The TLRs and IL-1 receptors have evolved to coordinate the innate immune response following pathogen invasion. Receptors and signalling intermediates of these systems are generally characterised by a high level of evolutionary conservation. The recently described IL-1R1 co-receptor TILRR is a transcriptional variant of the FREM1 gene. Here we investigate whether innate co-receptor differences between teleosts and mammals extend to the expression of the TILRR isoform of FREM1. Bioinformatic and phylogenetic approaches were used to analyse the genome sequences of FREM1 from eukaryotic organisms including 37 tetrapods and five teleost fish. The TILRR consensus peptide sequence was present in the FREM1 gene of the tetrapods, but not in fish orthologs of FREM1, and neither FREM1 nor TILRR were present in invertebrates. The TILRR gene appears to have arisen via incorporation of adjacent non-coding DNA with a contiguous exonic sequence after the teleost divergence. Comparing co-receptors in other systems, points to their origin during the same stages of evolution. Our results show that modern teleost fish do not possess the IL-1RI co-receptor TILRR, but that this is maintained in tetrapods as early as amphibians. Further, they are consistent with data showing that co-receptors are recent additions to these regulatory systems and suggest this may underlie differences in innate immune responses between mammals and fish.
A major challenge in studies of human diseases involving macrophages is low yield and heterogeneity of the primary cells and limited ability of these cells for transfections and genetic manipulations. To address this issue, we developed a simple and efficient three steps method for somatic 293T cells reprogramming into monocytes and macrophage-like cells. First, 293T cells were reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) through a transfection-mediated expression of two factors, Oct-4 and Sox2, resulting in a high yield of iPSC. Second, the obtained iPSC were differentiated into monocytes using IL-3 and M-CSF treatment. And third, monocytes were differentiated into macrophage-like cells in the presence of M-CSF. As an example, we developed HIV-1-resistant macrophage-like cells from 293T cells with knockdown of CDK2, a factor critical for HIV-1 transcription. Our study provides a proof-of-principle approach that can be used to study the role of host cell factors in HIV-1 infection of human macrophages.
The relationship between levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and cardiovascular (CV) risk is well recognized; however, in recent years, large-scale phase III studies with HDL-C-raising or -mimicking agents have failed to demonstrate a clinical benefit on CV outcomes associated with raising HDL-C, casting doubt on the "HDL hypothesis." This article reviews potential reasons for the observed negative findings with these pharmaceutical compounds, focusing on the paucity of translational models and relevant biomarkers related to HDL metabolism that may have confounded understanding of in vivo mechanisms. A unique function of HDL is its ability to interact with the ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABC) A1 via apolipoprotein (Apo) A1. Only recently, studies have shown that this process may be involved in the intestinal uptake of dietary sterols and antioxidants (vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin) at the basolateral surface of enterocytes. This parameter should be assessed for HDL-raising drugs in addition to the more documented reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) from peripheral tissues to the liver. Indeed, a single mechanism involving the same interaction between ApoA1 and ABCA1 may encompass two HDL functions previously considered as separate: antioxidant through the intestinal uptake of antioxidants and RCT through cholesterol efflux from loaded cells such as macrophages.
We have developed a suitable heterologous cell expression system to study the localization, trafficking, and site(s) of function of the human ABCG1 transporter. Increased plasma membrane (PM) and late endosomal (LE) cholesterol generated by ABCG1 was removed by lipoproteins and liposomes, but not apoA-I. Delivery of ABCG1 to the PM and LE was required for ABCG1-mediated cellular cholesterol efflux. ABCG1 LEs frequently contacted the PM, providing a collisional mechanism for transfer of ABCG1-mobilized cholesterol, similar to ABCG1-mediated PM cholesterol efflux to lipoproteins. ABCG1-mobilized LE cholesterol also trafficked to the PM by a non-vesicular pathway. Transfer of ABCG1-mobilized cholesterol from the cytoplasmic face of LEs to the PM and concomitant removal of cholesterol from the outer leaflet of the PM bilayer by extracellular acceptors suggests that ABCG1 mobilizes cholesterol on both sides of the lipid bilayer for removal by acceptors. ABCG1 increased uptake of HDL into LEs, consistent with a potential ABCG1-mediated cholesterol efflux pathway involving HDL resecretion. Thus, ABCG1 at the PM mobilizes PM cholesterol and ABCG1 in LE/LYS generates mobile pools of cholesterol that can traffic by both vesicular and non-vesicular pathways to the PM where it can also be transferred to extracellular acceptors with a lipid surface.
We have previously shown that GFP-tagged human ABCG1 on the plasma membrane (PM) and in late endosomes (LE) mobilizes sterol on both sides of the membrane lipid bilayer, thereby increasing cellular cholesterol efflux to lipid surfaces. In the present study, we examined ABCG1-induced changes in membrane cholesterol distribution, organization, and mobility. ABCG1-GFP expression increased the amount of mobile, non-sphingomyelin(SM)-associated cholesterol at the PM and LE, but not the amount of SM-associated-cholesterol or SM. ABCG1-mobilized non-SM-associated-cholesterol rapidly cycled between the PM and LE and effluxed from the PM to extracellular acceptors, or, relocated to intracellular sites of esterification. ABCG1 increased detergent-soluble pools of PM and LE cholesterol, generated detergent-resistant, non-SM-associated PM cholesterol, and increased resistance to both amphotericin B-induced (cholesterol-mediated) and lysenin-induced (SM-mediated) cytolysis, consistent with altered organization of both PM cholesterol and SM. ABCG1 itself resided in detergent-soluble membrane domains. We propose that PM and LE ABCG1 residing at the phase boundary between ordered (Lo) and disordered (Ld) membrane lipid domains alters SM and cholesterol organization thereby increasing cholesterol flux between Lo and Ld, and hence, the amount of cholesterol available for removal by acceptors on either side of the membrane bilayer for either efflux or esterification.
Here we describe the development of an improved workflow for utilizing experimental and simulated protein conformations in the structure-based design of inhibitors for anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. Traditional structure-based approaches on similar targets are often constrained by the sparsity of available structures and difficulties in finding lead compounds that dock against flat, flexible protein-protein interaction surfaces. By employing computational docking of known small molecule inhibitors, we have demonstrated that structural ensembles derived from either accelerated MD (aMD) or MD in the presence of an organic cosolvent generally give better scores than those assessed from analogous conventional MD. Furthermore, conformations obtained from combined cosolvent aMD simulations started with the apo-Bcl-xL structure yielded better average and minimum docking scores for known binders than an ensemble of 72 experimental apo- and ligand-bound Bcl-xL structures. A detailed analysis of the simulated conformations indicates that the aMD effectively enhanced conformational sampling of the flexible helices flanking the main Bcl-xL binding groove, permitting the cosolvent acting as small ligands to penetrate more deeply into the binding pocket and shape ligand-bound conformations not evident in conventional simulations. We believe this approach could be useful for identifying inhibitors against other protein-protein interaction systems involving highly flexible binding sites, particularly for targets with less accumulated structural data.
Memory consists of various individual processes which form a dynamic system co-ordinated by central (executive) functions. The episodic buffer as direct interface between episodic long-term memory (LTM) and working memory (WM) is fairly well studied but such direct interaction is less clear in semantic LTM. Here, we designed a verbal delayed-match-to-sample task specifically to differentiate between pure information maintenance and mental manipulation of memory traces with and without involvement of access to semantic LTM. Task-related amplitude differences of electroencephalographic (EEG) oscillatory brain activity showed a linear increase in frontal-midline theta and linear suppression of parietal beta amplitudes relative to memory operation complexity. Amplitude suppression at upper alpha frequency, which was previously found to indicate access to semantic LTM, was only sensitive to mental manipulation in general, irrespective of LTM involvement. This suggests that suppression of upper EEG alpha activity might rather reflect unspecific distributed cortical activation during complex mental processes than accessing semantic LTM.
Lake Vostok is the largest of the nearly 400 subglacial Antarctic lakes and has been continuously buried by glacial ice for 15 million years. Extreme cold, heat (from possible hydrothermal activity), pressure (from the overriding glacier) and dissolved oxygen (delivered by melting meteoric ice), in addition to limited nutrients and complete darkness, combine to produce one of the most extreme environments on Earth. Metagenomic/metatranscriptomic analyses of ice that accreted over a shallow embayment and over the southern main lake basin indicate the presence of thousands of species of organisms (94% Bacteria, 6% Eukarya, and two Archaea). The predominant bacterial sequences were closest to those from species of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria, while the predominant eukaryotic sequences were most similar to those from species of ascomycetous and basidiomycetous Fungi. Based on the sequence data, the lake appears to contain a mixture of autotrophs and heterotrophs capable of performing nitrogen fixation, nitrogen cycling, carbon fixation and nutrient recycling. Sequences closest to those of psychrophiles and thermophiles indicate a cold lake with possible hydrothermal activity. Sequences most similar to those from marine and aquatic species suggest the presence of marine and freshwater regions.
Elevations in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are anticipated to acidify oceans because of fundamental changes in ocean chemistry created by CO2 absorption from the atmosphere. Over the next century, these elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are expected to result in a reduction of the surface ocean waters from 8.1 to 7.7 units as well as a reduction in carbonate ion (CO32-) concentration. The potential impact that this change in ocean chemistry will have on marine and estuarine organisms and ecosystems is a growing concern for scientists worldwide. While species-specific responses to ocean acidification are widespread across a number of marine taxa, molluscs are one animal phylum with many species which are particularly vulnerable across a number of life-history stages. Molluscs make up the second largest animal phylum on earth with 30,000 species and are a major producer of CaCO3. Molluscs also provide essential ecosystem services including habitat structure and food for benthic organisms (i.e., mussel and oyster beds), purification of water through filtration and are economically valuable. Even sub lethal impacts on molluscs due to climate changed oceans will have serious consequences for global protein sources and marine ecosystems.
The possible loss of whole branches from the tree of life is a dramatic, but under-studied, biological implication of climate change. The tree of life represents an evolutionary heritage providing both present and future benefits to humanity, often in unanticipated ways. Losses in this evolutionary (evo) life-support system represent losses in "evosystem" services, and are quantified using the phylogenetic diversity (PD) measure. High species-level biodiversity losses may or may not correspond to high PD losses. If climate change impacts are clumped on the phylogeny, then loss of deeper phylogenetic branches can mean disproportionately large PD loss for a given degree of species loss. Over time, successive species extinctions within a clade each may imply only a moderate loss of PD, until the last species within that clade goes extinct, and PD drops precipitously. Emerging methods of "phylogenetic risk analysis" address such phylogenetic tipping points by adjusting conservation priorities to better reflect risk of such worst-case losses. We have further developed and explored this approach for one of the most threatened taxonomic groups, corals. Based on a phylogenetic tree for the corals genus Acropora, we identify cases where worst-case PD losses may be avoided by designing risk-averse conservation priorities. We also propose spatial heterogeneity measures changes to assess possible changes in the geographic distribution of corals PD.
Myofibroblasts (MFBs) are smooth muscle-like cells that provide contractile force required for tissue repair during wound healing. The leading agonist for MFB differentiation is transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) that induces transcription of genes encoding smooth muscle α-actin (SMαA) and interstitial collagen that are markers for MFB differentiation. TGFβ1 augments activation of Smad transcription factors, pro-survival Akt kinase, and p38 MAP kinase as well as Wingless/int (Wnt) developmental signaling. These actions conspire to activate β-catenin needed for expression of cyclin D, laminin, fibronectin, and metalloproteinases that aid in repairing epithelial cells and their associated basement membranes. Importantly, β-catenin also provides a feed-forward stimulus that amplifies local TGFβ1 autocrine/paracrine signaling causing transition of mesenchymal stromal cells, pericytes, and epithelial cells into contractile MFBs. Complex, mutually interactive mechanisms have evolved that permit several mammalian cell types to activate the SMαA promoter and undergo MFB differentiation. These molecular controls will be reviewed with an emphasis on the dynamic interplay between serum response factor, TGFβ1-activated Smads, Wnt-activated β-catenin, p38/calcium-activated NFAT protein, and the RNA-binding proteins, Purα, Purβ, and YB-1, in governing transcriptional and translational control of the SMαA gene in injury-activated MFBs.
Transcriptional regulation of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism is considered the major long-term regulatory mechanism controlling lipid homeostasis. By means of this mechanism, transcription factors, nutrients, hormones and epigenetics control not only fatty acid metabolism, but also many metabolic pathways and cellular functions at the molecular level. The regulation of the expression of many genes at the level of their transcription has already been analyzed. This review focuses on the transcriptional control of two genes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis and oxidation: the citrate carrier (CIC) and the carnitine/ acylcarnitine/carrier (CAC), which are members of the mitochondrial carrier gene family, SLC25. The contribution of tissue-specific and less tissue-specific transcription factors in activating or repressing CIC and CAC gene expression is discussed. The interaction with drugs of some transcription factors, such as PPAR and FOXA1, and how this interaction can be an attractive therapeutic approach, has also been evaluated. Moreover, the mechanism by which the expression of the CIC and CAC genes is modulated by coordinated responses to hormonal and nutritional changes and to epigenetics is highlighted.
Acyl-CoA:glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) and acyl-CoA: 1-acyl-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT) are involved in the de novo synthesis of triacylglycerol (TAG) and glycerophospholipids. Many enzymes belonging to the GPAT/AGPAT family have recently been identified and their physiological or pathophysiological roles have been proposed. The roles of GPAT/AGPAT in the synthesis of TAG and obesity-related diseases were revealed through the identification of causative genes of these diseases or analyses of genetically manipulated animals. Recent studies have suggested that some isoforms of GPAT/AGPAT family enzymes are involved in the fatty acid remodeling of phospholipids. The enzymology of GPAT/AGPAT and their physiological/ pathological roles in the metabolism of glycerolipids have been described and discussed in this review.
Global targets to halt the loss of biodiversity have not been met, and there is now an additional Aichi target for preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status. Climate change increasingly needs to be factored in to these, and thus there is a need to identify the extent to which it could increase species vulnerability. This paper uses the exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity framework to assess the vulnerability of a selection of WWF global priority large mammals and marine species to climate change. However, it divides adaptive capacity into adaptive capability and adaptation opportunity, in order to identify whether adaptation is more constrained by the biology of the species or by its environmental setting. Lack of evidence makes it difficult to apply the framework consistently across the species, but it was found that, particularly for the terrestrial mammals, adaptation opportunities seems to be the greater constraint. This framework and analysis could be used by conservationists and those wishing to enhance the resilience of species to climate change.
Polar Regions are unique and highly prolific ecosystems characterized by extreme environmental gradients. Photosynthetic autotrophs, the base of the food web, have had to adapt physiological mechanisms to maintain growth, reproduction and metabolic activity despite environmental conditions that would shut-down cellular processes in most organisms. High latitudes are characterized by temperatures below the freezing point, complete darkness in winter and continuous light and high UV in the summer. Additionally, sea-ice, an ecological niche exploited by microbes during the long winter seasons when the ocean and land freezes over, is characterized by large salinity fluctuations, limited gas exchange, and highly oxic conditions. The last decade has been an exciting period of insights into the molecular mechanisms behind adaptation of microalgae to the cryosphere facilitated by the advancement of new scientific tools, particularly "omics" techniques. We review recent insights derived from genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics studies. Genes, proteins and pathways identified from these highly adaptable polar microbes have far-reaching biotechnological applications. Furthermore, they may provide insights into life outside this planet, as well as glimpses into the past. High latitude regions also have disproportionately large inputs into global biogeochemical cycles and are the region most sensitive to climate change.
An Antarctic soil metagenomic library was screened for lipolytic enzymes and allowed for the isolation of a new cytosolic esterase from the a/b hydrolase family 6, named MHlip. This enzyme is related to hypothetical genes coding esterases, aryl-esterases and peroxydases, among others. MHlip was produced, purified and its activity was determined. The substrate profile of MHlip reveals a high specificity for short p-nitrophenyl-esters. The apparent optimal activity of MHlip was measured for p-nitrophenyl-acetate, at 33 °C, in the pH range of 6-9. The MHlip thermal unfolding was investigated by spectrophotometric methods, highlighting a transition (Tm) at 50 °C. The biochemical characterization of this enzyme showed its adaptation to cold temperatures, even when it did not present evident signatures associated with cold-adapted proteins. Thus, MHlip adaptation to cold probably results from many discrete structural modifications, allowing the protein to remain active at low temperatures. Functional metagenomics is a powerful approach to isolate new enzymes with tailored biophysical properties (e.g., cold adaptation). In addition, beside the ever growing amount of sequenced DNA, the functional characterization of new catalysts derived from environment is still required, especially for poorly characterized protein families like α/b hydrolases.
Quantitative and systems biology approaches benefit from the unprecedented depth of next-generation sequencing. A typical experiment yields millions of short reads, which oftentimes carry particular sequence tags. These tags may be: (a) specific to the sequencing platform and library construction method (e.g., adapter sequences); (b) have been introduced by experimental design (e.g., sample barcodes); or (c) constitute some biological signal (e.g., splice leader sequences in nematodes). Our software FLEXBAR enables accurate recognition, sorting and trimming of sequence tags with maximal flexibility, based on exact overlap sequence alignment. The software supports data formats from all current sequencing platforms, including color-space reads. FLEXBAR maintains read pairings and processes separate barcode reads on demand. Our software facilitates the fine-grained adjustment of sequence tag detection parameters and search regions. FLEXBAR is a multi-threaded software and combines speed with precision. Even complex read processing scenarios might be executed with a single command line call. We demonstrate the utility of the software in terms of read mapping applications, library demultiplexing and splice leader detection. FLEXBAR and additional information is available for academic use from the website: http://sourceforge.net/projects/flexbar/.
Helicobacter pylori is one of the most successful human pathogens, which colonizes the mucus layer of the gastric epithelium of more than 50% of the world's population. This curved, microaerophilic, Gram-negative bacterium induces a chronic active gastritis, often asymptomatic, in all infected individuals. In some cases, this gastritis evolves to more severe diseases such as peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. H. pylori has developed a unique set of factors, actively supporting its successful survival and persistence in its natural hostile ecological niche, the human stomach, throughout the individual's life, unless treated. In the human stomach, the vast majority of H. pylori cells are motile in the mucus layer lining, but a small percentage adheres to the epithelial cell surfaces. Adherence to the gastric epithelium is important for the ability of H. pylori to cause disease because this intimate attachment facilitates: (1) colonization and persistence, by preventing the bacteria from being eliminated from the stomach, by mucus turnover and gastric peristalsis; (2) evasion from the human immune system and (3) efficient delivery of proteins into the gastric cell, such as the CagA oncoprotein. Therefore, bacteria with better adherence properties colonize the host at higher densities. H. pylori is one of the most genetically diverse bacterial species known and is equipped with an extraordinarily large set of outer membrane proteins, whose role in the infection and persistence process will be discussed in this review, as well as the different receptor structures that have been so far described for mucosal adherence.
Members of the genus Neisseria include pathogens causing important human diseases such as meningitis, septicaemia, gonorrhoea and pelvic inflammatory disease syndrome. Neisseriae are found on the exposed epithelia of the upper respiratory tract and the urogenital tract. Colonisation of these exposed epithelia is dependent on a repertoire of diverse bacterial molecules, extending not only from the surface of the bacteria but also found within the outer membrane. During invasive disease, pathogenic Neisseriae also interact with immune effector cells, vascular endothelia and the meninges. Neisseria adhesion involves the interplay of these multiple surface factors and in this review we discuss the structure and function of these important molecules and the nature of the host cell receptors and mechanisms involved in their recognition. We also describe the current status for recently identified Neisseria adhesins. Understanding the biology of Neisseria adhesins has an impact not only on the development of new vaccines but also in revealing fundamental knowledge about human biology.
Fimbriae are long, proteinaceous adhesion organelles expressed on the bacterial envelope, evolutionarily adapted by Escherichia coli strains for the colonization of epithelial linings. Using glycan arrays of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics (CFG), the lectin domains were screened of the fimbrial adhesins F17G and FedF from enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and of the FimH adhesin from uropathogenic E. coli. This has led to the discovery of a more specific receptor for F17G, GlcNAcb1,3Gal. No significant differences emerged from the glycan binding profiles of the F17G lectin domains from five different E. coli strains. However, strain-dependent amino acid variations, predominantly towards the positively charged arginine, were indicated by sulfate binding in FedF and F17G crystal structures. For FedF, no significant binders could be observed on the CFG glycan array. Hence, a shotgun array was generated from microvilli scrapings of the distal jejunum of a 3-week old piglet about to be weaned. On this array, the blood group A type 1 hexasaccharide emerged as a receptor for the FedF lectin domain and remarkably also for F18-fimbriated E. coli. F17G was found to selectively recognize glycan species with a terminal GlcNAc, typifying intestinal mucins. In conclusion, F17G and FedF recognize long glycan sequences that could only be identified using the shotgun approach. Interestingly, ETEC strains display a large capacity to adapt their fimbrial adhesins to ecological niches via charge-driven interactions, congruent with binding to thick mucosal surfaces displaying an acidic gradient along the intestinal tract.
The bacterial flagellum is a complex apparatus assembled of more than 20 different proteins. The flagellar basal body traverses the cell wall, whereas the curved hook connects the basal body to the whip-like flagellar filament that protrudes several µm from the bacterial cell. The flagellum has traditionally been regarded only as a motility organelle, but more recently it has become evident that flagella have a number of other biological functions. The major subunit, flagellin or FliC, of the flagellum plays a well-documented role in innate immunity and as a dominant antigen of the adaptive immune response. Importantly, flagella have also been reported to function as adhesins. Whole flagella have been indicated as significant in bacterial adhesion to and invasion into host cells. In various pathogens, e.g., Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Clostridium difficile, flagellin and/or the distally located flagellar cap protein have been reported to function as adhesins. Recently, FliC of Shiga-toxigenic E. coli was shown to be involved in cellular invasion via lipid rafts. Here, we examine the latest or most important findings regarding flagellar adhesive and invasive properties, especially focusing on the flagellum as a potential virulence factor.
Streptococcus suis is a Gram-positive bacterium, which causes sepsis and meningitis in pigs and humans. This review examines the role of known S. suis virulence factors in adhesion and S. suis carbohydrate-based adhesion mechanisms, as well as the inhibition of S. suis adhesion by anti-adhesion compounds in in vitro assays. Carbohydrate-binding specificities of S. suis have been identified, and these studies have shown that many strains recognize Galα1-4Gal-containing oligosaccharides present in host glycolipids. In the era of increasing antibiotic resistance, new means to treat infections are needed. Since microbial adhesion to carbohydrates is important to establish disease, compounds blocking adhesion could be an alternative to antibiotics. The use of oligosaccharides as drugs is generally hampered by their relatively low affinity (micromolar) to compete with multivalent binding to host receptors. However, screening of a library of chemically modified Galα1-4Gal derivatives has identified compounds that inhibit S. suis adhesion in nanomolar range. Also, design of multivalent Galα1-4Gal-containing dendrimers has resulted in a significant increase of the inhibitory potency of the disaccharide. The S. suis adhesin binding to Galα1-4Gal-oligosaccharides, Streptococcal adhesin P (SadP), was recently identified. It has a Galα1-4Gal-binding N-terminal domain and a C-terminal LPNTG-motif for cell wall anchoring. The carbohydrate-binding domain has no homology to E. coli P fimbrial adhesin, which suggests that these Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial adhesins recognizing the same receptor have evolved by convergent evolution. SadP adhesin may represent a promising target for the design of anti-adhesion ligands for the prevention and treatment of S. suis infections.
Escherichia coli colonizes the human intestine shortly after birth, with most strains engaging in a commensal relationship. However, some E. coli strains have evolved toward acquiring genetic traits associated with virulence. Currently, five categories of enteroadherent E. coli strains are well-recognized, and are classified in regard to expressed adhesins and the strategy used during the colonization. The high morbidity associated with diarrhea has motivated investigations focusing on E. coli adhesins, as well on factors that inhibit bacterial adherence. Breastfeeding has proved to be the most effective strategy for preventing diarrhea in children. Aside from the immunoglobulin content, glycocompounds and oligosaccharides in breast milk play a critical role in the innate immunity against diarrheagenic E. coli strains. This review summarizes the colonization factors and virulence strategies exploited by diarrheagenic E. coli strains, addressing the inhibitory effects that oligosaccharides and glycocompounds, such as lactoferrin and free secretory components, exert on the adherence and virulence of these strains. This review thus provides an overview of experimental data indicating that human milk glycocompounds are responsible for the universal protective effect of breastfeeding against diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes.
Adhesion of bacteria to the glycosylated surface of their target cells is typically mediated by fimbrial lectins, exposed on the bacterial surface. Among the best-investigated and most important fimbriae are type 1 fimbriae, for which α-d-mannopyranoside-specificity has been described. This carbohydrate specificity is mediated by the type 1 fimbrial lectin FimH. In this account, we have employed four different set-ups to assay type 1 fimbriae-mediated bacterial adhesion, including tailor-made glycoarrays. The focus of our study was on testing FimH specificity with regard to the glycone part of a glycosidic ligand by testing a series of synthetic α-mannosides, as well as α-glucosides and α-galactosides. Unexpectedly, it was found that in solution all tested aminothiahexyl glycosides inhibit bacterial adhesion but that this effect is unspecific. Instead it is due to cytotoxicity of the respective glycosides at high mm concentrations.
Adhesion of pathogenic microbes, particularly bacteria, to contact lenses is implicated in contact lens related microbial adverse events. Various in vitro conditions such as type of bacteria, the size of initial inoculum, contact lens material, nutritional content of media, and incubation period can influence bacterial adhesion to contact lenses and the current study investigated the effect of these conditions on bacterial adhesion to contact lenses. There was no significant difference in numbers of bacteria that adhered to hydrogel etafilcon A or silicone hydrogel senofilcon A contact lenses. Pseudomonas aeruginosa adhered in higher numbers compared to Staphylococcus aureus. Within a genera/species, adhesion of different bacterial strains did not differ appreciably. The size of initial inoculum, nutritional content of media, and incubation period played significant roles in bacterial adhesion to lenses. A set of in vitro assay conditions to help standardize adhesion between studies have been recommended.