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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 18 January 2011, Vol.108(3), pp.1134-9
    Description: Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are a phylogenetically diverse group which uses intracellular membrane-enclosed magnetite crystals called magnetosomes for navigation in their aquatic habitats. Although synthesis of these prokaryotic organelles is of broad interdisciplinary interest, its genetic analysis has been restricted to a few closely related members of the Proteobacteria, in which essential functions required for magnetosome formation are encoded within a large genomic magnetosome island. However, because of the lack of cultivated representatives from other phyla, it is unknown whether the evolutionary origin of magnetotaxis is monophyletic, and it has been questioned whether homologous mechanisms and structures are present in unrelated MTB. Here, we present the analysis of the uncultivated "Candidatus Magnetobacterium bavaricum" from the deep branching Nitrospira phylum by combining micromanipulation and whole genome amplification (WGA) with metagenomics. Target-specific sequences obtained by WGA of cells, which were magnetically collected and individually sorted from sediment samples, were used for PCR screening of metagenomic libraries. This led to the identification of a genomic cluster containing several putative magnetosome genes with homology to those in Proteobacteria. A variety of advanced electron microscopic imaging tools revealed a complex cell envelope and an intricate magnetosome architecture. The presence of magnetosome membranes as well as cytoskeletal magnetosome filaments suggests a similar mechanism of magnetosome formation in "Cand. M. bavaricum" as in Proteobacteria. Altogether, our findings suggest a monophyletic origin of magnetotaxis, and relevant genes were likely transferred horizontally between Proteobacteria and representatives of the Nitrospira phylum.
    Keywords: Evolution, Molecular ; Phylogeny ; Bacteria -- Genetics ; Conserved Sequence -- Genetics ; Gene Transfer, Horizontal -- Genetics ; Magnetosomes -- Genetics ; Multigene Family -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of Bacteriology, 2011, Vol. 193(7), p.1745
    Description: Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100 is an obligate predatory bacterium that attacks and invades Gram-negative bacteria. The predator requires living bacteria to survive as growth and replication take place inside the bacterial prey. It is possible to isolate mutants that grow and replicate outside prey bacteria. Such mutants are designated host or prey independent, and their nutritional requirements vary. Some mutants are saprophytic and require prey extracts for extracellular growth, whereas other mutants grow axenically, which denotes the formation of colonies on complete medium in the absence of any prey components. The initial events leading to prey-independent growth are still under debate, and several genes may be involved. We selected new mutants by three different methods: spontaneous mutation, transposon mutagenesis, and targeted gene knockout. By all approaches we isolated mutants of the hit (host interaction) locus. As the relevance of this locus for the development of prey independence has been questioned, we performed whole-genome sequencing of five prey-independent mutants. Three mutants were saprophytic, and two mutants could grow axenically. Whole-genome analysis revealed that the mutation of a small open reading frame of the hit locus is sufficient for the conversion from predatory to saprophytic growth. Complementation experiments were performed by introduction of a plasmid carrying the wild-type hit gene into saprophytic mutants, and predatory growth could be restored. Whole-genome sequencing of two axenic mutants demonstrated that in addition to the hit mutation the colony formation on complete medium was shown to be influenced by the mutations of two genes involved in RNA processing. Complementation experiments with a wild-type gene encoding an RNA helicase, RhIB, abolished the ability to form colonies on complete medium, indicating that stability of RNA influences axenic growth. doi: 10.1128/JB.01343-10
    Keywords: Genes -- Physiological Aspects ; Genes -- Identification And Classification ; Gram-negative Bacteria -- Growth ; Gram-negative Bacteria -- Genetic Aspects ; Gram-negative Bacteria -- Physiological Aspects;
    ISSN: 0021-9193
    ISSN: 00219193
    E-ISSN: 10985530
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 22 March 2011, Vol.108(12), pp.5033-8
    Description: High genetic diversity is a hallmark of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. We used 454 sequencing technology to perform whole-genome comparisons for five sets of H. pylori strains that had been sequentially cultured from four chronically infected Colombians (isolation intervals=3-16 y) and one human volunteer experimentally infected with H. pylori as part of a vaccine trial. The four sets of genomes from Colombian H. pylori differed by 27-232 isolated SNPs and 16-441 imported clusters of polymorphisms resulting from recombination. Imports (mean length=394 bp) were distributed nonrandomly over the chromosome and frequently occurred in groups, suggesting that H. pylori first takes up long DNA fragments, which subsequently become partially integrated in multiple shorter pieces. Imports were present at significantly increased frequency in members of the hop family of outer membrane gene paralogues, some of which are involved in bacterial adhesion, suggesting diversifying selection. No evidence of recombination and few other differences were identified in the strain pair from an infected volunteer, indicating that the H. pylori genome is stable in the absence of mixed infection. Among these few differences was an OFF/ON switch in the phase-variable adhesin gene hopZ, suggesting strong in vivo selection for this putative adhesin during early colonization.
    Keywords: Evolution, Molecular ; Genomic Instability ; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide ; Genome, Bacterial -- Physiology ; Helicobacter Infections -- Genetics ; Helicobacter Pylori -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 4
    In: PLoS ONE, 2014, Vol.9(1)
    Description: The Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule (EpCAM) is overexpressed in many cancers including ovarian cancer and EpCAM overexpression correlates with decreased survival of patients. It was the aim of this study to achieve a targeted methylation of the EpCAM promoter and silence EpCAM gene expression using an engineered zinc finger protein that specifically binds the EpCAM promoter fused to the catalytic domain of the Dnmt3a DNA methyltransferase. We show that transient transfection of this construct increased the methylation of the EpCAM promoter in SKOV3 cells from 4–8% in untreated cells to 30%. Up to 48% methylation was observed in stable cell lines which express the chimeric methyltransferase. Control experiments confirmed that the methylation was dependent on the fusion of the Zinc finger and the methyltransferase domains and specific for the target region. The stable cell lines with methylated EpCAM promoter showed a 60–80% reduction of EpCAM expression as determined at mRNA and protein level and exhibited a significantly reduced cell proliferation. Our data indicate that targeted methylation of the EpCAM promoter could be an approach in the therapy of EpCAM overexpressing cancers.
    Keywords: Research Article ; Biology ; Medicine
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of biological chemistry, 24 October 2014, Vol.289(43), pp.29602-13
    Description: The Dnmt3a DNA methyltransferase has been shown to bind cooperatively to DNA and to form large multimeric protein/DNA fibers. However, it has also been reported to methylate DNA in a processive manner, a property that is incompatible with protein/DNA fiber formation. We show here that the DNA methylation rate of Dnmt3a increases more than linearly with increasing enzyme concentration on a long DNA substrate, but not on a short 30-mer oligonucleotide substrate. We also show that addition of a catalytically inactive Dnmt3a mutant, which carries an amino acid exchange in the catalytic center, increases the DNA methylation rate by wild type Dnmt3a on the long substrate but not on the short one. In agreement with this finding, preincubation experiments indicate that stable protein/DNA fibers are formed on the long, but not on the short substrate. In addition, methylation experiments with substrates containing one or two CpG sites did not provide evidence for a processive mechanism over a wide range of enzyme concentrations. These data clearly indicate that Dnmt3a binds to DNA in a cooperative reaction and that the formation of stable protein/DNA fibers increases the DNA methylation rate. Fiber formation occurs at low μm concentrations of Dnmt3a, which are in the range of Dnmt3a concentrations in the nucleus of embryonic stem cells. Understanding the mechanism of Dnmt3a is of vital importance because Dnmt3a is a hotspot of somatic cancer mutations one of which has been implicated in changing Dnmt3a processivity.
    Keywords: Cooperativity ; DNA Enzyme ; DNA Methylation ; DNA Methyltransferase ; Enzyme Kinetics ; Enzyme Mechanism ; DNA -- Metabolism ; DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferases -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1083-351X
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Genetics, July 2015, Vol.200(3), pp.947-63
    Description: Helicobacter pylori is an important human pathogen associated with serious gastric diseases. Owing to its medical importance and close relationship with its human host, understanding genomic patterns of global and local adaptation in H. pylori may be of particular significance for both clinical and evolutionary studies. Here we present the first such whole genome analysis of 60 globally distributed strains, from which we inferred worldwide population structure and demographic history and shed light on interesting global and local events of positive selection, with particular emphasis on the evolution of San-associated lineages. Our results indicate a more ancient origin for the association of humans and H. pylori than previously thought. We identify several important perspectives for future clinical research on candidate selected regions that include both previously characterized genes (e.g., transcription elongation factor NusA and tumor necrosis factor alpha-inducing protein Tipα) and hitherto unknown functional genes.
    Keywords: Adaptation ; Human Pathogens ; Neutral Evolution ; Selection, Genetic ; Helicobacter Infections -- Microbiology ; Helicobacter Pylori -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00166731
    E-ISSN: 1943-2631
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Nature, 28 January 2016, Vol.529(7587), pp.496-501
    Description: Bacteria express many small RNAs for which the regulatory roles in pathogenesis have remained poorly understood due to a paucity of robust phenotypes in standard virulence assays. Here we use a generic 'dual RNA-seq' approach to profile RNA expression simultaneously in pathogen and host during Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection and reveal the molecular impact of bacterial riboregulators. We identify a PhoP-activated small RNA, PinT, which upon bacterial internalization temporally controls the expression of both invasion-associated effectors and virulence genes required for intracellular survival. This riboregulatory activity causes pervasive changes in coding and noncoding transcripts of the host. Interspecies correlation analysis links PinT to host cell JAK-STAT signalling, and we identify infection-specific alterations in multiple long noncoding RNAs. Our study provides a paradigm for a sensitive RNA-based analysis of intracellular bacterial pathogens and their hosts without physical separation, as well as a new discovery route for hidden functions of pathogen genes.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation -- Genetics ; Host-Pathogen Interactions -- Genetics ; RNA, Bacterial -- Genetics ; RNA, Untranslated -- Genetics ; Salmonella Typhimurium -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00280836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2016, Vol.11(6), p.e0157779
    Description: The utility of genome assemblies does not only rely on the quality of the assembled genome sequence, but also on the quality of the gene annotations. The Pacific Biosciences Iso-Seq technology is a powerful support for accurate eukaryotic gene model annotation as it allows for direct readout of full-length cDNA sequences without the need for noisy short read-based transcript assembly. We propose the implementation of the TeloPrime Full Length cDNA Amplification kit to the Pacific Biosciences Iso-Seq technology in order to enrich for genuine full-length transcripts in the cDNA libraries. We provide evidence that TeloPrime outperforms the commonly used SMARTer PCR cDNA Synthesis Kit in identifying transcription start and end sites in Arabidopsis thaliana. Furthermore, we show that TeloPrime-based Pacific Biosciences Iso-Seq can be successfully applied to the polyploid genome of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) not only to efficiently annotate gene models, but also to identify novel transcription sites, gene homeologs, splicing isoforms and previously unidentified gene loci.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: The New phytologist, January 2014, Vol.201(1), pp.144-54
    Description: The aim of this study was to characterize the transcriptome of a balanced polymorphism, under the regulation of a single gene, for phosphate fertilizer responsiveness/arsenate tolerance in wild grass Holcus lanatus genotypes screened from the same habitat. De novo transcriptome sequencing, RNAseq (RNA sequencing) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) calling were conducted on RNA extracted from H. lanatus. Roche 454 sequencing data were assembled into c. 22,000 isotigs, and paired-end Illumina reads for phosphorus-starved (P-) and phosphorus-treated (P+) genovars of tolerant (T) and nontolerant (N) phenotypes were mapped to this reference transcriptome. Heatmaps of the gene expression data showed strong clustering of each P+/P- treated genovar, as well as clustering by N/T phenotype. Statistical analysis identified 87 isotigs to be significantly differentially expressed between N and T phenotypes and 258 between P+ and P- treated plants. SNPs and transcript expression that systematically differed between N and T phenotypes had regulatory function, namely proteases, kinases and ribonuclear RNA-binding protein and transposable elements. A single gene for arsenate tolerance led to distinct phenotype transcriptomes and SNP profiles, with large differences in upstream post-translational and post-transcriptional regulatory genes rather than in genes directly involved in P nutrition transport and metabolism per se.
    Keywords: Holcus Lanatus ; Arsente ; Phosphorus (P) ; Tolerance ; Transcriptome ; Gene Expression Regulation, Plant ; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide ; Arsenates -- Pharmacology ; Arsenic -- Pharmacology ; Holcus -- Genetics ; Phosphorus -- Metabolism ; Transcriptome -- Genetics
    ISSN: 0028646X
    E-ISSN: 1469-8137
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  • 10
    In: Nature, 2012, Vol.488(7409), p.91
    Description: The plant root defines the interface between a multicellular eukaryote and soil, one of the richest microbial ecosystems on Earth. Notably, soil bacteria are able to multiply inside roots as benign endophytes and modulate plant growth and development, with implications ranging from enhanced crop productivity to phytoremediation. Endophytic colonization represents an apparent paradox of plant innate immunity because plant cells can detect an array of microbe-associated molecular patterns (also known as MAMPs) to initiate immune responses to terminate microbial multiplication. Several studies attempted to describe the structure of bacterial root endophytes; however, different sampling protocols and low-resolution profiling methods make it difficult to infer general principles. Here we describe methodology to characterize and compare soil- and root-inhabiting bacterial communities, which reveals not only a function for metabolically active plant cells but also for inert cell-wall features in the selection of soil bacteria for host colonization. We show that the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana, grown in different natural soils under controlled environmental conditions, are preferentially colonized by Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria, and each bacterial phylum is represented by a dominating class or family. Soil type defines the composition of root-inhabiting bacterial communities and host genotype determines their ribotype profiles to a limited extent. The identification of soil-type-specific members within the root-inhabiting assemblies supports our conclusion that these represent soil-derived root endophytes. Surprisingly, plant cell-wall features of other tested plant species seem to provide a sufficient cue for the assembly of approximately 40% of the Arabidopsis bacterial root-inhabiting microbiota, with a bias for Betaproteobacteria. Thus, this root sub-community may not be Arabidopsis-specific but saprophytic bacteria that would naturally be found on any plant root or plant debris in the tested soils. By contrast, colonization of Arabidopsis roots by members of the Actinobacteria depends on other cues from metabolically active host cells.
    Keywords: Metagenome ; Arabidopsis -- Microbiology ; Bacteria -- Isolation & Purification ; Plant Roots -- Microbiology;
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 14764687
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