Peter T. Emmerson

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (74)268.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Protective antigen (PA) is a component of the Bacillus anthracis lethal and edema toxins and the basis of the current anthrax vaccine. In its heptameric form, PA targets host cells and internalizes the enzymatically active components of the toxins, namely lethal and edema factors. PA and other toxin components are secreted from B. anthracis using the Sec-dependent secretion pathway. This requires them to be translocated across the cytoplasmic membrane in an unfolded state and then to be folded into their native configurations on the trans side of the membrane, prior to their release from the environment of the cell wall. In this study we show that recombinant PA (rPA) requires the extracellular chaperone PrsA for efficient folding when produced in the heterologous host, B. subtilis; increasing the concentration of PrsA leads to an increase in rPA production. To determine the likelihood of PrsA being required for PA production in its native host, we have analyzed the B. anthracis genome sequence for the presence of genes encoding homologues of B. subtilis PrsA. We identified three putative B. anthracis PrsA proteins (PrsAA, PrsAB, and PrsAC) that are able to complement the activity of B. subtilis PrsA with respect to cell viability and rPA secretion, as well as that of AmyQ, a protein previously shown to be PrsA-dependent.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2003; 278(20):18056-62. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M301244200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The stability of heterologous proteins secreted by gram-positive bacteria is greatly influenced by the microenvironment on the trans side of the cytoplasmic membrane, and secreted heterologous proteins are susceptible to rapid degradation by host cell proteases. In Bacillus subtilis, degradation occurs either as the proteins emerge from the presecretory translocase and prior to folding into their native conformation or after the native conformation has been reached. The former process generally involves membrane- and/or cell wall-bound proteases, while the latter involves proteases that are released into the culture medium. The identification and manipulation of factors that influence the folding of heterologous proteins has the potential to improve the yield of secreted heterologous proteins. Recombinant anthrax protective antigen (rPA) has been used as a model secreted heterologous protein because it is sensitive to proteolytic degradation both before and after folding into its native conformation. This paper describes the influence of the microenvironment on the trans side of the cytoplasmic membrane on the stability of rPA. Specifically, we have determined the influence of net cell wall charge and its modulation by the extent to which the anionic polymer teichoic acid is d-alanylated on the secretion and stability of rPA. The potential role of the dlt operon, responsible for d-alanylation, was investigated using a Bacillus subtilis strain encoding an inducible dlt operon. We show that, in the absence of d-alanylation, the yield of secreted rPA is increased 2.5-fold. The function of d-alanylation and the use of rPA as a model protein are evaluated with respect to the optimization of B. subtilis for the secretion of heterologous proteins.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 02/2002; 68(1):227-34. DOI:10.1128/AEM.68.1.227-234.2002 · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The region between yvsA (293 degrees) and yvqA (289 degrees) of the Bacillus subtilis chromosome has been sequenced within the framework of the B. subtilis 168 international sequencing programme. A primary analysis of the 42 ORFs identified in this 43 kb region is presented. The region included a high proportion of genes that did not show homology with genes in other bacteria. The identified ORFs showed homology to proteins involved in the transport of metal ions, two-component signal transducers, ATP-binding-cassette-type transporters and a sigma factor.
    Microbiology 07/1998; 144 ( Pt 6)(6):1593-600. DOI:10.1099/00221287-144-6-1593 · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • R J Phillips · A. C. R. Samson · P T Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined the sequences of the 5' ends of three strains of Newcastle disease virus, permitting the assembly of the entire genomic sequence, which amounts to 15,186 nucleotides. This length is in agreement with the rule of six, which has been shown to determine replication efficiency in similar viruses. Comparison of the extreme 5' end of the trailer sequence with that of the 3'-terminal leader sequence of the virus reveals a high degree of complementarity. Variation between the 5'-terminal sequences of the different strains reveals the presence of alternative L gene polyadenylation signals, leading to correspondingly different trailer lengths.
    Archives of Virology 02/1998; 143(10):1993-2002. DOI:10.1007/s007050050435 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    W Errington · P T Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: A recombinant baculovirus expressing the nucleocapsid gene (NP) of Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a member of the genus Rubulavirus, has been generated and shown to express the native protein to high levels in insect cells. In contrast to the NP protein of the rubulavirus human parainfluenza virus 2, the NDV protein has been demonstrated by electron microscopy and caesium chloride gradient analysis to be capable of self-assembly in vivo to form nucleocapsid-like structures in the absence of other NDV proteins. These structures, which contained RNA that was resistant to micrococcal nuclease digestion, were also observed when the protein was expressed in E. coli, a phenomenon which was not inhibited by the presence of a 40 amino acid fusion region at the amino terminus of the protein. Further, the formation of these structures was inhibited by the co-expression of the phosphoprotein (P). Therefore, we conclude that the P protein acts as a chaperone, preventing uncontrolled encapsidation of non-viral RNA by NP protein.
    Journal of General Virology 10/1997; 78 ( Pt 9)(9):2335-9. DOI:10.1099/0022-1317-78-9-2335 · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • R J Phillips · D C Hickleton · P E Boehmer · P T Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the role that the individual subunits play in the ATP-dependent helicase activity of the RecBCD protein we have investigated the ability of the RecB, RecC and RecD proteins to displace various 20-mer oligonucleotides annealed to either end or to the centre of an oligonucleotide 60 bases long. The results show that the only subunit which can displace the 20-mers in the absence of the other subunits is the RecB protein. Moreover, the 20-mer is displaced only if it is annealed to the 60-mer at the 5' end or the middle, suggesting that the RecB protein translocates along the 60-mer in the 3' to 5' direction, displacing annealed 20-mers as it proceeds. We have shown that reconstituted RecBC and RecBCD complexes displace the 20-mers but, unlike RecB, they do not require a 3'-ended single-stranded region for helicase action, but can displace the 20-mers from either end of the 60-mer. The level of helicase activity of the RecBC complex is considerably greater than that of RecB alone, and the activity of the RecBCD complex appears to be greater still. This hierarchy of activity is also shown by DNA binding studies, but is not reflected in the ATPase activities of the enzymes. We have also shown that the ability of trypsin to cleave various sites on the RecB molecule is modified by the presence of ATP or ATP-gamma-S, suggesting that conformational changes may be induced in RecB upon ATP binding. We discuss a model for the ATP-driven, unidirectional motion of the RecB translocase along single-stranded DNA. In this model, the RecB molecule binds to single-stranded DNA and then translocates along it, one base at a time, in the 3' to 5' direction, by a 'ratchet' mechanism in which repeated stretching and contraction of the protein is coupled to ATP hydrolysis. The RecC protein in the RecBC complex is proposed to act as a 'sliding clamp' which increases processivity by preventing dissociation.
    MGG - Molecular and General Genetics 05/1997; 254(3):319-29. DOI:10.1007/PL00008605
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    ABSTRACT: Two major families of peptidylprolyl cis-trans-isomerases, the cyclophilins and the structurally unrelated FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs), have been identified as cellular factors involved in protein folding in vitro. Here we report on the biochemical characterization of a second prolyl isomerase of Bacillus subtilis that was purified from a cyclophilin-negative (ppiB null) mutant and was shown to be the trigger factor (TigBS). N-terminal sequencing of 27 amino acid residues of the purified protein revealed 100% identity to the deduced sequence encoded by the tig gene, sequenced as a part of the B. subtilis genome project. The tigBS gene, located at 246 degrees on the genetic map upstream of the clpX and lonA,B genes, encodes an acidic protein (pI 4.3) of 47.5 kDa. Purified and recombinant TigBS-His proteins share the same substrate specificity and catalytic activity (Kcat/K(m) of 1.5 microM-1 s-1); both are inhibited by the macrolide FK506 with IC50 the range of 500 nM. We also demonstrate that the prolyl isomerase activity of TigBS is mediated by an internal domain of about 13 kDa (homologous to FKPB12) that represents the catalytic core of the trigger factor.
    European Journal of Biochemistry 03/1997; 244(1):59-65. DOI:10.1111/j.1432-1033.1997.00059.x · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacillus subtilis is the best-characterized member of the Gram-positive bacteria. Its genome of 4,214,810 base pairs comprises 4,100 protein-coding genes. Of these protein-coding genes, 53% are represented once, while a quarter of the genome corresponds to several gene families that have been greatly expanded by gene duplication, the largest family containing 77 putative ATP-binding transport proteins. In addition, a large proportion of the genetic capacity is devoted to the utilization of a variety of carbon sources, including many plant-derived molecules. The identification of five signal peptidase genes, as well as several genes for components of the secretion apparatus, is important given the capacity of Bacillus strains to secrete large amounts of industrially important enzymes. Many of the genes are involved in the synthesis of secondary metabolites, including antibiotics, that are more typically associated with Streptomyces species. The genome contains at least ten prophages or remnants of prophages, indicating that bacteriophage infection has played an important evolutionary role in horizontal gene transfer, in particular in the propagation of bacterial pathogenesis.
  • R. J. Phillips · D. C. Hickleton · P. E. Boehmer · P. T. Emmerson ·

    MGG - Molecular and General Genetics 01/1997; 254(3). DOI:10.1007/s004380050422
  • Ulf Gerth · Anil Wipat · Colin R. Harwood · Noel Carter · Peter T. Emmerson · Michael Hecker ·
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    ABSTRACT: The nucleotide sequence of clpX, which is localized between the tig (trigger factor) and the lon (ATP-dependent protease) genes at 245 degrees on the standard Bacillus subtilis (Bs) genetic map, was determined. The putative clpX gene codes for a 46-kDa protein of 421 amino acid (aa) residues. A comparison of the deduced aa sequence with those of the recently described bacterial clpX gene products from Synechocystis sp., Escherichia coli (Ec), Haemophilus influenzae and Azotobacter vinelandii revealed strong similarities. However, in contrast to Ec, clpX and clpP of Bs are located at different loci on the chromosome and are transcribed as monocistronic genes. A heat-inducible sigma A-like promoter was mapped upstream of the clpX structural gene, but no CIRCE element, characteristic of class-I heat-shock genes (e.g., groESL and dnaK), was found between the transcriptional and translational start sites. Although the majority of the heat-inducible general stress genes in Bs are under the control of the alternative sigma factor, sigma B, the heat induction of clpX appears to be sigma B-independent. The latter indicates that clpX belongs to class-III heat-inducible genes.
    Gene 12/1996; 181(1-2):77-83. DOI:10.1016/S0378-1119(96)00467-2 · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    A Wipat · N Carter · S C Brignell · B J Guy · K Piper · J Sanders · P T Emmerson · C R Harwood ·
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    ABSTRACT: Within the framework of the international programme to sequence the genome of Bacillus subtilis strain 168, we were allocated the region between dnaB (256 degrees) and pheA (240 degrees). The sequencing of this region is now complete and we report our primary analysis of the 114 kb region containing 114 ORFs. In addition to previously characterized genes, we have identified genes involved in the utilization of plant cell wall polysaccharides, stress responses and the metabolism of amino acids, cell walls, DNA and fatty acids. We also discuss various structural and physical features, including the orientation of genes with respect to replication, putative start and stop codons, ribosome binding sites and rho-independent transcription terminators.
    Microbiology 12/1996; 142 ( Pt 11)(11):3067-78. · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Within the framework of the international programme to sequence the genome of Baci//us subti/is strain 168, we were allocated the region between dna8 (256") and pheA (240"). The sequencing of this region is now complete and we report our primary analysis of the 114 kb region containing 114 ORFs. In addition to previously characterized genes, we have identified genes involved in the utilization of plant cell wall pOlySaCCharideS, stress responses and the metabolism of amino acids, cell walls, DNA and fatty acids. We also discuss various structural and physical features, including the orientation of genes with respect to replication, putative start and stop codons, ribosome binding sites and pindependent transcription terminators. I I
    Microbiology 11/1996; 142(11):3067-3078. DOI:10.1099/13500872-142-11-3067 · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • William Errington · Michael Steward · Peter T. Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: A recombinant baculovirus containing a cDNA clone encoding the nucleocapsid (NP) protein of Newcastle disease virus (strain Ulster 2C) has been used to infect insect cells (Spodoptera frugiperda). High levels of overexpressed NP protein were observed, comprising up to 40% of total cellular protein, which were subsequently shown to be antigenic. Nucleoprotein derived from the crude soluble lysate of infected insect cells has been used in an indirect ELISA to detect the presence of anti-NDV antibodies in a cohort of chicken sera. Data produced from these tests indicated a good correlation between ELISA titre and haemagglutination inhibition test data. The test was not affected by interference from background cellular proteins nor by cross-reactivity with non-NDV poultry pathogens. Additionally, the test did not generate false-positive readings.
    Journal of Virological Methods 12/1995; 55(3):357-65. DOI:10.1016/0166-0934(95)00074-7 · 1.78 Impact Factor
  • M Steward · A. C. R. Samson · W Errington · P T Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: The V protein of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is produced by the insertion of a single nontemplated G residue at a specific point during transcription of the phosphoprotein (P) gene, accessing a new reading frame upon translation. The V protein, in common with its counterpart in other paramyxoviruses contains a highly cysteine rich motif near the carboxyl terminus, suggestive of a zinc-binding domain. By constructing E. coli overexpression plasmids for the NDV P and V proteins, and monitoring the binding of 65ZnCl2 to proteins electroblotted onto nitrocellulose membranes, we have demonstrated that the V protein strongly binds zinc.
    Archives of Virology 02/1995; 140(7):1321-8. DOI:10.1007/BF01322759 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    M Steward · I B Vipond · N S Millar · P T Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: The co-transcriptional editing of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) P gene has been studied by sequence analysis of cloned viral genomic RNA and mRNA. Evidence has been obtained for the specific insertion of non-templated G nucleotides, the consequence of which is the generation of three populations of P gene-derived mRNAs. The three populations encode proteins (P, V and W) which have a common N-terminal region, but which utilize three different reading frames at their C termini. Paradoxically, NDV edits its P gene mRNA by the insertion of non-templated G residues in a manner similar to Sendai and measles viruses (P-->V editing) despite its apparent closer evolutionary relationship to the simian virus type 5, mumps and related group of viruses which edit a V genomic sequence to generate an mRNA to encode a functional P protein (V-->P editing).
    Journal of General Virology 12/1993; 74 ( Pt 12)(Pt 12):2539-47. DOI:10.1099/0022-1317-74-12-2539 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In attempt to increase the induction of peptide-specific cytolytic T cells (CTL) we investigated the effect of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) gene product on the activation of peptide-specific CTL. Spleen cells of CH3 mice immunized against the influenza nucleoprotein peptide 50–63 (NP 50–63) were restimulated in vitro (i) with peptide-pulsed syngeneic fibroblast cells (Ltk−) as antigen-presenting cells, which were in addition (ii) infected with NDV or (iii) stably transfected with the HN cDN A of NDV. A greater than sixfold increase in peptide-specific CTL responses was observed in cultures restimulated with peptide-pulsed Ltk− cells which co-expressed viral hemagglutinin due to either infection or transfection. A similar augmentation was seen in CTL responses against other types of antigen (major histocompatibility complex alloantigens, minor histocompatibility antigens or tumor antigens) when suboptimal cultures were stimulated with the respective antigen-presenting cells modified by NDV infection. These findings suggest that NDV or viral HN expressed on antigen-presenting cells or tumor cells can exert a T cell co-stimulatory function.
    European Journal of Immunology 10/1993; 23(10):2592-6. DOI:10.1002/eji.1830231032 · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    C Masterson · P E Boehmer · F McDonald · S Chaudhuri · I D Hickson · P T Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: The Escherichia coli RecBCD holoenzyme and the individual constituent subunits have been purified from overproducing strains. The purified RecBCD holoenzyme has a native molecular mass of approximately 330 kDa, indicative of a heterotrimer subunit assembly. The RecB, RecC, and RecD subunits can associate in vitro to give nuclease, helicase, ATPase, and Chi-specific endonuclease activities which are indistinguishable from those of the RecBCD holoenzyme. At concentrations at which the reconstituted RecB + C + D enzyme is very active, none of the individual RecB, RecC, or RecD subunits have readily detectable activities of the holoenzyme, except RecB protein which had previously been shown to exhibit DNA-dependent ATPase activity (Hickson, I. D., Robson, C. N., Atkinson, K. E., Hutton, L., and Emmerson, P. T. (1985) J. Biol. Chem. 260, 1224-1229). At higher concentrations and with shorter DNA substrates reconstituted RecBC protein exhibits low levels of helicase and exonuclease activity.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/1992; 267(19):13564-72. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    P E Boehmer · P T Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: The RecB subunit of the Escherichia coli RecBCD enzyme has previously been reported to possess DNA-dependent ATPase activity (Hickson, I. D., Robson, C. N., Atkinson, K. E., Hutton, L., and Emmerson, P. T. (1985) J. Biol. Chem. 260, 1224-1229). Here we demonstrate that a specific interaction between RecB protein and ATP can also be shown by photoaffinity labeling with the ATP analogue 8-azido-ATP. Furthermore, the capacity of the RecB protein to support ATP hydrolysis varies with the structure and length of the DNA cofactor. Single-stranded linear and circular DNA are markedly better in promoting ATP hydrolysis than duplex DNA. The purified RecB protein can function as a DNA helicase, displacing oligonucleotides annealed to viral M13 DNA in an ATP-dependent and orientation-specific manner.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/1992; 267(7):4981-7. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    B Müller · P E Boehmer · P T Emmerson · S C West ·
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    ABSTRACT: In vitro, Escherichia coli RecA protein acts upon gapped and partially homologous linear duplex DNA to generate recombination products linked by Holliday junctions. When strand exchange reactions are supplemented with purified RecBCD enzyme, we observe the formation of products that resemble "patch" recombinants. The formation of "splice" recombinant products was not observed. The individual subunits, RecB, RecC, or RecD, had no effect on RecA protein-mediated strand exchange nor on the Holliday junctions formed in the reaction. Analysis of the way in which patch products arise indicates exonucleolytic digestion of the linear arms of the recombination intermediates (alpha-structures) by RecBCD enzyme. We find no evidence for specific resolution events at the site of the Holliday junction by RecBCD enzyme using these DNA substrates.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/1991; 266(28):19028-33. · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • Paul E. Boehmer · Peter T. Emmerson ·
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    ABSTRACT: The intracellular levels of the Escherichia coli RecBCD proteins have been amplified by fusing the recBCD genes to the strong tac promoter/operator in the expression vector, pKK223-3. The overproduced proteins occur at levels amounting to approx. 10% of total cellular protein. Strains harbouring these overexpression plasmids have been used to purify the RecB. RecC and RecD protein subunits, as well as the RecBCD holoenzyme. The individually purified protein subunits can be used to reconstitute the ATP-dependent DNase activity of the RecBCD enzyme.
    Gene 07/1991; 102(1):1-6. DOI:10.1016/0378-1119(91)90529-K · 2.14 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
268.37 Total Impact Points


  • 1972-2003
    • Newcastle University
      • Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
      Newcastle upon Tyne, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1997
    • Philipps University of Marburg
      • Faculty of Chemistry
      Marburg, Hesse, Germany
  • 1986
    • The University of Edinburgh
      • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom