bacterial toxin modulation of the eukaryotic cell cycle: are all cytolethal distending toxins created equally?

    PubMed Central

    Gargi, Amandeep; Reno, Michael; Blanke, Steven R.

    2012-01-01

    The cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs) comprise a family of intracellular-acting bacterial protein toxins whose actions upon eukaryotic cells result in several consequences, the most characteristic of which is the induction of G2/M cell cycle arrest. Most CDTs are hetero-tripartite assemblies of CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC, with CdtB required for CDT-mediated cell cycle arrest. Several lines of evidence indicate that CdtA and CdtC are required for the optimal intracellular activity of CdtB, although the exact functional roles of CdtA and CdtC remain poorly understood. The genes encoding the CDTs have been identified in a diverse array of Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria. More recently, the genes encoding several CdtB subunits have been associated with alternatively linked subunits resembling the B-subunits of pertussis toxin. Although the CDTs are generally considered to all function as bacterial genotoxins, the extent to which individual members of the CDTs employ similar mechanisms of cell surface binding, uptake, and trafficking within sensitive cells is poorly understood. Recently, data have begun to emerge suggesting differences in the molecular basis by which individual CDTs interact with and enter host cells, suggesting the possibility that CDTs possess properties reflecting the specific niches idiosyncratic to those CDT bacterial pathogens that produce them. The extent to which functional differences between individual CDTs reflect the specific requirements for intoxicating cells and tissues within the diverse range of host microenvironments colonized by CDT-producing pathogenic bacteria remains to be experimentally explored. PMID:23061054

  18. Receptors are affected by selection with each Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis Cry toxin but not with the full Bti mixture in Aedes aegypti.

    PubMed

    Stalinski, Renaud; Laporte, Frederic; Tetreau, Guillaume; Després, Laurence

    2016-10-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) toxins are increasingly used for mosquito control, but little is known about the precise mode of action of each of these toxins, and how they interact to kill mosquito larvae. By using RNA sequencing, we investigated change in gene transcription level and polymorphism variations associated with resistance to each Bti Cry toxin and to the full Bti toxin mixture in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. The up-regulation of genes related to chitin metabolism in all selected strain suggests a generalist, non-toxin-specific response to Bti selection in Aedes aegypti. Changes in the transcription level and/or protein sequences of several putative Cry toxin receptors (APNs, ALPs, α-amylases, glucoside hydrolases, ABC transporters) were specific to each Cry toxin. Selective sweeps associated with Cry4Aa resistance were detected in 2 ALP and 1 APN genes. The lack of selection of toxin-specific receptors in the Bti-selected strain supports the hypothesis that Cyt toxin acts as a receptor for Cry toxins in mosquitoes. PMID:27418233

  19. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Heussner, A.H.; Mazija, L.; Fastner, J.; Dietrich, D.R.

    2012-12-01

    Blue-green algae (Spirulina sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and Chlorella sp. are commercially distributed as organic algae dietary supplements. Cyanobacterial dietary products in particular have raised serious concerns, as they appeared to be contaminated with toxins e.g. microcystins (MCs) and consumers repeatedly reported adverse health effects following consumption of these products. The aim of this study was to determine the toxin contamination and the in vitro cytotoxicity of algae dietary supplement products marketed in Germany. In thirteen products consisting of Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella or mixtures thereof, MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin were analyzed. Five products tested in an earlier market study were re-analyzed for comparison. Product samples were extracted and analyzed for cytotoxicity in A549 cells as well as for toxin levels by (1) phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), (2) Adda-ELISA and (3) LC–MS/MS. In addition, all samples were analyzed by PCR for the presence of the mcyE gene, a part of the microcystin and nodularin synthetase gene cluster. Only Aph. flos-aquae products were tested positive for MCs as well as the presence of mcyE. The contamination levels of the MC-positive samples were ≤ 1 μg MC-LR equivalents g{sup −1} dw. None of the other toxins were found in any of the products. However, extracts from all products were cytotoxic. In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable. -- Highlights: ► Marketed algae dietary supplements were analyzed for toxins. ► Methods: Phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), Adda-ELISA, LC-MS/MS. ► Aph. flos-aquae products all tested positive for microcystins. ► Products tested negative for nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin. ► Extracts from all products were cytotoxic.

  20. Pseudoalteromonas bacteria are capable of degrading paralytic shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Carrie J; Garduño, Rafael A; Kalmokoff, Martin; Ku, John C; Quilliam, Michael A; Gill, Tom A

    2009-11-01

    Marine bacterial isolates cultured from the digestive tracts of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were screened for the ability to reduce the toxicity of a PST mixture. Seven isolates reduced the overall toxicity of the algal extract by > or = 90% within 3 days. These isolates shared at least 99% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with five Pseudoalteromonas spp. Phenotypic tests suggested that all are novel strains of Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis. PMID:19717625

  1. Genetic mapping of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins in diamondback moth using biphasic linkage analysis.

    PubMed

    Heckel, D G; Gahan, L J; Liu, Y B; Tabashnik, B E

    1999-07-20

    Transgenic plants producing environmentally benign Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins are deployed increasingly for insect control, but their efficacy will be short-lived if pests adapt quickly. The diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella), a worldwide pest of vegetables, is the first insect to evolve resistance to Bt toxins in open-field populations. A recessive autosomal gene confers resistance to at least four Bt toxins and enables survival without adverse effects on transgenic plants. Allelic variants of this gene confer resistance in strains from Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and the Philippines. Here we exploited the biphasic nature of Lepidopteran genetic linkage to map this gene in diamondback moth with 207 amplified fragment length polymorphisms as DNA markers. We also cloned and sequenced an amplified fragment length polymorphism marker for the chromosome containing the Bt resistance gene. The results provide a powerful tool for facilitating progress in understanding, monitoring, and managing resistance to Bt.

  2. Risk assessment of shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-11-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  3. Polymer antidotes for toxin sequestration.

    PubMed

    Weisman, Adam; Chou, Beverly; O'Brien, Jeffrey; Shea, Kenneth J

    2015-08-01

    Toxins delivered by envenomation, secreted by microorganisms, or unintentionally ingested can pose an immediate threat to life. Rapid intervention coupled with the appropriate antidote is required to mitigate the threat. Many antidotes are biological products and their cost, methods of production, potential for eliciting immunogenic responses, the time needed to generate them, and stability issues contribute to their limited availability and effectiveness. These factors exacerbate a world-wide challenge for providing treatment. In this review we evaluate a number of polymer constructs that may serve as alternative antidotes. The range of toxins investigated includes those from sources such as plants, animals and bacteria. The development of polymeric heavy metal sequestrants for use as antidotes to heavy metal poisoning faces similar challenges, thus recent findings in this area have also been included. Two general strategies have emerged for the development of polymeric antidotes. In one, the polymer acts as a scaffold for the presentation of ligands with a known affinity for the toxin. A second strategy is to generate polymers with an intrinsic affinity, and in some cases selectivity, to a range of toxins. Importantly, in vivo efficacy has been demonstrated for each of these strategies, which suggests that these approaches hold promise as an alternative to biological or small molecule based treatments.

  4. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-01-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  5. MCEARD - CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Waterborne cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and the ecosystem....

  6. [Construction of the genetically attenuated bacteria Bordetella pertussis devoid of dermonecrotic toxin activity and producing modified nontoxic pertussis toxin form].

    PubMed

    Siniashina, L N; Siniashina, L S; Semin, E G; Amelina, I P; Karataev, G I

    2010-01-01

    The recombinant modified (attenuated) bacteria A. pertussis were constructed. These bacteria contained knockout mutation of the dnt gene and produced nontoxic pertussis toxin derivative. The immunological properties of the mutant bacteria B. pertussis strain KS were studied. The recombinant bacteria B. pertussis strain KS were found to be devoid of dermonecrotic toxin activity, conserved the structure of the mutant dnt gene in condition of cultivation on selective growth media, and long-term survival in laboratory animal organism. Intranasal immunization of mice with living bacteria B. pertussis, attenuated strain KS provided protection of animals from virulent strains of the pertussis. The efficiency of the protection was comparable with protection efficiency provided by standard corpuscular pertussis vaccine OSO-3.

  7. Transcriptional profiling analysis of Spodoptera litura larvae challenged with Vip3Aa toxin and possible involvement of trypsin in the toxin activation

    PubMed Central

    Song, Feifei; Chen, Chen; Wu, Songqing; Shao, Ensi; Li, Mengnan; Guan, Xiong; Huang, Zhipeng

    2016-01-01

    Vip proteins, a new group of insecticidal toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, are effective against specific pests including Spodoptera litura. Here, we report construction of a transcriptome database of S. litura by de novo assembly along with detection of the transcriptional response of S. litura larvae to Vip3Aa toxin. In total, 56,498 unigenes with an N50 value of 1,853 bp were obtained. Results of transcriptome abundance showed that Vip3Aa toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response of the S. litura midgut. The differentially expressed genes were enriched for immunity-related, metabolic-related and Bt-related genes. Twenty-nine immunity-related genes, 102 metabolic-related genes and 62 Bt-related genes with differential expression were found. On the basis of transcriptional profiling analysis, we focus on the functional validation of trypsin which potentially participated in the activation of Vip3Aa protoxin. Zymogram analysis indicated that the presence of many proteases, including trypsin, in S. litura larvae midgut. Results of enzymolysis in vitro of Vip3Aa by trypsin, and bioassay and histopathology of the trypsin-digested Vip3Aa toxin showed that trypsin was possibly involved in the Vip3Aa activation. This study provides a transcriptome foundation for the identification and functional validation of the differentially expressed genes in an agricultural important pest, S. litura. PMID:27025647

  8. Novel receptors for bacterial protein toxins.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Gudula; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-02-01

    While bacterial effectors are often directly introduced into eukaryotic target cells by various types of injection machines, toxins enter the cytosol of host cells from endosomal compartments or after retrograde transport via Golgi from the ER. A first crucial step of toxin-host interaction is receptor binding. Using optimized protocols and new methods novel toxin receptors have been identified, including metalloprotease ADAM 10 for Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin, laminin receptor Lu/BCAM for Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor CNF1, lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) for Clostridium difficile transferase CDT and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 1 for Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin.

  9. Toxins as Weapons: A Historical Review.

    PubMed

    Pita, R; Romero, A

    2014-07-01

    This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease. PMID:26227025

  10. Binding of cholera toxin by various tissues.

    PubMed

    Gascoyne, N; Van Heyningen, W E

    1975-09-01

    Under certain conditions, it is possible to confirm the observation by Peterson (1974) that the cholera toxin-binding capacities of tissues from brain and colon mucosa, and from liver and small intestine mucosa, are comparable. Binding of toxin by all tissues except brain is very variable, but is roughtly proportional to their content of the toxin-binding ganglioside galactosyl-N-acetylgalactosaminyl (sialosyl) lactosyl ceramide. It appears that some toxin-binding sites of the mucosa of the small intestin and colon may be masked. It has also been confirmed that there may be some solubilization of toxin-binding material from brain on standing a few days at 4 C, but this is comparatively slight. Some disadvantages of measuring toxin binding by adding small amounts of radioactive toxin to compartively large amounts of tissue are discussed.

  11. Toxins as Weapons: A Historical Review.

    PubMed

    Pita, R; Romero, A

    2014-07-01

    This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease.

  12. Multicenter Evaluation of the BD Max Enteric Bacterial Panel PCR Assay for Rapid Detection of Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Campylobacter spp. (C. jejuni and C. coli), and Shiga Toxin 1 and 2 Genes

    PubMed Central

    Doern, C.; Fader, R.; Ferraro, M. J.; Pillai, D. R.; Rychert, J.; Doyle, L.; Lainesse, A.; Karchmer, T.; Mortensen, J. E.

    2015-01-01

    Diarrhea due to enteric bacterial pathogens causes significant morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. However, bacterial pathogens may be infrequently identified. Currently, culture and enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) are the primary methods used by clinical laboratories to detect enteric bacterial pathogens. We conducted a multicenter evaluation of the BD Max enteric bacterial panel (EBP) PCR assay in comparison to culture for the detection of Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Campylobacter jejuni, and Campylobacter coli and an EIA for Shiga toxins 1 and 2. A total of 4,242 preserved or unpreserved stool specimens, including 3,457 specimens collected prospectively and 785 frozen, retrospective samples, were evaluated. Compared to culture or EIA, the positive percent agreement (PPA) and negative percent agreement (NPA) values for the BD Max EBP assay for all specimens combined were as follows: 97.1% and 99.2% for Salmonella spp., 99.1% and 99.7% for Shigella spp., 97.2% and 98.4% for C. jejuni and C. coli, and 97.4% and 99.3% for Shiga toxins, respectively. Discrepant results for prospective samples were resolved with alternate PCR assays and bidirectional sequencing of amplicons. Following discrepant analysis, PPA and NPA values were as follows: 97.3% and 99.8% for Salmonella spp., 99.2% and 100% for Shigella spp., 97.5% and 99.0% for C. jejuni and C. coli, and 100% and 99.7% for Shiga toxins, respectively. No differences in detection were observed for samples preserved in Cary-Blair medium and unpreserved samples. In this large, multicenter study, the BD Max EBP assay showed superior sensitivity compared to conventional methods and excellent specificity for the detection of enteric bacterial pathogens in stool specimens. PMID:25740779

  13. A General Model for Toxin-Antitoxin Module Dynamics Can Explain Persister Cell Formation in E. coli

    PubMed Central

    Gelens, Lendert; Hill, Lydia; Vandervelde, Alexandra; Danckaert, Jan; Loris, Remy

    2013-01-01

    Toxin-Antitoxin modules are small operons involved in stress response and persister cell formation that encode a “toxin” and its corresponding neutralizing “antitoxin”. Regulation of these modules involves a complex mechanism known as conditional cooperativity, which is supposed to prevent unwanted toxin activation. Here we develop mathematical models for their regulation, based on published molecular and structural data, and parameterized using experimental data for F-plasmid ccdAB, bacteriophage P1 phd/doc and E. coli relBE. We show that the level of free toxin in the cell is mainly controlled through toxin sequestration in toxin-antitoxin complexes of various stoichiometry rather than by gene regulation. If the toxin translation rate exceeds twice the antitoxin translation rate, toxins accumulate in all cells. Conditional cooperativity and increasing the number of binding sites on the operator serves to reduce the metabolic burden of the cell by reducing the total amounts of proteins produced. Combining conditional cooperativity and bridging of antitoxins by toxins when bound to their operator sites allows creation of persister cells through rare, extreme stochastic spikes in the free toxin level. The amplitude of these spikes determines the duration of the persister state. Finally, increases in the antitoxin degradation rate and decreases in the bacterial growth rate cause a rise in the amount of persisters during nutritional stress. PMID:24009490

  14. The ζ Toxin Induces a Set of Protective Responses and Dormancy

    PubMed Central

    Tabone, Mariangela; Gonzalez-Pastor, José E.; Daugelavicius, Rimantas; Ayora, Silvia; Alonso, Juan C.

    2012-01-01

    The ζε module consists of a labile antitoxin protein, ε, which in dimer form (ε2) interferes with the action of the long-living monomeric ζ phosphotransferase toxin through protein complex formation. Toxin ζ, which inhibits cell wall biosynthesis and may be bactericide in nature, at or near physiological concentrations induces reversible cessation of Bacillus subtilis proliferation (protective dormancy) by targeting essential metabolic functions followed by propidium iodide (PI) staining in a fraction (20–30%) of the population and selects a subpopulation of cells that exhibit non-inheritable tolerance (1–5×10−5). Early after induction ζ toxin alters the expression of ∼78 genes, with the up-regulation of relA among them. RelA contributes to enforce toxin-induced dormancy. At later times, free active ζ decreases synthesis of macromolecules and releases intracellular K+. We propose that ζ toxin induces reversible protective dormancy and permeation to PI, and expression of ε2 antitoxin reverses these effects. At later times, toxin expression is followed by death of a small fraction (∼10%) of PI stained cells that exited earlier or did not enter into the dormant state. Recovery from stress leads to de novo synthesis of ε2 antitoxin, which blocks ATP binding by ζ toxin, thereby inhibiting its phosphotransferase activity. PMID:22295078

  15. DNA aptamers as a novel approach to neutralize Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    PubMed

    Vivekananda, Jeevalatha; Salgado, Christi; Millenbaugh, Nancy J

    2014-02-14

    Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen capable of causing a broad spectrum of diseases ranging from superficial skin infections to life threatening conditions such as endocarditis, septicemia, pneumonia and toxic shock syndrome. In vitro and in vivo studies identified an exotoxin, α-toxin, as a major cause of S. aureus toxicity. Because S. aureus has rapidly evolved resistance to a number of antibiotics, including methicillin, it is important to identify new therapeutic strategies, other than antibiotics, for inhibiting the harmful effects of this pathogen. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides with three-dimensional folded conformations that bind with high affinity and selectivity to targets and modulate their biological functions. The goal of this study was to isolate DNA aptamers that specifically inhibit the cytotoxic activity of α-toxin. After 10 rounds of Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential Enrichment (SELEX), 49 potential anti-α-toxin aptamers were identified. In vitro neutralization assays demonstrated that 4 of these 49 aptamers, AT-27, AT-33, AT-36, and AT-49, significantly inhibited α-toxin-mediated cell death in Jurkat T cells. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis revealed that α-toxin increased the transcription of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-17 and that anti-α-toxin aptamers AT-33 and AT-36 inhibited the upregulation of these genes. Collectively, the data suggest the feasibility of generating functionally effective aptamers against α-toxin for treatment of S. aureus infections.

  16. Genetic mapping of Bt-toxin binding proteins in a Cry1A-toxin resistant strain of diamondback moth Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Simon W; Zhao, Jian-Zhou; Shelton, Anthony M; Vogel, Heiko; Heckel, David G

    2008-02-01

    A major mechanism of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins in Lepidoptera is a reduction of toxin binding to sites in the midgut membrane. Genetic studies of three different species have shown that mutations in a candidate Bt receptor, a 12-cadherin-domain protein, confer Cry1A toxin resistance. Despite a similar resistance profile in a fourth lepidopteran species, Plutella xylostella, we have previously shown that the cadherin orthologue maps to a different linkage group (LG8) than Cry1Ac resistance (LG22). Here we tested the hypothesis that mutations in other genes encoding candidate Bt-binding targets could be responsible for Bt resistance, by mapping eight aminopeptidases, an alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an intestinal mucin, and a P252 glycoprotein with respect to the 29 AFLP marked linkage groups in a P. xylostella cross segregating for Cry1Ac resistance. A homologue of the Caenorhabditis elegans Bt resistance gene bre-2 was also mapped. None of the genes analysed were on the same chromosome containing the Cry1Ac resistance locus, eliminating them as candidate resistance genes in the parental resistant strain SC1. Although this finding excludes cis-acting mutations in these genes as causing resistance in this strain, one or more of the expressed proteins may still bind Cry1Ac toxin, and post-translational modifications could affect this binding and thereby exert a trans-acting effect on resistance. PMID:18207074

  17. Shiga Toxin, Cytolethal Distending Toxin, and Hemolysin Repertoires in Clinical Escherichia coli O91 Isolates▿

    PubMed Central

    Bielaszewska, Martina; Stoewe, Franziska; Fruth, Angelika; Zhang, Wenlan; Prager, Rita; Brockmeyer, Jens; Mellmann, Alexander; Karch, Helge; Friedrich, Alexander W.

    2009-01-01

    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains of serogroup O91 are the most common human pathogenic eae-negative STEC strains. To facilitate diagnosis and subtyping of these pathogens, we genotypically and phenotypically characterized 100 clinical STEC O91 isolates. Motile strains expressed flagellar antigens H8 (1 strain), H10 (2 strains), H14 (52 strains), and H21 (20 strains) or were H nontypeable (Hnt) (10 strains); 15 strains were nonmotile. All nonmotile and Hnt strains possessed the fliC gene encoding the flagellin subunit of the H14 antigen (fliCH14). Most STEC O91 strains possessed enterohemorrhagic E. coli hlyA and expressed an enterohemolytic phenotype. Among seven stx alleles identified, stx2dact, encoding mucus- and elastase-activatable Stx2d, was present solely in STEC O91:H21, whereas most strains of the other serotypes possessed stx1. Moreover, only STEC O91:H21 possessed the cdt-V cluster, encoding cytolethal distending toxin V; the toxin was regularly expressed and was lethal to human microvascular endothelial cells. Infection with STEC O91:H21 was associated with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (P = 0.0015), whereas strains of the other serotypes originated mostly in patients with nonbloody diarrhea. We conclude that STEC O91 clinical isolates belong to at least four lineages that differ by H antigens/fliC types, stx genotypes, and non-stx putative virulence factors, with accumulation of virulence determinants in the O91:H21 lineage. Isolation of STEC O91 from patients' stools on enterohemolysin agar and the rapid initial subtyping of these isolates using fliC genotyping facilitate the identification of these emerging pathogens in clinical and epidemiological studies and enable prediction of the risk of a severe clinical outcome. PMID:19403777

  18. Diversity and Impact of Prokaryotic Toxins on Aquatic Environments: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Valério, Elisabete; Chaves, Sandra; Tenreiro, Rogério

    2010-01-01

    . Clostridium members are also spore-forming bacteria and can persist in hostile environmental conditions for long periods of time, contributing to their hazard grade. Similarly, Pseudomonas species are widespread in the environment. Since P. aeruginosa is an emergent opportunistic pathogen, its toxins may represent new hazards for humans and animals. This review presents an overview of the diversity of toxins produced by prokaryotic microorganisms associated with aquatic habitats and their impact on environment, life and health of humans and other animals. Moreover, important issues like the availability of these toxins in the environment, contamination sources and pathways, genes involved in their biosynthesis and molecular mechanisms of some representative toxins are also discussed. PMID:22069558

  19. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  20. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yun

    2015-07-18

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins.

  1. Regulating toxin-antitoxin expression: controlled detonation of intracellular molecular timebombs.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Finbarr; Kędzierska, Barbara

    2014-01-15

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widely disseminated in bacteria, including in pathogenic and antibiotic resistant species. The toxins are liberated from association with the cognate antitoxins by certain physiological triggers to impair vital cellular functions. TAs also are implicated in antibiotic persistence, biofilm formation, and bacteriophage resistance. Among the ever increasing number of TA modules that have been identified, the most numerous are complexes in which both toxin and antitoxin are proteins. Transcriptional autoregulation of the operons encoding these complexes is key to ensuring balanced TA production and to prevent inadvertent toxin release. Control typically is exerted by binding of the antitoxin to regulatory sequences upstream of the operons. The toxin protein commonly works as a transcriptional corepressor that remodels and stabilizes the antitoxin. However, there are notable exceptions to this paradigm. Moreover, it is becoming clear that TA complexes often form one strand in an interconnected web of stress responses suggesting that their transcriptional regulation may prove to be more intricate than currently understood. Furthermore, interference with TA gene transcriptional autoregulation holds considerable promise as a novel antibacterial strategy: artificial release of the toxin factor using designer drugs is a potential approach to induce bacterial suicide from within.

  2. Intravital imaging of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin binding sites in the midgut of silkworm.

    PubMed

    Li, Na; Wang, Jing; Han, Heyou; Huang, Liang; Shao, Feng; Li, Xuepu

    2014-02-15

    Identification of the resistance mechanism of insects against Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin is becoming an increasingly challenging task. This fact highlights the need for establishing new methods to further explore the molecular interactions of Cry1A toxin with insects and the receptor-binding region of Cry1A toxins for their wider application as biopesticides and a gene source for gene-modified crops. In this contribution, a quantum dot-based near-infrared fluorescence imaging method has been applied for direct dynamic tracking of the specific binding of Cry1A toxins, CrylAa and CrylAc, to the midgut tissue of silkworm. The in vitro fluorescence imaging displayed the higher binding specificity of CrylAa-QD probes compared to CrylAc-QD to the brush border membrane vesicles of midgut from silkworm. The in vivo imaging demonstrated that more CrylAa-QDs binding to silkworm midgut could be effectively and distinctly monitored in living silkworms. Furthermore, frozen section analysis clearly indicated the broader receptor-binding region of Cry1Aa compared to that of Cry1Ac in the midgut part. These observations suggest that the insecticidal activity of Cry toxins may depend on the receptor-binding sites, and this scatheless and visual near-infrared fluorescence imaging could provide a new avenue to study the resistance mechanism to maintain the insecticidal activity of B. thuringiensis toxins. PMID:24252542

  3. Botulinum Toxin in Pediatric Neurology

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are natural molecules produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria called Clostradium boltulinum. The toxin has a peculiar mechanism of action by preventing the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane. Consequently, it has been used in the treatment of various neurological conditions related to muscle hyperactivity and/or spasticity. Also, it has an impact on the autonomic nervous system by acting on smooth muscle, leading to its use in the management of pain syndromes. The use of botulinum toxin in children separate from adults has received very little attention in the literature. This review presents the current data on the use of botulinum neurotoxin to treat various neurological disorders in children. PMID:27335961

  4. [Botulinum toxin type A in headache treatment : Established and experimental indications].

    PubMed

    Gaul, C; Holle-Lee, D; Straube, A

    2016-08-01

    In recent years botulinum toxin type A has been used increasingly more in the treatment of specific headache disorders. Especially regarding chronic migraine with and without combined medication overuse, convincing randomized studies have proven the efficacy of this treatment option and have led to approval for this indication. Regarding other headache entities, such as episodic migraine, tension-type headache, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC), neuralgic, neuropathic and myofascial pain, currently available scientific data on the efficacy of botulinum toxin type A are scarce and often ambiguous. The exact underlying mechanisms of the influence of botulinum toxin type A on the pathophysiology of headache are not completely clear but an influence on the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) seems to play a crucial role. This article summarizes the most important studies as well as experiences of treatment with botulinum toxin type A regarding different headache entities. PMID:27300190

  5. Novel Class of Spider Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Fedorova, Irina M.; Maleeva, Ekaterina E.; Korolkova, Yuliya V.; Efimova, Svetlana S.; Samsonova, Olga V.; Schagina, Ludmila V.; Feofanov, Alexei V.; Magazanik, Lev G.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2010-01-01

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a–c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe. PMID:20657014

  6. Multicenter evaluation of a sequence-based protocol for subtyping Shiga toxins and standardizing Stx nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Scheutz, Flemming; Teel, Louise D; Beutin, Lothar; Piérard, Denis; Buvens, Glenn; Karch, Helge; Mellmann, Alexander; Caprioli, Alfredo; Tozzoli, Rosangela; Morabito, Stefano; Strockbine, Nancy A; Melton-Celsa, Angela R; Sanchez, Maria; Persson, Søren; O'Brien, Alison D

    2012-09-01

    When Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains emerged as agents of human disease, two types of toxin were identified: Shiga toxin type 1 (Stx1) (almost identical to Shiga toxin produced by Shigella dysenteriae type 1) and the immunologically distinct type 2 (Stx2). Subsequently, numerous STEC strains have been characterized that express toxins with variations in amino acid sequence, some of which confer unique biological properties. These variants were grouped within the Stx1 or Stx2 type and often assigned names to indicate that they were not identical in sequence or phenotype to the main Stx1 or Stx2 type. A lack of specificity or consistency in toxin nomenclature has led to much confusion in the characterization of STEC strains. Because serious outcomes of infection have been attributed to certain Stx subtypes and less so with others, we sought to better define the toxin subtypes within the main Stx1 and Stx2 types. We compared the levels of relatedness of 285 valid sequence variants of Stx1 and Stx2 and identified common sequences characteristic of each of three Stx/Stx1 and seven Stx2 subtypes. A novel, simple PCR subtyping method was developed, independently tested on a battery of 48 prototypic STEC strains, and improved at six clinical and research centers to test the reproducibility, sensitivity, and specificity of the PCR. Using a consistent schema for nomenclature of the Stx toxins and stx genes by phylogenetic sequence-based relatedness of the holotoxin proteins, we developed a typing approach that should obviate the need to bioassay each newly described toxin and that predicts important biological characteristics. PMID:22760050

  7. Exfoliative toxin detection using reversed passive latex agglutination: clinical and epidemiologic applications.

    PubMed Central

    Kawabata, A; Ichiyama, S; Iinuma, Y; Hasegawa, Y; Ohta, M; Shimokata, K

    1997-01-01

    A rapid and simple method for detecting exfoliative toxin serotypes A and B from clinical isolates has been developed as a test kit (EXT-RPLA; Denka Seiken Co. Ltd., Niigata, Japan). This method is based on reversed passive latex agglutination. The detection limit of the EXT-RPLA observed for purified exfoliative toxin serotypes A and B was 1 ng/ml. We evaluated the clinical and epidemiologic uses of the EXT-RPLA. A total of 381 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, 292 from various clinical specimens and 89 from the skin of dermatologic patients, were studied. The EXT-RPLA detected 19 exfoliative toxin producers, including 16 serotype A producers and 3 serotype B producers, but no double producers. The sensitivity and specificity of the EXT-RPLA were confirmed by the newborn mouse bioassay and a PCR assay for the structural genes for exfoliative toxin serotypes A and B (eta and etb, respectively). The overall positivity rate of exfoliative toxin producers was 5.0% (19 of 381), including 16 serotype A isolates and 3 serotype B isolates. Of the 89 isolates from the skin of dermatologic patients, 12 (13.5%) were positive for exfoliative toxin production. Only 2 (1.3%) of the 153 methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates produced exfoliative toxin, while 17 (7.5%) of the 228 methicillin-sensitive isolates produced exfoliative toxin. The EXT-RPLA assay is a simple and reliable method for detecting exfoliative toxin, and we recommend its use for the rapid diagnosis of staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. We also recommend its use for detection of this syndrome so that effective control measures can be taken against the spread of this syndrome. PMID:9230367

  8. Multicenter evaluation of a sequence-based protocol for subtyping Shiga toxins and standardizing Stx nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Scheutz, Flemming; Teel, Louise D; Beutin, Lothar; Piérard, Denis; Buvens, Glenn; Karch, Helge; Mellmann, Alexander; Caprioli, Alfredo; Tozzoli, Rosangela; Morabito, Stefano; Strockbine, Nancy A; Melton-Celsa, Angela R; Sanchez, Maria; Persson, Søren; O'Brien, Alison D

    2012-09-01

    When Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains emerged as agents of human disease, two types of toxin were identified: Shiga toxin type 1 (Stx1) (almost identical to Shiga toxin produced by Shigella dysenteriae type 1) and the immunologically distinct type 2 (Stx2). Subsequently, numerous STEC strains have been characterized that express toxins with variations in amino acid sequence, some of which confer unique biological properties. These variants were grouped within the Stx1 or Stx2 type and often assigned names to indicate that they were not identical in sequence or phenotype to the main Stx1 or Stx2 type. A lack of specificity or consistency in toxin nomenclature has led to much confusion in the characterization of STEC strains. Because serious outcomes of infection have been attributed to certain Stx subtypes and less so with others, we sought to better define the toxin subtypes within the main Stx1 and Stx2 types. We compared the levels of relatedness of 285 valid sequence variants of Stx1 and Stx2 and identified common sequences characteristic of each of three Stx/Stx1 and seven Stx2 subtypes. A novel, simple PCR subtyping method was developed, independently tested on a battery of 48 prototypic STEC strains, and improved at six clinical and research centers to test the reproducibility, sensitivity, and specificity of the PCR. Using a consistent schema for nomenclature of the Stx toxins and stx genes by phylogenetic sequence-based relatedness of the holotoxin proteins, we developed a typing approach that should obviate the need to bioassay each newly described toxin and that predicts important biological characteristics.

  9. Detection of E. coli O157:H7 and Shigella dysenteriae toxins in clinical samples by PCR-ELISA.

    PubMed

    Amani, Jafar; Ahmadpour, Askary; Imani Fooladi, Abbas Ali; Nazarian, Shahram

    2015-01-01

    Shiga toxin producing bacteria are potential causes of serious human disease such as hemorrhagic colitis, severe inflammations of ileocolonic regions of gastrointestinal tract, thrombocytopenia, septicemia, malignant disorders in urinary ducts, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Shiga toxin 1 (stx1), shiga toxin 2 (stx2), or a combination of both are responsible for most clinical symptoms of these diseases. A lot of methods have been developed so far to detect shiga toxins such as cell culture, ELISA, and RFPLA, but due to high costs and labor time in addition to low sensitivity, they have not received much attention. In this study, PCR-ELISA method was used to detect genes encoding shiga toxins1 and 2 (stx1 and stx2). To detect stx1 and stx2 genes, two primer pairs were designed for Multiplex-PCR then PCR-ELISA. PCR products (490 and 275, respectively) were subsequently verified by sequencing. Sensitivity and specificity of PCR-ELISA method were determined by using genome serial dilution and Enterobacteria strains. PCR-ELISA method used in this study proved to be a rapid and precise approach to detect different types of shiga toxins and can be used to detect bacterial genes encoding shiga toxins. PMID:25911087

  10. Detection of E. coli O157:H7 and Shigella dysenteriae toxins in clinical samples by PCR-ELISA.

    PubMed

    Amani, Jafar; Ahmadpour, Askary; Imani Fooladi, Abbas Ali; Nazarian, Shahram

    2015-01-01

    Shiga toxin producing bacteria are potential causes of serious human disease such as hemorrhagic colitis, severe inflammations of ileocolonic regions of gastrointestinal tract, thrombocytopenia, septicemia, malignant disorders in urinary ducts, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Shiga toxin 1 (stx1), shiga toxin 2 (stx2), or a combination of both are responsible for most clinical symptoms of these diseases. A lot of methods have been developed so far to detect shiga toxins such as cell culture, ELISA, and RFPLA, but due to high costs and labor time in addition to low sensitivity, they have not received much attention. In this study, PCR-ELISA method was used to detect genes encoding shiga toxins1 and 2 (stx1 and stx2). To detect stx1 and stx2 genes, two primer pairs were designed for Multiplex-PCR then PCR-ELISA. PCR products (490 and 275, respectively) were subsequently verified by sequencing. Sensitivity and specificity of PCR-ELISA method were determined by using genome serial dilution and Enterobacteria strains. PCR-ELISA method used in this study proved to be a rapid and precise approach to detect different types of shiga toxins and can be used to detect bacterial genes encoding shiga toxins.

  11. An ABC Transporter Mutation Is Correlated with Insect Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Gahan, Linda J.; Pauchet, Yannick; Vogel, Heiko; Heckel, David G.

    2010-01-01

    Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut membrane, but the genetic factors responsible for this change have been elusive. Mutations in a 12-cadherin-domain protein confer some Cry1Ac resistance but do not block this toxin binding in in vitro assays. We sought to identify mutations in other genes that might be responsible for the loss of binding. We employed a map-based cloning approach using a series of backcrosses with 1,060 progeny to identify a resistance gene in the cotton pest Heliothis virescens that segregated independently from the cadherin mutation. We found an inactivating mutation of the ABC transporter ABCC2 that is genetically linked to Cry1Ac resistance and is correlated with loss of Cry1Ac binding to membrane vesicles. ABC proteins are integral membrane proteins with many functions, including export of toxic molecules from the cell, but have not been implicated in the mode of action of Bt toxins before. The reduction in toxin binding due to the inactivating mutation suggests that ABCC2 is involved in membrane integration of the toxin pore. Our findings suggest that ABC proteins may play a key role in the mode of action of Bt toxins and that ABC protein mutations can confer high levels of resistance that could threaten the continued utilization of Bt–expressing crops. However, such mutations may impose a physiological cost on resistant insects, by reducing export of other toxins such as plant secondary compounds from the cell. This weakness could be exploited to manage this mechanism of Bt resistance in the field. PMID:21187898

  12. Bacterial protein toxins in human cancers.

    PubMed

    Rosadi, Francesca; Fiorentini, Carla; Fabbri, Alessia

    2016-02-01

    Many bacteria causing persistent infections produce toxins whose mechanisms of action indicate that they could have a role in carcinogenesis. Some toxins, like CDT and colibactin, directly attack the genome by damaging DNA whereas others, as for example CNF1, CagA and BFT, impinge on key eukaryotic processes, such as cellular signalling and cell death. These bacterial toxins, together with other less known toxins, mimic carcinogens and tumour promoters. The aim of this review is to fulfil an up-to-date analysis of toxins with carcinogenic potential that have been already correlated to human cancers. Bacterial toxins-induced carcinogenesis represents an emerging aspect in bacteriology, and its significance is increasingly recognized.

  13. Bt Toxin Modification for Enhanced Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Deist, Benjamin R.; Rausch, Michael A.; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2014-01-01

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance. PMID:25340556

  14. Modeling of toxin-antibody interaction and toxin transport toward the endoplasmic reticulum.

    PubMed

    Skakauskas, Vladas; Katauskis, Pranas

    2016-01-01

    A model for toxin-antibody interaction and toxin trafficking towards the endoplasmic-reticulum is presented. Antibody and toxin (ricin) initially are delivered outside the cell. The model involves: the pinocytotic (cellular drinking) and receptor-mediated toxin internalization modes from the extracellular into the intracellular domain, its exocytotic excretion from the cytosol back to the extracellular medium, the intact toxin retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum, the anterograde toxin movement outward from the cell across the plasma membrane, the lysosomal toxin degradation, and the toxin clearance (removal from the system) flux. The model consists of a set of coupled PDEs. Using an averaging procedure, the model is reduced to a system of coupled ODEs. Both PDEs and ODEs systems are solved numerically. Numerical results are illustrated by figures and discussed.

  15. Bioluminescent bioreporter sensing of foodborne toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraley, Amanda C.; Ripp, Steven; Sayler, Gary S.

    2004-06-01

    Histamine is the primary etiological agent in the foodborne disease scombrotoxicosis, one of the most common food toxicities related to fish consumption. Procedures for detecting histamine in fish products are available, but are often too expensive or too complex for routine use. As an alternative, a bacterial bioluminescent bioreporter has been constructed to develop a biosensor system that autonomously responds to low levels of histamine. The bioreporter contains a promoterless Photorhabdus luminescens lux operon (luxCDABE) fused with the Vibrio anguillarum angR regulatory gene promoter of the anguibactin biosynthetic operon. The bioreporter emitted 1.46 times more bioluminescence than background, 30 minutes after the addition of 100mM histamine. However, specificity was not optimal, as this biosensor generated significant bioluminescence in the presence of L-proline and L-histidine. As a means towards improving histamine specificity, the promoter region of a histamine oxidase gene from Arthrobacter globiformis was cloned upstream of the promotorless lux operon from Photorhabdus luminescens. This recently constructed whole-cell, lux-based bioluminescent bioreporter is currently being tested for optimal performance in the presence of histamine in order to provide a rapid, simple, and inexpensive model sensor for the detection of foodborne toxins.

  16. Rho-modifying bacterial protein toxins.

    PubMed

    Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Rho proteins are targets of numerous bacterial protein toxins, which manipulate the GTP-binding proteins by covalent modifications, including ADP ribosylation, glycosylation, adenylylation, proteolytic cleavage and deamidation. Bacterial toxins are important virulence factors but are also potent and efficient pharmacological tools to study the physiological functions of their eukaryotic targets. Recent studies indicate that amazing variations exist in the molecular mechanisms by which toxins attack Rho proteins, which are discussed here.

  17. Role of fecal Clostridium difficile load in discrepancies between toxin tests and PCR: is quantitation the next step in C. difficile testing?

    PubMed

    Leslie, J L; Cohen, S H; Solnick, J V; Polage, C R

    2012-12-01

    Direct tests for Clostridium difficile are 30-50 % more sensitive than tests for C. difficile toxins but the reasons for this discrepancy are incompletely understood. In addition to toxin degradation and strain differences, we hypothesized that C. difficile concentration could be important in determining whether toxins are detected in fecal samples. We performed standard curves on an FDA-approved real-time PCR test for the C. difficile tcdB gene (Xpert C. difficile/Epi, Cepheid) during a prospective comparison of a toxin immunoassay (Meridian Premier), PCR and toxigenic culture. Immunoassay-negative, PCR-positive samples were retested with a cell cytotoxin assay (TechLab). Among 107 PCR-positive samples, 46 (43.0 %) had toxins detected by immunoassay and an additional 18 (16.8 %) had toxin detected by the cytotoxin assay yielding 64 (59.8 %) toxin-positive and 43 (40.2 %) toxin-negative samples. Overall, toxin-negative samples with C. difficile had 10(1)-10(4) fewer DNA copies than toxin-positive samples and most discrepancies between toxin tests and PCR were associated with a significant difference in C. difficile quantity. Of the toxin-positive samples, 95 % had ≥ 4.1 log(10) C. difficile tcdB DNA copies/mL; 52 % of immunoassay-negative samples and 70 % of immunoassay and cytotoxin negative samples had <4.1 log(10) C. difficile tcdB DNA copies/mL. These findings suggest that fecal C. difficile concentration is a major determinant of toxin detection and C. difficile quantitation may add to the diagnostic value of existing test methods. Future studies are needed to validate the utility of quantitation and determine the significance of low concentrations of C. difficile in the absence of detectable toxin.

  18. Application of botulinum toxin in pain management.

    PubMed

    Sim, Woo Seog

    2011-03-01

    Botulinum toxin has been used for the treatment of many clinical disorders by producing temporary skeletal muscle relaxation. In pain management, botulinum toxin has demonstrated an analgesic effect by reducing muscular hyperactivity, but recent studies suggest this neurotoxin could have direct analgesic mechanisms different from its neuromuscular actions. At the moment, botulinum toxin is widely investigated and used in many painful diseases such as myofascial syndrome, headaches, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Further studies are needed to understand the exact analgesic mechanisms, efficacy and complications of botulinum toxin in chronic pain disorders.

  19. [Cervical dystonia treatment with botulin toxin].

    PubMed

    Cervical Dystonia Treatment With Botulin Toxin, Kazimierz

    2016-08-01

    Cervical dystonia is the most common form of dystonia in adult age. It is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal movements and positioning of the head and neck. Symptoms of it are often associated with pain. This distinguishes this form from other dystonia. The drug of choice is botulinum toxin. It effectively reduces both pain and abnormal excessive muscle activity. In some cases, particularly where there is not obtained the full recovery after treatment botulinum toxin we used drugs for systemic effect. To increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of botulinum toxin more commonly we used administration of toxin under the EMG and ultrasound control. PMID:27591450

  20. [Cervical dystonia treatment with botulin toxin].

    PubMed

    Cervical Dystonia Treatment With Botulin Toxin, Kazimierz

    2016-07-01

    Cervical dystonia is the most common form of dystonia in adult age. It is characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal movements and positioning of the head and neck. Symptoms of it are often associated with pain. This distinguishes this form from other dystonia. The drug of choice is botulinum toxin. It effectively reduces both pain and abnormal excessive muscle activity. In some cases, particularly where there is not obtained the full recovery after treatment botulinum toxin we used drugs for systemic effect. To increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of botulinum toxin more commonly we used administration of toxin under the EMG and ultrasound control. PMID:27590655

  1. Novel Yersinia Pestis Toxin that Resembles Bacillus Anthracis Edema Factor: Study of Activity and Structural Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Motin, V; Garcia, E; Barsky, D; Zemla, A

    2003-02-05

    The goal of this project was to begin both experimental and computational studies of the novel plague toxin to establish its biological properties and create its 3D-model. The project was divided into two parts. (1) Experimental--This part was devoted to determine distribution of the genes encoding novel plague toxin among different isolates of Y.pestis. If the EF-like activity is important for Y.pestis pathogenicity, it is anticipated that all highly virulent strains will contain the toxin genes. Also, they proposed to initiate research to investigate the functionality of the novel Y.pestis toxin that they hypothesize is likely to significantly contribute to the virulence of this dangerous microbe. this research design consisted of amplification, cloning and expression in E.coli the toxin genes followed by affinity purification of the recombinant protein that can be further used for testing of enzymatic activity. (2) Computational--The structural modeling of the putative EF of Y.pestis was based on multiple sequence alignments, secondary structure predictions, and comparison with 3D models of the EF of B. anthracis. The x-ray structure of the last has been recently published [Nature. 2002. 415(Jan):396-402]. The final model was selected after detailed analysis to determine if the structure is consistent with the biological function.

  2. Enhanced detection and identification of Shiga toxin 1 and 2 from pathogenic bacteria by MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS/MS-PSD and top-down proteomic analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) represent a continuing threat to the Nation’s food supply and public health. Shiga toxin genes (stx) are encoded in lambda-like bacteriophages whose genome is inserted into the bacterial DNA. Environmental stress can trigger bacteriophage replication a...

  3. Biologic response to environmental toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, S.

    1983-12-01

    Biological response to environmental toxins results from the sum of natural, environmental, avocational, inapparent, and occupational exposures. These external exposures result in acceptable or unacceptable levels of absorption or internal exposure based on anticipated biological effects. There is no level of exposure which is in and of itself synonymous with intoxication. Biological effects may be classified as physiologic or pathologic, adaptive or nonadaptive, respectively. In each instance, the response may be acceptable or unacceptable. Intoxication requires the demonstration of a significant impairment of health. One may have an unacceptable pathologic response and still not have intoxication. Professional judgment is required.

  4. Designing Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates, and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems” once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial and error approach to a minimum. The “rational drug design” term is rather comprehensive as it includes all contemporary methods of drug discovery where serendipity and screening are substituted by the information-guided search for new and existing compounds. Successful implementation of these innovative drug discovery approaches is inevitably preceded by learning the physics, chemistry, and physiology of functioning of biological structures under normal and pathological conditions. Areas covered This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches to discover inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Some of the examples include small-molecule and peptide-based post-exposure therapeutic agents as well as several polyvalent compounds. The review also directs the reader to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (PA-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, in our view, the situation is still insecure. The FDA’s animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Besides, unlike PA, which is known to be unstable, LF remains active in cells and in animal tissues for days. Therefore, the effectiveness of the post-exposure treatment of the individuals

  5. Tremorgenic toxin from Penicillium veruculosum.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Moore, J H; Blankenship, B R; Diener, U L; Davis, N D

    1972-08-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD(50) values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name "verruculogen" is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  6. Tremorgenic Toxin from Penicillium verruculosum

    PubMed Central

    Cole, R. J.; Kirksey, J. W.; Moore, J. H.; Blankenship, B. R.; Diener, U. L.; Davis, N. D.

    1972-01-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD50) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD50 values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name „verruculogen” is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  7. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day.

  8. Combinations of long peptide sequence blocks can be used to describe toxin diversification in venomous animals.

    PubMed

    Starcevic, Antonio; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M; Cullum, John; Hranueli, Daslav; Long, Paul F

    2015-03-01

    An important mechanism for the evolution of toxins in venomous animals is believed to be the acquisition of genes encoding proteins that switch from physiological to toxic roles following gene duplication. The 'reverse recruitment' hypothesis pertains that these genes can also revert back to physiological functions, although such events are thought to be rare. A non-supervised homology searching method was developed which allowed the peptide diversity of animal toxins to be described as combinations between limited numbers of amino-acid sequence blocks we called 'tox-bits'. Taking the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) protein family as an example, a Bernoulli Trial was used to test if 'tox-bits' were robust enough to distinguish between peptides with physiological or toxin functions. The analysis revealed that discrimination was indeed possible, and supports the very recent 'restriction' hypothesis whereby genes with the potential to encode toxic functions have likely been independently recruited into venom systems and therefore require few, if any, reverse recruitment events. The development of 'tox-bits' provides a novel bioinformatics tool to allow recognition of toxins from other proteins in genome sequences, facilitating the study of gene recruitment and duplication strategies in venom diversification. The 'tox-bits' library is freely available at http://bioserv.pbf.hr/blocks.zip.

  9. The adherens junctions control susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    PubMed

    Popov, Lauren M; Marceau, Caleb D; Starkl, Philipp M; Lumb, Jennifer H; Shah, Jimit; Guerrera, Diego; Cooper, Rachel L; Merakou, Christina; Bouley, Donna M; Meng, Wenxiang; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Takeichi, Masatoshi; Galli, Stephen J; Bagnoli, Fabio; Citi, Sandra; Carette, Jan E; Amieva, Manuel R

    2015-11-17

    Staphylococcus aureus is both a transient skin colonizer and a formidable human pathogen, ranking among the leading causes of skin and soft tissue infections as well as severe pneumonia. The secreted bacterial α-toxin is essential for S. aureus virulence in these epithelial diseases. To discover host cellular factors required for α-toxin cytotoxicity, we conducted a genetic screen using mutagenized haploid human cells. Our screen identified a cytoplasmic member of the adherens junctions, plekstrin-homology domain containing protein 7 (PLEKHA7), as the second most significantly enriched gene after the known α-toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10). Here we report a new, unexpected role for PLEKHA7 and several components of cellular adherens junctions in controlling susceptibility to S. aureus α-toxin. We find that despite being injured by α-toxin pore formation, PLEKHA7 knockout cells recover after intoxication. By infecting PLEKHA7(-/-) mice with methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 LAC strain, we demonstrate that this junctional protein controls disease severity in both skin infection and lethal S. aureus pneumonia. Our results suggest that adherens junctions actively control cellular responses to a potent pore-forming bacterial toxin and identify PLEKHA7 as a potential nonessential host target to reduce S. aureus virulence during epithelial infections.

  10. The adherens junctions control susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin

    PubMed Central

    Popov, Lauren M.; Marceau, Caleb D.; Starkl, Philipp M.; Lumb, Jennifer H.; Shah, Jimit; Guerrera, Diego; Cooper, Rachel L.; Merakou, Christina; Bouley, Donna M.; Meng, Wenxiang; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Takeichi, Masatoshi; Galli, Stephen J.; Bagnoli, Fabio; Citi, Sandra; Carette, Jan E.; Amieva, Manuel R.

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is both a transient skin colonizer and a formidable human pathogen, ranking among the leading causes of skin and soft tissue infections as well as severe pneumonia. The secreted bacterial α-toxin is essential for S. aureus virulence in these epithelial diseases. To discover host cellular factors required for α-toxin cytotoxicity, we conducted a genetic screen using mutagenized haploid human cells. Our screen identified a cytoplasmic member of the adherens junctions, plekstrin-homology domain containing protein 7 (PLEKHA7), as the second most significantly enriched gene after the known α-toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10). Here we report a new, unexpected role for PLEKHA7 and several components of cellular adherens junctions in controlling susceptibility to S. aureus α-toxin. We find that despite being injured by α-toxin pore formation, PLEKHA7 knockout cells recover after intoxication. By infecting PLEKHA7−/− mice with methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 LAC strain, we demonstrate that this junctional protein controls disease severity in both skin infection and lethal S. aureus pneumonia. Our results suggest that adherens junctions actively control cellular responses to a potent pore-forming bacterial toxin and identify PLEKHA7 as a potential nonessential host target to reduce S. aureus virulence during epithelial infections. PMID:26489655

  11. Yeast killer toxins, molecular mechanisms of their action and their applications.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guang-Lei; Chi, Zhe; Wang, Guang-Yuan; Wang, Zhi-Peng; Li, Yang; Chi, Zhen-Ming

    2015-06-01

    Killer toxins secreted by some yeast strains are the proteins that kill sensitive cells of the same or related yeast genera. In recent years, many new yeast species have been found to be able to produce killer toxins against the pathogenic yeasts, especially Candida albicans. Some of the killer toxins have been purified and characterized, and the genes encoding the killer toxins have been cloned and characterized. Many new targets including different components of cell wall, plasma membrane, tRNA, DNA and others in the sensitive cells for the killer toxin action have been identified so that the new molecular mechanisms of action have been elucidated. However, it is still unknown how some of the newly discovered killer toxins kill the sensitive cells. Studies on the killer phenomenon in yeasts have provided valuable insights into a number of fundamental aspects of eukaryotic cell biology and interactions of different eukaryotic cells. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of their action will be helpful to develop the strategies to fight more and more harmful yeasts.

  12. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios.

    PubMed

    Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-06-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described.

  13. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios.

    PubMed

    Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-06-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described. PMID:26185092

  14. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Satchell, Karla J. F.

    2015-01-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described. PMID:26185092

  15. MARTX toxins as effector delivery platforms.

    PubMed

    Gavin, Hannah E; Satchell, Karla J F

    2015-12-01

    Bacteria frequently manipulate their host environment via delivery of microbial 'effector' proteins to the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. In the case of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxins (MARTX) toxin, this phenomenon is accomplished by a single, >3500 amino acid polypeptide that carries information for secretion, translocation, autoprocessing and effector activity. MARTX toxins are secreted from bacteria by dedicated Type I secretion systems. The released MARTX toxins form pores in target eukaryotic cell membranes for the delivery of up to five cytopathic effectors, each of which disrupts a key cellular process. Targeted cellular processes include modulation or modification of small GTPases, manipulation of host cell signaling and disruption of cytoskeletal integrity. More recently, MARTX toxins have been shown to be capable of heterologous protein translocation. Found across multiple bacterial species and genera--frequently in pathogens lacking Type 3 or Type 4 secretion systems--MARTX toxins in multiple cases function as virulence factors. Innovative research at the intersection of toxin biology and bacterial genetics continues to elucidate the intricacies of the toxin as well as the cytotoxic mechanisms of its diverse effector collection.

  16. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    PubMed

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects' vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  17. [Axillary hyperhidrosis, botulinium A toxin treatment: Review].

    PubMed

    Clerico, C; Fernandez, J; Camuzard, O; Chignon-Sicard, B; Ihrai, T

    2016-02-01

    Injection of type A botulinum toxin in the armpits is a temporary treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis. This technique described in 1996 by Bushara et al., is known to be efficient and safe. The purpose of this article was to review the data concerning the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxin type A, and discuss the other treatment modalities for this socially disabling entity.

  18. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  19. Botulinum Toxin and Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Weiser, Kirsten; Kennedy, Abigail

    2008-01-01

    The history of botulinum toxin is fascinating. First recognized as the cause of botulism nearly 200 years ago, it was originally feared as a deadly poison. Over the last 30 years, however, botulinum toxin has been transformed into a readily available medication used to treat a variety of medical disorders. Interest in the use of botulinum toxin has been particularly strong for patients with spastic smooth muscle disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Patients with achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm, gastroparesis, sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, and anal fissures have all been treated with botulinum toxin injections, often with impressive results. However, not all patients respond to botulinum toxin therapy, and large randomized controlled trials are lacking for many conditions commonly treated with botulinum toxin. This paper reviews the history, microbiology, and pharmacology of botulinum toxin, discusses its mechanism of action, and then presents recent evidence from the literature regarding the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal tract disorders. PMID:21960915

  20. [T-2 toxin: occurrence and detection].

    PubMed

    Dohnal, V; Jezková, A; Kuca, K; Jun, D

    2007-07-01

    The paper is focused on the occurrence and methods for the detection of T-2 toxin, one of the most toxic trichothecene Fusarium mycotoxin. Due to its physical-chemical properties and high toxicity, T-2 toxin is classified as a potential biological warfare agent. PMID:17969315

  1. Formation and Control of Cyanobacterial Toxins

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation will cover the formation of harmful algal blooms and the control of their toxins. Data will be presented from current ORD projects on the treatment of cyanobacterial toxins through drinking water treatment facilities. The results will demonstrate that current c...

  2. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin Print A A A Text Size ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  3. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology. PMID:22606374

  4. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in the Mobile Genome of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Paula; Tello, Mario; Orellana, Omar

    2014-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are genetic modules composed of a pair of genes encoding a stable toxin and an unstable antitoxin that inhibits toxin activity. They are widespread among plasmids and chromosomes of bacteria and archaea. TA systems are known to be involved in the stabilization of plasmids but there is no consensus about the function of chromosomal TA systems. To shed light on the role of chromosomally encoded TA systems we analyzed the distribution and functionality of type II TA systems in the chromosome of two strains from Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (ATCC 23270 and 53993), a Gram-negative, acidophilic, environmental bacterium that participates in the bioleaching of minerals. As in other environmental microorganisms, A. ferrooxidans has a high content of TA systems (28-29) and in twenty of them the toxin is a putative ribonuclease. According to the genetic context, some of these systems are encoded near or within mobile genetic elements. Although most TA systems are shared by both strains, four of them, which are encoded in the active mobile element ICEAfe1, are exclusive to the type strain ATCC 23270. We demostrated that two TA systems from ICEAfe1 are functional in E. coli cells, since the toxins inhibit growth and the antitoxins counteract the effect of their cognate toxins. All the toxins from ICEAfe1, including a novel toxin, are RNases with different ion requirements. The data indicate that some of the chromosomally encoded TA systems are actually part of the A. ferrooxidans mobile genome and we propose that could be involved in the maintenance of these integrated mobile genetic elements. PMID:25384039

  5. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio . E-mail: veigass@ufpr.br

    2006-02-15

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  6. Renal response to environmental toxins.

    PubMed

    Finn, W F

    1977-10-01

    Several characteristics of normal renal function increase the risk to the kidney of damage by environmental toxins. Due to the magnitude of renal blood flow the total amount of noxious substance delivered may be disproportionately high. Furthermore, the capacity to concentrate substances within the kidney by processes of filtration, reabsorption and secretion has the potential to increase the toxicity of agents which would otherwise not lead to tissue injury. Unfortunately, there are few tests of renal function which are able to detect early functional abnormalities and which, at the same time, are suited for screening purposes by virtue of their simplicity, cost and safety. Furthermore, interpretation of the tests is complicated by adaptive changes in renal function which occur with aging and in response to other disease processes. Environmental agents produce a wide spectrum of renal dysfunction. Acute renal damage follows exposure to glycols, organic solvents, heavy metals, diagnostic and therapeutic agents and a variety of miscellaneous substances. Chronic renal disease may take the form of isolated tubular defects as seen with cadmium, interstitial nephritis due to the ingestion of lead, or vascular damage induced by external radiation. Some forms of glomerulonephritis may also be related to environmental toxins as are certain tumors of the urinary tract. In a somewhat different fashion, patients whose renal function is limited by the presence of pre-existing disease may manifest toxicity from substances ordinarily excreted in the urine. Particular problems exist with the patients on dialysis, as they are at considerable risk to alterations in the environment.

  7. Botulinum toxin in poststroke spasticity.

    PubMed

    Ozcakir, Suheda; Sivrioglu, Koncuy

    2007-06-01

    Poststroke hemiparesis, together with abnormal muscle tone, is a major cause of morbidity and disability. Although most hemiparetic patients are able to reach different ambulatory levels with rehabilitation efforts, upper and lower limb spasticity can impede activities of daily living, personal hygiene, ambulation and, in some cases, functional improvement. The goals of spasticity management include increasing mobility and range of motion, attaining better hygiene, improving splint wear and other functional activities. Conservative measures, such as positioning, stretching and exercise are essential in spasticity management, but alone often are inadequate to effectively control it. Oral antispastic medications often provide limited effects with short duration and frequent unwanted systemic side effects, such as weakness, sedation and dry mouth. Therefore, neuromuscular blockade by local injections have become the first choice for the treatment of focal spasticity, particularly in stroke patients. Botulinum toxin (BTX), being one of the most potent biological toxins, acts by blocking neuromuscular transmission via inhibiting acetylcholine release. Currently, focal spasticity is being treated successfully with BTX via injecting in the spastic muscles. Two antigenically distinct serotypes of BTX are available on the market as type A and B. Clinical studies of BTX used for spastic hemiplegic patients are reviewed in this article in two major categories, upper and lower limb applications. This review addresses efficacy in terms of outcome measures, such as muscle tone reduction and functional outcome, as well as safety issues. Application modifications of dose, dilutions, site of injections and combination therapies with BTX injections are also discussed. PMID:17607049

  8. Crystallization of isoelectrically homogeneous cholera toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Spangler, B.D.; Westbrook, E.M. )

    1989-02-07

    Past difficulty in growing good crystals of cholera toxin has prevented the study of the crystal structure of this important protein. The authors have determined that failure of cholera toxin to crystallize well has been due to its heterogeneity. They have now succeeded in overcoming the problem by isolating a single isoelectric variant of this oligomeric protein (one A subunit and five B subunits). Cholera toxin purified by their procedure readily forms large single crystals. The crystal form has been described previously. They have recorded data from native crystals of cholera toxin to 3.0-{angstrom} resolution with our electronic area detectors. With these data, they have found the orientation of a 5-fold symmetry axis within these crystals, perpendicular to the screw dyad of the crystal. They are now determining the crystal structure of cholera tox