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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    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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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    Description: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Lyme disease, the most prevalent vector-borne illness in the United States, is a multisystem inflammatory disorder caused by infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). This spirochete is maintained in nature through an enzootic cycle involving ticks and small mammals. The Bb genome encodes a large number of surface lipoproteins, many of which are expressed during mammalian infection. One of these lipoproteins is the major outer surface protein C (OspC) whose production is induced during transmission as spirochetes transition from ticks to mammals. OspC is required for Bb to establish infection in mice and has been proposed to facilitate evasion of innate immunity. However, the exact biological function of OspC remains elusive. Our studies show the ospC-deficient spirochete could not establish infection in NOD-scid IL2rγnull mice that lack B cells, T cells, NK cells, and lytic complement, whereas the wild-type spirochete was fully infectious in these mice. The ospC mutant also could not establish infection in SCID and C3H mice that were transiently neutropenic during the first 48 h post-challenge. However, depletion of F4/80+ phagocytes at the skin-site of inoculation in SCID mice allowed the ospC mutant to establish infection in vivo. In phagocyte-depleted SCID mice, the ospC mutant was capable to colonize the joints and triggered neutrophilia during dissemination in a similar pattern as wild-type bacteria. We then constructed GFP-expressing Bb strains to evaluate the interaction of the ospC mutant with phagocytes. Using flow cytometry and fluorometric assay for phagocytosis, we found that phagocytosis of GFP-expressing ospC mutant spirochetes by murine peritoneal macrophages and human THP-1 cells was significantly higher than parental wild-type Bb strains, suggesting that OspC has an anti-phagocytic property. This enhancement in phagocytosis was not mediated by MARCO and CD36 scavenger receptors and was not associated with changes in mRNA levels of TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-10. Phagocytosis assays with HL60 neutrophil-like cells showed that uptake of Bb strains was independent to OspC. Together, our findings reveal that F4/80+ phagocytes are important for clearance of the ospC mutant, and suggest that OspC promotes spirochetes' evasion of macrophages in the skin of mice during early Lyme borreliosis.
    Keywords: Borrelia Burgdorferi ; Ef-Tu ; Infection ; Lyme Disease ; Ospc ; Phagocytes ; Lyme Disease ; Borrelia Burgdorferi -- Research ; Protein C ; Lyme Disease -- Molecular Aspects ; Relapsing Fever ; Spirochetes -- Molecular Aspects ; Bacteria
    Source: Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
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