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Molecular Microbiology

Wanassa Beroual, Emanuele G Biondi
The bacterial envelope is a remarkable and complex compartment of the prokaryotic cell in which many essential functions take place. The article by Herrou and collaborators (Herrou et al., in press), by a clever combination of structural analysis, genetics and functional characterization in free living bacterial cells and during infection in animal models, elucidates a new factor, named EipA, that plays a major role in Brucella spp envelope biogenesis and cell division. The authors demonstrate a genetic connection between eipA and lipopolysaccharide synthesis, specifically genes involved in synthesis of the O-antigen portion of LPS...
January 18, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Hao Zhang, Chen Yang
Cyanobacteria have evolved mechanisms to adapt to environmental stress and nutrient availability, including accumulation of storage compounds in inclusions and granules. As arginine is a key building block of cyanophycin, a dynamic nitrogen reservoir in many cyanobacteria, arginine metabolism plays a key role in cyanobacterial nitrogen storage and remobilization. Recently, an arginine dihydrolase AgrE/ArgZ was identified as a major arginine-degrading enzyme in nondiazotrophic Synechocystis, which catalyzes the conversion of arginine into ornithine and ammonia...
January 18, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Andrea M Ochsner, Lucas Hemmerle, Thomas Vonderach, Ralph Nüssli, Miriam Bortfeld-Miller, Bodo Hattendorf, Julia A Vorholt
Until recently, rare-earth elements (REEs) had been thought to be biologically inactive. This view changed with the discovery of the methanol dehydrogenase XoxF that strictly relies on REEs for its activity. Some methylotrophs only contain xoxF, while others, including the model phyllosphere colonizer Methylobacterium extorquens PA1, harbor this gene in addition to mxaFI encoding a Ca2+ -dependent enzyme. Here we found that REEs induce the expression of xoxF in M. extorquens PA1, while repressing mxaFI, suggesting that XoxF is the preferred methanol dehydrogenase in the presence of sufficient amounts of REE...
January 17, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Samuel Hauf, Jennifer Herrmann, Marcus Miethke, Johannes Gibhardt, Fabian M Commichau, Rolf Müller, Stephan Fuchs, Sven Halbedel
Bacteria can cope with toxic compounds such as antibiotics by inducing genes for their detoxification. A common detoxification strategy is compound excretion by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, which are synthesized upon compound contact. We previously identified the multi drug resistance ABC transporter LieAB in Listeria monocytogenes, a Gram-positive bacterium that occurs ubiquitously in the environment, but also causes severe infections in humans upon ingestion. Expression of the lieAB genes is strongly induced in cells lacking the PadR-type transcriptional repressor LftR, but compounds leading to relief of this repression in wild type cells were not known...
January 15, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Nils Y Meiresonne, Elisa Consoli, Laureen M Y Mertens, Anna Chertkova, Joachim Goedhart, Tanneke den Blaauwen
Fluorescent proteins (FP)s are of vital importance to biomedical research. Many of the currently available fluorescent proteins do not fluoresce when expressed in non-native environments, such as the bacterial periplasm. This strongly limits the options for applications that employ multiple FPs, such as multiplex imaging or FRET. To address this issue, we have engineered a new cyan fluorescent protein based on mTurquoise2 (mTq2). The new variant is dubbed superfolder turquoise 2 ox (sfTq2ox ) and is able to withstand challenging, oxidizing environments...
January 15, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Irina V Mikheyeva, Jason M Thomas, Stacey L Kolar, Anna-Rita Corvaglia, Nadia Gaϊa, Stefano Leo, Patrice Francois, George Y Liu, Mamta Rawat, Ambrose L Cheung
The intracellular redox environment of Staphylococcus aureus is mainly buffered by bacillithiol (BSH), a low molecular weight thiol. The identity of enzymes responsible for the recycling of oxidized bacillithiol disulfide (BSSB) to the reduced form (BSH) remains elusive. We examined YpdA, a putative bacillithiol reductase, for its role in maintaining intracellular redox homeostasis. The ypdA mutant showed increased levels of BSSB and a lower bacillithiol redox ratio vs. the isogenic parent, indicating a higher level of oxidative stress within the bacterial cytosol...
January 12, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Lidia Araújo-Bazán, Sonia Huecas, Javier Valle, David Andreu, José M Andreu
Cell division in most bacteria is directed by FtsZ, a conserved tubulin-like GTPase that assembles forming the cytokinetic Z-ring and constitutes a target for the discovery of new antibiotics. The developmental regulator MciZ, a 40-amino acid peptide endogenously produced during Bacillus subtilis sporulation, halts cytokinesis in the mother cell by inhibiting FtsZ. The crystal structure of a FtsZ:MciZ complex revealed that bound MciZ extends the C-terminal beta-sheet of FtsZ blocking its assembly interface...
January 12, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Mireia Burnat, Silvia Picossi, Ana Valladares, Antonia Herrero, Enrique Flores
Arginine participates widely in metabolic processes. The heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena catabolizes arginine to produce proline and glutamate, with concomitant release of ammonium, as major products. Analysis of mutant Anabaena strains showed that this catabolic pathway is the product of two genes, agrE (alr4995) and putA (alr0540). The predicted PutA protein is a conventional, bifunctional proline oxidase that produces glutamate from proline. In contrast, AgrE is a hitherto unrecognized enzyme that contains both an N-terminal α/β propeller domain and a unique C-terminal domain of previously unidentified function...
January 12, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Chandreyee Datta, Rajiv Kumar Jha, Wareed Ahmed, Sohini Ganguly, Soumitra Ghosh, Valakunja Nagaraja
Nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) in bacteria contribute to key activities such as DNA compaction, chromosome organization, and regulation of gene expression. HU and Lsr2 are two principal NAPs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). HU is essential for Mtb survival and is one of the most abundant NAPs. It differs from other eubacterial HU proteins in having a long, flexible lysine- and arginine-rich carboxy-terminal domain. Lsr2 of Mtb is the functional analogue of the bacterial NAP commonly called H-NS. Lsr2 binds to and regulates expression of A/T-rich portions of the otherwise G/C-rich mycobacterial chromosome...
January 11, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Yaqin Song, Chun Yang, Gukui Chen, Yixi Zhang, Zijing Seng, Zhao Cai, Chao Zhang, Liang Yang, Jianhua Gan, Liang Haihua
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major pathogen that causes serious acute and chronic infections in humans. The type III secretion system (T3SS) is an important virulence factor that plays essential roles in acute infections. However, the regulatory mechanisms of T3SS are not fully understood. In this study, we found that deletion of cysB reduced T3SS gene expression and swarming motility but enhanced biofilm formation. In a mouse acute pneumonia model, mutation of cysB decreased the average bacterial load compared to that of the wild-type strain...
January 7, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Gabriele Stankeviciute, Amanda V Miguel, Atanas Radkov, Seemay Chou, Kerwyn Casey Huang, Eric A Klein
The diversity of cell shapes across the bacterial kingdom reflects evolutionary pressures that have produced physiologically important morphologies. While efforts have been made to understand the regulation of some prototypical cell morphologies such as that of rod-shaped Escherichia coli, little is known about most cell shapes. For Caulobacter crescentus, polar stalk synthesis is tied to its dimorphic life cycle, and stalk elongation is regulated by phosphate availability. Based on the previous observation that C...
January 5, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Samantha L van der Beek, Azul Zorzoli, Ebru Çanak, Robert N Chapman, Kieron Lucas, Benjamin H Meyer, Dimitrios Evangelopoulos, Luiz Pedro S de Carvalho, Geert-Jan Boons, Helge C Dorfmueller, Nina M van Sorge
Biosynthesis of the nucleotide sugar precursor dTDP-L-rhamnose is critical for the viability and virulence of many human pathogenic bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus; GAS), Streptococcus mutans, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Streptococcal pathogens require dTDP-L-rhamnose for the production of structurally similar rhamnose polysaccharides in their cell wall. Via heterologous expression in S. mutans, we confirmed that GAS RmlB and RmlC are critical for dTDP-L-rhamnose biosynthesis through their action as dTDP-glucose-4,6-dehydratase and dTDP-4-keto-6-deoxyglucose-3,5-epimerase enzymes, respectively...
January 1, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Nandini Chauhan, Daniel Hatlem, Marcella Orwick-Rydmark, Kenneth Schneider, Matthias Floetenmeyer, Barth van Rossum, Jack C Leo, Dirk Linke
Trimeric autotransporter adhesins (TAAs) are a subset of a larger protein family called the type V secretion systems. They are localized on the cell surface of Gram-negative bacteria, function as mediators of attachment to inorganic surfaces and host cells, and thus include important virulence factors. Yersinia adhesin A (YadA) from Yersinia enterocolitica is a prototypical TAA that is used extensively to study the structure and function of the type V secretion system. A solid-state NMR study of the membrane anchor domain of YadA previously revealed a flexible stretch of small residues, termed the ASSA region, that links the membrane anchor to the stalk domain...
January 1, 2019: Molecular Microbiology
Travis J Sanders, Marshall Lammers, Craig J Marshall, Julie E Walker, Erin R Lynch, Thomas J Santangelo
RNA polymerase must surmount translocation barriers for continued transcription. In Eukarya and most Archaea, DNA-bound histone proteins represent the most common and troublesome barrier to transcription elongation. Eukaryotes encode a plethora of chromatin-remodeling complexes, histone-modification enzymes and transcription elongation factors to aid transcription through nucleosomes, while archaea seemingly lack machinery to remodel/modify histone-based chromatin and thus must rely on elongation factors to accelerate transcription through chromatin-barriers...
December 27, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
Saurabh Sharma, Priyanka Kumari, Atul Vashist, Chanchal Kumar, Malobi Nandi, Jaya Sivaswami Tyagi
The DevRS/DosT two-component system is essential for mycobacterial survival under hypoxia, a prevailing stress within granulomas. DevR (also known as DosR) is activated by an inducing stimulus, such as hypoxia, through conventional phosphorylation by its cognate sensor kinases, DevS (also known as DosS) and DosT. Here we show that the DevR regulon is activated by acetyl phosphate under 'non-inducing' aerobic conditions when Mycobacterium tuberculosis devS and dosT double deletion strain is cultured on acetate...
December 27, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
Marcel Utz, Andreea Andrei, Martin Milanov, Petru-Iulian Trasnea, Dorian Marckmann, Fevzi Daldal, Hans-Georg Koch
Cu homeostasis depends on a tightly regulated network of proteins that transport or sequester Cu, preventing the accumulation of this toxic metal while sustaining Cu supply for cuproproteins. In Rhodobacter capsulatus, Cu-detoxification and Cu delivery for cytochrome c oxidase (cbb3 -Cox) assembly depend on two distinct Cu-exporting P1B -type ATPases. The low-affinity CopA is suggested to export excess Cu and the high-affinity CcoI feeds Cu into a periplasmic Cu relay system required for cbb3 -Cox biogenesis...
December 24, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
Bentley Shuster, Mark Khemmani, Kimihiro Abe, Xiaoyu Huang, Yusei Nakaya, Nina Maryn, Sally Buttar, Adriana N Gonzalez, Adam Driks, Tsutomu Sato, Patrick Eichenberger
Surface properties, such as adhesion and hydrophobicity, constrain dispersal of bacterial spores in the environment. In Bacillus subtilis, these properties are influenced by the outermost layer of the spore, the crust. Previous work has shown that two clusters, cotVWXYZ and cgeAB, encode the protein components of the crust. Here, we characterize the respective roles of these genes in surface properties using Bacterial Adherence to Hydrocarbons assays, negative staining of polysaccharides by India ink, and Transmission Electron Microscopy...
December 24, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
William R Miller, Truc T Tran, Lorena Diaz, Rafael Rios, Ayesha Khan, Jinnethe Reyes, Amy G Prater, Diana Panesso, Yousif Shamoo, Cesar A Arias
The lipopeptide antibiotic daptomycin (DAP) is a key drug against serious enterococcal infections, but emergence of resistance in the clinical setting is a major concern. The LiaFSR system plays a prominent role in the development of DAP resistance (DAP-R) in enterococci, and blocking this stress response system has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy. In this work, we identify LiaR-independent pathways in E. faecalis that regulate cell membrane adaptation in response to antibiotics. We adapted E...
December 24, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
Chang-I Yu, Chih-Yen King
[PSI+ ] variants are different infectious conformations of the same Sup35 protein. We show that when [PSI+ ] variants VK and VL co-infect a dividing host, only one prevails in the end and the host genetic background is involved in winner selection. In the 5V-H19 background, the VK variant dominates over the VL variant. The order of dominance is reversed in the 74-D694 background, where VL can co-exists with VK for a short period, but will eventually take over. Differential interaction of chaperone proteins with distinct prion variant conformations can influence the outcome of competition...
December 24, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
Theodore B Verhey, Mildred Castellanos, George Chaconas
Borrelia burgdorferi is a causative agent of Lyme disease and establishes long-term infection in mammalian hosts. Persistence is promoted by the VlsE antigenic variation system, which generates combinatorial diversity of VlsE through unidirectional, segmental gene conversion from an array of silent cassettes. Here we explore the variants generated by the vls system of strain JD1, which has divergent sequence and structural elements from the type strain B31, the only B. burgdorferi strain in which recombinational switching at vlsE has been studied in detail...
December 23, 2018: Molecular Microbiology
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