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Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology

Y Dessaux, D Faure
Agrobacterium populations live in different habitats (bare soil, rhizosphere, host plants), and hence face different environmental constraints. They have evolved the capacity to exploit diverse resources and to escape plant defense and competition from other microbiota. By modifying the genome of their host, Agrobacterium populations exhibit the remarkable ability to construct and exploit the ecological niche of the plant tumors that they incite. This niche is characterized by the accumulation of specific, low molecular weight compounds termed opines that play a critical role in Agrobacterium 's lifestyle...
March 20, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Pilar Carranza-Rosales, Nancy Elena Guzmán-Delgado, Irma Edith Carranza-Torres, Ezequiel Viveros-Valdez, Javier Morán-Martínez
Breast cancer is the most common cancer type diagnosed in women, it represents a critical public health problem worldwide, with 1,671,149 estimated new cases and nearly 571,000 related deaths. Research on breast cancer has mainly been conducted using two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures and animal models. The usefulness of these models is reflected in the vast knowledge accumulated over the past decades. However, considering that animal models are three-dimensional (3D) in nature, the validity of the studies using 2D cell cultures has recently been questioned...
March 20, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Nemanja Kuzmanović, Joanna Puławska, Lingyun Hao, Thomas J Burr
Agrobacterium vitis is the primary causal agent of grapevine crown gall worldwide. Symptoms of grapevine crown gall disease include tumor formation on the aerial plant parts, whereas both tumorigenic and nontumorigenic strains of A. vitis cause root necrosis. Genetic and genomic analyses indicated that A. vitis is distinguishable from the members of the Agrobacterium genus and its transfer to the genus Allorhizobium was suggested. A. vitis is genetically diverse, with respect to both chromosomal and plasmid DNA...
March 20, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Keunsub Lee, Kan Wang
During the last decade, small noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) have emerged as essential post-transcriptional regulators in bacteria. Nearly all important physiological and stress responses are modulated by ncRNA regulators, such as riboswitches, trans-acting small RNAs (sRNAs), and cis-antisense RNAs. Recently, three RNA-seq studies identified a total of 1534 candidate ncRNAs from Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a pathogen and biotechnology tool for plants. Only a few ncRNAs have been functionally characterized in A. tumefaciens, and some of them appear to be involved in virulence...
March 20, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Han Ming Gan, Michael A Savka
This chapter presents a historical overview of the development and changes in scientific approaches to classifying members of the Agrobacterium genus. We also describe the changes in the inference of evolutionary relationships among Agrobacterium biovars and Agrobacterium strains from using the 16S rRNA marker to recA genes and to the use of multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA). Further, the impacts of the genomic era enabling low cost and rapid whole genome sequencing on Agrobacterium phylogeny are reviewed with a focus on the use of new and sophisticated bioinformatics approaches to refine phylogenetic inferences...
March 3, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Benoît Lacroix, Vitaly Citovsky
Besides the massive gene transfer from organelles to the nuclear genomes, which occurred during the early evolution of eukaryote lineages, the importance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotes remains controversial. Yet, increasing amounts of genomic data reveal many cases of bacterium-to-eukaryote HGT that likely represent a significant force in adaptive evolution of eukaryotic species. However, DNA transfer involved in genetic transformation of plants by Agrobacterium species has traditionally been considered as the unique example of natural DNA transfer and integration into eukaryotic genomes...
March 3, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Tatiana V Matveeva
In most cases, the genetic engineering of plants uses Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to introduce novel genes. In nature, insertion of T-DNA into the plant genome and its subsequent transfer via sexual reproduction have been shown for several species in the genera Nicotiana, Ipomoea , and Linaria . A sequence homologous to T-DNA of the Ri plasmid of Agrobacterium rhizogenes was found in the genome of wild-type Nicotiana glauca (section Noctiflorae) more than 30 years ago and was named "cellular T-DNA" (cT-DNA)...
March 3, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Anna Pomerenke
Human lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with nearly 2 million of new cases diagnosed each year, often too late for a successful therapeutic intervention. In this chapter, organotypic models of lung cancer will be reviewed. Ex vivo tissue explants, spheroids, organoids, and novel bioengineering approaches are currently being used to study human lung cancer. Although there is no ideal method that will fully recapitulate the complex human lung architecture, the three-dimensional (3D) organotypic models described here represent a major advance from classical two-dimensional (2D) tissue culture models...
February 9, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Christopher W Peterson, Hans-Peter Kiem
As the HIV pandemic rapidly spread worldwide in the 1980s and 1990s, a new approach to treat cancer, genetic diseases, and infectious diseases was also emerging. Cell and gene therapy strategies are connected with human pathologies at a fundamental level, by delivering DNA and RNA molecules that could correct and/or ameliorate the underlying genetic factors of any illness. The history of HIV gene therapy is especially intriguing, in that the virus that was targeted was soon co-opted to become part of the targeting strategy...
December 19, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
David A Haake, Wolfram R Zückert
Lipoproteins are lipid-modified proteins that dominate the spirochetal proteome. While found in all bacteria, spirochetal lipoproteins have unique features and play critical roles in spirochete biology. For this reason, considerable effort has been devoted to determining how the lipoproteome is generated. Essential features of the structural elements of lipoproteins are now understood with greater clarity, enabling greater confidence in identification of lipoproteins from genomic sequences. The journey from the ribosome to the outer membrane, and in some cases, to the cellular surface has been defined, including secretion, lipidation, sorting, and export across the outer membrane...
December 2, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Alison L Hill
Viral latency is a major barrier to curing HIV infection with antiretroviral therapy, and consequently, for eliminating the disease globally. The establishment, maintenance, and potential clearance of latent infection are complex dynamic processes and can be best understood and described with the help of mathematical models. Here we review the use of viral dynamics models for HIV, with a focus on applications to the latent reservoir. Such models have been used to explain the multiphasic decay of viral load during antiretroviral therapy, the early seeding of the latent reservoir during acute infection and the limited inflow during treatment, the dynamics of viral blips, and the phenomenon of posttreatment control...
November 22, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Julie A Brothwell, Matthew K Muramatsu, Guangming Zhong, David E Nelson
Obligate intracellular pathogens in the family Chlamydiaceae infect taxonomically diverse eukaryotes ranging from amoebae to mammals. However, many fundamental aspects of chlamydial cell biology and pathogenesis remain poorly understood. Genetic dissection of chlamydial biology has historically been hampered by a lack of genetic tools. Exploitation of the ability of chlamydia to recombine genomic material by lateral gene transfer (LGT) ushered in a new era in chlamydia research. With methods to map mutations in place, genetic screens were able to assign functions and phenotypes to specific chlamydial genes...
November 1, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Rebecca T Veenhuis, Joel N Blankson
Latently infected resting memory CD4(+) T cells represent a major barrier to HIV-1 eradication. Studies have shown that it will not be possible to cure HIV-1 infection unless these cells are eliminated. Latently infected cells probably do not express viral antigens and thus may not be susceptible to the HIV-1 specific immune response, nevertheless the size and composition of the reservoir is influenced by the immune system. In this chapter, we review the different components of the HIV-1 specific immune response and discuss how the immune system can be harnessed to eradicate the virus...
October 26, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Janet D Siliciano, Robert F Siliciano
HIV-1 persists even in patients who are successfully treated with combination antiretroviral therapy. The major barrier to cure is a small pool of latently infected resting CD4(+) T cells carrying an integrated copy of the viral genome that is not expressed while the cells remain in a resting state. Targeting this latent reservoir is a major focus of HIV-1 cure research, and the development of a rapid and scalable assay for the reservoir is a rate-limiting step in the search for a cure. The most commonly used assays are standard PCR assays targeting conserved regions of the HIV-1 genome...
October 26, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Gilles Darcis, Benoit Van Driessche, Sophie Bouchat, Frank Kirchhoff, Carine Van Lint
The HIV latent reservoirs are considered as the main hurdle to viral eradication. Numerous mechanisms lead to the establishment of HIV latency and act at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. A better understanding of latency is needed in order to ultimately achieve a cure for HIV. The mechanisms underlying latency vary between patients, tissues, anatomical compartments, and cell types. From this point of view, simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection and the use of nonhuman primate (NHP) models that recapitulate many aspects of HIV-associated latency establishment and disease progression are essential tools since they allow extensive tissue sampling as well as a control of infection parameters (virus type, dose, route, and time)...
October 26, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Daniel G Bausch
The 2013 outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa constituted a major humanitarian crisis. The outbreak numbered over 28,500 cases, more than 10 times the number cumulatively registered from all previous EVD outbreaks combined, with at least 11,000 deaths, and resulted in billions of dollars of lost economic growth to an already impoverished region. The unprecedented scale of West Africa 2013 took the world by surprise and laid bare deficiencies in our response capacity to complex humanitarian disasters of highly infectious and lethal pathogens...
October 26, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Denise C Hsu, Jintanat Ananworanich
Inducing HIV remission is a monumental challenge. A potential strategy is the "kick and kill" approach where latently infected cells are first activated to express viral proteins and then eliminated through cytopathic effects of HIV or immune-mediated killing. However, pre-existing immune responses to HIV cannot eradicate HIV infection due to the presence of escape variants, inadequate magnitude, and breadth of responses as well as immune exhaustion. The two major approaches to boost immune-mediated elimination of infected cells include enhancing cytotoxic T lymphocyte mediated killing and harnessing antibodies to eliminate HIV...
October 26, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
James Hadfield, Angèle Bénard, Daryl Domman, Nicholas Thomson
The application of whole-genome sequencing has moved us on from sequencing single genomes to defining unravelling population structures in different niches, and at the -species, -serotype or even -genus level, and in local, national and global settings. This has been instrumental in cataloguing and revealing a huge a range of diversity in this bacterium, when at first we thought there was little. Genomics has challenged assumptions, added insight, as well as confusion and glimpses of truths. What is clear is that at a time when we start to realise the extent and nature of the diversity contained within a genus or a species like this, the huge depth of knowledge communities have developed, through cell biology, as well as the new found molecular approaches will be more precious than ever to link genotype to phenotype...
October 26, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Brian Stevenson, Janakiram Seshu
The infectious cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi necessitates persistent infection of both vertebrates and ticks, and efficient means of transmission between those two very different types of hosts. The Lyme disease spirochete has evolved mechanisms to sense its location in the infectious cycle, and use that information to control production of the proteins and other factors required for each step. Numerous components of borrelial regulatory pathways have been characterized to date. Their effects are being pieced together, thereby providing glimpses into a complex web of cooperative and antagonistic interactions...
October 25, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Catherine Werts
Innate immunity encompasses immediate host responses that detect and respond to microbes. Besides recognition by the complement system (see the chapter by A. Barbosa, this volume), innate immunity concerns cellular responses. These are triggered through recognition of conserved microbial components (called MAMPs) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), leading, through secretion of cytokines, antimicrobial peptides, and immune mediators, to cellular recruitment and phagocytosis. Leptospira spp. are successful zoonotic pathogenic bacteria that obviously overcome the immune system of their hosts...
October 17, 2017: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
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