[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-10 homologues encoded by Herpes viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) hold interesting structural and biological characteristics compared to human interleukin-10 (hIL-10) that render these proteins promising candidates for therapeutic application in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Intestinal delivery of cytokines using bacterial carriers as chassis represents a novel approach for treatment of IBD patients. For proof of concept, a Sec-dependent transporter construct was designed for secretory expression of recombinant viral IL-10 proteins in the periplasm of Escherichia coli laboratory strain BL21 (DE3), which might serve as part of a prospective lysis based delivery and containment system.
The signal peptide of E. coli outer membrane protein F fused to the mature form of the viral IL-10 proteins enabled successful transport into the periplasm, a compartment which seems crucial for proper assembly of the dimeric configuration of the cytokines. Cytokine concentrations in different bacterial compartments were determined by ELISA and achieved yields of 67.8 ng/ml +/- 24.9 ng/ml for HCMV IL-10 and 1.5 mug/ml +/- 841.4 ng/ml for EBV IL-10 in the periplasm. Immunoblot analysis was used to confirm the correct size of the E. coli-derived recombinant cytokines. Phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) as part of the signal transduction cascade after IL-10 receptor interaction, as well as suppression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) release of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated mouse macrophages were used as read-out assays for proving in vitro biological activity of the E. coli derived, recombinant viral IL-10 counterparts.
In this study, proof of principle is provided that E. coli cells are a suitable chassis for secretory expression of viral IL-10 cytokines encoded by codon-optimized synthetic genes fused to the E. coli ompF signal sequence. In vitro biological activity evidenced by activation of transcription factor STAT3 and suppression of TNF-alpha in mammalian cell lines was shown to be strictly dependent on export of viral IL-10 proteins into the periplasmic compartment. E. coli might serve as carrier system for in situ delivery of therapeutic molecules in the gut, thus representing a further step in the development of novel approaches for treatment of IBD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine, with therapeutic applications in inflammatory bowel disease. For the in situ delivery of IL-10 by Escherichia coli as carrier chassis, a modified transporter was designed with the ability to secrete biologically active IL-10. De novo DNA synthesis comprised a 561-bp fragment encoding the signal sequence of the E. coli outer membrane protein F fused in frame to an E. coli codon-optimized mature human IL-10 gene under control of a T7 promoter. The construct was overexpressed in E. coli laboratory strains, E. coli BL21 (DE3) and E. coli MDS42:T7. The mean concentrations of human IL-10 in the periplasm and culture supernatant of E. coli BL21 (DE3) were 355.8 ± 86.3 and 5.7 ± 1.7 ng/ml, respectively. The molecular mass of the recombinant E. coli-derived human IL-10 was 19 kDa, while under non-reducing conditions the native IL-10 dimer could be demonstrated. Reduction of tumor necrosis factor-α secretion in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated mouse macrophages and detection of the activated form of the transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription protein 3 proved the biological activity of the bacteria-produced human IL-10.
Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology 02/2012; 22(1):1-9. · 1.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular mechanisms generating genetic variation provide the basis for evolution and long-term survival of a population in a changing environment. In stable, laboratory conditions, the variation-generating mechanisms are dispensable, as there is limited need for the cell to adapt to adverse conditions. In fact, newly emerging, evolved features might be undesirable when working on highly refined, precise molecular and synthetic biological tasks.
By constructing low-mutation-rate variants, we reduced the evolutionary capacity of MDS42, a reduced-genome E. coli strain engineered to lack most genes irrelevant for laboratory/industrial applications. Elimination of diversity-generating, error-prone DNA polymerase enzymes involved in induced mutagenesis achieved a significant stabilization of the genome. The resulting strain, while retaining normal growth, showed a significant decrease in overall mutation rates, most notably under various stress conditions. Moreover, the error-prone polymerase-free host allowed relatively stable maintenance of a toxic methyltransferase-expressing clone. In contrast, the parental strain produced mutant clones, unable to produce functional methyltransferase, which quickly overgrew the culture to a high ratio (50% of clones in a 24-h induction period lacked functional methyltransferase activity). The surprisingly large stability-difference observed between the strains was due to the combined effects of high stress-induced mutagenesis in the parental strain, growth inhibition by expression of the toxic protein, and selection/outgrowth of mutants no longer producing an active, toxic enzyme.
By eliminating stress-inducible error-prone DNA-polymerases, the genome of the mobile genetic element-free E. coli strain MDS42 was further stabilized. The resulting strain represents an improved host in various synthetic and molecular biological applications, allowing more stable production of growth-inhibiting biomolecules.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteriophages, the historic model organisms facilitating the initiation of molecular biology, are still important candidates of numerous useful or promising biotechnological applications. Development of generally applicable, simple and rapid techniques for their genetic engineering is therefore a validated goal. In this article, we report the use of bacteriophage recombineering with electroporated DNA (BRED), for the first time in a coliphage. With the help of BRED, we removed a copy of mobile element IS1, shown to be active, from the genome of P1vir, a coliphage frequently used in genome engineering procedures. The engineered, IS-free coliphage, P1virdeltaIS, displayed normal plaque morphology, phage titre, burst size and capacity for generalized transduction. When performing head-to-head competition experiments, P1vir could not outperform P1virdeltaIS, further indicating that the specific copy of IS1 plays no direct role in lytic replication. Overall, P1virdeltaIS provides a genome engineering vehicle free of IS contamination, and BRED is likely to serve as a generally applicable tool for engineering bacteriophage genomes in a wide range of taxa.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dickeya dadantii is a plant-pathogenic enterobacterium responsible for the soft rot disease of many plants of economic importance. We present here the sequence of strain 3937, a strain widely used as a model system for research on the molecular biology and pathogenicity of this group of bacteria.
Journal of bacteriology 01/2011; 193(8):2076-7. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evolvability is an intrinsic feature of all living cells. However, newly emerging, evolved features can be undesirable when genetic circuits, designed and fabricated by rational, synthetic biological approaches, are installed in the cell. Streamlined-genome E. coli MDS42 is free of mutation-generating IS elements, and can serve as a host with reduced evolutionary potential.
We analyze an extreme case of toxic plasmid clone instability, and show that random host IS element hopping, causing inactivation of the toxic cloned sequences, followed by automatic selection of the fast-growing mutants, can prevent the maintenance of a clone developed for vaccine production. Analyzing the molecular details, we identify a hydrophobic protein as the toxic byproduct of the clone, and show that IS elements spontaneously landing in the cloned fragment relieve the cell from the stress by blocking transcription of the toxic gene. Bioinformatics analysis of sequence reads from early shotgun genome sequencing projects, where clone libraries were constructed and maintained in E. coli, suggests that such IS-mediated inactivation of ectopic genes inhibiting the growth of the E. coli cloning host might happen more frequently than generally anticipated, leading to genomic instability and selection of altered clones.
Delayed genetic adaptation of clean-genome, IS-free MDS42 host improves maintenance of unstable genetic constructs, and is suggested to be beneficial in both laboratory and industrial settings.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli DH10B was designed for the propagation of large insert DNA library clones. It is used extensively, taking advantage of properties such as high DNA transformation efficiency and maintenance of large plasmids. The strain was constructed by serial genetic recombination steps, but the underlying sequence changes remained unverified. We report the complete genomic sequence of DH10B by using reads accumulated from the bovine sequencing project at Baylor College of Medicine and assembled with DNAStar's SeqMan genome assembler. The DH10B genome is largely colinear with that of the wild-type K-12 strain MG1655, although it is substantially more complex than previously appreciated, allowing DH10B biology to be further explored. The 226 mutated genes in DH10B relative to MG1655 are mostly attributable to the extensive genetic manipulations the strain has undergone. However, we demonstrate that DH10B has a 13.5-fold higher mutation rate than MG1655, resulting from a dramatic increase in insertion sequence (IS) transposition, especially IS150. IS elements appear to have remodeled genome architecture, providing homologous recombination sites for a 113,260-bp tandem duplication and an inversion. DH10B requires leucine for growth on minimal medium due to the deletion of leuLABCD and harbors both the relA1 and spoT1 alleles causing both sensitivity to nutritional downshifts and slightly lower growth rates relative to the wild type. Finally, while the sequence confirms most of the reported alleles, the sequence of deoR is wild type, necessitating reexamination of the assumed basis for the high transformability of DH10B.
Journal of bacteriology 05/2008; · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bacterial stringent response serves as a paradigm for understanding global regulatory processes. It can be triggered by nutrient downshifts or starvation and is characterized by a rapid RelA-dependent increase in the alarmone (p)ppGpp. One hallmark of the response is the switch from maximum-growth-promoting to biosynthesis-related gene expression. However, the global transcription patterns accompanying the stringent response in Escherichia coli have not been analyzed comprehensively. Here, we present a time series of gene expression profiles for two serine hydroxymate-treated cultures: (i) MG1655, a wild-type E. coli K-12 strain, and (ii) an isogenic relADelta251 derivative defective in the stringent response. The stringent response in MG1655 develops in a hierarchical manner, ultimately involving almost 500 differentially expressed genes, while the relADelta251 mutant response is both delayed and limited in scope. We show that in addition to the down-regulation of stable RNA-encoding genes, flagellar and chemotaxis gene expression is also under stringent control. Reduced transcription of these systems, as well as metabolic and transporter-encoding genes, constitutes much of the down-regulated expression pattern. Conversely, a significantly larger number of genes are up-regulated. Under the conditions used, induction of amino acid biosynthetic genes is limited to the leader sequences of attenuator-regulated operons. Instead, up-regulated genes with known functions, including both regulators (e.g., rpoE, rpoH, and rpoS) and effectors, are largely involved in stress responses. However, one-half of the up-regulated genes have unknown functions. How these results are correlated with the various effects of (p)ppGpp (in particular, RNA polymerase redistribution) is discussed.
Journal of bacteriology 03/2008; 190(3):1084-96. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ERIC, the Enteropathogen Resource Integration Center (www.ericbrc.org), is a new web portal serving as a rich source of information about enterobacteria on the NIAID established list of Select Agents related to biodefense-diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pestis. More than 30 genomes have been completely sequenced, many more exist in draft form and additional projects are underway. These organisms are increasingly the focus of studies using high-throughput experimental technologies and computational approaches. This wealth of data provides unprecedented opportunities for understanding the workings of basic biological systems and discovery of novel targets for development of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. ERIC brings information together from disparate sources and supports data comparison across different organisms, analysis of varying data types and visualization of analyses in human and computer-readable formats.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2008; 36(Database issue):D519-23. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Highly reduced E. coli strains, MDS40, MDS41, and MDS42, lacking approximately 15% of the genome, were grown to high cell densities to test their ability to produce a recombinant protein with high yields. These strains lack all transposons and insertion sequences, cryptic prophage and many genes of unknown function. In addition to improving genetic stability, these deletions may reduce the biosynthetic requirements of the cell potentially allowing more efficient production of recombinant protein. Basic growth parameters and the ability of the strains to produce chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) under high cell density, batch cultivation were assessed. Although growth rate and recombinant protein production of the reduced genome strains are comparable to the parental MG1655 strain, the reduced genome strains were found to accumulate significant amounts of acetate in the medium at the expense of additional biomass. A number of hypotheses were examined to explain the accumulation of acetate, including oxygen limitation, carbon flux imbalance, and metabolic activity of the recombinant protein. Use of a non-catalytic CAT variant identified the recombinant protein activity as the source of this phenomenon; implications for the metabolic efficiency of the reduced genome strains are discussed.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 01/2008; 98(5):1056-70. · 3.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli K1 is the leading cause of human neonatal sepsis and meningitis and is important in other clinical syndromes of both humans and domestic animals; in this strain the polysialic acid capsule (K1 antigen) functions by inhibiting innate immunity. Recent discovery of the phase-variable capsular O acetylation mechanism indicated that the O-acetyltransferase gene, neuO, is carried on a putative K1-specific prophage designated CUS-3 (E. L. Deszo, S. M. Steenbergen, D. I. Freedberg, and E. R. Vimr, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102:5564-5569, 2005). Here we describe the isolation and characterization of a CUS-3 derivative (CUS-3a), demonstrating its morphology, lysogenization of a sensitive host, and the distribution of CUS-3 among a collection of 111 different K1 strains. The 40,207-bp CUS-3 genome was annotated from the strain RS218 genomic DNA sequence, indicating that most of the 63 phage open reading frames have their closest homologues in one of seven different lambdoid phages. Translational fusion of a reporter lacZ fragment to the hypervariable poly-Psi domain facilitated measurement of phase variation frequencies, indicating no significant differences between switch rates or effects on rates of the methyl-directed mismatch repair system. PCR analysis of poly-Psi domain length indicated preferential loss or gain of single 5'-AAGACTC-3' nucleotide repeats. Analysis of a K1 strain previously reported as "locked on" indicated a poly-Psi region with the least number of heptad repeats compatible with in-frame neuO expression. The combined results establish CUS-3 as an active mobile contingency locus in E. coli K1, indicating its capacity to mediate population-wide capsule variation.
Journal of Bacteriology 10/2007; 189(17):6447-56. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, efforts have been made to improve the properties of Escherichia coli as a recombinant host by 'genomic surgery'-deleting large segments of the E. coli K12 MG1655 genome without scars. These excised segments included K-islands, which contain a high proportion of transposons, insertion sequences, cryptic phage, damaged, and unknown-function genes. The resulting multiple-deletion strain, designated E. coli MDS40, has a 14% (about 700 genes) smaller genome than the parent strain, E. coli MG1655. The multiple-deletion and parent E. coli strains were cultured in fed-batch fermenters to high cell densities on minimal medium to simulate industrial conditions for evaluating growth and recombinant protein production characteristics. Recombinant protein production and by-product levels were quantified at different controlled growth rates. These results indicate that the multiple-deletion strain's growth behavior and recombinant protein productivity closely matched the parent stain. Thus, the multiple-deletion strain E. coli MDS40 provides a suitable foundation for further genomic reduction.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ERIC (Enteropathogen Resource Information Center) is one of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Bioinformatics Resource Centers for Biodefense and Emerging/Re-emerging Infectious Disease. ERIC serves as a comprehensive information resource for five related pathogens: Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pestis, diarrheagenic E. coli, Shigella spp., and Salmonella spp. ERIC integrates genomics, proteomics, biochemical and microbiological information to facilitate the interpretation and understanding of ERIC pathogens and select related non-pathogens for the advancement of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. ERIC (www.ericbrc.org) is evolving to provide state-of-the-art analysis tools and data types, such as genome sequencing, comparative genomics, genome polymorphisms, gene expression, proteomics, and pathways as well as expertly curated community genome annotation. Genome sequence and genome annotation data and a variety of analysis and tools for eight strains of Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pestis pathogens (Yersinia pestis biovars Mediaevalis KIM, Mediaevalis 91001, Orientalis CO92, Orientalis IP275, Antiqua Angola, Antiqua Antiqua, Antiqua Nepal516, and Yersinia enterocolitica 8081) and two strains of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (Yersinia pseudotuberculosis IP32953 and IP31758) are currently available through the ERIC portal. ERIC seeks to maintain a strong collaboration with the scientific community so that we can continue to identify and incorporate the latest research data, tools, and training to best meet the current and future needs of the enteropathogen research community. All tools and data developed under this NIAID contract will be freely available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 02/2007; 603:28-42. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We applied whole-genome resequencing of Escherichia coli to monitor the acquisition and fixation of mutations that conveyed a selective growth advantage during adaptation to a glycerol-based growth medium. We identified 13 different de novo mutations in five different E. coli strains and monitored their fixation over a 44-d period of adaptation. We obtained proof that the observed spontaneous mutations were responsible for improved fitness by creating single, double and triple site-directed mutants that had growth rates matching those of the evolved strains. The success of this new genome-scale approach indicates that real-time evolution studies will now be practical in a wide variety of contexts.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ERIC (Enteropathogen Resource Information Center) is one of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Bioinformatics Resource Centers for Biodefense and Emerging/Re-emerging Infectious Disease. ERIC serves as a comprehensive
information resource for five related pathogens: Yersinia enterocolitica, Yersinia pestis, diarrheagenic E. coli, Shigella spp., and Salmonella spp. ERIC integrates genomics, proteomics, biochemical and microbiological information to facilitate the interpretation and
understanding of ERIC pathogens and select related non-pathogens for the advancement of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complete nucleotide sequence was determined for pMAR7, an enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) adherence factor (EAF) plasmid that contains genes encoding a type IV attachment pilus (Bfp) and the global virulence regulator per. Prototypic EAF plasmid pMAR7 is self-transmissible, unlike the smaller EAF plasmid pB171, which has no genes encoding conjugative functions. The tra locus, a highly conserved 33-kb segment found in pMAR7, is similar to the tra (conjugation) region of the F plasmid. ISEc13 copies flanking the pMAR7 tra region could potentially mobilize or delete the tra genes. Hybridization of 134 EPEC strains showed that a complete tra region is present only in strains of the EPEC1 clonal group. This study confirms EPEC's potential for dissemination of virulence attributes by horizontal transfer of the EAF plasmid.
Infection and Immunity 10/2006; 74(9):5408-13. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli K1 is the most common gram-negative bacterium causing neonatal meningitis, but the mechanisms by which E. coli K1 causes meningitis are not clear.
We identified 22 E. coli RS218-derived genomic islands (RDIs), using a comparative genome analysis of meningitis-causing E. coli K1 strain RS218 (O18:K1:H7) and laboratory K-12 strain MG1655. Series of RDI deletion mutants were constructed and examined for phenotypes relevant to E. coli K1 meningitis.
We identified 9 RDI deletion mutants (RDI 1, 4, 7, 12, 13, 16, 20, 21, and 22) that exhibited defects in meningitis development. RDI 16 and 21 mutants had profound defects in the induction of a high level of bacteremia in neonatal rats, and RDI 4 mutants exhibited a moderate defect in the induction of bacteremia. RDI 1 and 22 mutants showed defects in the ability to invade human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), and RDI 12 mutants were defective in the ability to bind to HBMECs. RDI 13 and 20 mutants were defective in the ability to both bind to and invade HBMECs. RDI 7 mutants were defective in the induction of bacteremia and in the ability to both bind to and invade HBMECs.
These results provide a framework for the future discovery and analysis of bacteremia and meningitis caused by E. coli K1 strain RS218.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2006; 194(3):358-64. · 5.85 Impact Factor