Space flight alters bacterial gene expression and virulence and reveals a role for global regulator Hfq.
ABSTRACT A comprehensive analysis of both the molecular genetic and phenotypic responses of any organism to the space flight environment has never been accomplished because of significant technological and logistical hurdles. Moreover, the effects of space flight on microbial pathogenicity and associated infectious disease risks have not been studied. The bacterial pathogen Salmonella typhimurium was grown aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-115 and compared with identical ground control cultures. Global microarray and proteomic analyses revealed that 167 transcripts and 73 proteins changed expression with the conserved RNA-binding protein Hfq identified as a likely global regulator involved in the response to this environment. Hfq involvement was confirmed with a ground-based microgravity culture model. Space flight samples exhibited enhanced virulence in a murine infection model and extracellular matrix accumulation consistent with a biofilm. Strategies to target Hfq and related regulators could potentially decrease infectious disease risks during space flight missions and provide novel therapeutic options on Earth.
Article: Ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) regulation by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 mediates permeability changes in intestinal epithelia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Under conditions of limited oxygen availability (hypoxia), multiple cell types release adenine nucleotides in the form of ATP, ADP, and AMP. Extracellular AMP is metabolized to adenosine by surface-expressed ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) and subsequently activates surface adenosine receptors regulating endothelial and epithelial barrier function. Therefore, we hypothesized that hypoxia transcriptionally regulates CD73 expression. Microarray RNA analysis revealed an increase in CD73 and ecto-apyrase CD39 in hypoxic epithelial cells. Metabolic studies of CD39/CD73 function in intact epithelia revealed that hypoxia enhances CD39/CD73 function as much as 6 +/- 0.5-fold over normoxia. Examination of the CD73 gene promoter identified at least one binding site for hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and inhibition of HIF-1alpha expression by antisense oligonucleotides resulted in significant inhibition of hypoxia-inducible CD73 expression. Studies using luciferase reporter constructs revealed a significant increase in activity in cells subjected to hypoxia, which was lost in truncated constructs lacking the HIF-1 site. Mutagenesis of the HIF-1alpha binding site resulted in a nearly complete loss of hypoxia-inducibility. In vivo studies in a murine hypoxia model revealed that hypoxia-induced CD73 may serve to protect the epithelial barrier, since the CD73 inhibitor alpha,beta-methylene ADP promotes increased intestinal permeability. These results identify an HIF-1-dependent regulatory pathway for CD73 and indicate the likelihood that CD39/CD73 protects the epithelial barrier during hypoxia.Journal of Clinical Investigation 11/2002; 110(7):993-1002. · 15.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Microbial adaptation to environmental stimuli is essential for survival. While several of these stimuli have been studied in detail, recent studies have demonstrated an important role for a novel environmental parameter in which microgravity and the low fluid shear dynamics associated with microgravity globally regulate microbial gene expression, physiology, and pathogenesis. In addition to analyzing fundamental questions about microbial responses to spaceflight, these studies have demonstrated important applications for microbial responses to a ground-based, low-shear stress environment similar to that encountered during spaceflight. Moreover, the low-shear growth environment sensed by microbes during microgravity of spaceflight and during ground-based microgravity analogue culture is relevant to those encountered during their natural life cycles on Earth. While no mechanism has been clearly defined to explain how the mechanical force of fluid shear transmits intracellular signals to microbial cells at the molecular level, the fact that cross talk exists between microbial signal transduction systems holds intriguing possibilities that future studies might reveal common mechanotransduction themes between these systems and those used to sense and respond to low-shear stress and changes in gravitation forces. The study of microbial mechanotransduction may identify common conserved mechanisms used by cells to perceive changes in mechanical and/or physical forces, and it has the potential to provide valuable insight for understanding mechanosensing mechanisms in higher organisms. This review summarizes recent and future research trends aimed at understanding the dynamic effects of changes in the mechanical forces that occur in microgravity and other low-shear environments on a wide variety of important microbial parameters.Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 07/2004; 68(2):345-61. · 13.02 Impact Factor