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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2014, Vol.82(8), pp.3492-502
    Description: (p)ppGpp responds to nutrient limitation through a global change in gene regulation patterns to increase survival. The stringent response has been implicated in the virulence of several pathogenic bacterial species. Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, has homologs of both relA and spoT, which primarily synthesize and hydrolyze (p)ppGpp in Escherichia coli. We constructed relA and relA spoT deletion mutants to assess the contribution of (p)ppGpp to H. ducreyi pathogenesis. Both the relA single mutant and the relA spoT double mutant failed to synthesize (p)ppGpp, suggesting that relA is the primary synthetase of (p)ppGpp in H. ducreyi. Compared to the parent strain, the double mutant was partially attenuated for pustule formation in human volunteers. The double mutant had several phenotypes that favored attenuation, including increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. The increased sensitivity to oxidative stress could be complemented in trans. However, the double mutant also exhibited phenotypes that favored virulence. When grown to the mid-log phase, the double mutant was significantly more resistant than its parent to being taken up by human macrophages and exhibited increased transcription of lspB, which is involved in resistance to phagocytosis. Additionally, compared to the parent, the double mutant also exhibited prolonged survival in the stationary phase. In E. coli, overexpression of DksA compensates for the loss of (p)ppGpp; the H. ducreyi double mutant expressed higher transcript levels of dksA than the parent strain. These data suggest that the partial attenuation of the double mutant is likely the net result of multiple conflicting phenotypes.
    Keywords: Guanosine Pentaphosphate -- Deficiency ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Ligases -- Metabolism ; Pyrophosphatases -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, May 2016, Vol.84(5), pp.1514-1525
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid in adults and cutaneous ulcers in children. In humans, H. ducreyi resides in an abscess and must adapt to a variety of stresses. Previous studies (D. Gangaiah, M. Labandeira-Rey, X. Zhang, K. R. Fortney, S. Ellinger, B. Zwickl, B. Baker, Y. Liu, D. M. Janowicz, B. P. Katz, C. A. Brautigam, R. S. MunsonJr, E. J. Hansen, and S. M. Spinola, mBio 5:e01081-13, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01081-13) suggested that H. ducreyi encounters growth conditions in human lesions resembling those found in stationary phase. However, how H. ducreyi transcriptionally responds to stress during human infection is unknown. Here, we determined the H. ducreyi transcriptome in biopsy specimens of human lesions and compared it to the transcriptomes of bacteria grown to mid-log, transition, and stationary phases. Multidimensional scaling showed that the in vivo transcriptome is distinct from those of in vitro growth. Compared to the inoculum (mid-log-phase bacteria), H. ducreyi harvested from pustules differentially expressed ∼93 genes, of which 62 were upregulated. The upregulated genes encode homologs of proteins involved in nutrient transport, alternative carbon pathways (l-ascorbate utilization and metabolism), growth arrest response, heat shock response, DNA recombination, and anaerobiosis. H. ducreyi upregulated few genes (hgbA, flp-tad, and lspB-lspA2) encoding virulence determinants required for human infection. Most genes regulated by CpxRA, RpoE, Hfq, (p)ppGpp, and DksA, which control the expression of virulence determinants and adaptation to a variety of stresses, were not differentially expressed in vivo, suggesting that these systems are cycling on and off during infection. Taken together, these data suggest that the in vivo transcriptome is distinct from those of in vitro growth and that adaptation to nutrient stress and anaerobiosis is crucial for H. ducreyi survival in humans.
    Keywords: Adaptation, Physiological ; Gene Expression Profiling ; Stress, Physiological ; Carbon -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Physiology
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 4
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2006, Vol. 74(2), p.1394
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi produces two outer membrane proteins, called DltA (H. ducreyi lectin A) and DsrA (H. ducreyi serum resistance A), that contribute to the ability of the organism to evade complement-mediated serum killing. In contrast to their isogenic parent strain, 35000HP, the DsrA mutant FX517 exhibits 0% survival in 50% normal human serum and the DltA mutant FX533 exhibits 23% survival. Compared to 35000HP, FX517 does not cause pustule formation in human volunteers. To test whether DltA was required for virulence in humans, seven volunteers were experimentally infected with 35000HP and FX533. Four subjects were inoculated with fixed doses of 35000HP (101 CFU or 130 CFU) at three sites on one arm and escalating doses of FX533 (range, 46 CFU to 915 CFU) at three sites on the other arm. Pustules only developed at mutant-injected sites at doses nearly twofold higher than that of the parent, suggesting that FX533 was partially attenuated. Three subjects were inoculated with similar doses of the parent (67 CFU) and mutant (104 CFU) at three sites. Pustules formed at five of nine parent sites and one of nine mutant sites. Overall, the papule and pustule formation rates for 35000HP and FX533 were similar for the trial. However, for the five subjects who received similar doses of the parent and mutant, pustules developed at 7 of 15 sites (46.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 16.9% to 76.5%) inoculated with the parent and at 1 of 15 (6.7%; 95% CI, 0.1% to 18.4%) sites inoculated with the mutant (P = 0.043). We concluded that the DltA mutant was attenuated in its ability to cause disease at doses similar to that of the parent.
    Keywords: Mutation ; Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins -- Genetics ; Chancroid -- Pathology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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