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  • 1
    Language: English
    Description: [cat] El control de l’expressió gènica en bacteris recau principalment sobre un complex enzimàtic anomenat ARN polimerasa (ARNpol). A procariotes, la seva unitat bàsica (core) està formada per 5 subunitats proteiques (a2bb’w). S’han determinat dos canals entre les diferents subunitats de l’ARNpol: el canal primari, on es desenvolupa la transcripció, i el canal secundari, que comunica el medi exterior amb el centre catalític de l’ARNpol. Tot i així, aquest holoenzim necessita la unió d’una subunitat σ per ser capaç de reconèixer una seqüència promotora i iniciar la transcripció. S’han descrit diferents factors, tant proteics com no proteics, que poden interaccionar amb el canal secundari de l’ARNpol i causar alteracions a l’expressió gènica. En aquesta tesi ens hem centrat en la possible competència entre els diferents factors que poden interaccionar amb el canal secundari de l’ARNpol. Estudis anterior duts a terme en el nostre grup d’investigació, ens van permetre postular una possible competència entre els diferents factors que interaccionen amb el canal secundari de l’ARNpol, més concretament entre les proteïnes GreA i DksA. Aquesta competència provocaria alteracions en el patró d’expressió gènica d’Escherichia coli. En aquest treball s’han dut a terme estudis funcionals, estructurals i filogenètics de la proteïna GreA que ens han permès determinar quins aminoàcids, i com a conseqüència quins dominis, podrien ser importants per la funcionalitat de la proteïna, la seva capacitat d’unir-se a l’ARNpol i la seva capacitat de competir amb altres factors. A més, hem estudiat quin efecte té la competència entre els diferents factors que interaccionen amb el canal secundari sobre l’expressió d’un gen diana. Canvis en els nivells de la proteïna GreA, poden afectar la competència pel canal secundari de l’ARNpol Per això hem determinat el patró d’expressió del gen greA, així com l’existència d’una regulació creuada entre les diferents proteïnes que interaccionen amb el canal secundari. Finalment, hem dut a terme un estudi transcriptòmic en Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, amb l’objectiu de determinar quin és l’efecte d’aquesta competència en l’expressió de factors de virulència.
    Description: [eng] Gene expression begins by an enzymatic complex known as RNA polymerase (RNApol). The basic unit (core) of RNApol in bacteria is formed by 5 protein subunits (α2ββ’ω). The three-dimensional structure of the RNApol defines two spaces that play a relevant role during transcription, defined as primary and secondary channel. The holoenzyme needs the binding of a σ subunit to recognise promoter sequences and initiate the transcription process. Transcription is a dynamic process controlled at different steps. Genetic regulation during transcription initiation has been highly studied, and several mechanisms of regulation exist. However, the aim of this project is to study some aspects of the regulation during transcription elongation. It has been described that the alamone ppGpp, as well as several proteins, such as GreA, GreB or DksA, enter within the secondary channel and interact directly with the catalytic centre of the RNApol. The swap between the different factors that bind to the secondary channel of the RNApol may cause changes in the expression pattern. It has been postulated that DksA and ppGpp act as cofactors, however, a previous study performed in our research group, indicated that the phenotype of ppGpp and DksA deficiencies were not always identical, letting us suggest that the occupancy degree of the secondary channel of the RNApol may have significant impact in the expression pattern in E. coli. The data obtained clearly indicate that upregulation of some genes, such as fliC, that occurs in absence of DksA, was the result of the vacancy of the secondary channel generated in a dksA strain rather than being the result of DksA having a direct repressor effect. We suggested that in the absence of DksA, the interactions of other proteins, such as GreA, are promoted and responsible of the upregulation observed. In this project, functional, structural and phylogenetical studies of the protein GreA were performed to determine which amino acids are important for i) the functionality of GreA, ii) the ability to bind to the secondary channel of the RNApol or iii) the capacity to compete with other factors, such as DksA. We have determined that greA overexpression produces a negative effect of the bacterial growth. Moreover, this negative effect is enhanced in absence of DksA, highlighting the hypothesis of a competition between factors that bind into the secondary channel. The effect of this competition between GreA and DksA was also determined studying the expression of the fliC gene. Our data showed that both, GreA and DksAare required for fliC expression but act at different levels in the regulatory cascade of flagella expression regulation. GreA may control fliC expression during transcription elongation whereas DksA may act during transcription initiation. Changes in the amount of GreA, could affect the competition between factors that bind to the secondary channel of the RNApol. Therefore, we have determined the expression pattern of greA. Transcriptional studies showed a crosstalk between the different factors that bind into the secondary channel of the RNApol exists. Finally, transcriptomic studies were performed to determine the effect of ppGpp and DksA on the expression pattern of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The results obtained indicate : i) the effect of the possible competence between the factors that interact into the secondary channel of the RNApol and ii) the effect of ppGpp and DksA on the expression of several virulence factors as well as different mobile elements present in Salmonella.
    Keywords: Polimerasa ; Polymerase ; Regulació Genètica ; Bacteris ; Genetic Regulation ; Rna ; Bacteria
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 2
    Language: English
    Description: The nucleoid-associated proteins Hha and YdgT repress the expression of the toxin α-hemolysin. An Escherichia coli mutant lacking these proteins overexpresses the toxin α-hemolysin encoded in the multicopy recombinant plasmid pANN202-312R. Unexpectedly, we could observe that this mutant generated clones that no further produced hemolysin (Hly-). Generation of Hly- clones was dependent upon the presence in the culture medium of the antibiotic kanamycin (km), a marker of the hha allele (hha::Tn5). Detailed analysis of different Hly- clones evidenced that recombination between partial IS91 sequences that flank the hly operon had occurred. A fluctuation test evidenced that the presence of km in the culture medium was underlying the generation of these clones. A decrease of the km concentration from 25 mg/l to 12.5 mg/l abolished the appearance of Hly- derivatives. We considered as a working hypothesis that, when producing high levels of the toxin (combination of the hha ydgT mutations with the presence of the multicopy hemolytic plasmid pANN202-312R), the concentration of km of 25 mg/l resulted subinhibitory and stimulated the recombination between adjacent IS91 flanking sequences. To further test this hypothesis, we analyzed the effect of subinhibitory km concentrations in the wild type E. coli strain MG1655 harboring the parental low copy number plasmid pHly152. At a km concentration of 5 mg/l, subinhibitory for strain MG1655 (pHly152), generation of Hly- clones could be readily detected. Similar results were also obtained when, instead of km, ampicillin was used. IS91 is flanking several virulence determinants in different enteric bacterial pathogenic strains from E. coli and Shigella. The results presented here evidence that stress generated by exposure to subinhibitory antibiotic concentrations may result in rearrangements of the bacterial genome. Whereas some of these rearrangements may be deleterious, others may generate genotypes with increased virulence, which may resume infection.
    Keywords: Antibiòtics ; Expressió Gènica ; Genètica Bacteriana ; Antibiotics ; Gene Expression ; Bacterial Genetics
    ISSN: 1932-6203
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.02160
    Description: Salmonella is one of the most frequently reported causes of foodborne illness worldwide. Non-typhoidal serovars cause gastroenteritis in humans. Salmonella can grow on surfaces forming biofilms, contributing to its persistence since biofilms are difficult to eradicate due to the high resistance to antimicrobials and disinfectants. It has been described that there are two crucial biofilm promoting factors in Salmonella: curli and cellulose. The expression of both factors is coordinately regulated by the transcriptional regulator CsgD. Most biofilm studies of Salmonella have been performed by growing bacteria in low osmolarity rich medium and low temperature (25°C). In such conditions, the biofilm is formed at the air-liquid interface (pellicle biofilm). Remarkably, when Salmonella grow in minimal medium, biofilm formation switches from the air-liquid interface to the solid-liquid interface (bottom biofilm). In this report, the switching between pellicle and bottom biofilm has been characterized. Our data indicate that curli, but not cellulose, is crucial for the formation of both kinds of biofilms. In minimal medium, conditions promoting formation of bottom biofilm, a high transcriptional expression of csgD and consequently of the genes involved in the synthesis of curli and cellulose was detected. The nutritional status of the cells seems to be pivotal for the spatial distribution of the biofilms formed. When bacteria is growing in minimal medium the addition of amino acids downregulates the expression of csgB and causes the switch between bottom and pellicle biofilm. The crosstalk between general metabolism and biofilm formation is also highlighted by the fact that the metabolic sensor cAMP modulates the type of biofilm generated by Salmonella. Moreover, cAMP regulates transcriptional expression of csgD and stimulates pellicle biofilm formation, suggesting that the physiological conditions define the type of biofilm formed by Salmonella. The consequences of the switching between pellicle and bottom biofilm during either infection or survival in natural environments remain undercover.
    Keywords: Biofilms ; Salmonel·La ; Biofilms ; Salmonella
    ISSN: 1664-302X
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006312
    Description: The invasion of epithelial cells by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a very tightly regulated process. Signaling cascades triggered by different environmental and physiological signals converge to control HilD, an AraC regulator that coordinates the expression of several virulence factors. The expression of hilD is modulated at several steps of the expression process. Here, we report that the invasion of epithelial cells by S. Typhimurium strains lacking the Gre factors, GreA and GreB, is impaired. By interacting with the RNA polymerase secondary channel, the Gre factors prevent backtracking of paused complexes to avoid arrest during transcriptional elongation. Our results indicate that the Gre factors are required for the expression of the bacterial factors needed for epithelial cell invasion by modulating expression of HilD. This regulation does not occur at transcription initiation and depends on the capacity of the Gre factors to prevent backtracking of the RNA polymerase. Remarkably, genetic analyses indicate that the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of hilD is required for Gre-mediated regulation of hilD expression. Our data provide new insight into the complex regulation of S. Typhimurium virulence and highlight the role of the hilD 3'-UTR as a regulatory motif.
    Keywords: Salmonel·La ; Transcripció Genètica ; Epiteli ; Salmonella ; Genetic Transcription ; Epithelium
    ISSN: 1553-7374
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01676
    Description: Campylobacter jejuni is the causal agent of the food-borne infection with the highest incidence in Europe. Both poultry and wild birds are a major reservoir. To gain insight into the population structure, virulence potential, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a collection of 150 isolates from three different ecological niches (broilers, wild birds, and human patients) was studied. Despite the high genetic diversity found, the population structure defined two distinct clusters, one formed mostly by broiler and human isolates and another one by most wild bird isolates. The ST-21 complex exhibits highest prevalence (in humans and broilers), followed by ST-1275 complex (only in wild birds). The ST-48, -45, and -354 complexes were found in all three niches, but represent only 22 out of 150 studied strains. A higher occurrence of AMR and multidrug resistance was detected among broiler and human isolates. Moreover, significant differences were found in the distribution of certain putative virulence genes. Remarkably, many wild bird strains were negative for either cdtA, cdtB, or cdtC from the canonical strain 81-176, whereas all broiler and human strains were positive. These data suggest that the different variants of the cdt genes might be relevant for the efficient colonization of certain hosts by C. jejuni. Our study contributes to the understanding of the role of the diverse Campylobacter reservoirs in the transmission of campylobacteriosis to humans.
    Keywords: Bacteris Patògens ; Resistència Als Medicaments ; Pathogenic Bacteria ; Drug Resistance
    ISSN: 1664-302X
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007401
    Description: Invasion of epithelial cells by Salmonella enterica requires expression of genes located in the pathogenicity island I (SPI-1). The expression of SPI-1 genes is very tightly regulated and activated only under specific conditions. Most studies have focused on the regulatory pathways that induce SPI-1 expression. Here, we describe a new regulatory circuit involving CRP-cAMP, a widely established metabolic regulator, in silencing of SPI-1 genes under non-permissive conditions. In CRP-cAMP-deficient strains we detected a strong upregulation of SPI-1 genes in the mid-logarithmic growth phase. Genetic analyses revealed that CRP-cAMP modulates the level of HilD, the master regulator of Salmonella invasion. This regulation occurs at the post-transcriptional level and requires the presence of a newly identified regulatory motif within the hilD 3'UTR. We further demonstrate that in Salmonella the Hfq-dependent sRNA Spot 42 is under the transcriptional repression of CRP-cAMP and, when this transcriptional repression is relieved, Spot 42 exerts a positive effect on hilD expression. In vivo and in vitro assays indicate that Spot 42 targets, through its unstructured region III, the 3'UTR of the hilD transcript. Together, our results highlight the biological relevance of the hilD 3'UTR as a hub for post-transcriptional control of Salmonella invasion gene expression.
    Keywords: Salmonel·La ; Expressió Gènica ; Salmonella ; Gene Expression
    ISSN: 1553-7390
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-24964-1
    Description: Metal limitation is a common situation during infection and can have profound effects on the pathogen's success. In this report, we examine the role of zinc limitation in the expression of a virulence factor in uropathogenic Escherichia coli. The pyelonephritis isolate J96 carries two hlyCABD operons that encode the RTX toxin α-hemolysin. While the coding regions of both operons are largely conserved, the upstream sequences, including the promoters, are unrelated. We show here that the two hlyCABD operons are differently regulated. The hly II operon is efficiently silenced in the presence of zinc and highly expressed when zinc is limited. In contrast, the hly I operon does not respond to zinc limitation. Genetic studies reveal that zinc-responsive regulation of the hly II operon is controlled by the Zur metalloregulatory protein. A Zur binding site was identified in the promoter sequence of the hly II operon, and we observe direct binding of Zur to this promoter region. Moreover, we find that Zur regulation of the hly II operon modulates the ability of E. coli J96 to induce a cytotoxic response in host cell lines in culture. Our report constitutes the first description of the involvement of the zinc-sensing protein Zur in directly modulating the expression of a virulence factor in bacteria.
    Keywords: Escheríchia Coli ; Zinc ; Escherichia Coli ; Zinc
    ISSN: 2045-2322
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 8
    Language: English
    Description: The concerted action of ppGpp and DksA in transcription has been widely documented. In disparity with this model, phenotypic studies showed that ppGpp and DksA might also have independent and opposing roles in gene expression in Escherichia coli. In this study we used a transcriptomic approach to compare the global transcriptional patterns of gene expression in strains deficient in ppGpp (ppGpp0) and/or DksA ( dksA). Approximately 6 and 7% of all genes were significantly affected by more than twofold in ppGpp- and DksAdeficient strains, respectively, increasing to 13% of all genes in the ppGpp0 dksA strain. Although the data indicate that most of the affected genes were copositively or conegatively regulated by ppGpp and DksA, some genes that were independently and/or differentially regulated by the two factors were found. The large functional group of chemotaxis and flagellum synthesis genes were notably differentially affected, with all genes being upregulated in the DksA-deficient strain but 60% of them being downregulated in the ppGpp-deficient strain. Revealingly, mutations in the antipausing Gre factors suppress the upregulation observed in the DksA-deficient strain, emphasizing the importance of the secondary channel of the RNA polymerase for regulation and fine-tuning of gene expression in E. coli.
    Keywords: Escheríchia Coli ; Genètica Bacteriana ; Expressió Gènica ; Escherichia Coli ; Bacterial Genetics ; Gene Expression
    ISSN: 0021-9193
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00326
    Description: In this report, we describe a High-Throughput Screening (HTS) to identify compounds that inhibit biofilm formation or cause the disintegration of an already formed biofilm using the Salmonella Enteritidis 3934 strain. Initially, we developed a new methodology for growing Salmonella biofilms suitable for HTS platforms. The biomass associated with biofilm at the solid-liquid interface was quantified by staining both with resazurin and crystal violet, to detect living cells and total biofilm mass, respectively. For a pilot project, a subset of 1120 extracts from the Fundación MEDINA's collection was examined to identify molecules with antibiofilm activity. This is the first validated HTS assay of microbial natural product extracts which allows for the detection of four types of activities which are not mutually exclusive: inhibition of biofilm formation, detachment of the preformed biofilm and antimicrobial activity against planktonic cells or biofilm embedded cells. Currently, several extracts have been selected for further fractionation and purification of the active compounds. In one of the natural extracts patulin has been identified as a potent molecule with antimicrobial activity against both, planktonic cells and cells within the biofilm. These findings provide a proof of concept that the developed HTS can lead to the discovery of new natural compounds with antibiofilm activity against Salmonella and its possible use as an alternative to antimicrobial therapies and traditional disinfectants.
    Keywords: Salmonel·La ; Química Combinatòria ; Microbiologia ; Salmonella ; Combinatorial Chemistry ; Microbiology
    ISSN: 1664-302X
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00326
    Description: In this report, we describe a High-Throughput Screening (HTS) to identify compounds that inhibit biofilm formation or cause the disintegration of an already formed biofilm using the Salmonella Enteritidis 3934 strain. Initially, we developed a new methodology for growing Salmonella biofilms suitable for HTS platforms. The biomass associated with biofilm at the solid-liquid interface was quantified by staining both with resazurin and crystal violet, to detect living cells and total biofilm mass, respectively. For a pilot project, a subset of 1120 extracts from the Fundación MEDINA's collection was examined to identify molecules with antibiofilm activity. This is the first validated HTS assay of microbial natural product extracts which allows for the detection of four types of activities which are not mutually exclusive: inhibition of biofilm formation, detachment of the preformed biofilm and antimicrobial activity against planktonic cells or biofilm embedded cells. Currently, several extracts have been selected for further fractionation and purification of the active compounds. In one of the natural extracts patulin has been identified as a potent molecule with antimicrobial activity against both, planktonic cells and cells within the biofilm. These findings provide a proof of concept that the developed HTS can lead to the discovery of new natural compounds with antibiofilm activity against Salmonella and its possible use as an alternative to antimicrobial therapies and traditional disinfectants.
    Keywords: Salmonel·La ; Salmonella
    ISSN: 1664-302X
    Source: Universitat de Barcelona
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