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Protective effects of bacterial osmoprotectant ectoine on bovine erythrocytes subjected to staphylococcal alpha-haemolysin

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... All experimental treatments were incubated for 30 min at 37°C. The reaction mixtures were centrifuged and the hemolysis of supernatants was measured at 540 nm using spectrophotometer (Bownik and Stepniewska 2015). ...
... The maximum hemolysis of RBCs was observed in the absence of ectoine; by increasing ectoine concentration in different treatments, the RBCs hemolysis decreased significantly between 7.5 and 14.5% at zero time of incubation period and between 14.3 and 21.7% after 10 min of the incubation period (p \ 0.05). However, the treatments containing higher concentrations of ectoine were less effective because the high concentration of amino acids containing compounds as ectoine probably forms a dense layer on RBCs surface that limits gas diffusion (Bownik and Stepniewska 2015). Results also revealed the positive impact of incubation period that enhances significantly the efficiency of ectoine action (P-value = 0.002 and T-value = 4.22). ...
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PurposeNumerous applications of compatible salts (osmolytes) as ectoine in food and pharmaceutical industries have been intensively increased nowadays. Decreasing the cost of industrial production of ectoine using low-cost cultivation media and improving the yield through modeling procedures are the main scopes of the present study.Methods Three statistical design experiments have been successfully applied for screening the parameters affecting the production process, studying the relations among parameters and optimizing the production using response surface methodology.ResultsA novel semi-synthetic medium based on hydrolyzed corn gluten meal has been developed to cultivate moderate halophilic bacterial strains; Vibrio sp. CS1 and Salinivibrio costicola SH3, and support ectoine synthesis under salinity stress. Two regression equations describe the production process in the new medium have been formulated for each bacterial strain. Response surface optimizer of the central composite model predicts the maximum ectoine production is achieved at incubation time; 63.7 h, pH; 7.47 and salinity; 7.27% for Vibrio sp. CS1 whereas these variables should be adjusted at 56.95 h, 7.089 and 10.34%; on the same order regarding Salinivibrio costicola SH3. In application studies, 50 µg ectoine decreases RBCs hemolysis due to streptolysin O toxin by 21.7% within ten minutes. In addition, 2% ectoine succeeds to increase the viability of lactic acid bacteria in Yogurt as a classic example of functional food during the storage period (7 days).Conclusion The present study emphasizes on modeling the process of ectoine production by halophilic bacteria as well as its activity as a cryoprotectant agent.
... In a study by Graf et al. (12) ectoine-treated human erythrocytes were more resistant to membranedamaging sodium dodecyl sulphate detergent than untreated cells. Our recent study (32) has shown that ectoine has a potential to block pore-forming toxins, as the isolated bovine erythrocytes treated with ectoine turned out to be less sensitive to staphylococcal alpha-haemolysin. Interestingly, the toxin monomers preincubated with ectoine were less cytotoxic than those added to the cell suspension simultaneously with ectoine, which suggests that ectoine blocks the unfolding of the toxin monomers and thus prevents the formation of transmembrane pores in the cell membrane. ...
Article
Ectoine is a compatible water molecule-binding solute (osmoprotectant) produced by several bacterial species in response to osmotic stress and unfavourable environmental conditions. This amino acid derivative can accumulate inside cells at high concentrations without interfering with natural processes and can protect the cell against radiation or osmotic stress. This brief review presents the current state of knowledge about the effects of ectoine on animals and focuses on its practical use for enzyme stabilisation, human skin protection, anti-inflammatory treatment, inhibitory effects in neurodegenerative diseases, and other therapeutic potential in human or veterinary medicine
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Ectoine (ECT) is an amino acid produced and accumulated by halophilic bacteria in stressful conditions in order to prevent the loss of water from the cell. There is a lack of knowledge on the effects of ECT in heat-stressed aquatic animals. The purpose of our study was to determine the influence of ECT on Daphnia magna subjected to heat stress with two temperature gradients: 1 and 0.1 °C/min in the range of 23-42 °C. Time to immobilisation, survival during recovery, swimming performance, heart rate, thoracic limb movement and the levels of heat shock protein 70 kDa 1A (HSP70 1A), catalase (CAT) and nitric oxide species (NOx) were determined in ECT-exposed and unexposed daphnids; we showed protective effects of ECT on Daphnia magna subjected to heat stress. Time to immobilisation of daphnids exposed to ECT was longer when compared to the unexposed animals. Also, survival rate during the recovery of daphnids previously treated with ECT was higher. ECT significantly attenuated a rapid increase of mean swimming velocity which was elevated in the unexposed daphnids. Moreover, we observed elevation of thoracic limb movement and modulation of heart rate in ECT-exposed animals. HSP70 1A and CAT levels were reduced in the presence of ECT. On the other hand, NOx level was slightly elevated in both ECT-treated and unexposed daphnids, however slightly higher NOx level was found in ECT-treated animals. We conclude that the exposure to ectoine has thermoprotective effects on Daphnia magna, however their mechanisms are not associated with the induction of HSP70 1A.
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Bacterial osmoadaptation involves the cytoplasmic accumulation of compatible solutes to counteract extracellular osmolarity. The halophilic and highly halotolerant bacterium Chromohalobacter salexigens is able to grow up to 3 m NaCl in a minimal medium due to the de novo synthesis of ectoines. This is an osmoregulated pathway that burdens central metabolic routes by quantitatively drawing off TCA cycle intermediaries. Consequently, metabolism in C. salexigens has adapted to support this biosynthetic route. Metabolism of C. salexigens is more efficient at high salinity than at low salinity, as reflected by lower glucose consumption, lower metabolite overflow, and higher biomass yield. At low salinity, by-products (mainly gluconate, pyruvate, and acetate) accumulate extracellularly. Using [1-¹³C]-, [2-¹³C]-, [6-¹³C]-, and [U-¹³C6]glucose as carbon sources, we were able to determine the main central metabolic pathways involved in ectoines biosynthesis from glucose. C. salexigens uses the Entner-Doudoroff pathway rather than the standard glycolytic pathway for glucose catabolism, and anaplerotic activity is high to replenish the TCA cycle with the intermediaries withdrawn for ectoines biosynthesis. Metabolic flux ratios at low and high salinity were similar, revealing a certain metabolic rigidity, probably due to its specialization to support high biosynthetic fluxes and partially explaining why metabolic yields are so highly affected by salinity. This work represents an important contribution to the elucidation of specific metabolic adaptations in compatible solute-accumulating halophilic bacteria. Background: Chromohalobacter salexigens synthesizes and accumulates ectoines. Results: High ratio of the anaplerotic and catabolic fluxes involved in ectoines synthesis supports high biosynthetic fluxes at high salinity and leads to metabolite overflow at low salinity. Conclusion: Evolution optimized the metabolism of C. salexigens to support high production of ectoines. Significance: Metabolic adaptations in a compatible solute-accumulating halophile are described for the first time.
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The protective properties of ectoine, formerly described for only extremophilic microorganisms, can be transferred to human skin. Our present data show that the compatible solute ectoine protects the cellular membrane from damage caused by surfactants. Transepidermal water loss measurements in vivo suggest that the barrier function of the skin is strengthened after the topical application of an oil in water emulsion containing ectoine. Ectoine functions as a superior moisturizer with long-term efficacy. These findings indicating that ectoine is a strong water structure-forming solute are explained in silico by means of molecular dynamic simulations. Spherical clusters containing (1) water, (2) water with ectoine, and (3) water with glycerol are created as model systems. The stronger the water-binding activity of the solute, the greater the quantity of water molecules remaining in the cluster at high temperatures. Water clusters around ectoine molecules remain stable for a long period of time, whereas mixtures of water and glycerol break down and water molecules diffuse out of the spheres. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that the hydrogen bond properties of solutes are not solely responsible for maintaining the water structure form. Moreover, the particular electrostatic potential of ectoine as an amphoteric molecule with zwitterionic character is the major cause for its strong affinity to water. Because of its outstanding water-binding activity, ectoine might be especially useful in preventing water loss in dry atopic skin and in recovering skin viability and preventing skin aging.
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The heat shock proteins (Hsps) have an important role in the cytoprotection and repair of cells and tissues. One potential mechanism of protection is the ability of Hsp to inhibit genetic expression of proinflammatory cytokines, the transcription of which is dependent on nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation. In this study, we evaluated the ability of ectoine, a novel natural biomolecule produced by halophilic microorganisms, to activate the hsp70 and hsp70B'. By reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis, we demonstrated increased hsp70B' gene expression in human keratinocytes treated with ectoine and heat stressed. In contrast, in the absence of heat shock, ectoine was unable to induce hsp70B' but had the ability to induce another member of the Hsp family, the hsp70. The latter is not only elevated in response to stress but is also present at basal level in unstressed cells. In addition, ectoine had no effect on proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha and on NF-kappaB and IkappaB-alpha pathway, whereas it downregulated the expression of cited proinflammatory cytokines, in lipopolysaccharides-treated keratinocytes. These results highlighted the ability of ectoine to protect cells from stress conditions and to prevent cell damage by maintaining an elevated level of the Hsp70. Overall, these data might suggest the use of this compatible solute in cosmetic and even pharmaceutical preparations aiming to activate a cytoprotective heat shock response in human cells.
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Microorganisms produce and accumulate compatible solutes aiming at protecting themselves from environmental stresses. Among them, the wide spread in nature ectoines are receiving increasing attention by the scientific community because of their multiple applications. In fact, increasing commercial demand has led to a multiplication of efforts in order to improve processes for their production. In this review, the importance of current and potential applications of ectoines as protecting agents for macromolecules, cells and tissues, together with their potential as therapeutic agents for certain diseases are analyzed and current theories for the understanding of the molecular basis of their biological activity are discussed. The genetic, biochemical and environmental determinants of ectoines biosynthesis by natural and engineered producers are described. The major limitations of current bioprocesses used for ectoines production are discussed, with emphasis on the different microorganisms, environments, molecular engineering and fermentation strategies used to optimize the production and recovery of ectoines. The combined application of both bioprocess and metabolic engineering strategies, allowing a deeper understanding of the main factors controlling the production process is also stated. Finally, this review aims to summarize and update the state of the art in ectoines uses and applications and industrial scale production using bacteria, emphasizing the importance of reactor design and operation strategies, together with the metabolic engineering aspects and the need for feedback between wet and in silico work to optimize bioproduction.
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Compatible solutes are small organic osmolytes responsible for osmotic balance and at the same time compatible with the cellular metabolism. Here, we have investigated the effect of the compatible solutes, ectoine and hydroxyectoine, on the fluid-rigid domain structure of lipid monolayer and bilayer membranes. Mainly saturated dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine membranes exhibiting a clear le/lc phase transition were used. Fluorescence microscopy showed that ectoines added to the aqueous subphase expand and fluidize the lipid monolayers especially at surface pressures below 30mN/m. The domain structure at the le/lc phase transition is sensitively modified leading to smaller but more numerous domains in the presence of ectoines. Hydroxyectoine was more efficient than ectoine. These results are explained by the replacement theory assuming that the ectoines are likely to be expelled from the membrane surface thus favoring the hydration of the lipid membrane. This effect reduces the line tension, which is the interfacial energy at the domain edges leading to reduced domain sizes and increased number of rigid domains. Isotherms of negatively charged phosphatidylglycerol membranes show a similar expansion, while unsaturated lipids are less affected. Mixed phosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylglycerol membranes exhibit the same effect on the line tension increasing the tendency for a phase separation. This could be shown also in bilayer vesicles, where the compatible solutes have only a minor effect on the lipid main phase transition in pure DPPC membranes but reduce the extent of the pretransition. In mixed DPPC/DPPG bilayer membranes ectoines cause a phase separation leading to the enrichment of expanded DPPC domains. In conclusion, our study gives for the first time evidence that ectoines have an effect on lipid membranes increasing the hydration of the surface and thus increasing the mobility of the lipid head groups and fluidizing the lipid layer accordingly. This increased fluidity may be of advantage for cell membranes to withstand extreme conditions like temperature or osmotic pressure and might also accelerate cellular repair mechanisms.
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The optimum conditions for the intracellular synthesis of the cyclic amino acid ectoine (1,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2-methyl-4-pyridine carboxylic acid) were determined using the halotolerant Brevibacterium sp. JCM 6894. The amount of ectoine synthesized in cells was quantitatively determined after extraction from cells grown under various conditions, such as different external osmolarities, incubation times, and types and concentrations of nutrients in the medium. The optimum condition for the synthesis of ectoine was confirmed to be consecutive cell transfers accompanied with the changes in the medium osmolarity as follows; cells grown in the presence of 0.3 M NaCl were transferred to medium containing 1.5-2 M NaCl. After incubation for 18-24 h a second transfer of the cells to fresh medium containing 2-3 M NaCl was carried out and the cells were incubated for a further 12-24 h. The addition of 50-100 mM glucose or a high concentration of yeast extract in the medium resulted in an increase in the intracellular concentration of ectoine as well as of the cell yield. The growth medium affording the highest ectoine productivity of strain JCM 6894 consisted not only of 2 M NaCl but also Polypepton (10.0 g/l), yeast extract (5.0 g/l), and glucose (9.0 g/l) as nutrients. The highest yield of ectoine, 800 mg/l culture, was obtained using the optimum medium and one osmotic upshock. This yield corresponded to about an 8-fold increase compared to that obtained using standard medium (2 M NaCl) without an osmotic shift. In addition, the ectoine which was synthesized in cells grown at high osmolarity was released well from the cells by osmotic downshock.
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alpha-Hemolysin (alphaHL) is secreted by Staphylococcus aureus as a water-soluble monomer that assembles into a heptamer to form a transmembrane pore on a target membrane. The crystal structures of the LukF water-soluble monomer and the membrane-bound alpha-hemolysin heptamer show that large conformational changes occur during assembly. However, the mechanism of assembly and pore formation is still unclear, primarily because of the difficulty in obtaining structural information on assembly intermediates. Our goal is to use disulfide bonds to selectively arrest and release alphaHL from intermediate stages of the assembly process and to use these mutants to test mechanistic hypotheses. To accomplish this, we created four double cysteine mutants, D108C/K154C (alphaHL-A), M113C/K147C (alphaHL-B), H48C/ N121C (alphaHL-C), I5C/G130C (alphaHL-D), in which disulfide bonds may form between the pre-stem domain and the beta-sandwich domain to prevent pre-stem rearrangement and membrane insertion. Among the four mutants, alphaHL-A is remarkably stable, is produced at a level at least 10-fold greater than that of the wild-type protein, is monomeric in aqueous solution, and has hemolytic activity that can be regulated by the presence or absence of reducing agents. Cross-linking analysis showed that alphaHL-A assembles on a membrane into an oligomer, which is likely to be a heptamer, in the absence of a reducing agent, suggesting that oxidized alphaHL-A is halted at a heptameric prepore state. Therefore, conformational rearrangements at positions 108 and 154 are critical for the completion of alphaHL assembly but are not essential for membrane binding or for formation of an oligomeric prepore intermediate.
Article
Compatible solutes are small organic osmoprotectants that have the capability to stabilize proteins. In coupled assays, the effect of the solutes ectoine, hydroxyectoine and betaine on the activation of the zymogens trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen, catalyzed by enteropeptidase and trypsin, respectively, was studied. To different extents, all solutes protected the zymogens against activation. Ectoine (800 mM) was the most potent solute in reducing the formation of trypsin to 4% of the control value and of chymotrypsin to 23%. In separate experiments, the ability of the solutes to preserve proteolytic activity during incubation was investigated. After 4 h, trypsin and chymotrypsin completely lost their activity, but in the presence of ectoine, approximately 50% residual activity was maintained. It is proposed that a conformational shift of the protein towards folded, native-like states induced by preferential exclusion of the solute is responsible for the stabilizing and chaperone-like effects.
Article
In this study, we elucidated the supplementation effect of compatible solutes on the thermostability of phytase, designated as PHYA II, which was encoded by the phytase gene phyA I (GeneBank AY013315) from Aspergillus ficuum As3.324 and expressed in Pichia pastoris GS115. When PHYA II in acetate buffer was heated at 90 degrees C for 15 min, more than 80% of the residual activity was retained by adding the cyclic amino acid ectoine, a representative compatible solute. Furthermore, the presence of ectoine led to an increase in the relative hydrolytic rate of sodium phytate by 15.7% with heating at 80 degrees C for 15 min. Among the compatible solutes examined, ectoine was confirmed to be the most efficient thermoprotectant for PHYA II.
Production and characterization of ectoine by Marinococcus sp
  • Y H Wei
  • F W Yuan
  • W C Chen
  • S Y Chen
Wei, Y.H., Yuan, F.W., Chen, W.C., Chen, S.Y., 2011. Production and characterization of ectoine by Marinococcus sp. ECT1 isolated from a high-salinity environment.
Role of central metabolism in the osmoadaptation of the halophilic bacterium Chromohalobacter salexigens
  • J M Pastor
  • V Bernal
  • M Salvador
  • M Argandoña
  • C Vargas
  • L Csonka
  • A Sevilla
  • J L Iborra
  • J J Nieto
  • M Pflughoeft
  • K J Kierek
  • K Watnick
Pastor, J.M., Bernal, V., Salvador, M., Argandoña, M., Vargas, C., Csonka, L., Sevilla, A., Iborra, J.L., Nieto, J.J., C anovas, M., 2013. Role of central metabolism in the osmoadaptation of the halophilic bacterium Chromohalobacter salexigens. J. Biol. Chem. 288, 17769e17781. Pflughoeft, K.J., Kierek, K., Watnick, P.I., 2003. Role of ectoine in Vibrio cholerae osmoadaptation. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69, 5919e5927.
Properties of compatible solutes in aqueous solution
  • J Smiatek
  • R K Harishhandra
  • O Rubner
  • H.-J Galla
  • A Heuer
Smiatek, J., Harishhandra, R.K., Rubner, O., Galla, H.-J., Heuer, A., 2012. Properties of compatible solutes in aqueous solution. Biophys. Chem. 160, 62e68.