FEMS Microbiology Letters

Published by Oxford University Press (OUP)
Online ISSN: 1574-6968
Publications
Article
Bacteria growing on MF-Millipore filters (thickness, 150 micro m) passed through the underlying membrane by their infiltration activity. Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli passed through a 0.45- micro m pore size filter within 48-96 h. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, and Listeria monocytogenes passed through a 0.3- micro m pore size filter. P. aeruginosa passed through a 0.22- micro m pore size filter. The membranes which allowed passing-through of bacteria showed normal bubble point values in the integrity test. Studies with isogenic S. marcescens mutants indicated that flagellum-dependent motility or surface-active exolipid were important in the passing-through. P. aeruginosa PAO1 C strain defective in twitching motility was unable to pass through the 0.22- micro m filter. Scanning electron microscopy showed bacteria passing-through the 0.22- micro m filter. Millipore membrane filters having well-defined reticulate structures will be useful in the study of infiltration activity of microbes.
 
Article
Labelling of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown in 0.7 M NaCl with 35S-methionine revealed a 5-6 fold lowering of the methionine incorporation into protein, which could not be attributed solely to the approximately 50% longer generation time of cells grown in 0.7 M NaCl. Subsequent studies of the high affinity methionine uptake system showed a strongly reduced uptake of methionine during growth in 0.7 M NaCl medium. This reduced uptake was shown to be strain-independent and caused mainly by an approximately 20-fold lowered maximum velocity (Vmax) of the transport system, while the substrate affinity (Km) displayed only a minor change. A salt-instigated reduction of uptake was furthermore demonstrated for the leucine and histidine high affinity uptake systems and also for a mixture of 15 different amino acids. We therefore suggest that the reduced amino acid uptake is a general phenomenon observed in salt-grown cells.
 
Article
Saccharomyces cerevisiae exponentially growing in basic or 0.7 M NaCl medium were isotopically labelled with 35S-methionine, followed by protein separation and quantification by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) combined with computerised image analysis. The electrophoretic separation resolved about 650 proteins of which 13 displayed significant and at least 2-fold changes in rate of synthesis during saline growth. By sequencing of 2D-PAGE resolved proteins, one of the 8 induced spot, p42.9/5.5, was shown to correspond to the full length (containing the N-terminal extension) product of the GPD1 gene encoding the cytoplasmic glycerol 3-phosphate dehydrogenase. The expression of the TDH3 gene, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and the ENO2 gene, enolase, decreased during growth in NaCl medium, declines hypothesised to have an impact on the flux to glycerol.
 
Article
A cloning vector has been constructed which allows production and export by Escherichia coli of the Met346-Arg601 carboxy terminal domain of the 601 amino acid BLAR sensory-transducer involved in beta-lactamase inducibility in Bacillus licheniformis. The polypeptide, referred to as BLAR-CTD, accumulates in the periplasm of E. coli in the form of a water-soluble, Mr 26,000 penicillin-binding protein. These data and homology searches suggest that BLAR has a membrane topology similar to that of other sensory-transducers involved in chemotaxis.
 
Article
Because probiotic effects are strain dependent, genomic explanations of these differences will contribute to understanding their mechanisms of action. The genomic sequence of the Bifidobacterium longum probiotic strain NCC2705 was determined, but little is known about the genetic diversity between strains of this species. Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) is a powerful method for generating a set of DNA fragments differing between two closely related bacterial strains. The purpose of this study was to identify genetic differences between genomes of B. longum strains NCC2705 and CRC-002 using PCR-based SSH. Strain CRC-002 produces exopolysaccharides whereas NCC2705 is not known for reliable exopolysaccharide production. Thirty-five and 30 different sequences were obtained from the SSH libraries of strains CRC-002 and NCC2705, respectively. Specific CRC-002 genes found were predicted to be involved in the biosynthesis of exopolysaccharides and metabolism of other carbohydrates, and these genes were not present in the genome of strain NCC2705. The identification of an endo-1,4-beta-xylanase gene in the CRC-002 SSH library is an important difference because xylanase genes have previously been proposed as a defining characteristic of the NCC2705 strain. The results demonstrate that the SSH technique was useful to highlight potential genes involved in complex sugar metabolism that differ between the two probiotic strains.
 
Article
Photoproduction of hydrogen has been studied as one of the ways to produce a clean, renewable energy source. Ultrastructure of the selected strain Anabaena variabilis SPU 003, a heterocystous cyanobacterium, has been done to understand the cell structure. The organism was found to be essentially a dark hydrogen producer. While pH had no significant effect on hydrogen production, optimum temperature was found to be 30 degrees C. Various sugars increased the production of hydrogen while the presence of various nitrogen sources inhibits the production. The production of hydrogen is highly sensitive to salinity and micronutrients.
 
Article
The characteristics of the adhesion of PCC Lactobacillus fermentum VRI 003 to Peyer's patches was studied in vitro. The adhesion of L. fermentum 003 was strongly inhibited in the presence of d-mannose and methyl-alpha-d-mannoside although other carbohydrates tested, such as N-acetyl-glucosamine, d-galactose, d-glucose and l-fucose, did not affect the adhesion. Lactobacillus fermentum 003 was shown to strongly attach to mannose immobilized on a surface using BSA, suggesting that L. fermentum 003 specifically adhered to mannose-containing molecule(s). Pretreatment of L. fermentum 003 with proteinase K and trypsin decreased the adhesive capacity and bacterial surface extracts diminished adhesion of L. fermentum 003 indicating that cell surface proteins are involved in adhesion to Peyer's patches. It was concluded that a mannose-specific protein mediated adhesion of L. fermentum 003 to the Peyer's patches.
 
Article
Cholera epidemics caused by Vibrio cholerae 01 continue to represent a major public health concern in many developing countries. A rapid and simple test kit for the detection of V. cholerae 01 has been developed. The kit, CholeraScreen is a monoclonal antibody-based, co-agglutination test and is used directly with stool specimens. It does not include culturing the specimen and is performed without the need for sophisticated laboratory equipment. Specificity of the test was demonstrated, using 118 reference cultures, to which cross-reactions were not observed. Preliminary results of field trials carried out in Guatemala and Bangladesh demonstrated that the test is equally sensitive as conventional culture methods in detecting V. cholerae and, in many cases, more sensitive. The CholeraScreen test is simple, specific, and does not require culturing procedures, making it suitable for direct detection of cells of V. cholerae in clinical specimens, even in the field. Also, the test requires less than five minutes to complete.
 
Article
A clinical isolate of non-01 V. cholerae (10325) was shown to exhibit higher haemagglutination and intestinal adherence activities in vitro when grown in enriched media, such as trypticase soy broth (TSB) as compared to those of cells grown in a synthetic Tris-buffered or 'T'-medium. A comparison of their cell-surface protein and lipopolysaccharide profiles suggested the involvement of a 20-kDa protein in the cellular adherence process. An antiserum, raised specifically against the 20-kDa protein, recognised pilus structures on the surface of TSB grown cells. Further studies showed that the pilus was morphologically as well as antigenically distinct from toxin coregulated pilus (TCP) or other types of pili expressed by both 01 and non-01 organisms. Inhibition data established the involvement of the 20-kDa protein in haemagglutination as well as intestinal tissue adherence activities of the parent organism.
 
Article
The transition metal iron is an important element for the sustenance of life--it can function either as an electron acceptor or as a donor and serves as a cofactor in many enzymes activities. The cytoplasmic NAD(P)H-dependent ferric reductase in Thermus scotoductus SA-01 shares high sequence and structural similarity to prokaryotic thioredoxin reductases. Here we report the sequence of the ferric reductase (which is typically annotated as a thioredoxin reductase-like protein) and a comparative kinetic study with the thioredoxin reductase from SA-01. Structurally, the most noteworthy difference, immediately apparent from the protein sequence, is the absence of the disulphide redox centre in the ferric reductase. This is the first report relating the attributes of such a redox protein to its ability to reduce a ferric substrate.
 
Article
The genes encoding the hemolysins similar to the thermostable direct hemolysin (tdh gene) of Vibrio parahaemolyticus were cloned from chromosomes of V. mimicus and V. hollisae. These cloned hemolysin genes and previously cloned tdh genes of V. parahaemolyticus and V. cholerae non-01 were compared by physical mapping and by hybridization with oligodeoxyribonucleotide probes. The nucleotide sequences in the coding regions of all the cloned hemolysin genes were very homologous and had only minor variations but the sequences flanking the homolysin genes were dissimilar, indicating that the hemolysin genes have a common ancestor and suggesting that they may have been transferred between Vibrio species as a descrete genetic unit.
 
Article
Fructose, a rarely occurring sugar constituent of Gram-negative bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), is distributed ubiquitously in LPS of 01 Vibrio cholerae so far examined, but its location in LPS has not hitherto been elucidated. It was found that hydrazinolysis of LPS successfully affords a derivative retaining virtually all the fructose of intact LPS, but no ester-bound phosphate. Structural analysis carried out on the LPS derivative prepared by the hydrazinolysis of R-type LPS isolated from a rough mutant strain (NIH 41R) of 01 V. cholerae NIH 41 (Ogawa) revealed that the fructose is present as a non-reducing terminal residue bound to position C-6 of a glucose residue in the core region. This finding is considered to exclude the possibility that, in the LPS of 01 V. cholerae, the fructose is present in the region of the inner core in place of 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonate.
 
Article
The Fe(III) reductase activity was studied in the South African Fe(III)-reducing bacterium, Thermus scotoductus (SA-01). Fractionation studies revealed that the membrane as well as the soluble fraction contained NAD(P)H-dependent Fe(III) reductase activity. The membrane-associated enzyme was solubilized by KCl treatment and purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by hydrophobic interaction chromatography. A combination of ion-exchange and gel filtration chromatography was used to purify the soluble enzyme to apparent homogeneity. The molecular mass of the membrane-associated Fe(III) reductase was estimated to be 49 kDa, whereas the soluble Fe(III) reductase had an apparent molecular mass of 37 kDa. Optimum activity for the membrane-associated enzyme was observed at around 75 degrees C, whereas the soluble enzyme exhibited a temperature optimum at 60 degrees C.
 
Article
A membrane-associated chromate reductase from Thermus scotoductus SA-01 has been purified to apparent homogeneity and shown to couple the reduction of Cr(VI) to NAD(P)H oxidation, with a preference towards NADH. The chromate reductase is a homodimer with a monomeric molecular weight of 48 kDa and a noncovalently bound FAD coenzyme. The enzyme is optimally active at a pH of 6.5 and 65 degrees C with a K(m) of 55.5+/-4.2 microM and a V(max) of 2.3+/-0.1 micromol Cr(VI) min(-1) mg(-1) protein. The catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) of the enzyme was found to be comparable to that found for quinone reductases but more efficient than the nitroreductases. N-terminal sequencing and subsequent screening of a genomic library of T. scotoductus revealed an ORF of 1386 bp, homologous (84%) to the dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase gene of Thermus thermophilus HB8. These results extend the knowledge of chromate reductases mediating Cr(VI) reduction via noncovalently bound or free redox-active flavin groups and the activity of dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenases towards physiologically unrelated substrates.
 
Article
An N-acetyl-D-glucosamine-specific cell associated hemagglutinin (HA) was isolated and purified from a strain of Vibrio cholerae 01 by chitin affinity chromatography followed by separation on Bio Gel P-150. A single stained protein band of 47 kDa in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was observed with the purified HA. HA-antisera produced a single precipitin band against the purified HA in an immunodiffusion test without exhibiting any reactivity towards purified lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Purified HA, used as solid-phase antigen in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), reacted strongly with HA-antisera but cross-reacted negligibly with antisera raised against purified LPS. Hemagglutinating activity of the purified HA was highly sensitive to N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. The immunogold-labelling method using HA-antisera confirmed the location of the HA on the surface of the bacterial cells. The HA-antisera reacted with a protein component of the homologous outer membrane preparation. A significant inhibition was observed in the adhesive capability of the V. cholerae 01 strain to isolated rabbit intestinal epithelial cells (RIEC) in vitro when the later were pre-treated with the purified HA.
 
Article
The 0104 antigen (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) of Escherichia coli has an acidic O specific polysaccharide. From the aqueous phase of a phenol water extraction of E. coli O104: K-, a fraction was obtained by ultracentrifugation and Cetavlon precipitation of the supernatant, which was enriched in long-chain LPS. Compositional analysis, NMR spectroscopy, periodate oxidation and methylation analysis showed that the polysaccharide chain of O104 LPS II consisted of galactose, N-acetylgalactosamine and neuraminic acid and acetate in the molar ratio of 2:1:1:1 and contained 3-beta Gal, 3-beta GalNAc, 4-alpha Gal, and 4-alpha(9-OAc-NeuNAc) in linear sequence. The same results were obtained with the capsular K9 polysaccharide from E. coli O9:K9, as presented here and reported previously (Dutton et al. (1987) Carbohydr. Res. 170, 193-206).
 
Article
Adherent enteropathogenic Escherichia coli 0119 strains had a larger lipopolysaccharide core than non-adherent strains, although the O-chains were identical. The core from the non-adherent strain 19392 contained five hexose residues in the outer region, with three L-glycero-D-manno-heptose residues and 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid (KDO) in the inner region. The core of adherent strain JCP88 had an atypical structure consisting of six hexose residues, KDO, and equimolar amounts of L-glycero-D-manno-heptose and D-glycero-D-manno-heptose. The core of a rough JCP88 mutant resembled an incomplete 19392 core.
 
Article
Vibrio cholerae belonging to the recently described serogroup 0139, which are responsible for the current cholera epidemics in India and Bangladesh, were shown to express pilus-like structures partially cross-reacting with the toxin-coregulated pilus of V. cholerae strain (0395) belonging to the 01 serogroup and classical biotype. The 0139 pili were composed of 20 kDa subunit proteins which were antigenically related to the 20 kDa pilus protein of another diarrhoeagenic non-01 V. cholerae strain (serogroup 034) isolated earlier. The pili described in this study were found to be involved in the intestinal colonization process and, therefore, may contribute towards the virulence of the 0139 epidemic isolates.
 
Article
An oligonucleotide, derived from the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the CS1 fimbrial subunit protein was used to identify the subunit gene on recombinant plasmid pDEP23 containing the structural genes of the CS1 fimbrial operon. The nucleotide sequence of the subunit gene (csoA), encoding a protein of 171 amino acids, was determined. Flanking it upstream, a gene (csoB) encoding a protein of 238 amino acids was found. The CsoB and CsoA proteins are homologous to the CfaA and CfaB proteins in the CFA/I fimbrial operon. For all the CS1 producing strains investigated the structural genes are located on plasmids. Like CFA/I fimbriae, CS1 fimbriae are only expressed in the presence of a positive regulator, CfaD for CFA/I and Rns for CS1, respectively. The promoter region upstream of the csoB gene was cloned in front of the promoterless alkaline phosphatase (phoA) gene of the promoter-probe vector pCB267. PhoA activity was enhanced approximately two-fold by the introduction of compatible plasmids containing either rns or cfaD.
 
Article
Bioconversion of 19-deformyl-5-O-desosaminyl tylonolide (1) to 19-deformyl-4'-deoxydesmycosin (3) was performed by using a mycinamicin-producing Micromonospora species. Compound 1 at low concentrations was completely converted to compound 3, however, the conversion to compound 3 was suppressed at high concentrations and 19-deformyl-4'-deoxy-2", 3'-di-O-demethyl-desmycosin (2), an intermediate leading to compound 3 accumulated.
 
Article
Most Bacillus thuringiensis parasporal crystals separate from spores after sporulation. A special phenomenon called spore-crystal association (SCA) occurs in a few subspecies (e.g. ssp. finitimus) where enclosed crystals are associated with spores. In this study, the involvement of crystal protein gene promoters in SCA was investigated. Two crystal protein genes, cry26Aa and cry28Aa, were isolated from subspecies finitimus strain YBT-020, and each or both were then transferred to acrystalliferous B. thuringiensis strain BMB171 and the plasmid-cured derivative of strain YBT-020. SCA was not observed with any recombinant strain, implying that the crystal protein genes are not sufficient to cause SCA. When the typical crystal protein gene cry1Ca was introduced into strain YBT-020, free bipyramidal crystals formed in addition to SCA. Recombinant genes containing the promoter of cry26Aa or cry28Aa fused with the coding sequence (CDS) of cry1Ca were introduced into strain YBT-020, and the typical cry1Ca phenotype was observed. Another two fusion genes consisting of the promoter of cry1Ca and the CDS of cry26Aa or cry28Aa were also transferred to strain YBT-020. Only enclosed crystals formed. These results indicate that the promoters of the crystal protein genes are not the key factor determining the crystal location in strain YBT-020.
 
Article
Two enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strains of serotype 0.25.H42 that produced coli surface associated antigens CS4 and CS6 hybridized with a probe containing the cfaD sequence that regulates expression of colonization factor antigen CFA/I. Transformation of a cloned cfaD gene into some derivatives of the strains that were negative for CS4 and CS6 resulted in expression of CS4 but not CS6. By hybridization the sequence that regulated CS4 production in the wild type 025 strains was located on a plasmid that also encoded the CS6 antigen. The structural genes for the CS4 antigen were on a separate plasmid. The 025 strains carried a third plasmid encoding enterotoxin production which was therefore unlinked to regulation sequences or genes encoding CS antigens.
 
Article
The structure of Citrobacter 027 lipopolysaccharide core has been established using sugar and methylation analyses and 1H-NMR spectroscopy, and was shown to be identical to the core described recently in PCM 1487 strain which represents a separate serotype in Citrobacter genus.
 
Article
Alcohol dehydrogenase ADH2 was purified twice from Candida guilliermondii strain A80-03, by ion exchange column chromatography on DEAE-Toyopearl 650M. The enzyme was a dimer of M(r) 98,500. ADH2 had a broad substrate specificity, oxidizing secondary alcohols as well as primary alcohols. The enzyme was sensitive to several inhibitors, such as metal chelators and thiol reagents. Kinetic studies suggested that ADH2 oxidized ethanol by an iso ordered sequential mechanism.
 
Article
Over 200 strains of marine purple photosynthetic bacteria were isolated. Two strains showed antibiotic activity towards Saccharomyces cerevisiae and were tentatively identified as Chromatium purpuratum. Crude antibiotic, prepared by solvent extraction, showed a broad antimicrobial spectrum. The highest activity was found in the chromatophore fraction. Chromatographic separation of purified light harvesting complex from one strain, NKPB 031704, showed the presence of two separate pigmented compounds which were responsible for antimicrobial activity. Our findings reveal the unexpected ability of photosynthetic bacteria to produce broad spectrum antibiotics. In addition, this is the first example of intracellular localization of antibiotic activity in a marine bacterium.
 
Article
The chrysene-degrading bacterium Pseudoxanthomonas sp. PNK-04 was isolated from a coal sample. Three novel metabolites, hydroxyphenanthroic acid, 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid and salicylic acid, were identified by TLC, HPLC and MS. Key enzyme activities, namely 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoate hydroxylase, 1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene dioxygenase, salicylaldehyde dehydrogenase and catechol-1,2-dioxygenase, were noted in the cell-free extract. These results suggest that chrysene is catabolized via hydroxyphenanthroic acid, 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid, salicylic acid and catechol. The terminal aromatic metabolite, catechol, is then catabolized by catechol-1,2-dioxygenase to cis,cis-muconic acid, ultimately forming TCA cycle intermediates. Based on these studies, the proposed catabolic pathway for chrysene degradation by strain PNK-04 is chrysene → hydroxyphenanthroic acid → 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid → 1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene → salicylic acid → catechol →cis,cis-muconic acid.
 
Article
gamma-Linolenic acid (GLA) production using a high GLA producing marine green alga, Chlorella sp. NKG 042401, was studied. GLA was presented in the galactolipid fraction (37.9%/total fatty acids). The effects of growth conditions on GLA production were studied. Optimum salinity for GLA production was 5 g l-1, at which salinity the highest cell concentration was achieved, resulting in a 1.6-fold increase in GLA productivity. Total fatty acid, however, was not drastically affected by change of salinity. Nitrogen starvation decreased the ratio of unsaturated fatty acids, and consequently GLA ratio in total fatty acid decreased. The urea adduct method was used to concentrate GLA from crude extract. As a result, after 5 sequential concentration procedures, GLA was concentrated 5-fold with a yield of 49%.
 
Article
The clonal relationship of thirty E. coli strains of 0 antigen serotype 06 isolated from human, dog, pig or cow infections were investigated. Two main clones with serotypes 06 : H1 or 06 : H31, H- were identified. Isolates from humans, dogs, pigs and cows were found in both clones, indicating that animals are a possible source for human extraintestinal Escherichia coli strains. Two human ETEC (06 : H16) and two pig isolates (06 : H10) were not related to the 06 : H1 or 06 : H31, H- E. coli clones.
 
Article
A hemolysin produced by a clinical isolate of Kanagawa phenomenon-negative Vibrio parahaemolyticus 06: K46 was purified by 55% ammonium sulfate fractionation and successive column chromatographies on DEAE-cellulose, hydroxyapatite, Sepharose 4B and Mono Q. The purified hemolysin was physicochemically and immunologically identical with the Vp-TRH (V. parahaemolyticus thermostable direct hemolysin related hemolysin) recently described in V. parahaemolyticus 03: K6 (Honda et al. Infect. Immun. 56: 961-965, 1988). This indicates that V. parahaemolyticus of Kanagawa-negative clinical isolates possessing not only 03: K6 but also different serotypes such as 06: K46 produce Vp-TRH. Production of Vp-TRH by most clinical isolates of Kanagawa-negative V. parahaemolyticus was also demonstrated. These results suggest the importance of Vp-TRH among clinical isolates of Kanagawa-negative V. parahaemolyticus.
 
Article
Cecal microbiota of chicken was screened for bacteria involved in the biotransformation of isoflavones. A new facultative anaerobic bacterium, capable of deglycosylation of the isoflavone genistin, was isolated and identified as a Lactobacillus delbrueckii-like strain. The isolate MF-07 was Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, catalase negative, non-spore-forming, nonmotile and a straight rod. The polyphasic taxonomic data, along with 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison, demonstrated that the isolate MF-07 was most closely related to L. delbrueckii group of the Lactobacillus genus. Considerable amounts of genistein were accumulated with genistin as a substrate within the first 12 h of fermentation. Formononetin and daidzein were not metabolized. The influence of several carbon sources on the growth of the isolate MF-07 and biotransformation of genistin was also investigated. This is the first study in which an anaerobic Lactobacillus bacterium from the chicken intestinal tract that metabolizes genistin to produce its bioactive metabolite was identified and characterized.
 
Article
The genes determining the biosynthesis of a new putative colonization factor, designated PCF09 have been cloned from an LT+ enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli 09:H- isolated during an outbreak of infant diarrhea in Central Australia. Electron microscopy has shown it to be of the fibrillar type. Purification of the major pilin subunit showed it to have a size of approximately 27 kDa. NH2-terminal analysis of the major subunit has shown the PCFO9 determinant to be distinct from other fimbriae although there is some conservation of certain residues. A synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide probe based on the NH2-terminal amino acid sequence of the purified protein has been used in Southern hybridization analyses to define the region on pPM1320 encoding the structural gene for the major pilin subunit.
 
Article
The terephthalate 1,2-dioxygenase system (TERDOS) was found in cell extracts of Delftia tsuruhatensis strain T7 (=IFO16741) grown in terephthalate-salt medium. The cell extract was separated by anion exchange chromatography to yield two fractions (R and Z) that were necessary for oxygenation of terephthalate with NADH and Fe(2+). The oxygenase component of TERDOS (TerZ) was purified from fraction Z by gel filtration chromatography to near homogeneity. An alpha(3)beta(3) subunit structure was deduced from the molecular masses of 235, 46 and 17 kDa of the native complex and the alpha- and beta-subunits, respectively. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of the two subunits of TerZ allowed polymerase chain reaction primers to be deduced and the DNA sequence of the alpha-subunit was determined. The amino acid sequence of the alpha-subunit (TerZalpha) showed significant similarities to the large subunits of multicomponent ring-hydroxylating oxygenases. Two motifs in the deduced amino acid sequence, a Rieske [2Fe-2S] center and a mononuclear Fe(II) binding site, were observed. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that TerZalpha and the large oxygenase component subunits ortho-halobenzoate 1,2-dioxygenase and salicylate-5-hydroxylase form a cluster that is distant from the rest of the large oxygenase subunits of multicomponent ring-hydroxylating oxygenases.
 
Article
A soluble alpha-mannosidase from Candida albicans CAI-4 was purified by conventional methods of protein isolation. Analytical electrophoresis of the purified preparation revealed two polypeptides of 52 and 27 kDa, the former being responsible for enzyme activity. The purified, 52 kDa enzyme trimmed Man9GlcNAc2, producing Man8GlcNAc2 isomer B and mannose, and was inhibited preferentially by 1-deoxymannojirimycin. These properties are consistent with an endoplasmic reticulum-resident alpha1,2-mannosidase of the glycosyl hydrolase family 47. Moreover, a proteolytic activity responsible for converting the 52 kDa alpha-mannosidase into a polypeptide of 43 kDa retaining full enzyme activity, was demonstrated in membranes of ATCC 26555, but not in CAI-4 strain.
 
Article
Gentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (GDO, EC 1.13.11.4) is a ring cleavage enzyme that utilizes gentisate as a substrate yielding maleylpyruvate as the ring fission product. Mutant GDOs were generated by both random mutagenesis and site-directed mutagenesis of the gene cloned from Pseudomonas alcaligenes NCIB 9867. Alignment of known GDO sequences indicated the presence of a conserved central core region. Mutations generated within this central core resulted in the complete loss of enzyme activity whereas mutations in the flanking regions yielded GDOs with enzyme activities that were reduced by up to 78%. Site-directed mutagenesis was also performed on a pair of highly conserved HRH and HXH motifs found within this core region. Conversion of these His residues to Asp resulted in the complete loss of catalytic activity. Mutagenesis within the core region could have affected quaternary structure formation as well as cofactor binding. A mutant enzyme with increased catalytic activities was also characterized.
 
Article
A bphC gene (915 bp) encoding 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl 1,2-dioxygenase (BphC) was amplified by PCR from Dyella ginsengisoli LA-4, which was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. The purified His-Tag BphC was able to catalyze the meta-cleavage reaction of the dihydroxylated aromatic rings. According to the specificity constant (K(cat)/K(m)) of BphC_LA-4, the specificity of BphC_LA-4 was determined in the following order: 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl>3-methylcatechol>catechol>4-chlorocatechol>4-methylcatechol. The experimental data were consistent with the prediction of enzyme-substrate complexes. The highest specific activity of BphC_LA-4 was 118.3 U mg(-1) for 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl.
 
Article
A bacterial strain, Pseudomonas sp. POB 310, was enriched with 4-carboxy biphenyl ether as sole source of carbon and energy. Resting cells of POB 310 co-oxidize a substrate analogue, 4-carboxybenzophenone, yielding 1,2-dihydro-1,2-dihydroxy-4-carboxy-benzophenone. The ether bond of 3- and 4-carboxy biphenyl ether is cleaved analogously by initial 1,2-dioxygenation, yielding a hemiacetal which is hydrolysed to protocatechuate and phenol. These intermediates are degraded via an ortho and meta pathway, respectively. Alternative 2,3- and 3,4-dioxygenation can be ruled out as triggering steps in carboxy biphenyl ether degradation.
 
Article
Naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. NCIB 9816-4 and biphenyl dioxygenase from Beijerinckia sp. B8/36 oxidized the aromatic N-heterocycle carbazole to 3-hydroxycarbazole. Toluene dioxygenase from Pseudomonas putida F39/D did not oxidize carbazole. Transformations were carried out by mutant strains which oxidize naphthalene and biphenyl to cis-dihydrodiols, and with a recombinant E. coli strain expressing the structural genes of naphthalene 1,2-dioxgenase from Pseudomonas sp. NCIB 9816-4. 3-Hydroxycarbazole is presumed to result from the dehydration of an unstable cis-dihydrodiol.
 
Article
Expression of the cobalamin biosynthetic (cob) and 1,2-propanediol utilization (cob/pdu) regulon of Salmonella typhimurium LT2 is controlled at the transcriptional level by global and specific regulatory proteins. In this paper we show that mutations in the mviA gene negatively affect cob/pdu transcription in response to 1,2-propanediol in the environment. The effects of mviA mutations were consistent with its role in the regulation of RpoS levels in the cell. Null mutations in rpoS eliminated the negative effect of mviA mutations on cob/pdu transcription, and restored growth on succinate, propionate and 1,2-propanediol. In addition, mviA mutants were deficient in the utilization of succinate, propionate and 1,2-propanediol as carbon and energy sources.
 
Article
Gentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (E.C.1.14.13) was purified to homogeneity from Klebsiella pneumoniae M5a1, a soil bacterium able to degrade a great variety of aromatic compounds. The molecular mass of the purified holoenzyme was 159 kDa and its structure was deduced to be a tetramer with 38 kDa per subunit. Gentisate 1,2-dioxygenase appears to contain Fe2+ in its active site. The optimum temperature for enzyme activity was estimated to be 30 degrees C, the optimum pH values varied between 8 and 9 and the isoelectric point was 4.7. Gentisate dioxygenase exhibited typical saturation kinetics and had an apparent K(m) of 52 microM for gentisate. Its amino acid content was determined to be very similar to that of the enzyme from Pseudomonas acidovorans.
 
Article
Periplasmic cyclic beta-1,2-glucans play a crucial role in symbiosis as well as in hypo-osmotic adaptation for rhizobia. These glucans are modified in many species by anionic substituents such as glycerophosphoryl and succinyl ones, but their role remains to be examined. In this work, the cgmA homolog is shown to be responsible for glycerophosphorylation of cyclic beta-1,2-glucans in Mesorhizobium loti. The mutation in cgmA converted most anionic glucans into neutral ones, leaving a small amount of succinylated ones. An additional mutation in opgC, which encodes a succinyltransferase homolog, abolished the residual succinyl substituents in the cgmA-mutant background. The double mutant in cgmA and opgC did not show any significant phenotypic differences from the wild type during both vegetative growth and symbiosis. It is concluded that the anionic substituents make a minor contribution, if any, to the effectiveness of cyclic beta-1,2-glucans in M. loti.
 
Article
2,3-Dihydroxybiphenyl 1,2-dioxygenase (2,3-DBPD) is an extradiol-type dioxygenase that catalyzes the aromatic ring fission of 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl, the third step in the biphenyl degradation pathway. The nucleotide sequence of the Pseudomonas putida OU83 gene bphC, which encodes 2,3-DBPD, was cloned into a plasmid pQE31. The His-tagged 2,3-DBPD produced by a recombinant Escherichia coli strain, SG13009(pREP4)(pAKC1), and purified with a Ni-nitrilotriacetic acid resin affinity column using the His-bind Qiagen system. The His-tagged 2,3-DBPD construction, carrying a single 6 x His tail on the N-terminal of the polypeptide, was active. SDS-PAGE analysis of the purified active 2,3-DBPD gave a single band of 34 kDa; this is in agreement with the size of the bphC coding region. The K(m) for 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl was 14.5 +/- 2 microM. The enzyme activity was enhanced by ferrous ion but inhibited by ferric ion. The enzyme activity was inhibited by thiol-blocking reagents and heavy metals HgCl2, CuSO4, NiSO4, and CdCl2. The yield was much higher and the time required to purify recombinant 2,3-DBPD from clone pAKCl was faster than by the conventional chromatography procedures.
 
Article
3-Amino-1,2,4-triazole (3-AT) is known as an inhibitor of catalase to whose active center it specifically and covalently binds. Subcellular fractionation and immunoelectronmicroscopic observation of the yeast Candida tropicalis revealed that, in 3-AT-treated cells in which the 3-AT was added to the n-alkane medium from the beginning of cultivation, catalase transported into peroxisomes was inactivated and was present as insoluble aggregated forms in the organelle. The aggregation of catalase in peroxisomes occurred only in these 3-AT-treated cells and not in cells in which 3-AT was added at the late exponential growth phase. Furthermore, 3-AT did not affect the transportation of catalase into peroxisomes. The appearance of aggregation only in cells to which 3-AT was added from the beginning of cultivation suggests that, in the process of catalase transportation into yeast peroxisomes, some conformational change may take place and that correct folding may be inhibited by the binding of 3-AT to the active center of catalase. Accordingly, 3-AT will be an interesting compound for investigation of the transport machinery of the peroxisomal tetrameric catalase.
 
Article
Competitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT/PCR) was used to quantify the mRNA of the tcbC gene of Pseudomonas sp. strain P51. The tcbC gene encodes the enzyme chlorocatechol-1,2-dioxygenase involved in 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (TCB) degradation. The mRNA content per cell was monitored in a batch culture growing on 1,2,4-TCB. No mRNA could be detected in the first 2 days of the lag phase. mRNA production became maximal with 20 molecules per cell in the early exponential growth phase but then decreased to less than 10 molecules per cell. When TCB was depleted and the cells entered the stationary phase, the mRNA content decreased slowly below the detection limit within 4 days. In order to compare detection of tcbC mRNA in pure culture and in river sediment, cells of strain P51 pregrown on TCB were added to sediment and RNAs extracted. In sediment samples containing 5×108 cells per gram the tcbC mRNA was quantifiable by RT/PCR. The mRNA recovery was about 3% as compared to the inoculum. The detection limit of the RT/PCR method was about 107 mRNA molecules per gram sediment or 106 copies per ml culture medium which corresponded in our case to 105 molecules per reaction vial.
 
Article
CTBT (7-chlorotetrazolo[5,1-c]benzo[1,2,4]triazine) causes intracellular superoxide production and oxidative stress and enhances the susceptibility of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida albicans, and C. glabrata cells to cycloheximide, 5-fluorocytosine, and azole antimycotic drugs. Here, we demonstrate the antifungal activity of CTBT against 14 tested filamentous fungi. CTBT prevented spore germination and mycelial proliferation of Aspergillus niger and the pathogenic Aspergillus fumigatus. The action of CTBT is fungicidal. CTBT increased the formation of reactive oxygen species in fungal mycelium as detected by 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and reduced the radial growth of colonies in a dose-dependent manner. Co-application of CTBT and itraconazole led to complete inhibition of fungal growth at dosages lower than the chemicals alone. Antifungal and chemosensitizing activities of CTBT in filamentous fungi may be useful in combination treatments of infections caused by drug-resistant fungal pathogens.
 
Article
Two long-chain fatty acids, 27-oxo-octacosanoic acid (28:0(27-oxo)) and heptacosane-1,27-dioic acid (27:0-dioic) were identified for the first time in phenol-chloroform-petroleum ether extracts of Legionella pneumophila, indicating that they are constituents of lipopolysaccharide. The fatty acids were characterised by combined gas-liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Moreover, minor amounts of 29-oxo-triacontanoic (30:0(29-oxo)) acid and nonacosane-1,29-dioic acid (29:0-dioic) as well as 27-hydroxy-octacosanoic acid (28:0(27-OH)) were present in the phenol-chloroform-petroleum ether extract.
 
Article
A benzene 1,3-disulfonate degrading mixed bacterial culture was isolated from the River Elbe downstream of Hamburg. The mixed culture was composed of five different bacterial strains. None of these strains grew in axenic culture with benzene 1,3-disulfonate as sole source of carbon and energy. In the presence of 4-nitrocatechol, resting cells of the mixed culture converted benzene 1,3-disulfonate to catechol 4-sulfonate. Experiments with cell-free extracts demonstrated that catechol 4-sulfonate was further metabolized via 3-sulfomuconate and 4-carboxymethyl-4-sulfobut-2-en-4-olide.
 
Article
The effect of carbon sources on the level of beta-1,3-glucanases in the culture filtrates of Trichoderma harzianum (Tc) was investigated. Enzyme activity was detected in all carbon sources, but highest levels were found when laminarin and purified cell walls were used. Three isoforms of beta-1,3-glucanase were produced during growth of the fungus on purified cell walls. Two isoforms were produced on chitin, chitosan, N-acetylglucosamine and laminarin, while only one was detected when the fungus was grown on cellulose and glucose. A 36-kDa beta-1,3-glucanase (GLU36) was secreted from T. harzianum (Tc) grown on all carbon sources tested as demonstrated by Western blot analysis. We found that a significant increase in the level of GLU36 in the culture filtrate follows glucose exhaustion, suggesting that this enzyme is controlled by carbon catabolite repression.
 
Article
An endo-1,3(4)-beta-D-glucanase gene (cwd2) of Cellvibrio mixtus encoding laminarinase activity was cloned on a 3.9-kb PstI fragment. The Cwd2 enzyme, extracted from recombinant Escherichia coli, degraded both beta-1,3 glucans and beta-1,3-1,4 mixed-linkage glucans, was endohydrolytic and so conformed to the enzyme class 3.2.1.6. The pH and temperature optima of the enzyme were approximately 7 and 40 degrees C respectively. The M(r) of specifically labelled Cwd2 was approximately 34,000. This gene was quite distinct from two other C. mixtus beta-1,3 glucanases previously described.
 
Article
The genome of Dictyostelium contains two novel hybrid-type polyketide synthases (PKSs) known as 'Steely'; the Steely enzyme is formed by the fusion of type I and type III PKSs. One of these enzymes, SteelyB, is known to be responsible for the production of the stalk cell-inducing factor DIF-1 in vivo. On the other hand, the product(s) and expression pattern of SteelyA are not clearly understood, because there are two different reports associated with the in vitro products of SteelyA and its expression pattern. To solve this problem, we first examined the expression pattern using two different primer sets and found that it was quite similar to that shown in the dictyExpress database. stlA expression peaked at approximately 3 h and declined, but showed a small peak around the end of development. Next, we examined the in vivo product of SteelyA using a stlA null mutant and found that the mutant lacked 4-methyl-5-pentylbenzene-1,3-diol (MPBD). This null mutant showed aberrant, glassy sori, and most of the cells in the sori remained amoeba-like without a cell wall. This defect was restored by adding 200 nM of MPBD to the agar. These results indicate that SteelyA produces MPBD in vivo and induces spore maturation.
 
Article
The usefulness of oxonol (bis-(1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid)trimethine oxonol) as a generally applicable indicator of bacterial viability was investigated using untreated and killed cultures of a variety of bacterial genera. Killing methods involved either heat or bactericidal antibiotics. For all strains tested, the fluorescent dye showed significantly more intense staining of killed than untreated cells. The sensitivity of Aeromonas salmonicida to gentamicin was assessed using oxonol. Although the bacterium was shown to be sensitive to the antibiotic, there was a delay between the time cells lost culturability, as judged by numbers of colony forming units, and that for which a dead cell population could be detected by flow cytometry.
 
Top-cited authors
Mel Rosenberg
  • Tel Aviv University
Harry James Flint
  • University of Aberdeen
David L Gutnick
  • Tel Aviv University
Peter D Nichols
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Tadashi Matsunaga
  • Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science Technology