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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2015, Vol.10(4), pp.e0124373
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi resists the cytotoxic effects of human antimicrobial peptides (APs), including α-defensins, β-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Resistance to LL-37, mediated by the sensitive to antimicrobial peptide (Sap) transporter, is required for H. ducreyi virulence in humans. Cationic APs are attracted to the negatively charged bacterial cell surface. In other gram-negative bacteria, modification of lipopolysaccharide or lipooligosaccharide (LOS) by the addition of positively charged moieties, such as phosphoethanolamine (PEA), confers AP resistance by means of electrostatic repulsion. H. ducreyi LOS has PEA modifications at two sites, and we identified three genes (lptA, ptdA, and ptdB) in H. ducreyi with homology to a family of bacterial PEA transferases. We generated non-polar, unmarked mutants with deletions in one, two, or all three putative PEA transferase genes. The triple mutant was significantly more susceptible to both α- and β-defensins; complementation of all three genes restored parental levels of AP resistance. Deletion of all three PEA transferase genes also resulted in a significant increase in the negativity of the mutant cell surface. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LptA was required for PEA modification of lipid A; PtdA and PtdB did not affect PEA modification of LOS. In human inoculation experiments, the triple mutant was as virulent as its parent strain. While this is the first identified mechanism of resistance to α-defensins in H. ducreyi, our in vivo data suggest that resistance to cathelicidin LL-37 may be more important than defensin resistance to H. ducreyi pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Drug Resistance, Bacterial -- Genetics ; Ethanolaminephosphotransferase -- Genetics ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics ; Lipid A -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 18 November 2008, Vol.105(46), pp.17626-31
    Description: Mimicking nature is both a key goal and a difficult challenge for the scientific enterprise. DNA, well known as the genetic-information carrier in nature, can be replicated efficiently in living cells. Today, despite the dramatic evolution of DNA nanotechnology, a versatile method that replicates artificial DNA nanostructures with complex secondary structures remains an appealing target. Previous success in replicating DNA nanostructures enzymatically in vitro suggests that a possible solution could be cloning these nanostructures by using viruses. Here, we report a system where a single-stranded DNA nanostructure (Holliday junction or paranemic cross-over DNA) is inserted into a phagemid, transformed into XL1-Blue cells and amplified in vivo in the presence of helper phages. High copy numbers of cloned nanostructures can be obtained readily by using standard molecular biology techniques. Correct replication is verified by a number of assays including nondenaturing PAGE, Ferguson analysis, endonuclease VII digestion, and hydroxyl radical autofootprinting. The simplicity, efficiency, and fidelity of nature are fully reflected in this system. UV-induced psoralen cross-linking is used to probe the secondary structure of the inserted junction in infected cells. Our data suggest the possible formation of the immobile four-arm junction in vivo.
    Keywords: DNA -- Metabolism ; Nanostructures -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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