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  • Fortney, Kate R.
  • Gene Expression
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2015, Vol.83(8), pp.3281-92
    Description: The (p)ppGpp-mediated stringent response is important for bacterial survival in nutrient limiting conditions. For maximal effect, (p)ppGpp interacts with the cofactor DksA, which stabilizes (p)ppGpp's interaction with RNA polymerase. We previously demonstrated that (p)ppGpp was required for the virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans. Here, we constructed an H. ducreyi dksA mutant and showed it was also partially attenuated for pustule formation in human volunteers. To understand the roles of (p)ppGpp and DksA in gene regulation in H. ducreyi, we defined genes potentially altered by (p)ppGpp and DksA deficiency using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq). In bacteria collected at stationary phase, lack of (p)ppGpp and DksA altered expression of 28% and 17% of H. ducreyi open reading frames, respectively, including genes involved in transcription, translation, and metabolism. There was significant overlap in genes differentially expressed in the (p)ppGpp mutant relative to the dksA mutant. Loss of (p)ppGpp or DksA resulted in the dysregulation of several known virulence determinants. Deletion of dksA downregulated lspB and rendered the organism less resistant to phagocytosis and increased its sensitivity to oxidative stress. Both mutants had reduced ability to attach to human foreskin fibroblasts; the defect correlated with reduced expression of the Flp adhesin proteins in the (p)ppGpp mutant but not in the dksA mutant, suggesting that DksA regulates the expression of an unknown cofactor(s) required for Flp-mediated adherence. We conclude that both (p)ppGpp and DksA serve as major regulators of H. ducreyi gene expression in stationary phase and have both overlapping and unique contributions to pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Guanosine Tetraphosphate -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 01 March 2009, Vol.199(5), pp.684-92
    Description: A gene expression study of Haemophilus ducreyi identified the hypothetical lipoprotein HD0192, renamed here "fibrinogen binder A" (FgbA), as being preferentially expressed in vivo. To test the role played by fgbA in virulence, an isogenic fgbA mutant (35000HPfgbA) was constructed using H. ducreyi 35000HP, and 6 volunteers were experimentally infected with 35000HP or 35000HPfgbA. The overall pustule-formation rate was 61.1% at parent sites and 22.2% at mutant sites (P = .019). Papules were significantly smaller at mutant sites than at parent sites (13.3 vs. 37.9 mm(2); P = .002) 24 h after inoculation. Thus, fgbA contributed significantly to the virulence of H. ducreyi in humans. In vitro experiments demonstrated that fgbA encodes a fibrinogen-binding protein; no other fibrinogen-binding proteins were identified in 35000HP. fgbA was conserved among clinical isolates of both class I and II H. ducreyi strains, supporting the finding that fgbA is important for H. ducreyi infection.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Fibrinogen -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics ; Lipoproteins -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 0022-1899
    E-ISSN: 15376613
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of infectious diseases, 01 August 2009, Vol.200(3), pp.409-16
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP contains a homologue of the luxS gene, which encodes an enzyme that synthesizes autoinducer 2 (AI-2) in other gram-negative bacteria. H. ducreyi 35000HP produced AI-2 that functioned in a Vibrio harveyi-based reporter system. A H. ducreyi luxS mutant was constructed by insertional inactivation of the luxS gene and lost the ability to produce AI-2. Provision of the H. ducreyi luxS gene in trans partially restored AI-2 production by the mutant. The luxS mutant was compared with its parent for virulence in the human challenge model of experimental chancroid. The pustule-formation rate in 5 volunteers was 93.3% (95% confidence interval, 81.7%-99.9%) at 15 parent sites and 60.0% (95% confidence interval, 48.3%-71.7%) at 15 mutant sites (1-tailed P 〈 .001). Thus, the luxS mutant was partially attenuated for virulence. This is the first report of AI-2 production contributing to the pathogenesis of a genital ulcer disease.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Carbon-Sulfur Lyases -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics
    ISSN: 0022-1899
    E-ISSN: 15376613
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  • 4
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2003, Vol. 71(12), p.7178
    Description: An intact Haemophilus ducreyi flp operon is essential for microcolony formation in vitro. tadA is the 9th of 15 genes in the operon and has homology to NTPases of type IV secretion systems. Fifteen human volunteers were experimentally infected with both H. ducreyi 35000HP and the tadA mutant, 35000HP.400. Papules developed at similar rates at sites inoculated with the mutant and parent, while pustules formed at 36.4% of parent sites and at 0% of mutant sites (P = 0.001). Compared to 35000HP, 35000HP.400 had only a modest but significant reduction in lesion scores in the temperature-dependent rabbit model of chancroid. These data suggest that proteins secreted by the flp locus are required for full expression of virulence by H. ducreyi in humans but have less of a role in virulence in an animal model of infection.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 5
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2001, Vol. 69(3), p.1488
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi produces an outer membrane protein called DsrA, which is required for serum resistance. An isogenic dsrA mutant, FX517, was constructed previously in H. ducreyi 35000. Compared to its parent, FX517 cannot survive in normal human serum. When complemented in trans with a plasmid containing dsrA, FX517 is converted to a serum-resistant phenotype (C. Elkins, K. J. Morrow, Jr., and B. Olsen, Infect. Immun. 68:1608-1619, 2000). To test whether dsrA was transcribed in vivo, we successfully amplified transcripts in five biopsies obtained from four experimentally infected human subjects. To test whether DsrA was required for virulence, six volunteers were experimentally infected with 35000 and FX517 and observed for papule and pustule formation. Each subject was inoculated with two doses (70 to 80 CFU) of live 35000 and 1 dose of heat-killed bacteria on one arm and with three doses (ranging from 35 to 800 CFU) of live FX517 on the other arm. Papules developed at similar rates at sites inoculated with the mutant or parent. However, mutant papule surface areas were significantly smaller than parent papules. The pustule formation rate was 58% (95% confidence interval [CI] of 28 to 85%) at 12 parent sites, and 0% (95% CI of 0 to 15%) at 18 mutant sites (P = 0.0004). Although biosafety regulations precluded our testing the complemented mutant in humans, these results suggest that expression of DsrA facilitates the ability of H. ducreyi to progress to the pustular stage of disease.
    Keywords: Mutation ; Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins -- Genetics ; Chancroid -- Etiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 6
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2007, Vol. 75(12), p.5686
    Description: In experimentally infected human volunteers, the cutaneous immune response to Haemophilus ducreyi is orchestrated by serum, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, macrophages, T cells, and myeloid dendritic cells (DC). This response either leads to spontaneous resolution of infection or progresses to pustule formation, which is associated with the failure of phagocytes to ingest the organism and the presence of Th1 and regulatory T cells. In volunteers who are challenged twice, some subjects form at least one pustule twice (PP group), while others have all inoculated sites resolve twice (RR group). Here, we infected PP and RR subjects with H. ducreyi and used microarrays to profile gene expression in infected and wounded skin. The PP and RR groups shared a core response to H. ducreyi. Additional transcripts that signified effective immune function were differentially expressed in RR infected sites, while those that signified a hyperinflammatory, dysregulated response were differentially expressed in PP infected sites. To examine whether DC drove these responses, we profiled gene expression in H. ducreyi-infected and uninfected monocyte-derived DC. Both groups had a common response that was typical of a type 1 DC (DC1) response. RR DC exclusively expressed many additional transcripts indicative of DC1. PP DC exclusively expressed differentially regulated transcripts characteristic of DC1 and regulatory DC. The data suggest that DC from the PP and RR groups respond differentially to H. ducreyi. PP DC may promote a dysregulated T-cell response that contributes to phagocytic failure, while RR DC may promote a Th1 response that facilitates bacterial clearance.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Microbial Pathogenesis, 2006, Vol.40(3), pp.110-115
    Description: express two porin proteins, termed OmpP2A and OmpP2B. To test whether expression of OmpP2A and OmpP2B was necessary for virulence in humans, eight volunteers were experimentally infected with the parent (35000HP) in one arm and a double OmpP2A OmpP2B mutant (35000HP::P2AB) in the other arm. The pustule formation rates were 58.3% (95% CI, 33.2–83.5%) for the parent and 41.7% (95% CI, 19.3–64.0%) for the mutant ( =0.25). Biopsy of 35000HP and 35000HP::P2AB-infected sites yielded similar amounts of bacteria in quantitative culture. These results indicate that expression of OmpP2A and OmpP2B is not necessary to initiate disease or to progress to pustule formation in humans.
    Keywords: Pustule Formation ; Haemophilus Ducreyi ; Porin Proteins ; Uirulence ; Human Challenge Model ; Biology ; Chemistry
    ISSN: 0882-4010
    E-ISSN: 1096-1208
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