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Suneeta Devi, Syed Arif Abdul Rehman, Khaja Faisal Tarique, Samudrala Gourinath
The reverse transsulfuration pathway has been reported to produce cysteine from homocysteine in eukaryotes ranging from protozoans to mammals while bacteria and plants produce cysteine via a de-novo pathway. Interestingly, the bacterium Bacillus anthracis includes enzymes of the reverse transsulfuration pathway viz. cystathionine β-synthase (BaCBS, previously annotated to be an O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (OASS)) and cystathionine γ-lyase. Here, we report the structure of BaCBS at a resolution of 2.2 Å...
September 16, 2017: FEBS Journal
A K Hagan, A Tripathi, D Berger, D H Sherman, P C Hanna
Bacillus anthracis-a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium-causes anthrax, a highly lethal disease with high bacteremia titers. Such rapid growth requires ample access to nutrients, including iron. However, access to this critical metal is heavily restricted in mammals, which requires B. anthracis to employ petrobactin, an iron-scavenging small molecule known as a siderophore. Petrobactin biosynthesis is mediated by asb gene products, and import of the iron-bound (holo)-siderophore into the bacterium has been well studied...
September 12, 2017: MBio
Weiming Ouyang, Pengfei Guo, Hui Fang, David M Frucht
Anthrax is a life threatening disease caused by infection with Bacillus anthracis, which expresses lethal factor and the receptor-binding protective antigen. These two proteins combine to form anthrax lethal toxin (LT), whose proximal targets are mitogen activated kinase kinases (MKKs). However, the downstream mediators of LT toxicity remain elusive. We herein report that LT exposure rapidly reduces the levels of cJun, a key regulator of cell proliferation and survival. Blockade of proteasome dependent protein degradation with the 26S proteasome inhibitor MG132 largely restored cJun protein levels, suggesting that LT promotes degradation of cJun protein...
September 11, 2017: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Dante Alexander Suffredini, Yan Li, Wanying Xu, Mahtab Moayeri, Stephen H Leppla, Yvonne Fitz, Xizhong Cui, Peter Q Eichacker
INTRODUCTION: Although edema (ETx) and lethal toxin (LTx) contribute to B. anthracis shock and lethality, mechanisms underlying their cardiovascular effects are unclear. We previously showed that ETx but not LTx inhibited phenylephrine stimulated contraction of aortic rings prepared from healthy rats and adefovir, a selective inhibitor of ETx cAMP production, blocked this effect. Here we examined arterial function in rats receiving 24h ETx or LTx infusions. METHODS AND RESULTS: Compared to controls, ETx reduced mean arterial pressure (MAP) and survival over 48h (p≤0...
September 8, 2017: American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology
P H Phaswana, O C Ndumnego, S M Koehler, W Beyer, J E Crafford, H van Heerden
The Sterne live spore vaccine (34F2) is the most widely used veterinary vaccine against anthrax in animals. Antibody responses to several antigens of Bacillus anthracis have been described with a large focus on those against protective antigen (PA). The focus of this study was to evaluate the protective humoral immune response induced by the live spore anthrax vaccine in goats. Boer goats vaccinated twice (week 0 and week 12) with the Sterne live spore vaccine and naive goats were used to monitor the anti-PA and toxin neutralizing antibodies at week 4 and week 17 (after the second vaccine dose) post vaccination...
September 7, 2017: Veterinary Research
Xiang-Ru Bai, Yi Zeng, Xiao-Dong Zhou, Xiao-Hua Wang, Ai-Guo Shen, Ji-Ming Hu
Field, reliable, and ultrasensitive detection of dipicolinic acid (DPA), a general biomarker of bacterial spores and especially Bacillus anthracis, is highly desirable but still challenging in current biometric security emergency response system. Herein we report an environmentally safe mercury(II) ions-mediated and competitive coordination interaction based approach for rationally designed surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-active gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), enabling rapid, ultrasensitive and zero-background detection of DPA without the pretreatment of samples...
September 20, 2017: Analytical Chemistry
Eric K Dumas, Timothy Gross, Jason Larabee, Lance Pate, Hannah Cuthbertson, Sue Charlton, Bassam Hallis, Renata J M Engler, Limone C Collins, Christina E Spooner, Hua Chen, Jimmy Ballard, Judith A James, A Darise Farris
Edema Toxin (ET), composed of Edema Factor (EF) and Protective Antigen (PA), is a virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis that alters host immune cell function and contributes to anthrax disease. Anthrax Vaccine Precipitated (AVP) contains low but detectable EF and can elicit EF-specific antibodies in human recipients of AVP. Active and passive vaccination of mice with EF can contribute to protection from challenge with Bacillus anthracis spores or ET. This study compared humoral responses to ET in recipients of AVP (n=33) versus Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA; n=66) matched for number of vaccinations and time post-vaccination and furthermore determined whether EF antibodies elicited by AVP contribute to ET neutralization...
September 6, 2017: Clinical and Vaccine Immunology: CVI
Colin G Hebert, Sean Jeffrey Hart, Tomasz A Leski, Alex Terray, Qin Lu
Understanding the interaction between macrophage cells and Bacillus anthracis spores is of significant importance with respect to both anthrax disease progression, spore detection for biodefense, as well as understanding cell clearance in general. While most detection systems rely on specific molecules, such as nucleic acids or proteins, and fluorescent labels to identify the target(s) of interest, label-free methods probe changes in intrinsic properties, such as size, refractive index, and morphology, for correlation with a particular biological event...
September 6, 2017: Analytical Chemistry
Khaled A Aly, Mark Anderson, Ryan Jay Ohr, Dominique Missiakas
The ESAT6-like secretion system (ESS) of Staphylococcus aureus promotes effector protein transport across the bacterial envelope. Genes in the ESS cluster are required for S. aureus establishment of persistent abscess lesions and the modulation of immune responses during blood stream infections. The biochemical functions of most of the ESS gene products, specifically the identity of secretion machine components, are however unknown. Earlier work demonstrated that deletion of essB, which encodes a membrane protein, abolishes S...
September 5, 2017: Journal of Bacteriology
Rachel M Burckhardt, Jorge C Escalante-Semerena
Soil is a complex niche, where survival of microorganisms is at risk due to the presence of antimicrobial agents. Many microbes chemically modify cytotoxic compounds to block their deleterious effects. Streptothricin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic produced by streptomycetes that affects Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria alike. Here we identify the SatA (for streptothricin acetyltransferase A, formerly YyaR) enzyme of Bacillus subtilis as the mechanism used by this soil bacterium to detoxify streptothricin...
August 25, 2017: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Cathy Nguyen, Randhir Makkar, Natasha J Sharp, Martin A Page, Ian J Molineux, David A Schofield
AIMS: We investigated the ability of a temperate B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2), which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells, to detect viable spores from deliberately contaminated environmental water samples. METHODS AND RESULTS: Environmental water was inoculated with spores and assayed with Wβ::luxAB-2. Bioluminescent signals directly correlated with input phage and spore concentrations. A limit of detection of 10(1) and 10(2) CFU mL(-1) within 8 hours was achieved from pond and lake water, respectively...
August 18, 2017: Journal of Applied Microbiology
Nazia Kamal, Jhuma Ganguly, Elke Saile, Silke R Klee, Alex Hoffmaster, Russell W Carlson, Lennart S Forsberg, Elmar L Kannenberg, Conrad P Quinn
Bacillus anthracis (Ba) and human infection-associated Bacillus cereus (Bc) strains Bc G9241 and Bc 03BB87 have secondary cell wall polysaccharides (SCWPs) comprising an aminoglycosyl trisaccharide repeat: →4)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1→4)-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1→6)-α-d-GlcpNAc-(1→, substituted at GlcNAc residues with both α- and β-Galp. In Bc G9241 and Bc 03BB87, an additional α-Galp is attached to O-3 of ManNAc. Using NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and immunochemical methods, we compared these structures to SCWPs from Bc biovar anthracis strains isolated from great apes displaying "anthrax-like" symptoms in Cameroon (Bc CA) and Côte d'Ivoire (Bc CI)...
2017: PloS One
Andrei P Pomerantsev, Rita M McCall, Margaret Chahoud, Nathan K Hepler, Rasem Fattah, Stephen H Leppla
Tyrosine site-specific recombinases (T-SSR) are polynucleotidyltransferases that catalyze cutting and joining reactions between short specific DNA sequences. We developed three systems for performing genetic modifications in Bacillus anthracis that use T-SSR and their cognate target sequences, namely Escherichia coli bacteriophage P1 Cre-loxP, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Flp-FRT, and a newly discovered IntXO-PSL system from B. anthracis plasmid pXO1. All three tyrosine recombinase systems were used for creation of a B...
2017: PloS One
Mark W Lehman, Allen S Craig, Constantine Malama, Muzala Kapina-Kany'anga, Philip Malenga, Fanny Munsaka, Sergio Muwowo, Sean Shadomy, Melissa A Marx
In September 2011, a total of 511 human cases of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) infection and 5 deaths were reported in a game management area in the district of Chama, Zambia, near where 85 hippopotamuses (Hippopotamus amphibious) had recently died of suspected anthrax. The human infections generally responded to antibiotics. To clarify transmission, we conducted a cross-sectional, interviewer-administered household survey in villages where human anthrax cases and hippopotamuses deaths were reported. Among 284 respondents, 84% ate hippopotamus meat before the outbreak...
September 2017: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Franciele Maboni Siqueira, Samuel Paulo Cibulski, Fabiana Quoos Mayer, David Driemeier, Saulo Petinatti Pavarini, Agueda Palmira Castagna de Vargas
Bacillus anthracis strain SPV842_15 was isolated from bovine fetus, while B. anthracis strain Brazilian vaccinal was recovered from a commercial vaccine. We report here the genome sequences of both strains. The SPV842_15 genome is composed of a single circular chromosome with a length of 5,228,664 base pairs, and comprises 5911 coding sequences. In turn, the Brazilian vaccinal genome remains in 201 contigs with 5733 coding sequences. Both genomes have an overall C+G content of 35.4%, and 11 genes encoding the ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) 5S, 16S and 23S...
July 31, 2017: Brazilian Journal of Microbiology: [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology]
YoungJu Jo, Sangjin Park, JaeHwang Jung, Jonghee Yoon, Hosung Joo, Min-Hyeok Kim, Suk-Jo Kang, Myung Chul Choi, Sang Yup Lee, YongKeun Park
Establishing early warning systems for anthrax attacks is crucial in biodefense. Despite numerous studies for decades, the limited sensitivity of conventional biochemical methods essentially requires preprocessing steps and thus has limitations to be used in realistic settings of biological warfare. We present an optical method for rapid and label-free screening of Bacillus anthracis spores through the synergistic application of holographic microscopy and deep learning. A deep convolutional neural network is designed to classify holographic images of unlabeled living cells...
August 2017: Science Advances
Marion Kirchner, Kenji Schorpp, Kamyar Hadian, Sabine Schneider
Riboswitches are bacterial RNA elements that regulate gene expression in response to metabolite or ion abundance and are considered as potential drug targets. In recent years a number of methods to find non-natural riboswitch ligands have been described. Here we report a high-throughput in vivo screening system that allows identifying OFF-riboswitch modulators in a 384 well bioluminescence assay format. We use a reverse reporter gene setup in Bacillus subtilis, consisting of a primary screening assay, a secondary assay as well as counter assays to detect compounds in a library of 1,280 molecules that act on the guanine-responsive xpt riboswitch from B...
August 10, 2017: Scientific Reports
Kasthuri Venkateswaran, Aleksandra Checinska Sielaff, Shashikala Ratnayake, Robert K Pope, Thomas E Blank, Victor G Stepanov, George E Fox, Sandra P van Tongeren, Clinton Torres, Jonathan Allen, Crystal Jaing, Duane Pierson, Jay Perry, Sergey Koren, Adam Phillippy, Joy Klubnik, Todd J Treangen, M J Rosovitz, Nicholas H Bergman
The draft genome sequences of six Bacillus strains, isolated from the International Space Station and belonging to the Bacillus anthracis-B. cereus-B. thuringiensis group, are presented here. These strains were isolated from the Japanese Experiment Module (one strain), U.S. Harmony Node 2 (three strains), and Russian Segment Zvezda Module (two strains).
August 10, 2017: Genome Announcements
Wanying Xu, Lernik Ohanjandian, Junfeng Sun, Xizhong Cui, Dante Suffredini, Yan Li, Judith Welsh, Peter Q Eichacker
BACKGROUND: B. anthracis anti-toxin agents are approved and included in the Strategic National Stockpile based primarily on animal infection trials. However, in the only anthrax outbreak an approved anti-toxin agent was administered in, survival did not differ comparing recipients and non-recipients, although recipients appeared sicker. OBJECTIVE: Employ a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate preclinical studies supporting anthrax anti-toxin agents...
2017: PloS One
Jinshui Zheng, Qiuling Gao, Linlin Liu, Hualin Liu, Yueying Wang, Donghai Peng, Lifang Ruan, Ben Raymond, Ming Sun
Understanding the genetic basis of host shifts is a key genomic question for pathogen and parasite biology. The Bacillus cereus group, which encompasses Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus anthracis, contains pathogens that can infect insects, nematodes, and vertebrates. Since the target range of the essential virulence factors (Cry toxins) and many isolates is well known, this group presents a powerful system for investigating how pathogens can diversify and adapt to phylogenetically distant hosts. Specialization to exploit insects occurs at the level of the major clade and is associated with substantial changes in the core genome, and host switching between insect orders has occurred repeatedly within subclades...
August 8, 2017: MBio
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