Browsing by Subject "ESCHERICHIA-COLI"

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  • Kneis, David; Hiltunen, Teppo; Hess, Stefanie (2019)
    Horizontal gene transfer is an essential component of bacterial evolution. Quantitative information on transfer rates is particularly useful to better understand and possibly predict the spread of antimicrobial resistance. A variety of methods has been proposed to estimate the rates of plasmid-mediated gene transfer all of which require substantial labor input or financial resources. A cheap but reliable method with high-throughput capabilities is yet to be developed in order to better capture the variability of plasmid transfer rates, e.g. among strains or in response to environmental cues. We explored a new approach to the culture-based estimation of plasmid transfer rates in liquid media allowing for a large number of parallel experiments. It deviates from established approaches in the fact that it exploits data on the absence/presence of transconjugant cells in the wells of a well plate observed over time. Specifically, the binary observations are compared to the probability of transconjugant detection as predicted by a dynamic model. The bulk transfer rate is found as the best-fit value of a designated model parameter. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated on mating experiments where the RP4 plasmid is transfered from Serratia marcescens to several Escherichia coil recipients. The methods uncertainty is explored via split sampling and virtual experiments.
  • Razeq, Fakhria M.; Jurak, Edita; Stogios, Peter J.; Yan, Ruoyu; Tenkanen, Maija; Kabel, Mirjam A.; Wang, Weijun; Master, Emma R. (2018)
    Background: Acetylated 4-O-(methyl) glucuronoxylan (GX) is the main hemicellulose in deciduous hardwood, and comprises a beta-(1 -> 4)-linked xylopyranosyl (Xylp) backbone substituted by both acetyl groups and alpha-(1 -> 2)-linked 4-O-methylglucopyranosyluronic acid (MeGlcpA). Whereas enzymes that target singly acetylated Xylp or doubly 2,3-O-acetyl-Xylp have been well characterized, those targeting (2-O-MeGlcpA) 3-O-acetyl-Xylp structures in glucuronoxylan have remained elusive. Results: An unclassified carbohydrate esterase (FjoAcXE) was identified as a protein of unknown function from a polysaccharide utilization locus (PUL) otherwise comprising carbohydrate-active enzyme families known to target xylan. FjoAcXE was shown to efficiently release acetyl groups from internal (2-O-MeGlcpA) 3-O-acetyl-Xylp structures, an activity that has been sought after but lacking in known carbohydrate esterases. FjoAcXE action boosted the activity of alpha-glucuronidases from families GH67 and GH115 by five and nine times, respectively. Moreover, FjoAcXE activity was not only restricted to GX, but also deacetylated (3-O-Araf)2-O-acetyl-Xylp of feruloylated xylooligomers, confirming the broad substrate range of this new carbohydrate esterase. Conclusion: This study reports the discovery and characterization of the novel carbohydrate esterase, FjoAcXE. In addition to cleaving singly acetylated Xylp, and doubly 2,3-O-acetyl-Xylp, FjoAcXE efficiently cleaves internal 3-O-acetyl-Xylp linkages in (2-O-MeGlcpA)3-O-acetyl-Xylp residues along with densely substituted and branched xylooligomers; activities that until now were missing from the arsenal of enzymes required for xylan conversion.
  • Gonzalez-Ortiz, Gemma; Bronsoms, Silvia; Van Ufford, H. C. Quarles; Halkes, S. Bart A.; Virkola, Ritva; Liskamp, Rob M. J.; Beukelman, Cees J.; Pieters, Roland J.; Francisco Perez, Jose; Maria Martin-Orue, Susana (2014)
  • Ma, Cheng; Hao, Zhenyu; Huysmans, Gerard; Lesiuk, Amelia; Bullough, Per; Wang, Yingying; Bartlam, Mark; Phillips, Simon E.; Young, James D.; Goldman, Adrian; Baldwin, Stephen A.; Postis, Vincent L. G. (2015)
    Membrane proteins play key roles in many biological processes, from acquisition of nutrients to neurotransmission, and are targets for more than 50% of current therapeutic drugs. However, their investigation is hampered by difficulties in their production and purification on a scale suitable for structural studies. In particular, the nature and location of affinity tags introduced for the purification of recombinant membrane proteins can greatly influence their expression levels by affecting their membrane insertion. The extent of such effects typically depends on the transmembrane topologies of the proteins, which for proteins of unknown structure are usually uncertain. For example, attachment of oligohistidine tags to the periplasmic termini of membrane proteins often interferes with folding and drastically impairs expression in Escherichia coli. To circumvent this problem we have employed a novel strategy to enable the rapid production of constructs bearing a range of different affinity tags compatible with either cytoplasmic or periplasmic attachment. Tags include conventional oligohistidine tags compatible with cytoplasmic attachment and, for attachment to proteins with a periplasmic terminus, either tandem Strep-tag II sequences or oligohistidine tags fused to maltose binding protein and a signal sequence. Inclusion of cleavage sites for TEV or HRV-3C protease enables tag removal prior to crystallisation trials or a second step of purification. Together with the use of bioinformatic approaches to identify members of membrane protein families with topologies favourable to cytoplasmic tagging, this has enabled us to express and purify multiple bacterial membrane transporters. To illustrate this strategy, we describe here its use to purify bacterial homologues of human membrane proteins from the Nramp and ZIP families of divalent metal cation transporters and from the concentrative nucleoside transporter family. The proteins are expressed in E. coli in a correctly folded, functional state and can be purified in amounts suitable for structural investigations.
  • Richardson, Dominique; Itkonen, Jaakko; Nievas, Julia; Urtti, Arto; Casteleijn, Marco G. (2018)
    The use of living cells for the synthesis of pharmaceutical proteins, though state-of-the-art, is hindered by its lengthy process comprising of many steps that may affect the protein’s stability and activity. We aimed to integrate protein expression, purification, and bioconjugation in small volumes coupled with cell free protein synthesis for the target protein, ciliary neurotrophic factor. Split-intein mediated capture by use of capture peptides onto a solid surface was efficient at 89–93%. Proof-of-principle of light triggered release was compared to affinity chromatography (His6 fusion tag coupled with Ni-NTA). The latter was more efficient, but more time consuming. Light triggered release was clearly demonstrated. Moreover, we transferred biotin from the capture peptide to the target protein without further purification steps. Finally, the target protein was released in a buffer-volume and composition of our choice, omitting the need for protein concentration or changing the buffer. Split-intein mediated capture, protein trans splicing followed by light triggered release, and bioconjugation for proteins synthesized in cell free systems might be performed in an integrated workflow resulting in the fast production of the target protein.
  • Ouwerkerk, Janneke P.; van der Ark, Kees C. H.; Davids, Mark; Claassens, Nico J.; Finestra, Teresa Robert; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2016)
    Akkermansia muciniphila colonizes the mucus layer of the gastrointestinal tract, where the organism can be exposed to the oxygen that diffuses from epithelial cells. To understand how A. muciniphila is able to survive and grow at this oxic-anoxic interface, its oxygen tolerance and response and reduction capacities were studied. A. muciniphila was found to be oxygen tolerant. On top of this, under aerated conditions, A. muciniphila showed significant oxygen reduction capacities and its growth rate and yield were increased compared to those seen under strict anaerobic conditions. Transcriptome analysis revealed an initial oxygen stress response upon exposure to oxygen. Thereafter, genes related to respiration were expressed, including those coding for the cytochrome bd complex, which can function as a terminal oxidase. The functionality of A. muciniphila cytochrome bd genes was proven by successfully complementing cytochrome-deficient Escherichia coli strain ECOM4. We conclude that A. muciniphila can use oxygen when it is present at nanomolar concentrations. IMPORTANCE This article explains how Akkermansia muciniphila, previously described as a strictly anaerobic bacterium, is able to tolerate and even benefit from low levels of oxygen. Interestingly, we measured growth enhancement of A. muciniphila and changes in metabolism as a result of the oxygen exposure. In this article, we discuss similarities and differences of this oxygen-responsive mechanism with respect to those of other intestinal anaerobic isolates. Taken together, we think that these are valuable data that indicate how anaerobic intestinal colonizing bacteria can exploit low levels of oxygen present in the mucus layer and that our results have direct relevance for applicability, as addition of low oxygen concentrations could benefit the in vitro growth of certain anaerobic organisms.
  • Saarinen, Kati; Laakso, Jouni; Lindström, Leena; Ketola, Tarmo (2018)
    Rapid environmental fluctuations are ubiquitous in the wild, yet majority of experimental studies mostly consider effects of slow fluctuations on organism. To test the evolutionary consequences of fast fluctuations, we conducted nine independent experimental evolution experiments with bacteria. Experimental conditions were same for all species, and we allowed them to evolve either in fluctuating temperature alternating rapidly between 20°C and 40°C or at constant 30°C temperature. After experimental evolution, we tested the performance of the clones in both rapid fluctuation and in constant environments (20°C, 30°C and 40°C). Results from experiments on these nine species were combined meta-analytically. We found that overall the clones evolved in the fluctuating environment had evolved better efficiency in tolerating fluctuations (i.e., they had higher yield in fluctuating conditions) than the clones evolved in the constant environment. However, we did not find any evidence that fluctuation-adapted clones would have evolved better tolerance to any measured constant environments (20°C, 30°C, and 40°C). Our results back up recent empirical findings reporting that it is hard to predict adaptations to fast fluctuations using tolerance curves.
  • Nikparvar, Bahareh; Andreevskaya, Margarita; Duru, Ilhan C.; Bucur, Florentina I.; Grigore-Gurgu, Leontina; Borda, Daniela; Nicolau, Anca I.; Riedel, Christian U.; Auvinen, Petri; Bar, Nadav (2021)
    Background The pathogen Listeria (L.) monocytogenes is known to survive heat, cold, high pressure, and other extreme conditions. Although the response of this pathogen to pH, osmotic, temperature, and oxidative stress has been studied extensively, its reaction to the stress produced by high pressure processing HPP (which is a preservation method in the food industry), and the activated gene regulatory network (GRN) in response to this stress is still largely unknown. Results We used RNA sequencing transcriptome data of L. monocytogenes (ScottA) treated at 400 MPa and 8(circle)C, for 8 min and combined it with current information in the literature to create a transcriptional regulation database, depicting the relationship between transcription factors (TFs) and their target genes (TGs) in L. monocytogenes. We then applied network component analysis (NCA), a matrix decomposition method, to reconstruct the activities of the TFs over time. According to our findings, L. monocytogenes responded to the stress applied during HPP by three statistically different gene regulation modes: survival mode during the first 10 min post-treatment, repair mode during 1 h post-treatment, and re-growth mode beyond 6 h after HPP. We identified the TFs and their TGs that were responsible for each of the modes. We developed a plausible model that could explain the regulatory mechanism that L. monocytogenes activated through the well-studied CIRCE operon via the regulator HrcA during the survival mode. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the timely activation of TFs associated with an immediate stress response, followed by the expression of genes for repair purposes, and then re-growth and metabolism, could be a strategy of L. monocytogenes to survive and recover extreme HPP conditions. We believe that our results give a better understanding of L. monocytogenes behavior after exposure to high pressure that may lead to the design of a specific knock-out process to target the genes or mechanisms. The results can help the food industry select appropriate HPP conditions to prevent L. monocytogenes recovery during food storage.
  • Tiedje, James M.; Wang, Fang; Manaia, Celia M.; Virta, Marko; Sheng, Hongjie; Ma, Liping; Zhang, Tong; Topp, Edward (2019)
    Antibiotic resistance and its environmental component are gaining more attention as part of combating the growing healthcare crisis. The One Health framework, promulgated by many global health agencies, recognizes that antimicrobial resistance is a truly inter-domain problem in which human health, animal agriculture, and the environment are the core and interrelated components. This prospectus presents the status and issues relevant to the environmental component of antibiotic resistance, namely, the needs for advancing surveillance methodology: the environmental reservoirs and sources of resistance, namely, urban wastewater treatment plants, aquaculture production systems, soil receiving manure and biosolid, and the atmosphere which includes longer range dispersal. Recently, much work has been done describing antibiotic resistance genes in various environments; now quantitative, mechanistic, and hypothesis-driven studies are needed to identify practices that reduce real risks and maintain the effectiveness of our current antibiotics as long as possible. Advanced deployable detection methods for antibiotic resistance in diverse environmental samples are needed in order to provide the surveillance information to identify risks and define barriers that can reduce risks. Also needed are practices that reduce antibiotic use and thereby reduce selection for resistance, as well as practices that limit the dispersal of or destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria or their resistance genes that are feasible for these varied environmental domains.
  • Kantele, Anu; Laaveri, Tinja; Mero, Sointu; Vilkman, Katri; Pakkanen, Sari H.; Ollgren, Jukka; Antikainen, Jenni; Kirveskari, Juha (2015)
    Background. More than 300 million travelers visit regions with poor hygiene annually. A significant percentage of them become colonized by resistant intestinal bacteria such as extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE) and may transmit the strains to others and to medical care settings when they return home. Despite the threats to global healthcare caused by an upsurge in antimicrobial resistance, no effort has been centered on prevention of colonization while traveling. Methods. Stool samples were collected from 430 Finns before and after traveling outside Scandinavia. All specimens were analyzed for ESBL-and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE). Questionnaires were used to survey volunteers about use of antimicrobials as well as other potential risk factors. The results were subjected to multivariable analysis. Results. Twenty-one percent (90/430) of the travelers became colonized by ESBL-PE and none by CPE. Geographic region, occurrence of travelers' diarrhea (TD), age, and use of antimicrobial (AB) for TD were identified as independent risk factors predisposing to contracting ESBL-PE. Eleven percent of those in subgroup TD-AB-, 21% in TD+AB-, and 37% in TD+AB+ acquired ESBL-PE. The risk proved to be highest in South Asia (46%); 23% became colonized in subgroup TD-AB-, 47% in TD+AB-, and 80% in TD+AB+. In Southeast Asia, the rates were 14%, 37%, and 69%, respectively. Conclusions. TDand antimicrobials for TD proved to be independent risk factors, with up to 80% of TD+AB+ travelers contracting ESBL-PE. Inmodernpre-travel counseling for those visiting high-risk regions, travelers should be advised against taking antibiotics for mild or moderate TD.
  • Oliinyk, Olena S.; Chernov, Konstantin G.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V. (2017)
    Bacterial photoreceptors absorb light energy and transform it into intracellular signals that regulate metabolism. Bacterial phytochrome photoreceptors (BphPs), some cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) and allophycocyanins (APCs) possess the near-infrared (NIR) absorbance spectra that make them promising molecular templates to design NIR fluorescent proteins (FPs) and biosensors for studies in mammalian cells and whole animals. Here, we review structures, photochemical properties and molecular functions of several families of bacterial photoreceptors. We next analyze molecular evolution approaches to develop NIR FPs and biosensors. We then discuss phenotypes of current BphP-based NIR FPs and compare them with FPs derived from CBCRs and APCs. Lastly, we overview imaging applications of NIR FPs in live cells and in vivo. Our review provides guidelines for selection of existing NIR FPs, as well as engineering approaches to develop NIR FPs from the novel natural templates such as CBCRs.
  • Lutfullahoglu-Bal, Guleycan; Keskin, Abdurrahman; Seferoglu, Ayse Bengisu; Dunn, Cory D. (2017)
    Background: During the generation and evolution of the eukaryotic cell, a proteobacterial endosymbiont was re-fashioned into the mitochondrion, an organelle that appears to have been present in the ancestor of all present-day eukaryotes. Mitochondria harbor proteomes derived from coding information located both inside and outside the organelle, and the rate-limiting step toward the formation of eukaryotic cells may have been development of an import apparatus allowing protein entry to mitochondria. Currently, a widely conserved translocon allows proteins to pass from the cytosol into mitochondria, but how proteins encoded outside of mitochondria were first directed to these organelles at the dawn of eukaryogenesis is not clear. Because several proteins targeted by a carboxyl-terminal tail anchor (TA) appear to have the ability to insert spontaneously into the mitochondrial outer membrane (OM), it is possible that self-inserting, tail-anchored polypeptides obtained from bacteria might have formed the first gate allowing proteins to access mitochondria from the cytosol. Results: Here, we tested whether bacterial TAs are capable of targeting to mitochondria. In a survey of proteins encoded by the proteobacterium Escherichia coli, predicted TA sequences were directed to specific subcellular locations within the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Importantly, TAs obtained from DUF883 family members ElaB and YqjD were abundantly localized to and inserted at the mitochondrial OM. Conclusions: Our results support the notion that eukaryotic cells are able to utilize membrane-targeting signals present in bacterial proteins obtained by lateral gene transfer, and our findings make plausible a model in which mitochondrial protein translocation was first driven by tail-anchored proteins.
  • Davis-Richardson, Austin G.; Ardissone, Alexandria N.; Dias, Raquel; Simell, Ville; Leonard, Michael T.; Kemppainen, Kaisa M.; Drew, Jennifer C.; Schatz, Desmond; Atkinson, Mark A.; Kolaczkowski, Bryan; Ilonen, Jorma; Knip, Mikael; Toppari, Jorma; Nurminen, Noora; Hyoty, Heikki; Veijola, Riitta; Simell, Tuula; Mykkanen, Juha; Simell, Olli; Triplett, Eric W. (2014)
  • Virtanen, Jussa-Pekka; Keto-Timonen, Riikka; Jaakkola, Kaisa; Salin, Noora; Korkeala, Hannu (2018)
    Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a bacterium that not only survives, but also thrives, proliferates, and remains infective at cold-storage temperatures, making it an adept foodborne pathogen. We analyzed the differences in gene expression between Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 grown at 3 and 28°C to investigate which genes were significantly more expressed at low temperature at different phases of growth. We isolated and sequenced the RNA from six distinct corresponding growth points at both temperatures to also outline the expression patterns of the differentially expressed genes. Genes involved in motility, chemotaxis, phosphotransferase systems (PTS), and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters of different nutrients such as fructose and mannose showed higher levels of transcripts at 3°C. At the beginning of growth, especially genes involved in securing nutrients, glycolysis, transcription, and translation were upregulated at 3°C. To thrive as well as it does at low temperature, Y. pseudotuberculosis seems to require certain cold shock proteins, especially those encoded by yptb3585, yptb3586, yptb2414, yptb2950, and yptb1423, and transcription factors, like Rho, IF-1, and RbfA, to maintain its protein synthesis. We also found that genes encoding RNA-helicases CsdA (yptb0468), RhlE (yptb1214), and DbpA (yptb1652), which unwind frozen secondary structures of nucleic acids with cold shock proteins, were significantly more expressed at 3°C, indicating that these RNA-helicases are important or even necessary during cold. Genes involved in excreting poisonous spermidine and acquiring compatible solute glycine betaine, by either uptake or biosynthesis, showed higher levels of transcripts at low temperatures. This is the first finding of a strong connection between the aforementioned genes and the cold adaptation of Y. pseudotuberculosis. Understanding the mechanisms behind the cold adaptation of Y. pseudotuberculosis is crucial for controlling its growth during cold storage of food, and will also shed light on microbial cold adaptation in general.
  • Ottman, Noora; Huuskonen, Laura; Reunanen, Justus; Boeren, Sjef; Klievink, Judith; Smidt, Hauke; Belzer, Clara; de Vos, Willem M. (2016)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a common member of the human gut microbiota and belongs to the Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum. Decreased levels of A. muciniphila have been associated with many diseases, and thus it is considered to be a beneficial resident of the intestinal mucus layer. Surface-exposed molecules produced by this organism likely play important roles in colonization and communication with other microbes and the host, but the protein composition of the outer membrane (OM) has not been characterized thus far. Herein we set out to identify and characterize A. muciniphila proteins using an integrated approach of proteomics and computational analysis. Sarkosyl extraction and sucrose density-gradient centrifugation methods were used to enrich and fractionate the OM proteome of A. muciniphila. Proteins from these fractions were identified by LC-MS/MS and candidates for OM proteins derived from the experimental approach were subjected to computational screening to verify their location in the cell. In total we identified 79 putative OM and membrane-associated extracellular proteins, and 23 of those were found to differ in abundance between cells of A. muciniphila grown on the natural substrate, mucin, and those grown on the non-mucus sugar, glucose. The identified OM proteins included highly abundant proteins involved in secretion and transport, as well as proteins predicted to take part in formation of the pili-like structures observed in A. muciniphila. The most abundant OM protein was a 95-kD protein, termed PilQ, annotated as a type IV pili secretin and predicted to be involved in the production of pili in A. muciniphila. To verify its location we purified the His-Tag labeled N-terminal domain of PilQ and generated rabbit polyclonal antibodies. Immunoelectron microscopy of thin sections immunolabeled with these antibodies demonstrated the OM localization of PilQ, testifying for its predicted function as a type IV pili secretin in A. muciniphila. As pili structures are known to be involved in the modulation of host immune responses, this provides support for the involvement of OM proteins in the host interaction of A. muciniphila. In conclusion, the characterization of A. muciniphila OM proteome provides valuable information that can be used for further functional and immunological studies.
  • Kapp, Karmen; Püssa, Tõnu; Orav, Anne; Roasto, Mati; Raal, Ain; Vuorela, Pia; Vuorela, Heikki; Tammela, Päivi (2020)
    Mentha spp. are used in the food and pharmaceutical industry; the plants are characterized by natural interspecies hybridization. In this study, knowledge of the chemical composition of Mentha spp. was broadened by focusing on plants grown in a geographically small region of Estonia. The antibacterial activity of Mentha spp. essential oils and water extracts was evaluated. Polyphenolic water extracts of M. x villosa Huds., M. x suaveolens Ehrh., and M. x gracilis Sole were tested for the first time on Escberichia coli and Staphylococcus aura's. Leaves of cultivated and wild-grown plants (n = 33) were collected. The microdistilled essential oil composition reflected the diversity within the genus Mentha. Determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (MS), major compounds were cis-piperitone oxide, carvone, linalool, menthol, and menthofuran. Based on high-performance liquid chromatographyultraviolet-MS/MS analyses of the water extracts, no species-specific polyphenolic compounds could be proposed. Abundant polyphenols were rosmarinic acid, salvianolic acid B, and eriocitrin. Essential oils exhibited antibacterial activity on E. coli and S. aureus by the broth dilution method. Water extracts showed activity only against S. aureus. This study supports the use of Mentha spp. as health-promoting ingredients in food. However, further studies are still needed to widen the knowledge of the chemical composition of these plants.
  • Jaakkola, Kaisa; Somervuo, Panu; Korkeala, Hannu (2015)
    Enteropathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are both etiological agents for intestinal infection known as yersiniosis, but their epidemiology and ecology bearmany differences. Swine are the only known reservoir for Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3 strains, which are the most common cause of human disease, while Y. pseudotuberculosis has been isolated from a variety of sources, including vegetables and wild animals. Infections caused by Y. enterocolitica mainly originate froms wine, but fresh produce has been the source for widespread Y. pseudotuberculosis outbreaks within recent decades. A comparative genomic hybridization analysis with a DNA microarray based on three Yersinia enterocolitica and four Yersinia pseudotuberculosis genomes was conducted to shed light on the genomic differences between enteropathogenic Yersinia. The hybridization results identified Y. pseudotuberculosis strains to carry operons linked with the uptake and utilization of substances not found in living animal tissues but present in soil, plants, and rotting flesh. Y. pseudotuberculosis also harbors a selection of type VI secretion systems targeting other bacteria and eukaryotic cells. These genetic traits are not found in Y. enterocolitica, and it appears that while Y. pseudotuberculosis has many tools beneficial for survival in varied environments, the Y. enterocolitica genome is more streamlined and adapted to their preferred animal reservoir.
  • Ojala, Teija; Kankainen, Matti; Castro, Joana; Cerca, Nuno; Edelman, Sanna; Westerlund-Wikstroem, Benita; Paulin, Lars; Holm, Liisa; Auvinen, Petri (2014)