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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) The Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi, has a complex system that allows it to thrive in the harsh and distinct environments of its tick vector and mammalian host. Although it has been known for some time that the Borrelia oxidative stress regulator protein (BosR) plays a necessary role in mammalian infectivity and functions as a transcriptional regulator of alternative sigma factor RpoS, very little is known about its mechanism of action, other than the suggestion that BosR activates rpoS transcription by binding to certain upstream regions of the gene. In our studies, we performed protein degradation assays and luciferase reporter assays for further understanding of BosR function. Our preliminary findings suggest that BosR is post-transcriptionally regulated by an unknown protease and may not need to bind to any rpoS upstream regions in order to activate transcription. We also describe the construction of luciferase reporter systems that will shed light on BosR’s mechanism of action. We postulate the provocative possibility that unlike its homologs Fur and PerR in other bacterial systems, BosR may not utilize a DNA-binding mechanism in order to fulfill its role as a transcriptional regulator to modulate virulence gene expression.
    Keywords: Lyme Disease ; Borrelia Burgdorferi ; Bosr ; Rpos ; Lyme Disease -- Research -- Analysis ; Borrelia Burgdorferi -- Research ; Genetic Regulation ; Gene Expression -- Technique ; Genetic Transcription -- Regulation ; Protease Inhibitors ; Virulence (Microbiology) ; Rna Polymerases ; Polymerase Chain Reaction ; Ticks As Carriers Of Disease ; Messenger Rna -- Research -- Analysis -- Evaluation ; Microbial Genetics -- Technique ; Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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  • 2
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterium which causes Lyme disease, is maintained in nature through a cycle involving two distinct hosts: a tick vector and a mammalian host. To adapt to these two diverse environments, B. burgdorferi undergoes dramatic alterations in its surface lipoprotein. Two essential lipoproteins, outer surface protein A (OspA) and outer surface protein C (OspC), are reciprocally regulated throughout the B. burgdorferi lifecycle. Very little is known about the regulation of OspA. These studies elucidate the regulatory mechanisms controlling the expression of OspA. Various truncations of the ospA promoter were created and then studied in our novel in vitro model of ospA repression or grown within the host-adapted model. A T-Rich region of the ospA promoter was determined to be a cis-element essential for both the full expression and full repression of ospA.
    Keywords: Borrelia Burgdorferi ; Ospa ; Outer Surface Lipoprotein A ; Borrelia Burgdorferi -- Research ; Lyme Disease ; Lyme Disease -- Molecular Aspects ; Spirochetes -- Molecular Aspects ; Lipoprotein A ; Host-Bacteria Relationships ; Bacteria -- Physiology ; Bacterial Cell Walls ; Bacterial Cell Surfaces
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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  • 3
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a sexually transmitted genital ulcerative disease that facilitates the transmission of HIV-1. H. ducreyi also causes non-sexually transmitted cutaneous ulcers in children in tropical regions. During human infection, H. ducreyi is subject to a variety of stresses. The stringent response is a bacterial stress response system induced by nutrient limiting conditions and mediated by guanosine tetra- and pentaphosphate [(p)ppGpp] and the transcriptional regulator DksA. (p)ppGpp and DksA jointly interact with RNA polymerase to regulate genes critical for bacterial survival. We hypothesized that the stringent response is required for H. ducreyi virulence in humans. A ΔrelAΔspoT mutant, which is unable to synthesize (p)ppGpp, was partially attenuated for abscess formation in human volunteers. Loss of (p)ppGpp increased bacterial resistance to phagocytosis and stationary phase survival; however, the mutant was more sensitive to oxidative stress. A ΔdksA mutant was also partially attenuated in humans. The ΔdksA mutant behaved like the (p)ppGpp mutant in stationary phase survival and sensitivity to oxidative stress, but exhibited decreased resistance to phagocytosis. Both mutants had decreased adherence to fibroblasts, but the mechanisms underlying the adherence defect were distinct. To better understand the roles of (p)ppGpp and DksA in regulating gene expression, we performed transcriptome analysis of the parent and mutant strains. (p)ppGpp and DksA deficiency resulted in dysregulation of multiple genes including several known virulence determinants. At stationary phase, (p)ppGpp and DksA targets were not identical but significantly overlapped; as the mutants were phenotypically distinct, this finding underscores both the unique and joint roles DksA and (p)ppGpp play in regulation of H. ducreyi virulence. We conclude that (p)ppGpp and DksA play significant roles in H. ducreyi pathogenesis. This is the first study to show that the stringent response has a direct role in the ability of a bacterial pathogen to cause disease in humans.
    Keywords: Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Humans ; Pathogenesis ; Stringent Response ; Virulence ; Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Chancroid -- Etiology ; Sexually Transmitted Diseases ; Haemophilus Infections ; Rna Polymerases ; Transcription ; Mutation -- Genetics
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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  • 4
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Coxiella burnetii, the zoonotic agent of human Q fever and chronic endocarditis, is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen. The Coxiella intracellular niche, a large, lysosome-like parasitophorous vacuole (PV), is essential for bacterial survival and replication. There is growing evidence that host cell cholesterol trafficking plays a critical role in PV development and maintenance, prompting an examination of the role of cholesterol-binding host protein ORP1L (Oxysterol binding protein-Related Protein 1, Long) during infection. ORP1L is a multi-functional cholesterol-binding protein involved in late endosome/lysosome (LEL) trafficking, formation of membrane contact sites between LEL and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and cholesterol transfer from LEL to the ER. ORP1L localizes to the PV at novel membrane contact sites between the ER and the PV membrane. Ectopically expressed ORP1L in Coxiella-infected cells localizes to the PV membrane early during infection, before significant PV expansion and independent of other PV-localized proteins. Further, the N-terminal ORP1L Ankyrin repeats are both necessary and sufficient for PV localization, suggesting that protein-protein interactions, and not protein-lipid interactions, are primarily involved in PV association. Coxiella employs a Type IVB Secretion System (T4BSS) to translocate effector proteins into the host cytoplasm and manipulate various cellular functions. ORP1L is not found on the PV of a Coxiella mutant lacking a functional T4BSS, indicating a secreted bacterial protein is likely responsible for ORP1L recruitment. We identified a Coxiella mutant with a transposon insertion in CBU_0352 that exhibits a 50% decrease in ORP1L recruitment, suggesting that Coxiella CBU_0352 interacts directly or indirectly with ORP1L. Finally, we found that ORP1L depletion using siRNA alters PV dynamics, resulting in smaller yet more fusogenic Coxiella PVs. Together, these data suggest that ORP1L is specifically recruited to the PV, where it plays a novel role in Coxiella PV development and interactions between the PV and the host cell.
    Keywords: Coxiella Burnetii ; Orp1l ; Cholesterol ; Endoplasmic Reticulum ; Membrane Contact Sites ; Vacuole
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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  • 5
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that can infect the eyes, genital tract, and disseminate to lymph nodes in humans. Many C. trachomatis infections are clinically asymptomatic and can become chronic if left untreated. When humans are infected with C. trachomatis, a cytokine that is produced is interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). In vitro, IFN-γ stimulates expression of the host enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. This enzyme converts free intracellular tryptophan to N-formylkynurenine. Tryptophan starvation induces C. trachomatis to enter a viable-but-nonculturable state termed persistence, which has been proposed to play a key role in chronic Chlamydial disease. To circumvent host induced tryptophan depletion, urogenital strains of C. trachomatis encode a functional tryptophan synthase (TS). TS synthesizes tryptophan from indole and serine, allowing Chlamydia to reactivate from persistence. Transcriptomic analysis revealed C. trachomatis differentially regulates hundreds of genes in response to tryptophan starvation. However, genes that mediate entry, survival, and reactivation from persistence remain largely unknown. Using a forward genetic screen, we identified six Susceptible to IFN-γ mediated Persistence (Sip) mutants that have diminished capacities to reactivate from persistence with indole. Mapping the deleterious persistence alleles in three of the Sip mutants revealed that only one of the mutants had a mutation in TS. The two other Sip mutants mapped had mutations in CTL0225, a putative integral membrane protein, and CTL0694, a putative oxidoreductase. Neither of these genes plays a known role in tryptophan synthesis. However, amino acid (AA) competitive inhibition assays suggest that CTL0225 may be involved in the transport of leucine, isoleucine, valine, cysteine, alanine, and serine. Additionally, metabolomics analysis indicates that all free amino acids are depleted in response to IFN-γ, making this amino acid transporter essential during persistence. Taken together we have identified two new chlamydial persistence genes that may play a role in chronic chlamydial disease.
    Keywords: Amino Acids ; Chlamydia Trachomatis ; Interferon Gamma ; Mutants ; Screen ; Tryptophan Synthase
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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