[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leptospirosis, caused by pathogenic Leptospira, is a worldwide zoonotic infection. The genus Leptospira includes at least 21 species clustered into three groups-pathogens, non-pathogens, and intermediates-based on 16S rRNA phylogeny. Research on Leptospira is difficult due to slow growth and poor transformability of the pathogens. Recent identification of extrachromosomal elements besides the two chromosomes in L. interrogans has provided new insight into genome complexity of the genus Leptospira. The large size, low copy number, and high similarity of the sequence of these extrachromosomal elements with the chromosomes present challenges in isolating and detecting them without careful genome assembly. In this study, two extrachromosomal elements were identified in L. borgpetersenii serovar Ballum strain 56604 through whole genome assembly combined with S1 nuclease digestion following pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (S1-PFGE) analysis. Further, extrachromosomal elements in additional 15 Chinese epidemic strains of Leptospira, comprising L. borgpetersenii, L. weilii, and L. interrogans, were successfully separated and identified, independent of genome sequence data. Southern blot hybridization with extrachromosomal element-specific probes, designated as lcp1, lcp2 and lcp3-rep, further confirmed their occurrences as extrachromosomal elements. In total, 24 plasmids were detected in 13 out of 15 tested strains, among which 11 can hybridize with the lcp1-rep probe and 11 with the lcp2-rep probe, whereas two can hybridize with the lcp3-rep probe. None of them are likely to be species-specific. Blastp search of the lcp1, lcp2, and lcp3-rep genes with a nonredundant protein database of Leptospira species genomes showed that their homologous sequences are widely distributed among clades of pathogens but not non-pathogens or intermediates. These results suggest that the plasmids are widely distributed in Leptospira species, and further elucidation of their biological significance might contribute to our understanding of biology and infectivity of pathogenic spirochetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Age-associated degeneration in the central auditory system, which is defined as central presbycusis, can impair sound localization and speech perception. Researches showed that oxidative stress plays a central role in the pathological process of central presbycusis. Thioredoxin2 (Trx2), one member of thioredoxin family, plays a key role in regulating homeostasis of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and anti-apoptosis. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between Trx2 and the phenotype of central presbycusis using a mimetic aging animal model induced by long term exposure of D-galactose (D-Gal). We also explored the changes of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), apoptosis signal regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) and phosphorylated ASK1 (p-ASK1) expression, as well as the Trx2-TXNIP/ Trx2-ASK1 binding complex in the auditory cortex of the mimetic aging rats. Our results demonstrate that compared with control groups, the levels of Trx2 and Trx2-ASK1 binding complex were significantly reduced, while the TXNIP, ASK1, p-ASK1 expression and Trx2-TXNIP binding complex were significantly increased in the auditory cortex of the mimetic aging groups. Our results indicated that the changes of Trx2 and the TXNIP-Trx2-ASK1 signal pathway may participate in the pathogenesis of central presbycusis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Amycolatopsis orientalis is the type species of the genus and its industrial strain HCCB10007, derived from ATCC 43491, has been used for large-scale production of the vital antibiotic vancomycin. However, to date, neither the complete genomic sequence of this species nor a systemic characterization of the vancomycin biosynthesis cluster (vcm) has been reported. With only the whole genome sequence of Amycolatopsis mediterranei available, additional complete genomes of other species may facilitate intra-generic comparative analysis of the genus.
The complete genome of A. orientalis HCCB10007 comprises an 8,948,591-bp circular chromosome and a 33,499-bp dissociated plasmid. In total, 8,121 protein-coding sequences were predicted, and the species-specific genomic features of A. orientalis were analyzed in comparison with that of A. mediterranei. The common characteristics of Amycolatopsis genomes were revealed via intra- and inter-generic comparative genomic analyses within the domain of actinomycetes, and led directly to the development of sequence-based Amycolatopsis molecular chemotaxonomic characteristics (MCCs). The chromosomal core/quasi-core and non-core configurations of the A. orientalis and the A. mediterranei genome were analyzed reciprocally, with respect to further understanding both the discriminable criteria and the evolutionary implementation. In addition, 26 gene clusters related to secondary metabolism, including the 64-kb vcm cluster, were identified in the genome. Employing a customized PCR-targeting-based mutagenesis system along with the biochemical identification of vancomycin variants produced by the mutants, we were able to experimentally characterize a halogenase, a methyltransferase and two glycosyltransferases encoded in the vcm cluster. The broad substrate spectra characteristics of these modification enzymes were inferred.
This study not only extended the genetic knowledge of the genus Amycolatopsis and the biochemical knowledge of vcm-related post-assembly tailoring enzymes, but also developed methodology useful for in vivo studies in A. orientalis, which has been widely considered as a barrier in this field.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-363) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current identification of microRNAs (miRNAs) in insects is largely dependent on genome sequences. However, the lack of available genome sequences inhibits the identification of miRNAs in various insect species. In this study, we used a miRNA database of the silkworm Bombyx mori as a reference to identify miRNAs in Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura using deep sequencing and homology analysis. Because all three species belong to the Lepidoptera, the experiment produced reliable results. Our study identified 97 and 91 conserved miRNAs in H. armigera and S. litura, respectively. Using the genome of B. mori and BAC sequences of H. armigera as references, 1 novel miRNA and 8 novel miRNA candidates were identified in H. armigera, and 4 novel miRNA candidates were identified in S. litura. An evolutionary analysis revealed that most of the identified miRNAs were insect-specific, and more than 20 miRNAs were Lepidoptera-specific. The investigation of the expression patterns of miR-2a, miR-34, miR-2796-3p and miR-11 revealed their potential roles in insect development. miRNA target prediction revealed that conserved miRNA target sites exist in various genes in the 3 species. Conserved miRNA target sites for the Hsp90 gene among the 3 species were validated in the mammalian 293T cell line using a dual-luciferase reporter assay. Our study provides a new approach with which to identify miRNAs in insects lacking genome information and contributes to the functional analysis of insect miRNAs.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · International journal of biological sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aging is a natural process usually defined as a progressive loss of function with an accumulation of senescent cells. The clinical manifestations of this process include age-related hearing loss (AHL)/presbycusis. Several investigations indicated the association between a mitochondrial common deletion (CD) (mtDNA 4977-bp deletion in humans, corresponding to 4834-bp deletion in rats) and presbycusis. Previous researches have shown that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) is a key regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and energy metabolism. However, the expression of PGC-1α in the inner ear and the possible effect of PGC-1α on presbycusis are not clear. Our data demonstrated the distribution of PGC-1α and its downstream transcription factors nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF-1), mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) in marginal cells (MCs) for the first time. To explore the role of PGC-1α in cellular senescence, we established a model of marginal cell senescence harboring the mtDNA4834 common deletion induced by D-galactose. We also found that PGC-1α and its downstream transcription factors compensatorily increased in our cell senescence model. Furthermore, the overexpression of PGC-1α induced by transfection largely increased the expression levels of NRF-1 and TFAM and significantly decreased the expression level of NF-κB in the cell senescence model. And the levels of CD, senescent cells and apoptotic cells in the cell model decreased after PGC-1α overexpression. These results suggested that PGC-1α might protect MCs in this cell model from senescence through a nuclear-mitochondrial interaction and against apoptosis. Our study may shed light on the pathogenesis of presbycusis and provide a new therapeutic target for presbycusis.
No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Hearing research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The age-related deterioration in the central auditory system is well known to impair the abilities of sound localization and speech perception. However, the mechanisms involved in the age-related central auditory deficiency remain unclear. Previous studies have demonstrated that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions accumulated with age in the auditory system. Also, a cytochrome c oxidase (CcO) deficiency has been proposed to be a causal factor in the age-related decline in mitochondrial respiratory activity. This study was designed to explore the changes of CcO activity and to investigate the possible relationship between the mtDNA common deletion (CD) and CcO activity as well as the mRNA expression of CcO subunits in the auditory cortex of d-galactose (d-gal)-induced mimetic aging rats at different ages. Moreover, we explored whether peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α), nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) were involved in the changes of nuclear- and mitochondrial-encoded CcO subunits in the auditory cortex during aging. Our data demonstrated that d-gal-induced mimetic aging rats exhibited an accelerated accumulation of the CD and a gradual decline in the CcO activity in the auditory cortex during the aging process. The reduction in the CcO activity was correlated with the level of CD load in the auditory cortex. The mRNA expression of CcO subunit III was reduced significantly with age in the d-gal-induced mimetic aging rats. In contrast, the decline in the mRNA expression of subunits I and IV was relatively minor. Additionally, significant increases in the mRNA and protein levels of PGC-1α, NRF-1 and TFAM were observed in the auditory cortex of d-gal-induced mimetic aging rats with aging. These findings suggested that the accelerated accumulation of the CD in the auditory cortex may induce a substantial decline in CcO subunit III and lead to a significant decline in the CcO activity progressively with age despite compensatory increases of PGC-1α, NRF-1 and TFAM. Therefore, CcO may be a specific intramitochondrial site of age-related deterioration in the auditory cortex, and CcO subunit III might be a target in the development of presbycusis.
No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Hearing research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leptospira interrogans is the causative agent of leptospirosis. The in vitro growth of L. interrogans requires CO2 and a partial 3-hydroxypropionate pathway involving two acyl-CoA carboxylases was suggested by genomic analysis to assimilate
CO2. Either set of the candidate genes heterologously co-expressed in Escherichia coli was able to demonstrate both acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC) activities. The tri-subunit
holoenzyme (LA_2736-LA_2735 and LA_3803), although failed to be purified, was designated ACC based on its substrate preference
toward acetyl-CoA. The partially purified bi-subunit holoenzyme (LA_2432-LA_2433) has a considerably higher activity against
propionyl-CoA as the substrate than that of acetyl-CoA, and thus, designated PCC. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
indicated that this PCC has a molecular mass of around 669 kDa, suggesting an α4β4 quaternary structure and both structural homology modeling and site-directed mutagenesis analysis of its carboxyltransferase
subunit (LA_2433) indicated that the A431 residue located at the bottom of the putative substrate binding pocket may play
an important role in substrate specificity determination. Both transcriptomic and proteomic data indicated that enzymes involved
in the suggested partial 3-hydroxypropionate pathway were expressed in vivo in addition to ACC/PCC and the homologous genes in genomes of other Leptospira species were re-annotated accordingly. However, as the in vitro detected specific activity of ACC in the crude cell extract
was too low to account for the growth of the bacterium in Ellinghausen–McCullough–Johnson–Harris minimal medium, further systematic
analysis is required to unveil the mechanism of gluconeogenesis via anaplerotic CO2 assimilation in Leptospira species.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In humans, chronic dyslipidemia associated with elevated triglycerides may reduce auditory function. However, there is little evidence available in the literature concerning the effects of a long-term high-fat diet (HFD) on the inner ears of animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 12 month-HFD on the inner ear of Sprague-Dawley rats and on the D-galactose (D-gal)-induced aging process in the inner ear. We found that 12 month-HFD markedly elevated the auditory brainstem response (ABR) threshold in the high-frequency region. The HFD significantly increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the expressions of NADPH oxidase (NOX) and the uncoupling proteins (UCP). Furthermore, an elevated accumulation of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) common deletion (CD) and mitochondrial ultrastructural changes in the inner ear suggested that there was mitochondrial damage in response to the excessive fat intake. The expression level of cleaved caspase-3 and the number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) nick-end-labelling (TUNEL)-positive cells in the inner ear were increased by the HFD. The effects of D-gal on the inner ears were similar with 12 month-HFD. We found that rats receiving both the HFD and D-gal exhibited a greater shift in the ABR threshold, larger increases in the expression levels of NOX, UCP and cleaved caspase-3 and an increased number of TUNEL-positive cells in the inner ear. The present study demonstrated that HFD may induce oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and apoptosis in the inner ear, and it provided evidence regarding the link between HFD and an increased risk of age-related hearing loss.
No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Hearing research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive bladder cancer is a lethal disease for which effective prognostic markers as well as potential therapy targets are still lacking. Nkx2.8 (Nk2 homeobox 8), a novel member of the NK-2 gene family, was reported to play an important role in the development and progression of human cancer. Herein, we reported that Nkx2.8 was markedly reduced in bladder cancer tissues compared with matched adjacent normal urothelial tissues. Nkx2.8 levels were inversely correlated with advanced T classification, N classification, tumor multiplicity, high proliferation index (Ki-67) and poor survival of patients. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of Nkx2.8 in bladder cancer cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo, whereas silencing Nkx2.8 dramatically enhanced cell proliferation. Moreover, we demonstrated that overexpression of Nkx2.8 resulted in G(1)/S phase arrest, accompanied by upregulation of p27(Kip1), downregulation of cyclin D1 and p-FOXO3a and inhibition of MEK/ERK pathway activity. Meanwhile, silencing Nkx2.8 led to acceleration of G(1)/S transition, downregulation of p27(Kip1), upregulation of cyclin D1 and p-FOXO3a and increase of MEK/ERK pathway activity. These findings suggest that Nkx2.8 plays a potential tumor suppressor role in bladder cancer progression and represents a valuable clinical prognostic marker of this disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The symbiotic protists in the hindgut of lower termites are critical for lignocellulose decomposition. Due to the unculturability of these protists, information on lignocellulases and their abundance within the gut is unavailable. The advent of high-throughput sequencing technologies enables an investigation of the gene expression profile in this community without culturing these organisms. Here, we carried out 454 pyrosequencing to profile the metatranscriptome of the protistan community in Coptotermes formosanus. In total, 223,477 reads were obtained by sequencing the enriched protistan mRNA. Phagocytosis and cytoskeletal homeostasis pathways were highly represented in the metatranscriptome. Among the metabolic pathways, starch and sucrose metabolism were dominant. A detailed analysis combining Pfam and KEGG annotation identified 118 glycosyl hydrolases belonging to 18 different glycosyl hydrolase families (GHFs). Subsequently, a novel GHF10 endo-1,4-beta-xylanase was functionally characterized to complement our understanding of the protistan hemicellulases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) is associated with tumorigenesis and progression in diverse human cancers. The present study was aimed to investigate the clinical and prognostic significance of AEG-1 in salivary gland carcinomas (SGC).
Real-time PCR and western blot analyses were employed to examine AEG-1 expression in two normal salivary gland tissues, eight SGC tissues of various clinical stages, and five pairs of primary SGC and adjacent salivary gland tissues from the same patient. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to examine AEG-1 protein expression in paraffin-embedded tissues from 141 SGC patients. Statistical analyses was applies to evaluate the diagnostic value and associations of AEG-1 expression with clinical parameters.
AEG-1 expression was evidently up-regulated in SGC tissues compared with that in the normal salivary gland tissues and in matched adjacent salivary gland tissues. AEG-1 protein level was positively correlated with clinical stage (P < 0.001), T classification (P = 0.008), N classification (P = 0.008) and M classifications (P = 0.006). Patients with higher AEG-1 expression had shorter overall survival time, whereas those with lower tumor AEG-1 expression had longer survival time.
Our results suggest that AEG-1 expression is associated with SGC progression and may represent a novel and valuable predictor for prognostic evaluation of SGC patients.
Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Translational Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amycolatopsis mediterranei produces an important antibiotic rifamycin, the biosynthesis of which involves many unusual modifications. Previous work suggested a putative P450 enzyme encoded by rif16 within the rifamycin biosynthetic gene cluster (rif) was required for the conversion of the intermediate rifamycin SV into the end product rifamycin B. In this study, we genetically proved that a putative transketolase encoded by rif15 is another essential enzyme for this conversion. Expression of merely rif15 and rif16 in a rif cluster null mutant of A. mediterranei U32 was able to convert rifamycin SV into B. However, this Rif15- and Rif16-mediated conversion was only detected in intact cells of A. meidterranei, but not in Streptomyce coelicolor or Mycobacterium smegmatis, suggesting that yet-characterized gene(s) in A. mediterranei other than those encoded by the rif cluster should be involved in this process.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, especially deletions, have been suggested to play an important role in aging and degenerative diseases. In particular, the common deletion in humans and rats (4977bp and 4834bp deletion, respectively) has been shown to accumulate with age in post-mitotic tissues with high energetic demands. Among numerous deletions, the common deletion has been proposed to serve as a molecular marker for aging and play a critical role in presbyacusis. However, so far no previous publication has quantified the contribution of common deletion to the total burden of mtDNA deletions in tissues during aging process. In the present study, we established a rat model with various degrees of aging in inner ear induced by three different doses of d-galactose (d-gal) administration. Firstly, multiple mtDNA deletions in inner ear were detected by nested PCR and long range PCR. In addition to the common deletion, three novel mtDNA deletions were identified. All four deletions, located in the major arc of mtDNA, are flanked by direct repeats and involve the cytochrome c oxidase (COX) subunit III gene, encoded by mtDNA. Additionally, absolute quantitative real-time PCR assay was used to detect the level of common deletion and total deletion burden of mtDNA. The quantitative data show that the common deletion is the most frequent type of mtDNA deletions, exceeding 67.86% of the total deletion burden. Finally, increased mtDNA copy number, reduced COX activity and mosaic ultrastructural impairments in inner ear were identified in d-gal-induced aging rats. The increase of mtDNA replication may contribute to the accelerated accumulation of mtDNA deletions, which may result in impairment of mitochondrial function in inner ear. Taken together, these findings suggest that the common deletion may serve as an ideal molecular marker to assess the mtDNA damage in inner ear during aging.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although Leptospira interrogans is unable to utilize glucose as its carbon/energy source, the LA_1437 gene of L. interrogans serovar Lai potentially encodes a group III glucokinase (GLK). The L. interrogans GLK (LiGLK) heterogeneously expressed in Escherichia coli was purified and proved to be a homodimeric enzyme with its specific activity of 12.3 ± 0.6 U/mg x protein determined under an improved assay condition (pH 9.0, 50 ° C), 7.5-fold higher than that assayed under the previously used condition (pH 7.3, 25 ° C). The improved sensitivity allowed us to detect this enzymatic activity of (5.0 ± 0.6) × 10(-3) U/mg x protein in the crude extract of L. interrogans serovar Lai cultured in standard Ellinghausen-McCullough-Johnson-Harris medium. The k(cat) and K(m) values for d-glucose and ATP were similar to those of other group III GLKs, although the K(m) value for ATP was slightly higher. Site-directed mutagenesis analysis targeting the conserved amino acid residues in the potential ATP-binding motif hinted that a proper array of Gly residues in the motif might be important for maintaining the conformation that was essential for its function. Gene expression profiling and quantitative proteomic data mining provided preliminary evidence for the absence of efficient systems involved in glucose transport and glycolysis that might account for the failure of glucose utilization in L. interrogans.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative damage to mtDNA is associated with excessive reactive oxygen species production. The mitochondrial common deletion (mtDNA 4977-bp and 4834-bp deletion in humans and rats, respectively) is the most typical and frequent form of mtDNA damage associated with aging and degenerative diseases. The accumulation of the mitochondrial common deletion has been proposed to play a crucial role in age-related hearing loss (presbycusis). However, the mechanisms underlying the formation and accumulation of mtDNA deletions are still obscure. In the present study, a rat mimetic aging model induced by D-Gal was used to explore the origin of deletion mutations and how mtDNA repair systems modulate this process in the inner ear during aging. We found that the mitochondrial common deletion was greatly increased and mitochondrial base excision repair capacity was significantly reduced in the inner ear in D-Gal-treated rats as compared with controls. The overexpression of mitochondrial transcription factor A induced by D-Gal significantly stimulated mtDNA replication, resulting in an increase in mtDNA copy number. In addition, an age-related loss of auditory sensory cells in the inner ear was observed in D-Gal-treated rats. Taken together, our data suggest that mitochondrial base excision repair capacity deficiency and an increase in mtDNA replication resulting from mitochondrial transcription factor A overexpression may contribute to the accumulation of mtDNA deletions in the inner ear during aging. This study also provides new insights into the development of presbycusis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The virulence-attenuated Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai strain IPAV was derived by prolonged laboratory passage from a highly virulent ancestral strain isolated in China. We studied the genetic variations of IPAV that render it avirulent via comparative analysis against the pathogenic L. interrogans serovar Lai strain 56601. The complete genome sequence of the IPAV strain was determined and used to compare with, and then rectify and reannotate the genome sequence of strain 56601. Aside from their highly similar genomic structure and gene order, a total of 33 insertions, 53 deletions and 301 single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) were detected throughout the genome of IPAV directly affecting 101 genes, either in their 5' upstream region or within their coding region. Among them, the majority of the 44 functional genes are involved in signal transduction, stress response, transmembrane transport and nitrogen metabolism. Comparative proteomic analysis based on quantitative liquid chromatography (LC)-MS/MS data revealed that among 1 627 selected pairs of orthologs, 174 genes in the IPAV strain were upregulated, with enrichment mainly in classes of energy production and lipid metabolism. In contrast, 228 genes in strain 56601 were upregulated, with the majority enriched in the categories of protein translation and DNA replication/repair. The combination of genomic and proteomic approaches illustrated that altered expression or mutations in critical genes, such as those encoding a Ser/Thr kinase, carbon-starvation protein CstA, glutamine synthetase, GTP-binding protein BipA, ribonucleotide-diphosphate reductase and phosphate transporter, and alterations in the translational profile of lipoproteins or outer membrane proteins are likely to account for the virulence attenuation in strain IPAV.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metarhizium spp. are being used as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides, as model systems for studying insect-fungus interactions, and as a resource of genes for biotechnology. We present a comparative analysis of the genome sequences of the broad-spectrum insect pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae and the acridid-specific M. acridum. Whole-genome analyses indicate that the genome structures of these two species are highly syntenic and suggest that the genus Metarhizium evolved from plant endophytes or pathogens. Both M. anisopliae and M. acridum have a strikingly larger proportion of genes encoding secreted proteins than other fungi, while ~30% of these have no functionally characterized homologs, suggesting hitherto unsuspected interactions between fungal pathogens and insects. The analysis of transposase genes provided evidence of repeat-induced point mutations occurring in M. acridum but not in M. anisopliae. With the help of pathogen-host interaction gene database, ~16% of Metarhizium genes were identified that are similar to experimentally verified genes involved in pathogenicity in other fungi, particularly plant pathogens. However, relative to M. acridum, M. anisopliae has evolved with many expanded gene families of proteases, chitinases, cytochrome P450s, polyketide synthases, and nonribosomal peptide synthetases for cuticle-degradation, detoxification, and toxin biosynthesis that may facilitate its ability to adapt to heterogeneous environments. Transcriptional analysis of both fungi during early infection processes provided further insights into the genes and pathways involved in infectivity and specificity. Of particular note, M. acridum transcribed distinct G-protein coupled receptors on cuticles from locusts (the natural hosts) and cockroaches, whereas M. anisopliae transcribed the same receptor on both hosts. This study will facilitate the identification of virulence genes and the development of improved biocontrol strains with customized properties.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aging has been associated with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) common deletion (CD). Age changes in the central auditory system are well known to affect speech perception. Base excision repair (BER) is the major type of DNA repair in mitochondria. The current study was designed to investigate potential causative mechanisms of central presbycusis by using a rat mimetic aging model induced by subcutaneous administration of D-galactose (D-gal). Quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting analyses were performed to identify the mtDNA 4834 bp deletion and selected mitochondrial DNA repair enzymes, DNA polymerase γ (pol γ) and 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1). Cell apoptosis in the auditory cortex was detected using terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase mediated UTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL). Our data showed that mtDNA 4834 bp deletion and TUNEL-positive cells were significantly increased and the expression of pol γ and OGG1 were remarkably down-regulated in the auditory cortex in D-gal-treated rats compared to control rats. During aging, increased mtDNA damage likely results from decreased DNA repair capacity in the auditory cortex. DNA repair enzymes such as pol γ and OGG1 may provide novel pharmacological targets to promote DNA repair and rescue the central auditory system in patients with degenerative diseases.
Preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Molecular Biology Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amycolatopsis mediterranei is used for industry-scale production of rifamycin, which plays a vital role in antimycobacterial therapy. As the first sequenced genome of the genus Amycolatopsis, the chromosome of strain U32 comprising 10,236,715 base pairs, is one of the largest prokaryotic genomes ever sequenced so far. Unlike the linear topology found in streptomycetes, this chromosome is circular, particularly similar to that of Saccharopolyspora erythraea and Nocardia farcinica, representing their close relationship in phylogeny and taxonomy. Although the predicted 9,228 protein-coding genes in the A. mediterranei genome shared the greatest number of orthologs with those of S. erythraea, it was unexpectedly followed by Streptomyces coelicolor rather than N. farcinica, indicating the distinct metabolic characteristics evolved via adaptation to diverse ecological niches. Besides a core region analogous to that common in streptomycetes, a novel 'quasi-core' with typical core characteristics is defined within the non-core region, where 21 out of the total 26 gene clusters for secondary metabolite production are located. The rifamycin biosynthesis gene cluster located in the core encodes a cytochrome P450 enzyme essential for the conversion of rifamycin SV to B, revealed by comparing to the highly homologous cluster of the rifamycin B-producing strain S699 and further confirmed by genetic complementation. The genomic information of A. mediterranei demonstrates a metabolic network orchestrated not only for extensive utilization of various carbon sources and inorganic nitrogen compounds but also for effective funneling of metabolic intermediates into the secondary antibiotic synthesis process under the control of a seemingly complex regulatory mechanism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MazG nucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase (NTP-PPase, EC 18.104.22.168) from the avirulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra contains a spontaneous mutation on a highly conserved residue, resulting in an A219E substitution (MtMazG[A219E]). In this work, we show that mycobacterial MazG from either the virulent M. tuberculosis H37Rv (MtMazG) or the fast-growing Mycobacterium smegmatis (MsMazG) is a potent NTP-PPase capable of hydrolyzing all canonical (d)NTPs, as well as the mutagenic dUTP and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-dGTP. However, this hydrolysis activity is diminished by the MtMazG[A219E] mutation. Moreover, deletion of mazG in M. smegmatis rendered the mycobacteria defective in response to oxidative stress. Importantly, expression of the wild-type MtMazG, but not the A219E mutant, restored cell viability under oxidative stress. Intriguingly, under oxidative stress, both the mazG-null and MtMazG[A219E]-expressing M. smegmatis strains failed to elevate relA, while retaining their ability to up-regulate sigE, suggesting a specific role for the MazG NTP-PPase activity in oxidative stress-triggered, transcriptional activation of relA. The MtMazG is a homotetramer with each subunit containing a single MazG core domain flanked by two regions, both of which are essential for NTP-PPase activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the mycobacterial MazG is a potent NTP-PPase and that this activity is required to maintain the full capacity of the mycobacteria to respond to oxidative stress. Our work implicates a role for the MazG activity in the virulence of M. tuberculosis.