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Sample records for anthracis dihydrofolate reductase

  1. Molecular modeling toward selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacoppo, Juliana O S; Mancini, Daiana T; Guimarães, Ana P; Gonçalves, Arlan S; da Cunha, Elaine F F; França, Tanos C C; Ramalho, Teodorico C

    2015-02-16

    In the present work, we applied docking and molecular dynamics techniques to study 11 compounds inside the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) and Homo sapiens sapiens (HssDHFR). Six of these compounds were selected for a study with the mutant BaF96IDHFR. Our results corroborated with experimental data and allowed the proposition of a new molecule with potential activity and better selectivity for BaDHFR.

  2. Targeted Mutations of Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase Condense Complex Structure-Activity Relationships

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J Beierlein; N Karri; A Anderson

    2011-12-31

    Several antifolates, including trimethoprim (TMP) and a series of propargyl-linked analogues, bind dihydrofolate reductase from Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) with lower affinity than is typical in other bacterial species. To guide lead optimization for BaDHFR, we explored a new approach to determine structure-activity relationships whereby the enzyme is altered and the analogues remain constant, essentially reversing the standard experimental design. Active site mutants of the enzyme, Ba(F96I)DHFR and Ba(Y102F)DHFR, were created and evaluated with enzyme inhibition assays and crystal structures. The affinities of the antifolates increase up to 60-fold with the Y102F mutant, suggesting that interactions with Tyr 102 are critical for affinity. Crystal structures of the enzymes bound to TMP and propargyl-linked inhibitors reveal the basis of TMP resistance and illuminate the influence of Tyr 102 on the lipophilic linker between the pyrimidine and aryl rings. Two new inhibitors test and validate these conclusions and show the value of the technique for providing new directions during lead optimization.

  3. Isolation and expression of the Pneumocystis carinii dihydrofolate reductase gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edman, J C; Edman, U; Cao, Mi-Mi;

    1989-01-01

    Pneumocystis carinii dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR; 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolate: NADP+ oxidoreductase, EC 1.5.1.3) cDNA sequences have been isolated by their ability to confer trimethoprim resistance to Escherichia coli. Consistent with the recent conclusion that P. carinii is a member of the Fungi...

  4. Binding of Natural and Synthetic Polyphenols to Human Dihydrofolate Reductase

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    José Neptuno Rodríguez-López

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR is the subject of intensive investigation since it appears to be the primary target enzyme for antifolate drugs. Fluorescence quenching experiments show that the ester bond-containing tea polyphenols (--epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG and (--epicatechin gallate (ECG are potent inhibitors of DHFR with dissociation constants (KD of 0.9 and 1.8 μM, respectively, while polyphenols lacking the ester bound gallate moiety [e.g., (--epigallocatechin (EGC and (--epicatechin (EC] did not bind to this enzyme. To avoid stability and bioavailability problems associated with tea catechins we synthesized a methylated derivative of ECG (3-O-(3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoyl-(--epicatechin; TMECG, which effectively binds to DHFR (KD = 2.1 μM. In alkaline solution, TMECG generates a stable quinone methide product that strongly binds to the enzyme with a KD of 8.2 nM. Quercetin glucuronides also bind to DHFR but its effective binding was highly dependent of the sugar residue, with quercetin-3-xyloside being the stronger inhibitor of the enzyme with a KD of 0.6 μM. The finding that natural polyphenols are good inhibitors of human DHFR could explain the epidemiological data on their prophylactic effects for certain forms of cancer and open a possibility for the use of natural and synthetic polyphenols in cancer chemotherapy.

  5. Solvent effects on catalysis by Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loveridge, E Joel; Tey, Lai-Hock; Allemann, Rudolf K

    2010-01-27

    Hydride transfer catalyzed by dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) has been described previously within an environmentally coupled model of hydrogen tunneling, where protein motions control binding of substrate and cofactor to generate a tunneling ready conformation and modulate the width of the activation barrier and hence the reaction rate. Changes to the composition of the reaction medium are known to perturb protein motions. We have measured kinetic parameters of the reaction catalyzed by DHFR from Escherichia coli in the presence of various cosolvents and cosolutes and show that the dielectric constant, but not the viscosity, of the reaction medium affects the rate of reaction. Neither the primary kinetic isotope effect on the reaction nor its temperature dependence were affected by changes to the bulk solvent properties. These results are in agreement with our previous report on the effect of solvent composition on catalysis by DHFR from the hyperthermophile Thermotoga maritima. However, the effect of solvent on the temperature dependence of the kinetic isotope effect on hydride transfer catalyzed by E. coli DHFR is difficult to explain within a model, in which long-range motions couple to the chemical step of the reaction, but may indicate the existence of a short-range promoting vibration or the presence of multiple nearly isoenergetic conformational substates of enzymes with similar but distinct catalytic properties.

  6. A second target of benzamide riboside: dihydrofolate reductase.

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    Roussel, Breton; Johnson-Farley, Nadine; Kerrigan, John E; Scotto, Kathleen W; Banerjee, Debabrata; Felczak, Krzysztof; Pankiewicz, Krzysztof W; Gounder, Murugesan; Lin, HongXia; Abali, Emine Ercikan; Bertino, Joseph R

    2012-11-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is an essential enzyme involved in de novo purine and thymidine biosynthesis. For several decades, selective inhibition of DHFR has proven to be a potent therapeutic approach in the treatment of various cancers including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, osteogenic sarcoma, carcinoma of the breast, and head and neck cancer. Therapeutic success with DHFR inhibitor methotrexate (MTX) has been compromised in the clinic, which limits the success of MTX treatment by both acquired and intrinsic resistance mechanisms. We report that benzamide riboside (BR), via anabolism to benzamide adenine dinucleotide (BAD) known to potently inhibit inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), also inhibits cell growth through a mechanism involving downregulation of DHFR protein. Evidence to support this second site of action of BR includes the finding that CCRF-CEM/R human T-cell lymphoblasic leukemia cells, resistant to MTX as a consequence of gene amplification and overexpression of DHFR, are more resistant to BR than are parental cells. Studies of the mechanism by which BR lowers DHFR showed that BR, through its metabolite BAD, reduced NADP and NADPH cellular levels by inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide kinase (NADK). As consequence of the lack of NADPH, DHFR was shown to be destabilized. We suggest that, inhibition of NADK is a new approach to downregulate DHFR and to inhibit cell growth.

  7. A DFT-based QSAR study on inhibition of human dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karabulut, Sedat; Sizochenko, Natalia; Orhan, Adnan; Leszczynski, Jerzy

    2016-11-01

    Diaminopyrimidine derivatives are frequently used as inhibitors of human dihydrofolate reductase, for example in treatment of patients whose immune system are affected by human immunodeficiency virus. Forty-seven dicyclic and tricyclic potential inhibitors of human dihydrofolate reductase were analyzed using the quantitative structure-activity analysis supported by DFT-based and DRAGON-based descriptors. The developed model yielded an RMSE deviation of 1.1 a correlation coefficient of 0.81. The prediction set was characterized by R(2)=0.60 and RMSE=3.59. Factors responsible for inhibition process were identified and discussed. The resulting model was validated via cross validation and Y-scrambling procedure. From the best model, we found several mass-related descriptors and Sanderson electronegativity-related descriptors that have the best correlations with the investigated inhibitory concentration. These descriptors reflect results from QSAR studies based on characteristics of human dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors.

  8. Side chain conformational averaging in human dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuttle, Lisa M; Dyson, H Jane; Wright, Peter E

    2014-02-25

    The three-dimensional structures of the dihydrofolate reductase enzymes from Escherichia coli (ecDHFR or ecE) and Homo sapiens (hDHFR or hE) are very similar, despite a rather low level of sequence identity. Whereas the active site loops of ecDHFR undergo major conformational rearrangements during progression through the reaction cycle, hDHFR remains fixed in a closed loop conformation in all of its catalytic intermediates. To elucidate the structural and dynamic differences between the human and E. coli enzymes, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of side chain flexibility and dynamics in complexes of hDHFR that represent intermediates in the major catalytic cycle. Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation dispersion experiments show that, in marked contrast to the functionally important motions that feature prominently in the catalytic intermediates of ecDHFR, millisecond time scale fluctuations cannot be detected for hDHFR side chains. Ligand flux in hDHFR is thought to be mediated by conformational changes between a hinge-open state when the substrate/product-binding pocket is vacant and a hinge-closed state when this pocket is occupied. Comparison of X-ray structures of hinge-open and hinge-closed states shows that helix αF changes position by sliding between the two states. Analysis of χ1 rotamer populations derived from measurements of (3)JCγCO and (3)JCγN couplings indicates that many of the side chains that contact helix αF exhibit rotamer averaging that may facilitate the conformational change. The χ1 rotamer adopted by the Phe31 side chain depends upon whether the active site contains the substrate or product. In the holoenzyme (the binary complex of hDHFR with reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate), a combination of hinge opening and a change in the Phe31 χ1 rotamer opens the active site to facilitate entry of the substrate. Overall, the data suggest that, unlike ecDHFR, hDHFR requires minimal backbone conformational rearrangement as

  9. Screening for inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase using pulsed ultrafiltration mass spectrometry.

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    Nikolic, D; van Breemen, R B

    1998-04-01

    A method of screening combinatorial libraries for inhibitors of eukaryotic dihydrofolate reductase has been developed using pulsed ultra-filtration electrospray mass spectrometry, which is a continuous-flow affinity separation system for extracting and identifying high affinity ligands in combinatorial libraries. In this application, pulsed ultrafiltration conditions were optimized for the isolation and identification of inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from a 22 compound library containing six known inhibitors of the enzyme including trimethoprim, aminopterin, methotrexate, pyrimethamine, folic acid, and folinic acid, and 16 compounds without known affinity. In order to optimize the screening method, sources of non-specific binding were identified and minimized. A significant source of non-specific binding for this set of library compounds was hydrophobic interaction with the surfaces of the ultrafiltration chamber. After affinity separation of bound (high affinity) versus free (low affinity) library compounds during pulsed ultrafiltration, receptor-bound ligands were released and eluted using either organic solvent or acidified mobile phase. Although 80% methanol easily disrupted the receptor-ligand complexes, organic solvent had the undesirable effect of releasing non-specifically bound compounds from the chamber and thereby increasing the background noise. Interference from non-specific binding was minimized by releasing bound ligands using a low pH mobile phase eluent instead of organic solvent. Under the conditions used, pulsed ultrafiltration mass spectrometry selectively identified the two library compounds with the highest affinity for dihydrofolate reductase, methotrexate and aminopterin.

  10. The kinetic mechanism of wild-type and mutant mouse dihydrofolate reductases.

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    Thillet, J; Adams, J A; Benkovic, S J

    1990-05-29

    A kinetic mechanism is presented for mouse dihydrofolate reductase that predicts all the steady-state parameters and full time-course kinetics. This mechanism was derived from association and dissociation rate constants and pre-steady-state transients by using stopped-flow fluorescence and absorbance measurements. The major features of this kinetic mechanism are as follows: (1) the two native enzyme conformers, E1 and E2, bind ligands with varying affinities although only one conformer, E1, can support catalysis in the forward direction, (2) tetrahydrofolate dissociation is the rate-limiting step under steady-state turnover at low pH, and (3) the pH-independent rate of hydride transfer from NADPH to dihydrofolate is fast (khyd = 9000 s-1) and favorable (Keq = 100). The overall mechanism is similar in form to the Escherichia coli kinetic scheme (Fierke et al., 1987), although several differences are observed: (1) substrates and products predominantly bind the same form of the E. coli enzyme, and (2) the hydride transfer rate from NADPH to either folate or dihydrofolate is considerably faster for the mouse enzyme. The role of Glu-30 (Asp-27 in E. coli) in mouse DHFR has also been examined by using site-directed mutagenesis as a potential source of these differences. While aspartic acid is strictly conserved in all bacterial DHFRs, glutamic acid is conserved in all known eucaryotes. The two major effects of substituting Asp for Glu-30 in the mouse enzyme are (1) a decreased rate of folate reduction and (2) an increased rate of hydride transfer from NADPH to dihydrofolate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  11. Synthesis and characterization of potent inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi dihydrofolate reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schormann, Norbert; Velu, Sadanandan E.; Murugesan, Srinivasan; Senkovich, Olga; Walker, Kiera; Chenna, Bala C.; Shinkre, Bidhan; Desai, Amar; Chattopadhyay, Debasish (UAB)

    2010-09-17

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) is a potential target for developing drugs to treat Chagas disease. We have undertaken a detailed structure-activity study of this enzyme. We report here synthesis and characterization of six potent inhibitors of the parasitic enzyme. Inhibitory activity of each compound was determined against T. cruzi and human DHFR. One of these compounds, ethyl 4-(5-[(2,4-diamino-6-quinazolinyl)methyl]amino-2-methoxyphenoxy)butanoate (6b) was co-crystallized with the bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase enzyme of T. cruzi and the crystal structure of the ternary enzyme:cofactor:inhibitor complex was determined. Molecular docking was used to analyze the potential interactions of all inhibitors with T. cruzi DHFR and human DHFR. Inhibitory activities of these compounds are discussed in the light of enzyme-ligand interactions. Binding affinities of each inhibitor for the respective enzymes were calculated based on the experimental or docked binding mode. An estimated 60-70% of the total binding energy is contributed by the 2,4-diaminoquinazoline scaffold.

  12. Preliminary neutron diffraction studies of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase bound to the anticancer drug methotrexate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, Brad C. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Meilleur, Flora [Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL); Myles, Dean A A [ORNL; Howell, Elizabeth E. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Dealwis, Chris G. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)

    2005-01-01

    The contribution of H atoms in noncovalent interactions and enzymatic reactions underlies virtually all aspects of biology at the molecular level, yet their 'visualization' is quite difficult. To better understand the catalytic mechanism of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (ecDHFR), a neutron diffraction study is under way to directly determine the accurate positions of H atoms within its active site. Despite exhaustive investigation of the catalytic mechanism of DHFR, controversy persists over the exact pathway associated with proton donation in reduction of the substrate, dihydrofolate. As the initial step in a proof-of-principle experiment which will identify ligand and residue protonation states as well as precise solvent structures, a neutron diffraction data set has been collected on a 0.3 mm{sup 3} D{sub 2}O-soaked crystal of ecDHFR bound to the anticancer drug methotrexate (MTX) using the LADI instrument at ILL. The completeness in individual resolution shells dropped to below 50% between 3.11 and 3.48 {angstrom} and the I/{sigma}(I) in individual shells dropped to below 2 at around 2.46 {angstrom}. However, reflections with I/{sigma}(I) greater than 2 were observed beyond these limits (as far out as 2.2 {angstrom}). To our knowledge, these crystals possess one of the largest primitive unit cells (P6{sub 1}, a = b = 92, c = 73 {angstrom}) and one of the smallest crystal volumes so far tested successfully with neutrons.

  13. Comparative stability of dihydrofolate reductase mutants in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leontiev, V V; Uversky, V N; Gudkov, A T

    1993-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase mutants with amino acid replacements in the active center (Thr35-->Asp mutant, Arg57-->His mutant and the mutant with triple replacement Thr35-->Asp, Asn37-->Ser, Arg57-->His) were obtained by site-directed mutagenesis. The stabilization effect of trimethoprim and NADP.H on the protein tertiary structure in vitro has been investigated. In the case of mutants with a 'weak' tertiary structure (Thr35-->Asp35 and the triple mutant) the separate addition of ligands does not affect their stability. The simultaneous addition of these ligands to Thr35-->Asp35 and the triple mutant leads to the large increase in their stability. A distinct correlation was found between the in vitro studied stability of the mutant proteins to the urea- or heat-induced denaturation and the level of proteolytic degradation of these mutants previously observed in vivo.

  14. A transgenic Neospora caninum strain based on mutations of the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Luiz Miguel; Baroni, Luciana; Yatsuda, Ana Patrícia

    2014-03-01

    Neospora caninum is an Apicomplexa parasite related to abortion and losses of fertility in cattle. The amenability of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium to genetic manipulation offers several tools to determine the invasion and replication processes, which support posterior strategies related to the combat of these diseases. For Plasmodium the use of pyrimethamine as an auxiliary drug on malaria treatment has been affected by the rise of resistant strains and the analyses on Dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene indicated several point mutations. In this work we developed a method for stable insertion of genes based on resistance to pyrimethamine. For that, the coding sequence of NcDHFR-TS (Dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase) was point mutated in two amino acids, generating DHFRM2M3. The DHFRM2M3 flanked by the promoter and 3'UTR of Ncdhfr-ts (Ncdhfr-DHFRM2M3) conferred resistance to pyrimethamine after transfection. For illustration of stability and expression, the cassette Ncdhfr-DHFRM2M3 was ligated to the reporter gene Lac-Z (β-galactosidase enzyme) controlled by the N. caninum tubulin promoter and was transfected and selected in N. caninum. The cassette was integrated into the genome and the selected tachyzoites expressed Lac-Z, allowing the detection of tachyzoites by the CPRG reaction and X-gal precipitation. The obtainment of transgenic N. caninum resistant to pyrimethamine confirms the effects on DHFR-TS among the Apicomplexa members and will support future approaches on pholate inhibitors for N. caninum prophylaxis. The construction of stable tachyzoites based on vectors with N. caninum promoters initiates the molecular manipulation of this parasite independently of T. gondii.

  15. Assessment of Folic Acid Supplementation in Pregnant Women by Estimation of Serum Levels of Tetrahydrofolic Acid, Dihydrofolate Reductase, and Homocysteine

    OpenAIRE

    Manisha Naithani; Vartika Saxena; Anissa Atif Mirza; Ranjeeta Kumari; Kapil Sharma; Jyoti Bharadwaj

    2016-01-01

    Background. Status of folic acid use in pregnant women of the hilly regions in North India was little known. This study was carried out to assess the folic acid use and estimate folate metabolites in pregnant women of this region. Materials and Methods. This cross-sectional study is comprised of 76 pregnant women, whose folic acid supplementation was assessed by a questionnaire and serum levels of homocysteine, tetrahydrofolic acid (THFA), and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) were estimated usi...

  16. Homologous recombination and gene replacement at the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase locus in Toxoplasma gondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald, R G; Roos, D S

    1994-02-01

    To investigate the feasibility of genomic transgene expression and gene targeting in Toxoplasma gondii, parasites have been transfected with constructs differing in the length of contiguous genomic sequence spanning the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene. We have previously reported that vectors derived from a DHFR-TS cDNA 'minigene' containing mutations in the DHFR coding sequence confer pyrimethamine resistance to transfected parasites (Donald and Roos, 1993). Stably resistant parasite clones arise at high frequency, generally by virtue of transgene integration into parasite chromosomes at locations scattered throughout the genome. In contrast, using a vector which contains 8 kb of contiguous genomic sequence (vs. homologous recombination. Homologous recombination appears to occur at even higher frequency when a 16 kb genomic clone is used. Circular plasmids were more efficient than linearized molecules at producing homologous recombination in this system, integrating by reciprocal crossing-over to produce a duplication of the DHFR-TS locus. Double crossing-over (or gene conversion) was also observed at low frequency, resulting in complete allelic replacement in this haploid stage of the parasite. The ability to produce either homologous or non-homologous recombinants, by the selection of appropriate transformation constructs, has considerable genetic potential.

  17. Expression and purification of growth hormone-releasing factor with the aid of dihydrofolate reductase handle.

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    Iwakura, M; Obara, K; Kokubu, T; Ohashi, S; Izutsu, H

    1992-07-01

    Expression of a fusion protein composed of dihydrofolate reductase and a derivative of growth hormone-releasing factor resulted in the formation of inclusion bodies in Escherichia coli at 37 degrees C. Among various chemicals, such as detergents, protein denaturants, and acetic acid, tested for the ability to dissolve the inclusion bodies, acetic acid, Brij-35, deoxycholic acid sodium salts, guanidine-HCl, and urea showed a strong solubilizing effect without damaging the DHFR activity. Acetic acid was useful in terms of preparing GRF derivatives, since it could be easily removed by lyophilization, and this made it easy to perform the succeeding BrCN treatment for cutting out the GRF derivative from the fusion protein. The GRF derivative was purified by reversed phase HPLC from the BrCN digest of the acetic acid extract, and its growth hormone-releasing activity was demonstrated. However, for obtaining a highly purified fusion protein itself, solubilization of inclusion bodies by urea was preferred because urea was the only agent which did not cause serious precipitation of the regenerated fusion protein after 10-fold dilution of the extracted inclusion bodies with buffer. The fusion protein was highly purified by means of a methotrexate affinity chromatography.

  18. New small-molecule inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase inhibit Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiong; Nguyen, Thao; McMichael, Megan; Velu, Sadanandan E; Zou, Jing; Zhou, Xuedong; Wu, Hui

    2015-08-01

    Streptococcus mutans is a major aetiological agent of dental caries. Formation of biofilms is a key virulence factor of S. mutans. Drugs that inhibit S. mutans biofilms may have therapeutic potential. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) plays a critical role in regulating the metabolism of folate. DHFR inhibitors are thus potent drugs and have been explored as anticancer and antimicrobial agents. In this study, a library of analogues based on a DHFR inhibitor, trimetrexate (TMQ), an FDA-approved drug, was screened and three new analogues that selectively inhibited S. mutans were identified. The most potent inhibitor had a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 454.0±10.2nM for the biofilm and 8.7±1.9nM for DHFR of S. mutans. In contrast, the IC50 of this compound for human DHFR was ca. 1000nM, a >100-fold decrease in its potency, demonstrating the high selectivity of the analogue. An analogue that exhibited the least potency for the S. mutans biofilm also had the lowest activity towards inhibiting S. mutans DHFR, further indicating that inhibition of biofilms is related to reduced DHFR activity. These data, along with docking of the most potent analogue to the modelled DHFR structure, suggested that the TMQ analogues indeed selectively inhibited S. mutans through targeting DHFR. These potent and selective small molecules are thus promising lead compounds to develop new effective therapeutics to prevent and treat dental caries.

  19. Dihydrofolate reductase is required for the development of heart and outflow tract in zebrafish

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shuna Sun; Yonghao Gui; Qiu Jiang; Houyan Song

    2011-01-01

    Folic acid is very important for embryonic development and folic acid inhibition can cause congenital heart defects in vertebrates.Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a key enzyme in folate-mediated metabolism.The dysfunction of DHFR disrupts the key biological processes which folic acid participates in.DHFR gene is conserved during vertebrate evolution.It is important to investigate the roles of DHFR in cardiac developments.In this study,we showed that DHFR knockdown resulted in the abnormal developments of zebrafish embryos in the early stages.Obvious malformations in heart and outflow tract (OFT) were also observed in DHFR knockdown embryos.DHFR overexpression rescued the abnormal phenotypes in the DHFR knockdown group.DHFR knockdown had negative impacts on the expressions of NKX2.5 (NK2 transcription factor-related 5),MEF2C (myocyte-specific enhancer factor 2C),TBX20 (T-box 20),and TBX1 (T-box 1) which are important transcriptional factors during cardiac development process,while DHFR overexpression had positive effects.DHFR was required for Hedgehog pathway.DHFR knockdown caused reduced cell proliferation and increased apoptosis,while its overexpression promoted cell proliferation and inhibited apoptosis.Taken together,our study suggested that DHFR plays crucial roles in the development of heart and OFT in zebrafish by regulating gene transcriptions and affecting cell proliferation and apoptosis.

  20. Chemical Ligation and Isotope Labeling to Locate Dynamic Effects during Catalysis by Dihydrofolate Reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luk, Louis Y P; Ruiz-Pernía, J Javier; Adesina, Aduragbemi S; Loveridge, E Joel; Tuñón, Iñaki; Moliner, Vincent; Allemann, Rudolf K

    2015-07-27

    Chemical ligation has been used to alter motions in specific regions of dihydrofolate reductase from E. coli and to investigate the effects of localized motional changes on enzyme catalysis. Two isotopic hybrids were prepared; one with the mobile N-terminal segment containing heavy isotopes ((2) H, (13) C, (15) N) and the remainder of the protein with natural isotopic abundance, and the other one with only the C-terminal segment isotopically labeled. Kinetic investigations indicated that isotopic substitution of the N-terminal segment affected only a physical step of catalysis, whereas the enzyme chemistry was affected by protein motions from the C-terminal segment. QM/MM studies support the idea that dynamic effects on catalysis mostly originate from the C-terminal segment. The use of isotope hybrids provides insights into the microscopic mechanism of dynamic coupling, which is difficult to obtain with other studies, and helps define the dynamic networks of intramolecular interactions central to enzyme catalysis.

  1. Sequential conformation change and activation of chicken liver dihydrofolate reductase in low concentration of guanidine hydrochloride

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    范映辛; 朱笠; 周筠梅; 邹承鲁

    1997-01-01

    The conformation changes of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from chicken liver in guanidine hy-drochloride were monitored by protein intrinsic fluorescence, hydrophobic fluorescence probe TNS and limited proteol-ysis by proteinase K. The kinetics of the enzyme denaturation were also studied and compared with its activity changes. It was indicated by the enhanced fluorescence of 2-p-toluidinylnaphthalene (TNS) that a subtle conforma-tional change of the enzyme in dilute GuHCl parallels GuHCl-induced activation. At GuHCl concentration higher than 0.75 mol/L, the conformational change can be detected by increased susceptibility of the enzyme to proteinase K, but no significant gross conformational change of the enzyme molecule is observed by intrinsic fluorescence up to a GuHCl concentration of 1.2 mol/L. The results suggest that the denaturation of DHFR by GuHCl does not follow strictly the two-state model. The enzyme seems to open up sequentially with increasing concentrations of denaturants, mainly at th

  2. Fitness trade-offs in the evolution of dihydrofolate reductase and drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marna S Costanzo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Patterns of emerging drug resistance reflect the underlying adaptive landscapes for specific drugs. In Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes the most serious form of malaria, antifolate drugs inhibit the function of essential enzymes in the folate pathway. However, a handful of mutations in the gene coding for one such enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase, confer drug resistance. Understanding how evolution proceeds from drug susceptibility to drug resistance is critical if new antifolate treatments are to have sustained usefulness. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We use a transgenic yeast expression system to build on previous studies that described the adaptive landscape for the antifolate drug pyrimethamine, and we describe the most likely evolutionary trajectories for the evolution of drug resistance to the antifolate chlorcycloguanil. We find that the adaptive landscape for chlorcycloguanil is multi-peaked, not all highly resistant alleles are equally accessible by evolution, and there are both commonalities and differences in adaptive landscapes for chlorcycloguanil and pyrimethamine. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that cross-resistance between drugs targeting the same enzyme reflect the fitness landscapes associated with each particular drug and the position of the genotype on both landscapes. The possible public health implications of these findings are discussed.

  3. Elucidating features that drive the design of selective antifolates using crystal structures of human dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Kristen M; G-Dayanandan, Narendran; Wright, Dennis L; Anderson, Amy C

    2013-10-15

    The pursuit of antimicrobial drugs that target dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) exploits differences in sequence and dynamics between the pathogenic and human enzymes. Here, we present five crystal structures of human DHFR bound to a new class of antimicrobial agents, the propargyl-linked antifolates (PLAs), with a range of potency (IC50 values of 0.045-1.07 μM) for human DHFR. These structures reveal that interactions between the ligands and Asn 64, Phe 31, and Phe 34 are important for increased affinity for human DHFR and that loop residues 58-64 undergo ligand-induced conformational changes. The utility of these structural studies was demonstrated through the design of three new ligands that reduce the number of contacts with Asn 64, Phe 31, and Phe 34. Synthesis and evaluation show that one of the designed inhibitors exhibits the lowest affinity for human DHFR of any of the PLAs (2.64 μM). Comparisons of structures of human and Staphylococcus aureus DHFR bound to the same PLA reveal a conformational change in the ligand that enhances interactions with residues Phe 92 (Val 115 in huDHFR) and Ile 50 (Ile 60 in huDHFR) in S. aureus DHFR, yielding selectivity. Likewise, comparisons of human and Candida glabrata DHFR bound to the same ligand show that hydrophobic interactions with residues Ile 121 and Phe 66 (Val 115 and Asn 64 in human DHFR) yield selective inhibitors. The identification of residue substitutions that are important for selectivity and the observation of active site flexibility will help guide antimicrobial antifolate development for the inhibition of pathogenic species.

  4. Interaction Energy Analysis of Nonclassical Antifolates with Pneumocystis carinii Dihydrofolate Reductase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William M. Southerland

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The x-ray structure of the Pneumocystis carinii dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR:trimethoprim:NADPH ternary complex obtained from the Protein Databank was used as a structural template to generate models for the following complexes: P. carinii DHFR:piritrexim:NADPH, P. carinii DHFR:epiroprim:NADPH, and P. carinii DHFR:trimetrexate:NADPH. Each of these complexes, including the original trimethoprim complex was then modeled in 60 angstrom cubes of explicit water and minimized to a rms gradient between 1.0 to 3.0 x 10-5 kcal/angstrom. Subsequently, each antifolate structure was subdivided into distinct substructural regions. The minimized complexes were used to calculate interaction energies for each intact antifolate and its corresponding substructural regions with the P. carinii DHFR binding site residues, the DHFR protein, the solvated complex ( which consists of P. carinii DHFR, NADPH, and solvent water, solvent water alone, and NADPH. Antifolate substructural regions which contained nitrogen and carbon atoms in an aromatic environment (i. e. the pteridyl, pyridopyrimidinyl, and diaminopyrimidinyl subregions contributed most to the stability of antifolate interactions, while interaction energies for the hydrocarbon aromatic rings, methoxy, and ethoxy groups were much less stable. Additionally, interaction energy analyses were calculated for carbon and nitrogen atoms of the pteridyl, pyridopyrimidinyl, and diaminopyrimidinyl subregions and for the carbon and oxygen atoms of methoxy and ethoxy subregions. The contributions of hydrogen atoms were included with those of the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms to which they are attached. These analyses revealed that the carbon atoms of the pteridyl, pyridopyrimidinyl, and diaminopyrimidinyl subregions generally contributed most to the stability of those regions. Carbon atoms also contributed favorably to the stability of the methoxy group interactions. Those substructural regions which exhibit

  5. Probing the electrostatics of active site microenvironments along the catalytic cycle for Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, C Tony; Layfield, Joshua P; Stewart, Robert J; French, Jarrod B; Hanoian, Philip; Asbury, John B; Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon; Benkovic, Stephen J

    2014-07-23

    Electrostatic interactions play an important role in enzyme catalysis by guiding ligand binding and facilitating chemical reactions. These electrostatic interactions are modulated by conformational changes occurring over the catalytic cycle. Herein, the changes in active site electrostatic microenvironments are examined for all enzyme complexes along the catalytic cycle of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (ecDHFR) by incorporation of thiocyanate probes at two site-specific locations in the active site. The electrostatics and degree of hydration of the microenvironments surrounding the probes are investigated with spectroscopic techniques and mixed quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations. Changes in the electrostatic microenvironments along the catalytic environment lead to different nitrile (CN) vibrational stretching frequencies and (13)C NMR chemical shifts. These environmental changes arise from protein conformational rearrangements during catalysis. The QM/MM calculations reproduce the experimentally measured vibrational frequency shifts of the thiocyanate probes across the catalyzed hydride transfer step, which spans the closed and occluded conformations of the enzyme. Analysis of the molecular dynamics trajectories provides insight into the conformational changes occurring between these two states and the resulting changes in classical electrostatics and specific hydrogen-bonding interactions. The electric fields along the CN axes of the probes are decomposed into contributions from specific residues, ligands, and solvent molecules that make up the microenvironments around the probes. Moreover, calculation of the electric field along the hydride donor-acceptor axis, along with decomposition of this field into specific contributions, indicates that the cofactor and substrate, as well as the enzyme, impose a substantial electric field that facilitates hydride transfer. Overall, experimental and theoretical data provide evidence for

  6. Thermal stabilization of dihydrofolate reductase using monte carlo unfolding simulations and its functional consequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Tian

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Design of proteins with desired thermal properties is important for scientific and biotechnological applications. Here we developed a theoretical approach to predict the effect of mutations on protein stability from non-equilibrium unfolding simulations. We establish a relative measure based on apparent simulated melting temperatures that is independent of simulation length and, under certain assumptions, proportional to equilibrium stability, and we justify this theoretical development with extensive simulations and experimental data. Using our new method based on all-atom Monte-Carlo unfolding simulations, we carried out a saturating mutagenesis of Dihydrofolate Reductase (DHFR, a key target of antibiotics and chemotherapeutic drugs. The method predicted more than 500 stabilizing mutations, several of which were selected for detailed computational and experimental analysis. We find a highly significant correlation of r=0.65-0.68 between predicted and experimentally determined melting temperatures and unfolding denaturant concentrations for WT DHFR and 42 mutants. The correlation between energy of the native state and experimental denaturation temperature was much weaker, indicating the important role of entropy in protein stability. The most stabilizing point mutation was D27F, which is located in the active site of the protein, rendering it inactive. However for the rest of mutations outside of the active site we observed a weak yet statistically significant positive correlation between thermal stability and catalytic activity indicating the lack of a stability-activity tradeoff for DHFR. By combining stabilizing mutations predicted by our method, we created a highly stable catalytically active E. coli DHFR mutant with measured denaturation temperature 7.2°C higher than WT. Prediction results for DHFR and several other proteins indicate that computational approaches based on unfolding simulations are useful as a general technique to discover

  7. Structural studies provide clues for analog design of specific inhibitors of Cryptosporidium hominis thymidylate synthase-dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vidya P; Cisneros, Jose A; Frey, Kathleen M; Castellanos-Gonzalez, Alejandro; Wang, Yiqiang; Gangjee, Aleem; White, A Clinton; Jorgensen, William L; Anderson, Karen S

    2014-09-01

    Cryptosporidium is the causative agent of a gastrointestinal disease, cryptosporidiosis, which is often fatal in immunocompromised individuals and children. Thymidylate synthase (TS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) are essential enzymes in the folate biosynthesis pathway and are well established as drug targets in cancer, bacterial infections, and malaria. Cryptosporidium hominis has a bifunctional thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase enzyme, compared to separate enzymes in the host. We evaluated lead compound 1 from a novel series of antifolates, 2-amino-4-oxo-5-substituted pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as an inhibitor of Cryptosporidium hominis thymidylate synthase with selectivity over the human enzyme. Complementing the enzyme inhibition compound 1 also has anti-cryptosporidial activity in cell culture. A crystal structure with compound 1 bound to the TS active site is discussed in terms of several van der Waals, hydrophobic and hydrogen bond interactions with the protein residues and the substrate analog 5-fluorodeoxyuridine monophosphate (TS), cofactor NADPH and inhibitor methotrexate (DHFR). Another crystal structure in complex with compound 1 bound in both the TS and DHFR active sites is also reported here. The crystal structures provide clues for analog design and for the design of ChTS-DHFR specific inhibitors.

  8. Multiple origins of resistance-conferring mutations in Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O'Neil Michael T

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to maximize the useful therapeutic life of antimalarial drugs, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms by which parasites resistant to antimalarial drugs are selected and spread in natural populations. Recent work has demonstrated that pyrimethamine-resistance conferring mutations in Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr have arisen rarely de novo, but spread widely in Asia and Africa. The origin and spread of mutations in Plasmodium vivax dhfr were assessed by constructing haplotypes based on sequencing dhfr and its flanking regions. Methods The P. vivax dhfr coding region, 792 bp upstream and 683 bp downstream were amplified and sequenced from 137 contemporary patient isolates from Colombia, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vanuatu. A repeat motif located 2.6 kb upstream of dhfr was also sequenced from 75 of 137 patient isolates, and mutational relationships among the haplotypes were visualized using the programme Network. Results Synonymous and non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs within the dhfr coding region were identified, as was the well-documented in-frame insertion/deletion (indel. SNPs were also identified upstream and downstream of dhfr, with an indel and a highly polymorphic repeat region identified upstream of dhfr. The regions flanking dhfr were highly variable. The double mutant (58R/117N dhfr allele has evolved from several origins, because the 58R is encoded by at least 3 different codons. The triple (58R/61M/117T and quadruple (57L/61M/117T/173F, 57I/58R/61M/117T and 57L/58R/61M/117T mutant alleles had at least three independent origins in Thailand, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea/Vanuatu. Conclusion It was found that the P. vivax dhfr coding region and its flanking intergenic regions are highly polymorphic and that mutations in P. vivax dhfr that confer antifolate resistance have arisen several times in the Asian region. This contrasts

  9. X-ray structure of the ternary MTX·NADPH complex of the anthrax dihydrofolate reductase: A pharmacophore for dual-site inhibitor design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, Brad C.; Wan, Qun; Ahmad, Md Faiz; Langan, Paul; Dealwis, Chris G.; (Case Western); (LANL)

    2009-11-18

    For reasons of bioterrorism and drug resistance, it is imperative to identify and develop new molecular points of intervention against anthrax. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a highly conserved enzyme and an established target in a number of species for a variety of chemotherapeutic programs. Recently, the crystal structure of B. anthracis DHFR (baDHFR) in complex with methotrexate (MTX) was determined and, based on the structure, proposals were made for drug design strategies directed against the substrate binding site. However, little is gleaned about the binding site for NADPH, the cofactor responsible for hydride transfer in the catalytic mechanism. In the present study, X-ray crystallography at 100 K was used to determine the structure of baDHFR in complex with MTX and NADPH. Although the NADPH binding mode is nearly identical to that seen in other DHFR ternary complex structures, the adenine moiety adopts an off-plane tilt of nearly 90 deg. and this orientation is stabilized by hydrogen bonds to functionally conserved Arg residues. A comparison of the binding site, focusing on this region, between baDHFR and the human enzyme is discussed, with an aim at designing species-selective therapeutics. Indeed, the ternary model, refined to 2.3{angstrom} resolution, provides an accurate template for testing the feasibility of identifying dual-site inhibitors, compounds that target both the substrate and cofactor binding site. With the ternary model in hand, using in silico methods, several compounds were identified which could potentially form key bonding contacts in the substrate and cofactor binding sites. Ultimately, two structurally distinct compounds were verified that inhibit baDHFR at low {mu}M concentrations. The apparent K{sub d} for one of these, (2-(3-(2-(hydroxyimino)-2-(pyridine-4-yl)-6,7-dimethylquinoxalin-2-yl)-1-(pyridine-4-yl)ethanone oxime), was measured by fluorescence spectroscopy to be 5.3 {mu}M.

  10. Beyond Thymidylate Synthase and Dihydrofolate Reductase: Impact of Non-coding microRNAs in Anticancer Chemoresistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Jingfang

    2012-09-01

    Chemoresistance is one of the major reasons for the failure of anticancer chemotherapy in treating advanced stage cancer. The mechanism of chemoresistance to fluoropyrimidines and antifolates has been extensively investigated in the past 40 years. It has been well established that thymidylate synthase (TYMS, TS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) are two major targets for fluoropyrimidines and antifolates, respectively. The regulatory mechanism of TS and DHFR expression is rather complex involving transcriptional, post-transcriptional and translational regulations. Our recent understanding of the chemoresistance mechanism has been extended beyond the simple one target/drug view. In this review, we will focus on the recent advancement of non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) in contributing to the regulations of TS and DHFR expression, and to the chemoresistance mechanism of fluoropyrimidines and antifolates.

  11. The bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase thymidylate synthase of Tetrahymena thermophila provides a tool for molecular and biotechnology applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiedtke Arno

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR and thymidylate synthase (TS are crucial enzymes in DNA synthesis. In alveolata both enzymes are expressed as one bifunctional enzyme. Results Loss of this essential enzyme activities after successful allelic assortment of knock out alleles yields an auxotrophic marker in ciliates. Here the cloning, characterisation and functional analysis of Tetrahymena thermophila's DHFR-TS is presented. A first aspect of the presented work relates to destruction of DHFR-TS enzyme function in an alveolate thereby causing an auxotrophy for thymidine. A second aspect is to knock in an expression cassette encoding for a foreign gene with subsequent expression of the target protein. Conclusion This system avoids the use of antibiotics or other drugs and therefore is of high interest for biotechnological applications.

  12. Homology building as a means to define antigenic epitopes on dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from Plasmodium falciparum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alifrangis, Michael; Christensen, Inge T; Jørgensen, Flemming S

    2004-01-01

    , polyclonal antibodies recognizing a recombinant DHFR enzyme were produced in rabbits. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Serum from mice immunized with the 37-mer showed strong reactivity against both the immunizing peptide, recombinant DHFR and a preparation of crude antigen from P. falciparum infected red blood...... cells. Five monoclonal antibodies were obtained, one of which showed reactivity towards crude antigen prepared from P. falciparum infected red cells. Western blot analysis revealed that both the polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies recognized Pf-DHFR. Our study provides insight into the potential use......BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to develop site-specific antibodies as a tool to capture Plasmodium falciparum-dihydrofolate reductase (Pf-DHFR) from blood samples from P. falciparum infected individuals in order to detect, in a sandwich ELISA, structural alterations due to point mutations...

  13. High prevalence of mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase gene of Plasmodium falciparum in isolates from Tanzania without evidence of an association to clinical sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jelinek, T; Rønn, A M; Curtis, J;

    1997-01-01

    Recently the efficacy of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (S/P) in treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Tanzania has been seriously compromised by the development of resistance. The occurrence of active site mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum gene sequence coding for dihydrofolate...... resistance to the S/P combination. It has been proposed earlier that sulfadoxine could itself act on DHFR, because of a false dihydrofolate produced by drug metabolism through DHPS and dihydrofolate synthase. The results of this treatment study suggest that such a possibility is unlikely....... reductase (DHFR) is known to confer resistance to pyrimethamine. This study investigates the occurrence of these mutations in infected blood samples taken from Tanzanian children before treatment with S/P and their relationship to parasite breakthrough by day 7. The results confirm the occurrence of one...

  14. Structural comparison of chromosomal and exogenous dihydrofolate reductase from Staphylococcus aureus in complex with the potent inhibitor trimethoprim

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heaslet, Holly; Harris, Melissa; Fahnoe, Kelly; Sarver, Ronald; Putz, Henry; Chang, Jeanne; Subramanyam, Chakrapani; Barreiro, Gabriela; Miller, J. Richard; Pfizer

    2010-09-02

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is the enzyme responsible for the NADPH-dependent reduction of 5,6-dihydrofolate to 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolate, an essential cofactor in the synthesis of purines, thymidylate, methionine, and other key metabolites. Because of its importance in multiple cellular functions, DHFR has been the subject of much research targeting the enzyme with anticancer, antibacterial, and antimicrobial agents. Clinically used compounds targeting DHFR include methotrexate for the treatment of cancer and diaminopyrimidines (DAPs) such as trimethoprim (TMP) for the treatment of bacterial infections. DAP inhibitors of DHFR have been used clinically for >30 years and resistance to these agents has become widespread. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the causative agent of many serious nosocomial and community acquired infections, and other gram-positive organisms can show resistance to DAPs through mutation of the chromosomal gene or acquisition of an alternative DHFR termed 'S1 DHFR.' To develop new therapies for health threats such as MRSA, it is important to understand the molecular basis of DAP resistance. Here, we report the crystal structure of the wild-type chromosomal DHFR from S. aureus in complex with NADPH and TMP. We have also solved the structure of the exogenous, TMP resistant S1 DHFR, apo and in complex with TMP. The structural and thermodynamic data point to important molecular differences between the two enzymes that lead to dramatically reduced affinity of DAPs to S1 DHFR. These differences in enzyme binding affinity translate into reduced antibacterial activity against strains of S. aureus that express S1 DHFR.

  15. Biosynthetic incorporation of telluromethionine into dihydrofolate reductase and crystallographic analysis of the distribution of tellurium atoms in the protein molecule

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunkle, M.G.; Lewinski, K.; Boles, J.O.; Dunlap, R.B.; Odom, J.D.; Lebioda, L. [Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States)

    1994-12-01

    Recent successes in crystallographic studies of proteins with methionine (Met) residues replaced with SeMet, pioneered by Hendrickson and coworkers, inspired us to replace Met with TeMet in Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). E. coli DHFR, which catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of dihydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate, consists of 159 residues, 5 of which are Met. TeMet was incorporated into DHFR using the Met auxotroph, E. coli DL41, carrying the expression vector pWT8 with an IPTG inducible promoter and ampicillin resistance gene. The enzyme was purified by successive chromatography on Q-Sepharose and PHenyl Sepharose resins, yielding milligram quantities of homogeneous enzyme with a specific activity of 40 units/mg. TeMet DHFR exhibits kinetic properties similar to those of wt DHFR. Amino acid analysis indicated 3 authentic Met residues in TeMet DHFR, whereas atomic absorption spectroscopy detected 2 Te per protein molecule. Amino acid sequence analysis results suggested that only authentic Met was present in the first three Met positions (1,16,and 20). Crystals of Te-DHFR were grown in the presence of methotrexate from PEG 4000 and were isomorphous with wt-DHFR crystals grown from ethanol. Difference Fourier maps and restrained least-squares refinement show very little, if any, Te in the first three Met positions: Met{sup 1}, Met{sup 16}, and Met{sup 20}, whereas the occupancy of Te in positions 42 and 92 is 0.64. Apparently, the process of folding, subsequent purification, and crystallization select DHFR molecules with Te in Met{sup 42} and Met{sup 92}. Replacing Met with TeMet provides an internal probe that should facilitate structural and mechanistic studies of proteins.

  16. Effects of Point Mutations in Plasmodium falciparum Dihydrofolate Reductase and Dihydropterate Synthase Genes on Clinical Outcomes and In Vitro Susceptibility to Sulfadoxine and Pyrimethamine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-08-01

    parasitological responses [23]. To distinguish between recrudescence and reinfection, malaria parasites collected on day of enrollment (day 0) and day of...Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas4, Coralith Garcia4, Lelv Solari4, Dennis Kyle5, Alan J. Magill3 1 Parasitology Program, Naval Medical Research Center...objective was to correlate the presence of polymorphisms in P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase to in vitro parasite

  17. Assessment of Folic Acid Supplementation in Pregnant Women by Estimation of Serum Levels of Tetrahydrofolic Acid, Dihydrofolate Reductase, and Homocysteine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manisha Naithani

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Status of folic acid use in pregnant women of the hilly regions in North India was little known. This study was carried out to assess the folic acid use and estimate folate metabolites in pregnant women of this region. Materials and Methods. This cross-sectional study is comprised of 76 pregnant women, whose folic acid supplementation was assessed by a questionnaire and serum levels of homocysteine, tetrahydrofolic acid (THFA, and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR were estimated using Enzyme Linked Immunoassays. Results. The study data revealed awareness of folic acid use during pregnancy was present in 46.1% and 23.7% were taking folic acid supplements. The study depicted that there was no statistically significant difference between serum levels of THFA and DHFR in pregnant women with and without folic acid supplements (p=0.790. Hyperhomocysteinemia was present in 15.78% of the participants. Conclusion. Less awareness about folic acid supplementation and low use of folic acid by pregnant women were observed in this region. Sufficient dietary ingestion may suffice for the escalated requirements in pregnancy, but since this cannot be ensured, hence folic acid supplementation should be made as an integral part of education and reproductive health programs for its better metabolic use, growth, and development of fetus.

  18. Assessment of Folic Acid Supplementation in Pregnant Women by Estimation of Serum Levels of Tetrahydrofolic Acid, Dihydrofolate Reductase, and Homocysteine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naithani, Manisha; Saxena, Vartika; Mirza, Anissa Atif; Kumari, Ranjeeta; Sharma, Kapil; Bharadwaj, Jyoti

    2016-01-01

    Background. Status of folic acid use in pregnant women of the hilly regions in North India was little known. This study was carried out to assess the folic acid use and estimate folate metabolites in pregnant women of this region. Materials and Methods. This cross-sectional study is comprised of 76 pregnant women, whose folic acid supplementation was assessed by a questionnaire and serum levels of homocysteine, tetrahydrofolic acid (THFA), and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) were estimated using Enzyme Linked Immunoassays. Results. The study data revealed awareness of folic acid use during pregnancy was present in 46.1% and 23.7% were taking folic acid supplements. The study depicted that there was no statistically significant difference between serum levels of THFA and DHFR in pregnant women with and without folic acid supplements (p = 0.790). Hyperhomocysteinemia was present in 15.78% of the participants. Conclusion. Less awareness about folic acid supplementation and low use of folic acid by pregnant women were observed in this region. Sufficient dietary ingestion may suffice for the escalated requirements in pregnancy, but since this cannot be ensured, hence folic acid supplementation should be made as an integral part of education and reproductive health programs for its better metabolic use, growth, and development of fetus.

  19. Towards the Understanding of Resistance Mechanisms in Clinically Isolated Trimethoprim-resistant, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Dihydrofolate Reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frey, K.; Lombardo, M; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2010-01-01

    Resistance to therapeutics such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole has become an increasing problem in strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Clinically isolated trimethoprim-resistant strains reveal a double mutation, H30N/F98Y, in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). In order to develop novel and effective therapeutics against these resistant strains, we evaluated a series of propargyl-linked antifolate lead compounds for inhibition of the mutant enzyme. For the propargyl-linked antifolates, the F98Y mutation generates minimal (between 1.2- and 6-fold) losses of affinity and the H30N mutation generates greater losses (between 2.4- and 48-fold). Conversely, trimethoprim affinity is largely diminished by the F98Y mutation (36-fold) and is not affected by the H30N mutation. In order to elucidate a mechanism of resistance, we determined a crystal structure of a complex of this double mutant with a lead propargyl-linked antifolate. This structure suggests a resistance mechanism consistent both for the propargyl-linked class of antifolates and for trimethoprim that is based on the loss of a conserved water-mediated hydrogen bond.

  20. Comparative study on dihydrofolate reductases from Shewanella species living in deep-sea and ambient atmospheric-pressure environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, Chiho; Ohmae, Eiji; Tate, Shin-ichi; Gekko, Kunihiko; Nakasone, Kaoru; Kato, Chiaki

    2011-03-01

    To examine whether dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from deep-sea bacteria has undergone molecular evolution to adapt to high-pressure environments, we cloned eight DHFRs from Shewanella species living in deep-sea and ambient atmospheric-pressure environments, and subsequently purified six proteins to compare their structures, stabilities, and functions. The DHFRs showed 74-90% identity in primary structure to DHFR from S. violacea, but only 55% identity to DHFR from Escherichia coli (ecDHFR). Far-ultraviolet circular dichroism and fluorescence spectra suggested that the secondary and tertiary structures of these DHFRs were similar. In addition, no significant differences were found in structural stability as monitored by urea-induced unfolding and the kinetic parameters, K(m) and k(cat); although the DHFRs from Shewanella species were less stable and more active (2- to 4-fold increases in k(cat)/K(m)) than ecDHFR. Interestingly, the pressure effects on enzyme activity revealed that DHFRs from ambient-atmospheric species are not necessarily incompatible with high pressure, and DHFRs from deep-sea species are not necessarily tolerant of high pressure. These results suggest that the DHFR molecule itself has not evolved to adapt to high-pressure environments, but rather, those Shewanella species with enzymes capable of retaining functional activity under high pressure migrated into the deep-sea.

  1. Gene-Nutrient Interaction between Folate and Dihydrofolate Reductase in Risk for Adenomatous Polyp Occurrence: A Preliminary Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jeong-hwa; Yates, Zoe; Martin, Charlotte; Boyd, Lyndell; Ng, Xiaowei; Skinner, Virginia; Wai, Ron; Veysey, Martin; Lucock, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Folate and related gene variants are significant risk factors in the aetiology of colorectal cancer. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is critical in the metabolism of synthetic folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamatamic, PteGlu) to tetrahydrofolate following absorption. Therefore, the 19bp deletion variant of DHFR may lead to the alteration of folate-related colorectal disease susceptibility. This study examined the association between PteGlu and 19bp del-DHFR, and adenomatous polyp (AP) occurrence, an antecedent of colorectal cancer. A total of 199 subjects (162 controls and 37 AP cases) were analysed to determine dietary intake of total folate, natural methylfolate and synthetic PteGlu, level of erythrocyte folate and plasma homocysteine (tHcy), and genotype of 19bp del-DHFR. Dietary folate intake, erythrocyte folate, tHcy and 19bp del-DHFR variants did not independently predict the occurrence of AP. However, a gene-nutrient interaction was observed when subjects were stratified according to dietary folate intake. In subjects with a folate intake above the median value due to significant dietary PteGlu content, the presence of the 19bp-deletion allele decreased the risk for AP (OR=0.35, 95% CI: 0.13-0.97). However, such association was not evident in individuals with a folate intake below the median value. In conclusion, the finding suggests that folate nutrition and 19bp del-DHFR variation may interact to modify AP risk.

  2. Cloning and characterization of a novel, plasmid-encoded trimethoprim-resistant dihydrofolate reductase from Staphylococcus haemolyticus MUR313.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, G E; Langen, H; Page, M G; Then, R L; Stüber, D

    1995-09-01

    In recent years resistance to the antibacterial agent trimethoprim (Tmp) has become more widespread, and several trimethoprim-resistant (Tmpr) dihydrofolate reductases (DHFRs) have been described from gram-negative bacteria. In staphylococci, only one Tmpr DHFR has been described, the type S1 DHFR, which is encoded by the dfrA gene found on transposon Tn4003. In order to investigate the coincidence of high-level Tmp resistance and the presence of dfrA, we analyzed the DNAs from various Tmpr staphylococci for the presence of dfrA sequences by PCR with primers specific for the thyE-dfrA genes from Tn4003. We found that 30 or 33 isolates highly resistant to Tmp (MICs, > or = 512 micrograms/ml) contained dfrA sequences, whereas among the Tmpr (MICs, amino acids, designated S2DHFR, encoded by the longer open reading frame was overproduced in Escherichia coli, purified, and characterized. The molecular size of the recombinant S2DHFR was determined by ion spray mass spectrometry to be 19,821.2 +/- 2 Da, which is in agreement with the theoretical value of 19,822 Da. In addition, the recombinant S2DHFR was shown to exhibit DHFR activity and to be highly resistant to Tmp.

  3. Effect of dihydrofolate reductase gene knock-down on the expression of heart and neural crest derivatives expressed transcript 2 in zebrafish cardiac development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Shu-na; GUI Yong-hao; WANG Yue-xiang; QIAN Lin-xi; JIANG Qiu; LIU Dong; SONG Hou-yan

    2007-01-01

    Background Folic acid is very important for embryonic development and dihydrofolate reductase is one of the key enzymes in the process of folic acid performing its biological function. Therefore, the dysfunction of dihydrofolate reductase can inhibit the function of folic acid and finally cause the developmental malformations. In this study, we observed the abnormal cardiac phenotypes in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene knock-down zebrafish embryos,investigated the effect of DHFR on the expression of heart and neural crest derivatives expressed transcript 2 (HAND2)and explored the possible mechanism of DHFR knock-down inducing zebrafish cardiac malformations.Methods Morpholino oligonucleotides were microinjected into fertilized eggs to knock down the functions of DHFR or HAND2. Full length of HAND2 mRNA which was transcribed in vitro was microinjected into fertilized eggs to overexpress HAND2. The cardiac morphologies, the heart rates and the ventricular shortening fraction were observed and recorded under the microscope at 48 hours post fertilization. Whole-mount in situ hybridization and real-time PCR were performed to detect HAND2 expression.Results DHFR or HAND2 knock-down caused the cardiac malformation in zebrafish. The expression of HAND2 was obviously reduced in DHFR knock-down embryos (P<0.05). Microinjecting HAND2 mRNA into fertilized eggs can induce HAND2 overexpression. HAND2 overexpression rescued the cardiac malformation phenotypes of DHFR knock-down embryos.Conclusions DHFR plays a crucial role in cardiac development. The down-regulation of HAND2 caused by DHFR knock-down is the possible mechanism of DHFR knock-down inducing the cardiac malformation.

  4. 2,4-Diaminothieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine lipophilic antifolates as inhibitors of Pneumocystis carinii and Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosowsky, A; Papoulis, A T; Queener, S F

    1997-10-24

    Ten previously unreported 2,4-diaminothieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine lipophilic dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors were synthesized as potential inhibitors of Pneumocystis carinii and Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase. Pivaloylation of 2,4-diamino-5-methylthieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine followed by dibromination with N-bromosuccinimide in the presence of benzoyl peroxide gave 2,4-bis(pivaloylamino)-6-bromo-5-(bromomethyl)thieno[2,3-d]pyrimid ine, which after condensation with substituted anilines or N-methylanilines and deprotection with base yielded 2,4-diamino-6-bromo-5-[(substituted anilino)methyl]thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidines. Removal of the 6-bromo substituent was accomplished with sodium borohydride and palladium chloride. The reaction yields were generally good to excellent. The products were tested as inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from P. carinii, T. gondii, and rat liver. Although the IC50 could not be reached for the 6-unsubstituted compounds because of their extremely poor solubility, three of the five 6-bromo derivatives were soluble enough to allow the IC50 to be determined against all three enzymes. 2,4-Diamino-5-[3,5-dichloro-4-(1-pyrrolo)anilino]methyl]- 6-bromothieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine was the most active of the 6-bromo derivatives, with an IC50 of 7.5 microM against P. carinii DHFR, but showed no selectivity for either P. carinii or T. gondii DHFR relative to the enzyme from rat liver.

  5. High pressure NMR reveals active-site hinge motion of folate-bound Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitahara, R; Sareth, S; Yamada, H; Ohmae, E; Gekko, K; Akasaka, K

    2000-10-24

    A high-pressure (15)N/(1)H two-dimensional NMR study has been carried out on folate-bound dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from Escherichia coli in the pressure range between 30 and 2000 bar. Several cross-peaks in the (15)N/(1)H HSQC spectrum are split into two with increasing pressure, showing the presence of a second conformer in equilibrium with the first. Thermodynamic analysis of the pressure and temperature dependencies indicates that the second conformer is characterized by a smaller partial molar volume (DeltaV = -25 mL/mol at 15 degrees C) and smaller enthalpy and entropy values, suggesting that the second conformer is more open and hydrated than the first. The splittings of the cross-peaks (by approximately 1 ppm on (15)N axis at 2000 bar) arise from the hinges of the M20 loop, the C-helix, and the F-helix, all of which constitute the major binding site for the cofactor NADPH, suggesting that major differences in conformation occur in the orientations of the NADPH binding units. The Gibbs free energy of the second, open conformer is 5.2 kJ/mol above that of the first at 1 bar, giving an equilibrium population of about 10%. The second, open conformer is considered to be crucial for NADPH binding, and the NMR line width indicates that the upper limit for the rate of opening is 20 s(-)(1) at 2000 bar. These experiments show that high pressure NMR is a generally useful tool for detecting and analyzing "open" structures of a protein that may be directly involved in function.

  6. Histidine hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry for probing the microenvironment of histidine residues in dihydrofolate reductase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaru Miyagi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Histidine Hydrogen-Deuterium Exchange Mass Spectrometry (His-HDX-MS determines the HDX rates at the imidazole C(2-hydrogen of histidine residues. This method provides not only the HDX rates but also the pK(a values of histidine imidazole rings. His-HDX-MS was used to probe the microenvironment of histidine residues of E. coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR, an enzyme proposed to undergo multiple conformational changes during catalysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using His-HDX-MS, the pK(a values and the half-lives (t(1/2 of HDX reactions of five histidine residues of apo-DHFR, DHFR in complex with methotrexate (DHFR-MTX, DHFR in complex with MTX and NADPH (DHFR-MTX-NADPH, and DHFR in complex with folate and NADP+ (DHFR-folate-NADP+ were determined. The results showed that the two parameters (pK(a and t(1/2 are sensitive to the changes of the microenvironment around the histidine residues. Although four of the five histidine residues are located far from the active site, ligand binding affected their pK(a, t(1/2 or both. This is consistent with previous observations of ligand binding-induced distal conformational changes on DHFR. Most of the observed pK(a and t(1/2 changes could be rationalized using the X-ray structures of apo-DHFR, DHFR-MTX-NADPH, and DHFR-folate-NADP+. The availability of the neutron diffraction structure of DHFR-MTX enabled us to compare the protonation states of histidine imidazole rings. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrate the usefulness of His-HDX-MS in probing the microenvironments of histidine residues within proteins.

  7. Island-wide diversity in single nucleotide polymorphisms of the Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthetase genes in Sri Lanka

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schousboe, Mette L; Rajakaruna, Rupika S; Salanti, Ali;

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthetase (Pvdhps) genes cause parasite resistance to the antifolate drug combination, sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP). Monitoring these SNPs provide insights...... into the level of drug pressure caused by SP use and presumably other antifolate drugs. In Sri Lanka, chloroquine (CQ) with primaquine (PQ) and SP with PQ is used as first and second line treatment, respectively, against uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum and/or P. vivax infections. CQ/PQ is still efficacious...... and diversity of Pvdhfr mutations was unexpected indicating the emergence of drug resistant parasites despite a low level of SP drug pressure....

  8. Evaluation of dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthetase genotypes that confer resistance to sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine in Plasmodium falciparum in Haiti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carter Tamar E

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum infects roughly 30,000 individuals in Haiti each year. Haiti has used chloroquine (CQ as a first-line treatment for malaria for many years and as a result there are concerns that malaria parasites may develop resistance to CQ over time. Therefore it is important to prepare for alternative malaria treatment options should CQ resistance develop. In many other malaria-endemic regions, antifolates, particularly pyrimethamine (PYR and sulphadoxine (SDX treatment combination (SP, have been used as an alternative when CQ resistance has developed. This study evaluated mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr and dihydropteroate synthetase (dhps genes that confer PYR and SDX resistance, respectively, in P. falciparum to provide baseline data in Haiti. This study is the first comprehensive study to examine PYR and SDX resistance genotypes in P. falciparum in Haiti. Methods DNA was extracted from dried blood spots and genotyped for PYR and SDX resistance mutations in P. falciparum using PCR and DNA sequencing methods. Sixty-one samples were genotyped for PYR resistance in codons 51, 59, 108 and 164 of the dhfr gene and 58 samples were genotyped for SDX resistance codons 436, 437, 540 of the dhps gene in P. falciparum. Results Thirty-three percent (20/61 of the samples carried a mutation at codon 108 (S108N of the dhfr gene. No mutations in dhfr at codons 51, 59, 164 were observed in any of the samples. In addition, no mutations were observed in dhps at the three codons (436, 437, 540 examined. No significant difference was observed between samples collected in urban vs rural sites (Welch’s T-test p-value = 0.53 and permutations p-value = 0.59. Conclusion This study has shown the presence of the S108N mutation in P. falciparum that confers low-level PYR resistance in Haiti. However, the absence of SDX resistance mutations suggests that SP resistance may not be present in Haiti. These

  9. Imaging of dihydrofolate reductase fusion gene expression in xenografts of human liver metastases of colorectal cancer in living rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayer-Kuckuk, Philipp; Bertino, Joseph R.; Banerjee, Debabrata [Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/UMDNJ, 195 Little Albany Street, NJ 08903, New Brunswick (United States); Doubrovin, Mikhail; Blasberg, Ronald; Tjuvajev, Juri Gelovani [Department of Neurooncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); Gusani, Niraj J.; Fong, Yuman [Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); Gade, Terence; Koutcher, Jason A. [Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); Balatoni, Julius; Finn, Ronald [Radiochemistry/Cyclotron Core Facility, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States); Akhurst, Tim; Larson, Steven [Nuclear Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY (United States)

    2003-09-01

    Radionuclide imaging has been demonstrated to be feasible to monitor transgene expression in vivo. We hypothesized that a potential application of this technique is to non-invasively detect in deep tissue, such as cancer cells metastatic to the liver, a specific molecular response following systemic drug treatment. Utilizing human colon adenocarcinoma cells derived from a patient's liver lesion we first developed a nude rat xenograft model for colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver. Expression of a dihydrofolate reductase-herpes simplex virus 1 thymidine kinase fusion (DHFR-HSV1 TK) transgene in the hepatic tumors was monitored in individual animals using the tracer [{sup 124}I]2'-fluoro-2'-deoxy-5-iodouracil-{beta}-d-arabinofuranoside (FIAU) and a small animal micro positron emission tomograph (microPET), while groups of rats were imaged using the tracer [{sup 131}I]FIAU and a clinical gamma camera. Growth of the human metastatic colorectal cancer cells in the rat liver was detected using magnetic resonance imaging and confirmed by surgical inspection. Single as well as multiple lesions of different sizes and sites were observed in the liver of the animals. Next, using a subset of rats bearing hepatic tumors, which were retrovirally bulk transduced to express the DHFR-HSV1 TK transgene, we imaged the fusion protein expression in the hepatic tumor of living rats using the tracer [{sup 124}I]FIAU and a microPET. The observed deep tissue signals were highly specific for the tumors expressing the DHFR-HSV1 TK fusion protein compared with parental untransduced tumors and other tissues as determined by gamma counting of tissue samples. A subsequent study used the tracer [{sup 131}I]FIAU and a gamma camera to monitor two groups of transduced hepatic tumor-bearing rats. Prior to imaging, one group was treated with trimetrexate to exploit DHFR-mediated upregulation of the fusion gene product. Imaging in the living animal as well as subsequent gamma

  10. Detection of long-lived bound water molecules in complexes of human dihydrofolate reductase with methotrexate and NADPH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiering, E M; Wagner, G

    1995-03-24

    The locations of long-lived bound water molecules in the binary complex of human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR) with methotrexate (MTX) and the ternary complex of hDHFR with MTX and NADPH have been investigated using 15N-resolved, three-dimensional ROESY-HMQC and NOESY-HSQC spectra acquired at 25 degrees C and 8 degrees C. NOEs with NH groups of the protein are detected for five bound water molecules in the binary complex and six bound water molecules in the ternary complex. Inspection of crystal structures of hDHFR reveals that the bound water molecules perform structural and functional roles in the complexes. Two water molecules located outside the active site, WatA and WatB, have similar NOEs in the binary and ternary complexes. These water molecules from multiple hydrogen bonds bridging loops and/or secondary structural elements in crystal structures of hDHFR and so stabilize the tertiary fold of the enzyme. Two water molecules in the active site, WatC and WatD, also have similar NOEs in both complexes. In crystal structures of hDHFR, WatC is involved in MTX binding by forming hydrogen bonds to the ligand and protein, while WatD stabilizes WatC by hydrogen bonding to it and the protein. A third active-site water molecule, WatE, has a markedly stronger NOE in the ternary complex than in the binary complex. Differences in the binding of WatE in the binary and ternary complexes are important for understanding the mechanism of DHFR, since this water molecule is believed to be involved in substrate protonation. Although the increased NOE intensity for WatE could be caused by a change in the position of water molecule, it may also be caused by an increase in its lifetime, since structural fluctuations in the active site are decreased upon cofactor binding. NOEs for one other water molecule, WatF, may be observed in the ternary complex but not the binary complex. WatF forms hydrogen bonds bridging the cofactor and the protein in crystal structures of hDHFR.

  11. Structures of dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase of Trypanosoma cruzi in the folate-free state and in complex with two antifolate drugs, trimetrexate and methotrexate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Senkovich, Olga; Schormann, Norbert; Chattopadhyay, Debasish; (UAB)

    2010-11-22

    The flagellate protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the pathogenic agent of Chagas disease (also called American trypanosomiasis), which causes approximately 50 000 deaths annually. The disease is endemic in South and Central America. The parasite is usually transmitted by a blood-feeding insect vector, but can also be transmitted via blood transfusion. In the chronic form, Chagas disease causes severe damage to the heart and other organs. There is no satisfactory treatment for chronic Chagas disease and no vaccine is available. There is an urgent need for the development of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of T. cruzi infection and therefore for the identification of potential drug targets. The dihydrofolate reductase activity of T. cruzi, which is expressed as part of a bifunctional enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS), is a potential target for drug development. In order to gain a detailed understanding of the structure-function relationship of T. cruzi DHFR, the three-dimensional structure of this protein in complex with various ligands is being studied. Here, the crystal structures of T. cruzi DHFR-TS with three different compositions of the DHFR domain are reported: the folate-free state, the complex with the lipophilic antifolate trimetrexate (TMQ) and the complex with the classical antifolate methotrexate (MTX). These structures reveal that the enzyme is a homodimer with substantial interactions between the two TS domains of neighboring subunits. In contrast to the enzymes from Cryptosporidium hominis and Plasmodium falciparum, the DHFR and TS active sites of T. cruzi lie on the same side of the monomer. As in other parasitic DHFR-TS proteins, the N-terminal extension of the T. cruzi enzyme is involved in extensive interactions between the two domains. The DHFR active site of the T. cruzi enzyme shows subtle differences compared with its human counterpart. These differences may be exploited for the development of

  12. 2,4-Diamino-6,7-dihydro-5H-cyclopenta[d]pyrimidine analogues of trimethoprim as inhibitors of Pneumocystis carinii and Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosowsky, A; Papoulis, A T; Queener, S F

    1998-03-12

    Three previously unreported (R,S)-2,4-diamino-5-[(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl) alkyl]-6,7-dihydro-5H-cyclopenta[d]pyrimidines 15a-c were synthesized as analogues of trimethoprim (TMP) and were tested as inhibitors of Pneumocystis carinii, Toxoplasma gondii, and rat liver dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). The length of the alkyl bridge between the cyclopenta[d]pyrimidine and trimethoxyphenyl moiety ranged from one in 15a to three carbons in 15c. The products were tested as competitive inhibitors of the reduction of dihydrofolate by Pneumocystis carinii, Toxoplasma gondii, and rat liver DHFR. Compounds 15a-c had IC50 values of > 32, 1.8 and 1.3 microM, respectively, against P. carinii DHFR, as compared to 12 microM for TMP. Against the T. gondii enzyme, 15a-c had IC50 values of 21, 0.14 and 0.14 microM, respectively, as compared to 2.7 microM for TMP. Inhibitors 15b and 15c with two- and three-carbon bridges were significantly more potent than 15a against all three enzymes. Unlike TMP, 15b and 15c were better inhibitors of the rat liver enzyme than of the microbial enzymes. The potency of 15b and 15c against rat liver DHFR was less than has been reported for the corresponding 6,7-dihydro-5H-cyclopenta[d]pyrimidines with a classical p-aminobenzoyl-L-glutamate side chain as inhibitors of bovine, murine, and human DHFR.

  13. Short hairpin RNA targeted to dihydrofolate reductase enhances the immunoglobulin G expression in gene-amplified stable Chinese hamster ovary cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Suh-Chin; Hong, Willy W L; Liu, Jin-Hwang

    2008-09-08

    The dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr)/methotrexate (MTX) selection is a common method to conduct gene amplification in stable clones of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. We previously reported the use of a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) vector targeted to the dhfr gene resulted in improving the intracellular antigen expression in gene-amplified stable CHO cells [Hong, W.W., Wu, S.C., 2007. A novel RNA silencing vector to improve antigen expression and stability in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Vaccine 25 (20), 4103-4111]. Here we investigated the use of the dhfr-targeted shRNA vector for immunoglobulin G (IgG) expression in gene-amplified stable CHO cells. With the use of the dhfr-targeted shRNA vector, the gene-amplified CHO/dhFr(-) cells were found to increase IgG expression at 1.0 microM MTX by more than 100% and to improve the genomic stability of IgG expression in MTX-free cultures by approximately 30%. The use of the dhfr-targeted shRNA vector can enhance the IgG expression in the gene-amplified stable CHO cells and uphold the IgG expression in MTX-free cultures. Utilizing the dhfr-targeted shRNA vector may provide an alternative way to maneuver CHO cell factories for IgG production in cultures.

  14. In Silico Screening, Synthesis and In Vitro Evaluation of Some Quinazolinone and Pyridine Derivatives as Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors for Anticancer Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. G. Nerkar

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR is the important target for anticancer drugs belonging to the class of antimetabolites as the enzyme plays important role in the de novo purine synthesis. We here report the in silico screening to obtain best fit molecules as DHFR inhibitors, synthesis of some ʻbest fitʼ quinazolinone from 2-phenyl-3-(substituted-benzilidine-amino quinazolinones (Quinazolinone Shiff's bases QSB1-5 and pyridine-4-carbohydrazide Shiff's bases (ISB1-5 derivatives and their in vitro anticancer assay. Synthesis of the molecules was performed using microwave assisted synthesis. The structures of these molecules were elucidated by IR and 1H-NMR. These compounds were then subjected for in vitro anticancer evaluation against five human cancer cell-lines for anticancer cyto-toxicity assay. Methotrexate (MTX was used as standard for this evaluation to give a comparable inhibition of the cell proliferation by DHFR inhibition. Placlitaxel, adriamycin and 5-fluoro-uracil were also used as standard to give a comparable activity of these compounds with other mechanism of anticancer activity. ISB3 (4-(N, N-dimethyl-amino-phenyl Schiff''s base derivative of pyridine carbohydrazide showed equipotent activity with the standards used in in vitro anticancer assay as per the NCI (National Cancer Institute guidelines.

  15. An innovative strategy for dual inhibitor design and its application in dual inhibition of human thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase enzymes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahreen Arooj

    Full Text Available Due to the diligence of inherent redundancy and robustness in many biological networks and pathways, multitarget inhibitors present a new prospect in the pharmaceutical industry for treatment of complex diseases. Nevertheless, to design multitarget inhibitors is concurrently a great challenge for medicinal chemists. We have developed a novel computational approach by integrating the affinity predictions from structure-based virtual screening with dual ligand-based pharmacophore to discover potential dual inhibitors of human Thymidylate synthase (hTS and human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR. These are the key enzymes in folate metabolic pathway that is necessary for the biosynthesis of RNA, DNA, and protein. Their inhibition has found clinical utility as antitumor, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal agents. A druglike database was utilized to perform dual-target docking studies. Hits identified through docking experiments were mapped over a dual pharmacophore which was developed from experimentally known dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. Pharmacophore mapping procedure helped us in eliminating the compounds which do not possess basic chemical features necessary for dual inhibition. Finally, three structurally diverse hit compounds that showed key interactions at both active sites, mapped well upon the dual pharmacophore, and exhibited lowest binding energies were regarded as possible dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. Furthermore, optimization studies were performed for final dual hit compound and eight optimized dual hits demonstrating excellent binding features at target systems were also regarded as possible dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. In general, the strategy used in the current study could be a promising computational approach and may be generally applicable to other dual target drug designs.

  16. Declining trend of Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps mutant alleles after the withdrawal of Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine in North Western Ethiopia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofonias K Tessema

    Full Text Available Antimalarial drug resistance is one of the major challenges in global efforts of malaria control and elimination. In 1998, chloroquine was abandoned and replaced with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, which in turn was replaced with artemether/lumefantrine for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in 2004. Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance is associated with mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr and dihydropteroate synthase (Pfdhps genes. The prevalence of mutation in Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes were evaluated and compared for a total of 159 isolates collected in two different time points, 2005 and 2007/08, from Pawe hospital, in North Western Ethiopia. The frequency of triple Pfdhfr mutation decreased significantly from 50.8% (32/63 to 15.9% (10/63 (P<0.001, while Pfdhps double mutation remained high and changed only marginally from 69.2% (45/65 to 55.4% (40/65 (P = 0.08. The combined Pfdhfr/Pfdhps quintuple mutation, which is strongly associated with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance, was significantly decreased from 40.7% (24/59 to 13.6% (8/59 (P<0.0001. On the whole, significant decline in mutant alleles and re-emergence of wild type alleles were observed. The change in the frequency is explained by the reduction of residual drug-resistant parasites caused by the strong drug pressure imposed when sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine was the first-line drug, followed by lower fitness of these resistant parasites in the absence of drug pressure. Despite the decrease in the frequency of mutant alleles, higher percentages of mutation remain prevalent in the study area in 2007/08 in both Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes. Therefore, further multi-centered studies in different parts of the country will be required to assess the re-emergence of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine sensitive parasites and to monitor and prevent the establishment of multi drug resistant parasites in this region.

  17. Site-specific bioconjugation of a murine dihydrofolate reductase enzyme by copper(I-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition with retained activity.

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    Sung In Lim

    Full Text Available Cu(I-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC is an efficient reaction linking an azido and an alkynyl group in the presence of copper catalyst. Incorporation of a non-natural amino acid (NAA containing either an azido or an alkynyl group into a protein allows site-specific bioconjugation in mild conditions via CuAAC. Despite its great potential, bioconjugation of an enzyme has been hampered by several issues including low yield, poor solubility of a ligand, and protein structural/functional perturbation by CuAAC components. In the present study, we incorporated an alkyne-bearing NAA into an enzyme, murine dihydrofolate reductase (mDHFR, in high cell density cultivation of Escherichia coli, and performed CuAAC conjugation with fluorescent azide dyes to evaluate enzyme compatibility of various CuAAC conditions comprising combination of commercially available Cu(I-chelating ligands and reductants. The condensed culture improves the protein yield 19-fold based on the same amount of non-natural amino acid, and the enzyme incubation under the optimized reaction condition did not lead to any activity loss but allowed a fast and high-yield bioconjugation. Using the established conditions, a biotin-azide spacer was efficiently conjugated to mDHFR with retained activity leading to the site-specific immobilization of the biotin-conjugated mDHFR on a streptavidin-coated plate. These results demonstrate that the combination of reactive non-natural amino acid incorporation and the optimized CuAAC can be used to bioconjugate enzymes with retained enzymatic activity.

  18. Crystal Structures of Wild-type and Mutant Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Dihydrofolate Reductase Reveal an Alternative Conformation of NADPH that may be Linked to Trimethoprim Resistance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frey, K.; Liu, J; Lombardo, M; Bolstad, D; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2009-01-01

    Both hospital- and community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections have become major health concerns in terms of morbidity, suffering and cost. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) is an alternative treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections. However, TMP-resistant strains have arisen with point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), the target for TMP. A single point mutation, F98Y, has been shown biochemically to confer the majority of this resistance to TMP. Using a structure-based approach, we have designed a series of novel propargyl-linked DHFR inhibitors that are active against several trimethoprim-resistant enzymes. We screened this series against wild-type and mutant (F98Y) S. aureus DHFR and found that several are active against both enzymes and specifically that the meta-biphenyl class of these inhibitors is the most potent. In order to understand the structural basis of this potency, we determined eight high-resolution crystal structures: four each of the wild-type and mutant DHFR enzymes bound to various propargyl-linked DHFR inhibitors. In addition to explaining the structure-activity relationships, several of the structures reveal a novel conformation for the cofactor, NADPH. In this new conformation that is predominantly associated with the mutant enzyme, the nicotinamide ring is displaced from its conserved location and three water molecules complete a network of hydrogen bonds between the nicotinamide ring and the protein. In this new position, NADPH has reduced interactions with the inhibitor. An equilibrium between the two conformations of NADPH, implied by their occupancies in the eight crystal structures, is influenced both by the ligand and the F98Y mutation. The mutation induced equilibrium between two NADPH-binding conformations may contribute to decrease TMP binding and thus may be responsible for TMP resistance.

  19. Structure-based approach to pharmacophore identification, in silico screening, and three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship studies for inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi dihydrofolate reductase function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schormann, N.; Senkovich, O.; Walker, K.; Wright, D.L.; Anderson, A.C.; Rosowsky, A.; Ananthan, S.; Shinkre, B.; Velu, S.; Chattopadhyay, D. (UAB); (Connecticut); (Southern Research); (DFCI)

    2009-07-10

    We have employed a structure-based three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) approach to predict the biochemical activity for inhibitors of T. cruzi dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS). Crystal structures of complexes of the enzyme with eight different inhibitors of the DHFR activity together with the structure in the substrate-free state (DHFR domain) were used to validate and refine docking poses of ligands that constitute likely active conformations. Structural information from these complexes formed the basis for the structure-based alignment used as input for the QSAR study. Contrary to indirect ligand-based approaches the strategy described here employs a direct receptor-based approach. The goal is to generate a library of selective lead inhibitors for further development as antiparasitic agents. 3D-QSAR models were obtained for T. cruzi DHFR-TS (30 inhibitors in learning set) and human DHFR (36 inhibitors in learning set) that show a very good agreement between experimental and predicted enzyme inhibition data. For crossvalidation of the QSAR model(s), we have used the 10% leave-one-out method. The derived 3D-QSAR models were tested against a few selected compounds (a small test set of six inhibitors for each enzyme) with known activity, which were not part of the learning set, and the quality of prediction of the initial 3D-QSAR models demonstrated that such studies are feasible. Further refinement of the models through integration of additional activity data and optimization of reliable docking poses is expected to lead to an improved predictive ability.

  20. Synthesis and molecular docking against dihydrofolate reductase of novel pyridin-N-ethyl-N-methylbenzenesulfonamides as efficient anticancer and antimicrobial agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debbabi, Khaled F.; Bashandy, Mahmoud S.; Al-Harbi, Sami A.; Aljuhani, Enas H.; Al-Saidi, Hamed M.

    2017-03-01

    This article describes the synthesis of some novel sulfonamides having biologically active pyridine 21-28. Starting with 4-(1-(2-(2-cyanoacetyl)hydrazono)ethyl)-N-ethyl-N-methylbenzenesulfonamide (2), which was prepared from condensation of acetophenone derivative 1 with 2-cyanoacetohydrazide. Interaction of compound 2 with different aldehydes namely 4-fluorobenzaldehyde, 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde and 4-N,N-dimethylbenzaldehyde afforded the corresponding hydrazono-ethyl-N-ethyl-N-methylbenzene sulfonamides 18-20 respectively, which when reacted with malononitrile and ethyl cyanoacetate afforded compounds 21-26 respectively. These compounds 21-26 can be prepared by another reaction route by interaction of compounds 2 with arylidine malononitrile and arylidine ethyl cyanoacetate in refluxing dioxane in the presence of trimethylamine as catalyst. Interaction of compound 2 with malononitrile and ethyl cyanoacetate afforded oxopyridine derivatives 27 and 28 respectively. All the new prepared compounds were evaluated for their antitumor activities against the cell lines MCF-7 in comparison with the reference drug Doxorubicin using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) colorimetric assay. Compounds 25, 21, 23 with SI values of 9.72, 9.71, 8.81 respectively, exhibited better activity than doxorubicin (Dox) as a reference drug with SI value of 8.49. In addition, compounds 25, 27 and 22 exhibited anti-bacterial activity against gram-negative bacteria (Klebsiella pneumoniae) with inhibition zones 22.6, 20.3 and 19.3 mm respectively, which were more active than gentamicin as a reference drug with inhibition zone 17.3 mm. Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) performed virtual screening using molecular docking studies of the synthesized compounds. The results indicated that some synthesized compounds suitable inhibitor against dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme (PDB SD: 4DFR) with further modification.

  1. Polymorphism of Plasmodium Falciparum Dihydrofolate Reductase and Dihydropteroate Synthase Genes among Pregnant Women with Falciparum Malaria in Banjar District, South Kalimantan Province, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukmawati Basuki

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Pregnant women are highly vulnerable to malaria infection in its endemic areas, particularly infection by Plasmodium falciparum that can cause premature, low birth weight, severe anemia in pregnant women, and death. Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP for Intermittent Preventive Treatment for pregnant (IPTp is used for malaria control in pregnancy recommended by the World Health Organization that has already been implemented in Africa. The P. falciparum resistance to SP has been reported in several malarial endemic areas, and mutations in the genes of Plasmodium falciparum Dihydrofolate Reductase (Pfdhfr and Dihydropteroate Synthase (Pfdhps are shown to be associated with parasite resistance to SP treatment. Genetic analysis of Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes in pregnant women infected with P. falciparum has not yet been examined in Indonesia. The cross-sectional study was conducted at two subdistricts, Sungai Pinang and Peramasan, in Banjar district of South Kalimantan Province, where 127 pregnant women were recruited from 2008 to April 2010. Two important mutations in Pfdhfr gene (amino acid positions at N51 and S108 and three in Pfdhps gene (A437, K540 and A581 were analyzed by nested PCR-RFLP method. All of the seven pregnant women samples infected with P. falciparum presented PfDHFR 108N and PfDHPS 437G mutations. One of the samples had the additional mutation at PfDHPS 540, in which Lys is substituted by Glu. These results suggested that P. falciparum might present only some resistance to SP at Sungai Pinang and Peramasan subdistricts, Banjar District, South Kalimantan province, Indonesia. Although there were limited number of samples, this study showed only few mutations of Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes in P. falciparum at Banjar district, South Kalimantan Province, that suggests SP might be effective for IPTp in this area. Thus, further analysis of the other mutation sites in Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes and in vivo efficacy study of SP with more sufficient

  2. Disagreement in genotyping results of drug resistance alleles of the Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) gene by allele-specific PCR (ASPCR) assays and Sanger sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Divya; Lather, Manila; Dykes, Cherry L; Dang, Amita S; Adak, Tridibes; Singh, Om P

    2016-01-01

    The rapid spread of antimalarial drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum over the past few decades has necessitated intensive monitoring of such resistance for an effective malaria control strategy. P. falciparum dihydropteroate synthase (Pfdhps) and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) genes act as molecular markers for resistance against the antimalarial drugs sulphadoxine and pyrimethamine, respectively. Resistance to pyrimethamine which is used as a partner drug in artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is associated with several mutations in the Pfdhfr gene, namely A16V, N51I, C59R, S108N/T and I164L. Therefore, routine monitoring of Pfdhfr-drug-resistant alleles in a population may help in effective drug resistance management. Allele-specific PCR (ASPCR) is one of the commonly used methods for molecular genotyping of these alleles. In this study, we genotyped 55 samples of P. falciparum for allele discrimination at four codons of Pfdhfr (N51, C59, S108 and I164) by ASPCR using published methods and by Sanger's DNA sequencing method. We found that the ASPCR identified a significantly higher number of mutant alleles as compared to the DNA sequencing method. Such discrepancies arise due to the non-specificity of some of the allele-specific primer sets and due to the lack of sensitivity of Sanger's DNA sequencing method to detect minor alleles present in multiple clone infections. This study reveals the need of a highly specific and sensitive method for genotyping and detecting minor drug-resistant alleles present in multiple clonal infections.

  3. Transgenic Plasmodium parasites stably expressing Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase as in vitro and in vivo models for antifolate screening

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    Yuthavong Yongyuth

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent cause of human malaria in tropical regions outside the African continent. The lack of a routine continuous in vitro culture of this parasite makes it difficult to develop specific drugs for this disease. To facilitate the development of anti-P. vivax drugs, bacterial and yeast surrogate models expressing the validated P. vivax target dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS have been generated; however, they can only be used as primary screening models because of significant differences in enzyme expression level and in vivo drug metabolism between the surrogate models and P. vivax parasites. Methods Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei parasites were transfected with DNA constructs bearing P. vivax dhfr-ts pyrimethamine sensitive (wild-type and pyrimethamine resistant (mutant alleles. Double crossover homologous recombination was used to replace the endogenous dhfr-ts of P. falciparum and P. berghei parasites with P. vivax homologous genes. The integration of Pvdhfr-ts genes via allelic replacement was verified by Southern analysis and the transgenic parasites lines validated as models by standard drug screening assays. Results Transgenic P. falciparum and P. berghei lines stably expressing PvDHFR-TS replacing the endogenous parasite DHFR-TS were obtained. Anti-malarial drug screening assays showed that transgenic parasites expressing wild-type PvDHFR-TS were pyrimethamine-sensitive, whereas transgenic parasites expressing mutant PvDHFR-TS were pyrimethamine-resistant. The growth and sensitivity to other types of anti-malarial drugs in the transgenic parasites were otherwise indistinguishable from the parental parasites. Conclusion With the permanent integration of Pvdhfr-ts gene in the genome, the transgenic Plasmodium lines expressing PvDHFR-TS are genetically stable and will be useful for screening anti-P. vivax compounds targeting PvDHFR-TS. A similar approach

  4. Anti-folate drug resistance in Africa: meta-analysis of reported dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps mutant genotype frequencies in African Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations

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    Sridaran Sankar

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps genes of Plasmodium falciparum are associated with resistance to anti-folate drugs, most notably sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP. Molecular studies document the prevalence of these mutations in parasite populations across the African continent. However, there is no systematic review examining the collective epidemiological significance of these studies. This meta-analysis attempts to: 1 summarize genotype frequency data that are critical for molecular surveillance of anti-folate resistance and 2 identify the specific challenges facing the development of future molecular databases. Methods This review consists of 220 studies published prior to 2009 that report the frequency of select dhfr and dhps mutations in 31 African countries. Maps were created to summarize the location and prevalence of the highly resistant dhfr triple mutant (N51I, C59R, S108N genotype and dhps double mutant (A437G and K540E genotype in Africa. A hierarchical mixed effects logistic regression was used to examine the influence of various factors on reported mutant genotype frequency. These factors include: year and location of study, age and clinical status of sampled population, and reporting conventions for mixed genotype data. Results A database consisting of dhfr and dhps mutant genotype frequencies from all African studies that met selection criteria was created for this analysis. The map illustrates particularly high prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes along the Kenya-Tanzania border and Malawi. The regression model shows a statistically significant increase in the prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa. Conclusion Increasing prevalence of the dhfr triple mutant and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa are consistent with the loss of efficacy of SP for treatment of clinical malaria in most parts

  5. Structure-based design of selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase: synthesis and antiparasitic activity of 2, 4-diaminopteridine analogues with a bridged diarylamine side chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosowsky, A; Cody, V; Galitsky, N; Fu, H; Papoulis, A T; Queener, S F

    1999-11-18

    As part of a larger search for potent as well as selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzymes from opportunistic pathogens found in patients with AIDS and other immune disorders, N-[(2,4-diaminopteridin-6-yl)methyl]dibenz[b,f]azepine (4a) and the corresponding dihydrodibenz[b,f]azepine, dihydroacridine, phenoxazine, phenothiazine, carbazole, and diphenylamine analogues were synthesized from 2, 4-diamino-6-(bromomethyl)pteridine in 50-75% yield by reaction with the sodium salts of the amines in dry tetrahydrofuran at room temperature. The products were tested for the ability to inhibit DHFR from Pneumocystis carinii (pcDHFR), Toxoplasma gondii (tgDHFR), Mycobacterium avium (maDHFR), and rat liver (rlDHFR). The member of the series with the best combination of potency and species selectivity was 4a, with IC(50) values against the four enzymes of 0. 21, 0.043, 0.012, and 4.4 microM, respectively. The dihydroacridine, phenothiazine, and carbazole analogues were also potent, but nonselective. Of the compounds tested, 4a was the only one to successfully combine the potency of trimetrexate with the selectivity of trimethoprim. Molecular docking simulations using published 3D structural coordinates for the crystalline ternary complexes of pcDHFR and hDHFR suggested a possible structural interpretation for the binding selectivity of 4a and the lack of selectivity of the other compounds. According to this model, 4a is selective because of a unique propensity of the seven-membered ring in the dibenz[b,f]azepine moiety to adopt a puckered orientation that allows it to fit more comfortably into the active site of the P. carinii enzyme than into the active site of the human enzyme. Compound 4a was also evaluated for the ability to be taken up into, and retard the growth of, P. carinii and T. gondii in culture. The IC(50) of 4a against P. carinii trophozoites after 7 days of continuous drug treatment was 1.9 microM as compared with previously observed IC(50

  6. Prediction of Plasmodium falciparum resistance to sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine in vivo by mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthetase genes: a comparative study between sites of differing endemicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alifrangis, Michael; Enosse, Sonja; Khalil, Insaf F;

    2003-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum resistance to sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (S/P) is due to mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthetase (dhfr) genes. Large-scale screening of the prevalence of these mutations could facilitate the surveillance of the level of S/P resistance...... marker seems debatable. The differences may reflect variation in the duration and magnitude of S/P usage (or other antifolate drugs) between the sites. Thus, triple dhfr mutations may prove suitable only as a general guideline for detecting emerging S/P resistance in areas where S/P has been introduced...... in vivo. The prevalence of mutations in dhfr and dhps in relation to S/P efficacy was studied in four sites of differing endemicity in Sudan, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The sites were organized in order of increasing resistance and a significant increase in the prevalence of triple mutations in codons c51...

  7. Role of Mutations in Dihydrofolate Reductase DfrA (Rv2763c) and Thymidylate Synthase ThyA (Rv2764c) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Drug Resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Koser, C. U.

    2010-09-17

    We would like to comment on a number of recent reports in this journal (6, 8, 12, 18) concerning Mycobacterium tuberculosis dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), encoded by dfrA (Rv2763c). Around 36% of phenotypically para-aminosalicylic acid (PAS)-resistant M. tuberculosis strains harbor mutations in thyA (Rv2764c), which encodes a thymidylate synthase (20). In their effort to elucidate the remaining unknown resistance mechanism(s), Mathys et al. extended their sequence analysis to a number of additional genes, including dfrA (12). It was unclear whether the three dfrA mutations they identified in the PAS-resistant strains P-693 and P-3158 could contribute to PAS resistance on their own. Nonetheless, these findings are notable for two reasons. First, isoniazid (INH) has been shown to inhibit M. tuberculosis DHFR in vitro (1). Whether the same holds true for ethionamide, which shares a number of common resistance mechanisms with INH, was not tested (J. Blanchard, personal communication). In any case, the clinical relevance of DHFR-mediated INH resistance remains enigmatic. To date, only Ho et al. have addressed this question, but they did not identify any dfrA mutations in a screen of 127 INH-resistant clinical isolates (8). Consequently, Mathys et al. remain the first to describe mutations in this target (12). However, given that isolates with mutated DHFR are members of a cluster with baseline INH resistance, the importance of these mutations with respect to INH resistance remains unclear. Irrespective of their relevance in INH resistance, these dfrA mutations are noteworthy for a second reason. Contrary to previous wisdom, Forgacs et al. recently showed that M. tuberculosis is sensitive to the drug combination trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) (6, 18). DHFR is competitively inhibited by TMP, and consequently, mutations therein lead to resistance in a variety of organisms (9, 16, 19). The crystal structures of the wild-type M. tuberculosis DHFR in complex with

  8. Pyridine Nucleotide Complexes with Bacillus anthracis Coenzyme A-Disulfide Reductase: A Structural Analysis of Dual NAD(P)H Specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallen,J.; Paige, C.; Mallett, T.; Karplus, P.; Claiborne, A.

    2008-01-01

    We have recently reported that CoASH is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, and we have now characterized the kinetic and redox properties of the B. anthracis coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR, BACoADR) and determined the crystal structure at 2.30 Angstroms resolution. While the Staphylococcus aureus and Borrelia burgdorferi CoADRs exhibit strong preferences for NADPH and NADH, respectively, B. anthracis CoADR can use either pyridine nucleotide equally well. Sequence elements within the respective NAD(P)H-binding motifs correctly reflect the preferences for S. aureus and Bo. burgdorferi CoADRs, but leave questions as to how BACoADR can interact with both pyridine nucleotides. The structures of the NADH and NADPH complexes at ca. 2.3 Angstroms resolution reveal that a loop consisting of residues Glu180-Thr187 becomes ordered and changes conformation on NAD(P)H binding. NADH and NADPH interact with nearly identical conformations of this loop; the latter interaction, however, involves a novel binding mode in which the 2'-phosphate of NADPH points out toward solvent. In addition, the NAD(P)H-reduced BACoADR structures provide the first view of the reduced form (Cys42-SH/CoASH) of the Cys42-SSCoA redox center. The Cys42-SH side chain adopts a new conformation in which the conserved Tyr367'-OH and Tyr425'-OH interact with the nascent thiol(ate) on the flavin si-face. Kinetic data with Y367F, Y425F, and Y367, 425F BACoADR mutants indicate that Tyr425' is the primary proton donor in catalysis, with Tyr367' functioning as a cryptic alternate donor in the absence of Tyr425'.

  9. Comparative hydrogen-deuterium exchange for a mesophilic vs thermophilic dihydrofolate reductase at 25 °C: identification of a single active site region with enhanced flexibility in the mesophilic protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyeyemi, Olayinka A; Sours, Kevin M; Lee, Thomas; Kohen, Amnon; Resing, Katheryn A; Ahn, Natalie G; Klinman, Judith P

    2011-09-27

    The technique of hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) has been applied to a mesophilic (E. coli) dihydrofolate reductase under conditions that allow direct comparison to a thermophilic (B. stearothermophilus) ortholog, Ec-DHFR and Bs-DHFR, respectively. The analysis of hydrogen-deuterium exchange patterns within proteolytically derived peptides allows spatial resolution, while requiring a series of controls to compare orthologous proteins with only ca. 40% sequence identity. These controls include the determination of primary structure effects on intrinsic rate constants for HDX as well as the use of existing 3-dimensional structures to evaluate the distance of each backbone amide hydrogen to the protein surface. Only a single peptide from the Ec-DHFR is found to be substantially more flexible than the Bs-DHFR at 25 °C in a region located within the protein interior at the intersection of the cofactor and substrate-binding sites. The surrounding regions of the enzyme are either unchanged or more flexible in the thermophilic DHFR from B. stearothermophilus. The region with increased flexibility in Ec-DHFR corresponds to one of two regions previously proposed to control the enthalpic barrier for hydride transfer in Bs-DHFR [Oyeyemi et al. (2010) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 10074].

  10. Molecular epidemiology of malaria in Cameroon. XXX. sequence analysis of Plasmodium falciparum ATPase 6, dihydrofolate reductase, and dihydropteroate synthase resistance markers in clinical isolates from children treated with an artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine combination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menemedengue, Virginie; Sahnouni, Khalifa; Basco, Leonardo; Tahar, Rachida

    2011-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes are reliable molecular markers for antifolate resistance. The P. falciparum ATPase 6 (pfatp6) gene has been proposed to be a potential marker for artemisinin resistance. In our previous clinical study, we showed that artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is highly effective against uncomplicated malaria in Yaoundé, Cameroon. In the present study, dhfr, dhps, and pfatp6 mutations in P. falciparum isolates obtained from children treated with artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine were determined. All 61 isolates had wild-type Pfatp6 263, 623, and 769 alleles, and 11 (18%) had a single E431K substitution. Three additional mutations, E643Q, E432K, and E641Q, were detected. The results did not indicate any warning signal of serious concern (i.e., no parasites were seen with quintuple dhfr-dhps, DHFR Ile164Leu, or pfatp6 mutations), as confirmed by the high clinical efficacy of artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Further studies are required to identify a molecular marker that reliably predicts artemisinin resistance.

  11. Vacuum-Ultraviolet Circular Dichroism Spectra of Escherichia coli Dihydrofolate Reductase and Its Mutants: Contributions of Phenylalanine and Tyrosine Side Chains and Exciton Coupling of Two Tryptophan Side Chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmae, Eiji; Tanaka, Suguru; Miyashita, Yurina; Katayanagi, Katsuo; Matsuo, Koichi

    2015-10-15

    Vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy has recently been used for secondary structure analysis of proteins; however, the contribution of aromatic side chains to protein VUV CD spectra is unresolved. In this report, VUV CD spectra of 10 Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) mutants, in which each phenylalanine or tyrosine residue was mutated to leucine, were measured down to 175 nm at 25 °C and pH 8.0 to elucidate the contributions of these aromatic side chains to the high-energy transitions of peptide bonds. The VUV CD spectra of these mutants were different from the spectrum of the wild-type protein, indicating that the contribution of the phenylalanine and tyrosine side chains of DHFR extends to the VUV region. Furthermore, the VUV CD spectrum and the folate- or NADP(+)-induced spectral change of F103L mutant DHFR indicated a modification and regeneration of exciton coupling between the Trp47 and Trp74 side chains, respectively, suggesting that exciton coupling may also contribute to the CD spectrum of DHFR in the VUV region. These results should be useful for theoretically characterizing the contribution of aromatic side chains to protein CD spectra, leading to the improvement of protein secondary-structure analysis by VUV CD spectroscopy.

  12. Dihydrofolate-Reductase Mutations in Plasmodium knowlesi Appear Unrelated to Selective Drug Pressure from Putative Human-To-Human Transmission in Sabah, Malaysia.

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    Matthew J Grigg

    Full Text Available Malaria caused by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi is an emerging threat in Eastern Malaysia. Despite demonstrated vector competency, it is unknown whether human-to-human (H-H transmission is occurring naturally. We sought evidence of drug selection pressure from the antimalarial sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP as a potential marker of H-H transmission.The P. knowlesi dihdyrofolate-reductase (pkdhfr gene was sequenced from 449 P. knowlesi malaria cases from Sabah (Malaysian Borneo and genotypes evaluated for association with clinical and epidemiological factors. Homology modelling using the pvdhfr template was used to assess the effect of pkdhfr mutations on the pyrimethamine binding pocket.Fourteen non-synonymous mutations were detected, with the most common being at codon T91P (10.2% and R34L (10.0%, resulting in 21 different genotypes, including the wild-type, 14 single mutants, and six double mutants. One third of the P. knowlesi infections were with pkdhfr mutants; 145 (32% patients had single mutants and 14 (3% had double-mutants. In contrast, among the 47 P. falciparum isolates sequenced, three pfdhfr genotypes were found, with the double mutant 108N+59R being fixed and the triple mutants 108N+59R+51I and 108N+59R+164L occurring with frequencies of 4% and 8%, respectively. Two non-random spatio-temporal clusters were identified with pkdhfr genotypes. There was no association between pkdhfr mutations and hyperparasitaemia or malaria severity, both hypothesized to be indicators of H-H transmission. The orthologous loci associated with resistance in P. falciparum were not mutated in pkdhfr. Subsequent homology modelling of pkdhfr revealed gene loci 13, 53, 120, and 173 as being critical for pyrimethamine binding, however, there were no mutations at these sites among the 449 P. knowlesi isolates.Although moderate diversity was observed in pkdhfr in Sabah, there was no evidence this reflected selective antifolate drug pressure in humans.

  13. Contributions of tryptophan 24 and glutamate 30 to binding long-lived water molecules in the ternary complex of human dihydrofolate reductase with methotrexate and NADPH studied by site-directed mutagenesis and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiering, E M; Li, H; Delcamp, T J; Freisheim, J H; Wagner, G

    1995-03-24

    Previous NMR studies on the ternary complex of human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR) with methotrexate (MTX) and NADPH detected six long-lived bound water molecules. Two of the water molecules, WatA and WatB, stabilize the structure of the protein while the other four, WatC, WatD, WatE and WatF, are involved in substrate binding and specificity. WatE may also act as a proton shuttle during catalysis. Here, the contributions of individual residues to the binding of these water molecules are investigated by performing NMR experiments on ternary complexes of mutant enzymes, W24F, E30A and E30Q. W24 and E30 are conserved residues that form hydrogen bonds with WatE in crystal structures of DHFR. Nuclear Overhauser effects (NOEs) are detected between WatE and the protein in all the mutant complexes, hence WatE still has a long lifetime bound to the complex when one of its hydrogen-bonding partners is deleted or altered by mutagenesis. The NOEs for WatE are much weaker, however, in the mutants than in wild-type. The NOEs for the other water molecules in and near the active site, WatA, WatC, WatD and WatF, also tend to be weaker in the mutant complexes. Little or no change is apparent in the NOEs for WatB, which is located outside the active site, farthest from the mutated residues. The decreased NOE intensities for the bound water molecules could be caused by changes in the positions and/or lifetimes of the water molecules. Chemical shift and NOE data indicate that the mutants have structures very similar to that of wild-type hDHFR, with possible conformational changes occurring only near the mutated residues. Based on the lack of structural change in the protein and evidence for increased structural fluctuations in the active sites of the mutant enzymes, it is likely that the NOE changes are caused, at least in part, by decreases in the lifetimes of the bound water molecules.

  14. Human Neutrophils Kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis spores cause natural infections and are used as biological weapons. Inhalation infection with B. anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is almost always lethal, yet cutaneous infections usually remain localized and resolve spontaneously. Neutrophils are typically recruited to cutaneous but seldom to other forms of anthrax infections, raising the possibility that neutrophils kill B. anthracis. In this study we infected human neutrophils with either spores or vegetative bacteria of a wild-type strain, or strains, expressing only one of the two major virulence factors. The human neutrophils engulfed B. anthracis spores, which germinated intracellularly and were then efficiently killed. Interestingly, neutrophil killing was independent of reactive oxygen species production. We fractionated a human neutrophil granule extract by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified alpha-defensins as the component responsible for B. anthracis killing. These data suggest that the timely recruitment of neutrophils can control cutaneous infections and possibly other forms of B. anthracis infections, and that alpha-defensins play an important role in the potent anti-B. anthracis activity of neutrophils.

  15. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

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    Anne Mayer-Scholl

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis spores cause natural infections and are used as biological weapons. Inhalation infection with B. anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is almost always lethal, yet cutaneous infections usually remain localized and resolve spontaneously. Neutrophils are typically recruited to cutaneous but seldom to other forms of anthrax infections, raising the possibility that neutrophils kill B. anthracis. In this study we infected human neutrophils with either spores or vegetative bacteria of a wild-type strain, or strains, expressing only one of the two major virulence factors. The human neutrophils engulfed B. anthracis spores, which germinated intracellularly and were then efficiently killed. Interestingly, neutrophil killing was independent of reactive oxygen species production. We fractionated a human neutrophil granule extract by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified alpha-defensins as the component responsible for B. anthracis killing. These data suggest that the timely recruitment of neutrophils can control cutaneous infections and possibly other forms of B. anthracis infections, and that alpha-defensins play an important role in the potent anti-B. anthracis activity of neutrophils.

  16. Human neutrophils kill Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer-Scholl, Anne; Hurwitz, Robert; Brinkmann, Volker; Schmid, Monika; Jungblut, Peter; Weinrauch, Yvette; Zychlinsky, Arturo

    2005-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis spores cause natural infections and are used as biological weapons. Inhalation infection with B. anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is almost always lethal, yet cutaneous infections usually remain localized and resolve spontaneously. Neutrophils are typically recruited to cutaneous but seldom to other forms of anthrax infections, raising the possibility that neutrophils kill B. anthracis. In this study we infected human neutrophils with either spores or vegetative bacteria of a wild-type strain, or strains, expressing only one of the two major virulence factors. The human neutrophils engulfed B. anthracis spores, which germinated intracellularly and were then efficiently killed. Interestingly, neutrophil killing was independent of reactive oxygen species production. We fractionated a human neutrophil granule extract by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified alpha-defensins as the component responsible for B. anthracis killing. These data suggest that the timely recruitment of neutrophils can control cutaneous infections and possibly other forms of B. anthracis infections, and that alpha-defensins play an important role in the potent anti-B. anthracis activity of neutrophils.

  17. Application of in vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean M Rollins

    Full Text Available In vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT is an immuno-screening technique that identifies bacterial antigens expressed during infection and not during standard in vitro culturing conditions. We applied IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis and identified PagA, seven members of a N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase autolysin family, three P60 family lipoproteins, two transporters, spore cortex lytic protein SleB, a penicillin binding protein, a putative prophage holin, respiratory nitrate reductase NarG, and three proteins of unknown function. Using quantitative real-time PCR comparing RNA isolated from in vitro cultured B. anthracis to RNA isolated from BALB/c mice infected with virulent Ames strain B. anthracis, we confirmed induced expression in vivo for a subset of B. anthracis genes identified by IVIAT, including L-alanine amidases BA3767, BA4073, and amiA (pXO2-42; the bacteriophage holin gene BA4074; and pagA (pXO1-110. The exogenous addition of two purified putative autolysins identified by IVIAT, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases BA0485 and BA2446, to vegetative B. anthracis cell suspensions induced a species-specific change in bacterial morphology and reduction in viable bacterial cells. Many of the proteins identified in our screen are predicted to affect peptidoglycan re-modeling, and our results support significant cell wall structural remodeling activity during B. anthracis infection. Identification of L-alanine amidases with B. anthracis specificity may suggest new potential therapeutic targets.

  18. Quantitative immunofluorescence studies of the serology of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    OpenAIRE

    1983-01-01

    A fluorescein-conjugated antibody against formalin-inactivated spores of Bacillus anthracis Vollum reacted only weakly with a variety of Bacillus species in microfluorometric immunofluorescence assays. A conjugated antibody against spores of B. anthracis Sterne showed little affinity for spores of several B. anthracis isolates including B. anthracis Vollum, indicating that more than one anthrax spore serotype exists.

  19. Prevalence of Dihydrofolate reductase gene mutations in Plasmodium falciparum isolate from pregnant women in Nigeria

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    Olusola Ojurongbe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum and the frequency of the dhfr triple mutation that is associated with antifolate drug resistance among P. falciparumisolates obtained from pregnant women in Ilorin, Nigeria. The study included 179 women in the second and third trimester of pregnancy who have been exposed to intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp with sulfadoxinepyrimethamine. Thick and thin blood films and PCR were used for malaria parasite detection. Blood group and hemoglobin concentration were also determined. Mutations in P. falciparum dhfr were analyzed by sequencing DNA obtained from blood spots on filter paper. Prevalence of P. falciparum in the population (PCR corrected was 44.1% (79/179 with 66.7% and 33.3% in the second and third trimester, respectively. Primigravide (51.3% were more infected than multigravide (48.7% but the difference was not statistically significant. Women in blood group A had the highest P. falciparum malaria infection (30.8%. The mean hemoglobin concentration was lower among those infected with malaria parasite. Also, more women with the malaria parasite (38.4% had anemia compare to those without (21.4%. The prevalence of the P. falciparum dhfr mutant alleles was 64.1%, 61.5%, 38.5%, and 12.8% for I51, R59, N108 and T108, respectively. None of the samples had the L164 mutation. The combined triple dhfr mutation (51 + 59 + 108 in the population was 17.9% (7 of 39. Also, the prevalence of the triple mutant alleles was not significantly associated to the number of doses of SP taken by the women. These findings highlight the need for a regular assessment of IPTp/SP efficacy, and evaluation of possible alternative drugs.

  20. Dihydrofolate reductase amplification and sensitization to methotrexate of methotrexate-resistant colon cancer cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morales Torres, Christina; García, Maria J; Ribas, Maria;

    2009-01-01

    Gene amplification is one of the most frequent manifestations of genomic instability in human tumors and plays an important role in tumor progression and acquisition of drug resistance. To better understand the factors involved in acquired resistance to cytotoxic drugs via gene amplification, we ...... to a second round of treatment if left untreated during a sufficient period of time. [Mol Cancer Ther 2009;8(2):424-32]....

  1. Synthesis of lipoteichoic acids in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garufi, Gabriella; Hendrickx, Antoni P; Beeri, Karen; Kern, Justin W; Sharma, Anshika; Richter, Stefan G; Schneewind, Olaf; Missiakas, Dominique

    2012-08-01

    Lipoteichoic acid (LTA), a glycerol phosphate polymer, is a component of the envelope of Gram-positive bacteria that has hitherto not been identified in Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. LTA synthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and other microbes is catalyzed by the product of the ltaS gene, a membrane protein that polymerizes polyglycerol phosphate from phosphatidyl glycerol. Here we identified four ltaS homologues, designated ltaS1 to -4, in the genome of Bacillus anthracis. Polyglycerol phosphate-specific monoclonal antibodies were used to detect LTA in the envelope of B. anthracis strain Sterne (pXO1(+) pXO2(-)) vegetative forms. B. anthracis mutants lacking ltaS1, ltaS2, ltaS3, or ltaS4 did not display defects in growth or LTA synthesis. In contrast, B. anthracis strains lacking both ltaS1 and ltaS2 were unable to synthesize LTA and exhibited reduced viability, altered envelope morphology, aberrant separation of vegetative forms, and decreased sporulation efficiency. Expression of ltaS1 or ltaS2 alone in B. anthracis as well as in other microbes was sufficient for polyglycerol phosphate synthesis. Thus, similar to S. aureus, B. anthracis employs LtaS enzymes to synthesize LTA, an envelope component that promotes bacterial growth and cell division.

  2. Bacillus anthracis factors for phagosomal escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonello, Fiorella; Zornetta, Irene

    2012-07-01

    The mechanism of phagosome escape by intracellular pathogens is an important step in the infectious cycle. During the establishment of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis undergoes a transient intracellular phase in which spores are engulfed by local phagocytes. Spores germinate inside phagosomes and grow to vegetative bacilli, which emerge from their resident intracellular compartments, replicate and eventually exit from the plasma membrane. During germination, B. anthracis secretes multiple factors that can help its resistance to the phagocytes. Here the possible role of B. anthracis toxins, phospholipases, antioxidant enzymes and capsules in the phagosomal escape and survival, is analyzed and compared with that of factors of other microbial pathogens involved in the same type of process.

  3. Specific identification of Bacillus anthracis strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Thaiya; Deshpande, Samir; Hewel, Johannes; Liu, Hongbin; Wick, Charles H.; Yates, John R., III

    2007-01-01

    Accurate identification of human pathogens is the initial vital step in treating the civilian terrorism victims and military personnel afflicted in biological threat situations. We have applied a powerful multi-dimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) along with newly generated software termed Profiler to identify the sequences of specific proteins observed for few strains of Bacillus anthracis, a human pathogen. Software termed Profiler was created to initially screen the MudPIT data of B. anthracis strains and establish the observed proteins specific for its strains. A database was also generated using Profiler containing marker proteins of B. anthracis and its strains, which in turn could be used for detecting the organism and its corresponding strains in samples. Analysis of the unknowns by our methodology, combining MudPIT and Profiler, led to the accurate identification of the anthracis strains present in samples. Thus, a new approach for the identification of B. anthracis strains in unknown samples, based on the molecular mass and sequences of marker proteins, has been ascertained.

  4. Bacillus anthracis diversity in Kruger National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, K L; DeVos, V; Bryden, H; Price, L B; Hugh-Jones, M E; Keim, P

    2000-10-01

    The Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa, has a recorded history of periodic anthrax epidemics causing widespread disease among wild animals. Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, a disease primarily affecting ungulate herbivores. Worldwide there is little diversity among B. anthracis isolates, but examination of variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci has identified six major clones, with the most dissimilar types split into the A and B branches. Both the A and B types are found in southern Africa, giving this region the greatest genetic diversity of B. anthracis worldwide. Consequently, southern Africa has been hypothesized to be the geographic origin of B. anthracis. In this study, we identify the genotypic types of 98 KNP B. anthracis isolates using multiple-locus VNTR analysis. Two major types are evident, the A branch and the B branch. The spatial and temporal distribution of the different genotypes indicates that anthrax epidemic foci are independent, though correlated through environmental cues. Kruger B isolates were found on significantly higher-calcium and higher-pH soils than were Kruger type A. This relationship between genotype and soil chemistry may be due to adaptive differences among divergent anthrax strains. While this association may be simply fortuitous, adaptation of A types to diverse environmental conditions is consistent with their greater geographic dispersal and genetic dissimilarity.

  5. Bacillus anthracis Bioterrorism Incident, Kameido, Tokyo, 1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keim, Paul; Kaufmann, Arnold F.; Keys, Christine; Smith, Kimothy L.; Taniguchi, Kiyosu; Inouye, Sakae; Kurata, Takeshi

    2004-01-01

    In July 1993, a liquid suspension of Bacillus anthracis was aerosolized from the roof of an eight-story building in Kameido, Tokyo, Japan, by the religious group Aum Shinrikyo. During 1999 to 2001, microbiologic tests were conducted on a liquid environmental sample originally collected during the 1993 incident. Nonencapsulated isolates of B. anthracis were cultured from the liquid. Multiple-locus, variable-number tandem repeat analysis found all isolates to be identical to a strain used in Japan to vaccinate animals against anthrax, which was consistent with the Aum Shinrikyo members’ testimony about the strain source. In 1999, a retrospective case-detection survey was conducted to identify potential human anthrax cases associated with the incident, but none were found. The use of an attenuated B. anthracis strain, low spore concentrations, ineffective dispersal, a clogged spray device, and inactivation of the spores by sunlight are all likely contributing factors to the lack of human cases. PMID:15112666

  6. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures.

  7. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis persistence in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Jenkins

    Full Text Available Pulmonary exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores initiates inhalational anthrax, a life-threatening infection. It is known that dormant spores can be recovered from the lungs of infected animals months after the initial spore exposure. Consequently, a 60-day course antibiotic treatment is recommended for exposed individuals. However, there has been little information regarding details or mechanisms of spore persistence in vivo. In this study, we investigated spore persistence in a mouse model. The results indicated that weeks after intranasal inoculation with B. anthracis spores, substantial amounts of spores could be recovered from the mouse lung. Moreover, spores of B. anthracis were significantly better at persisting in the lung than spores of a non-pathogenic Bacillus subtilis strain. The majority of B. anthracis spores in the lung were tightly associated with the lung tissue, as they could not be readily removed by lavage. Immunofluorescence staining of lung sections showed that spores associated with the alveolar and airway epithelium. Confocal analysis indicated that some of the spores were inside epithelial cells. This was further confirmed by differential immunofluorescence staining of lung cells harvested from the infected lungs, suggesting that association with lung epithelial cells may provide an advantage to spore persistence in the lung. There was no or very mild inflammation in the infected lungs. Furthermore, spores were present in the lung tissue as single spores rather than in clusters. We also showed that the anthrax toxins did not play a role in persistence. Together, the results suggest that B. anthracis spores have special properties that promote their persistence in the lung, and that there may be multiple mechanisms contributing to spore persistence.

  8. Morphogenesis of the Bacillus anthracis Spore

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    Fritsch, and T. Maniatis . 1989. Molecular cloning : a laboratory manual, 2nd ed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. 72. Santo...Sciences, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 606163; Department of Molecular , Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of...collection E. coli DH5 Cloning host Laboratory collection BL21(DE3) Overproduction host Novagen GM1684 dam; for transformation of B. anthracis T. Koehler

  9. Quinone Reductase 2 Is a Catechol Quinone Reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Yue; Buryanovskyy, Leonid; Zhang, Zhongtao (NYMEDCO)

    2008-09-05

    The functions of quinone reductase 2 have eluded researchers for decades even though a genetic polymorphism is associated with various neurological disorders. Employing enzymatic studies using adrenochrome as a substrate, we show that quinone reductase 2 is specific for the reduction of adrenochrome, whereas quinone reductase 1 shows no activity. We also solved the crystal structure of quinone reductase 2 in complexes with dopamine and adrenochrome, two compounds that are structurally related to catecholamine quinones. Detailed structural analyses delineate the mechanism of quinone reductase 2 specificity toward catechol quinones in comparison with quinone reductase 1; a side-chain rotational difference between quinone reductase 1 and quinone reductase 2 of a single residue, phenylalanine 106, determines the specificity of enzymatic activities. These results infer functional differences between two homologous enzymes and indicate that quinone reductase 2 could play important roles in the regulation of catecholamine oxidation processes that may be involved in the etiology of Parkinson disease.

  10. Dendritic Cells Endocytose Bacillus Anthracis Spores: Implications for Anthrax Pathogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    Dendritic Cells Endocytose Bacillus anthracis Spores: Implications for Anthrax Pathogenesis1 Katherine C. Brittingham,* Gordon Ruthel,* Rekha G...germination and dissemination of spores. Found in high frequency throughout the respiratory track, dendritic cells (DCs) routinely take up foreign...COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dendritic cells endocytose Bacillus anthracis spores: implications for anthrax pathogenesis, The Journal of

  11. Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and plants may promote anthrax transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly H Ganz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Environmental reservoirs are essential in the maintenance and transmission of anthrax but are poorly characterized. The anthrax agent, Bacillus anthracis was long considered an obligate pathogen that is dormant and passively transmitted in the environment. However, a growing number of laboratory studies indicate that, like some of its close relatives, B. anthracis has some activity outside of its vertebrate hosts. Here we show in the field that B. anthracis has significant interactions with a grass that could promote anthrax spore transmission to grazing hosts. Using a local, virulent strain of B. anthracis, we performed a field experiment in an enclosure within a grassland savanna. We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls. Further we detected significant effects of E. desvauxii, B. anthracis, and their interaction on soil bacterial taxa richness and community composition. We did not find any evidence for multiplication or increased longevity of B. anthracis in bulk soil associated with grass compared to controls. Instead interactions between B. anthracis and plants may result in increased host grazing and subsequently increased transmission to hosts.

  12. Genetic Characterization of Bacillus anthracis 17 JB strain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakineh Seyed-Mohamadi

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Bacillus anthracis is one of the most homogenous bacteria ever described. Bacillus anthracis 17JB is a laboratory strain. It is broadly used as a challenge strain in guinea pigs for potency test of anthrax vaccine.Material and Methods: This work describes genetic characterization of B. anthracis 17 JB strain using the SNPs and MLVA genotyping.Results and Conclusion: In SNPs typing, the originally French 17JB strain represented the A. Br. 008/009 subgroup. In Levy's genotyping method, 843, 451 and 864 bp long fragments were identified at AA03, AJ03 and AA07 loci, respectively. In the vaccine manufacturer perspective these findings are much valuable on their own account, but similar research is required to extend molecular knowledge of B. anthracis epidemiology in Persia.Keywords: Bacillus anthracis 17JB, Genetic characterization, SNPs typing

  13. Prognostic significance of numeric aberrations of genes for thymidylate synthase, thymidine phosphorylase and dihydrofolate reductase in colorectal cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Søren Astrup; Vainer, B.; Witton, C.J.

    2008-01-01

    ) in colorectal cancer, and to evaluate its prognostic significance following adjuvant chemotherapy, since these enzymes are closely related to efficacy of 5-fluorouracil (5FU). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Consecutive patients (n = 314), who were completely resected for colorectal cancer stages II-IV and adjuvantly...... treated with 5-FU were retrospectively evaluated. Paraffin embedded tumor specimens were assessed for gene copies per nucleus of TYMS, TP and DHFR by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) using specific peptide nucleic acid probes. Outcome according to gene copies per nucleus above and below...... 1.1-2.2; p = 0.02) and death (HR = 1.6; 95%CI 1.1-2.3; p = 0.01). No significant differences in outcome appeared according to TP and DHFR gene ratios. CONCLUSION: Aberration of TYMS gene is of significance to expression of TYMS, which may influence the biology and 5-FU sensitivity of colorectal...

  14. An inverted repeat motif stabilizes binding of E2F and enhances transcription of the dihydrofolate reductase gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wade, M; Blake, M C; Jambou, R C;

    1995-01-01

    and viral genes. This element, 5'-TTTCGCGCCAAA-3', is comprised of two overlapping, oppositely oriented sites which match the consensus E2F site (5'-TTT(C/G)(C/G)CGC-3'). Recent work has shown that E2F binding activity is composed of at least six related cellular polypeptides which are capable of forming...

  15. Functional analysis of Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase genes through stable transformation of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alyson M Auliff

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of drug resistance in Plasmodium vivax have been difficult to study partially because of the difficulties in culturing the parasite in vitro. This hampers monitoring drug resistance and research to develop or evaluate new drugs. There is an urgent need for a novel method to study mechanisms of P. vivax drug resistance. In this paper we report the development and application of the first Plasmodium falciparum expression system to stably express P. vivax dhfr-ts alleles. We used the piggyBac transposition system for the rapid integration of wild-type, single mutant (117N and quadruple mutant (57L/58R/61M/117T pvdhfr-ts alleles into the P. falciparum genome. The majority (81% of the integrations occurred in non-coding regions of the genome; however, the levels of pvdhfr transcription driven by the P. falciparum dhfr promoter were not different between integrants of non-coding and coding regions. The integrated quadruple pvdhfr mutant allele was much less susceptible to antifolates than the wild-type and single mutant pvdhfr alleles. The resistance phenotype was stable without drug pressure. All the integrated clones were susceptible to the novel antifolate JPC-2067. Therefore, the piggyBac expression system provides a novel and important tool to investigate drug resistance mechanisms and gene functions in P. vivax.

  16. Functional analysis of Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase genes through stable transformation of Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auliff, Alyson M; Balu, Bharath; Chen, Nanhua; O'Neil, Michael T; Cheng, Qin; Adams, John H

    2012-01-01

    Mechanisms of drug resistance in Plasmodium vivax have been difficult to study partially because of the difficulties in culturing the parasite in vitro. This hampers monitoring drug resistance and research to develop or evaluate new drugs. There is an urgent need for a novel method to study mechanisms of P. vivax drug resistance. In this paper we report the development and application of the first Plasmodium falciparum expression system to stably express P. vivax dhfr-ts alleles. We used the piggyBac transposition system for the rapid integration of wild-type, single mutant (117N) and quadruple mutant (57L/58R/61M/117T) pvdhfr-ts alleles into the P. falciparum genome. The majority (81%) of the integrations occurred in non-coding regions of the genome; however, the levels of pvdhfr transcription driven by the P. falciparum dhfr promoter were not different between integrants of non-coding and coding regions. The integrated quadruple pvdhfr mutant allele was much less susceptible to antifolates than the wild-type and single mutant pvdhfr alleles. The resistance phenotype was stable without drug pressure. All the integrated clones were susceptible to the novel antifolate JPC-2067. Therefore, the piggyBac expression system provides a novel and important tool to investigate drug resistance mechanisms and gene functions in P. vivax.

  17. Response of Plasmodium falciparum to cotrimoxazole therapy: relationship with plasma drug concentrations and dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase genotypes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khalil, Insaf F; Rønn, Anita M; Alifrangis, Michael;

    2005-01-01

    , MSP-1, MSP-2, and glutamate-rich protein before treatment and upon recrudescence showed that all recurring parasites were recrudescences. The plasma levels of TRM, AcSMX, and SMX indicated adequate drug absorption in all patients. This suggests parasite resistance as a cause of treatment failure...... treatment and at days 3, 7, and 14 or upon recrudescence to ascertain drug absorption. Forty patients (89%) had an adequate clinical response, one patient (2%) had an early treatment failure response, while four patients (8%) showed late treatment failure responses. Genotyping of merozoite surface protein 1....... The presence of dhfr Ile 51 and Asn 108 alone or coupled with dhps Ala-436 among parasites that were cleared after treatment indicates that these alleles alone are insufficient to cause in vivo resistance. However, the presence of the triple mutant dhfr (Ile-51/Arg-59/Asn-108) with the dhps Gly-437 genotype...

  18. Real-Time PCR Identification of Unique Bacillus anthracis Sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cieślik, P; Knap, J; Kolodziej, M; Mirski, T; Joniec, J; Graniak, G; Zakowska, D; Winnicka, I; Bielawska-Drózd, A

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming, Gram-positive microorganism. It is a causative agent of anthrax, a highly infectious disease. It belongs to the "Bacillus cereus group", which contains other closely related species, including Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus mycoides, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, and Bacillus pseudomycoides. B. anthracis naturally occurs in soil environments. The BA5345 genetic marker was used for highly specific detection of B. anthracis with TaqMan probes. The detection limit of a real-time PCR assay was estimated at the level of 16.9 copies (CI95% - 37.4 to 37.86, SD = 0.2; SE = 0.118). Oligonucleotides designed for the targeted sequences (within the tested locus) revealed 100 % homology to B. anthracis strain reference sequences deposited in the database (NCBI) and high specificity to all tested B. anthracis strains. Additional in silico analysis of plasmid markers pag and cap genes with B. anthracis strains included in the database was carried out. Our study clearly indicates that the BA5345 marker can be used with success as a chromosomal marker in routine identification of B. anthracis; moreover, detection of plasmid markers indicates virulence of the examined strains.

  19. Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-30

    2010 31-May-2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: (Life Science Division/Biochemistry) Inactivation of Bacillus ...S) AND ADDRESS (ES) U.S. Army Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 Bacillus Anthracis, Spores, Biofilm, Inhibition...Biochemistry) Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes Report Title The Specific Aims of the project were to investigate: 1) the

  20. Cortex Peptidoglycan Lytic Activity in Germinating Bacillus anthracis Spores▿

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    Bacterial endospore dormancy and resistance properties depend on the relative dehydration of the spore core, which is maintained by the spore membrane and its surrounding cortex peptidoglycan wall. During spore germination, the cortex peptidoglycan is rapidly hydrolyzed by lytic enzymes packaged into the dormant spore. The peptidoglycan structures in both dormant and germinating Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores were analyzed. The B. anthracis dormant spore peptidoglycan was similar to that fo...

  1. Phosphate starvation enhances the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Somya; Somani, Vikas Kumar; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-09-01

    Identifying the factors responsible for survival and virulence of Bacillus anthracis within the host is prerequisite for the development of therapeutics against anthrax. Host provides several stresses as well as many advantages to the invading pathogen. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) starvation within the host has been considered as one of the major contributing factors in the establishment of infection by pathogenic microorganisms. Here, we report for the first time that Pi fluctuation encountered by B. anthracis at different stages of its life cycle within the host, contributes significantly in its pathogenesis. In this study, Pi starvation was found to hasten the onset of infection cycle by promoting spore germination. After germination, it was found to impede cell growth. In addition, phosphate starved bacilli showed more antibiotic tolerance. Interestingly, phosphate starvation enhanced the pathogenicity of B. anthracis by augmenting its invasiveness in macrophages in vitro. B. anthracis grown under phosphate starvation were also found to be more efficient in establishing lethal infections in mouse model as well. Phosphate starvation increased B. anthracis virulence by promoting the secretion of primary virulence factors like protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). Thus, this study affirms that besides other host mediated factors, phosphate limitation may also contribute B. anthracis for successfully establishing itself within the host. This study is a step forward in delineating its pathophysiology that might help in understanding the pathogenesis of anthrax.

  2. Simple detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by precipitation method with goat antibody anti anthrosa

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Background: Bacillus anthracis has a potential for biological weapon or bioterorism. Attack of Bacillus anthracis is very fatal, and the distribution is very easy and cheap through the spores. The aim of this was study to detect the spores of Bacillus anthracis. Methods: Bacillus anthracis isolates were grown on serum agar and then sheep blood medium, to stimulate capsule formation. Spores which formed painted using the method of Schaefer and Fultton. The methods of precipitation and immun...

  3. Nano-Mechanical Properties of Heat Inactivated Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    NANO-MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HEAT INACTIVATED BACILLUS ANTHRACIS AND BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS ...GAP/ENP/08-M07 NANO-MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HEAT INACTIVATED BACILLUS ANTHRACIS AND BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS SPORES THESIS...AFIT/GAP/ENP/08-M07 NANO-MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF HEAT INACTIVATED BACILLUS ANTHRACIS AND BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS SPORES Jessica

  4. Wide Area Recovery and Resiliency Program (WARRP) Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-01

    Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis July 2012...WARRP) Interim Clearance Strategy for Environments Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT...contains color images. 14. ABSTRACT If a Bacillus anthracis incident occurs in the United States or within its territories, the public health and

  5. Novel giant siphovirus from Bacillus anthracis features unusual genome characteristics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly H Ganz

    Full Text Available Here we present vB_BanS-Tsamsa, a novel temperate phage isolated from Bacillus anthracis, the agent responsible for anthrax infections in wildlife, livestock and humans. Tsamsa phage is a giant siphovirus (order Caudovirales, featuring a long, flexible and non-contractile tail of 440 nm (not including baseplate structure and an isometric head of 82 nm in diameter. We induced Tsamsa phage in samples from two different carcass sites in Etosha National Park, Namibia. The Tsamsa phage genome is the largest sequenced Bacillus siphovirus, containing 168,876 bp and 272 ORFs. The genome features an integrase/recombinase enzyme, indicative of a temperate lifestyle. Among bacterial strains tested, the phage infected only certain members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group (B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis and exhibited moderate specificity for B. anthracis. Tsamsa lysed seven out of 25 B. cereus strains, two out of five B. thuringiensis strains and six out of seven B. anthracis strains tested. It did not lyse B. anthracis PAK-1, an atypical strain that is also resistant to both gamma phage and cherry phage. The Tsamsa endolysin features a broader lytic spectrum than the phage host range, indicating possible use of the enzyme in Bacillus biocontrol.

  6. Novel giant siphovirus from Bacillus anthracis features unusual genome characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganz, Holly H; Law, Christina; Schmuki, Martina; Eichenseher, Fritz; Calendar, Richard; Loessner, Martin J; Getz, Wayne M; Korlach, Jonas; Beyer, Wolfgang; Klumpp, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    Here we present vB_BanS-Tsamsa, a novel temperate phage isolated from Bacillus anthracis, the agent responsible for anthrax infections in wildlife, livestock and humans. Tsamsa phage is a giant siphovirus (order Caudovirales), featuring a long, flexible and non-contractile tail of 440 nm (not including baseplate structure) and an isometric head of 82 nm in diameter. We induced Tsamsa phage in samples from two different carcass sites in Etosha National Park, Namibia. The Tsamsa phage genome is the largest sequenced Bacillus siphovirus, containing 168,876 bp and 272 ORFs. The genome features an integrase/recombinase enzyme, indicative of a temperate lifestyle. Among bacterial strains tested, the phage infected only certain members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group (B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis) and exhibited moderate specificity for B. anthracis. Tsamsa lysed seven out of 25 B. cereus strains, two out of five B. thuringiensis strains and six out of seven B. anthracis strains tested. It did not lyse B. anthracis PAK-1, an atypical strain that is also resistant to both gamma phage and cherry phage. The Tsamsa endolysin features a broader lytic spectrum than the phage host range, indicating possible use of the enzyme in Bacillus biocontrol.

  7. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin reduces human alveolar epithelial barrier function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin; Metcalf, Jordan Patrick

    2012-12-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness.

  8. Bacillus anthracis Factors for Phagosomal Escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Zornetta

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism of phagosome escape by intracellular pathogens is an important step in the infectious cycle. During the establishment of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis undergoes a transient intracellular phase in which spores are engulfed by local phagocytes. Spores germinate inside phagosomes and grow to vegetative bacilli, which emerge from their resident intracellular compartments, replicate and eventually exit from the plasma membrane. During germination, B. anthracis secretes multiple factors that can help its resistance to the phagocytes. Here the possible role of B. anthracis toxins, phospholipases, antioxidant enzymes and capsules in the phagosomal escape and survival, is analyzed and compared with that of factors of other microbial pathogens involved in the same type of process.

  9. Genetic variation and linkage disequilibrium in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwick, Michael E; Thomason, Maureen Kiley; Chen, Peter E; Johnson, Henry R; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga; Mateczun, Alfred; Read, Timothy D

    2011-01-01

    We performed whole-genome amplification followed by hybridization of custom-designed resequencing arrays to resequence 303 kb of genomic sequence from a worldwide panel of 39 Bacillus anthracis strains. We used an efficient algorithm contained within a custom software program, UniqueMER, to identify and mask repetitive sequences on the resequencing array to reduce false-positive identification of genetic variation, which can arise from cross-hybridization. We discovered a total of 240 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and showed that B. anthracis strains have an average of 2.25 differences per 10,000 bases in the region we resequenced. Common SNVs in this region are found to be in complete linkage disequilibrium. These patterns of variation suggest there has been little if any historical recombination among B. anthracis strains since the origin of the pathogen. This pattern of common genetic variation suggests a framework for recognizing new or genetically engineered strains.

  10. Use of long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR to differentiate Bacillus anthracis strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumlik, M J; Szymajda, U; Zakowska, D; Liang, X; Redkar, R J; Patra, G; Del Vecchio, V G

    2001-07-01

    The genome of Bacillus anthracis is extremely monomorphic, and thus individual strains have often proven to be recalcitrant to differentiation at the molecular level. Long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (LR REP-PCR) was used to differentiate various B. anthracis strains. A single PCR primer derived from a repetitive DNA element was able to amplify variable segments of a bacterial genome as large as 10 kb. We were able to characterize five genetically distinct groups by examining 105 B. anthracis strains of diverse geographical origins. All B. anthracis strains produced fingerprints comprising seven to eight bands, referred to as "skeleton" bands, while one to three "diagnostic" bands differentiated between B. anthracis strains. LR REP-PCR fingerprints of B. anthracis strains showed very little in common with those of other closely related species such as B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. mycoides, suggesting relative heterogeneity among the non-B. anthracis strains. Fingerprints from transitional non-B. anthracis strains, which possessed the B. anthracis chromosomal marker Ba813, scarcely resembled those observed for any of the five distinct B. anthracis groups that we have identified. The LR REP-PCR method described in this report provides a simple means of differentiating B. anthracis strains.

  11. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like Attenuated Toxigenic Nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne in Rabbits and Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-01

    Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like...G9241 for mice requires the presence of both plasmids. The Bacillus cereus group, of which Bacillus anthracis, Bacil- lus thuringiensis , and B... Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like Attenuated Toxigenic Nonencapsulated B

  12. Immunoproteomically identified GBAA_0345, alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C is a potential target for multivalent anthrax vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yeon Hee; Kim, Kyung Ae; Kim, Yu-Ri; Choi, Min Kyung; Kim, Hye Kyeong; Choi, Ki Ju; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Cha, Kiweon; Hong, Kee-Jong; Lee, Na Gyong; Yoo, Cheon-Kwon; Oh, Hee-Bok; Kim, Tae Sung; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which has been used as a weapon for bioterrorism. Although current vaccines are effective, they involve prolonged dose regimens and often cause adverse reactions. High rates of mortality associated with anthrax have made the development of an improved vaccine a top priority. To identify novel vaccine candidates, we applied an immunoproteomics approach. Using sera from convalescent guinea pigs or from human patients with anthrax, we identified 34 immunogenic proteins from the virulent B. anthracis H9401. To evaluate vaccine candidates, six were expressed as recombinant proteins and tested in vivo. Two proteins, rGBAA_0345 (alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C) and rGBAA_3990 (malonyl CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase), have afforded guinea pigs partial protection from a subsequent virulent-spore challenge. Moreover, combined vaccination with rGBAA_0345 and rPA (protective antigen) exhibited an enhanced ability to protect against anthrax mortality. Finally, we demonstrated that GBAA_0345 localizes to anthrax spores and bacilli. Our results indicate that rGBAA_0345 may be a potential component of a multivalent anthrax vaccine, as it enhances the efficacy of rPA vaccination. This is the first time that sera from patients with anthrax have been used to interrogate the proteome of virulent B. anthracis vegetative cells.

  13. Novel and unique diagnostic biomarkers for Bacillus anthracis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sela-Abramovich, Sagit; Chitlaru, Theodor; Gat, Orit; Grosfeld, Haim; Cohen, Ofer; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2009-10-01

    A search for bacterium-specific biomarkers in peripheral blood following infection with Bacillus anthracis was carried out with rabbits, using a battery of specific antibodies generated by DNA vaccination against 10 preselected highly immunogenic bacterial antigens which were identified previously by a genomic/proteomic/serologic screen of the B. anthracis secretome. Detection of infection biomarkers in the circulation of infected rabbits could be achieved only after removal of highly abundant serum proteins by chromatography using a random-ligand affinity column. Besides the toxin component protective antigen, the following three secreted proteins were detected in the circulation of infected animals: the chaperone and protease HtrA (BA3660), an NlpC/P60 endopeptidase (BA1952), and a protein of unknown function harboring two SH3 (Src homology 3) domains (BA0796). The three proteins could be detected in plasma samples from infected animals exhibiting 10(3) to 10(5) CFU/ml blood and also in standard blood cultures at 3 to 6 h post-bacterial inoculation at a bacteremic level as low as 10(3) CFU/ml. Furthermore, the three biomarkers appear to be present only in the secretome of B. anthracis, not in those of the related pathogens B. thuringiensis and B. cereus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of direct detection of B. anthracis-specific proteins, other than the toxin components, in the circulation of infected animals.

  14. A selective chromogenic agar that distinguishes Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juergensmeyer, Margaret A; Gingras, Bruce A; Restaino, Lawrence; Frampton, Elon W

    2006-08-01

    A selective and differential plating medium, R & F anthracis chromogenic agar (ACA), has been developed for isolating and identifying presumptive colonies of Bacillus anthracis. ACA contains the chromogenic substrate 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indoxyl-choline phosphate that upon hydrolysis yields teal (blue green) colonies indicating the presence of phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) activity. Among seven Bacillus species tested on ACA, only members of the Bacillus cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis) produced teal colonies (PC-PLC positive) having cream rings. Examination of colony morphology in 18 pure culture strains of B. anthracis (15 ATCC strains plus AMES-1-RIID, ANR-1, and AMED-RIID), with one exception, required 48 h at 35 to 37 degrees C for significant color production, whereas only 24 h was required for B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This differential rate of PC-PLC synthesis in B. anthracis (due to the truncated plcR gene and PlcR regulator in B. anthracis) allowed for the rapid differentiation on ACA of presumptive colonies of B. anthracis from B. cereus and B. thuringiensis in both pure and mixed cultures. Effective recovery of B. anthracis from a variety of matrices having both high (soil and sewage) and low microbial backgrounds (cloth, paper, and blood) spiked with B. anthracis ANR-1 spores suggests the probable utility of ACA plating for B. anthracis recovery in a diversity of applications.

  15. The function of PlcR in Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaolin, Jia; Dongshu, Wang; Zhiqi, Gao; Erling, Feng; Jiping, Zheng; Hengliang, Wang; Guiying, Guo; Xiankai, Liu

    2015-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, B. thuringiensis and B. cereus are members of the B. cereus group. They share high genetic similarity. Whereas plcR (Phospholipase C regulator) usually encodes a functional pleiotropic activator protein in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis isolates, a characteristic nonsense mutation is found in all B. anthracis strains investigated, making the gene dysfunctional. To study the function of PlcR in B. anthracis, we used the B. cereus CMCC63301 genome as a template and constructed a recombinant expression plasmid pBE2A-plcR, and introduced it into the B. anthracis vaccine strain A16R, and then analyzed the activity of the hemolysin and sphingomyelinase. The results showed that transformation of B. anthracis with plasmid pBE2A-plcR carrying the native B. cereus plcR gene active the expression of sphingomyelinase gene, but did not activate expression of hemolysin genes of B. anthracis A16R.

  16. Structure and reactivity of Trypanosoma brucei pteridine reductase: inhibition by the archetypal antifolate methotrexate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Alice; Gibellini, Federica; Sienkiewicz, Natasha; Tulloch, Lindsay B; Fyfe, Paul K; McLuskey, Karen; Fairlamb, Alan H; Hunter, William N

    2006-09-01

    The protozoan Trypanosoma brucei has a functional pteridine reductase (TbPTR1), an NADPH-dependent short-chain reductase that participates in the salvage of pterins, which are essential for parasite growth. PTR1 displays broad-spectrum activity with pterins and folates, provides a metabolic bypass for inhibition of the trypanosomatid dihydrofolate reductase and therefore compromises the use of antifolates for treatment of trypanosomiasis. Catalytic properties of recombinant TbPTR1 and inhibition by the archetypal antifolate methotrexate have been characterized and the crystal structure of the ternary complex with cofactor NADP+ and the inhibitor determined at 2.2 A resolution. This enzyme shares 50% amino acid sequence identity with Leishmania major PTR1 (LmPTR1) and comparisons show that the architecture of the cofactor binding site, and the catalytic centre are highly conserved, as are most interactions with the inhibitor. However, specific amino acid differences, in particular the placement of Trp221 at the side of the active site, and adjustment of the beta6-alpha6 loop and alpha6 helix at one side of the substrate-binding cleft significantly reduce the size of the substrate binding site of TbPTR1 and alter the chemical properties compared with LmPTR1. A reactive Cys168, within the active site cleft, in conjunction with the C-terminus carboxyl group and His267 of a partner subunit forms a triad similar to the catalytic component of cysteine proteases. TbPTR1 therefore offers novel structural features to exploit in the search for inhibitors of therapeutic value against African trypanosomiasis.

  17. Achieving Consistent Multiple Daily Low-Dose Bacillus anthracis Spore Inhalation Exposures in the Rabbit Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-13

    daily low-dose Bacillus anthracis spore inhalation exposures in the rabbit model Roy E. Barnewall 1, Jason E. Comer 1, Brian D. Miller 1, BradfordW...multiple exposure days. Keywords: Bacillus anthracis , inhalation exposures, low-dose, subchronic exposures, spores, anthrax, aerosol system INTRODUCTION... Bacillus Anthracis Spore Inhalation Exposures In The Rabbit Model 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d

  18. Global gene expression by Bacillus anthracis during growth in mammalian blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Paul E; Bourgis, Alexandra E T; Hagan, Ada K; Hanna, Philip C

    2015-11-01

    During the late stages of systemic anthrax, Bacillus anthracis grows rapidly in the host bloodstream. To identify potential genes necessary for this observed rapid growth, we defined the transcriptional profile of B. anthracis during in vitro growth in bovine blood. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis indicated that B. anthracis undergoes significant changes in its transcriptome profile during growth in blood, including the differential regulation of genes associated both with metabolism and known virulence factors. Collectively, these data provide a framework for future studies identifying specific B. anthracis factors required for growth in the mammalian bloodstream.

  19. Isolated menthone reductase and nucleic acid molecules encoding same

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croteau, Rodney B; Davis, Edward M; Ringer, Kerry L

    2013-04-23

    The present invention provides isolated menthone reductase proteins, isolated nucleic acid molecules encoding menthone reductase proteins, methods for expressing and isolating menthone reductase proteins, and transgenic plants expressing elevated levels of menthone reductase protein.

  20. DECONTAMINATION ASSESSMENT OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS, AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACTS USING A HYDROGEN PERIOXIDE GAS GENERATOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aims: To evaluate the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface materials using hydrogen peroxide gas. Methods and Results: B. anthracis, B. subtilis, and G. Stearothermophilus spores were dried on seven...

  1. Photothermal spectroscopy of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus with microcantilevers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wig, Andrew G [ORNL; Arakawa, Edward T [ORNL; Passian, Ali [ORNL; Ferrell, Thomas L [ORNL; Thundat, Thomas George [ORNL

    2006-03-01

    Microcalorimetric optical and infrared spectroscopy is a method of determining the spectral absorption of small quantities of materials over a wide range of incident wavelengths. In this paper, the first spectroscopic results for microcantilevers coated with Bacillus anthracis (BA) are presented. These results, for B. anthracis from 2.5 to 14.5 {micro}m, are compared with results from microcantilevers coated with Bacillus cereus (BC) and standard spectroscopic absorption data. The results demonstrate strong correlation between the deflection measurements and the reference spectroscopic absorption peaks. An advantage of this microcantilever-based method over traditional spectroscopy is that much smaller amounts of material (nanogram quantities) can be detected in comparison with the milligram amounts needed for standard methods. Another advantage is that the complete system can be relatively small without sacrificing spectral resolution.

  2. Nanomechanical Characterization of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Atomic Force Microscopy

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The study of structures and properties of bacterial spores is important to understanding spore formation and biological responses to environmental stresses. While significant progress has been made over the years in elucidating the multilayer architecture of spores, the mechanical properties of the spore interior are not known. Here, we present a thermal atomic force microscopy (AFM) study of the nanomechanical properties of internal structures of Bacillus anthracis spores. We developed a nan...

  3. Microarray-based Resequencing of Multiple Bacillus anthracis Isolates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-12-17

    al.: Iden- tification of anthrax toxin genes in a Bacillus cereus associ- ated with an illness resembling inhalation anthrax. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA...Norwegian Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis soil isolates. Appl Environ Microbiol 2001, 67:4863-4873. 26. Radnedge L, Agron PG, Hill KK, Jackson PJ...Ticknor LO, Keim P, Andersen GL: Genome differences that distinguish Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis . Appl

  4. Genotype Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Strains Circulating in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Affuso, Alessia; Serrecchia, Luigina; Rondinone, Valeria; Manzulli, Viviana; Campese, Emanuele; Di Taranto, Pietro; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Fasanella, Antonio; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2016-01-01

    In Bangladesh, anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is considered an endemic disease affecting ruminants with sporadic zoonotic occurrences in humans. Due to the lack of knowledge about risks from an incorrect removal of infected carcasses, the disease is not properly monitored, and because of the socio-economic conditions, the situation is under-reported and under-diagnosed. For sensitive species, anthrax represents a fatal outcome with sudden death and sometimes bleeding from natural orifices. The most common source of infection for ruminants is ingestion of spores during grazing in contaminated pastures or through grass and water contaminated with anthrax spores. Domestic cattle, sheep and goats can also become infected through contaminated bone meal (used as feed) originating from anthrax-infected carcasses. The present investigation was conducted to isolate B. anthracis organisms from 169 samples (73 soil, 1 tissue, 4 bone and 91 bone meal samples) collected from 12 different districts of Bangladesh. The sampling was carried out from 2012 to 2015. Twelve samples resulted positive for B. anthracis. Biomolecular analyses were conducted starting from the Canonical Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (CanSNP) to analyze the phylogenetic origin of strains. The analysis of genotype, obtained through the Multiple Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) with the analysis of 15 Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR), demonstrated four different genotypes: two of them were previously identified in the district of Sirajganj. The sub-genotyping, conducted with Single Nucleotide Repeats analysis, revealed the presence of eight subgenotypes. The data of the present study concluded that there was no observed correlation between imported cattle feed and anthrax occurrence in Bangladesh and that the remarkable genetic variations of B. anthracis were found in the soil of numerous outbreaks in this country.

  5. Cloning and Expressing Recombinant Protective Antigen Domains of B. anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-01

    Army Research Laboratory: 2010; p 19. 18. Sambrook, J.; Fritsch, E. F.; Maniatis , T. Molecular Cloning : A Laboratory Manual. 2nd ed.; Cold Spring...on a rotating platform until not viscous (adapted from Molecular Cloning : A Laboratory Manual) (18). Each solution was centrifuged at 45,000 x g for... Cloning and Expressing Recombinant Protective Antigen Domains of B. anthracis by Deborah A. Sarkes, Joshua M. Kogot, Irene Val-Addo

  6. Setting risk-informed environmental standards for Bacillus anthracis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L; Ward, Nicholas F Dudley

    2010-10-01

    In many cases, human health risk from biological agents is associated with aerosol exposures. Because air concentrations decline rapidly after a release, it may be necessary to use concentrations found in other environmental media to infer future or past aerosol exposures. This article presents an approach for linking environmental concentrations of Bacillus. anthracis (B. anthracis) spores on walls, floors, ventilation system filters, and in human nasal passages with human health risk from exposure to B. anthracis spores. This approach is then used to calculate example values of risk-informed concentration standards for both retrospective risk mitigation (e.g., prophylactic antibiotics) and prospective risk mitigation (e.g., environmental clean up and reoccupancy). A large number of assumptions are required to calculate these values, and the resulting values have large uncertainties associated with them. The values calculated here suggest that documenting compliance with risks in the range of 10(-4) to 10(-6) would be challenging for small diameter (respirable) spore particles. For less stringent risk targets and for releases of larger diameter particles (which are less respirable and hence less hazardous), environmental sampling would be more promising.

  7. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Edmonds

    Full Text Available The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening.

  8. Molecular characterization of the circulating Bacillus anthracis in Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aqel, Amin Abdelfattah; Hailat, Ekhlas; Serrecchia, Luigina; Aqel, Suad; Campese, Emanuele; Vicari, Nadia; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-12-01

    To understand the biomolecular charcteristics of Bacillus anthracis in Jordan, 20 blood smear slides from dead animals with suspected anthrax were analyzed using conventional and molecular approaches. All slides were positive for B. anthracis by conventional staining but no growth of the organism on selective media was detected. However, of the 20 samples, 16 were B. anthracis DNA-positive using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Seven samples provided enough quantity and quality of DNA, and their multilocus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA)-15 loci analysis revealed two different genotypes. All genotypes were belonging to A.B..r. 008/009 which is very common in Asia and Europe. Single nucleotide repeat (SNR) analysis revealed that there were no sub genotypes. Molecular diagnosis of animal anthrax in Jordan is not used routinely; henceforth, official diagnosis of anthrax is based on the observation of the slides by optical microscope and this can often cause reading errors. Therefore, the prevalence of the disease in Jordan might be slightly lower than that reported by the official bodies.

  9. The Bacillus anthracis Exosporium: What's the Big "Hairy" Deal?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozue, Joel A; Welkos, Susan; Cote, Christopher K

    2015-10-01

    In some Bacillus species, including Bacillus subtilis, the coat is the outermost layer of the spore. In others, such as the Bacillus cereus family, there is an additional layer that envelops the coat, called the exosporium. In the case of Bacillus anthracis, a series of fine hair-like projections, also referred to as a "hairy" nap, extends from the exosporium basal layer. The exact role of the exosporium in B. anthracis, or for any of the Bacillus species possessing this structure, remains unclear. However, it has been assumed that the exosporium would play some role in infection for B. anthracis, because it is the outermost structure of the spore and would make initial contact with host and immune cells during infection. Therefore, the exosporium has been a topic of great interest, and over the past decade much progress has been made to understand its composition, biosynthesis, and potential roles. Several key aspects of this spore structure, however, are still debated and remain undetermined. Although insights have been gained on the interaction of exosporium with the host during infection, the exact role and significance of this complex structure remain to be determined. Furthermore, because the exosporium is a highly antigenic structure, future strategies for the next-generation anthrax vaccine should pursue its inclusion as a component to provide protection against the spore itself during the initial stages of anthrax.

  10. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  11. Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Immunoassay for Detection and Subsequent Recovery of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacillus anthracis is considered a major threat as an agent of bioterrorism. B. anthracis spores are readily dispersed as aerosols, are very persistent, and are resistant to normal disinfection treatments. Immunoassays have been developed to rapidly detect B. anthracis spores at high concentration...

  12. Trametes versicolor carboxylate reductase uncovered

    OpenAIRE

    Winkler, Margit; Winkler, Christoph K.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The first carboxylate reductase from Trametes versicolor was identified, cloned, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The enzyme reduces aromatic acids such as benzoic acid and derivatives, cinnamic acid, and 3-phenylpropanoic acid, but also aliphatic acids such as octanoic acid are reduced. Graphical abstract

  13. Genome Sequence of the Soviet/Russian Bacillus anthracis Vaccine Strain 55-VNIIVViM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotorashvili, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis strain 55-VNIIVViM is a live-attenuated nonencapsulated Soviet/Russian veterinary anthrax vaccine strain. We report here the genome of 55-VNIIVViM and confirm its phylogenetic placement in the global population structure of B. anthracis. PMID:28007853

  14. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B. Thuringiensis isolates closely related to Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, C S; Xie, G; Challacombe, J F; Altherr, M R; Bhotika, S S; Bruce, D; Campbell, C S; Campbell, M L; Chen, J; Chertkov, O; Cleland, C; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M; Doggett, N A; Fawcett, J J; Glavina, T; Goodwin, L A; Hill, K K; Hitchcock, P; Jackson, P J; Keim, P; Kewalramani, A R; Longmire, J; Lucas, S; Malfatti, S; McMurry, K; Meincke, L J; Misra, M; Moseman, B L; Mundt, M; Munk, A C; Okinaka, R T; Parson-Quintana, B; Reilly, L P; Richardson, P; Robinson, D L; Rubin, E; Saunders, E; Tapia, R; Tesmer, J G; Thayer, N; Thompson, L S; Tice, H; Ticknor, L O; Wills, P L; Gilna, P; Brettin, T S

    2005-10-12

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including B anthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  15. Nitrate Reductase: Properties and Regulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Nitrate Reductase (NR) is a rating-limit and key enzyme of nitrate assimilation in plants ,so ,NR activity is important for growth,development and the dry matter accumulation of plants. The regulation of NR activity appears to be rather complex and many studies have been devoted to the description of regulation and properties,but in this paper we focus on the properties and regulation of NR in higher plants.

  16. A novel multiplex PCR discriminates Bacillus anthracis and its genetically related strains from other Bacillus cereus group species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirohito Ogawa

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an important zoonotic disease worldwide that is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. A rapid and sensitive method to detect B. anthracis is important for anthrax risk management and control in animal cases to address public health issues. However, it has recently become difficult to identify B. anthracis by using previously reported molecular-based methods because of the emergence of B. cereus, which causes severe extra-intestinal infection, as well as the human pathogenic B. thuringiensis, both of which are genetically related to B. anthracis. The close genetic relation of chromosomal backgrounds has led to complexity of molecular-based diagnosis. In this study, we established a B. anthracis multiplex PCR that can screen for the presence of B. anthracis virulent plasmids and differentiate B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group species. Six sets of primers targeting a chromosome of B. anthracis and B. anthracis-like strains, two virulent plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, a bacterial gene, 16S rRNA gene, and a mammalian gene, actin-beta gene, were designed. The multiplex PCR detected approximately 3.0 CFU of B. anthracis DNA per PCR reaction and was sensitive to B. anthracis. The internal control primers also detected all bacterial and mammalian DNAs examined, indicating the practical applicability of this assay as it enables monitoring of appropriate amplification. The assay was also applied for detection of clinical strains genetically related to B. anthracis, which were B. cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infections in Japan, and field strains isolated in Zambia, and the assay differentiated B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group strains. Taken together, the results indicate that the newly developed multiplex PCR is a sensitive and practical method for detecting B. anthracis.

  17. A novel multiplex PCR discriminates Bacillus anthracis and its genetically related strains from other Bacillus cereus group species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Hirohito; Fujikura, Daisuke; Ohnuma, Miyuki; Ohnishi, Naomi; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mimuro, Hitomi; Ezaki, Takayuki; Mweene, Aaron S; Higashi, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is an important zoonotic disease worldwide that is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. A rapid and sensitive method to detect B. anthracis is important for anthrax risk management and control in animal cases to address public health issues. However, it has recently become difficult to identify B. anthracis by using previously reported molecular-based methods because of the emergence of B. cereus, which causes severe extra-intestinal infection, as well as the human pathogenic B. thuringiensis, both of which are genetically related to B. anthracis. The close genetic relation of chromosomal backgrounds has led to complexity of molecular-based diagnosis. In this study, we established a B. anthracis multiplex PCR that can screen for the presence of B. anthracis virulent plasmids and differentiate B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group species. Six sets of primers targeting a chromosome of B. anthracis and B. anthracis-like strains, two virulent plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, a bacterial gene, 16S rRNA gene, and a mammalian gene, actin-beta gene, were designed. The multiplex PCR detected approximately 3.0 CFU of B. anthracis DNA per PCR reaction and was sensitive to B. anthracis. The internal control primers also detected all bacterial and mammalian DNAs examined, indicating the practical applicability of this assay as it enables monitoring of appropriate amplification. The assay was also applied for detection of clinical strains genetically related to B. anthracis, which were B. cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infections in Japan, and field strains isolated in Zambia, and the assay differentiated B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group strains. Taken together, the results indicate that the newly developed multiplex PCR is a sensitive and practical method for detecting B. anthracis.

  18. Nitric Oxide as a Regulator of B. anthracis Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serguei G Popov

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO is a key physiological regulator in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. It can cause a variety of biological effects by reacting with its targets or/and indirectly inducing oxidative stress. NO can also be produced by bacteria including the pathogenic B. anthracis; however its role in the infectious process only begins to emerge. NO incapacitates macrophages by S-nitrosylating the intracellular proteins and protects B. anthracis from oxidative stress. It is also implicated in the formation of toxic peroxynitrite. In this study we further assessed the effects of B. anthracis NO produced by the NO synthase (bNOS on bacterial metabolism and host cells in experiments with the bNOS knockout Sterne strain. The mutation abrogated accumulation of nitrite and nitrate as tracer products of NO in the culture medium and markedly attenuated growth in both aerobic and microaerobic conditions. The regulatory role of NO was also suggested by the abnormally high rate of nitrate denitrification by the mutant in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic regulation mediated by NO was reflected in reduced fermentation of glucose by the mutant correlating with the reduced toxicity of bacteria toward host cells in culture. The toxic effect of NO required permeabilization of the target cells as well as the activity of fermentation-derived metabolite in the conditions of reduced pH. The host cells demonstrated increased phosphorylation of major survivor protein kinase AKT correlating with reduced toxicity of the mutant in comparison with Sterne. Our global proteomic analysis of lymph from the lymph nodes of infected mice harboring bacteria revealed numerous changes in the pattern and levels of proteins associated with the activity of bNOS influencing key cell physiological processes relevant to energy metabolism, growth, signal transduction, stress response, septic shock and homeostasis. This is the first in vivo observation of the bacterial NO effect on the

  19. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacillus anthracis strains from Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Sulyok, Kinga Mária; Makrai, László; Rónai, Zsuzsanna; Fodor, László; Jánosi, Szilárd; Gyuranecz, Miklós

    2016-06-01

    The susceptibility of 29 Bacillus anthracis strains, collected in Hungary between 1933 and 2014, was tested to 10 antibiotics with commercially available minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) test strips. All strains were susceptible to amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, doxycycline, gentamicin, penicillin, rifampicin, and vancomycin. Intermediate susceptibility to erythromycin and cefotaxime was detected in 17.2% (5/29) and 58.6% (17/29) of the strains, respectively. Correlations were not observed between the isolation date, location, host species, genotype, and antibiotic susceptibility profile of strains.

  20. Dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase genotypes associated with in vitro resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to pyrimethamine, trimethoprim, sulfadoxine, and sulfamethoxazole

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khalil, Insaf; Rønn, Anita M; Alifrangis, Michael;

    2003-01-01

    with PYR and TRM drug responses (r = 0.93 and 0.85). Isolates with wild-type alleles showed mean half inhibitory concentrations (IC50 +/- SD) of 0.10 +/- 0.10 and 0.15 +/- 0.06 microg/100 microl for PYR and TRM. Parasites with mutations at codons 108 and 51 alone or combined with codon 59 have IC50 of 11.......46 +/- 0.86 (PYR) and 2.90 +/- 0.59 microg/100 microl (TRM). For both drugs, the differences in the mean IC50 between wild and mutant parasites were statistically significant (P

  1. Pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine combination in the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria: relation between dihydropteroate synthase/dihydrofolate reductase genotypes, sulfadoxine plasma levels, and treatment outcome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khalil, Insaf; Alifrangis, Michael; Rønn, Anita M;

    2002-01-01

    in relation to the frequency of dhfr and dhps mutations in 37 Plasmodium falciparum isolates sampled before treatment. Plasma levels of SDX measured at days 0, 3, 7, and 14 ascertained drug absorption. Point mutations were detected only at codons 51 and 108 of dhfr and codon 436 of dhps. The frequency of dhfr...... 51/108 and dhps 436 mutations was 79% and 8%. The plasma levels of SDX indicated adequate drug absorption by all patients. The presence of Ile 51 and Asn 108 mutations among parasites that cleared after treatment indicates that these mutations alone are insufficient to cause in vivo resistance......Several in vitro studies have shown the correlation between mutations in dhfr and dhps genes and resistance to pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine (PYR/SDX) combination, but the in vivo correlates of these mutations with PYR/ SDX efficacy have not been investigated fully. We assessed PYR/SDX efficacy...

  2. Identification of Bacillus anthracis specific chromosomal sequences by suppressive subtractive hybridization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redkar Rajendra

    2004-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus are closely related members of the B. cereus-group of bacilli. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH was used to identify specific chromosomal sequences unique to B. anthracis. Results Two SSH libraries were generated. Genomic DNA from plasmid-cured B. anthracis was used as the tester DNA in both libraries, while genomic DNA from either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis served as the driver DNA. Progressive screening of the libraries by colony filter and Southern blot analyses identified 29 different clones that were specific for the B. anthracis chromosome relative not only to the respective driver DNAs, but also to seven other different strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis included in the process. The nucleotide sequences of the clones were compared with those found in genomic databases, revealing that over half of the clones were located into 2 regions on the B. anthracis chromosome. Conclusions Genes encoding potential cell wall synthesis proteins dominated one region, while bacteriophage-related sequences dominated the other region. The latter supports the hypothesis that acquisition of these bacteriophage sequences occurred during or after speciation of B. anthracis relative to B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This study provides insight into the chromosomal differences between B. anthracis and its closest phylogenetic relatives.

  3. Fatty acyl-CoA reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reiser, Steven E.; Somerville, Chris R.

    1998-12-01

    The present invention relates to bacterial enzymes, in particular to an acyl-CoA reductase and a gene encoding an acyl-CoA reductase, the amino acid and nucleic acid sequences corresponding to the reductase polypeptide and gene, respectively, and to methods of obtaining such enzymes, amino acid sequences and nucleic acid sequences. The invention also relates to the use of such sequences to provide transgenic host cells capable of producing fatty alcohols and fatty aldehydes.

  4. Characterization of the sortase repertoire in Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willy Aucher

    Full Text Available LPXTG proteins, present in most if not all Gram-positive bacteria, are known to be anchored by sortases to the bacterial peptidoglycan. More than one sortase gene is often encoded in a bacterial species, and each sortase is supposed to specifically anchor given LPXTG proteins, depending of the sequence of the C-terminal cell wall sorting signal (cwss, bearing an LPXTG motif or another recognition sequence. B. anthracis possesses three sortase genes. B. anthracis sortase deleted mutant strains are not affected in their virulence. To determine the sortase repertoires, we developed a genetic screen using the property of the gamma phage to lyse bacteria only when its receptor, GamR, an LPXTG protein, is exposed at the surface. We identified 10 proteins that contain a cell wall sorting signal and are covalently anchored to the peptidoglycan. Some chimeric proteins yielded phage lysis in all sortase mutant strains, suggesting that cwss proteins remained surface accessible in absence of their anchoring sortase, probably as a consequence of membrane localization of yet uncleaved precursor proteins. For definite assignment of the sortase repertoires, we consequently relied on a complementary test, using a biochemical approach, namely immunoblot experiments. The sortase anchoring nine of these proteins has thus been determined. The absence of virulence defect of the sortase mutants could be a consequence of the membrane localization of the cwss proteins.

  5. Development of internal controls for PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brightwell, G; Pearce, M; Leslie, D

    1998-12-01

    This work describes the development and evaluation of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Bacillus anthracis strains harbouring plasmid pX02. The multiplex also incorporated an internal control (IC) to avoid false negative reactions. Internal controls consisted of plasmids containing modified PCR target sequences, corresponding to the capC and BA813 genes of B. anthracis, which were then co-amplified with the original target sequences using the same set of amplimers. The initial IC construct comprised of an internally deleted form of the genomic target sequence cloned into pUC19. A series of nested DNA fragments corresponding to the 23S rRNA sequences of Bacillus cereus were then subcloned into the point of deletion, producing a number of IC constructs with similar sequences but increasing product size on PCR amplification. Neither the presence of IC DNA template or IC PCR product size affected the specificity or non-specific cross-reactivity of the original PCR assay. The concentration of IC was critical, too much IC DNA template would out compete the genomic DNA template, thus giving a false negative result. However, when the concentration of IC was optimal assay sensitivity was not compromised.

  6. [Bacillus anthracis: a molecular look at a famous pathogen].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavan, María E; Pettinari, María J; Cairó, Fabián; Pavan, Esteban E; Cataldi, Angel A

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive rod belonging to the Bacillus cereus group, has an extremely monomorphic genome, and presents high structural and physiological similarity with B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In this work, the new molecular methods for the identification and typing of B. anthracis developed in the last years, based on variable number tandem repeats or on genetic differences detected through sequencing, are described. The molecular aspects of traditional virulence factors: capsule, protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor are described in depth, together with virulence factors recently proposed, such as the siderophores petrobactin and bacillibactin, the S-layer adhesin and the MntA lipoprotein. It is detailed the molecular organization of megaplasmids pXO1 and pXO2, including the pathogenicity island of pXO1. The genetic skeleton of these plasmids has been observed in related species, and this could be attributed to lateral gene transfer. Finally, the two anthrax toxin protective antigen receptors, ANTXR1/TEM8 and ANTXR2/CMG2, essential for the interaction of the pathogen with the host, are presented. The molecular studies performed in recent years have greatly increased knowledge in different aspects of this microorganism and its relationship with the host, but at the same time they have raised new questions about this noted pathogen.

  7. Bacillus anthracis genome organization in light of whole transcriptome sequencing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Jeffrey; Zhu, Wenhan; Passalacqua, Karla D.; Bergman, Nicholas; Borodovsky, Mark

    2010-03-22

    Emerging knowledge of whole prokaryotic transcriptomes could validate a number of theoretical concepts introduced in the early days of genomics. What are the rules connecting gene expression levels with sequence determinants such as quantitative scores of promoters and terminators? Are translation efficiency measures, e.g. codon adaptation index and RBS score related to gene expression? We used the whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing of a bacterial pathogen Bacillus anthracis to assess correlation of gene expression level with promoter, terminator and RBS scores, codon adaptation index, as well as with a new measure of gene translational efficiency, average translation speed. We compared computational predictions of operon topologies with the transcript borders inferred from RNA-Seq reads. Transcriptome mapping may also improve existing gene annotation. Upon assessment of accuracy of current annotation of protein-coding genes in the B. anthracis genome we have shown that the transcriptome data indicate existence of more than a hundred genes missing in the annotation though predicted by an ab initio gene finder. Interestingly, we observed that many pseudogenes possess not only a sequence with detectable coding potential but also promoters that maintain transcriptional activity.

  8. UV resistance of Bacillus anthracis spores revisited: validation of Bacillus subtilis spores as UV surrogates for spores of B. anthracis Sterne.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Wayne L; Galeano, Belinda

    2003-02-01

    Recent bioterrorism concerns have prompted renewed efforts towards understanding the biology of bacterial spore resistance to radiation with a special emphasis on the spores of Bacillus anthracis. A review of the literature revealed that B. anthracis Sterne spores may be three to four times more resistant to 254-nm-wavelength UV than are spores of commonly used indicator strains of Bacillus subtilis. To test this notion, B. anthracis Sterne spores were purified and their UV inactivation kinetics were determined in parallel with those of the spores of two indicator strains of B. subtilis, strains WN624 and ATCC 6633. When prepared and assayed under identical conditions, the spores of all three strains exhibited essentially identical UV inactivation kinetics. The data indicate that standard UV treatments that are effective against B. subtilis spores are likely also sufficient to inactivate B. anthracis spores and that the spores of standard B. subtilis strains could reliably be used as a biodosimetry model for the UV inactivation of B. anthracis spores.

  9. Selective detection of 1000 B. anthracis spores within 15 minutes using a peptide functionalized SERS assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Shende, Chetan; Smith, Wayne; Huang, Hermes; Inscore, Frank; Sengupta, Atanu; Sperry, Jay; Sickler, Todd; Prugh, Amber; Guicheteau, Jason

    2014-12-21

    A surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) assay has been designed to detect Bacillus anthracis spores. The assay consists of silver nanoparticles embedded in a porous glass structure that have been functionalized with ATYPLPIR, a peptide developed to discriminately bind B. anthracis versus other species of Bacillus. Once bound, acetic acid was used to release the biomarker dipicolinic acid from the spores, which was detected by SERS through the addition of silver colloids. This SERS assay was used to selectively bind B. anthracis with a 100-fold selectivity versus B. cereus, and to detect B. anthracis Ames at concentrations of 1000 spores per mL within 15 minutes. The SERS assay measurements provide a basis for the development of systems that can detect spores collected from the air or from water supplies.

  10. Colonic immune suppression, barrier dysfunction, and dysbiosis by gastrointestinal bacillus anthracis Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaíma L Lightfoot

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal (GI anthrax results from the ingestion of Bacillus anthracis. Herein, we investigated the pathogenesis of GI anthrax in animals orally infected with toxigenic non-encapsulated B. anthracis Sterne strain (pXO1+ pXO2- spores that resulted in rapid animal death. B. anthracis Sterne induced significant breakdown of intestinal barrier function and led to gut dysbiosis, resulting in systemic dissemination of not only B. anthracis, but also of commensals. Disease progression significantly correlated with the deterioration of innate and T cell functions. Our studies provide critical immunologic and physiologic insights into the pathogenesis of GI anthrax infection, whereupon cleavage of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs in immune cells may play a central role in promoting dysfunctional immune responses against this deadly pathogen.

  11. FORMALDEHYDE GAS INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACE MATERIALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research evaluated the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface material using formaldehyde gas. Spores were dried on seven types of indoor surfaces and exposed to 1100 ppm formaldehyde gas for 10 hr. Fo...

  12. WalRK two component system of Bacillus anthracis responds to temperature and antibiotic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhiman, Alisha; Gopalani, Monisha; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-04-17

    WalRK Two Component System (TCS) of Bacillus anthracis forms a functional TCS. This report elaborates upon the WalRK genomic architecture, promoter structure, promoter activity and expression under various stress conditions in B. anthracis. 5' RACE located the WalRK functional promoter within 317 bp region upstream of WalR. Reporter gene assays demonstrated maximal promoter activity during early growth phases indicating utility in exponential stages of growth. qRT-PCR showed upregulation of WalRK transcripts during temperature and antibiotic stress. However, WalR overexpression did not affect the tested antibiotic MIC values in B. anthracis. Collectively, these results confirm that WalRK responds to cell envelope stress in B. anthracis.

  13. Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis and Other Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis And Other Bacteria Thomas Brown, Salwa Shan, Teresa...This is particularly true in the field of biodefense where phage have a long history of being used to identify Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis...based diagnostic assays for this pathogen. After exposing small quantities of Bacillus cultures to ɣ phage, we tracked the cultures for up to 90

  14. Crossing of the epithelial barriers by Bacillus anthracis: the Known and the Unknown

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, is initiated by the entry of spores into the host body. There are three types of human infection: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. For each form, B. anthracis spores need to cross the cutaneous, respiratory or digestive epithelial barriers, respectively, as a first obligate step to establish infection. Anthrax is a toxi-infection: an association of toxemia and rapidly spreading infection progressing ...

  15. Requirements for the Development of Bacillus Anthracis Spore Reference Materials Used to Test Detection Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    in some strains of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis [55, 56]. The Ba813 marker has been used for a real time PCR assay using Taqman-type...pXO1, the large Bacillus anthracis plasmid harboring the anthrax toxin genes, J. Bacteriol. 181, 6509-6515 (1999). [36] L.B. Price, M. Hugh-Jones, P. J...useful results. The spores of Bacillus anthracis (BA) are particular- ly dangerous because they persist in the environment, and relatively small numbers

  16. Characterization of Anthrolysin O, the Bacillus anthracis Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysin

    OpenAIRE

    Shannon, Jeffrey G; Ross, Cana L.; Koehler, Theresa M.; Rest, Richard F

    2003-01-01

    We characterized the expression of a putative toxin of Bacillus anthracis, a member of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) family, which includes listeriolysin O, perfringolysin O, and streptolysin O. We named this cytotoxin anthrolysin O (ALO). Although B. anthracis expresses minimal hemolytic activity in clinical settings, we show that Sterne strain 7702 expresses hemolytic activity when grown in brain heart infusion broth or in other rich bacteriologic media, but it secretes barely d...

  17. Indirect Detection Of Bacillus Anthracis (Anthrax) Using Amplified Gamma Phage-Based Assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Figure 3.3 Pasteur Institute TEM of Bacillus surface 31 Bacillus anthracis is taxonomically aligned with B. cereus , B. thuringiensis and B...None of the DNA from bacteria (B. anthracis, B. cereus , Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, and Neisseria gonorrhea), yeast, blood , or...49-54. 59. Ryzhov, V., Y. Hathout, and C. Fenselau, Rapid Characterization of Spores of Bacillus Cereus Group Bacteria by Matrix-assisted Laser

  18. Transcriptional Profiling of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Bacillus anthracis in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, are attributed to poly- γ-D-glutamate acid (PGA) capsule, lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) [10-12]. These toxins...M, Hellman M, Muhie S, et al. (2013) Transcriptional Profiling of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Bacillus anthracis in vitro...author and source are credited. Transcriptional Profiling of Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Bacillus anthracis in vitro Rasha

  19. Use of Long-Range Repetitive Element Polymorphism-PCR To Differentiate Bacillus anthracis Strains

    OpenAIRE

    Brumlik, Michael J.; Szymajda, Urszula; Zakowska, Dorota; Liang, Xudong; Redkar, Rajendra J.; Patra, Guy; Del Vecchio, Vito G.

    2001-01-01

    The genome of Bacillus anthracis is extremely monomorphic, and thus individual strains have often proven to be recalcitrant to differentiation at the molecular level. Long-range repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (LR REP-PCR) was used to differentiate various B. anthracis strains. A single PCR primer derived from a repetitive DNA element was able to amplify variable segments of a bacterial genome as large as 10 kb. We were able to characterize five genetically distinct groups by examining 10...

  20. Identification and validation of specific markers of Bacillus anthracis spores by proteomics and genomics approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L; Becher, François

    2014-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  1. The Bacillus anthracis chromosome contains four conserved, excision-proficient, putative prophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sozhamannan Shanmuga

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is considered to be a recently emerged clone within the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. The B. anthracis genome sequence contains four putative lambdoid prophages. We undertook this study in order to understand whether the four prophages are unique to B. anthracis and whether they produce active phages. Results More than 300 geographically and temporally divergent isolates of B. anthracis and its near neighbors were screened by PCR for the presence of specific DNA sequences from each prophage region. Every isolate of B. anthracis screened by PCR was found to produce all four phage-specific amplicons whereas none of the non-B. anthracis isolates, produced more than one phage-specific amplicon. Excision of prophages could be detected by a PCR based assay for attP sites on extra-chromosomal phage circles and for attB sites on phage-excised chromosomes. SYBR-green real-time PCR assays indicated that prophage excision occurs at very low frequencies (2 × 10-5 - 8 × 10-8/cell. Induction with mitomycin C increased the frequency of excision of one of the prophages by approximately 250 fold. All four prophages appear to be defective since, mitomycin C induced culture did not release any viable phage particle or lyse the cells or reveal any phage particle under electron microscopic examination. Conclusion The retention of all four putative prophage regions across all tested strains of B. anthracis is further evidence of the very recent emergence of this lineage and the prophage regions may be useful for differentiating the B. anthracis chromosome from that of its neighbors. All four prophages can excise at low frequencies, but are apparently defective in phage production.

  2. The secret life of the anthrax agent Bacillus anthracis: bacteriophage-mediated ecological adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuch, Raymond; Fischetti, Vincent A

    2009-08-12

    Ecological and genetic factors that govern the occurrence and persistence of anthrax reservoirs in the environment are obscure. A central tenet, based on limited and often conflicting studies, has long held that growing or vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive poorly outside the mammalian host and must sporulate to survive in the environment. Here, we present evidence of a more dynamic lifecycle, whereby interactions with bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, elicit phenotypic alterations in B. anthracis and the emergence of infected derivatives, or lysogens, with dramatically altered survival capabilities. Using both laboratory and environmental B. anthracis strains, we show that lysogeny can block or promote sporulation depending on the phage, induce exopolysaccharide expression and biofilm formation, and enable the long-term colonization of both an artificial soil environment and the intestinal tract of the invertebrate redworm, Eisenia fetida. All of the B. anthracis lysogens existed in a pseudolysogenic-like state in both the soil and worm gut, shedding phages that could in turn infect non-lysogenic B. anthracis recipients and confer survival phenotypes in those environments. Finally, the mechanism behind several phenotypic changes was found to require phage-encoded bacterial sigma factors and the expression of at least one host-encoded protein predicted to be involved in the colonization of invertebrate intestines. The results here demonstrate that during its environmental phase, bacteriophages provide B. anthracis with alternatives to sporulation that involve the activation of soil-survival and endosymbiotic capabilities.

  3. The secret life of the anthrax agent Bacillus anthracis: bacteriophage-mediated ecological adaptations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Schuch

    Full Text Available Ecological and genetic factors that govern the occurrence and persistence of anthrax reservoirs in the environment are obscure. A central tenet, based on limited and often conflicting studies, has long held that growing or vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive poorly outside the mammalian host and must sporulate to survive in the environment. Here, we present evidence of a more dynamic lifecycle, whereby interactions with bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, elicit phenotypic alterations in B. anthracis and the emergence of infected derivatives, or lysogens, with dramatically altered survival capabilities. Using both laboratory and environmental B. anthracis strains, we show that lysogeny can block or promote sporulation depending on the phage, induce exopolysaccharide expression and biofilm formation, and enable the long-term colonization of both an artificial soil environment and the intestinal tract of the invertebrate redworm, Eisenia fetida. All of the B. anthracis lysogens existed in a pseudolysogenic-like state in both the soil and worm gut, shedding phages that could in turn infect non-lysogenic B. anthracis recipients and confer survival phenotypes in those environments. Finally, the mechanism behind several phenotypic changes was found to require phage-encoded bacterial sigma factors and the expression of at least one host-encoded protein predicted to be involved in the colonization of invertebrate intestines. The results here demonstrate that during its environmental phase, bacteriophages provide B. anthracis with alternatives to sporulation that involve the activation of soil-survival and endosymbiotic capabilities.

  4. Effects of Endogenous d-Alanine Synthesis and Autoinhibition of Bacillus anthracis Germination on In Vitro and In Vivo Infections▿

    OpenAIRE

    McKevitt, Matthew T.; Bryant, Katie M.; Shakir, Salika M.; Larabee, Jason L.; Blanke, Steven R.; Lovchik, Julie; Lyons, C. Rick; Ballard, Jimmy D.

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis transitions from a dormant spore to a vegetative bacillus through a series of structural and biochemical changes collectively referred to as germination. The timing of germination is important during early steps in infection and may determine if B. anthracis survives or succumbs to responsive macrophages. In the current study experiments determined the contribution of endogenous d-alanine production to the efficiency and timing of B. anthracis spore germination under in vit...

  5. Decontamination Options for Drinking Water Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raber, E; Burklund, A

    2010-02-16

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination options for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were: (1) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus); (2) spore concentration in suspension (10{sup 2} to 10{sup 6} spores/ml); (3) chemical characteristics of decontaminant [sodium dicholor-s-triazinetrione dihydrate (Dichlor), hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate (Oxone), sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS{reg_sign}]; (4) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%); and (5) decontaminant exposure time (10 min to 24 hr). Results from 162 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5%, and Dichlor and sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2%, were effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting EPA's biocide standard of greater than a 6 log kill after a 10-minute exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS{reg_sign} and Oxone were less effective decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for biocides. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  6. Distribution and molecular evolution of bacillus anthracis genotypes in Namibia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Beyer

    Full Text Available The recent development of genetic markers for Bacillus anthracis has made it possible to monitor the spread and distribution of this pathogen during and between anthrax outbreaks. In Namibia, anthrax outbreaks occur annually in the Etosha National Park (ENP and on private game and livestock farms. We genotyped 384 B. anthracis isolates collected between 1983-2010 to identify the possible epidemiological correlations of anthrax outbreaks within and outside the ENP and to analyze genetic relationships between isolates from domestic and wild animals. The isolates came from 20 animal species and from the environment and were genotyped using a 31-marker multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA and, in part, by twelve single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers and four single nucleotide repeat (SNR markers. A total of 37 genotypes (GT were identified by MLVA, belonging to four SNP-groups. All GTs belonged to the A-branch in the cluster- and SNP-analyses. Thirteen GTs were found only outside the ENP, 18 only within the ENP and 6 both inside and outside. Genetic distances between isolates increased with increasing time between isolations. However, genetic distance between isolates at the beginning and end of the study period was relatively small, indicating that while the majority of GTs were only found sporadically, three genetically close GTs, accounting for more than four fifths of all the ENP isolates, appeared dominant throughout the study period. Genetic distances among isolates were significantly greater for isolates from different host species, but this effect was small, suggesting that while species-specific ecological factors may affect exposure processes, transmission cycles in different host species are still highly interrelated. The MLVA data were further used to establish a model of the probable evolution of GTs within the endemic region of the ENP. SNR-analysis was helpful in correlating an isolate with its source but did not elucidate

  7. Capsules, toxins and AtxA as virulence factors of emerging Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brézillon, Christophe; Haustant, Michel; Dupke, Susann; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E; Klee, Silke R; Goossens, Pierre L

    2015-04-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d'Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged.

  8. Impact of Spores on the Comparative Efficacies of Five Antibiotics for Treatment of Bacillus anthracis in an In Vitro Hollow Fiber Pharmacodynamic Model

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, is an agent of bioterrorism. The most effective antimicrobial therapy for B. anthracis infections is unknown. An in vitro pharmacodynamic model of B. anthracis was used to compare the efficacies of simulated clinically prescribed regimens of moxifloxacin, linezolid, and meropenem with the “gold standards,” doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. Treatment outcomes for isogenic spore-forming and non-spore-forming strains of B. anthracis were compar...

  9. Detection of Bacillus anthracis DNA in complex soil and air samples using next-generation sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A Be

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the potentially lethal etiologic agent of anthrax disease, and is a significant concern in the realm of biodefense. One of the cornerstones of an effective biodefense strategy is the ability to detect infectious agents with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity in the context of a complex sample background. The nature of the B. anthracis genome, however, renders specific detection difficult, due to close homology with B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We therefore elected to determine the efficacy of next-generation sequencing analysis and microarrays for detection of B. anthracis in an environmental background. We applied next-generation sequencing to titrated genome copy numbers of B. anthracis in the presence of background nucleic acid extracted from aerosol and soil samples. We found next-generation sequencing to be capable of detecting as few as 10 genomic equivalents of B. anthracis DNA per nanogram of background nucleic acid. Detection was accomplished by mapping reads to either a defined subset of reference genomes or to the full GenBank database. Moreover, sequence data obtained from B. anthracis could be reliably distinguished from sequence data mapping to either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis. We also demonstrated the efficacy of a microbial census microarray in detecting B. anthracis in the same samples, representing a cost-effective and high-throughput approach, complementary to next-generation sequencing. Our results, in combination with the capacity of sequencing for providing insights into the genomic characteristics of complex and novel organisms, suggest that these platforms should be considered important components of a biosurveillance strategy.

  10. Protection of inactive intranasal ántrax vaccine to Bacillus anthracis infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adin Priadi

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Ánthrax is an endemic zoonotic disease distributed in many parts of Indonesia. Although vaccination program has been implemented in many areas, cases are still frequently reported. Farmers are reluctant to vaccinate their livestock since spore vaccine used in the field often cause side effects and death of the animals. To overcome this problem, an inactive vaccine composes of Bacillus anthracis toxins, cell wall and capsule subunits was developed. B. anthracis Sterne strain (34F2 was selected to produce toxins and cell walls. Local Bacillus anthracis isolated from Citaringgul was used to produce capsule as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR revealed that this isolate poses cap gene encoding for capsule. Two vaccines compose of 15 μg toxoid, 30 μg of capsule, 15 μg of cell wall and 30 μg toxoid, 60 μg of capsule, 15 μg of cell walls were designated as vaccine I and vaccine II respectively. For each experiment, 10 mice were nasally immunized by placing 5 μl of vaccine into each nare 3 times at 2-week intervals. A group of 10 mice were unvaccinated and used as control. Blood was collected fortnightly to monitor antibody responses. All mice were challenged with 2 x 105 B. anthracis Sterne spores injected subcutaneously two weeks after the last vaccination. Two weeks after vaccination of antibodies to B. anthracis toxin, capsule and cell wall were detected in dot-blot assay. Mice that were immunised intranasally with chitosan adjuvanted vaccine developed high IgG responses in sera as detected by ELISA, and the response was dose dependent. Vaccine II gave better response than vaccine I. Vaccine I and II protected mice from challenge at a rate of 60 and 80% respectively. This results showed that intranasal B. anthracis vaccine composes of toxin, capsule and cell wall with chitosan as an adjuvant gave a good protection against B. anthracis Sterne spores challenge in mice.

  11. Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis in Complex Food Matrices Using Phage-Mediated Bioluminescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Natasha J; Vandamm, Joshua P; Molineux, Ian J; Schofield, David A

    2015-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is considered a high-priority agent that may be used in a food-related terrorist attack because it can be contracted by ingestion and it also forms spores with heat and chemical resistance. Thus, novel surveillance methodologies to detect B. anthracis on adulterated foods are important for bioterrorism preparedness. We describe the development of a phage-based bioluminescence assay for the detection of B. anthracis on deliberately contaminated foods. We previously engineered the B. anthracis phage Wβ with genes encoding bacterial luciferase (luxA and luxB) to create a "light-tagged" reporter (Wβ::luxAB) that is able to rapidly detect B. anthracis by transducing a bioluminescent signal response. Here, we investigate the ability of Wβ::luxAB to detect B. anthracis Sterne, an attenuated select agent strain, in inoculated food (ground beef) and milk (2%, baby formula, and half and half) matrices after incubation with spores for 72 h at 4°C as per AOAC testing guidelines. The majority of B. anthracis bacilli remained in spore form, and thus were potentially infectious, within each of the liquid matrices for 14 days. Detection limits were 80 CFU/ml after 7 h of enrichment; sensitivity of detection increased to 8 CFU/ml when enrichment was extended to 16 h. The limit of detection in ground beef was 3.2 × 10(3) CFU/g after 7 h of enrichment, improving to 3.2 × 10(2) CFU/g after 16 h. Because the time to result is rapid and minimal processing is required, and because gastrointestinal anthrax can be fatal, the reporter technology displays promise for the protection of our food supply following a deliberate release of this priority pathogen.

  12. Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria and Other B. cereus Group Members in a Microbial Community Within the International Space Station : A Challenge for Rapid and Easy Molecular Detection of Virulent B. anthracis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Roest, Hendrik I. J.; Degener, John E.; Harmsen, Hermie J. M.

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order f

  13. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the international space station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tongeren, van S.P.; Roest, H.I.J.; Degener, J.E.; Harmsen, H.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order f

  14. Inhibiting Inosine Hydrolase and Alanine Racemase to Enhance the Germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne Spores: Potential Spore Decontamination Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-19

    2015): << Inhibiting inosine hydrolase and alanine racemase to enhance the germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores: potential spore...inosine hydrolase and alanine racemase to enhance the germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores potential spore decontamination strategies 5a...EASIER, SAFER, and CHEAPER Inducing spore germination should make resulting bacteria much more susceptible to decontamination methods and will be

  15. Dendritic Cell Targeting of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Expressed by Lactobacillus acidophilus Protects Mice from Lethal Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-28

    Dendritic cell targeting of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen expressed by Lactobacillus acidophilus protects mice from lethal challenge M...lethal chal- lenge. A vaccine strategy was established by using Lactobacillus acidophilus to deliver Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) via...include species of Lactobacillus , Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Pedio- coccus, and Streptococcus. It is widely accepted that Lactobacillus species play a

  16. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agren, J.; Hamidjaja, R.A.; Hansen, T.; Ruuls, R.C.; Thierry, S.; Vigre, H.; Janse, I.; Sundström, A.; Segerman, B.; Koene, M.G.J.; Löfström, Ch.; Rotterdam, van B.; Derzelle, S.

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely o

  17. Development and validation of a real-time quantitative PCR assay for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irenge, Léonid M; Durant, Jean-François; Tomaso, Herbert; Pilo, Paola; Olsen, Jaran S; Ramisse, Vincent; Mahillon, Jacques; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2010-11-01

    A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples. These samples often harbor Bacillus cereus bacteria closely related to B. anthracis, which may hinder its specific identification by resulting in false positive signals. The assay consists of two duplex real-time PCR: the first PCR allows amplification of a sequence specific of the B. cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, Bacillus pseudomycoides, and Bacillus mycoides) within the phosphoenolpyruvate/sugar phosphotransferase system I gene and a B. anthracis specific single nucleotide polymorphism within the adenylosuccinate synthetase gene. The second real-time PCR assay targets the lethal factor gene from virulence plasmid pXO1 and the capsule synthesis gene from virulence plasmid pXO2. Specificity of the assay is enhanced by the use of minor groove binding probes and/or locked nucleic acids probes. The assay was validated on 304 bacterial strains including 37 B. anthracis, 67 B. cereus group, 54 strains of non-cereus group Bacillus, and 146 Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria strains. The assay was performed on various environmental samples spiked with B. anthracis or B. cereus spores. The assay allowed an accurate identification of B. anthracis in environmental samples. This study provides a rapid and reliable method for improving rapid identification of B. anthracis in field operational conditions.

  18. Bacillus anthracis in China and its relationship to worldwide lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schupp James M

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The global pattern of distribution of 1033 B. anthracis isolates has previously been defined by a set of 12 conserved canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNP. These studies reinforced the presence of three major lineages and 12 sub-lineages and sub-groups of this anthrax-causing pathogen. Isolates that form the A lineage (unlike the B and C lineages have become widely dispersed throughout the world and form the basis for the geographical disposition of "modern" anthrax. An archival collection of 191 different B. anthracis isolates from China provides a glimpse into the possible role of Chinese trade and commerce in the spread of certain sub-lineages of this pathogen. Canonical single nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP and multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA typing has been used to examine this archival collection of isolates. Results The canSNP study indicates that there are 5 different sub-lineages/sub-groups in China out of 12 previously described world-wide canSNP genotypes. Three of these canSNP genotypes were only found in the western-most province of China, Xinjiang. These genotypes were A.Br.008/009, a sub-group that is spread across most of Europe and Asia; A.Br.Aust 94, a sub-lineage that is present in Europe and India, and A.Br.Vollum, a lineage that is also present in Europe. The remaining two canSNP genotypes are spread across the whole of China and belong to sub-group A.Br.001/002 and the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage, two closely related genotypes. MLVA typing adds resolution to the isolates in each canSNP genotype and diversity indices for the A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 sub-groups suggest that these represent older and established clades in China. Conclusion B. anthracis isolates were recovered from three canSNP sub-groups (A.Br.008/009, A.Br.Aust94, and A.Br.Vollum in the western most portion of the large Chinese province of Xinjiang. The city of Kashi in this province appears to have served as a crossroads

  19. Curing of plasmid pXO1 from Bacillus anthracis using plasmid incompatibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiankai Liu

    Full Text Available The large plasmid pXO1 encoding the anthrax toxin is important for the virulence of Bacillus anthracis. It is essential to cure pXO1 from B. anthracis to evaluate its role in the pathogenesis of anthrax infection. Because conventional methods for curing plasmids (e.g., curing agents or growth at elevated temperatures can induce mutations in the host chromosomal DNA, we developed a specific and reliable method to eliminate pXO1 from B. anthracis using plasmid incompatibility. Three putative replication origins of pXO1 were inserted into a temperature-sensitive plasmid to generate three incompatible plasmids. One of the three plasmids successfully eliminated the large plasmid pXO1 from B. anthracis vaccine strain A16R and wild type strain A16. These findings provided additional information about the replication/partitioning of pXO1 and demonstrated that introducing a small incompatible plasmid can generate plasmid-cured strains of B. anthracis without inducing spontaneous mutations in the host chromosome.

  20. Bacillus anthracis interacts with plasmin(ogen to evade C3b-dependent innate immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myung-Chul Chung

    Full Text Available The causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, is capable of circumventing the humoral and innate immune defense of the host and modulating the blood chemistry in circulation to initiate a productive infection. It has been shown that the pathogen employs a number of strategies against immune cells using secreted pathogenic factors such as toxins. However, interference of B. anthracis with the innate immune system through specific interaction of the spore surface with host proteins such as the complement system has heretofore attracted little attention. In order to assess the mechanisms by which B. anthracis evades the defense system, we employed a proteomic analysis to identify human serum proteins interacting with B. anthracis spores, and found that plasminogen (PLG is a major surface-bound protein. PLG efficiently bound to spores in a lysine- and exosporium-dependent manner. We identified α-enolase and elongation factor tu as PLG receptors. PLG-bound spores were capable of exhibiting anti-opsonic properties by cleaving C3b molecules in vitro and in rabbit bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, resulting in a decrease in macrophage phagocytosis. Our findings represent a step forward in understanding the mechanisms involved in the evasion of innate immunity by B. anthracis through recruitment of PLG resulting in the enhancement of anti-complement and anti-opsonization properties of the pathogen.

  1. Decontamination Efficacy and Skin Toxicity of Two Decontaminants against Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stratilo, Chad W; Crichton, Melissa K F; Sawyer, Thomas W

    2015-01-01

    Decontamination of bacterial endospores such as Bacillus anthracis has traditionally required the use of harsh or caustic chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a chlorine dioxide decontaminant in killing Bacillus anthracis spores in solution and on a human skin simulant (porcine cadaver skin), compared to that of commonly used sodium hypochlorite or soapy water decontamination procedures. In addition, the relative toxicities of these decontaminants were compared in human skin keratinocyte primary cultures. The chlorine dioxide decontaminant was similarly effective to sodium hypochlorite in reducing spore numbers of Bacillus anthracis Ames in liquid suspension after a 10 minute exposure. After five minutes, the chlorine dioxide product was significantly more efficacious. Decontamination of isolated swine skin contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Sterne with the chlorine dioxide product resulted in no viable spores sampled. The toxicity of the chlorine dioxide decontaminant was up to two orders of magnitude less than that of sodium hypochlorite in human skin keratinocyte cultures. In summary, the chlorine dioxide based decontaminant efficiently killed Bacillus anthracis spores in liquid suspension, as well as on isolated swine skin, and was less toxic than sodium hypochlorite in cultures of human skin keratinocytes.

  2. Rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis by γ phage amplification and lateral flow immunochromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Christopher R; Jensen, Kirk R; Mondesire, Roy R; Voorhees, Kent J

    2015-11-01

    New, rapid point-of-need diagnostic methods for Bacillus anthracis detection can enhance civil and military responses to accidental or deliberate dispersal of anthrax as a biological weapon. Current laboratory-based methods for clinical identification of B. anthracis require 12 to 120h, and are confirmed by plaque assay using the well-characterized γ typing phage, which requires an additional minimum of 24h for bacterial culture. To reduce testing time, the natural specificity of γ phage amplification was investigated in combination with lateral flow immunochromatography (LFI) for rapid, point-of-need B. anthracis detection. Phage-based LFI detection of B. anthracis Sterne was validated over a range of bacterial and phage concentrations with optimal detection achieved in as little as 2h from the onset of amplification with a threshold sensitivity of 2.5×10(4)cfu/mL. The novel use of γ phage amplification detected with a simple, inexpensive LFI assay provides a rapid, sensitive, highly accurate, and field-deployable method for diagnostic ID of B. anthracis in a fraction of the time required by conventional techniques, and without the need for extensive laboratory culture.

  3. Growth characteristics of Bacillus anthracis compared to other Bacillus spp. on the selective nutrient media Anthrax Blood Agar and Cereus Ident Agar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomaso, Herbert; Bartling, Carsten; Al Dahouk, Sascha; Hagen, Ralf M; Scholz, Holger C; Beyer, Wolfgang; Neubauer, Heinrich

    2006-01-01

    Anthrax Blood Agar (ABA) and Cereus Ident Agar (CEI) were evaluated as selective growth media for the isolation of Bacillus anthracis using 92 B. anthracis and 132 other Bacillus strains from 30 species. The positive predictive values for the identification of B. anthracis on ABA, CEI, and the combination of both were 72%, 71%, and 90%, respectively. Thus, less than 10% of all species were misidentified using both nutrient media. Species which might be misidentified as B. anthracis were B. cereus, B. mycoides, and B. thuringiensis. Particularly, 30% of B. weihenstephanensis strains were misidentified as B. anthracis.

  4. The aldo-keto reductase superfamily homepage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyndman, David; Bauman, David R; Heredia, Vladi V; Penning, Trevor M

    2003-02-01

    The aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) are one of the three enzyme superfamilies that perform oxidoreduction on a wide variety of natural and foreign substrates. A systematic nomenclature for the AKR superfamily was adopted in 1996 and was updated in September 2000 (visit www.med.upenn.edu/akr). Investigators have been diligent in submitting sequences of functional proteins to the Web site. With the new additions, the superfamily contains 114 proteins expressed in prokaryotes and eukaryotes that are distributed over 14 families (AKR1-AKR14). The AKR1 family contains the aldose reductases, the aldehyde reductases, the hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases and steroid 5beta-reductases, and is the largest. Other families of interest include AKR6, which includes potassium channel beta-subunits, and AKR7 the aflatoxin aldehyde reductases. Two new families include AKR13 (yeast aldose reductase) and AKR14 (Escherichia coli aldehyde reductase). Crystal structures of many AKRs and their complexes with ligands are available in the PDB and accessible through the Web site. Each structure has the characteristic (alpha/beta)(8)-barrel motif of the superfamily, a conserved cofactor binding site and a catalytic tetrad, and variable loop structures that define substrate specificity. Although the majority of AKRs are monomeric proteins of about 320 amino acids in length, the AKR2, AKR6 and AKR7 family may form multimers. To expand the nomenclature to accommodate multimers, we recommend that the composition and stoichiometry be listed. For example, AKR7A1:AKR7A4 (1:3) would designate a tetramer of the composition indicated. The current nomenclature is recognized by the Human Genome Project (HUGO) and the Web site provides a link to genomic information including chromosomal localization, gene boundaries, human ESTs and SNPs and much more.

  5. Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores Using Peptide Functionalized SERS-Active Substrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atanu Sengupta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The need for portable technologies that can rapidly identify biological warfare agents (BWAs in the field remains an international priority as expressed at the 2011 Biological Weapons Convention. In recent years, the ability of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS to rapidly detect various BWAs at very low concentrations has been demonstrated. However, in the specific case of Bacillus anthracis, differentiation at the species level is required since other bacilli are common in the environment, representing potential false-positive responses. To overcome this limitation, we describe the use of a peptide attached to the SERS-active metal that selectively binds Bacillus anthracis-Sterne as the target analyte. Using this approach, 109  B. anthracis-Sterne spores/mL produced an intense dipicolinic acid spectrum upon the addition of acetic acid, while the same concentration and treatment of B. cereus and B. subtilis did not.

  6. Structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from Bacillus anthracis (BA4489)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meier, Christoph [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Division of Structural Biology, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Carter, Lester G. [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Winter, Graeme [CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 4AD (United Kingdom); Owens, Ray J. [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Stuart, David I.; Esnouf, Robert M., E-mail: robert@strubi.ox.ac.uk [Oxford Protein Production Facility, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom); Division of Structural Biology, The Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, Oxford University, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN (United Kingdom)

    2007-03-01

    The structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from B. anthracis determined by X-ray crystallography at a resolution of 1.6 Å is described. Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming bacterium and the causative agent of the disease anthrax. The Oxford Protein Production Facility has been targeting proteins from B. anthracis in order to develop high-throughput technologies within the Structural Proteomics in Europe project. As part of this work, the structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase (BA4489) has been determined by X-ray crystallography to 1.6 Å resolution. The structure, solved in complex with magnesium-ion-bound ADP and phosphate, gives a detailed picture of the proposed catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. Chemical differences from other cyclo-ligase structures close to the active site that could be exploited to design specific inhibitors are also highlighted.

  7. Microbial forensics: fiber optic microarray subtyping of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepard, Jason R. E.

    2009-05-01

    The past decade has seen increased development and subsequent adoption of rapid molecular techniques involving DNA analysis for detection of pathogenic microorganisms, also termed microbial forensics. The continued accumulation of microbial sequence information in genomic databases now better positions the field of high-throughput DNA analysis to proceed in a more manageable fashion. The potential to build off of these databases exists as technology continues to develop, which will enable more rapid, cost effective analyses. This wealth of genetic information, along with new technologies, has the potential to better address some of the current problems and solve the key issues involved in DNA analysis of pathogenic microorganisms. To this end, a high density fiber optic microarray has been employed, housing numerous DNA sequences simultaneously for detection of various pathogenic microorganisms, including Bacillus anthracis, among others. Each organism is analyzed with multiple sequences and can be sub-typed against other closely related organisms. For public health labs, real-time PCR methods have been developed as an initial preliminary screen, but culture and growth are still considered the gold standard. Technologies employing higher throughput than these standard methods are better suited to capitalize on the limitless potential garnered from the sequence information. Microarray analyses are one such format positioned to exploit this potential, and our array platform is reusable, allowing repetitive tests on a single array, providing an increase in throughput and decrease in cost, along with a certainty of detection, down to the individual strain level.

  8. Transient lipopolysaccharide-induced resistance to aerosolized Bacillus anthracis in New Zealand white rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Steven B; Dyer, David N; Twenhafel, Nancy A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2013-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that prior infection by various bacterial pathogens induces nonspecific resistance to subsequent infection by other gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In the present study, we evaluated whether underlying inflammation enhanced host resistance to inhalational Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand White rabbits (SPF; Bordetella- and Pasteurella-free). Accordingly, rabbits were pretreated with either the inflammagen bacterial LPS (60,000 EU/kg), a component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, or saline (vehicle). Administration of LPS resulted in brief pyrexia and a significant increase in the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα, thus confirming LPS-induced inflammation. At 24 h after LPS treatment, rabbits were exposed to aerosolized B. anthracis spores (Ames strain; approximately 300 LD50). Blood samples collected at various times after challenge were cultured. Compared with their saline-pretreated counterparts, LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis challenged rabbits exhibited delays in 2 biomarkers of B. anthracis infection-anthrax-induced pyrexia (25 h versus 66 h after challenge, respectively) and bacteremia (26 h versus 63 h, respectively)-and survived longer (41 h versus 90 h, respectively). Similar to control animals, all LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited pathology consistent with inhalational anthrax. Taken together, these results suggest that prior or underlying stimulation of the innate immune system induces transient host resistance to subsequent B. anthracis infection in SPF New Zealand white rabbits. In particular, our results emphasize the importance of using animals that are free of underlying infections to prevent confounding data in studies for inhalational anthrax characterization and medical countermeasure evaluation.

  9. Alveolar macrophages infected with Ames or Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis elicit differential molecular expression patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicia D Langel

    Full Text Available Alveolar macrophages (AMs phagocytose Bacillus anthracis following inhalation and induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to mediate the activation of innate immunity. Ames, the virulent strain of B. anthracis, contains two plasmids that encode the antiphagocytic poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule and the lethal toxin. The attenuated Sterne strain of B. anthracis, which lacks the plasmid encoding capsule, is widely adapted as a vaccine strain. Although differences in the outcome of infection with the two strains may have originated from the presence or absence of an anti-phagocytic capsule, the disease pathogenesis following infection will be manifested via the host responses, which is not well understood. To gain understanding of the host responses at cellular level, a microarray analysis was performed using primary rhesus macaque AMs infected with either Ames or Sterne spores. Notably, 528 human orthologs were identified to be differentially expressed in AMs infected with either strain of the B. anthracis. Meta-analyses revealed genes differentially expressed in response to B. anthracis infection were also induced upon infections with multiple pathogens such as Francisella Novicida or Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests the existence of a common molecular signature in response to pathogen infections. Importantly, the microarray and protein expression data for certain cytokines, chemokines and host factors provide further insights on how cellular processes such as innate immune sensing pathways, anti-apoptosis versus apoptosis may be differentially modulated in response to the virulent or vaccine strain of B. anthracis. The reported differences may account for the marked difference in pathogenicity between these two strains.

  10. Identification of a Bacillus anthracis specific indel in the yeaC gene and development of a rapid pyrosequencing assay for distinguishing B. anthracis from the B. cereus group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmod, Nadia Z; Gupta, Radhey S; Shah, Haroun N

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a potential source of bioterrorism. The existing assays for its identification lack specificity due to the close genetic relationship it exhibits to other members of the B. cereus group. Our comparative analyses of protein sequences from Bacillus species have identified a 24 amino acid deletion in a conserved region of the YeaC protein that is uniquely present in B. anthracis. PCR primers based on conserved regions flanking this indel in the Bacillus cereus group of species (viz. Bacillus cereus, B. anthracis, B. thuringiensis, B. mycoides, B. weihenstephnensis and B. pseudomycoides) specifically amplified a 282 bp fragment from all six reference B. anthracis strains, whereas a 354 bp fragment was amplified from 15 other B. cereus group of species/strains. These fragments, due to large size difference, are readily distinguished by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. In contrast to the B. cereus group, no PCR amplification was observed with any of the non-B. cereus group of species/strains. This indel was also used for developing a rapid pyrosequencing assay for the identification of B. anthracis. Its performance was evaluated by examining the presence or absence of this indel in a panel of 81 B. cereus-like isolates from various sources that included 39 B. anthracis strains. Based upon the sequence data from the pyrograms, the yeaC indel was found to be a distinctive characteristic of various B. anthracis strains tested and not found in any other species/strains from these samples. Therefore, this B. anthracis specific indel provides a robust and highly-specific chromosomal marker for the identification of this high-risk pathogen from other members of the B. cereus group independent of a strain's virulence. The pyrosequencing platform also allows for the rapid and simultaneous screening of multiple samples for the presence of this B. anthracis-specific marker.

  11. Respiratory arsenate reductase as a bidirectional enzyme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richey, C.; Chovanec, P.; Hoeft, S.E.; Oremland, R.S.; Basu, P.; Stolz, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    The haloalkaliphilic bacterium Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii is capable of anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic growth by coupling the oxidation of arsenite (As(III)) to the reduction of nitrate and carbon dioxide. Analysis of its complete genome indicates that it lacks a conventional arsenite oxidase (Aox), but instead possesses two operons that each encode a putative respiratory arsenate reductase (Arr). Here we show that one homolog is expressed under chemolithoautotrophic conditions and exhibits both arsenite oxidase and arsenate reductase activity. We also demonstrate that Arr from two arsenate respiring bacteria, Alkaliphilus oremlandii and Shewanella sp. strain ANA-3, is also biochemically reversible. Thus Arr can function as a reductase or oxidase. Its physiological role in a specific organism, however, may depend on the electron potentials of the molybdenum center and [Fe–S] clusters, additional subunits, or constitution of the electron transfer chain. This versatility further underscores the ubiquity and antiquity of microbial arsenic metabolism.

  12. Effects of endogenous D-alanine synthesis and autoinhibition of Bacillus anthracis germination on in vitro and in vivo infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKevitt, Matthew T; Bryant, Katie M; Shakir, Salika M; Larabee, Jason L; Blanke, Steven R; Lovchik, Julie; Lyons, C Rick; Ballard, Jimmy D

    2007-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis transitions from a dormant spore to a vegetative bacillus through a series of structural and biochemical changes collectively referred to as germination. The timing of germination is important during early steps in infection and may determine if B. anthracis survives or succumbs to responsive macrophages. In the current study experiments determined the contribution of endogenous D-alanine production to the efficiency and timing of B. anthracis spore germination under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Racemase-mediated production of endogenous D-alanine by B. anthracis altered the kinetics for initiation of germination over a range of spore densities and exhibited a threshold effect wherein small changes in spore number resulted in major changes in germination efficiency. This threshold effect correlated with D-alanine production, was prevented by an alanine racemase inhibitor, and required L-alanine. Interestingly, endogenous production of inhibitory levels of D-alanine was detected under experimental conditions that did not support germination and in a germination-deficient mutant of B. anthracis. Racemase-dependent production of D-alanine enhanced survival of B. anthracis during interaction with murine macrophages, suggesting a role for inhibition of germination during interaction with these cells. Finally, in vivo experiments revealed an approximately twofold decrease in the 50% lethal dose of B. anthracis spores administered in the presence of D-alanine, indicating that rates of germination may be directly influenced by the levels of this amino acid during early stages of disease.

  13. Evolution of plant defense mechanisms. Relationships of phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductases to pinoresinol-lariciresinol and isoflavone reductases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gang, D R; Kasahara, H; Xia, Z Q; Vander Mijnsbrugge, K; Bauw, G; Boerjan, W; Van Montagu, M; Davin, L B; Lewis, N G

    1999-03-12

    Pinoresinol-lariciresinol and isoflavone reductase classes are phylogenetically related, as is a third, the so-called "isoflavone reductase homologs." This study establishes the first known catalytic function for the latter, as being able to engender the NADPH-dependent reduction of phenylcoumaran benzylic ethers. Accordingly, all three reductase classes are involved in the biosynthesis of important and related phenylpropanoid-derived plant defense compounds. In this investigation, the phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductase from the gymnosperm, Pinus taeda, was cloned, with the recombinant protein heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. The purified enzyme reduces the benzylic ether functionalities of both dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol and dihydrodehydrodiconiferyl alcohol, with a higher affinity for the former, as measured by apparent Km and Vmax values and observed kinetic 3H-isotope effects. It abstracts the 4R-hydride of the required NADPH cofactor in a manner analogous to that of the pinoresinol-lariciresinol reductases and isoflavone reductases. A similar catalytic function was observed for the corresponding recombinant reductase whose gene was cloned from the angiosperm, Populus trichocarpa. Interestingly, both pinoresinol-lariciresinol reductases and isoflavone reductases catalyze enantiospecific conversions, whereas the phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductase only shows regiospecific discrimination. A possible evolutionary relationship among the three reductase classes is proposed, based on the supposition that phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductases represent the progenitors of pinoresinol-lariciresinol and isoflavone reductases.

  14. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences

    OpenAIRE

    Ågren, Joakim; Raditijo A Hamidjaja; Hansen, Trine; Ruuls, Robin; Thierry, Simon; Vigre, Håkan; Janse, Ingmar; Sundström, Anders; Segerman, Bo; Koene, Miriam; Löfström, Charlotta; van Rotterdam, Bart; Derzelle, Sylviane

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. ...

  15. 76 FR 53480 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Conjugate Vaccines Against B. anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-26

    ... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Conjugate Vaccines... factor'' (EF). Although production of an efficient anthrax vaccine is an ultimate goal, the benefits of... therapy of B. anthracis (anthrax) infection by immunization with conjugate vaccines against anthrax...

  16. Crossing of the epithelial barriers by Bacillus anthracis: the Known and the Unknown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossens, Pierre L; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, is initiated by the entry of spores into the host body. There are three types of human infection: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. For each form, B. anthracis spores need to cross the cutaneous, respiratory or digestive epithelial barriers, respectively, as a first obligate step to establish infection. Anthrax is a toxi-infection: an association of toxemia and rapidly spreading infection progressing to septicemia. The pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis mainly depends on two toxins and a capsule. The capsule protects bacilli from the immune system, thus promoting systemic dissemination. The toxins alter host cell signaling, thereby paralyzing the immune response of the host and perturbing the endocrine and endothelial systems. In this review, we will mainly focus on the events and mechanisms leading to crossing of the respiratory epithelial barrier, as the majority of studies have addressed inhalational infection. We will discuss the critical gaps of knowledge that need to be addressed to gain a comprehensive view of the initial steps of inhalational anthrax. We will then discuss the few data available on B. anthracis crossing the cutaneous and digestive epithelia.

  17. Crossing of the epithelial barriers by Bacillus anthracis: the Known and the Unknown

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre L Goossens

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, is initiated by the entry of spores into the host body. There are three types of human infection: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. For each form, B. anthracis spores need to cross the cutaneous, respiratory or digestive epithelial barriers, respectively, as a first obligate step to establish infection. Anthrax is a toxi-infection: an association of toxemia and rapidly spreading infection progressing to septicemia. The pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis mainly depends on two toxins and a capsule. The capsule protects bacilli from the immune system, thus promoting systemic dissemination. The toxins alter host cell signalling, thereby paralysing the immune response of the host and perturbing the endocrine and endothelial systems.In this review, we will mainly focus on the events and mechanisms leading to crossing of the respiratory epithelial barrier, as the majority of studies have addressed inhalational infection. We will discuss the critical gaps of knowledge that need to be addressed to gain a comprehensive view of the initial steps of inhalational anthrax. We will then discuss the few data available on B. anthracis crossing the cutaneous and digestive epithelia.

  18. A Simple Luminescent Adenylate-Cyclase Functional Assay for Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma’ayan Israeli

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Edema Factor (EF, the toxic sub-unit of the Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin (ET is a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase whose detrimental activity in the infected host results in severe edema. EF is therefore a major virulence factor of B. anthracis. We describe a simple, rapid and reliable functional adenylate-cyclase assay based on inhibition of a luciferase-mediated luminescence reaction. The assay exploits the efficient adenylate cyclase-mediated depletion of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP, and the strict dependence on ATP of the light-emitting luciferase-catalyzed luciferin-conversion to oxyluciferin, which can be easily visualized. The assay exhibits a robust EF-dose response decrease in luminescence, which may be specifically reverted by anti-EF antibodies. The application of the assay is exemplified in: (a determining the presence of EF in B. anthracis cultures, or its absence in cultures of EF-defective strains; (b evaluating the anti-EF humoral response in experimental animals infected/vaccinated with B. anthracis; and (c rapid discrimination between EF producing and non-producing bacterial colonies. Furthermore, the assay may be amenable with high-throughput screening for EF inhibitory molecules.

  19. Identification and characterization of Bacillus anthracis by multiplex PCR on DNA chip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shi-Hua; Wen, Ji-Kai; Zhou, Ya-Feng; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Ji-Bin; Chen, Jia; Zhang, Xian-En

    2004-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis can be identified by detecting virulence factor genes located on two plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2. Combining multiplex PCR with arrayed anchored primer PCR and biotin-avidin alkaline phosphatase indicator system, we developed a qualitative DNA chip method for characterization of B. anthracis, and simultaneous confirmation of the species identity independent of plasmid contents. The assay amplifies pag gene (in pXO1), cap gene (in pXO2) and Ba813 gene (a B. anthracis specific chromosomal marker), and the results were indicated by an easy-to-read profile based on the color reaction of alkaline phosphatase. About 1 pg of specific DNA fragments on the chip wells could be detected after PCR. With the proposed method, the avirulent (pXO1+/2-, pXO1-/2+ and pXO1-/2-) strains of B. anthracis and distinguished 'anthrax-like' strains from other B. cereus group bacteria were unambiguously identified, while the genera other than Bacillus gave no positive signal.

  20. The Effect of Growth Medium on B. anthracis Sterne Spore Carbohydrate Content

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colburn, Heather A.; Wunschel, David S.; Antolick, Kathryn C.; Melville, Angela M.; Valentine, Nancy B.

    2011-06-01

    The expressed characteristics of biothreat agents may be impacted by variations in the culture environment, including growth medium formulation. The carbohydrate composition of B. anthracis spores has been well studied, particularly for the exosporium, which is the outermost spore structure. The carbohydrate composition of the exosporium has been demonstrated to be distinct from the vegetative form containing unique monosaccharides.

  1. clpC operon regulates cell architecture and sporulation in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Lalit K; Dhasmana, Neha; Sajid, Andaleeb; Kumar, Prasun; Bhaduri, Asani; Bharadwaj, Mitasha; Gandotra, Sheetal; Kalia, Vipin C; Das, Taposh K; Goel, Ajay K; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Misra, Richa; Gerth, Ulf; Leppla, Stephen H; Singh, Yogendra

    2015-03-01

    The clpC operon is known to regulate several processes such as genetic competence, protein degradation and stress survival in bacteria. Here, we describe the role of clpC operon in Bacillus anthracis. We generated knockout strains of the clpC operon genes to investigate the impact of CtsR, McsA, McsB and ClpC deletion on essential processes of B. anthracis. We observed that growth, cell division, sporulation and germination were severely affected in mcsB and clpC deleted strains, while none of deletions affected toxin secretion. Growth defect in these strains was pronounced at elevated temperature. The growth pattern gets restored on complementation of mcsB and clpC in respective mutants. Electron microscopic examination revealed that mcsB and clpC deletion also causes defect in septum formation leading to cell elongation. These vegetative cell deformities were accompanied by inability of mutant strains to generate morphologically intact spores. Higher levels of polyhydroxybutyrate granules accumulation were also observed in these deletion strains, indicating a defect in sporulation process. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, the vital role played by McsB and ClpC in physiology of B. anthracis and open up further interest on this operon, which might be of importance to success of B. anthracis as pathogen.

  2. Functional characterization of WalRK: A two-component signal transduction system from Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alisha Dhiman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Two-component signal transduction systems (TCS, consisting of a sensor histidine protein kinase and its cognate response regulator, are an important mode of environmental sensing in bacteria. Additionally, they have been found to regulate virulence determinants in several pathogens. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a bioterrorism agent, harbours 41 pairs of TCS. However, their role in its pathogenicity has remained largely unexplored. Here, we show that WalRK of B. anthracis forms a functional TCS which exhibits some species-specific functions. Biochemical studies showed that domain variants of WalK, the histidine kinase, exhibit classical properties of autophosphorylation and phosphotransfer to its cognate response regulator WalR. Interestingly, these domain variants also show phosphatase activity towards phosphorylated WalR, thereby making WalK a bifunctional histidine kinase/phosphatase. An in silico regulon determination approach, using a consensus binding sequence from Bacillus subtilis, provided a list of 30 genes that could form a putative WalR regulon in B. anthracis. Further, electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified WalR to the upstream regions of three putative regulon candidates, an S-layer protein EA1, a cell division ABC transporter FtsE and a sporulation histidine kinase KinB3. Our work lends insight into the species-specific functions and mode of action of B. anthracis WalRK.

  3. Bacillus anthracis diagnostic detection and rapid antibiotic susceptibility determination using 'bioluminescent' reporter phage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, David A; Sharp, Natasha J; Vandamm, Joshua; Molineux, Ian J; Spreng, Krista A; Rajanna, Chythanya; Westwater, Caroline; Stewart, George C

    2013-11-01

    Genetically modified phages have the potential to detect pathogenic bacteria from clinical, environmental, or food-related sources. Herein we assess an engineered 'bioluminescent' reporter phage (Wß::luxAB) as a clinical diagnostic tool for Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax. Wß::luxAB is able to rapidly (within minutes) detect a panel of B. anthracis strains by transducing a bioluminescent phenotype. The reporter phage displays species specificity by its inability, or significantly reduced ability, to detect members of the closely related Bacillus cereus group and other common bacterial pathogens. Using spiked clinical specimens, Wß::luxAB detects B. anthracis within 5 h at clinically relevant concentrations, and provides antibiotic susceptibility information that mirrors the CLSI method, except that data are obtained at least 5-fold faster. Although anthrax is a treatable disease, a positive patient prognosis is dependent on timely diagnosis and appropriate therapy. Wß::luxAB rapidly detects B. anthracis and determines antibiotic efficacy, properties that will help patient outcome.

  4. Identification of Bacillus anthracis PurE inhibitors with antimicrobial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Anna; Wolf, Nina M; Zhu, Tian; Johnson, Michael E; Deng, Jiangping; Cook, James L; Fung, Leslie W-M

    2015-04-01

    N(5)-carboxy-amino-imidazole ribonucleotide (N(5)-CAIR) mutase (PurE), a bacterial enzyme in the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway, has been suggested to be a target for antimicrobial agent development. We have optimized a thermal shift method for high-throughput screening of compounds binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. We used a low ionic strength buffer condition to accentuate the thermal shift stabilization induced by compound binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. The compounds identified were then subjected to computational docking to the active site to further select compounds likely to be inhibitors. A UV-based enzymatic activity assay was then used to select inhibitory compounds. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were subsequently obtained for the inhibitory compounds against Bacillus anthracis (ΔANR strain), Escherichia coli (BW25113 strain, wild-type and ΔTolC), Francisella tularensis, Staphylococcus aureus (both methicillin susceptible and methicillin-resistant strains) and Yersinia pestis. Several compounds exhibited excellent (0.05-0.15μg/mL) MIC values against Bacillus anthracis. A common core structure was identified for the compounds exhibiting low MIC values. The difference in concentrations for inhibition and MIC suggest that another enzyme(s) is also targeted by the compounds that we identified.

  5. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L

    2015-08-17

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions.

  6. Removal of Bacillus anthracis sterne spore from commercial unpasteurized liquid egg white using crossflow microfiltration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current pasteurization technology used by the egg industry is ineffective for destruction of spores such as those of Bacillus anthracis (BA). The validity of a cross-flow microfiltration (MF) process for separation of the attenuated strain of BA (Sterne) spores from commercial unpasteurized liquid ...

  7. The two CcdA proteins of Bacillus anthracis differentially affect virulence gene expression and sporulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Hesong; Wilson, Adam C

    2013-12-01

    The cytochrome c maturation system influences the expression of virulence factors in Bacillus anthracis. B. anthracis carries two copies of the ccdA gene, encoding predicted thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases that contribute to cytochrome c maturation, while the closely related organism Bacillus subtilis carries only one copy of ccdA. To investigate the roles of the two ccdA gene copies in B. anthracis, strains were constructed without each ccdA gene, and one strain was constructed without both copies simultaneously. Loss of both ccdA genes results in a reduction of cytochrome c production, an increase in virulence factor expression, and a reduction in sporulation efficiency. Complementation and expression analyses indicate that ccdA2 encodes the primary CcdA in B. anthracis, active in all three pathways. While CcdA1 retains activity in cytochrome c maturation and virulence control, it has completely lost its activity in the sporulation pathway. In support of this finding, expression of ccdA1 is strongly reduced when cells are grown under sporulation-inducing conditions. When the activities of CcdA1 and CcdA2 were analyzed in B. subtilis, neither protein retained activity in cytochrome c maturation, but CcdA2 could still function in sporulation. These observations reveal the complexities of thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase function in pathways relevant to virulence and physiology.

  8. BAC Library Construction and Physical Mapping of Bacillus anthracis A16R

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Da; Zhu Houchu; Huang Liuyu

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is an endospore-forming bacterium that causes severe inhalational anthrax, and bacillus anthracis A16R is an attenuated strain derived from Bacillus anthracis A16. The development of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) system has allowed the construction of large insert-size DNA libraries, and the bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) have become the preferred large insert cloning system for genomic analysis because such libraries are characteristically stable, high in ifdelity and easy to handle. To facilitate genome studies of this bacterium, a bacterial artiifcial chromosome library (BAC) has been established from genome DNA of Bacillus anthracis A16R. This library consisted of 9 600 clones randomly selected from more than 15 000 recombinant clones carrying inserts in the plindigoBAC-5 vectors. The mean insert size was 56 kbp, representing an approximate 12-fold genome coverage, while end sequences were obtained from 700 randomly selected clones. Sequences were compared with Bacillus anthracis Ames and Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 Genome Project databases using the NCBI BLASTN search project. And most BLASTN results showed high identities and that the sequences’ sites could be used as STSs. To construct this physical map, Excel was used for the array of STSs and some gaps of the map were iflled up by PCR walking. Artemis-V4 was used in the construction of a genome-wide physical map with 93%genome coverage. The A16R BAC library proved to be a vital tool for the generation of a map that would not only allow the subsequent sequencing of defined areas of genome, but also provide immediate access to clones that were stable and convenient for functional genomic researches.

  9. The use of germinants to potentiate the sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis spores to peracetic acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozgur eCelebi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM and inosine (5 mM to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA required to inactivate B.anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p=0.0085 the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p=0.0009. To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B.anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 104 spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed one hour later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B.anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p<0.0001 in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B.anthracis spores contaminated sites.

  10. The Bacillus anthracis cholesterol-dependent cytolysin, Anthrolysin O, kills human neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rest Richard F

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is an animal and human pathogen whose virulence is characterized by lethal and edema toxin, as well as a poly-glutamic acid capsule. In addition to these well characterized toxins, B. anthracis secretes several proteases and phospholipases, and a newly described toxin of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC family, Anthrolysin O (ALO. Results In the present studies we show that recombinant ALO (rALO or native ALO, secreted by viable B. anthracis, is lethal to human primary polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs, monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs, lymphocytes, THP-1 monocytic human cell line and ME-180, Detroit 562, and A549 epithelial cells by trypan blue exclusion or lactate dehydrogenase (LDH release viability assays. ALO cytotoxicity is dose and time dependent and susceptibility to ALO-mediated lysis differs between cell types. In addition, the viability of monocytes and hMDMs was assayed in the presence of vegetative Sterne strains 7702 (ALO+, UT231 (ALO-, and a complemented strain expressing ALO, UT231 (pUTE544, and was dependent upon the expression of ALO. Cytotoxicity of rALO is seen as low as 0.070 nM in the absence of serum. All direct cytotoxic activity is inhibited by the addition of cholesterol or serum concentration as low as 10%. Conclusion The lethality of rALO and native ALO on human monocytes, neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes supports the idea that ALO may represent a previously unidentified virulence factor of B. anthracis. The study of other factors produced by B. anthracis, along with the major anthrax toxins, will lead to a better understanding of this bacterium's pathogenesis, as well as provide information for the development of antitoxin vaccines for treating and preventing anthrax.

  11. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 10(4) spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites.

  12. BAC Library Construction and Physical Mapping of Bacillus anthracis A16R

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Da Zhang

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is an endospore-forming bacterium that causes severe inhalational anthrax, and bacillus anthracis A16R is an attenuated strain derived from Bacillus anthracis A16. The development of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC system has allowed the construction of large insert-size DNA libraries, and the bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs have become the preferred large insert cloning system for genomic analysis because such libraries are characteristically stable, high in fidelity and easy to handle. To facilitate genome studies of this bacterium, a bacterial artificial chromosome library (BAC has been established from genome DNA of Bacillus anthracis A16R. This library consisted of 9 600 clones randomly selected from more than 15 000 recombinant clones carrying inserts in the plindigoBAC-5 vectors. The mean insert size was 56 kbp, representing an approximate 12-fold genome coverage, while end sequences were obtained from 700 randomly selected clones. Sequences were compared with Bacillus anthracis Ames and Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 Genome Project databases using the NCBI BLASTN search project. And most BLASTN results showed high identities and that the sequences’ sites could be used as STSs. To construct this physical map, Excel was used for the array of STSs and some gaps of the map were filled up by PCR walking. Artemis-V4 was used in the construction of a genome-wide physical map with 93% genome coverage. The A16R BAC library proved to be a vital tool for the generation of a map that would not only allow the subsequent sequencing of defined areas of genome, but also provide immediate access to clones that were stable and convenient for functional genomic researches.

  13. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B.thuringiensis Isolates Closely Related to Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Cliff S.; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F.; Altherr, MichaelR.; Smriti, B.; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S.; Campbell, Mary L.; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M.; Doggett, Norman A.; Fawcett, John J.; Glavina, Tijana; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Hill, Karen K.; Hitchcock, Penny; Jackson, Paul J.; Keim, Paul; Kewalramani, Avinash Ramesh; Longmire, Jon; Lucas, Susan; Malfatti,Stephanie; McMurry, Kim; Meincke, Linda J.; Misra, Monica; Moseman,Bernice L.; Mundt, Mark; Munk, A. Christine; Okinaka, Richard T.; Parson-Quintana, B.; Reilly, Lee P.; Richardson, Paul; Robinson, DonnaL.; Rubin, Eddy; Saunders, Elizabeth; Tapia, Roxanne; Tesmer, Judith G.; Thayer, Nina; Thompson, Linda S.; Tice, Hope; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Wills, Patti L.; Gilna, Payl; Brettin, Thomas S.

    2005-08-18

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B.cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including Banthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  14. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A.; Hansen, Trine

    2013-01-01

    on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. For the detection of chromosomal DNA, different genes have been used, such as BA813, rpoB, gyrA, plcR, S......Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely......-layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal...

  15. Microarray Analysis of Transposon Insertion Mutants in Bacillus Anthracis: Global Identification of Genes Required for Sporulation and Germination

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-01

    Gilois, M. Rose, and D. Lereclus. 2001. Oligopep- tide permease is required for expression of the Bacillus thuringiensis plcR regulon and for...non- toxin gene expression in Bacillus anthracis. Infect. Immun. 65:3091–3099. 10. Ikeda, R. A., C. M. Ligman, and S. Warshamana. 1992. T7 promoter con...nontoxi- genic Bacillus anthracis spore vaccines based on strains expressing mutant vari- ants of lethal toxin components. Vaccine 23:5688–5697. 17. Read

  16. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria isolated from wild great apes from Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klee, Silke R; Ozel, Muhsin; Appel, Bernd; Boesch, Christophe; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Jacob, Daniela; Holland, Gudrun; Leendertz, Fabian H; Pauli, Georg; Grunow, Roland; Nattermann, Herbert

    2006-08-01

    We present the microbiological and molecular characterization of bacteria isolated from four chimpanzees and one gorilla thought to have died of an anthrax-like disease in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. These isolates differed significantly from classic Bacillus anthracis by the following criteria: motility, resistance to the gamma phage, and, for isolates from Cameroon, resistance to penicillin G. A capsule was expressed not only after induction by CO(2) and bicarbonate but also under normal growth conditions. Subcultivation resulted in beta-hemolytic activity and gamma phage susceptibility in some subclones, suggesting differences in gene regulation compared to classic B. anthracis. The isolates from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon showed slight differences in their biochemical characteristics and MICs of different antibiotics but were identical in all molecular features and sequences analyzed. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed the presence of both the toxin and the capsule plasmid, with sizes corresponding to the B. anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Protective antigen was expressed and secreted into the culture supernatant. The isolates possessed variants of the Ba813 marker and the SG-749 fragment differing from that of classic B. anthracis strains. Multilocus sequence typing revealed a close relationship of our atypical isolates with both classic B. anthracis strains and two uncommonly virulent Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates. We propose that the newly discovered atypical B. anthracis strains share a common ancestor with classic B. anthracis or that they emerged recently by transfer of the B. anthracis plasmids to a strain of the B. cereus group.

  17. A new approach to in silico SNP detection and some new SNPs in the Bacillus anthracis genome

    OpenAIRE

    Francoeur Joe; Brodzik Andrzej K

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is one of the most monomorphic pathogens known. Identification of polymorphisms in its genome is essential for taxonomic classification, for determination of recent evolutionary changes, and for evaluation of pathogenic potency. Findings In this work three strains of the Bacillus anthracis genome are compared and previously unpublished single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are revealed. Moreover, it is shown that, despite the highly monomorphic nature o...

  18. Discerning Viable from Nonviable Yersinia pestis pgm- and Bacillus anthracis Sterne using Propidium Monoazide in the Presence of White Powders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hess, Becky M.; Kaiser, Brooke LD; Sydor, Michael A.; Wunschel, David S.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-12-23

    ABSTRACT Aims To develop and optimize an assay to determine viability status of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Yersinia pestis pgm- strains in the presence of white powders by coupling propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment with real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis. Methods and Results PMA selectively enters nonviable cells and binds DNA, thereby increasing qPCR assay cycle threshold (CT) values compared to untreated samples. Dye concentration, cell number and fitness, incubation time, inactivation methods, and assay buffer were optimized for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm-. Differences in CT values in nonviable cells compared to untreated samples were consistently > 9 for both B. anthracis Sterne vegetative cells and Y. pestis pgm- in the presence and absence of three different white powders. Our method eliminates the need for a DNA extraction step prior to detection by qPCR. Conclusions The developed assay enables simultaneous identification and viability assessment for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm- under laboratory conditions, even in the presence of white powders. Eliminating the DNA extraction step that is typically used reduces total assay time and labor requirements for sample analysis. Significance and Impact of the Study The method developed for simultaneous detection and viability assessment for B. anthracis and Y. pestis can be employed in forming decisions about the severity of a biothreat event or the safety of food. Keywords Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Propidium Monoazide, qPCR, White Powders, Rapid Viability Detection

  19. Identification and Classification of bcl Genes and Proteins of Bacillus cereus Group Organisms and Their Application in Bacillus anthracis Detection and Fingerprinting▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Leski, Tomasz A.; Caswell, Clayton C.; Pawlowski, Marcin; Klinke, David J.; Bujnicki, Janusz M.; Hart, Sean J.; Lukomski, Slawomir

    2009-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus group includes three closely related species, B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, which form a highly homogeneous subdivision of the genus Bacillus. One of these species, B. anthracis, has been identified as one of the most probable bacterial biowarfare agents. Here, we evaluate the sequence and length polymorphisms of the Bacillus collagen-like protein bcl genes as a basis for B. anthracis detection and fingerprinting. Five genes, designated bclA to bclE, are p...

  20. Discovery of pinoresinol reductase genes in sphingomonads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuhara, Y; Kamimura, N; Nakajima, M; Hishiyama, S; Hara, H; Kasai, D; Tsuji, Y; Narita-Yamada, S; Nakamura, S; Katano, Y; Fujita, N; Katayama, Y; Fukuda, M; Kajita, S; Masai, E

    2013-01-10

    Bacterial genes for the degradation of major dilignols produced in lignifying xylem are expected to be useful tools for the structural modification of lignin in plants. For this purpose, we isolated pinZ involved in the conversion of pinoresinol from Sphingobium sp. strain SYK-6. pinZ showed 43-77% identity at amino acid level with bacterial NmrA-like proteins of unknown function, a subgroup of atypical short chain dehydrogenases/reductases, but revealed only 15-21% identity with plant pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases. PinZ completely converted racemic pinoresinol to lariciresinol, showing a specific activity of 46±3 U/mg in the presence of NADPH at 30°C. In contrast, the activity for lariciresinol was negligible. This substrate preference is similar to a pinoresinol reductase, AtPrR1, of Arabidopsis thaliana; however, the specific activity of PinZ toward (±)-pinoresinol was significantly higher than that of AtPrR1. The role of pinZ and a pinZ ortholog of Novosphingobium aromaticivorans DSM 12444 were also characterized.

  1. Occurrence and Genetic Diversity of Bacillus anthracis Strains Isolated in an Active Wool-Cleaning Factory▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wattiau, Pierre; Klee, Silke R.; Fretin, David; Van Hessche, Mieke; Ménart, Marie; Franz, Tatjana; Chasseur, Camille; Butaye, Patrick; Imberechts, Hein

    2008-01-01

    Culturable microorganisms from various samples taken at an active factory performing wool and goat hair cleaning were isolated and analyzed. Bacillus anthracis was found in air filter dust, wastewater, and goat hairs, where it accounted for approximately 1% of the total counts of viable bacteria. Consistent with the countries of origin of the processed material (South Caucasian and Middle Eastern), all B. anthracis isolates belonged to the same phylogenetic cluster, as determined by variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) typing at eight loci. Within this cluster, five closely related VNTR subtypes could be identified, of which two were previously unreported. Additional diversity was observed when more sensitive genetic markers were assayed, demonstrating the multifocal nature of goat hair contamination. Goat hair originating from areas where anthrax is endemic remains a material with high biological risk for modern woolworkers. PMID:18487406

  2. Effects of Long-Term Storage on Plasmid Stability in Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marston, Chung K.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Wilson, Kathy E.; Bragg, Sandra L.; Plikaytis, Brian; Brachman, Philip; Johnson, Scott; Kaufmann, Arnold F.; Popovic, Tanja

    2005-01-01

    The plasmid profiles of 619 cultures of Bacillus anthracis which had been isolated and stored between 1954 and 1989 were analyzed using the Laboratory Response Network real-time PCR assay targeting a chromosomal marker and both virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2). The cultures were stored at ambient temperature on tryptic soy agar slants overlaid with mineral oil. When data were stratified by decade, there was a decreasing linear trend in the proportion of strains containing both plasmids with increased storage time (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the proportion of strains containing only pXO1 or strains containing only pXO2 (P = 0.25), but there was a statistical interdependence between the two plasmids (P = 0.004). Loss of viability of B. anthracis cultures stored on agar slants is also discussed. PMID:16332750

  3. Laboratory Studies on Surface Sampling of Bacillus anthracis Contamination: Summary, Gaps, and Recommendations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2011-11-28

    This report summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and (2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed and recommendations are given for future studies.

  4. The Ba813 chromosomal DNA sequence effectively traces the whole Bacillus anthracis community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramisse, V; Patra, G; Vaissaire, J; Mock, M

    1999-08-01

    Plasmid genes that are responsible for virulence of Bacillus anthracis are important targets for the DNA-based detection of anthrax. We evaluated the distribution of the Ba813 chromosomal DNA sequence (Ba813) within closely related Bacillus species. Ba813 was systematically identified from 47 strains or isolates of B. anthracis tested, thus indicating its reliability as a tracer for that species. From the 60 strains of closely related Bacillus spp. examined, three bona fide B. cereus and one bona fide B. thuringiensis were found to harbour Ba813. This marker was also detected in Bacillus sp. isolates that were present at high levels in soil samples collected in a place where an anthrax outbreak had occurred. The significance and the possible function of the Ba813 locus is discussed.

  5. A genetic approach for the identification of exosporium assembly determinants of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spreng, Krista A.; Thompson, Brian M.; Stewart, George C.

    2013-01-01

    The exosporium is the outermost layer of spores of the zoonotic pathogen Bacillus anthracis. The composition of the exosporium and its functions are only partly understood. Because this outer spore layer is refractive to traditional biochemical analysis, a genetic approach is needed in order to define the proteins which comprise this important spore layer and its assembly pathway. We have created a novel genetic screening system for the identification and isolation of mutants with defects in exosporium assembly during B. anthracis spore maturation. The system is based on the targeting sequence of the BclA exosporium nap layer glycoprotein and a fluorescent reporter. By utilizing this screening system and gene inactivation with Tn916, several novel putative exosporium-associated determinants were identified. A sampling of the mutants obtained was further characterized, confirming their exosporium defect and validating the utility of this screen to identify novel spore determinants in the genome of this pathogen. PMID:23411372

  6. Transcriptional profiling of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (34F2 during iron starvation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Carlson

    Full Text Available Lack of available iron is one of many environmental challenges that a bacterium encounters during infection and adaptation to iron starvation is important for the pathogen to efficiently replicate within the host. Here we define the transcriptional response of B. anthracis Sterne (34F(2 to iron depleted conditions. Genome-wide transcript analysis showed that B. anthracis undergoes considerable changes in gene expression during growth in iron-depleted media, including the regulation of known and candidate virulence factors. Two genes encoding putative internalin proteins were chosen for further study. Deletion of either gene (GBAA0552 or GBAA1340 resulted in attenuation in a murine model of infection. This attenuation was amplified in a double mutant strain. These data define the transcriptional changes induced during growth in low iron conditions and illustrate the potential of this dataset in the identification of putative virulence determinants for future study.

  7. Variable Lymphocyte Receptor Recognition of the Immunodominant Glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirchdoerfer, Robert N.; Herrin, Brantley R.; Han, Byung Woo; Turnbough, Jr., Charles L.; Cooper, Max D.; Wilson, Ian A. (SNU); (Scripps); (Emory); (UAB); (Emory Vaccine)

    2012-07-25

    Variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) are the adaptive immune receptors of jawless fish, which evolved adaptive immunity independent of other vertebrates. In lieu of the immunoglobulin fold-based T and B cell receptors, lymphocyte-like cells of jawless fish express VLRs (VLRA, VLRB, or VLRC) composed of leucine-rich repeats and are similar to toll-like receptors (TLRs) in structure, but antibodies (VLRB) and T cell receptors (VLRA and VLRC) in function. Here, we present the structural and biochemical characterization of VLR4, a VLRB, in complex with BclA, the immunodominant glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis spores. Using a combination of crystallography, mutagenesis, and binding studies, we delineate the mode of antigen recognition and binding between VLR4 and BclA, examine commonalities in VLRB recognition of antigens, and demonstrate the potential of VLR4 as a diagnostic tool for the identification of B. anthracis spores.

  8. Specific activation of dendritic cells enhances clearance of Bacillus anthracis following infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Iain J T; Mann, Elizabeth R; Stokes, Margaret G; English, Nicholas R; Knight, Stella C; Williamson, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic cells are potent activators of the immune system and have a key role in linking innate and adaptive immune responses. In the current study we have used ex vivo pulsed bone marrow dendritic cells (BMDC) in a novel adoptive transfer strategy to protect against challenge with Bacillus anthracis, in a murine model. Pre-pulsing murine BMDC with either recombinant Protective Antigen (PA) or CpG significantly upregulated expression of the activation markers CD40, CD80, CD86 and MHC-II. Passive transfusion of mice with pulsed BMDC, concurrently with active immunisation with rPA in alum, significantly enhanced (pBMDC, demonstrated 100% survival following lethal B. anthracis challenge and had significantly enhanced (p<0.05) bacterial clearance within 2 days, compared with mice vaccinated with rPA and alum alone.

  9. Differentiation of Bacillus anthracis from Bacillus cereus by gas chromatographic whole-cell fatty acid analysis.

    OpenAIRE

    Lawrence, D.; Heitefuss, S; Seifert, H S

    1991-01-01

    Three strains of Bacillus anthracis and seven strains of Bacillus cereus were grown on complex medium and on synthetic medium. Gas chromatographic analysis of whole-cell fatty acids of strains grown on complex medium gave nearly identical fatty acid patterns. Fatty acid patterns of strains grown on synthetic medium showed a high content of branched-chain fatty acids. Significant differences between the fatty acid patterns of the two species were found. Odd iso/anteiso fatty acid ratios were a...

  10. Regulation of the Spore Cortex Lytic Enzyme SleB in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of the disease anthrax and poses a threat due to its potential to be used as a biological weapon. The spore form of this bacterium is an extremely resistant structure, making spore decontamination exceptionally challenging. During spore germination, nutrient germinants interact with Ger receptors, triggering a cascade of events. A crucial event in this process is degradation of the cortex peptidoglycan by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs),...

  11. Role of YpeB in Cortex Hydrolysis during Germination of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common ...

  12. Anthrax, Toxins and Vaccines: A 125-Year Journey Targeting Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    after their inception. Since these early begin- nings, additional medical history linked to B. anthracis coincides in many ways with vac- cines that...by vaccination. Hopefully, the reader will be challenged to think of how existing anthrax vaccines, especially those meant for humans, can be...improved with available knowledge/technology. The many current anthrax vaccines are linked to Louis Pasteur’s seminal experiments at Pouilly Ie-Fort in

  13. A Bacillus anthracis Genome Sequence from the Sverdlovsk 1979 Autopsy Specimens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahl, Jason W.; Pearson, Talima; Okinaka, Richard; Schupp, James M.; Gillece, John D.; Heaton, Hannah; Birdsell, Dawn; Hepp, Crystal; Fofanov, Viacheslav; Noseda, Ramón; Fasanella, Antonio; Hoffmaster, Alex; Wagner, David M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that occurs naturally in wild and domestic animals but has been used by both state-sponsored programs and terrorists as a biological weapon. A Soviet industrial production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, proved deficient in 1979 when a plume of spores was accidentally released and resulted in one of the largest known human anthrax outbreaks. In order to understand this outbreak and others, we generated a Bacillus anthracis population genetic database based upon whole-genome analysis to identify all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across a reference genome. Phylogenetic analysis has defined three major clades (A, B, and C), B and C being relatively rare compared to A. The A clade has numerous subclades, including a major polytomy named the trans-Eurasian (TEA) group. The TEA radiation is a dominant evolutionary feature of B. anthracis, with many contemporary populations having resulted from a large spatial dispersal of spores from a single source. Two autopsy specimens from the Sverdlovsk outbreak were deep sequenced to produce draft B. anthracis genomes. This allowed the phylogenetic placement of the Sverdlovsk strain into a clade with two Asian live vaccine strains, including the Russian Tsiankovskii strain. The genome was examined for evidence of drug resistance manipulation or other genetic engineering, but none was found. The Soviet Sverdlovsk strain genome is consistent with a wild-type strain from Russia that had no evidence of genetic manipulation during its industrial production. This work provides insights into the world’s largest biological weapons program and provides an extensive B. anthracis phylogenetic reference. PMID:27677796

  14. A Bacillus anthracis Genome Sequence from the Sverdlovsk 1979 Autopsy Specimens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason W. Sahl

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a zoonotic disease that occurs naturally in wild and domestic animals but has been used by both state-sponsored programs and terrorists as a biological weapon. A Soviet industrial production facility in Sverdlovsk, USSR, proved deficient in 1979 when a plume of spores was accidentally released and resulted in one of the largest known human anthrax outbreaks. In order to understand this outbreak and others, we generated a Bacillus anthracis population genetic database based upon whole-genome analysis to identify all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs across a reference genome. Phylogenetic analysis has defined three major clades (A, B, and C, B and C being relatively rare compared to A. The A clade has numerous subclades, including a major polytomy named the trans-Eurasian (TEA group. The TEA radiation is a dominant evolutionary feature of B. anthracis, with many contemporary populations having resulted from a large spatial dispersal of spores from a single source. Two autopsy specimens from the Sverdlovsk outbreak were deep sequenced to produce draft B. anthracis genomes. This allowed the phylogenetic placement of the Sverdlovsk strain into a clade with two Asian live vaccine strains, including the Russian Tsiankovskii strain. The genome was examined for evidence of drug resistance manipulation or other genetic engineering, but none was found. The Soviet Sverdlovsk strain genome is consistent with a wild-type strain from Russia that had no evidence of genetic manipulation during its industrial production. This work provides insights into the world’s largest biological weapons program and provides an extensive B. anthracis phylogenetic reference.

  15. Bacillus anthracis Capsular Conjugates Elicit Chimpanzee Polyclonal Antibodies That Protect Mice from Pulmonary Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhaochun; Schneerson, Rachel; Lovchik, Julie A; Dai, Zhongdong; Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Agulto, Liane; Leppla, Stephen H; Purcell, Robert H

    2015-08-01

    The immunogenicity of Bacillus anthracis capsule (poly-γ-D-glutamic acid [PGA]) conjugated to recombinant B. anthracis protective antigen (rPA) or to tetanus toxoid (TT) was evaluated in two anthrax-naive juvenile chimpanzees. In a previous study of these conjugates, highly protective monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against PGA were generated. This study examines the polyclonal antibody response of the same animals. Preimmune antibodies to PGA with titers of >10(3) were detected in the chimpanzees. The maximal titer of anti-PGA was induced within 1 to 2 weeks following the 1st immunization, with no booster effects following the 2nd and 3rd immunizations. Thus, the anti-PGA response in the chimpanzees resembled a secondary immune response. Screening of sera from nine unimmunized chimpanzees and six humans revealed antibodies to PGA in all samples, with an average titer of 10(3). An anti-PA response was also observed following immunization with PGA-rPA conjugate, similar to that seen following immunization with rPA alone. However, in contrast to anti-PGA, preimmune anti-PA antibody titers and those following the 1st immunization were ≤300, with the antibodies peaking above 10(4) following the 2nd immunization. The polyclonal anti-PGA shared the MAb 11D epitope and, similar to the MAbs, exerted opsonophagocytic killing of B. anthracis. Most important, the PGA-TT-induced antibodies protected mice from a lethal challenge with virulent B. anthracis spores. Our data support the use of PGA conjugates, especially PGA-rPA targeting both toxin and capsule, as expanded-spectrum anthrax vaccines.

  16. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (United States); Leppla, Stephen H., E-mail: sleppla@niaid.nih.gov [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (United States)

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Non-infectious and protease-deficient Bacillus anthracis protein expression system. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Successful expression and purification of a tumor-targeted fusion protein drug. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Very low endotoxin contamination of purified protein. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Efficient protein secretion simplifies purification. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functional anti-tumor fusion protein purified. -- Abstract: Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGF{alpha}). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGF{alpha}). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  17. Recombinant Expression and Purification of a Tumor-Targeted Toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple pr...

  18. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Natasha J.; Molineux, Ian J.; Page, Martin A.

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viable B. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxAB in an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 105 CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 104 CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils. PMID:26873316

  19. Allelic variation on murine chromosome 11 modifies host inflammatory responses and resistance to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terra, Jill K; France, Bryan; Cote, Christopher K; Jenkins, Amy; Bozue, Joel A; Welkos, Susan L; Bhargava, Ragini; Ho, Chi-Lee; Mehrabian, Margarete; Pan, Calvin; Lusis, Aldons J; Davis, Richard C; LeVine, Steven M; Bradley, Kenneth A

    2011-12-01

    Anthrax is a potentially fatal disease resulting from infection with Bacillus anthracis. The outcome of infection is influenced by pathogen-encoded virulence factors such as lethal toxin (LT), as well as by genetic variation within the host. To identify host genes controlling susceptibility to anthrax, a library of congenic mice consisting of strains with homozygous chromosomal segments from the LT-responsive CAST/Ei strain introgressed on a LT-resistant C57BL/6 (B6) background was screened for response to LT. Three congenic strains containing CAST/Ei regions of chromosome 11 were identified that displayed a rapid inflammatory response to LT similar to, but more severe than that driven by a LT-responsive allele of the inflammasome constituent NRLP1B. Importantly, increased response to LT in congenic mice correlated with greater resistance to infection by the Sterne strain of B. anthracis. The genomic region controlling the inflammatory response to LT was mapped to 66.36-74.67 Mb on chromosome 11, a region that encodes the LT-responsive CAST/Ei allele of Nlrp1b. However, known downstream effects of NLRP1B activation, including macrophage pyroptosis, cytokine release, and leukocyte infiltration could not fully explain the response to LT or the resistance to B. anthracis Sterne in congenic mice. Further, the exacerbated response in congenic mice is inherited in a recessive manner while the Nlrp1b-mediated response to LT is dominant. Finally, congenic mice displayed increased responsiveness in a model of sepsis compared with B6 mice. In total, these data suggest that allelic variation of one or more chromosome 11 genes in addition to Nlrp1b controls the severity of host response to multiple inflammatory stimuli and contributes to resistance to B. anthracis Sterne. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis revealed 25 genes within this region as high priority candidates for contributing to the host response to LT.

  20. Allelic variation on murine chromosome 11 modifies host inflammatory responses and resistance to Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill K Terra

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a potentially fatal disease resulting from infection with Bacillus anthracis. The outcome of infection is influenced by pathogen-encoded virulence factors such as lethal toxin (LT, as well as by genetic variation within the host. To identify host genes controlling susceptibility to anthrax, a library of congenic mice consisting of strains with homozygous chromosomal segments from the LT-responsive CAST/Ei strain introgressed on a LT-resistant C57BL/6 (B6 background was screened for response to LT. Three congenic strains containing CAST/Ei regions of chromosome 11 were identified that displayed a rapid inflammatory response to LT similar to, but more severe than that driven by a LT-responsive allele of the inflammasome constituent NRLP1B. Importantly, increased response to LT in congenic mice correlated with greater resistance to infection by the Sterne strain of B. anthracis. The genomic region controlling the inflammatory response to LT was mapped to 66.36-74.67 Mb on chromosome 11, a region that encodes the LT-responsive CAST/Ei allele of Nlrp1b. However, known downstream effects of NLRP1B activation, including macrophage pyroptosis, cytokine release, and leukocyte infiltration could not fully explain the response to LT or the resistance to B. anthracis Sterne in congenic mice. Further, the exacerbated response in congenic mice is inherited in a recessive manner while the Nlrp1b-mediated response to LT is dominant. Finally, congenic mice displayed increased responsiveness in a model of sepsis compared with B6 mice. In total, these data suggest that allelic variation of one or more chromosome 11 genes in addition to Nlrp1b controls the severity of host response to multiple inflammatory stimuli and contributes to resistance to B. anthracis Sterne. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis revealed 25 genes within this region as high priority candidates for contributing to the host response to LT.

  1. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Natasha J; Molineux, Ian J; Page, Martin A; Schofield, David A

    2016-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viableB. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxABin an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 10(5)CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 10(4)CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils.

  2. Automated thermochemolysis reactor for detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Dan [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Rands, Anthony D.; Losee, Scott C. [Torion Technologies, American Fork, UT 84003 (United States); Holt, Brian C. [Department of Statistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Williams, John R. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Lammert, Stephen A. [Torion Technologies, American Fork, UT 84003 (United States); Robison, Richard A. [Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Tolley, H. Dennis [Department of Statistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Lee, Milton L., E-mail: milton_lee@byu.edu [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States)

    2013-05-02

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •An automated sample preparation system for Bacillus anthracis endospores was developed. •A thermochemolysis method was applied to produce and derivatize biomarkers for Bacillus anthracis detection. •The autoreactor controlled the precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. •Solid phase microextraction was used to extract biomarkers, and GC–MS was used for final identification. •This autoreactor was successfully applied to the identification of Bacillus anthracis endospores. -- Abstract: An automated sample preparation system was developed and tested for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) for eventual use in the field. This reactor is capable of automatically processing suspected bio-threat agents to release and derivatize unique chemical biomarkers by thermochemolysis (TCM). The system automatically controls the movement of sample vials from one position to another, crimping of septum caps onto the vials, precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. The specific operations of introduction of sample vials, solid phase microextraction (SPME) sampling, injection into the GC–MS system, and ejection of used vials from the system were performed manually in this study, although they can be integrated into the automated system. Manual SPME sampling is performed by following visual and audible signal prompts for inserting the fiber into and retracting it from the sampling port. A rotating carousel design allows for simultaneous sample collection, reaction, biomarker extraction and analysis of sequential samples. Dipicolinic acid methyl ester (DPAME), 3-methyl-2-butenoic acid methyl ester (a fragment of anthrose) and two methylated sugars were used to compare the performance of the autoreactor with manual TCM. Statistical algorithms were used to construct reliable bacterial endospore signatures, and 24

  3. Modeling the potential distribution of Bacillus anthracis under multiple climate change scenarios for Kazakhstan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Andrew Joyner

    Full Text Available Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonotic disease that persists throughout much of the world in livestock, wildlife, and secondarily infects humans. This is true across much of Central Asia, and particularly the Steppe region, including Kazakhstan. This study employed the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP to model the current and future geographic distribution of Bacillus anthracis in Kazakhstan based on the A2 and B2 IPCC SRES climate change scenarios using a 5-variable data set at 55 km(2 and 8 km(2 and a 6-variable BioClim data set at 8 km(2. Future models suggest large areas predicted under current conditions may be reduced by 2050 with the A2 model predicting approximately 14-16% loss across the three spatial resolutions. There was greater variability in the B2 models across scenarios predicting approximately 15% loss at 55 km(2, approximately 34% loss at 8 km(2, and approximately 30% loss with the BioClim variables. Only very small areas of habitat expansion into new areas were predicted by either A2 or B2 in any models. Greater areas of habitat loss are predicted in the southern regions of Kazakhstan by A2 and B2 models, while moderate habitat loss is also predicted in the northern regions by either B2 model at 8 km(2. Anthrax disease control relies mainly on livestock vaccination and proper carcass disposal, both of which require adequate surveillance. In many situations, including that of Kazakhstan, vaccine resources are limited, and understanding the geographic distribution of the organism, in tandem with current data on livestock population dynamics, can aid in properly allocating doses. While speculative, contemplating future changes in livestock distributions and B. anthracis spore promoting environments can be useful for establishing future surveillance priorities. This study may also have broader applications to global public health surveillance relating to other diseases in addition to B

  4. Modeling the potential distribution of Bacillus anthracis under multiple climate change scenarios for Kazakhstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyner, Timothy Andrew; Lukhnova, Larissa; Pazilov, Yerlan; Temiralyeva, Gulnara; Hugh-Jones, Martin E; Aikimbayev, Alim; Blackburn, Jason K

    2010-03-09

    Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonotic disease that persists throughout much of the world in livestock, wildlife, and secondarily infects humans. This is true across much of Central Asia, and particularly the Steppe region, including Kazakhstan. This study employed the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) to model the current and future geographic distribution of Bacillus anthracis in Kazakhstan based on the A2 and B2 IPCC SRES climate change scenarios using a 5-variable data set at 55 km(2) and 8 km(2) and a 6-variable BioClim data set at 8 km(2). Future models suggest large areas predicted under current conditions may be reduced by 2050 with the A2 model predicting approximately 14-16% loss across the three spatial resolutions. There was greater variability in the B2 models across scenarios predicting approximately 15% loss at 55 km(2), approximately 34% loss at 8 km(2), and approximately 30% loss with the BioClim variables. Only very small areas of habitat expansion into new areas were predicted by either A2 or B2 in any models. Greater areas of habitat loss are predicted in the southern regions of Kazakhstan by A2 and B2 models, while moderate habitat loss is also predicted in the northern regions by either B2 model at 8 km(2). Anthrax disease control relies mainly on livestock vaccination and proper carcass disposal, both of which require adequate surveillance. In many situations, including that of Kazakhstan, vaccine resources are limited, and understanding the geographic distribution of the organism, in tandem with current data on livestock population dynamics, can aid in properly allocating doses. While speculative, contemplating future changes in livestock distributions and B. anthracis spore promoting environments can be useful for establishing future surveillance priorities. This study may also have broader applications to global public health surveillance relating to other diseases in addition to B. anthracis.

  5. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Valdez, Yolanda E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Shou, Yulin [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Yoshida, Thomas M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Marrone, Babetta L [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dunbar, John [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  6. Cloning, purification and crystallization of Bacillus anthracis class C acid phosphatase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felts, Richard L. [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Reilly, Thomas J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Calcutt, Michael J. [Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Tanner, John J., E-mail: tannerjj@missouri.edu [Department of Chemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States); Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211 (United States)

    2006-07-01

    Crystallization of a surface-localized acid phosphatase from Bacillus anthracis is reported. Flash annealing increased the high-resolution limit of usable data from 1.8 to 1.6 Å. Cloning, expression, purification and crystallization studies of a recombinant class C acid phosphatase from the Category A pathogen Bacillus anthracis are reported. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of HEPES and Jeffamine ED-2001 at pH 7.0. The crystals belong to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.4, b = 90.1, c = 104.2 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain two protein molecules with a solvent content of 38%. Two native data sets were collected from the same crystal before and after flash-annealing. The first data set had a mosaicity of 1.6° and a high-resolution limit of 1.8 Å. After flash-annealing, the apparent mosaicity decreased to 0.9° and the high-resolution limit of usable data increased to 1.6 Å. This crystal form is currently being used to determine the structure of B. anthracis class C acid phosphatase with experimental phasing techniques.

  7. Storage Effects on Sample Integrity of Environmental Surface Sampling Specimens with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, K Allison; O'Connell, Heather A; Rose, Laura J; Noble-Wang, Judith A; Arduino, Matthew J

    The effect of packaging, shipping temperatures and storage times on recovery of Bacillus anthracis. Sterne spores from swabs was investigated. Macrofoam swabs were pre-moistened, inoculated with Bacillus anthracis spores, and packaged in primary containment or secondary containment before storage at -15°C, 5°C, 21°C, or 35°C for 0-7 days. Swabs were processed according to validated Centers for Disease Control/Laboratory Response Network culture protocols, and the percent recovery relative to a reference sample (T0) was determined for each variable. No differences were observed in recovery between swabs held at -15° and 5°C, (p ≥ 0.23). These two temperatures provided significantly better recovery than swabs held at 21°C or 35°C (all 7 days pooled, p ≤ 0.04). The percent recovery at 5°C was not significantly different if processed on days 1, 2 or 4, but was significantly lower on day 7 (day 2 vs. 7, 5°C, 10(2), p=0.03). Secondary containment provided significantly better percent recovery than primary containment, regardless of storage time (5°C data, p ≤ 0.008). The integrity of environmental swab samples containing Bacillus anthracis spores shipped in secondary containment was maintained when stored at -15°C or 5°C and processed within 4 days to yield the optimum percent recovery of spores.

  8. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H

    2013-01-04

    Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGFα). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  9. Fieldable genotyping of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis based on 25-loci Multi Locus VNTR Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carattoli Alessandra

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anthrax and plague are diseases caused by Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis respectively. These bacteria are etiological agents for worldwide zoonotic diseases and are considered among the most feared potential bioterror agents. Strain differentiation is difficult for these microorganisms because of their high intraspecies genome homogeneity. Moreover, fast strain identification and comparison with known genotypes may be crucial for naturally occurring outbreaks versus bioterrorist events discrimination. Results Thirty-nine B. anthracis and ten Y. pestis strains, representative of the species genetic diversity, were genotyped by Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer using previously described Multiple Locus VNTR Analysis assays (MLVA. Results were compared to previous data obtained by standard genotyping system (capillary electrophoresis on automatic sequencer and, when necessary, direct amplicon sequencing. A reference comparison table containing actual fragment sizes, sequencer sizes and Agilent sizes was produced. Conclusion In this report an automated DNA electrophoresis apparatus which provides a cheaper alternative compared to capillary electrophoresis approaches was applied for genotyping of B. anthracis and Y. pestis. This equipment, uses pre-cast gels and provides easy transportation, low maintenance and overall general logistic requirements and costs, is easy to set up and provides rapid analysis. This platform is a candidate for on-site MLVA genotyping of biothreat agents as well as other bacterial pathogens. It is an alternative to the more expensive and demanding capillary electrophoresis methods, and to the less expensive but more time-consuming classical gel electrophoresis approach.

  10. Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piepel, G F; Amidan, B G; Hu, R

    2012-12-01

    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing and analysing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (i) estimates of B. anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates and (ii) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Additional work is needed to quantify (i) the false-negative rates of surface-sampling methods with lower concentrations on various surfaces and (ii) the effects on performance characteristics of: aerosol vs liquid deposition of spores, using surrogates instead of B. anthracis, real-world vs laboratory conditions and storage and transportation conditions. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies.

  11. Optimization of a sample processing protocol for recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores from soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestri, Erin E.; Feldhake, David; Griffin, Dale; Lisle, John T.; Nichols, Tonya L.; Shah, Sanjiv; Pemberton, A; Schaefer III, Frank W

    2016-01-01

    Following a release of Bacillus anthracis spores into the environment, there is a potential for lasting environmental contamination in soils. There is a need for detection protocols for B. anthracis in environmental matrices. However, identification of B. anthracis within a soil is a difficult task. Processing soil samples helps to remove debris, chemical components, and biological impurities that can interfere with microbiological detection. This study aimed to optimize a previously used indirect processing protocol, which included a series of washing and centrifugation steps. Optimization of the protocol included: identifying an ideal extraction diluent, variation in the number of wash steps, variation in the initial centrifugation speed, sonication and shaking mechanisms. The optimized protocol was demonstrated at two laboratories in order to evaluate the recovery of spores from loamy and sandy soils. The new protocol demonstrated an improved limit of detection for loamy and sandy soils over the non-optimized protocol with an approximate matrix limit of detection at 14 spores/g of soil. There were no significant differences overall between the two laboratories for either soil type, suggesting that the processing protocol will be robust enough to use at multiple laboratories while achieving comparable recoveries.

  12. Ca-asp bound X-ray structure and inhibition of Bacillus anthracis dihydroorotase (DHOase).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Amy J; Lei, Hao; Santarsiero, Bernard D; Lee, Hyun; Johnson, Michael E

    2016-10-01

    Dihydroorotase (DHOase) is the third enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway and is responsible for the reversible cyclization of carbamyl-aspartate (Ca-asp) to dihydroorotate (DHO). DHOase is further divided into two classes based on several structural characteristics, one of which is the length of the flexible catalytic loop that interacts with the substrate, Ca-asp, regulating the enzyme activity. Here, we present the crystal structure of Class I Bacillus anthracis DHOase with Ca-asp in the active site, which shows the peptide backbone of glycine in the shorter loop forming the necessary hydrogen bonds with the substrate, in place of the two threonines found in Class II DHOases. Despite the differences in the catalytic loop, the structure confirms that the key interactions between the substrate and active site residues are similar between Class I and Class II DHOase enzymes, which we further validated by mutagenesis studies. B. anthracis DHOase is also a potential antibacterial drug target. In order to identify prospective inhibitors, we performed high-throughput screening against several libraries using a colorimetric enzymatic assay and an orthogonal fluorescence thermal binding assay. Surface plasmon resonance was used for determining binding affinity (KD) and competition analysis with Ca-asp. Our results highlight that the primary difference between Class I and Class II DHOase is the catalytic loop. We also identify several compounds that can potentially be further optimized as potential B. anthracis inhibitors.

  13. Genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Europe: genotyping methods in forensic and epidemiologic investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Thierry, Simon

    2013-09-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, a zoonosis relatively common throughout the world, can be used as an agent of bioterrorism. In naturally occurring outbreaks and in criminal release of this pathogen, a fast and accurate diagnosis is crucial to an effective response. Microbiological forensics and epidemiologic investigations increasingly rely on molecular markers, such as polymorphisms in DNA sequence, to obtain reliable information regarding the identification or source of a suspicious strain. Over the past decade, significant research efforts have been undertaken to develop genotyping methods with increased power to differentiate B. anthracis strains. A growing number of DNA signatures have been identified and used to survey B. anthracis diversity in nature, leading to rapid advances in our understanding of the global population of this pathogen. This article provides an overview of the different phylogenetic subgroups distributed across the world, with a particular focus on Europe. Updated information on the anthrax situation in Europe is reported. A brief description of some of the work in progress in the work package 5.1 of the AniBioThreat project is also presented, including (1) the development of a robust typing tool based on a suspension array technology and multiplexed single nucleotide polymorphisms scoring and (2) the typing of a collection of DNA from European isolates exchanged between the partners of the project. The know-how acquired will contribute to improving the EU's ability to react rapidly when the identity and real origin of a strain need to be established.

  14. The human-bacterial pathogen protein interaction networks of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Dyer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis are bacterial pathogens that can cause anthrax, lethal acute pneumonic disease, and bubonic plague, respectively, and are listed as NIAID Category A priority pathogens for possible use as biological weapons. However, the interactions between human proteins and proteins in these bacteria remain poorly characterized leading to an incomplete understanding of their pathogenesis and mechanisms of immune evasion. METHODOLOGY: In this study, we used a high-throughput yeast two-hybrid assay to identify physical interactions between human proteins and proteins from each of these three pathogens. From more than 250,000 screens performed, we identified 3,073 human-B. anthracis, 1,383 human-F. tularensis, and 4,059 human-Y. pestis protein-protein interactions including interactions involving 304 B. anthracis, 52 F. tularensis, and 330 Y. pestis proteins that are uncharacterized. Computational analysis revealed that pathogen proteins preferentially interact with human proteins that are hubs and bottlenecks in the human PPI network. In addition, we computed modules of human-pathogen PPIs that are conserved amongst the three networks. Functionally, such conserved modules reveal commonalities between how the different pathogens interact with crucial host pathways involved in inflammation and immunity. SIGNIFICANCE: These data constitute the first extensive protein interaction networks constructed for bacterial pathogens and their human hosts. This study provides novel insights into host-pathogen interactions.

  15. Specific activation of dendritic cells enhances clearance of Bacillus anthracis following infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iain J T Thompson

    Full Text Available Dendritic cells are potent activators of the immune system and have a key role in linking innate and adaptive immune responses. In the current study we have used ex vivo pulsed bone marrow dendritic cells (BMDC in a novel adoptive transfer strategy to protect against challenge with Bacillus anthracis, in a murine model. Pre-pulsing murine BMDC with either recombinant Protective Antigen (PA or CpG significantly upregulated expression of the activation markers CD40, CD80, CD86 and MHC-II. Passive transfusion of mice with pulsed BMDC, concurrently with active immunisation with rPA in alum, significantly enhanced (p<0.001 PA-specific splenocyte responses seven days post-immunisation. Parallel studies using ex vivo DCs expanded from human peripheral blood and activated under the same conditions as the murine DC, demonstrated that human DCs had a PA dose-related significant increase in the markers CD40, CD80 and CCR7 and that the increases in CD40 and CD80 were maintained when the other activating components, CpG and HK B. anthracis were added to the rPA in culture. Mice vaccinated on a single occasion intra-muscularly with rPA and alum and concurrently transfused intra-dermally with pulsed BMDC, demonstrated 100% survival following lethal B. anthracis challenge and had significantly enhanced (p<0.05 bacterial clearance within 2 days, compared with mice vaccinated with rPA and alum alone.

  16. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the International Space Station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra P van Tongeren

    Full Text Available For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods.

  17. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the International Space Station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tongeren, Sandra P; Roest, Hendrik I J; Degener, John E; Harmsen, Hermie J M

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods.

  18. Developing an integrated proteo-genomic approach for the characterisation of biomarkers for the identification of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Raju V; Ahmod, Nadia Z; Parker, Robert; Fang, Min; Shah, Haroun; Gharbia, Saheer

    2012-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. Due to the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group of species it is a challenge to identify B. anthracis consistently. Alternative strategies such as proteomics coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) provide a powerful approach for biomarker discovery. However, validating and evaluating these markers, particularly for genetically homogeneous species such as B. anthracis are challenging. The objective of this study is to develop a robust biomarker discovery and validation pipeline, using proteomic methodology combined with in silico and molecular approaches, to determine a biomarker list, using B. anthracis as a model. In this exploratory study we profiled the proteome of B. anthracis and genetically related species using GeLC-Liquid Chromatography MS/MS (GeLC-LC MS/MS), identifying peptides that could be used to detect B. anthracis. Peptides were filtered to remove low quality identifications. Using comparative bioinformatic approaches, matching and searching against genomic sequence data a shortlist of peptide biomarkers was determined and validated using DNA sequencing, against a panel of closely related strains, to determine marker specificity. Further validation was performed using MS quantitation methods to assess sensitivity and specificity. A biomarker discovery pipeline was successfully developed in this study, comprising four distinct stages: proteome profiling, comparative bioinformatic validation, DNA sequencing and MS validation. Using the pipeline, 5379 peptides specific for Bacillus species and 36 peptides specific for B. anthracis were identified and validated. The 36 peptides, representing 30 proteins were derived from over 15 different clusters of orthologous group categories, including proteins involved in transcription, energy production/conservation as well as multifunctional proteins. We demonstrated that the peptide biomarkers

  19. Molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis in the Netherlands: investigating the relationship to the wordwide population using whole-genome SNP discovery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derzelle, S.; Girault, G.; Roest, H.I.J.; Koene, M.G.J.

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been widely described as a clonal species. Here we report the use of both canonical SNP analysis and whole-genome sequencing to characterize the phylogenetic lineages of B. anthracis from the Netherlands. Eleven strains isolated over a 25-years

  20. Draft Genome Sequence of the Nonpathogenic, Thermotolerant, and Exopolysaccharide-Producing Bacillus anthracis Strain PFAB2 from Panifala Hot Water Spring in West Bengal, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Aparna; Halder, Urmi; Chaudhry, Vasvi; Varshney, Rajeev K.; Mantri, Shrikant

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of fatal anthrax in both animals and humans. It is prevalently pathogenic. Here, we present a Bacillus anthracis PFAB2 strain from a relatively unexplored Panifala hot water spring in West Bengal, India. It is nonpathogenic, exopolysaccharide producing, and thermotolerant in nature. PMID:28007848

  1. Two mutations of dihydropteridine reductase deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponzone, A; Guardamagna, O; Ferraris, S; Bracco, G; Niederwieser, A; Cotton, R G

    1988-02-01

    Two patients with dihydropteridine reductase (DHPR) deficiency, in one case due to the absence of any enzyme protein (DHPR- cross reactive material (CRM)-) and in the other case due to the production of a mutant type devoid of catalytic activity (DHPR- CRM+) were examined. This latter form of malignant phenylketonuria, whose relative frequency seems to be higher in the Italian population, possibly has a worse prognosis. The earlier onset and the greater severity of clinical symptoms are associated with a more pronounced hydroxylation defect, as shown by higher degree of neonatal hyperphenylalaninaemia, unresponsiveness to an oral tetrahydrobiopterin load, lower concentrations of neurotransmitter metabolites, and reduced tyrosine production after an oral phenylalanine load.

  2. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis.

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    Alassane S Barro

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP, historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies.

  3. A New Generation Microarray for the Simultaneous Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis in Food

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    Noriko Goji

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of microarrays as a multiple analytic system has generated increased interest and provided a powerful analytical tool for the simultaneous detection of pathogens in a single experiment. A wide array of applications for this technology has been reported. A low density oligonucleotide microarray was generated from the genetic sequences of Y. pestis and B. anthracis and used to fabricate a microarray chip. The new generation chip, consisting of 2,240 spots in 4 quadrants with the capability of stripping/rehybridization, was designated as “Y-PESTIS/B-ANTHRACIS 4x2K Array.” The chip was tested for specificity using DNA from a panel of bacteria that may be potentially present in food. In all, 37 unique Y. pestis-specific and 83 B. anthracis-specific probes were identified. The microarray assay distinguished Y. pestis and B. anthracis from the other bacterial species tested and correctly identified the Y. pestis-specific oligonucleotide probes using DNA extracted from experimentally inoculated milk samples. Using a whole genome amplification method, the assay was able to detect as low as 1 ng genomic DNA as the start sample. The results suggest that oligonucleotide microarray can specifically detect and identify Y. pestis and B. anthracis and may be a potentially useful diagnostic tool for detecting and confirming the organisms in food during a bioterrorism event.

  4. Rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Deng, Jiao-Yu; Cui, Zong-Qiang; Yang, Rui-Fu; Wang, Xu-Ying; Wei, Hong-Ping; Zhang, Xian-En

    2013-04-15

    There is an urgent need for convenient, sensitive, and specific methods to detect the spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, because of the bioterrorism threat posed by this bacterium. In this study, we firstly develop a super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system for B. anthracis spores. This system involves the use of a portable magnetic assay reader, super-paramagnetic iron oxide particles, lateral-flow strips and two different monoclonal antibodies directed against B. anthracis spores. This detection system specifically recognises as few as 400 pure B. anthracis spores in 30 min. This system has a linear range of 4×10³-10⁶ CFU ml⁻¹ and reproducible detection limits of 200 spores mg⁻¹ milk powder and 130 spores mg⁻¹ soil for simulated samples. In addition, this approach shows no obvious cross-reaction with other related Bacillus spores, even at high concentrations, and has no significant dependence on the duration of the storage of the immunological strips. Therefore, this super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunological detection system is a promising tool for the rapid and sensitive detection of Bacillus anthracis spores under field conditions.

  5. LytR-CpsA-Psr enzymes as determinants of Bacillus anthracis secondary cell wall polysaccharide assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Chan, Yvonne G Y; Lunderberg, Justin Mark; Schneewind, Olaf; Missiakas, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, replicates as chains of vegetative cells by regulating the separation of septal peptidoglycan. Surface (S)-layer proteins and associated proteins (BSLs) function as chain length determinants and bind to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP). In this study, we identified the B. anthracis lcpD mutant, which displays increased chain length and S-layer assembly defects due to diminished SCWP attachment to peptidoglycan. In contrast, the B. anthracis lcpB3 variant displayed reduced cell size and chain length, which could be attributed to increased deposition of BSLs. In other bacteria, LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) proteins attach wall teichoic acid (WTA) and polysaccharide capsule to peptidoglycan. B. anthracis does not synthesize these polymers, yet its genome encodes six LCP homologues, which, when expressed in S. aureus, promote WTA attachment. We propose a model whereby B. anthracis LCPs promote attachment of SCWP precursors to discrete locations in the peptidoglycan, enabling BSL assembly and regulated separation of septal peptidoglycan.

  6. N-acetylglucosamine deacetylases modulate the anchoring of the gamma-glutamyl capsule to the cell wall of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candela, Thomas; Balomenou, Stavroula; Aucher, Willy; Bouriotis, Vassilis; Simore, Jean-Pierre; Fouet, Agnes; Boneca, Ivo G

    2014-06-01

    Bacillus anthracis has a complex cell wall structure composed of a peptidoglycan (PG) layer to which major structures are anchored such as a neutral polysaccharide, an S-layer, and a poly-γ-D-glutamate (PDGA) capsule. Many of these structures have central roles in the biology of B. anthracis, particularly, in virulence. However, little attention has been devoted to structurally study the PG and how it is modified in the presence of these secondary cell wall components. We present here the fine structure of the PG of the encapsulated RPG1 strain harboring both pXO1 and pXO2 virulence plasmids. We show that B. anthracis has a high degree of cross-linking and its GlcNAc residues are highly modified by N-deacetylation. The PG composition is not dependent on the presence of either LPXTG proteins or the capsule. Using NMR analysis of the PG-PDGA complex, we provide evidence for the anchoring of the PDGA to the glucosamine residues. We show that anchoring of the PDGA capsule is impaired in two PG N-deacetylase mutants, Ba1961 and Ba3679. Thus, these multiple N-deactylase activities would constitute excellent drug targets in B. anthracis by simultaneously affecting its resistance to lysozyme and to phagocytosis impairing B. anthracis survival in the host.

  7. Bacillus cereus Biovar Anthracis Causing Anthrax in Sub-Saharan Africa—Chromosomal Monophyly and Broad Geographic Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabon, Philip; Zimmermann, Fee; Lankester, Felix; Peller, Tianna; Feistner, Anna; Todd, Angelique; Herbinger, Ilka; de Nys, Hélène M.; Muyembe-Tamfun, Jean-Jacques; Karhemere, Stomy; Wittig, Roman M.; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Grunow, Roland; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Corbett, Cindi R.; Klee, Silke R.; Leendertz, Fabian H.

    2016-01-01

    Through full genome analyses of four atypical Bacillus cereus isolates, designated B. cereus biovar anthracis, we describe a distinct clade within the B. cereus group that presents with anthrax-like disease, carrying virulence plasmids similar to those of classic Bacillus anthracis. We have isolated members of this clade from different mammals (wild chimpanzees, gorillas, an elephant and goats) in West and Central Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo). The isolates shared several phenotypic features of both B. anthracis and B. cereus, but differed amongst each other in motility and their resistance or sensitivity to penicillin. They all possessed the same mutation in the regulator gene plcR, different from the one found in B. anthracis, and in addition, carry genes which enable them to produce a second capsule composed of hyaluronic acid. Our findings show the existence of a discrete clade of the B. cereus group capable of causing anthrax-like disease, found in areas of high biodiversity, which are possibly also the origin of the worldwide distributed B. anthracis. Establishing the impact of these pathogenic bacteria on threatened wildlife species will require systematic investigation. Furthermore, the consumption of wildlife found dead by the local population and presence in a domestic animal reveal potential sources of exposure to humans. PMID:27607836

  8. Biliverdin Reductase: a Target for Cancer Therapy?

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    Peter eGibbs

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Biliverdin reductase (BVR is a multifunctional protein that is the primary source of the potent antioxidant, bilirubin. BVR regulates activities/functions in the insulin/IGF-1/IRK/PI3K/MAPK pathways. Activation of certain kinases in these pathways is/are hallmark(s of cancerous cells. The protein is a scaffold/bridge and intracellular transporter of kinases that regulate growth and proliferation of cells, including PKCs, ERK and Akt, and their targets including NF-κB, Elk1, HO-1 and iNOS. The scaffold and transport functions enable activated BVR to relocate from the cytosol to the nucleus or to the plasma membrane, depending on the activating stimulus. This enables the reductase to function in diverse signaling pathways. And, its expression at the transcript and protein levels are increased in human tumors and the infiltrating T-cells, monocytes and circulating lymphocytes, as well as the circulating and infiltrating macrophages. These functions suggest that the cytoprotective role of BVR may be permissive for cancer/tumor growth. In this review, we summarize the recent developments that define the pro-growth activities of BVR, particularly with respect to its input into the MAPK signaling pathway and present evidence that BVR-based peptides inhibit activation of protein kinases, including MEK, PKCδ and ERK as well as downstream targets including Elk1 and iNOS, and thus offers a credible novel approach to reduce cancer cell proliferation.

  9. Iron-mediated effects on nitrate reductase in marine phytoplankton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmermans, K.R.; Stolte, W.; Baar, H.J.W. de

    1994-01-01

    The potential activity of nitrate reductase was determined in uni-algal cultures in the laboratory and in natural marine phytoplankton assemblages. In the laboratory bioassays, distinct differences in nitrate reductase activity were observed in iron replete versus depleted cultures for Emiliania hux

  10. Genetic diversity among Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis strains using repetitive element polymorphism-PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumlik, Michael J; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Zakowska, Dorota; Liang, Xudong; Spalletta, Ronald A; Patra, Guy; Delvecchio, Vito G

    2004-01-01

    Repetitive element polymorphism-PCR (REP-PCR) is one of the tools that has been used to elucidate genetic diversity of related microorganisms. Using the MB1 primer, REP-PCR fingerprints from 110 Bacillus strains within the "B. cereus group" have identified eighteen distinct categories, while other more distantly related bacterial species fell within six additional categories. All Bacillus anthracis strains tested were found to be monomorphic by fluorophore-enhanced REP-PCR (FERP) fingerprinting using the MB1 primer. In contrast, other non- B. anthracis isolates displayed a high degree of polymorphism. Dendrogramic analysis revealed that the non- B. anthracis strains possessing the Ba813 chromosomal marker were divided into two clusters. One of the clusters shared identity with the B. cereus strains examined.

  11. Surface protein IsdC and Sortase B are required for heme-iron scavenging of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maresso, Anthony W; Chapa, Travis J; Schneewind, Olaf

    2006-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the spore-forming agent of anthrax, requires iron for growth and is capable of scavenging heme-iron during infection. We show here that the B. anthracis iron-regulated surface determinants (isd) locus encompasses isdC, specifying a heme-iron binding surface protein. Anchoring of IsdC to the cell wall envelopes of vegetative bacilli requires srtB, which encodes sortase B. Purified sortase B cleaves IsdC between the threonine and the glycine of its NPKTG motif sorting signal. B. anthracis variants lacking either isdC or srtB display defects in heme-iron scavenging, suggesting that IsdC binding to heme-iron in the cell wall envelope contributes to bacterial uptake of heme.

  12. XML A Simplified Van Erth Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP Typing Method of Bacillus Anthracis Applicable by Traditional Thermocycler Machines

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    Najafi Olya, Z. (BSc

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available SNP typing is now a well-established genotyping system in Bacillus anthracis studies. In the original standard method of Van Erth, SNPs at 13 loci of the B. anthracis genome were analyzed. In order to simplify and make appropriate this expensive method to low-budget laboratory settings, 13 primer pairs targeting the 13 corresponding SNPs were designed. Besides, a universal PCR protocol was developed to enable simultaneous amplification of all loci by conventional PCR machines. The efficiency of this approach was approved by applying on nine isolates of B. anthracis. We recommend using this modified procedure as an efficient alternative to Van Erth method until developing newer and affordable techniques.

  13. Gamma-phage lysin PlyG sequence-based synthetic peptides coupled with Qdot-nanocrystals are useful for developing detection methods for Bacillus anthracis by using its surrogates, B. anthracis-Sterne and B. cereus-4342

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atreya Chintamani

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous reports of site-directed deletion analysis on gamma (γ-phage lysin protein (PlyG have demonstrated that removal of a short amino acid sequence in the C-terminal region encompassing a 10-amino acid motif (190LKMTADFILQ199 abrogates its binding activity specific to the cell wall of Bacillus anthracis. Whether short synthetic peptides representing the10-amino acid PlyG putative binding motif flanked by surrounding N- and C-terminal residues also selectively bind to the bacterial cell wall has not been evaluated. If such peptides do demonstrate selective binding to the cell wall, they could serve as bio-probes towards developing detection technologies for B. anthracis. Furthermore, by using B. anthracis (Sterne, 34F2, an animal vaccine and B. cereus-4342, a γ-phage susceptible rare strain as surrogates of B. anthracis, development of proof-of-concepts for B. anthracis are feasible. Results Using four different methods, we evaluated six synthetic peptides representing the putative binding motif including flanking sequences (PlyG-P1 through P6 for the bacterial cell wall binding capacity. Our analysis identified PlyG-P1, PlyG-P3 and PlyG-P5 to have binding capability to both B. anthracis (Sterne, 34F2 and B. cereus-4342. The peptides however did not bind to B. cereus-11778, B. thuringiensis, and B. cereus-10876 suggesting their specificity for B. anthracis-Sterne and B. cereus-4342. PlyG-P3 in combination with fluorescent light microscopy detected even a single bacterium in plasma spiked with the bacteria. Conclusion Overall, these studies illustrate that the short 10-amino acid sequence 'LKMTADFILQ' in fact is a stand-alone bacterial cell wall-binding motif of PlyG. In principle, synthetic peptides PlyG-P1, PlyG-P3 and PlyG-P5, especially PlyG-P3 coupled with Qdot-nanocrystals are useful as high-sensitivity bio-probes in developing detection technologies for B. anthracis.

  14. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A; Hansen, Trine; Ruuls, Robin; Thierry, Simon; Vigre, Håkan; Janse, Ingmar; Sundström, Anders; Segerman, Bo; Koene, Miriam; Löfström, Charlotta; Van Rotterdam, Bart; Derzelle, Sylviane

    2013-11-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. For the detection of chromosomal DNA, different genes have been used, such as BA813, rpoB, gyrA, plcR, S-layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal targets evaluated are claimed to be specific to B. anthracis, cross-reactions with closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains were often observed. Of the 35 investigated PCR assays, only 4 were 100% specific for the B. anthracis chromosome. An interlaboratory ring trial among five European laboratories was then performed to evaluate six assays, including the WHO recommended procedures, using a collection of 90 Bacillus strains. Three assays performed adequately, yielding no false positive or negative results. All three assays target chromosomal markers located within the lambdaBa03 prophage region (PL3, BA5345, and BA5357). Detection limit was further assessed for one of these highly specific assays.

  15. Fate of Bacillus anthracis during production of laboratory-scale cream cheese and homemade-style yoghurt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Katja; Schneider, Oda; Schmoock, Gernot; Melzer, Falk; Elschner, Mandy C

    2015-04-01

    The viability of Bacillus anthracis during production and storage of cream cheese and yoghurt was evaluated. Experimental cheeses were manufactured from whole milk inoculated with a suspension of B. anthracis vegetative cells and spores at a final concentration of 10(4) cfu/ml. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and lab ferment were used to induce milk ripening and milk coagulation. The pH-value of the contaminated milk dropped below 4.5 within the first 6 h and the amount of LAB increased by approximately 2-logs. During cheese production and storage at 5-9 °C for 24 days no growth of B. anthracis was observed. The amount of vegetative cells and spores fluctuated by 1-log. Inoculation of whole milk with heat-treated spores at 10(4) cfu/ml resulted in a slight increase of vegetative cell counts during the first 6 h. This indicated that germination occurred, but replication of vegetative cells was still inhibited in the produced cheese. Incubation of cheeses at room temperature or heating after milk coagulation strongly reduced the amount of LAB but had no effect on the growth behaviour of B. anthracis. The vegetative cell and spore content remained steady at 10(4) cfu/100 mg. During yoghurt production the pH-value decreased within 5 h below 5 and growth of B. anthracis was inhibited throughout storage. A pH-value of 5 or less is likely a critical factor to control the growth of B. anthracis. However, spores remained viable in experimental cream cheeses and yoghurts and are a potential risk of infection.

  16. [Application of the multiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP method in the identification of the Bacillus anthracis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymajda, Urszula; Bartoszcze, Michał

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to apply the multiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP method for the identification of the B. anthracis strains and to distinguish those bacteria from other members of the Bacillus cereus group. The multiplex PCR method enables to detect the virulence factors, i.e. the toxin and the capsule in B. anthracis strains. To do that, the authors have used 5 primer pairs specific for the fragments of lef, cya, pag genes which are present in the pXO1 plasmid and encode the toxin, the cap gene, which is present in the pXO2 plasmid and encodes the capsule, and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence. Among the four B. anthracis strains examined, three contained two plasmids and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence, while the fourth one contained the pXO1 plasmid only, together and the Ba813 chromosomal sequence. Other bacterial species, belonging to the B. cereus group, were also examined: 6 strains of B. cereus, 4 strains of B. thuringiensis and one strain of B. mycoides. The presence of Ba813 chromosomal sequence has been detected in two B. cereus strains. Neither plasmids nor Ba813 chromosomal sequence have been discovered in other B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. mycoides strains. The results of the survey indicate that the Ba813 chromosomal sequence does not occur solely in B. anthracis strains. The PCR-RFLP method with the use of SG-749f and SG-749r primers enabled to demonstrate the presence of DNA sequence (SG-749) in B. anthracis, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. mycoides strains. Restriction analysis with enzyme AluI of the SG-749 sequence, has shown the presence of two DNA fragments at the size of about 90 and 660 bp in all B. anthracis strains. The restriction profile obtained was characteristic for B. anthracis strains and it did not occur in other investigated bacterial species belonging to the B. cereus group. It was not observed even in such B. cereus strains in which the presence of Ba813 sequence was discovered and it enabled to differentiate between B

  17. [Valuation for usefulness of selected chromosomal markers for Bacillus anthracis identification. II. Valuation for markers SSH and rpoB].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasada, Aleksandra Anna; Jagielski, Marek

    2006-01-01

    The article presents results of valuation for B. anthracis-specificity and usefulness for its identification obtained for different chromosomal markers. In the second part of the study markers SSH241, SSH196, SSH163, SSH133 as well as a fragment of the house-keeping gene rpoB were analyzed. For the investigation MSSCP and multiplex-PCR assays were used. There were also tested different techniques of electrophoresis. The results gave an information about specificity of tested markers and their usefulness for B. anthracis identification.

  18. Biochemical and structural characterization of alanine racemase from Bacillus anthracis (Ames

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    Hill Ryan E

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and a potential bioterrorism threat. Here we report the biochemical and structural characterization of B. anthracis (Ames alanine racemase (AlrBax, an essential enzyme in prokaryotes and a target for antimicrobial drug development. We also compare the native AlrBax structure to a recently reported structure of the same enzyme obtained through reductive lysine methylation. Results B. anthracis has two open reading frames encoding for putative alanine racemases. We show that only one, dal1, is able to complement a D-alanine auxotrophic strain of E. coli. Purified Dal1, which we term AlrBax, is shown to be a dimer in solution by dynamic light scattering and has a Vmax for racemization (L- to D-alanine of 101 U/mg. The crystal structure of unmodified AlrBax is reported here to 1.95 Å resolution. Despite the overall similarity of the fold to other alanine racemases, AlrBax makes use of a chloride ion to position key active site residues for catalysis, a feature not yet observed for this enzyme in other species. Crystal contacts are more extensive in the methylated structure compared to the unmethylated structure. Conclusion The chloride ion in AlrBax is functioning effectively as a carbamylated lysine making it an integral and unique part of this structure. Despite differences in space group and crystal form, the two AlrBax structures are very similar, supporting the case that reductive methylation is a valid rescue strategy for proteins recalcitrant to crystallization, and does not, in this case, result in artifacts in the tertiary structure.

  19. Novel strategies for enhanced removal of persistent Bacillus anthracis surrogates and Clostridium difficile spores from skin.

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    Michelle M Nerandzic

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Removing spores of Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis from skin is challenging because they are resistant to commonly used antimicrobials and soap and water washing provides only modest efficacy. We hypothesized that hygiene interventions incorporating a sporicidal electrochemically generated hypochlorous acid solution (Vashe(® would reduce the burden of spores on skin. METHODS: Hands of volunteers were inoculated with non-toxigenic C. difficile spores or B. anthracis spore surrogates to assess the effectiveness of Vashe solution for reducing spores on skin. Reduction in spores was compared for Vashe hygiene interventions versus soap and water (control. To determine the effectiveness of Vashe solution for removal of C. difficile spores from the skin of patients with C. difficile infection (CDI, reductions in levels of spores on skin were compared for soap and water versus Vashe bed baths. RESULTS: Spore removal from hands was enhanced with Vashe soak (>2.5 log10 reduction versus soap and water wash or soak (~2.0 log10 reduction; P3.5 log10 spores from hands (P<0.01 compared to washing or soaking alone. Bed baths using soap and water (N =26 patients did not reduce the percentage of positive skin cultures for CDI patients (64% before versus 57% after bathing; P =0.5, whereas bathing with Vashe solution (N =21 patients significantly reduced skin contamination (54% before versus 8% after bathing; P =0.0001. Vashe was well-tolerated with no evidence of adverse effects on skin. CONCLUSIONS: Vashe was safe and effective for reducing the burden of B. anthracis surrogates and C. difficile spores on hands. Bed baths with Vashe were effective for reducing C. difficile on skin. These findings suggest a novel strategy to reduce the burden of spores on skin.

  20. Sensing and inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne by polymer-bromine complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, Paola A; Bromberg, Lev; Hatton, T Alan; Wilusz, Eugene

    2016-08-01

    We report on the performance of brominated poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP-Br), brominated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-Br), and brominated poly(allylamine-co-4-aminopyridine) (PAAm-APy-Br) for their ability to decontaminate Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in solution while also allowing for the sensing of the spores. The polymers were brominated by bromine using carbon tetrachloride or potassium tribromide as solvents, with bromine loadings ranging from 1.6 to 4.2 mEq/g of polymer. B. anthracis Sterne spores were exposed to increasing concentrations of brominated polymers for 5 min, while the kinetics of the sporicidal activity was assessed. All brominated polymers demonstrated spore log-kills of 8 within 5 min of exposure at 12 mg/mL aqueous polymer concentration. Sensing of spores was accomplished by measuring the release of dipicolinic acid (DPA) from the spore using time-resolved fluorescence. Parent, non-brominated polymers did not cause any release of DPA and the spores remained viable. In contrast, spores exposed to the brominated polymers were inactivated and the release of DPA was observed within minutes of exposure. Also, this release of DPA continued for a long time after spore inactivation as in a controlled release process. The DPA release was more pronounced for spores exposed to brominated PVP and brominated PEG-8000 compared to brominated PAAm-APy and brominated PEG-400. Using time-resolved fluorescence, we detected as low as 2500 B. anthracis spores, with PEG-8000 being more sensitive to low spore numbers. Our results suggest that the brominated polymers may be used effectively as decontamination agents against bacterial spores while also providing the sensing capability.

  1. Achieving consistent multiple daily low-dose Bacillus anthracis spore inhalation exposures in the rabbit model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy E Barnewall

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Repeated low-level exposures to Bacillus anthracis could occur before or after the remediation of an environmental release. This is especially true for persistent agents such as Bacillus anthracis spores, the causative agent of anthrax. Studies were conducted to examine aerosol methods needed for consistent daily low aerosol concentrations to deliver a low-dose (less than 106 colony forming units (CFU of B. anthracis spores and included a pilot feasibility characterization study, acute exposure study, and a multiple fifteen day exposure study. This manuscript focuses on the state-of-the-science aerosol methodologies used to generate and aerosolize consistent daily low aerosol concentrations and resultant low inhalation doses. The pilot feasibility characterization study determined that the aerosol system was consistent and capable of producing very low aerosol concentrations. In the acute, single day exposure experiment, targeted inhaled doses of 1 x 102, 1 x 103, 1 x 104, and 1 x 105 CFU were used. In the multiple daily exposure experiment, rabbits were exposed multiple days to targeted inhaled doses of 1 x 102, 1 x 103, and 1 x 104 CFU. In all studies, targeted inhaled doses remained fairly consistent from rabbit to rabbit and day to day. The aerosol system produced aerosolized spores within the optimal mass median aerodynamic diameter particle size range to reach deep lung alveoli. Consistency of the inhaled dose was aided by monitoring and recording respiratory parameters during the exposure with real-time plethysmography. Overall, the presented results show that the animal aerosol system was stable and highly reproducible between different studies and multiple exposure days.

  2. Metal binding spectrum and model structure of the Bacillus anthracis virulence determinant MntA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigonsky, Elena; Fish, Inbar; Livnat-Levanon, Nurit; Ovcharenko, Elena; Ben-Tal, Nir; Lewinson, Oded

    2015-10-01

    The potentially lethal human pathogen Bacillus anthracis expresses a putative metal import system, MntBCA, which belongs to the large family of ABC transporters. MntBCA is essential for virulence of Bacillus anthracis: deletion of MntA, the system's substrate binding protein, yields a completely non-virulent strain. Here we determined the metal binding spectrum of MntA. In contrast to what can be inferred from growth complementation studies we find no evidence that MntA binds Fe(2+) or Fe(3+). Rather, MntA binds a variety of other metal ions, including Mn(2+), Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Co(2+), and Ni(2+) with affinities ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-8) M. Binding of Zn(2+) and Co(2+) have a pronounced thermo-stabilizing effect on MntA, with Mn(2+) having a milder effect. The thermodynamic stability of MntA, competition experiments, and metal binding and release experiments all suggest that Mn(2+) is the metal that is likely transported by MntBCA and is therefore the limiting factor for virulence of Bacillus anthracis. A homology-model of MntA shows a single, highly conserved metal binding site, with four residues that participate in metal coordination: two histidines, a glutamate, and an aspartate. The metals bind to this site in a mutually exclusive manner, yet surprisingly, mutational analysis shows that for proper coordination each metal requires a different subset of these four residues. ConSurf evolutionary analysis and structural comparison of MntA and its homologues suggest that substrate binding proteins (SBPs) of metal ions use a pair of highly conserved prolines to interact with their cognate ABC transporters. This proline pair is found exclusively in ABC import systems of metal ions.

  3. Imaging B. anthracis heme catabolism in mice using the IFP1.4 gene reporter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Banghe; Robinson, Holly; Wilganowski, Nathaniel; Nobles, Christopher L.; Sevick-Muraca, Eva; Maresso, Anthony

    2012-03-01

    B. anthracis is a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium which likes all pathogenic bacteria, survive by sequestering heme from its host. To image B. anthracis heme catabolism in vivo, we stably transfect new red excitable fluorescent protein, IFP1.4, that requires the heme catabolism product biliverdin (BV). IFP1.4 reporter has favorable excitation and emission characteristics, which has an absorption peak at 685 nm and an emission peak at 708 nm. Therefore, IFP1.4 reporter can be imaged deeply into the tissue with less contamination from tissue autofluorescence. However, the excitation light "leakage" through optical filters can limit detection and sensitivity of IFP1.4 reporter due to the small Stoke's shift of IFP1.4 fluorescence. To minimize the excitation light leakage, an intensified CCD (ICCD) based infrared fluorescence imaging device was optimized using two band pass filters separated by a focus lens to increase the optical density at the excitation wavelength. In this study, a mouse model (DBA/J2) was first injected with B. anthracis bacteria expressing IFP1.4, 150 μl s.c., on the ventral side of the left thigh. Then mouse was given 250 μl of a 1mM BV solution via I.V. injection. Imaging was conducted as a function of time after infection under light euthanasia, excised tissues were imaged and IFP1.4 fluorescence correlated with standard culture measurements of colony forming units (CFU). The work demonstrates the use of IFP1.4 as a reporter of bacterial utilization of host heme and may provide an important tool for understanding the pathogenesis of bacterial infection and developing new anti-bacterial therapeutics.

  4. Purification, crystallization and preliminary structural analysis of nucleoside diphosphate kinase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Misra, Gauri [Molecular and Structural Biology Division, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Chattar Manzil, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226 001 (India); Aggarwal, Anita [Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Mall Road, Delhi 110 007 (India); Mittal, Sonia [Molecular and Structural Biology Division, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Chattar Manzil, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226 001 (India); Singh, Yogendra [Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Mall Road, Delhi 110 007 (India); Ramachandran, Ravishankar, E-mail: r-ravishankar@cdri.res.in [Molecular and Structural Biology Division, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Chattar Manzil, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226 001 (India)

    2007-12-01

    Nucleoside diphosphate kinase from B. anthracis has been crystallized. Preliminary crystallographic analysis shows that there is one monomer in the asymmetric unit of the crystal. Bacillus anthracis nucleoside diphosphate kinase (BaNdk) is an enzyme whose primary function is to maintain deoxynucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) pools by converting deoxynucleotide diphosphates to triphosphates using ATP as the major phosphate donor. Although the structures of Ndks from a variety of organisms have been elucidated, the enzyme from sporulating bacteria has not been structurally characterized to date. Crystals of the B. anthracis enzyme were grown using the vapour-diffusion method from a hanging drop consisting of 2 µl 10 mg ml{sup −1} protein in 50 mM Tris–HCl pH 8.0, 50 mM NaCl, 5 mM EDTA equilibrated against 500 µl reservoir solution consisting of 2.25 M ammonium formate and 0.1 M HEPES buffer pH 7.25. Diffraction data extending to 2.0 Å were collected at room temperature from a single crystal with unit-cell parameters a = b = 107.53, c = 52.3 Å. The crystals are hexagonal in shape and belong to space group P6{sub 3}22. The crystals contain a monomer in the asymmetric unit, which corresponds to a Matthews coefficient (V{sub M}) of 2.1 Å{sup 3} Da{sup −1} and a solvent content of about 36.9%.

  5. Disinfection methods for spores of Bacillus atrophaeus, B. anthracis, Clostridium tetani, C. botulinum and C. difficile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oie, Shigeharu; Obayashi, Akiko; Yamasaki, Hirofumi; Furukawa, Hiroyuki; Kenri, Tsuyoshi; Takahashi, Motohide; Kawamoto, Keiko; Makino, Sou-ichi

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate disinfection methods for environments contaminated with bioterrorism-associated microorganism (Bacillus anthracis), we performed the following experiments. First, the sporicidal effects of sodium hypochlorite on spores of five bacterial species were evaluated. Bacillus atrophaeus was the most resistant to hypochlorite, followed in order by B. anthracis, Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, and Clostridium difficile. Subsequently, using B. atrophaeus spores that were the most resistant to hypochlorite, the sporicidal effects of hypochlorite at lower pH by adding vinegar were evaluated. Hypochlorite containing vinegar had far more marked sporicidal effects than hypochlorite alone. Cleaning with 0.5% (5000 ppm) hypochlorite containing vinegar inactivated B. atrophaeus spores attached to vinyl chloride and plywood plates within 15 s, while that not containing vinegar did not inactivate spores attached to cement or plywood plates even after 1 h. Therefore, the surfaces of cement or plywood plates were covered with gauze soaked in 0.5% hypochlorite containing vinegar, and the sporicidal effects were evaluated. B. atrophaeus spores attached to plywood plates were not inactivated even after 6 h, but those attached to cement plates were inactivated within 5 min. On the other hand, covering the surfaces of plywood plates with gauze soaked in 0.3% peracetic acid and gauze soaked in 2% glutaral inactivated B. atrophaeus spores within 5 min and 6 h, respectively. These results suggest that hypochlorite containing vinegar is effective for disinfecting vinyl chloride, tile, and cement plates contaminated with B. anthracis, and peracetic acid is effective for disinfecting plywood plates contaminated with such microorganism.

  6. CXCL10 Acts as a Bifunctional Antimicrobial Molecule against Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie R. Margulieux

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is killed by the interferon-inducible, ELR(− CXC chemokine CXCL10. Previous studies showed that disruption of the gene encoding FtsX, a conserved membrane component of the ATP-binding cassette transporter-like complex FtsE/X, resulted in resistance to CXCL10. FtsX exhibits some sequence similarity to the mammalian CXCL10 receptor, CXCR3, suggesting that the CXCL10 N-terminal region that interacts with CXCR3 may also interact with FtsX. A C-terminal truncated CXCL10 was tested to determine if the FtsX-dependent antimicrobial activity is associated with the CXCR3-interacting N terminus. The truncated CXCL10 exhibited antimicrobial activity against the B. anthracis parent strain but not the ΔftsX mutant, which supports a key role for the CXCL10 N terminus. Mutations in FtsE, the conserved ATP-binding protein of the FtsE/X complex, resulted in resistance to both CXCL10 and truncated CXCL10, indicating that both FtsX and FtsE are important. Higher concentrations of CXCL10 overcame the resistance of the ΔftsX mutant to CXCL10, suggesting an FtsX-independent killing mechanism, likely involving its C-terminal α-helix, which resembles a cationic antimicrobial peptide. Membrane depolarization studies revealed that CXCL10 disrupted membranes of the B. anthracis parent strain and the ΔftsX mutant, but only the parent strain underwent depolarization with truncated CXCL10. These findings suggest that CXCL10 is a bifunctional molecule that kills B. anthracis by two mechanisms. FtsE/X-dependent killing is mediated through an N-terminal portion of CXCL10 and is not reliant upon the C-terminal α-helix. The FtsE/X-independent mechanism involves membrane depolarization by CXCL10, likely because of its α-helix. These findings present a new paradigm for understanding mechanisms by which CXCL10 and related chemokines kill bacteria.

  7. Biochip for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Therapeutic Agents against Anthrax Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silin, Vitalii; Kasianowicz, John J.; Michelman-Ribeiro, Ariel; Panchal, Rekha G.; Bavari, Sina; Robertson, Joseph W. F.

    2016-01-01

    Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs) have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that are both the recognition element and electrochemical transducer. We characterize the sensor and its properties with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The sensor shows a sensitivity similar to ELISA and can also be used to rapidly screen for molecules that bind to the toxins and potentially inhibit their lethal effects. PMID:27348008

  8. Protein profiles of field isolates ofBacillus anthracis from different endemic areas of Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Bhakti Poerwadikarta

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Sonicated cell-free extract proteins of 14 field isolates ofBacillus anthracis from six different endemic areas of Indonesia were analyzed by the use of sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE methods . The protein profiles of each field isolate tested demonstrated slightly different at the protein bands with molecular weights of 18, 37, 52, 65 and 70 kDa, and varied between the field isolates and vaccine strains. The variation could provide clues to the source of anthrax transmission whether it was originated from similar strain or not.

  9. Bacillus anthracis SlaQ Promotes S-Layer Protein Assembly

    OpenAIRE

    Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Oh, So-Young; Schneewind, Daphne I.; Missiakas, Dominique; Schneewind, Olaf

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis vegetative forms assemble an S-layer comprised of two S-layer proteins, Sap and EA1. A hallmark of S-layer proteins are their C-terminal crystallization domains, which assemble into a crystalline lattice once these polypeptides are deposited on the bacterial surface via association between their N-terminal S-layer homology domains and the secondary cell wall polysaccharide. Here we show that slaQ, encoding a small cytoplasmic protein conserved among pathogenic bacilli elabo...

  10. Evaluation of the Cepheid GeneXpert System for Detecting Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-10-25

    anthracis Ames spores limit of detection for pXO2 using four-plex car- tridges. Cycle threshold ( LIZ CT) values are re- presented by bars and endpoint...fluorescence ( LIZ EP) values are depicted using lines. Automated biological agent diagnostics M.P. Ulrich et al. 1014 ª 2006 The Society for Applied...and Nolte, F.S. (2002) Clinical evaluation of an automated nucleic acid isolation system. Clin Chem 48, 1613–1615. Germer, J.J., Lins, M.M., Jensen , M.E

  11. Ultrasensitive electrochemical immunoassay for surface array protein, a Bacillus anthracis biomarker using Au-Pd nanocrystals loaded on boron-nitride nanosheets as catalytic labels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Mukesh Kumar; Narayanan, J; Pardasani, Deepak; Srivastava, Divesh N; Upadhyay, Sanjay; Goel, Ajay Kumar

    2016-06-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a well known bioterrorism agent. The determination of surface array protein (Sap), a unique biomarker for B. anthracis can offer an opportunity for specific detection of B. anthracis in culture broth. In this study, we designed a new catalytic bionanolabel and fabricated a novel electrochemical immunosensor for ultrasensitive detection of B. anthracis Sap antigen. Bimetallic gold-palladium nanoparticles were in-situ grown on poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride) functionalized boron nitride nanosheets (Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs) and conjugated with the mouse anti-B. anthracis Sap antibodies (Ab2); named Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2. The resulting Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2 bionanolabel demonstrated high catalytic activity towards reduction of 4-nitrophenol. The sensitivity of the electrochemical immunosensor along with redox cycling of 4-aminophenol to 4-quinoneimine was improved to a great extent. Under optimal conditions, the proposed immunosensor exhibited a wide working range from 5 pg/mL to 100 ng/mL with a minimum detection limit of 1 pg/mL B. anthracis Sap antigen. The practical applicability of the immunosensor was demonstrated by specific detection of Sap secreted by the B. anthracis in culture broth just after 1h of growth. These labels open a new direction for the ultrasensitive detection of different biological warfare agents and their markers in different matrices.

  12. Genomic analysis of three African strains of Bacillus anthracis demonstrates that they are part of the clonal expansion of an exclusively pathogenic bacterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Rouli

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is classified as a ‘Category A’ biological weapon. Six complete genomes of B. anthracis (A0248, Ames, Ames Ancestor, CDC684, H0491, and Sterne are currently available. In this report, we add three African strain genomes: Sen2Col2, Sen3 and Gmb1. To study the pan‐genome of B. anthracis, we used bioinformatics tools, such as Cluster of Orthologous Groups, and performed phylogenetic analysis. We found that the three African strains contained the pX01 and pX02 plasmids, the nonsense mutation in the plcR gene and the four known prophages. These strains are most similar to the CDC684 strain and belong to the A cluster. We estimated that the B. anthracis pan‐genome has 2893 core genes (99% of the genome size and 85 accessory genes. We validated the hypothesis that B. anthracis has a closed pan‐genome and found that the three African strains carry the two plasmids associated with bacterial virulence. The pan‐genome nature of B. anthracis confirms its lack of exchange (similar to Clostridium tetani and supports its exclusively pathogenic role, despite its survival in the environment. Moreover, thanks to the study of the core content single nucleotide polymorphisms, we can see that our three African strains diverged very recently from the other B. anthracis strains.

  13. Localization and structural analysis of a conserved pyruvylated epitope in Bacillus anthracis secondary cell wall polysaccharides and characterization of the galactose-deficient wall polysaccharide from avirulent B. anthracis CDC 684.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsberg, L Scott; Abshire, Teresa G; Friedlander, Arthur; Quinn, Conrad P; Kannenberg, Elmar L; Carlson, Russell W

    2012-08-01

    Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 is a naturally occurring, avirulent variant and close relative of the highly pathogenic B. anthracis Vollum. Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 contains both virulence plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, yet is non-pathogenic in animal models, prompting closer scrutiny of the molecular basis of attenuation. We structurally characterized the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) of B. anthracis CDC 684 (Ba684) using chemical and NMR spectroscopy analysis. The SCWP consists of a HexNAc trisaccharide backbone having identical structure as that of B. anthracis Pasteur, Sterne and Ames, →4)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNAc-(1→. Remarkably, although the backbone is fully polymerized, the SCWP is the devoid of all galactosyl side residues, a feature which normally comprises 50% of the glycosyl residues on the highly galactosylated SCWPs from pathogenic strains. This observation highlights the role of defective wall assembly in virulence and indicates that polymerization occurs independently of galactose side residue attachment. Of particular interest, the polymerized Ba684 backbone retains the substoichiometric pyruvate acetal, O-acetate and amino group modifications found on SCWPs from normal B. anthracis strains, and immunofluorescence analysis confirms that SCWP expression coincides with the ability to bind the surface layer homology (SLH) domain containing S-layer protein extractable antigen-1. Pyruvate was previously demonstrated as part of a conserved epitope, mediating SLH-domain protein attachment to the underlying peptidoglycan layer. We find that a single repeating unit, located at the distal (non-reducing) end of the Ba684 SCWP, is structurally modified and that this modification is present in identical manner in the SCWPs of normal B. anthracis strains. These polysaccharides terminate in the sequence: (S)-4,6-O-(1-carboxyethylidene)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-[3-O-acetyl]-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNH(2)-(1→.

  14. A simple, high-throughput method to detect Plasmodium falciparum single nucleotide polymorphisms in the dihydrofolate reductase, dihydropteroate synthase, and P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter genes using polymerase chain reaction- and enzyme-linked immunosorbent

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alifrangis, Michael; Enosse, Sonia; Pearce, Richard;

    2005-01-01

    . However, to be a practical tool in the surveillance of drug resistance, simpler methods for high-throughput haplotyping are warranted. Here we describe a quick and simple technique that detects dhfr, dhps, and Pfcrt SNPs using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)- and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA...... the SNPs of dhfr, dhps, and Pfcrt with high specificity. The SSOP-ELISA compared well with a standard PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism procedure, and gave identical positive results in more than 90% of the P. falciparum slide-positive samples tested. The SSOP-ELISA of all dhfr, dhps, or Pfcrt...

  15. Increasing prevalence of wildtypes in the dihydrofolate reductase gene of Plasmodium falciparum in an area with high levels of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance after introduction of treated bed nets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alifrangis, Michael; Lemnge, Martha M; Rønn, Anita M

    2003-01-01

    years old living in the villages from 1998 to 2000. In 2000, after two years of bed net use, the prevalence of wild types in codon 51, 59, and 108 of dhfr increased significantly in Magoda compared with previous years. Furthermore, the prevalence of dhfr wild types was significantly higher in Magoda...

  16. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Odugbo, Moses Ode; Van Ert, Matthew; O'Shea, Bob; Mullins, Jocelyn; Perreten, Vincent; Perrenten, Vincent; Maho, Angaya; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2015-01-01

    Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25) genetic typing system. Nigerian B. anthracis isolates had identical MLVA genotypes and could only be resolved by measuring highly mutable single nucleotide repeats (SNRs). The Nigerian MLVA genotype was identical or highly genetically similar to those in the neighboring countries, confirming the strains belong to this unique West African lineage. Interestingly, sequence data from a Nigerian isolate shares the anthrose deficient genotypes previously described for strains in this region, which may be associated with vaccine evasion. Strains in this study were isolated over six decades, indicating a high level of temporal strain stability regionally. Ecological niche models were used to predict the geographic distribution of the pathogen for all three countries. We describe a west-east habitat corridor through northern Nigeria extending into Chad and Cameroon. Ecological niche models and genetic results show B. anthracis to be ecologically established in Nigeria. These findings expand our understanding of the global B. anthracis population structure and can guide regional anthrax surveillance and control planning.

  17. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason K Blackburn

    Full Text Available Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25 genetic typing system. Nigerian B. anthracis isolates had identical MLVA genotypes and could only be resolved by measuring highly mutable single nucleotide repeats (SNRs. The Nigerian MLVA genotype was identical or highly genetically similar to those in the neighboring countries, confirming the strains belong to this unique West African lineage. Interestingly, sequence data from a Nigerian isolate shares the anthrose deficient genotypes previously described for strains in this region, which may be associated with vaccine evasion. Strains in this study were isolated over six decades, indicating a high level of temporal strain stability regionally. Ecological niche models were used to predict the geographic distribution of the pathogen for all three countries. We describe a west-east habitat corridor through northern Nigeria extending into Chad and Cameroon. Ecological niche models and genetic results show B. anthracis to be ecologically established in Nigeria. These findings expand our understanding of the global B. anthracis population structure and can guide regional anthrax surveillance and control planning.

  18. Reagent-free and portable detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a microfluidic incubator and smartphone microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R.; Erikson, Rebecca L.; Sheen, Allison M.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Kelly, Ryan T.

    2015-08-06

    Rapid, cost-effective bacterial detection systems are needed to respond to potential biothreat events. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device to detect 5000 Bacillus anthracis spores in 3 hours. This field-deployable approach is compatible with real-time PCR for secondary confirmation.

  19. Literatuuronderzoek naar gegevens betreffende de betekenis van een aantal verwekkers van zoonosen in verband met de vleesconsumptie XIII Bacillus anthracis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos JM; Engel HWB; Groothuis DG; Knapen F van; Noorle Jansen LM van; Weiss JW

    1989-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, de verwekker van anthrax (miltvuur), komt mondiaal voor. Zowel mens als dier zijn in meer of mindere mate gevoelig voor infectie met deze bacterie. Bij dieren komen ziektebeelden voor varierend van peracute sterfte tot een meer chronisch beeld met locale laesis en aangetaste

  20. Genome Sequence of Historical Bacillus anthracis Strain Tyrol 4675 Isolated from a Bovine Anthrax Case in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwerpen, Markus; Wölfel, Roman

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT In 1988, an outbreak of anthrax occurred among cattle in the Austrian state of Tyrol. Since then, Austria has been declared anthrax-free. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of one of these last outbreak strains, Bacillus anthracis Tyrol 4675, isolated from a diseased cow. PMID:28280006

  1. Technical Note: Simple, scalable, and sensitive protocol for retrieving Bacillus anthracis (and other live bacteria) from heroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grass, Gregor; Ahrens, Bjoern; Schleenbecker, Uwe; Dobrzykowski, Linda; Wagner, Matthias; Krüger, Christian; Wölfel, Roman

    2016-02-01

    We describe a culture-based method suitable for isolating Bacillus anthracis and other live bacteria from heroin. This protocol was developed as a consequence of the bioforensic need to retrieve bacteria from batches of the drug associated with cases of injectional anthrax among heroin-consumers in Europe. This uncommon manifestation of infection with the notorious pathogen B. anthracis has resulted in 26 deaths between the years 2000 to 2013. Thus far, no life disease agent has been isolated from heroin during forensic investigations surrounding these incidences. Because of the conjectured very small number of disease-causing endospores in the contaminated drug it is likely that too few target sequences are available for molecular genetic analysis. Therefore, a direct culture-based approach was chosen here. Endospores of attenuated B. anthracis artificially spiked into heroin were successfully retrieved at 84-98% recovery rates using a wash solution consisting of 0.5% Tween 20 in water. Using this approach, 82 samples of un-cut heroin originating from the German Federal Criminal Police Office's heroin analysis program seized during the period between 2000 and 2014 were tested and found to be surprisingly poor in retrievable bacteria. Notably, while no B. anthracis was isolated from the drug batches, other bacteria were successfully cultured. The resulting methodical protocol is therefore suitable for analyzing un-cut heroin which can be anticipated to comprise the original microbiota from the drug's original source without interference from contaminations introduced by cutting.

  2. DnaJ sequences of Bacillus cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infection are highly similar to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiwei; van Hung, Pham; Hayashi, Masahiro; Yoshida, Shigeru; Ohkusu, Kiyofumi; Ezaki, Takayuki

    2011-07-01

    Bacillus cereus is becoming an important nomosomial pathogen because of frequent isolation from blood cultures and from severe systemic infections. To differentiate highly pathogenic outbreak strain of B. cereus from other sources of the Bacillus cereus, we attempted to analyze their dnaJ sequences. Assays indicated that dnaJ sequence similarity of all of 52 blood culture isolates of B. cereus ranged from 92.8% to 100%. The distance between B. anthracis and B. cereus except six outbreak isolates ranged from 3.8% to 6.4%. The dnaJ sequences of six outbreak strains of B. cereus (GTC 02891, GTC 02896, GTC 02916, GTC 02917, GTC 03221, and GTC 03222) were closely related to those of B. anthracis (99.2%-99.5% sequence similarity). Ba813 sequences were only found in the six outbreak strains of B. cereus. The other pathogenic factors of B. anthracis were not found in these six outbreak strains, with the exception of GTC 02891 (cap-positive). The six outbreak strains formed clear β-hemolytic colonies on a sheep blood agar plate. Our findings suggest that outbreak strains of B. cereus isolated from blood cultures are likely to have the risk of causing serious infection, and dnaJ and Ba813 are important markers to identify such strains. Phylogenetic analysis of dnaJ and MLST revealed that the six outbreak strains of B. cereus are closely related to B. anthracis.

  3. Sporulation and germination gene expression analysis of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in skim milk under heat and different intervention techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    To investigate how B. anthracis Stene spores survive in milk under heat (80 degree C, 10 minutes), pasteurization (72 degree C, 15 seconds) and pasteurization plus microfiltration, the expression levels of genes that related to sporulation and germination were tested using real-time PCR assays. Tw...

  4. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunoassays based on "Road Closure".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Wang, Xu-Ying; Fleming, Joy; Bi, Li-Jun; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Xian-En

    2015-05-15

    Detection of Bacillus anthracis in the field, whether as a natural infection or as a biothreat remains challenging. Here we have developed a new lateral-flow immunochromatographic assay (LFIA) for B. anthracis spore detection based on the fact that conjugates of B. anthracis spores and super-paramagnetic particles labeled with antibodies will block the pores of chromatographic strips and form retention lines on the strips, instead of the conventionally reported test lines and control lines in classic LFIA. As a result, this new LFIA can simultaneously realize optical, magnetic and naked-eye detection by analyzing signals from the retention lines. As few as 500-700 pure B. anthracis spores can be recognized with CV values less than 8.31% within 5 min of chromatography and a total time of 20 min. For powdery sample tests, this LFIA can endure interference from 25% (w/v) milk, 10% (w/v) baking soda and 10% (w/v) starch without any sample pre-treatment, and has a corresponding detection limit of 6×10(4) spores/g milk powder, 2×10(5) spores/g starch and 5×10(5) spores/g baking soda. Compared with existing methods, this new approach is very competitive in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost and ease of operation. This proof-of-concept study can also be extended for detection of many other large-sized analytes.

  5. Thermal inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne in irradiated ground beef heated in a water bath or cooked on commercial grills

    Science.gov (United States)

    The thermal stability of heat-shocked and non heat-shocked spores of the virulence-attenuated Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis was evaluated at select temperatures in irradiated, raw ground beef (25% fat) heated in a water bath or cooked using two different commercial grills. For the former, 3-g ...

  6. Reagent-free and portable detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a microfluidic incubator and smartphone microscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, Janine R; Erikson, Rebecca L; Sheen, Allison M; Ozanich, Richard M; Kelly, Ryan T

    2015-09-21

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and can be contracted by humans and herbivorous mammals by inhalation, ingestion, or cutaneous exposure to bacterial spores. Due to its stability and disease potential, B. anthracis is a recognized biothreat agent and robust detection and viability methods are needed to identify spores from unknown samples. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy (SPM) in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device (MID) to detect 50 to 5000 B. anthracis Sterne spores in 3 to 5 hours. This technique relies on optical monitoring of the conversion of the ∼1 μm spores to the filamentous vegetative cells that range from tens to hundreds of micrometers in length. This distinguishing filament formation is unique to B. anthracis as compared to other members of the Bacillus cereus group. A unique feature of this approach is that the sample integrity is maintained, and the vegetative biomass can be removed from the chip for secondary molecular analysis such as PCR. Compared with existing chip-based and rapid viability PCR methods, this new approach reduces assay time by almost half, and is highly sensitive, specific, and cost effective.

  7. Glycosylation of BclA Glycoprotein from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis Exosporium Is Domain-specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, Emmanuel; Krzewinski, Frederic; Garenaux, Estelle; Lequette, Yannick; Coddeville, Bernadette; Trivelli, Xavier; Ronse, Annette; Faille, Christine; Guerardel, Yann

    2016-04-29

    The spores of the Bacillus cereus group (B. cereus, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus thuringiensis) are surrounded by a paracrystalline flexible yet resistant layer called exosporium that plays a major role in spore adhesion and virulence. The major constituent of its hairlike surface, the trimerized glycoprotein BclA, is attached to the basal layer through an N-terminal domain. It is then followed by a repetitive collagen-like neck bearing a globular head (C-terminal domain) that promotes glycoprotein trimerization. The collagen-like region of B. anthracis is known to be densely substituted by unusual O-glycans that may be used for developing species-specific diagnostics of B. anthracis spores and thus targeted therapeutic interventions. In the present study, we have explored the species and domain specificity of BclA glycosylation within the B. cereus group. First, we have established that the collagen-like regions of both B. anthracis and B. cereus are similarly substituted by short O-glycans that bear the species-specific deoxyhexose residues anthrose and the newly observed cereose, respectively. Second we have discovered that the C-terminal globular domains of BclA from both species are substituted by polysaccharide-like O-linked glycans whose structures are also species-specific. The presence of large carbohydrate polymers covering the surface of Bacillus spores may have a profound impact on the way that spores regulate their interactions with biotic and abiotic surfaces and represents potential new diagnostic targets.

  8. Pilot-scale crossflow-microfiltration and pasturization to remove spores of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) from milk

    Science.gov (United States)

    HTST pasteurization of milk is generally ineffective against spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis (BA) but is lethal to its vegetative cells. Crossflow microfiltration (MF), using ceramic membranes with a pore diameter of 1.4 um, has been shown to physically remove somatic cells, vegeta...

  9. Antimicrobial properties of CuO nanorods and multi-armed nanoparticles against B. anthracis vegetative cells and endospores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pratibha Pandey

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Two different kinds of CuO nanoparticles (NPs namely CuO nanorods (PS2 and multi-armed nanoparticles (P5 were synthesized by wet and electrochemical routes, respectively. Their structure, morphology, size and compositions were characterized by SEM, EDX and XRD. The NPs demonstrated strong bactericidal potential against Bacillus anthracis cells and endospores. PS2 killed 92.17% of 4.5 × 104 CFU/mL B. anthracis cells within 1 h at a dose of 1 mg/mL. Whereas P5 showed a higher efficacy by killing 99.92% of 7 × 105 CFU/mL B. anthracis cells within 30 min at a dose of 0.5 mg/mL and 99.6% of 1.25 × 104 CFU/mL B. anthracis cells within 5 min at a dose of 2 mg/mL. More than 99% of spores were killed within 8 h with 2 mg/mL PS2 in LB media.

  10. A new approach to in silico SNP detection and some new SNPs in the Bacillus anthracis genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francoeur Joe

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is one of the most monomorphic pathogens known. Identification of polymorphisms in its genome is essential for taxonomic classification, for determination of recent evolutionary changes, and for evaluation of pathogenic potency. Findings In this work three strains of the Bacillus anthracis genome are compared and previously unpublished single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs are revealed. Moreover, it is shown that, despite the highly monomorphic nature of Bacillus anthracis, the SNPs are (1 abundant in the genome and (2 distributed relatively uniformly across the sequence. Conclusions The findings support the proposition that SNPs, together with indels and variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs, can be used effectively not only for the differentiation of perfect strain data, but also for the comparison of moderately incomplete, noisy and, in some cases, unknown Bacillus anthracis strains. In the case when the data is of still lower quality, a new DNA sequence fingerprinting approach based on recently introduced markers, based on combinatorial-analytic concepts and called cyclic difference sets, can be used.

  11. Rapid detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis in food using pyrosequencing technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoako, Kingsley K; Janzen, Timothy W; Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Thomas, Matthew C; Goji, Noriko

    2013-08-01

    The development of advanced methodologies for the detection of Bacillus anthracis has been evolving rapidly since the release of the anthrax spores in the mail in 2001. Recent advances in detection and identification techniques could prove to be an essential component in the defense against biological attacks. Sequence based such as pyrosequencing, which has the capability to determine short DNA stretches in real-time using biotinylated PCR amplicons, has potential biodefense applications. Using markers from the virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2) and chromosomal regions, we have demonstrated the power of this technology in the rapid, specific and sensitive detection of B. anthracis spores in food matrices including milk, juice, bottled water, and processed meat. The combined use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing showed positive detection when liquid foods (bottled water, milk, juice), and processed meat were experimentally inoculated with 6CFU/mL and 6CFU/g, respectively, without an enrichment step. Pyrosequencing is completed in about 60min (following PCR amplification) and yields accurate and reliable results with an added layer of confidence. The entire assay (from sample preparation to sequencing information) can be completed in about 7.5h. A typical run on food samples yielded 67-80bp reads with 94-100% identity to the expected sequence. This sequence based approach is a novel application for the detection of anthrax spores in food with potential application in foodborne bioterrorism response and biodefense involving the use of anthrax spores.

  12. Improved Proteomic Analysis Following Trichloroacetic Acid Extraction of Bacillus anthracis Spore Proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaiser, Brooke LD; Wunschel, David S.; Sydor, Michael A.; Warner, Marvin G.; Wahl, Karen L.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-08-07

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Proteomic analysis is dependent upon efficient extraction of proteins from bacterial samples without introducing bias toward extraction of particular protein classes. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrich for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple and does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter. Our data reveal that for particularly challenging samples, such as B. anthracis Sterne spores, trichloroacetic acid extraction improved the number of proteins identified within a sample compared to bead beating (714 vs 660, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 103 known spore specific proteins whereas bead beating resulted in 49 unique proteins. Analysis of C. botulinum samples grown to 5 days, composed of vegetative biomass and spores, showed a similar trend with improved protein yields and identification using our method compared to bead beating. Interestingly, easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells, were equally as effectively processed via TCA and bead beating, but TCA extraction remains the easiest and most cost effective option. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may provide additional insight to the protein biology of the bacteria being studied.

  13. Cloning, purification and crystallization of Bacillus anthracis class C acid phosphatase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felts, Richard L.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Calcutt, Michael J.; Tanner, John J.

    2006-01-01

    Cloning, expression, purification and crystallization studies of a recombinant class C acid phosphatase from the Category A pathogen Bacillus anthracis are reported. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of HEPES and Jeffamine ED-2001 at pH 7.0. The crystals belong to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.4, b = 90.1, c = 104.2 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain two protein molecules with a solvent content of 38%. Two native data sets were collected from the same crystal before and after flash-annealing. The first data set had a mosaicity of 1.6° and a high-resolution limit of 1.8 Å. After flash-annealing, the apparent mosaicity decreased to 0.9° and the high-resolution limit of usable data increased to 1.6 Å. This crystal form is currently being used to determine the structure of B. anthracis class C acid phosphatase with experimental phasing techniques. PMID:16820700

  14. Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps, and recommendations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2012-12-01

    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the 1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and 2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies.

  15. Two Putative Polysaccharide Deacetylases Are Required for Osmotic Stability and Cell Shape Maintenance in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaouteli, Sofia; Giastas, Petros; Andreou, Athina; Tzanodaskalaki, Mary; Aldridge, Christine; Tzartos, Socrates J; Vollmer, Waldemar; Eliopoulos, Elias; Bouriotis, Vassilis

    2015-05-22

    Membrane-anchored lipoproteins have a broad range of functions and play key roles in several cellular processes in Gram-positive bacteria. BA0330 and BA0331 are the only lipoproteins among the 11 known or putative polysaccharide deacetylases of Bacillus anthracis. We found that both lipoproteins exhibit unique characteristics. BA0330 and BA0331 interact with peptidoglycan, and BA0330 is important for the adaptation of the bacterium to grow in the presence of a high concentration of salt, whereas BA0331 contributes to the maintenance of a uniform cell shape. They appear not to alter the peptidoglycan structure and do not contribute to lysozyme resistance. The high resolution x-ray structure of BA0330 revealed a C-terminal domain with the typical fold of a carbohydrate esterase 4 and an N-terminal domain unique for this family, composed of a two-layered (4 + 3) β-sandwich with structural similarity to fibronectin type 3 domains. Our data suggest that BA0330 and BA0331 have a structural role in stabilizing the cell wall of B. anthracis.

  16. Identification of the immunogenic spore and vegetative proteins of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiankai Liu

    Full Text Available Immunoproteomics was used to screen the immunogenic spore and vegetative proteins of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R. The spore and vegetative proteins were separated by 2D gel electrophoresis and transferred to polyvinylidene difluoride membranes, and then western blotting was performed with rabbit immune serum against B.anthracis live spores. Immunogenic spots were cut and digested by trypsin. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry was performed to identify the proteins. As a result, 11 and 45 immunogenic proteins were identified in the spores and vegetative cells, respectively; 26 of which have not been reported previously. To verify their immunogenicity, 12 of the identified proteins were selected to be expressed, and the immune sera from the mice vaccinated by the 12 expressed proteins, except BA0887, had a specific western blot band with the A16R whole cellular lytic proteins. Some of these immunogenic proteins might be used as novel vaccine candidates themselves or for enhancing the protective efficacy of a protective-antigen-based vaccine.

  17. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores in water using biosensors based on magnetostrictive microcantilever coated with phage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Liling; Li, Suiqiong; Zhang, Kewei; Cheng, Z.-Y.; Barbaree, J. M.

    2007-04-01

    Microcantilevers (MCs) as state-of-art sensor platforms have been widely investigated. We recently introduced a new type of MC, magnetostrictive microcantilever (MSMC), as high performance sensor platform. The MSMC is a remote/wireless sensor platform and exhibits a high quality merit factor in liquid. In this paper, a MSMC-based biosensor is developed for detecting B. anthracis spores in liquid, a potential biothreaten agent. The results demonstrated the advantages of MSMCs as a sensor platform. MSMCs with different sizes were fabricated and utilized in the experiments. The MSMCs were coated with the filamentous phage as a bio-recognition element to capture the B. anthracis spores. The phage-coated MSMCs as biosensors were exposed to cultures containing target spores with concentrations ranging from 5 * 10 4 spores/mL to 5 * 10 8 spores/mL. The resonance frequency of the MSMC sensors in cultures was monitored in a real-time manner. The results showed that for MSMCs of 2.8 mm * 1.0 mm * 35 μm and with 1.4 mm * 0.8 mm * 35 μm have a detection limit of 10 5 and 10 4 spores/mL, respectively.

  18. Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores Using Immunomagnetic Separation and Amperometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, David F.; Hew, Brian E.; Holdaway, Charlie; Jen, Michael; Peckham, Gabriel D.

    2016-01-01

    Portable detection and quantitation methods for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores in pure culture or in environmental samples are lacking. Here, an amperometric immunoassay has been developed utilizing immunomagnetic separation to capture the spores and remove potential interferents from test samples followed by amperometric measurement on a field-portable instrument. Antibody-conjugated magnetic beads and antibody-conjugated glucose oxidase were used in a sandwich format for the capture and detection of target spores. Glucose oxidase activity of spore pellets was measured indirectly via amperometry by applying a bias voltage after incubation with glucose, horseradish peroxidase, and the electron mediator 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid). Target capture was mediated by polyclonal antisera, whereas monoclonal antibodies were used for signal generation. This strategy maximized sensitivity (500 target spores, 5000 cfu/mL), while also providing a good specificity for Bacillus anthracis spores. Minimal signal deviation occurs in the presence of environmental interferents including soil and modified pH conditions, demonstrating the strengths of immunomagnetic separation. The simultaneous incubation of capture and detection antibodies and rapid substrate development (5 min) result in short sample-to-signal times (less than an hour). With attributes comparable or exceeding that of ELISA and LFDs, amperometry is a low-cost, low-weight, and practical method for detecting anthrax spores in the field. PMID:27999382

  19. The role of DNA restriction-modification systems in the biology of Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramakrishnan eSitaraman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Restriction-modification (R-M systems are widespread among prokaryotes and, depending on their type, may be viewed as selfish genetic elements that persist as toxin-antitoxin modules or as cellular defense systems against phage infection. Studies in the last decade have made it amply clear that these two options do not exhaust the list of possible biological roles for R-M systems. Their presence in a cell may also have a bearing on other processes such as horizontal gene transfer and gene regulation. From genome sequencing and experimental data, we know that Bacillus anthracis encodes at least three methylation-dependent (typeIV restriction endonucleases, and an orphan DNA methyltransferase. In this article, we first present an outline of our current knowledge of R-M systems in Bacillus anthracis. Based on available DNA sequence data, and on our current understanding of the functions of similar genes in other systems, we conclude with hypotheses on the possible roles of the three restriction endonucleases and the orphan DNA methyltransferase.

  20. Forensic application of microbiological culture analysis to identify mail intentionally contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beecher, Douglas J

    2006-08-01

    The discovery of a letter intentionally filled with dried Bacillus anthracis spores in the office of a United States senator prompted the collection and quarantine of all mail in congressional buildings. This mail was subsequently searched for additional intentionally contaminated letters. A microbiological sampling strategy was used to locate heavy contamination within the 642 separate plastic bags containing the mail. Swab sampling identified 20 bags for manual and visual examination. Air sampling within the 20 bags indicated that one bag was orders of magnitude more contaminated than all the others. This bag contained a letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy that had been loaded with dried B. anthracis spores. Microbiological sampling of compartmentalized batches of mail proved to be efficient and relatively safe. Efficiency was increased by inoculating culture media in the hot zone rather than transferring swab samples to a laboratory for inoculation. All mail sampling was complete within 4 days with minimal contamination of the sampling environment or personnel. However, physically handling the intentionally contaminated letter proved to be exceptionally hazardous, as did sorting of cross-contaminated mail, which resulted in generation of hazardous aerosol and extensive contamination of protective clothing. Nearly 8 x 10(6) CFU was removed from the most highly cross-contaminated piece of mail found. Tracking data indicated that this and other heavily contaminated envelopes had been processed through the same mail sorting equipment as, and within 1 s of, two intentionally contaminated letters.

  1. A Study on molecular characterization of Razi Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2 substrain in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadayon, K.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, has affected humans since ancient times. For genomic characterization of Razi B. anthracis Sterne 34F2 substrain, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP genotyping method developed by Van Erth, variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR-8 analysis proposed by Keim, and multiple-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA-3 introduced by Levy were employed. In the SNPs typing system, where the nucleotide content of the genome at 13 evolutionary canonical loci was collectively analyzed, the originally South African 34F2 substrain was categorized in the A.Br.001/002 subgroup. In the VNTR-8 analysis, fragments with lengths of 314, 229, 162, 580, 532, 158, and 137 bp were identified at the following loci: vrrA, vrrB1, vrrB2, vrrC1, vrrC2, CG3, and pxO1, respectively. In addition, application of Levy's MLVA-3 genotyping method revealed that the genome of this strain carried 941, 451, and 864 bp fragments at AA03, AJ03, and AA07 loci, respectively. The present findings are undoubtedly helpful in meeting the requirements set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE and World Health Organization (WHO for anthrax vaccine manufacturers including Razi Institute. However, further similar studies are required to promote the current epidemiological knowledge of anthrax in Iran.

  2. Improved proteomic analysis following trichloroacetic acid extraction of Bacillus anthracis spore proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L; Wunschel, David S; Sydor, Michael A; Warner, Marvin G; Wahl, Karen L; Hutchison, Janine R

    2015-11-01

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Analysis of cellular proteins is dependent upon efficient extraction from bacterial samples, which can be challenging with increasing complexity and refractory characteristics. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrichment for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple, does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter, and is effective for protein extraction of the particularly challenging sample type of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores. The ability of Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) extraction to isolate proteins from spores and enrich for spore-specific proteins was compared to the traditional mechanical disruption method of bead beating. TCA extraction improved the total average number of proteins identified within a sample as compared to bead beating (547 vs 495, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 270 spore proteins, including those typically identified by first isolating the spore coat and exosporium layers. Bead beating enriched for 156 spore proteins more typically identified from whole spore proteome analyses. The total average number of proteins identified was equal using TCA or bead beating for easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may simplify sample preparation and provide additional insight to the protein biology of the organism being studied.

  3. Impact of spore biology on the rate of kill and suppression of resistance in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drusano, G L; Okusanya, O O; Okusanya, A O; van Scoy, B; Brown, D L; Fregeau, C; Kulawy, R; Kinzig, M; Sörgel, F; Heine, H S; Louie, A

    2009-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis is complex because of its spore form. The spore is invulnerable to antibiotic action. It also has an impact on the emergence of resistance. We employed the hollow-fiber infection model to study the impacts of different doses and schedules of moxifloxacin on the total-organism population, the spore population, and the subpopulations of vegetative- and spore-phase organisms that were resistant to moxifloxacin. We then generated a mathematical model of the impact of moxifloxacin, administered by continuous infusion or once daily, on vegetative- and spore-phase organisms. The ratio of the rate constant for vegetative-phase cells going to spore phase (K(vs)) to the rate constant for spore-phase cells going to vegetative phase (K(sv)) determines the rate of organism clearance. The continuous-infusion drug profile is more easily sensed as a threat; the K(vs)/K(sv) ratio increases at lower drug exposures (possibly related to quorum sensing). This movement to spore phase protects the organism but makes the emergence of resistance less likely. Suppression of resistance requires a higher level of drug exposure with once-daily administration than with a continuous infusion, a difference that is related to vegetative-to-spore (and back) transitioning. Spore biology has a major impact on drug therapy and resistance suppression. These findings explain why all drugs of different classes have approximately the same rate of organism clearance for Bacillus anthracis.

  4. Identification, Functional Characterization and Regulon Prediction of a Novel Two Component System Comprising BAS0540-BAS0541 of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalani, Monisha; Kandari, Divya; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Two component systems (TCSs) can be envisaged as complex molecular devices that help the bacteria to sense its environment and respond aptly. 41 TCSs are predicted in Bacillus anthracis, a potential bioterrorism agent, of which only four have been studied so far. Thus, the intricate signaling network contributed by TCSs remains largely unmapped in B. anthracis and needs comprehensive exploration. In this study, we functionally characterized one such system composed of BAS0540 (Response regulator) and BAS0541 (Histidine kinase). BAS0540-BAS0541, the closest homolog of CiaRH of Streptococcus in B. anthracis, forms a functional TCS with BAS0541 displaying autophosphorylation and subsequent phosphotransfer to BAS0540. BAS0540 was also found to accept phosphate from physiologically relevant small molecule phosphodonors like acetyl phosphate and carbamoyl phosphate. Results of qRT-PCR and immunoblotting demonstrated that BAS0540 exhibits a constitutive expression throughout the growth of B. anthracis. Regulon prediction for BAS0540 in B. anthracis was done in silico using the consensus DNA binding sequence of CiaR of Streptococcus. The predicted regulon of BAS0540 comprised of 23 genes, which could be classified into 8 functionally diverse categories. None of the proven virulence factors were a part of the predicted regulon, an observation contrasting with the regulon of CiaRH in Streptococci. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified BAS0540 to the upstream regions of 5 putative regulon candidates- BAS0540 gene itself; a gene predicted to encode cell division protein FtsA; a self–immunity gene; a RND family transporter gene and a gene encoding stress (heat) responsive protein. A significant enhancement in the DNA binding ability of BAS0540 was observed upon phosphorylation. Overexpression of response regulator BAS0540 in B. anthracis led to a prodigious increase of ~6 folds in the cell length, thereby conferring it a filamentous

  5. Cyclic Voltammetric Responses of Nitrate Reductase on Chemical Modified Electrodes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YaRuSONG; HuiBoSHAO; 等

    2002-01-01

    Electrochemistry of nitrate reductases (NR) incorporated into 2-aminoethanethiol self-assembled on the gold electrode and polyacrylamide cast on the pyrolytic graphite electrode was examined. NR on chemical modified electrode showed electrochemical cyclic voltammetric responses in phosphate buffers.

  6. Regulation of ribonucleotide reductase by Spd1 involves multiple mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nestoras, Konstantinos; Mohammed, Asma Hadi; Schreurs, Ann-Sofie

    2010-01-01

    The correct levels of deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates and their relative abundance are important to maintain genomic integrity. Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) regulation is complex and multifaceted. RNR is regulated allosterically by two nucleotide-binding sites, by transcriptional control, and...

  7. Purification and characterization of assimilatory nitrite reductase from Candida utilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, S; Shaila, M S; Rao, G R

    1996-07-01

    Nitrate assimilation in many plants, algae, yeasts and bacteria is mediated by two enzymes, nitrate reductase (EC 1.6.6.2) and nitrite reductase (EC 1.7.7.1). They catalyse the stepwise reduction of nitrate to nitrite and nitrite to ammonia respectively. The nitrite reductase from an industrially important yeast, Candida utilis, has been purified to homogeneity. Purified nitrite reductase is a heterodimer and the molecular masses of the two subunits are 58 and 66 kDa. The native enzyme exhibits a molecular mass of 126 kDa as analysed by gel filtration. The identify of the two subunits of nitrite reductase was confirmed by immunoblotting using antibody for Cucurbita pepo leaf nitrite reductase. The presence of two different sized transcripts coding for the two subunits was confirmed by (a) in vitro translation of mRNA from nitrate-induced C. utilis followed by immunoprecipitation of the in vitro translated products with heterologous nitrite reductase antibody and (b) Northern-blot analysis. The 66 kDa subunit is acidic in nature which is probably due to its phosphorylated status. The enzyme is stable over a range of temperatures. Both subunits can catalyse nitrite reduction, and the reconstituted enzyme, at a higher protein concentration, shows an activity similar to that of the purified enzyme. Each of these subunits has been shown to contain a few unique peptides in addition to a large number of common peptides. Reduced Methyl Viologen has been found to be as effective an electron donor as NADPH in the catalytic process, a phenomenon not commonly seen for nitrite reductases from other systems.

  8. An attenuated strain of Bacillus anthracis (CDC 684 has a large chromosomal inversion and altered growth kinetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivins Bruce E

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An isolate originally labeled Bacillus megaterium CDC 684 was found to contain both pXO1 and pXO2, was non-hemolytic, sensitive to gamma-phage, and produced both the protective antigen and the poly-D-glutamic acid capsule. These phenotypes prompted Ezzell et al., (J. Clin. Microbiol. 28:223 to reclassify this isolate to Bacillus anthracis in 1990. Results We demonstrate that despite these B. anthracis features, the isolate is severely attenuated in a guinea pig model. This prompted whole genome sequencing and closure. The comparative analysis of CDC 684 to other sequenced B. anthracis isolates and further analysis reveals: a CDC 684 is a close relative of a virulent strain, Vollum A0488; b CDC 684 defines a new B. anthracis lineage (at least 51 SNPs that includes 15 other isolates; c the genome of CDC 684 contains a large chromosomal inversion that spans 3.3 Mbp; d this inversion has caused a displacement of the usual spatial orientation of the origin of replication (ori to the termination of replication (ter from 180° in wild-type B. anthracis to 120° in CDC 684 and e this isolate also has altered growth kinetics in liquid media. Conclusions We propose two alternative hypotheses explaining the attenuated phenotype of this isolate. Hypothesis 1 suggests that the skewed ori/ter relationship in CDC 684 has altered its DNA replication and/or transcriptome processes resulting in altered growth kinetics and virulence capacity. Hypothesis 2 suggests that one or more of the single nucleotide polymorphisms in CDC 684 has altered the expression of a regulatory element or other genes necessary for virulence.

  9. Overexpression of the pleiotropic regulator CodY decreases sporulation, attachment and pellicle formation in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalani, Monisha; Dhiman, Alisha; Rahi, Amit; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-15

    CodY, a global transcriptional regulator, primarily functions as a nutrient and energy sensor. It is activated by metabolic effectors like BCAA and GTP. In low G + C Gram positive bacteria, it facilitates coupling of changes in the cellular metabolite pool with those required in the transcriptome of the cell. This pleiotropic regulator controls the expression of a vast number of genes as the cell transits from exponential to the stationary phase. Earlier studies have shown that CodY is required for the virulence of Bacillus anthracis. We sought to investigate the effect of its overexpression on the physiology of B. anthracis. In our study, we found that cellular CodY levels were unchanged during this phase-transition. Expression of endogenous CodY remained the same in different nutrient limiting conditions. Immunoblotting studies revealed CodY presence in the whole spore lysate of B. anthracis indicating it to be a component of the spore proteome. We could also detect CodY in the secretome of B. anthracis. Further, CodY was overexpressed in B. anthracis Sterne strain and this led to a 100-fold decrease in the sporulation titer and a 2.5-fold decrease in the in vitro attachment ability of the bacteria. We also observed a decrease in the pellicle formation by CodY overexpressed strain when compared to wildtype bacilli. The CodY overexpressed strain showed chaining phenotype during growth in liquid media and pellicle.

  10. Distribution of Prx-linked hydroperoxide reductase activity among microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Kouji; Nishiyama, Yoshitaka; Yoda, Koji; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Nimura-Matsune, Kaori; Mura, Kiyoshi; Tokue, Chiyoko; Katoh, Tetzuya; Kawasaki, Shinji; Niimura, Youichi

    2004-01-01

    Peroxiredoxin (Prx) constitutes a large family of enzymes found in microorganisms, animals, and plants, but the detection of the activities of Prx-linked hydroperoxide reductases (peroxiredoxin reductases) in cell extracts, and the purification based on peroxide reductase activity, have only been done in bacteria and Trypanosomatidae. A peroxiredoxin reductase (NADH oxidase) from a bacterium, Amphibacillus, displayed only poor activities in the presence of purified Prx from Saccharomyces or Synechocystis, while it is highly active in the presence of bacterial Prx. These results suggested that an enzyme system different from that in bacteria might exist for the reduction of Prx in yeast and cyanobacteria. Prx-linked hydroperoxide reductase activities were detected in cell extracts of Saccharomyces, Synechocystis, and Chlorella, and the enzyme activities of Saccharomyces and Chlorella were induced under vigorously aerated culture conditions and intensive light exposure conditions, respectively. Partial purification of Prx-linked peroxidase from the induced yeast cells indicated that the Prx-linked peroxidase system consists of two protein components, namely, thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase. This finding is consistent with the previous report on its purification based on its protein protection activity against oxidation [Chae et al., J. Biol. Chem., 269, 27670-27678 (1994)]. In this study we have confirmed that Prx-linked peroxidase activity are widely distributed, not only in bacteria species and Trypanosomatidae, but also in yeast and photosynthetic microorganisms, and showed reconstitution of the activity from partially purified interspecies components.

  11. Aldose reductase mediates retinal microglia activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Kun-Che; Shieh, Biehuoy; Petrash, J Mark

    2016-04-29

    Retinal microglia (RMG) are one of the major immune cells in charge of surveillance of inflammatory responses in the eye. In the absence of an inflammatory stimulus, RMG reside predominately in the ganglion layer and inner or outer plexiform layers. However, under stress RMG become activated and migrate into the inner nuclear layer (INL) or outer nuclear layer (ONL). Activated RMG in cell culture secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines in a manner sensitive to downregulation by aldose reductase inhibitors. In this study, we utilized CX3CR1(GFP) mice carrying AR mutant alleles to evaluate the role of AR on RMG activation and migration in vivo. When tested on an AR(WT) background, IP injection of LPS induced RMG activation and migration into the INL and ONL. However, this phenomenon was largely prevented by AR inhibitors or in AR null mice, or was exacerbated in transgenic mice that over-express AR. LPS-induced increases in ocular levels of TNF-α and CX3CL-1 in WT mice were substantially lower in AR null mice or were reduced by AR inhibitor treatment. These studies demonstrate that AR expression in RMG may contribute to the proinflammatory phenotypes common to various eye diseases such as uveitis and diabetic retinopathy.

  12. Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Activity and Folate Metabolism

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    Nursen Keser

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Folate is a vital B vitamin which is easily water-soluble. It is a natural source which is found in the herbal and animal foods. Folate has important duties in the human metabolism, one of them is the adjustment of the level of plasma homocysteine. Reduction in MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase,which is in charge of the metabolism of homocysteine activity affects the level of homocysteine. Therefore MTHFR is an important enzyme in folate metabolism. Some of the mutations occurring in the MTHFR gene is a risk factor for various diseases and may be caused the hyperhomocysteinemia or the homocystinuria, and they also may lead to metabolic problems. MTHFR is effective in the important pathways such as DNA synthesis, methylation reactions and synthesis of RNA. C677T and A1298C are the most commonly occurring polymorphisms in the gene of MTHFR. The frequency of these polymorphisms show differences in the populations. MTHFR, folate distribution, metabolism of homocysteine and S-adenosylmethionine, by the MTHFR methylation the genetic defects have the potential of affecting the risk of disease in the negative or positive way.

  13. Aldose reductase, oxidative stress and diabetic mellitus

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    Waiho eTang

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus (DM is a complex metabolic disorder arising from lack of insulin production or insulin resistance 1. DM is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world, particularly from vascular complications such as atherothrombosis in the coronary vessels. Aldose reductase (AR [ALR2; EC 1.1.1.21], a key enzyme in the polyol pathway, catalyzes NADPH-dependent reduction of glucose to sorbitol, leading to excessive accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS in various tissues of DM including the heart, vasculature, neurons, eyes and kidneys. As an example, hyperglycemia through such polyol pathway induced oxidative stress, may have dual heart actions, on coronary blood vessel (atherothrombosis and myocardium (heart failure leading to severe morbidity and mortality (reviewed in 2. In cells cultured under high glucose conditions, many studies have demonstrated similar AR-dependent increases in ROS production, confirming AR as an important factor for the pathogenesis of many diabetic complications. Moreover, recent studies have shown that AR inhibitors may be able to prevent or delay the onset of cardiovascular complications such as ischemia/reperfusion injury, atherosclerosis and atherothrombosis. In this review, we will focus on describing pivotal roles of AR in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases as well as other diabetic complications, and the potential use of AR inhibitors as an emerging therapeutic strategy in preventing DM complications.

  14. The genome of a Bacillus isolate causing anthrax in chimpanzees combines chromosomal properties of B. cereus with B. anthracis virulence plasmids.

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    Silke R Klee

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a fatal disease caused by strains of Bacillus anthracis. Members of this monophyletic species are non motile and are all characterized by the presence of four prophages and a nonsense mutation in the plcR regulator gene. Here we report the complete genome sequence of a Bacillus strain isolated from a chimpanzee that had died with clinical symptoms of anthrax. Unlike classic B. anthracis, this strain was motile and lacked the four prohages and the nonsense mutation. Four replicons were identified, a chromosome and three plasmids. Comparative genome analysis revealed that the chromosome resembles those of non-B. anthracis members of the Bacillus cereus group, whereas two plasmids were identical to the anthrax virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. The function of the newly discovered third plasmid with a length of 14 kbp is unknown. A detailed comparison of genomic loci encoding key features confirmed a higher similarity to B. thuringiensis serovar konkukian strain 97-27 and B. cereus E33L than to B. anthracis strains. For the first time we describe the sequence of an anthrax causing bacterium possessing both anthrax plasmids that apparently does not belong to the monophyletic group of all so far known B. anthracis strains and that differs in important diagnostic features. The data suggest that this bacterium has evolved from a B. cereus strain independently from the classic B. anthracis strains and established a B. anthracis lifestyle. Therefore we suggest to designate this isolate as "B. cereus variety (var. anthracis".

  15. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria Isolated from Wild Great Apes from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klee, Silke R.; Özel, Muhsin; Appel, Bernd; Boesch, Christophe; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Jacob, Daniela; Holland, Gudrun; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Pauli, Georg; Grunow, Roland; Nattermann, Herbert

    2006-01-01

    We present the microbiological and molecular characterization of bacteria isolated from four chimpanzees and one gorilla thought to have died of an anthrax-like disease in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. These isolates differed significantly from classic Bacillus anthracis by the following criteria: motility, resistance to the gamma phage, and, for isolates from Cameroon, resistance to penicillin G. A capsule was expressed not only after induction by CO2 and bicarbonate but also under normal growth conditions. Subcultivation resulted in beta-hemolytic activity and gamma phage susceptibility in some subclones, suggesting differences in gene regulation compared to classic B. anthracis. The isolates from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon showed slight differences in their biochemical characteristics and MICs of different antibiotics but were identical in all molecular features and sequences analyzed. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed the presence of both the toxin and the capsule plasmid, with sizes corresponding to the B. anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Protective antigen was expressed and secreted into the culture supernatant. The isolates possessed variants of the Ba813 marker and the SG-749 fragment differing from that of classic B. anthracis strains. Multilocus sequence typing revealed a close relationship of our atypical isolates with both classic B. anthracis strains and two uncommonly virulent Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates. We propose that the newly discovered atypical B. anthracis strains share a common ancestor with classic B. anthracis or that they emerged recently by transfer of the B. anthracis plasmids to a strain of the B. cereus group. PMID:16855222

  16. Bacillus anthracis secretome time course under host-simulated conditions and identification of immunogenic proteins

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    Whittington Jessica

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The secretion time course of Bacillus anthracis strain RA3R (pXO1+/pXO2- during early, mid, and late log phase were investigated under conditions that simulate those encountered in the host. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by different software algorithms to characterize their predicted mode of secretion and cellular localization. In addition, immunogenic proteins were identified using sera from humans with cutaneous anthrax. Results A total of 275 extracellular proteins were identified by a combination of LC MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by SignalP, SecretomeP, PSORT, LipoP, TMHMM, and PROSITE to characterize their predicted mode of secretion, cellular localization, and protein domains. Fifty-three proteins were predicted by SignalP to harbor the cleavable N-terminal signal peptides and were therefore secreted via the classical Sec pathway. Twenty-three proteins were predicted by SecretomeP for secretion by the alternative Sec pathway characterized by the lack of typical export signal. In contrast to SignalP and SecretomeP predictions, PSORT predicted 171 extracellular proteins, 7 cell wall-associated proteins, and 6 cytoplasmic proteins. Moreover, 51 proteins were predicted by LipoP to contain putative Sec signal peptides (38 have SpI sites, lipoprotein signal peptides (13 have SpII sites, and N-terminal membrane helices (9 have transmembrane helices. The TMHMM algorithm predicted 25 membrane-associated proteins with one to ten transmembrane helices. Immunogenic proteins were also identified using sera from patients who have recovered from anthrax. The charge variants (83 and 63 kDa of protective antigen (PA were the most immunodominant secreted antigens, followed by charge variants of enolase and transketolase. Conclusion This is the first description of the time course of protein secretion for the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Time course studies of protein secretion and

  17. Transcriptomic and phenotypic analysis of paralogous spx gene function in Bacillus anthracis Sterne.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barendt, Skye; Lee, Hyunwoo; Birch, Cierra; Nakano, Michiko M; Jones, Marcus; Zuber, Peter

    2013-08-01

    Spx of Bacillus subtilis is a redox-sensitive protein, which, under disulfide stress, interacts with RNA polymerase to activate genes required for maintaining thiol homeostasis. Spx orthologs are highly conserved among low %GC Gram-positive bacteria, and often exist in multiple paralogous forms. In this study, we used B. anthracis Sterne, which harbors two paralogous spx genes, spxA1 and spxA2, to examine the phenotypes of spx null mutations and to identify the genes regulated by each Spx paralog. Cells devoid of spxA1 were sensitive to diamide and hydrogen peroxide, while the spxA1 spoxA2 double mutant was hypersensitive to the thiol-specific oxidant, diamide. Bacillus anthracis Sterne strains expressing spxA1DD or spxA2DD alleles encoding protease-resistant products were used in microarray and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analyses in order to uncover genes under SpxA1, SpxA2, or SpxA1/SpxA2 control. Comparison of transcriptomes identified many genes that were upregulated when either SpxA1DD or SpxA2DD was produced, but several genes were uncovered whose transcript levels increased in only one of the two SpxADD-expression strains, suggesting that each Spx paralog governs a unique regulon. Among genes that were upregulated were those encoding orthologs of proteins that are specifically involved in maintaining intracellular thiol homeostasis or alleviating oxidative stress. Some of these genes have important roles in B. anthracis pathogenesis, and a large number of upregulated hypothetical genes have no homology outside of the B. cereus/thuringiensis group. Microarray and RT-qPCR analyses also unveiled a regulatory link that exists between the two spx paralogous genes. The data indicate that spxA1 and spxA2 are transcriptional regulators involved in relieving disulfide stress but also control a set of genes whose products function in other cellular processes.

  18. Transcripts of Anthocyanidin Reductase and Leucoanthocyanidin Reductase and Measurement of Catechin and Epicatechin in Tartary Buckwheat

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    Yeon Bok Kim

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthocyanidin reductase (ANR and leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR play an important role in the monomeric units biosynthesis of proanthocyanidins (PAs such as catechin and epicatechin in several plants. The aim of this study was to clone ANR and LAR genes involved in PAs biosynthesis and examine the expression of these two genes in different organs under different growth conditions in two tartary buckwheat cultivars, Hokkai T8 and T10. Gene expression was carried out by quantitative real-time RT-PCR, and catechin and epicatechin content was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography. The expression pattern of ANR and LAR did not match the accumulation pattern of PAs in different organs of two cultivars. Epicatechin content was the highest in the flowers of both cultivars and it was affected by light in only Hokkai T8 sprouts. ANR and LAR levels in tartary buckwheat might be regulated by different mechanisms for catechin and epicatechin biosynthesis under light and dark conditions.

  19. Isolation and characterization of cDNAs encoding leucoanthocyanidin reductase and anthocyanidin reductase from Populus trichocarpa.

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    Lijun Wang

    Full Text Available Proanthocyanidins (PAs contribute to poplar defense mechanisms against biotic and abiotic stresses. Transcripts of PA biosynthetic genes accumulated rapidly in response to infection by the fungus Marssonina brunnea f.sp. multigermtubi, treatments of salicylic acid (SA and wounding, resulting in PA accumulation in poplar leaves. Anthocyanidin reductase (ANR and leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR are two key enzymes of the PA biosynthesis that produce the main subunits: (+-catechin and (--epicatechin required for formation of PA polymers. In Populus, ANR and LAR are encoded by at least two and three highly related genes, respectively. In this study, we isolated and functionally characterized genes PtrANR1 and PtrLAR1 from P. trichocarpa. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Populus ANR1 and LAR1 occurr in two distinct phylogenetic lineages, but both genes have little difference in their tissue distribution, preferentially expressed in roots. Overexpression of PtrANR1 in poplar resulted in a significant increase in PA levels but no impact on catechin levels. Antisense down-regulation of PtrANR1 showed reduced PA accumulation in transgenic lines, but increased levels of anthocyanin content. Ectopic expression of PtrLAR1 in poplar positively regulated the biosynthesis of PAs, whereas the accumulation of anthocyanin and flavonol was significantly reduced (P<0.05 in all transgenic plants compared to the control plants. These results suggest that both PtrANR1 and PtrLAR1 contribute to PA biosynthesis in Populus.

  20. Observations on the Inactivation Efficacy of a MALDI-TOF MS Chemical Extraction Method on Bacillus anthracis Vegetative Cells and Spores.

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    Simon A Weller

    Full Text Available A chemical (ethanol; formic acid; acetonitrile protein extraction method for the preparation of bacterial samples for matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS identification was evaluated for its ability to inactivate bacterial species. Initial viability tests (with and without double filtration of the extract through 0.2 μM filters, indicated that the method could inactivate Escherichia coli MRE 162 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 35657, with or without filtration, but that filtration was required to exclude viable, avirulent, Bacillus anthracis UM23CL2 from extracts. Multiple, high stringency, viability experiments were then carried out on entire filtered extracts prepared from virulent B. anthracis Vollum vegetative cells and spores ranging in concentration from 10(6-10(8 cfu per extract. B. anthracis was recovered in 3/18 vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 spore extracts. From vegetative cell extracts B. anthracis was only recovered from extracts that had undergone prolonged Luria (L-broth (7 day and L-agar plate (a further 7 days incubations. We hypothesise that the recovery of B. anthracis in vegetative cell extracts is due to the escape of individual sub-lethally injured cells. We discuss our results in view of working practises in clinical laboratories and in the context of recent inadvertent releases of viable B. anthracis.

  1. Observations on the Inactivation Efficacy of a MALDI-TOF MS Chemical Extraction Method on Bacillus anthracis Vegetative Cells and Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weller, Simon A; Stokes, Margaret G M; Lukaszewski, Roman A

    2015-01-01

    A chemical (ethanol; formic acid; acetonitrile) protein extraction method for the preparation of bacterial samples for matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identification was evaluated for its ability to inactivate bacterial species. Initial viability tests (with and without double filtration of the extract through 0.2 μM filters), indicated that the method could inactivate Escherichia coli MRE 162 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 35657, with or without filtration, but that filtration was required to exclude viable, avirulent, Bacillus anthracis UM23CL2 from extracts. Multiple, high stringency, viability experiments were then carried out on entire filtered extracts prepared from virulent B. anthracis Vollum vegetative cells and spores ranging in concentration from 10(6)-10(8) cfu per extract. B. anthracis was recovered in 3/18 vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 spore extracts. From vegetative cell extracts B. anthracis was only recovered from extracts that had undergone prolonged Luria (L)-broth (7 day) and L-agar plate (a further 7 days) incubations. We hypothesise that the recovery of B. anthracis in vegetative cell extracts is due to the escape of individual sub-lethally injured cells. We discuss our results in view of working practises in clinical laboratories and in the context of recent inadvertent releases of viable B. anthracis.

  2. Use of high-resolution melting and melting temperature-shift assays for specific detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis based on single nucleotide discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Mendy, Christiane; Laroche, Séverine; Madani, Nora

    2011-11-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are important diagnostic markers for the detection and differentiation of Bacillus anthracis. High-Resolution Melting (HRM) and Melting Temperature (Tm)-shift methods are two approaches that enable SNP detection without the need for expensive labeled probes. We evaluated the potential diagnostic capability of those methods to discriminate B. anthracis from the other members of the B. cereus group. Two assays targeting B. anthracis-specific SNPs in the plcR and gyrA genes were designed for each method and used to genotype a panel of 155 Bacilli strains. All B. anthracis isolates (n=65) were correctly and unambiguously identified. Assays also proved to be appropriate for the direct genotyping of biological samples. They could reliably detect B. anthracis in contaminated organs containing as little as 10(3)CFU/ml, corresponding to a few genome equivalents per reaction. The HRM and Tm-shift applications described here represent valuable tools for specific identification of B. anthracis at reduced cost.

  3. Amperometric Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores: A Portable, Low-Cost Approach to the ELISA

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    Gabriel D. Peckham

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Antibody-based detection assays are generally robust, a desirable characteristic for in-the-field use. However, to quantify the colorimetric or fluorescent signal, these assays require expensive and fragile instruments which are ill-suited to in-the-field use. Lateral flow devices (LFDs circumvent these barriers to portability but suffer from poor sensitivity and subjective interpretation. Here, an antibody-based method for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores via amperometric signal generation is compared to ELISA and LFDs. This amperometric immunoassay uses antibody conjugated to magnetic beads and glucose oxidase (GOX along with the electron mediator 2, 6-dichlorophenolindophenol (DCPIP for production of a measurable current from a 0.4 V bias voltage. With similar sensitivity to ELISA, the assay can be completed in about 75 minutes while being completely powered and operated from a laptop computer. Immunoassay amperometry holds promise for bringing low-cost, quantitative detection of hazardous agents to the field.

  4. Phage-based magnetostrictive-acoustic microbiosensors for detecting bacillus anthracis spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, J.; Yang, H.; Lakshmanan, R. S.; Guntupalli, R.; Huang, S.; Hu, J.; Petrenko, V. A.; Chin, B. A.

    2006-05-01

    Magnetostrictive particles (MSPs) as biosensor platform have been developed recently. The principle of MSPs as sensor platform is the same as that of other acoustic wave devices, such as quartz crystal microbalance. In this paper, the fabrication, characterization and performance of phage-based MSP biosensors for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores are reported. A commercially available magnetostrictive alloy was utilized to fabricate the sensor platform. The phage was immobilized onto the MSPs using physical adsorption technology. The following performance of the phage-based MSP sensors will be presented: sensitivity, response time, longevity, specificity and binding efficacy. The performance of the sensors at static and dynamic conditions was characterized. The experimental results are confirmed by microscopy photographs. The excellent performance including high sensitivity and rapid response is demonstrated. More importantly, it is experimentally found that the phage-based MSP sensors have a much better longevity than antibody-based sensors.

  5. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

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    Annika Gillis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Many bacteriophages (phages have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here.

  6. In Silico Genomic Fingerprints of the Bacillus anthracis Group Obtained by Virtual Hybridization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaimes-Díaz, Hueman; Larios-Serrato, Violeta; Lloret-Sánchez, Teresa; Olguín-Ruiz, Gabriela; Sánchez-Vallejo, Carlos; Carreño-Durán, Luis; Maldonado-Rodríguez, Rogelio; Méndez-Tenorio, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    In this study we evaluate the capacity of Virtual Hybridization to identify between highly related bacterial strains. Eight genomic fingerprints were obtained by virtual hybridization for the Bacillus anthracis genome set, and a set of 15,264 13-nucleotide short probes designed to produce genomic fingerprints unique for each organism. The data obtained from each genomic fingerprint were used to obtain hybridization patterns simulating a DNA microarray. Two virtual hybridization methods were used: the Direct and the Extended method to identify the number of potential hybridization sites and thus determine the minimum sensitivity value to discriminate between genomes with 99.9% similarity. Genomic fingerprints were compared using both methods and phylogenomic trees were constructed to verify that the minimum detection value is 0.000017. Results obtained from the genomic fingerprints suggest that the distribution in the trees is correct, as compared to other taxonomic methods. Specific virtual hybridization sites for each of the genomes studied were also identified. PMID:27600214

  7. Decontamination options for Bacillus anthracis-contaminated drinking water determined from spore surrogate studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raber, Ellen; Burklund, Alison

    2010-10-01

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination alternatives for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were as follows: (i) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus), (ii) spore concentration in suspension (10(2) and 10(6) spores/ml), (iii) chemical characteristics of the decontaminant (sodium dichloro-S-triazinetrione dihydrate [Dichlor], hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate [Oxone], sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS), (iv) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%), and (v) exposure time to decontaminant (10 min to 1 h). Results from 138 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5% and Dichlor or sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2% were highly effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and a more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting the EPA biocide standard of greater than a 6-log kill after a 10-min exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS and Oxone were less effective as decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for a biocide, although they were found to be as effective for concentrations of 10(2) spores/ml. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  8. Role of YpeB in cortex hydrolysis during germination of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhards, Casey B; Popham, David L

    2014-10-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common disinfection techniques. This study investigates the relationship between SleB, a GSLE in B. anthracis, and YpeB, a protein necessary for SleB stability and function. The results indicate that ΔsleB and ΔypeB spores exhibit similar germination phenotypes and that the two proteins have a strict codependency for their incorporation into the dormant spore. In the absence of its partner protein, SleB or YpeB is proteolytically degraded soon after expression during sporulation, rather than escaping the developing spore. The three PepSY domains of YpeB were examined for their roles in the interaction with SleB. YpeB truncation mutants illustrate the necessity of a region beyond the first PepSY domain for SleB stability. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis of highly conserved residues within the PepSY domains resulted in germination defects corresponding to reduced levels of both SleB and YpeB in the mutant spores. These results identify residues involved in the stability of both proteins and reiterate their codependent relationship. It is hoped that the study of GSLEs and interacting proteins will lead to the use of GSLEs as targets for efficient activation of spore germination and facilitation of spore cleanup.

  9. [Phenotypic and genetic features of cultural-morphologic variants of Bacillus anthracis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsygankova, O I; Eremenko, E I; Tsygankova, E A; Buravtseva, N P; Riazanova, A G

    2008-01-01

    Comparative analysis of MVLA-genotypes of 6 Bacillus anthracis strains and 40 their variants differing on capsule- and toxin synthesis, hemolytic, proteolytic and lecitinase activity, nutritional requirements, susceptibility to anthrax bacteriophages, virulence, immunogenicity, and presence of genes for capsule and toxin synthesis was performed. Results of phylogenetic analysis of 5 chromosome locuses and plasmid locus pXO1aat which are variable for this sample of B. anthracis cultures showed that all strains divided on 2 main clusters - A and B. Cluster A consisted of 5 genotypes whereas cluster B - of 1 genotype. All highly virulent original strains and variants with characteristic phenotype Cap(CO2)(+)(O2)(-)Tox(+)ProtA(+)Hly(+) Lec(-)Trp(+) had identical genotype in 4 groups and in 5th group differences were present only in vrrA locus. All original strains and variants with the most atypical complex of phenotypic characteristics Cap (CO2)(+)(O2)(+)Tox(-)ProtA(-)Hly(-)Lec(-)Trp(-) also had the same genotype belonging to cluster B and diverged on characteristic of 5 chromosomal VNTR locuses and pXO1aat locus from typical strains. Absence of toxin production in vitro was not related to loss of genetic determinants of toxin components. Cultures with typical characteristics, one of which was ability to produce toxin in vitro, had larger sizes of amplicons of pXO1aat locus (135 and 132 nbp), whereas atoxigenic original strains and variants with complex of atypical characteristics and identical chromosome genotype had the smallest sizes (123 bnp). All original cultures were isolated in Russia, their genotypes are described for the first time.

  10. Drug interactions with Bacillus anthracis topoisomerase IV: biochemical basis for quinolone action and resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldred, Katie J; McPherson, Sylvia A; Wang, Pengfei; Kerns, Robert J; Graves, David E; Turnbough, Charles L; Osheroff, Neil

    2012-01-10

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is considered a serious threat as a bioweapon. The drugs most commonly used to treat anthrax are quinolones, which act by increasing the levels of DNA cleavage mediated by topoisomerase IV and gyrase. Quinolone resistance most often is associated with specific serine mutations in these enzymes. Therefore, to determine the basis for quinolone action and resistance, we characterized wild-type B. anthracis topoisomerase IV, the GrlA(S81F) and GrlA(S81Y) quinolone-resistant mutants, and the effects of quinolones and a related quinazolinedione on these enzymes. Ser81 is believed to anchor a water-Mg(2+) bridge that coordinates quinolones to the enzyme through the C3/C4 keto acid. Consistent with this hypothesized bridge, ciprofloxacin required increased Mg(2+) concentrations to support DNA cleavage by GrlA(S81F) topoisomerase IV. The three enzymes displayed similar catalytic activities in the absence of drugs. However, the resistance mutations decreased the affinity of topoisomerase IV for ciprofloxacin and other quinolones, diminished quinolone-induced inhibition of DNA religation, and reduced the stability of the enzyme-quinolone-DNA ternary complex. Wild-type DNA cleavage levels were generated by mutant enzymes at high quinolone concentrations, suggesting that increased drug potency could overcome resistance. 8-Methyl-quinazoline-2,4-dione, which lacks the quinolone keto acid (and presumably does not require the water-Mg(2+) bridge to mediate protein interactions), was more potent than quinolones against wild-type topoisomerase IV and was equally efficacious. Moreover, it maintained high potency and efficacy against the mutant enzymes, effectively inhibited DNA religation, and formed stable ternary complexes. Our findings provide an underlying biochemical basis for the ability of quinazolinediones to overcome clinically relevant quinolone resistance mutations in bacterial type II topoisomerases.

  11. Recovery efficiency and limit of detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from environmental surface samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estill, Cheryl Fairfield; Baron, Paul A; Beard, Jeremy K; Hein, Misty J; Larsen, Lloyd D; Rose, Laura; Schaefer, Frank W; Noble-Wang, Judith; Hodges, Lisa; Lindquist, H D Alan; Deye, Gregory J; Arduino, Matthew J

    2009-07-01

    After the 2001 anthrax incidents, surface sampling techniques for biological agents were found to be inadequately validated, especially at low surface loadings. We aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores within a chamber to achieve very low surface loading (ca. 3, 30, and 200 CFU per 100 cm(2)). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm(2)) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm(2)) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm(2)) were the reference for determining recovery efficiency (RE). The minimum estimated surface concentrations to achieve a 95% response rate based on probit regression were 190, 15, and 44 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling carpet surfaces with swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively; however, these results should be cautiously interpreted because of high observed variability. Mean REs at the highest surface loading were 5.0%, 18%, and 3.7% on steel and 12%, 23%, and 4.7% on carpet for the swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively. Precision (coefficient of variation) was poor at the lower surface concentrations but improved with increasing surface concentration. The best precision was obtained with wipe samples on carpet, achieving 38% at the highest surface concentration. The wipe sampling method detected B. anthracis at lower estimated surface concentrations and had higher RE and better precision than the other methods. These results may guide investigators to more meaningfully conduct environmental sampling, quantify contamination levels, and conduct risk assessment for humans.

  12. Nanoscale structural and mechanical analysis of Bacillus anthracis spores inactivated with rapid dry heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Yun; Li, Alex; Felker, Daniel L; Burggraf, Larry W

    2014-03-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating.

  13. Role of YpeB in Cortex Hydrolysis during Germination of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhards, Casey B.

    2014-01-01

    The infectious agent of the disease anthrax is the spore of Bacillus anthracis. Bacterial spores are extremely resistant to environmental stresses, which greatly hinders spore decontamination efforts. The spore cortex, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan, contributes to spore dormancy and resistance by maintaining the low water content of the spore core. The cortex is degraded by germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLEs) during spore germination, rendering the cells vulnerable to common disinfection techniques. This study investigates the relationship between SleB, a GSLE in B. anthracis, and YpeB, a protein necessary for SleB stability and function. The results indicate that ΔsleB and ΔypeB spores exhibit similar germination phenotypes and that the two proteins have a strict codependency for their incorporation into the dormant spore. In the absence of its partner protein, SleB or YpeB is proteolytically degraded soon after expression during sporulation, rather than escaping the developing spore. The three PepSY domains of YpeB were examined for their roles in the interaction with SleB. YpeB truncation mutants illustrate the necessity of a region beyond the first PepSY domain for SleB stability. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis of highly conserved residues within the PepSY domains resulted in germination defects corresponding to reduced levels of both SleB and YpeB in the mutant spores. These results identify residues involved in the stability of both proteins and reiterate their codependent relationship. It is hoped that the study of GSLEs and interacting proteins will lead to the use of GSLEs as targets for efficient activation of spore germination and facilitation of spore cleanup. PMID:25022853

  14. The Nox/Ferric reductase/Ferric reductase-like families of Eumycetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grissa, Ibtissem; Bidard, Frédérique; Grognet, Pierre; Grossetete, Sandrine; Silar, Philippe

    2010-09-01

    Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are involved in plant biomass degradation by fungi and development of fungal structures. While the ROS-generating NADPH oxidases from filamentous fungi are under strong scrutiny, much less is known about the related integral Membrane (or Ferric) Reductases (IMRs). Here, we present a survey of these enzymes in 29 fungal genomes covering the entire available range of fungal diversity. IMRs are present in all fungal genomes. They can be classified into at least 24 families, underscoring the high diversity of these enzymes. Some are differentially regulated during colony or fruiting body development, as well as by the nature of the carbon source of the growth medium. Importantly, functional characterization of IMRs has been made on proteins belonging to only two families, while nothing or very little is known about the proteins of the other 22 families.

  15. Most Probable Number Rapid Viability PCR Method to Detect Viable Spores of Bacillus anthracis in Swab Samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Letant, S E; Kane, S R; Murphy, G A; Alfaro, T M; Hodges, L; Rose, L; Raber, E

    2008-05-30

    This note presents a comparison of Most-Probable-Number Rapid Viability (MPN-RV) PCR and traditional culture methods for the quantification of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in macrofoam swabs generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a multi-center validation study aimed at testing environmental swab processing methods for recovery, detection, and quantification of viable B. anthracis spores from surfaces. Results show that spore numbers provided by the MPN RV-PCR method were in statistical agreement with the CDC conventional culture method for all three levels of spores tested (10{sup 4}, 10{sup 2}, and 10 spores) even in the presence of dirt. In addition to detecting low levels of spores in environmental conditions, the MPN RV-PCR method is specific, and compatible with automated high-throughput sample processing and analysis protocols.

  16. 4-Dimethylaminoazobenzenes: carcinogenicities and reductive cleavage by microsomal azo reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambooy, J P; Koffman, B M

    1985-01-01

    Twenty-four 4-dimethylaminoazobenzenes (DABs) in which systematic structural modifications have been made in the prime ring have been studied for substrate specificity for microsomal azo reductase. The DABs were also evaluated for carcinogenicity and it was found that there was no correlation between carcinogenicity and extent of azo bond cleavage by azo reductase. While any substituent in the prime ring reduces the rate of cleavage of the azo bond relative to the unsubstituted dye, there is a correlation between substituent size and susceptibility to the enzyme. Substituent size was also found to be a significant factor in the induction of hepatomas by the dyes. Preliminary studies have shown that there appears to be a positive correlation between microsomal riboflavin content and the activity of the azo reductase.

  17. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25) genetic typing ...

  18. Multiple Asparagine Deamidation of Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Causes Charge Isoforms Whose Complexity Correlates with Reduced Biological Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour...subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. 1 . REPORT DATE 1 ...FEB 2007 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Multiple asparagine deamidation of Bacillus anthracis protective

  19. Tertiary amides of Salinomycin: A new group of antibacterial agents against Bacillus anthracis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefańska, Joanna; Antoszczak, Michał; Stępień, Karolina; Bartoszcze, Michał; Mirski, Tomasz; Huczyński, Adam

    2015-01-01

    For the first time, a series of tertiary amides of polyether antibiotic-Salinomycin have been obtained and screened for their antibacterial activity against different strains of bacteria, including Bacillus anthracis and clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE). Moreover, biofilm inhibition of MRSE and genotoxicity tests against Bacillus subtilis have been performed. Our studies show that Salinomycin and its some derivatives are active against tested bacteria and exhibited definitely bacteriostatic, not bactericidal activity.

  20. In vitro and in vivo analyses of the Bacillus anthracis spore cortex lytic protein SleL

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The bacterial endospore is the most resilient biological structure known. Multiple protective integument layers shield the spore core and promote spore dehydration and dormancy. Dormancy is broken when a spore germinates and becomes a metabolically active vegetative cell. Germination requires the breakdown of a modified layer of peptidoglycan (PG) known as the spore cortex. This study reports in vitro and in vivo analyses of the Bacillus anthracis SleL protein. SleL is a spore cortex lytic en...

  1. Antimicrobial Effects of Gold/Copper Sulphide (Au/Cus) Core/Shell Nanoparticles on Bacillus Anthracis Spores and Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) Preparation .................................................................. 21 3.3 Preparation of B. anthracis Cells...of Au NPs on various food borne pathogens and reported that drugs coated with NPs were highly 4 effective against C. albicans, A. niger and A...3.2 Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) Preparation PBS was prepared using PBS powder packets obtained from G-biosciences (St. Louis MO). To prepare

  2. Mitochondrial Thioredoxin-Glutathione Reductase from Larval Taenia crassiceps (Cysticerci

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Guevara-Flores

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial thioredoxin-glutathione reductase was purified from larval Taenia crassiceps (cysticerci. The preparation showed NADPH-dependent reductase activity with either thioredoxin or GSSG, and was able to perform thiol/disulfide exchange reactions. At 25∘C specific activities were 437  ±  27 mU mg-1 and 840  ±  49 mU mg-1 with thioredoxin and GSSG, respectively. Apparent Km values were 0.87  ±  0.04  μM, 41  ±  6  μM and 19  ±  10  μM for thioredoxin, GSSG and NADPH, respectively. Thioredoxin from eukaryotic sources was accepted as substrate. The enzyme reduced H2O2 in a NADPH-dependent manner, although with low catalytic efficiency. In the presence of thioredoxin, mitochondrial TGR showed a thioredoxin peroxidase-like activity. All disulfide reductase activities were inhibited by auranofin, suggesting mTGR is dependent on selenocysteine. The reductase activity with GSSG showed a higher dependence on temperature as compared with the DTNB reductase activity. The variation of the GSSG- and DTNB reductase activities on pH was dependent on the disulfide substrate. Like the cytosolic isoform, mTGR showed a hysteretic kinetic behavior at moderate or high GSSG concentrations, but it was less sensitive to calcium. The enzyme was able to protect glutamine synthetase from oxidative inactivation, suggesting that mTGR is competent to contend with oxidative stress.

  3. NITRATE REDUCTASE ACTIVITY DURING HEAT SHOCK IN WINTER WHEAT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klimenko S.B.

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Nitrates are the basic source of nitrogen for the majority of plants. Absorption and transformation of nitrates in plants are determined by external conditions and, first of all, temperature and light intensity. The influence of the temperature increasing till +40 0С on activity of nitrate reductase was studied. It is shown, that the rise of temperature was accompanied by sharp decrease of activity nitrate reductase in leaves of winter wheat, what, apparently, occurred for the account deactivations of enzyme and due to its dissociation.

  4. Measurement of 100 B. anthracis Ames spores within 15 minutes by SERS at the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Shende, Chetan; Smith, Wayne; Huang, Hermes; Sperry, Jay; Sickler, Todd; Prugh, Amber; Guicheteau, Jason

    2014-05-01

    Since the distribution of Bacillus anthracis-Ames spores through the US Postal System, there has been a persistent fear that biological warfare agents will be used by terrorists against our military abroad and our civilians at home. While there has been substantial effort since the anthrax attack of 2001 to develop analyzers to detect this and other biological warfare agents, the analyzers remain either too slow, lack sensitivity, produce high false-positive rates, or cannot be fielded. In an effort to overcome these limitations we have been developing a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy system. Here we describe the use of silver nanoparticles functionalized with a short peptide to selectively capture Bacillus anthracis spores and produce SER scattering. Specifically, measurements of 100 B. anthracis-Ames spores/mL in ~25 minutes performed at the US Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are presented. The measurements provide a basis for the development of systems that can detect spores collected from the air or water supplies with the potential of saving lives during a biological warfare attack.

  5. Effect of delayed anthrax vaccine dose on Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG response and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Phillip R; Fisher, Diana; Quinn, Xiaofei; Schmader, Trevor; Barrera-Oro, Julio G

    2013-10-17

    We describe the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG antibody response and the B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity to a delayed dose of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA, BioThrax(®)) using validated assays. 373 individuals received 1, 2, or 3 priming doses, 18-24 months afterward, they received a delayed dose of AVA. Overall, 23.6% of subjects showed detectable anti-PA IgG before the boost, compared to 99.2% (P<0.0001) 28 days after the boost. Geometric mean anti-PA IgG concentration (GMC) was 1.66 μg/mL before and 887.82 μg/mL after the boost (P<0.0001). The proportion of individuals with four-fold increase in GMC following the boost ranged from 93.8% to 100%. Robust anti-PA IgG levels and B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity are induced when an AVA dose is delayed as long as two years. These data support continuing with the vaccination schedule when a dose is delayed as long as two years rather than restarting the series.

  6. Quantitative Determination of Lethal Toxin Proteins in Culture Supernatant of Human Live Anthrax Vaccine Bacillus anthracis A16R.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ju; Liu, Jie; Li, Liangliang; Yin, Ying; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-02-25

    Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is the etiological agent of anthrax affecting both humans and animals. Anthrax toxin (AT) plays a major role in pathogenesis. It includes lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are formed by the combination of protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF), respectively. The currently used human anthrax vaccine in China utilizes live-attenuated B. anthracis spores (A16R; pXO1+, pXO2-) that produce anthrax toxin but cannot produce the capsule. Anthrax toxins, especially LT, have key effects on both the immunogenicity and toxicity of human anthrax vaccines. Thus, determining quantities and biological activities of LT proteins expressed by the A16R strain is meaningful. Here, we explored LT expression patterns of the A16R strain in culture conditions using another vaccine strain Sterne as a control. We developed a sandwich ELISA and cytotoxicity-based method for quantitative detection of PA and LF. Expression and degradation of LT proteins were observed in culture supernatants over time. Additionally, LT proteins expressed by the A16R and Sterne strains were found to be monomeric and showed cytotoxic activity, which may be the main reason for side effects of live anthrax vaccines. Our work facilitates the characterization of anthrax vaccines components and establishment of a quality control standard for vaccine production which may ultimately help to ensure the efficacy and safety of the human anthrax vaccine A16R.

  7. The worldwide distribution of genetically and phylogenetically diverse Bacillus cereus isolates harbouring Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaminska, Paulina Sylwia; Yernazarova, Aliya; Drewnowska, Justyna Malgorzata; Zambrowski, Grzegorz; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-10-01

    Bacillus cereus is a close relative of B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax whose pathogenic determinants are located on pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids. Bacillus anthracis-like plasmids have been also noted among B. cereus, however, genetic features of B. cereus harbouring these elements remain largely undescribed, especially from the global perspective. Herein, we present the genetic polymorphism, population structure and phylogeny of B. cereus with pXO1-/pXO2-like plasmids originating from Argentina, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Poland. The plasmids were found in about 17% of the isolates, but their frequencies and expression of replicons differed within and between populations. In the multi-locus sequence typing, the bacteria exhibited high genetic polymorphism reflected by 116 sequencing types, including 84 singletons and 10 clonal complexes, which mainly consisted of isolates of the same origin. The phylogenetic analysis of pXO1-/pXO2-like positive B. cereus isolates revealed six independent clades; in certain clades individual populations predominated. Generally, B. cereus with pXO1-/pXO2-like plasmids did not indicate the genetic relationship with B. anthracis, and cannot be classified into an evolutionary independent anthrax line within the B. cereus group. Our report is of a crucial importance for discovering the genetic specificity and evolution of B. cereus bacilli.

  8. DNA sequence conservation between the Bacillus anthracis pXO2 plasmid and genomic sequence from closely related bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabin Robert

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Complete sequencing and annotation of the 96.2 kb Bacillus anthracis plasmid, pXO2, predicted 85 open reading frames (ORFs. Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates that ranged in genomic similarity to B. anthracis, as determined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP analysis, were examined by PCR for the presence of sequences similar to 47 pXO2 ORFs. Results The two most distantly related isolates examined, B. thuringiensis 33679 and B. thuringiensis AWO6, produced the greatest number of ORF sequences similar to pXO2; 10 detected in 33679 and 16 in AWO6. No more than two of the pXO2 ORFs were detected in any one of the remaining isolates. Dot-blot DNA hybridizations between pXO2 ORF fragments and total genomic DNA from AWO6 were consistent with the PCR assay results for this isolate and also revealed nine additional ORFs shared between these two bacteria. Sequences similar to the B. anthracis cap genes or their regulator, acpA, were not detected among any of the examined isolates. Conclusions The presence of pXO2 sequences in the other Bacillus isolates did not correlate with genomic relatedness established by AFLP analysis. The presence of pXO2 ORF sequences in other Bacillus species suggests the possibility that certain pXO2 plasmid gene functions may also be present in other closely related bacteria.

  9. Inhibition of Albendazole and Oxfendazole on the Activity of Fumaric Reductase in Cysticercus cellulosae

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Xue-jun; LI Qing-zhang; LI Xia

    2004-01-01

    The activity of fumaric reductase in Cysticercus cellulosae tissue homogenate with albendazole and oxfendazole individually was detected. Results showed that the two kinds of drugs both could inhabite the activity of fumaric reductase. The results indicate that the mechanism of action of benzimidazole carbamate drugs is probably inhabiting the complex of fumaric reductase noncompetently, thus lead to the exhaostion of energy and death.

  10. Genetic Comparison of B. Anthracis and its Close Relatives Using AFLP and PCR Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, P.J.; Hill, K.K.; Laker, M.T.; Ticknor, L.O.; Keim, P.S.

    1999-02-01

    Amplified Fragment length Polymorphism (AFLP) analysis allows a rapid, relatively simple analysis of a large portion of a microbial genome, providing information about the species and its phylogenetic relationship to other microbes (Vos, et al., 1995). The method simply surveys the genome for length and sequence polymorphisms. The pattern identified can be used for comparison to the genomes of other species. Unlike other methods, it does not rely on analysis of a single genetic locus that may bias the interpretation of results and it does not require any prior knowledge of the targeted organism. Moreover, a standard set of reagents can be applied to any species without using species-specific information or molecular probes. The authors are using AFLP's to rapidly identify different bacterial species. A comparison of AFLP profiles generated from a large battery of B. anthracis strains shows very little variability among different isolates (Keim, et al., 1997). By contrast, there is a significant difference between AFLP profiles generated for any B. anthracis strain and even the most closely related Bacillus species. Sufficient variability is apparent among all known microbial species to allow phylogenetic analysis based on large numbers of genetically unlinked loci. These striking differences among AFLP profiles allow unambiguous identification of previously identified species and phylogenetic placement of newly characterized isolates relative to known species based on a large number of independent genetic loci. Data generated thus far show that the method provides phylogenetic analyses that are consistent with other widely accepted phylogenetic methods. However, AFLP analysis provides a more detailed analysis of the targets and samples a much larger portion of the genome. Consequently, it provides an inexpensive, rapid means of characterizing microbial isolates to further differentiate among strains and closely related microbial species. Such information

  11. Direct Electrochemistry With Nitrate Reductase in Chitosan Films

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao Xia CHEN; Jing Bo HU; Hong WU; Hui Bo SHAO

    2004-01-01

    Stable films made from chitosan(CS)on pyrolytic graphite electrode(PGE)gave direct electrochemistry for incorporated enzyme nitrate reductase(NR).Cyclic voltammetry of CS/NR films showed a pair of well-defined and nearly reversible redox peaks at about-0.430 V vs.SCE at pH 7.0 phosphate buffers.

  12. Plasmid-encoded diacetyl (acetoin) reductase in Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rattray, Fergal P; Myling-Petersen, Dorte; Larsen, Dianna;

    2003-01-01

    ) reductases reported previously. Downstream of the butA gene of L. pseudomesenteroides, but coding in the opposite orientation, a putative DNA recombinase was identified. A two-step PCR approach was used to construct FPR02, a butA mutant of the wild-type strain, CHCC2114. FPR02 had significantly reduced...

  13. Bidirectional catalysis by copper-containing nitrite reductase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijma, HJ; Canters, GW; de Vries, S; Verbeet, MP

    2004-01-01

    The copper-containing nitrite reductase from Alcaligenes faecalis S-6 was found to catalyze the oxidation of nitric oxide to nitrite, the reverse of its physiological reaction. Thermodynamic and kinetic constants with the physiological electron donor pseudoazurin were determined for both directions

  14. The effect of copper on human erythrocyte glutathione reductase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flikweert, J.P.; Hoorn, R.K.J.; Staal, Gerard E.J.

    1974-01-01

    1. 1. The influence of copper on purified human erythrocyte glutathione reductase (E.C. 1.6.4.2) was studied. The holoenzyme was inhibited at low oxidized glutathione (GSSG) concentrations. At a glutathione concentration of 1 mM and higher no inhibition at all was found. The inhibition was independe

  15. The intramolecular electron transfer between copper sites of nitrite reductase

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Farver, O; Eady, R R; Abraham, Z H

    1998-01-01

    The intramolecular electron transfer (ET) between the type 1 Cu(I) and the type 2 Cu(II) sites of Alcaligenes xylosoxidans dissimilatory nitrite reductase (AxNiR) has been studied in order to compare it with the analogous process taking place in ascorbate oxidase (AO). This internal process...

  16. Thioredoxin and NADP-thioredoxin reductase from cultured carrot cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T. C.; Cao, R. Q.; Kung, J. E.; Buchanan, B. B.

    1987-01-01

    Dark-grown carrot (Daucus carota L.) tissue cultures were found to contain both protein components of the NADP/thioredoxin system--NADP-thioredoxin reductase and the thioredoxin characteristic of heterotrophic systems, thioredoxin h. Thioredoxin h was purified to apparent homogeneity and, like typical bacterial counterparts, was a 12-kdalton (kDa) acidic protein capable of activating chloroplast NADP-malate dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.82) more effectively than fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (EC 3.1.3.11). NADP-thioredoxin reductase (EC 1.6.4.5) was partially purified and found to be an arsenite-sensitive enzyme composed of two 34-kDa subunits. Carrot NADP-thioredoxin reductase resembled more closely its counterpart from bacteria rather than animal cells in acceptor (thioredoxin) specificity. Upon greening of the cells, the content of NADP-thioredoxin-reductase activity, and, to a lesser extent, thioredoxin h decreased. The results confirm the presence of a heterotrophic-type thioredoxin system in plant cells and raise the question of its physiological function.

  17. 3-Oxoacyl-[ACP] reductase from oilseed rape (Brassica napus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheldon, P S; Kekwick, R G; Smith, C G; Sidebottom, C; Slabas, A R

    1992-04-01

    3-Oxoacyl-[ACP] reductase (E.C. 1.1.1.100, alternatively known as beta-ketoacyl-[ACP] reductase), a component of fatty acid synthetase has been purified from seeds of rape by ammonium sulphate fractionation, Procion Red H-E3B chromatography, FPLC gel filtration and high performance hydroxyapatite chromatography. The purified enzyme appears on SDS-PAGE as a number of 20-30 kDa components and has a strong tendency to exist in a dimeric form, particularly when dithiothreitol is not present to reduce disulphide bonds. Cleveland mapping and cross-reactivity with antiserum raised against avocado 3-oxoacyl-[ACP] reductase both indicate that the multiple components have similar primary structures. On gel filtration the enzyme appears to have a molecular mass of 120 kDa suggesting that the native structure is tetrameric. The enzyme has a strong preference for the acetoacetyl ester of acyl carrier protein (Km = 3 microM) over the corresponding esters of the model substrates N-acetyl cysteamine (Km = 35 mM) and CoA (Km = 261 microM). It is inactivated by dilution but this can be partly prevented by the inclusion of NADPH. Using an antiserum prepared against avocado 3-oxoacyl-[ACP] reductase, the enzyme has been visualised inside the plastids of rape embryo and leaf tissues by immunoelectron microscopy. Amino acid sequencing of two peptides prepared by digestion of the purified enzyme with trypsin showed strong similarities with 3-oxoacyl-[ACP] reductase from avocado pear and the Nod G gene product from Rhizobium meliloti.

  18. Crystal structures of pinoresinol-lariciresinol and phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductases and their relationship to isoflavone reductases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Tongpil; Kasahara, Hiroyuki; Bedgar, Diana L.; Youn, Buhyun; Lawrence, Paulraj K.; Gang, David R.; Halls, Steven C.; Park, HaJeung; Hilsenbeck, Jacqueline L.; Davin, Laurence B.; Lewis, Norman G.; Kang, ChulHee

    2003-01-01

    Despite the importance of plant lignans and isoflavonoids in human health protection (e.g. for both treatment and prevention of onset of various cancers) as well as in plant biology (e.g. in defense functions and in heartwood development), systematic studies on the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis have only recently begun. In this investigation, three NADPH-dependent aromatic alcohol reductases were comprehensively studied, namely pinoresinol-lariciresinol reductase (PLR), phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductase (PCBER), and isoflavone reductase (IFR), which are involved in central steps to the various important bioactive lignans and isoflavonoids. Of particular interest was in determining how differing regio- and enantiospecificities are achieved with the different enzymes, despite each apparently going through similar enone intermediates. Initially, the three-dimensional x-ray crystal structures of both PLR_Tp1 and PCBER_Pt1 were solved and refined to 2.5 and 2.2 A resolutions, respectively. Not only do they share high gene sequence similarity, but their structures are similar, having a continuous alpha/beta NADPH-binding domain and a smaller substrate-binding domain. IFR (whose crystal structure is not yet obtained) was also compared (modeled) with PLR and PCBER and was deduced to have the same overall basic structure. The basis for the distinct enantio-specific and regio-specific reactions of PCBER, PLR, and IFR, as well as the reaction mechanism and participating residues involved (as identified by site-directed mutagenesis), are discussed.

  19. (+)-Pinoresinol/(+)-lariciresinol reductase from Forsythia intermedia. Protein purification, cDNA cloning, heterologous expression and comparison to isoflavone reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinkova-Kostova, A T; Gang, D R; Davin, L B; Bedgar, D L; Chu, A; Lewis, N G

    1996-11-15

    Lignans are a widely distributed class of natural products, whose functions and distribution suggest that they are one of the earliest forms of defense to have evolved in vascular plants; some, such as podophyllotoxin and enterodiol, have important roles in cancer chemotherapy and prevention, respectively. Entry into lignan enzymology has been gained by the approximately 3000-fold purification of two isoforms of (+)-pinoresinol/(+)-lariciresinol reductase, a pivotal branchpoint enzyme in lignan biosynthesis. Both have comparable ( approximately 34.9 kDa) molecular mass and kinetic (Vmax/Km) properties and catalyze sequential, NADPH-dependent, stereospecific, hydride transfers where the incoming hydride takes up the pro-R position. The gene encoding (+)-pinoresinol/(+)-lariciresinol reductase has been cloned and the recombinant protein heterologously expressed as a functional beta-galactosidase fusion protein. Its amino acid sequence reveals a strong homology to isoflavone reductase, a key branchpoint enzyme in isoflavonoid metabolism and primarily found in the Fabaceae (angiosperms). This is of great evolutionary significance since both lignans and isoflavonoids have comparable plant defense properties, as well as similar roles as phytoestrogens. Given that lignans are widespread from primitive plants onwards, whereas the isoflavone reductase-derived isoflavonoids are mainly restricted to the Fabaceae, it is tempting to speculate that this branch of the isoflavonoid pathway arose via evolutionary divergence from that giving the lignans.

  20. Crystal structures of pinoresinol-lariciresinol and phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductases and their relationship to isoflavone reductases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Tongpil; Kasahara, Hiroyuki; Bedgar, Diana L; Youn, Buhyun; Lawrence, Paulraj K; Gang, David R; Halls, Steven C; Park, HaJeung; Hilsenbeck, Jacqueline L; Davin, Laurence B; Lewis, Norman G; Kang, ChulHee

    2003-12-12

    Despite the importance of plant lignans and isoflavonoids in human health protection (e.g. for both treatment and prevention of onset of various cancers) as well as in plant biology (e.g. in defense functions and in heartwood development), systematic studies on the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis have only recently begun. In this investigation, three NADPH-dependent aromatic alcohol reductases were comprehensively studied, namely pinoresinol-lariciresinol reductase (PLR), phenylcoumaran benzylic ether reductase (PCBER), and isoflavone reductase (IFR), which are involved in central steps to the various important bioactive lignans and isoflavonoids. Of particular interest was in determining how differing regio- and enantiospecificities are achieved with the different enzymes, despite each apparently going through similar enone intermediates. Initially, the three-dimensional x-ray crystal structures of both PLR_Tp1 and PCBER_Pt1 were solved and refined to 2.5 and 2.2 A resolutions, respectively. Not only do they share high gene sequence similarity, but their structures are similar, having a continuous alpha/beta NADPH-binding domain and a smaller substrate-binding domain. IFR (whose crystal structure is not yet obtained) was also compared (modeled) with PLR and PCBER and was deduced to have the same overall basic structure. The basis for the distinct enantio-specific and regio-specific reactions of PCBER, PLR, and IFR, as well as the reaction mechanism and participating residues involved (as identified by site-directed mutagenesis), are discussed.

  1. Recominant Pinoresino-Lariciresinol Reductase, Recombinant Dirigent Protein And Methods Of Use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, Norman G. (Pullman, WA); Davin, Laurence B. (Pullman, WA); Dinkova-Kostova, Albena T. (Baltimore, MD); Fujita, Masayuki (Kita-gun, JP), Gang; David R. (Ann Arbor, MI), Sarkanen; Simo (Minneapolis, MN), Ford; Joshua D. (Pullman, WA)

    2003-10-21

    Dirigent proteins and pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases have been isolated, together with cDNAs encoding dirigent proteins and pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases. Accordingly, isolated DNA sequences are provided from source species Forsythia intermedia, Thuja plicata, Tsuga heterophylla, Eucommia ulmoides, Linum usitatissimum, and Schisandra chinensis, which code for the expression of dirigent proteins and pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases. In other aspects, replicable recombinant cloning vehicles are provided which code for dirigent proteins or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases or for a base sequence sufficiently complementary to at least a portion of dirigent protein or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase DNA or RNA to enable hybridization therewith. In yet other aspects, modified host cells are provided that have been transformed, transfected, infected and/or injected with a recombinant cloning vehicle and/or DNA sequence encoding dirigent protein or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase. Thus, systems and methods are provided for the recombinant expression of dirigent proteins and/or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases.

  2. Recombinant pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase, recombinant dirigent protein, and methods of use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, Norman G. (Pullman, WA); Davin, Laurence B. (Pullman, WA); Dinkova-Kostova, Albena T. (Baltimore, MD); Fujita, Masayuki (Kagawa, JP); Gang, David R. (Ann Arbor, MI); Sarkanen, Simo (S. Minneapolis, MN); Ford, Joshua D. (Pullman, WA)

    2001-04-03

    Dirigent proteins and pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases have been isolated, together with cDNAs encoding dirigent proteins and pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases. Accordingly, isolated DNA sequences are provided which code for the expression of dirigent proteins and pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases. In other aspects, replicable recombinant cloning vehicles are provided which code for dirigent proteins or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases or for a base sequence sufficiently complementary to at least a portion of dirigent protein or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase DNA or RNA to enable hybridization therewith. In yet other aspects, modified host cells are provided that have been transformed, transfected, infected and/or injected with a recombinant cloning vehicle and/or DNA sequence encoding dirigent protein or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase. Thus, systems and methods are provided for the recombinant expression of dirigent proteins and/or pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductases.

  3. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis from closely related microorganisms by analysis of 16S and 23S rRNA with oligonucleotide microchips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavykin, Sergei G.; Mirzabekov, Andrei D.

    2007-10-30

    The present invention is directed to a novel method of discriminating a highly infectious bacterium Bacillus anthracis from a group of closely related microorganisms. Sequence variations in the 16S and 23S rRNA of the B. cereus subgroup including B. anthracis are utilized to construct an array that can detect these sequence variations through selective hybridizations. The identification and analysis of these sequence variations enables positive discrimination of isolates of the B. cereus group that includes B. anthracis. Discrimination of single base differences in rRNA was achieved with a microchip during analysis of B. cereus group isolates from both single and in mixed probes, as well as identification of polymorphic sites. Successful use of a microchip to determine the appropriate subgroup classification using eight reference microorganisms from the B. cereus group as a study set, was demonstrated.

  4. Possible Use of Bacteriophages Active against Bacillus anthracis and Other B. cereus Group Members in the Face of a Bioterrorism Threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber-Dąbrowska, Beata; Borysowski, Jan; Górski, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is an infectious fatal disease with epidemic potential. Nowadays, bioterrorism using Bacillus anthracis is a real possibility, and thus society needs an effective weapon to neutralize this threat. The pathogen may be easily transmitted to human populations. It is easy to store, transport, and disseminate and may survive for many decades. Recent data strongly support the effectiveness of bacteriophage in treating bacterial diseases. Moreover, it is clear that bacteriophages should be considered a potential incapacitative agent against bioterrorism using bacteria belonging to B. cereus group, especially B. anthracis. Therefore, we have reviewed the possibility of using bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other species of the B. cereus group in the face of a bioterrorism threat. PMID:25247187

  5. Possible Use of Bacteriophages Active against Bacillus anthracis and Other B. cereus Group Members in the Face of a Bioterrorism Threat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Jończyk-Matysiak

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an infectious fatal disease with epidemic potential. Nowadays, bioterrorism using Bacillus anthracis is a real possibility, and thus society needs an effective weapon to neutralize this threat. The pathogen may be easily transmitted to human populations. It is easy to store, transport, and disseminate and may survive for many decades. Recent data strongly support the effectiveness of bacteriophage in treating bacterial diseases. Moreover, it is clear that bacteriophages should be considered a potential incapacitative agent against bioterrorism using bacteria belonging to B. cereus group, especially B. anthracis. Therefore, we have reviewed the possibility of using bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other species of the B. cereus group in the face of a bioterrorism threat.

  6. Possible use of bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other B. cereus group members in the face of a bioterrorism threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jończyk-Matysiak, Ewa; Kłak, Marlena; Weber-Dąbrowska, Beata; Borysowski, Jan; Górski, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is an infectious fatal disease with epidemic potential. Nowadays, bioterrorism using Bacillus anthracis is a real possibility, and thus society needs an effective weapon to neutralize this threat. The pathogen may be easily transmitted to human populations. It is easy to store, transport, and disseminate and may survive for many decades. Recent data strongly support the effectiveness of bacteriophage in treating bacterial diseases. Moreover, it is clear that bacteriophages should be considered a potential incapacitative agent against bioterrorism using bacteria belonging to B. cereus group, especially B. anthracis. Therefore, we have reviewed the possibility of using bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other species of the B. cereus group in the face of a bioterrorism threat.

  7. Evaluation of PCR Systems for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozanich, Richard M.; Colburn, Heather A.; Victry, Kristin D.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Jarman, Kristin; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Bruckner-Lea, Cynthia J.

    2017-02-01

    There is little published data on the performance of hand-portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instruments that could be used by first responders to determine if a suspicious powder contains a potential biothreat agent. We evaluated five commercially available hand-portable PCR instruments for detection of Bacillus anthracis (Ba). We designed a cost-effective, statistically-based test plan that allows instruments to be evaluated at performance levels ranging from 0.85-0.95 lower confidence bound (LCB) on the probability of detection (POD) at confidence levels of 80-95%. We assessed specificity using purified genomic DNA from 13 Ba strains and 18 Bacillus near neighbors, interference with 22 common hoax powders encountered in the field, and PCR inhibition when Ba spores were spiked into these powders. Our results indicated that three of the five instruments achieved >0.95 LCB on the POD with 95% confidence at test concentrations of 2,000 genome equivalents/mL (comparable to 2,000 spores/mL), displaying more than sufficient sensitivity for screening suspicious powders. These instruments exhibited no false positive results or PCR inhibition with common hoax powders, and reliably detected Ba spores spiked into common hoax powders, though some issues with instrument controls were observed. Our testing approach enables efficient instrument performance testing to a statistically rigorous and cost-effective test plan to generate performance data that will allow users to make informed decisions regarding the purchase and use of biodetection equipment in the field.

  8. Rugged single domain antibody detection elements for Bacillus anthracis spores and vegetative cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walper, Scott A; Anderson, George P; Brozozog Lee, P Audrey; Glaven, Richard H; Liu, Jinny L; Bernstein, Rachel D; Zabetakis, Dan; Johnson, Linwood; Czarnecki, Jill M; Goldman, Ellen R

    2012-01-01

    Significant efforts to develop both laboratory and field-based detection assays for an array of potential biological threats started well before the anthrax attacks of 2001 and have continued with renewed urgency following. While numerous assays and methods have been explored that are suitable for laboratory utilization, detection in the field is often complicated by requirements for functionality in austere environments, where limited cold-chain facilities exist. In an effort to overcome these assay limitations for Bacillus anthracis, one of the most recognizable threats, a series of single domain antibodies (sdAbs) were isolated from a phage display library prepared from immunized llamas. Characterization of target specificity, affinity, and thermal stability was conducted for six sdAb families isolated from rounds of selection against the bacterial spore. The protein target for all six sdAb families was determined to be the S-layer protein EA1, which is present in both vegetative cells and bacterial spores. All of the sdAbs examined exhibited a high degree of specificity for the target bacterium and its spore, with affinities in the nanomolar range, and the ability to refold into functional antigen-binding molecules following several rounds of thermal denaturation and refolding. This research demonstrates the capabilities of these sdAbs and their potential for integration into current and developing assays and biosensors.

  9. Detection of agar, by analysis of sugar markers, associated with Bacillus anthracis spores, after culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wunschel, David S; Colburn, Heather A; Fox, Alvin; Fox, Karen F; Harley, William M; Wahl, Jon H; Wahl, Karen L

    2008-08-01

    Detection of small quantities of agar associated with spores of Bacillus anthracis could provide key information regarding its source or growth characteristics. Agar, widely used in growth of bacteria on solid surfaces, consists primarily of repeating polysaccharide units of 3,6-anhydro-l-galactose (AGal) and galactose (Gal) with sulfated and O-methylated galactoses present as minor constituents. Two variants of the alditol acetate procedure were evaluated for detection of potential agar markers associated with spores. The first method employed a reductive hydrolysis step, to stabilize labile anhydrogalactose, by converting to anhydrogalactitol. The second eliminated the reductive hydrolysis step simplifying the procedure. Anhydrogalactitol, derived from agar, was detected using both derivatization methods followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. However, challenges with artifactual background (reductive hydrolysis) or marker destruction (hydrolysis) respectively lead to the use of an alternative agar marker. A minor agar component, 6-O-methyl galactose (6-O-M gal), was readily detected in agar-grown but not broth-grown bacteria. Detection was optimized by the use of gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). With appropriate choice of sugar marker and analytical procedure, detection of sugar markers for agar has considerable potential in microbial forensics.

  10. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 Strain Shows Protective Effects against the B. anthracis LT Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolphe Pontier-Bres

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax.

  11. Electrically active magnetic nanoparticles as novel concentrator and electrochemical redox transducer in Bacillus anthracis DNA detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Sudeshna; Alocilja, Evangelyn C

    2010-12-15

    Magnetic polymer nanostructures are a new class of multifunctional nanomaterials that are recently being explored in biosensor devices. In this paper, for the first time we report the novel application of electrically active magnetic (EAM) nanoparticles as concentrator of DNA targets as well as electrochemical transducers for detection of the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen A (pag A) gene. The EAM nanoparticles are synthesized by chemical polymerization and have dimensions of 80-100 nm. The biosensor detection encompasses two sets of DNA probes that are specific to the target gene: the detector probe labeled with the EAM nanoparticles and the biotinylated capture probe. The DNA targets are double hybridized to the detector and the capture probes and concentrated from nonspecific DNA fragments by applying a magnetic field. Subsequently, the DNA sandwiched targets (EAM-detector probe-DNA target-capture probe-biotin) are captured on streptavidin modified screen printed carbon electrodes through the biotinylated capture probes. Detection is achieved electrochemically by measuring the oxidation-reduction signal of the EAM nanoparticles. Preliminary results indicate that the biosensor is able to detect the redox signal of the EAM nanoparticles at DNA concentrations as low as 0.01 ng/μl.

  12. Rugged single domain antibody detection elements for Bacillus anthracis spores and vegetative cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott A Walper

    Full Text Available Significant efforts to develop both laboratory and field-based detection assays for an array of potential biological threats started well before the anthrax attacks of 2001 and have continued with renewed urgency following. While numerous assays and methods have been explored that are suitable for laboratory utilization, detection in the field is often complicated by requirements for functionality in austere environments, where limited cold-chain facilities exist. In an effort to overcome these assay limitations for Bacillus anthracis, one of the most recognizable threats, a series of single domain antibodies (sdAbs were isolated from a phage display library prepared from immunized llamas. Characterization of target specificity, affinity, and thermal stability was conducted for six sdAb families isolated from rounds of selection against the bacterial spore. The protein target for all six sdAb families was determined to be the S-layer protein EA1, which is present in both vegetative cells and bacterial spores. All of the sdAbs examined exhibited a high degree of specificity for the target bacterium and its spore, with affinities in the nanomolar range, and the ability to refold into functional antigen-binding molecules following several rounds of thermal denaturation and refolding. This research demonstrates the capabilities of these sdAbs and their potential for integration into current and developing assays and biosensors.

  13. Analysis of the sporicidal activity of chlorine dioxide disinfectant against Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatuev, B.A.; Peterson, J.W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Routine surface decontamination is an essential hospital and laboratory procedure, but the list of effective, noncorrosive disinfectants that kill spores is limited. We investigated the sporicidal potential of an aqueous chlorine dioxide solution and encountered some unanticipated problems. Quantitative bacteriological culture methods were used to determine the log10 reduction of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) spores following 3 min exposure to various concentrations of aqueous chlorine dioxide solutions at room temperature in sealed tubes, as well as spraying onto plastic and stainless steel surfaces in a biological safety cabinet. Serial 10-fold dilutions of the treated spores were then plated on 5% sheep blood agar plates, and the survivor colonies were enumerated. Disinfection of spore suspensions with aqueous chlorine dioxide solution in sealed microfuge tubes was highly effective, reducing the viable spore counts by 8 log10 in only 3 min. By contrast, the process of spraying or spreading the disinfectant onto surfaces resulted in only a 1 log10 kill because the chlorine dioxide gas was rapidly vaporised from the solutions. Full potency of the sprayed aqueous chlorine dioxide solution was restored by preparing the chlorine dioxide solution in 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite). The volatility of chlorine dioxide can cause treatment failures that constitute a serious hazard for unsuspecting users. Supplementation of the chlorine dioxide solution with 5% bleach (0.3% sodium hypochlorite) restored full potency and increased stability for one week. PMID:20061062

  14. Thermal inactivation of Bacillus anthracis surrogate spores in a bench-scale enclosed landfill gas flare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tufts, Jenia A McBrian; Rosati, Jacky A

    2012-02-01

    A bench-scale landfill flare system was designed and built to test the potential for landfilled biological spores that migrate from the waste into the landfill gas to pass through the flare and exit into the environment as viable. The residence times and temperatures of the flare were characterized and compared to full-scale systems. Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus, nonpathogenic spores that may serve as surrogates for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent for anthrax, were investigated to determine whether these organisms would be inactivated or remain viable after passing through a simulated landfill flare. High concentration spore solutions were aerosolized, dried, and sent through a bench-scale system to simulate the fate of biological weapon (BW)-grade spores in a landfill gas flare. Sampling was conducted downstream of the flare using a bioaerosol collection device containing sterile white mineral oil. The samples were cultured, incubated for seven days, and assessed for viability. Results showed that the bench-scale system exhibited good similarity to the real-world conditions of an enclosed standard combustor flare stack with a single orifice, forced-draft diffusion burner. All spores of G. stearothermophilus and B. atrophaeus were inactivated in the flare, indicating that spores that become re-entrained in landfill gas may not escape the landfill as viable, apparently becoming completely inactivated as they exit through a landfill flare.

  15. Detection of Agar, by Analysis of Sugar Markers, Associated with Bacillus Anthracis Spores, After Culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wunschel, David S.; Colburn, Heather A.; Fox, Alvin; Fox, Karen F.; Harley, William M.; Wahl, Jon H.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2008-08-01

    Detection of small quantities of agar associated with spores of Bacillus anthracis could provide key information regarding its source or growth characteristics. Agar, widely used in growth of bacteria on solid surfaces, consists primarily of repeating polysaccharide units of 3,6-anhydro-L-galactose (AGal) and galactose (Gal) with sulfated and O-methylated galactoses present as minor constituents. Two variants of the alditol acetate procedure were evaluated for detection of potential agar markers associated with spores. The first method employed a reductive hydrolysis step, to stabilize labile anhydrogalactose, by converting to anhydrogalactitol. The second eliminated the reductive hydrolysis step simplifying the procedure. Anhydrogalactitol, derived from agar, was detected using both derivatization methods followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. However, challenges with artefactual background (reductive hydrolysis) or marker destruction (hydrolysis) lead to the search for alternative sugar markers. A minor agar component, 6-O-methyl galactose (6-O-M gal), was readily detected in agar-grown but not broth-grown bacteria. Detection was optimized by the use of gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS-MS). With appropriate choice of sugar marker and analytical procedure, detection of sugar markers for agar has considerable potential in microbial forensics.

  16. In Silico Genomic Fingerprints of the Bacillus anthracis Group Obtained by Virtual Hybridization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hueman Jaimes-Díaz

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study we evaluate the capacity of Virtual Hybridization to identify between highly related bacterial strains. Eight genomic fingerprints were obtained by virtual hybridization for the Bacillus anthracis genome set, and a set of 15,264 13-nucleotide short probes designed to produce genomic fingerprints unique for each organism. The data obtained from each genomic fingerprint were used to obtain hybridization patterns simulating a DNA microarray. Two virtual hybridization methods were used: the Direct and the Extended method to identify the number of potential hybridization sites and thus determine the minimum sensitivity value to discriminate between genomes with 99.9% similarity. Genomic fingerprints were compared using both methods and phylogenomic trees were constructed to verify that the minimum detection value is 0.000017. Results obtained from the genomic fingerprints suggest that the distribution in the trees is correct, as compared to other taxonomic methods. Specific virtual hybridization sites for each of the genomes studied were also identified.

  17. First detection of Bacillus anthracis in feces of free-ranging raptors from central Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggese, Miguel D; Noseda, Ramón P; Uhart, Marcela M; Deem, Sharon L; Ferreyra, Hebe; Romano, Marcelo C; Ferreyra-Armas, María C; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Prevalence of anthrax spores in feces of raptors was determined from samples collected in November-December 2000 and April-May 2001 in an agricultural region of Santa Fé province, Argentina. Feces were tested from 48 birds of six raptor species. One of 14 chimango caracaras (Milvago chimango) and one of eight road-side hawks (Buteo magnirostris) tested positive. The prevalence of Bacillus anthracis spores in feces for the six species was 4% (n=48). The prevalence was 7% (n=14) for chimango caracaras, 13% for road-side hawks (n=8), and 0% for the remaining species (Burrowing owl [Speotyto cunicularia] [n=17], Swainson's hawk [Buteo swainsoni] [n=3], Aplomado falcon [Falco femoralis] [n=2], and American kestrel [Falco sparverius] [n=4]). Grouped by their feeding habits, prevalence for scavenger species was not significantly different than for predators (7% vs. 3%, P>0.999). This study provides evidence that in central Argentina scavenger and non-scavenger raptors may have a role in the epidemiology of anthrax. Long-term studies to determine the extent of this potential involvement in the epidemiology of anthrax in central Argentina are required.

  18. Bacillus anthracis Co-Opts Nitric Oxide and Host Serum Albumin for Pathogenicity in Hypoxic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eSt John

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is a dangerous pathogen of humans and many animal species. Its virulence has been mainly attributed to the production of Lethal and Edema toxins as well as the antiphagocytic capsule. Recent data indicate that the nitric oxide (NO synthase (baNOS plays an important pathogenic role at the early stage of disease by protecting bacteria from the host reactive species and S-nytrosylating the mitochondrial proteins in macrophages. In this study we for the first time present evidence that bacteria-derived NO participates in the generation of highly reactive oxidizing species which could be abolished by the NOS inhibitor L-NAME, free thiols, and superoxide dismutase but not catalase. The formation of toxicants is likely a result of the simultaneous formation of NO and superoxide leading to a labile peroxynitrite and its stable decomposition product, nitrogen dioxide. The toxicity of bacteria could be potentiated in the presence of bovine serum albumin. This effect is consistent with the property of serum albumin to serves as a trap of a volatile NO accelerating its reactions. Our data suggest that during infection in the hypoxic environment of pre-mortal host the accumulated NO is expected to have a broad toxic impact on host cell functions.

  19. Expression and Purification of the Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen Receptor-binding Domain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    葛猛; 徐俊杰; 李冰; 董大勇; 宋小红; 郭强; 赵剑; 陈薇

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study is to express the receptor-binding domain of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in E. coli. Signal sequence of the outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of E. coli was attached to the 5' end of the gene encoding protective antigen receptor-binding domain (the 4th domain of PA, PALM). The plasmid carrying the fusion gene was then transformed into E. coli and induced to express recombinant PAlM by IFFG. The recombinant protein was purified by chromatography and then identified by N-terrainal sequencing and Western blot. The recombinant protein, about 10% of the total bacterial protein in volume, was secreted to the periplasmic space of the cell. After a purification procedure including ionexchange chromatography and gel filtration, about 10 mg of homogenous recombinant PAD4 was obtained from 1 L culture. Data from N-terminal sequencing suggested that the amino acid sequence of recombinant PAD4 was identical with its natural counterpart. And the result of Western blot showed the recombinant protein could bind with anti-PA serum from rabbit. High level secreted expression of PAD4 was obtained in E. coli. The results reported here are parts of a continuing research to evaluate PAD4 as a potential drug for anthrax therapy or a candidate of new vaccine.

  20. Measurements of the Ultraviolet Fluorescence Cross Sections and Spectra of Bacillus Anthracis Simulants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephens, J.R.

    1998-09-01

    Measurements of the ultraviolet autofluorescence spectra and absolute cross sections of the Bacillus anthracis (Ba) simulants Bacillus globigii (Bg), Bacillus megaterium (Bm), Bacillus subtilis (Bs), and Bacillus cereus (Bc) were measured. Fluorescence spectra and cross sections of pine pollen (Pina echinata) were measured for comparison. Both dried vegetative cells and spores separated from the sporulated vegetative material were studied. The spectra were obtained by suspending a small number (<10) of particles in air in our Single Particle Spectroscopy Apparatus (SPSA), illuminating the particles with light from a spectrally filtered arc lamp, and measuring the fluorescence spectra of the particles. The illumination was 280 nm (20 nm FWHM) and the fluorescence spectra was measured between 300 and 450 nm. The fluorescence cross section of vegetative Bg peaks at 320 nm with a maximum cross section of 5 X 10{sup -14} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle while the Bg spore fluorescence peaks at 310 nm with peak fluorescence of 8 X 10{sup -15} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Pine pollen particles showed a higher fluorescence peaking at 355 nm with a cross section of 1.7 X 10{sup -13} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Integrated cross sections ranged from 3.0 X 10{sup -13} for the Bg spores through 2.25 X 10{sup -12} (cm{sup 2}/sr-particle) for the vegetative cells.

  1. Rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybwad, Marius; van der Laaken, Anton L; Blatny, Janet Martha; Paauw, Armand

    2013-09-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powders is important to mitigate the safety risks and economic burdens associated with such incidents. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and reliable laboratory-based matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis method for identifying B. anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples. A reference library containing 22 different Bacillus sp. strains or hoax materials was constructed and coupled with a novel classification algorithm and standardized processing protocol for various powder samples. The method's limit of B. anthracis detection was determined to be 2.5 × 10(6) spores, equivalent to a 55-μg sample size of the crudest B. anthracis-containing powder discovered during the 2001 Amerithrax incidents. The end-to-end analysis method was able to successfully discriminate among samples containing B. anthracis spores, closely related Bacillus sp. spores, and commonly encountered hoax materials. No false-positive or -negative classifications of B. anthracis spores were observed, even when the analysis method was challenged with a wide range of other bacterial agents. The robustness of the method was demonstrated by analyzing samples (i) at an external facility using a different MALDI-TOF MS instrument, (ii) using an untrained operator, and (iii) using mixtures of Bacillus sp. spores and hoax materials. Taken together, the observed performance of the analysis method developed demonstrates its potential applicability as a rapid, specific, sensitive, robust, and cost-effective laboratory-based analysis tool for resolving incidents involving suspicious powders in less than 30 min.

  2. Multiplex PCR for species-level identification of Bacillus anthracis and detection of pXO1, pXO2, and related plasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riojas, Marco A; Kiss, Katalin; McKee, Marian L; Hazbón, Manzour Hernando

    2015-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 have critical implications for biosafety and select agent status. The proper identification and characterization of B. anthracis and its plasmid profile is important to the biodefense research community. Multiplex PCR was used to simultaneously detect a B. anthracis-specific chromosomal mutation, 4 targets distributed across pXO1, 3 targets distributed across pXO2, and highly conserved regions of the 16S gene, allowing an internal positive control for each sample. The multiplex PCR can produce as many as 9 easily separable and distinguishable amplicons, ranging in size from 188 to 555 bp. The PCR results were used to characterize DNA samples extracted from B. anthracis, other Bacillus species, and other bacterial species from many different genera. With the exception of 2 novel putative plasmids discovered, testing against inclusion and extensive exclusion panels showed 100% correlation to previously published and expected results. Upon testing 29 previously unpublished B. anthracis strains, 10 (34.5%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(+), 9 (31.0%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(-), 7 (24.1%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(+), and 3 (10.3%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(-). The present work presents a novel 9-target multiplex PCR assay capable of species-level identification of B. anthracis via a unique chromosomal marker and the detection of pXO1 and pXO2 via multiply redundant targets on each.

  3. Development and field testing of a mobile chlorine dioxide generation system for the decontamination of buildings contaminated with Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, Joseph P., E-mail: wood.joe@epa.gov [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Homeland Security Research Center, MC-E343-06, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Blair Martin, G., E-mail: martin.blair@epa.gov [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, MC-E340-C, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States)

    2009-05-30

    The numerous buildings that became contaminated with Bacillus anthracis (the bacterium causing the disease anthrax) in 2001, and more recent B. anthracis - related events, point to the need to have effective decontamination technologies for buildings contaminated with biological threat agents. The U.S. Government developed a portable chlorine dioxide (ClO{sub 2}) generation system to decontaminate buildings contaminated with B. anthracis spores, and this so-called mobile decontamination trailer (MDT) prototype was tested through a series of three field trials. The first test of the MDT was conducted at Fort McClellan in Anniston, AL. during October 2004. Four test attempts occurred over two weekends; however, a number of system problems resulted in termination of the activity prior to any ClO{sub 2} introduction into the test building. After making several design enhancements and equipment changes, the MDT was subjected to a second test. During this test, extensive leak checks were made using argon and nitrogen in lieu of chlorine gas; each subsystem was checked for functionality, and the MDT was operated for 24 h. This second test demonstrated the MDT flow and control systems functioned satisfactorily, and thus it was decided to proceed to a third, more challenging field trial. In the last field test, ClO{sub 2} was generated and routed directly to the scrubber in a 12-h continuous run. Measurement of ClO{sub 2} levels at the generator outlet showed that the desired production rate was not achieved. Additionally, only one of the two scrubbers performed adequately with regard to maintaining ClO{sub 2} emissions below the limit. Numerous lessons were learned in the field trials of this ClO{sub 2} decontamination technology.

  4. Hfqs in Bacillus anthracis: Role of protein sequence variation in the structure and function of proteins in the Hfq family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrentas, Catherine; Ghirlando, Rodolfo; Keefer, Andrea; Hu, Zonglin; Tomczak, Aurelie; Gittis, Apostolos G; Murthi, Athulaprabha; Garboczi, David N; Gottesman, Susan; Leppla, Stephen H

    2015-11-01

    Hfq proteins in Gram-negative bacteria play important roles in bacterial physiology and virulence, mediated by binding of the Hfq hexamer to small RNAs and/or mRNAs to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. However, the physiological role of Hfqs in Gram-positive bacteria is less clear. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, uniquely expresses three distinct Hfq proteins, two from the chromosome (Hfq1, Hfq2) and one from its pXO1 virulence plasmid (Hfq3). The protein sequences of Hfq1 and 3 are evolutionarily distinct from those of Hfq2 and of Hfqs found in other Bacilli. Here, the quaternary structure of each B. anthracis Hfq protein, as produced heterologously in Escherichia coli, was characterized. While Hfq2 adopts the expected hexamer structure, Hfq1 does not form similarly stable hexamers in vitro. The impact on the monomer-hexamer equilibrium of varying Hfq C-terminal tail length and other sequence differences among the Hfqs was examined, and a sequence region of the Hfq proteins that was involved in hexamer formation was identified. It was found that, in addition to the distinct higher-order structures of the Hfq homologs, they give rise to different phenotypes. Hfq1 has a disruptive effect on the function of E. coli Hfq in vivo, while Hfq3 expression at high levels is toxic to E. coli but also partially complements Hfq function in E. coli. These results set the stage for future studies of the roles of these proteins in B. anthracis physiology and for the identification of sequence determinants of phenotypic complementation.

  5. Rapid focused sequencing: a multiplexed assay for simultaneous detection and strain typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemary S Turingan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of their potential impact on the exposed population are of critical importance to initiate and support rapid military, public health, and clinical responses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed microfluidic multiplexed PCR and sequencing assays based on the simultaneous interrogation of three pathogens per assay and ten loci per pathogen. Microfluidic separation of amplified fluorescently labeled fragments generated characteristic electrophoretic signatures for identification of each agent. The three sets of primers allowed significant strain typing and discrimination from non-pathogenic closely-related species and environmental background strains based on amplicon sizes alone. Furthermore, sequencing of the 10 amplicons per pathogen, termed "Rapid Focused Sequencing," allowed an even greater degree of strain discrimination and, in some cases, can be used to determine virulence. Both amplification and sequencing assays were performed in microfluidic biochips developed for fast thermal cycling and requiring 7 µL per reaction. The 30-plex sequencing assay resulted in genotypic resolution of 84 representative strains belonging to each of the three biothreat species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The microfluidic multiplexed assays allowed identification and strain differentiation of the biothreat agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis and clear discrimination from closely-related species and several environmental

  6. HtrC is involved in proteolysis of YpeB during germination of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhards, Casey B; Chen, Yan; Toutkoushian, Hannah; Popham, David L

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial endospores can remain dormant for decades yet can respond to nutrients, germinate, and resume growth within minutes. An essential step in the germination process is degradation of the spore cortex peptidoglycan wall, and the SleB protein in Bacillus species plays a key role in this process. Stable incorporation of SleB into the spore requires the YpeB protein, and some evidence suggests that the two proteins interact within the dormant spore. Early during germination, YpeB is proteolytically processed to a stable fragment. In this work, the primary sites of YpeB cleavage were identified in Bacillus anthracis, and it was shown that the stable products are comprised of the C-terminal domain of YpeB. Modification of the predominant YpeB cleavage sites reduced proteolysis, but cleavage at other sites still resulted in loss of full-length YpeB. A B. anthracis strain lacking the HtrC protease did not generate the same stable YpeB products. In B. anthracis and Bacillus subtilis htrC mutants, YpeB was partially stabilized during germination but was still degraded at a reduced rate by other, unidentified proteases. Purified HtrC cleaved YpeB to a fragment similar to that observed in vivo, and this cleavage was stimulated by Mn(2+) or Ca(2+) ions. A lack of HtrC did not stabilize YpeB or SleB during spore formation in the absence of the partner protein, indicating other proteases are involved in their degradation during sporulation.

  7. The respiratory arsenate reductase from Bacillus selenitireducens strain MLS10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afkar, E.; Lisak, J.; Saltikov, C.; Basu, P.; Oremland, R.S.; Stolz, J.F.

    2003-01-01

    The respiratory arsenate reductase from the Gram-positive, haloalkaliphile, Bacillus selenitireducens strain MLS10 was purified and characterized. It is a membrane bound heterodimer (150 kDa) composed of two subunits ArrA (110 kDa) and ArrB (34 kDa), with an apparent Km for arsenate of 34 ??M and Vmax of 2.5 ??mol min-1 mg-1. Optimal activity occurred at pH 9.5 and 150 g l-1 of NaCl. Metal analysis (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) of the holoenzyme and sequence analysis of the catalytic subunit (ArrA; the gene for which was cloned and sequenced) indicate it is a member of the DMSO reductase family of molybdoproteins. ?? 2003 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Thioredoxin and glutaredoxin-mediated redox regulation of ribonucleotide reductase

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Rajib; Sengupta; Arne; Holmgren

    2014-01-01

    Ribonucleotide reductase(RNR), the rate-limitingenzyme in DNA synthesis, catalyzes reduction of thedifferent ribonucleotides to their corresponding deoxyri-bonucleotides. The crucial role of RNR in DNA synthesishas made it an important target for the development ofantiviral and anticancer drugs. Taking account of the re-cent developments in this field of research, this reviewfocuses on the role of thioredoxin and glutaredoxin sys-tems in the redox reactions of the RNR catalysis.

  9. Genotyping of Bacillus anthracis strains based on automated capillary 25-loci Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeats Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciervo Alessandra

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genome of Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is highly monomorphic which makes differentiation between strains difficult. A Multiple Locus Variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR Analysis (MLVA assay based on 20 markers was previously described. It has considerable discrimination power, reproducibility, and low cost, especially since the markers proposed can be typed by agarose-gel electrophoresis. However in an emergency situation, faster genotyping and access to representative databases is necessary. Results Genotyping of B. anthracis reference strains and isolates from France and Italy was done using a 25 loci MLVA assay combining 21 previously described loci and 4 new ones. DNA was amplified in 4 multiplex PCR reactions and the length of the resulting 25 amplicons was estimated by automated capillary electrophoresis. The results were reproducible and the data were consistent with other gel based methods once differences in mobility patterns were taken into account. Some alleles previously unresolved by agarose gel electrophoresis could be resolved by capillary electrophoresis, thus further increasing the assay resolution. One particular locus, Bams30, is the result of a recombination between a 27 bp tandem repeat and a 9 bp tandem repeat. The analysis of the array illustrates the evolution process of tandem repeats. Conclusion In a crisis situation of suspected bioterrorism, standardization, speed and accuracy, together with the availability of reference typing data are important issues, as illustrated by the 2001 anthrax letters event. In this report we describe an upgrade of the previously published MLVA method for genotyping of B. anthracis and apply the method to the typing of French and Italian B. anthracis strain collections. The increased number of markers studied compared to reports using only 8 loci greatly improves the discrimination power of the technique. An Italian strain belonging to the

  10. A tandem repeats database for bacterial genomes: application to the genotyping of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denoeud France

    2001-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Some pathogenic bacteria are genetically very homogeneous, making strain discrimination difficult. In the last few years, tandem repeats have been increasingly recognized as markers of choice for genotyping a number of pathogens. The rapid evolution of these structures appears to contribute to the phenotypic flexibility of pathogens. The availability of whole-genome sequences has opened the way to the systematic evaluation of tandem repeats diversity and application to epidemiological studies. Results This report presents a database (http://minisatellites.u-psud.fr of tandem repeats from publicly available bacterial genomes which facilitates the identification and selection of tandem repeats. We illustrate the use of this database by the characterization of minisatellites from two important human pathogens, Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis. In order to avoid simple sequence contingency loci which may be of limited value as epidemiological markers, and to provide genotyping tools amenable to ordinary agarose gel electrophoresis, only tandem repeats with repeat units at least 9 bp long were evaluated. Yersinia pestis contains 64 such minisatellites in which the unit is repeated at least 7 times. An additional collection of 12 loci with at least 6 units, and a high internal conservation were also evaluated. Forty-nine are polymorphic among five Yersinia strains (twenty-five among three Y. pestis strains. Bacillus anthracis contains 30 comparable structures in which the unit is repeated at least 10 times. Half of these tandem repeats show polymorphism among the strains tested. Conclusions Analysis of the currently available bacterial genome sequences classifies Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis as having an average (approximately 30 per Mb density of tandem repeat arrays longer than 100 bp when compared to the other bacterial genomes analysed to date. In both cases, testing a fraction of these sequences for

  11. 炭疽杆菌鞭毛的初步研究%The Preliminary Studies on Flagellum of Bacillus anthracis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁旭东

    1999-01-01

    通过半固体扩散生长法发现中国炭疽杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)大多数具有鞭毛,并经各种经典方法和分子生物学方法证实了这一结果,提示具有鞭毛是中国炭疽杆菌的一种特征,且不排除国外也有这种特征的菌株.

  12. Aldo-Keto Reductases 1B in Adrenal Cortex Physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastel, Emilie; Pointud, Jean-Christophe; Martinez, Antoine; Lefrançois-Martinez, A Marie

    2016-01-01

    Aldose reductase (AKR1B) proteins are monomeric enzymes, belonging to the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily. They perform oxidoreduction of carbonyl groups from a wide variety of substrates, such as aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes or ketones. Due to the involvement of human aldose reductases in pathologies, such as diabetic complications and cancer, AKR1B subgroup enzymatic properties have been extensively characterized. However, the issue of AKR1B function in non-pathologic conditions remains poorly resolved. Adrenal activities generated large amount of harmful aldehydes from lipid peroxidation and steroidogenesis, including 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) and isocaproaldehyde (4-methylpentanal), which can both be reduced by AKR1B proteins. More recently, some AKR1B isoforms have been shown to be endowed with prostaglandin F synthase (PGFS) activity, suggesting that, in addition to possible scavenger function, they could instigate paracrine signals. Interestingly, the adrenal gland is one of the major sites for human and murine AKR1B expression, suggesting that their detoxifying/signaling activity could be specifically required for the correct handling of adrenal function. Moreover, chronic effects of ACTH result in a coordinated regulation of genes encoding the steroidogenic enzymes and some AKR1B isoforms. This review presents the molecular mechanisms accounting for the adrenal-specific expression of some AKR1B genes. Using data from recent mouse genetic models, we will try to connect their enzymatic properties and regulation with adrenal functions.

  13. Perchlorate Reductase Is Distinguished by Active Site Aromatic Gate Residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youngblut, Matthew D; Tsai, Chi-Lin; Clark, Iain C; Carlson, Hans K; Maglaqui, Adrian P; Gau-Pan, Phonchien S; Redford, Steven A; Wong, Alan; Tainer, John A; Coates, John D

    2016-04-22

    Perchlorate is an important ion on both Earth and Mars. Perchlorate reductase (PcrAB), a specialized member of the dimethylsulfoxide reductase superfamily, catalyzes the first step of microbial perchlorate respiration, but little is known about the biochemistry, specificity, structure, and mechanism of PcrAB. Here we characterize the biophysics and phylogeny of this enzyme and report the 1.86-Å resolution PcrAB complex crystal structure. Biochemical analysis revealed a relatively high perchlorate affinity (Km = 6 μm) and a characteristic substrate inhibition compared with the highly similar respiratory nitrate reductase NarGHI, which has a relatively much lower affinity for perchlorate (Km = 1.1 mm) and no substrate inhibition. Structural analysis of oxidized and reduced PcrAB with and without the substrate analog SeO3 (2-) bound to the active site identified key residues in the positively charged and funnel-shaped substrate access tunnel that gated substrate entrance and product release while trapping transiently produced chlorate. The structures suggest gating was associated with shifts of a Phe residue between open and closed conformations plus an Asp residue carboxylate shift between monodentate and bidentate coordination to the active site molybdenum atom. Taken together, structural and mutational analyses of gate residues suggest key roles of these gate residues for substrate entrance and product release. Our combined results provide the first detailed structural insight into the mechanism of biological perchlorate reduction, a critical component of the chlorine redox cycle on Earth.

  14. Computational fluid dynamics modeling of Bacillus anthracis spore deposition in rabbit and human respiratory airways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabilan, S.; Suffield, S. R.; Recknagle, K. P.; Jacob, R. E.; Einstein, D. R.; Kuprat, A. P.; Carson, J. P.; Colby, S. M.; Saunders, J. H.; Hines, S. A.; Teeguarden, J. G.; Straub, T. M.; Moe, M.; Taft, S. C.; Corley, R. A.

    2016-09-01

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived respectively from computed tomography (CT) and µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation–exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. Two different exposure scenarios were modeled in the rabbit based upon experimental inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulations were conducted at the highest exposure concentration used during the rabbit experimental exposures. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the nasal sinus compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. In contrast, higher spore deposition was predicted in the lower conducting airways of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology for deposition.

  15. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Bacillus anthracis Spore Deposition in Rabbit and Human Respiratory Airways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabilan, Senthil; Suffield, Sarah R.; Recknagle, Kurtis P.; Jacob, Rick E.; Einstein, Daniel R.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Carson, James P.; Colby, Sean M.; Saunders, James H.; Hines, Stephanie; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Straub, Tim M.; Moe, M.; Taft, Sarah; Corley, Richard A.

    2016-09-30

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived from computed tomography (CT) or µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation-exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. The highest exposure concentration was modeled in the rabbit based upon prior acute inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulation was also conducted at the same concentration. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the upper conducting airways compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. As a result, higher particle deposition was predicted in the conducting airways and deep lung of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology.

  16. Composite sampling of a Bacillus anthracis surrogate with cellulose sponge surface samplers from a nonporous surface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenia A M Tufts

    Full Text Available A series of experiments was conducted to explore the utility of composite-based collection of surface samples for the detection of a Bacillus anthracis surrogate using cellulose sponge samplers on a nonporous stainless steel surface. Two composite-based collection approaches were evaluated over a surface area of 3716 cm2 (four separate 929 cm2 areas, larger than the 645 cm2 prescribed by the standard Centers for Disease Control (CDC and Prevention cellulose sponge sampling protocol for use on nonporous surfaces. The CDC method was also compared to a modified protocol where only one surface of the sponge sampler was used for each of the four areas composited. Differences in collection efficiency compared to positive controls and the potential for contaminant transfer for each protocol were assessed. The impact of the loss of wetting buffer from the sponge sampler onto additional surface areas sampled was evaluated. Statistical tests of the results using ANOVA indicate that the collection of composite samples using the modified sampling protocol is comparable to the collection of composite samples using the standard CDC protocol (p  =  0.261. Most of the surface-bound spores are collected on the first sampling pass, suggesting that multiple passes with the sponge sampler over the same surface may be unnecessary. The effect of moisture loss from the sponge sampler on collection efficiency was not significant (p  =  0.720 for both methods. Contaminant transfer occurs with both sampling protocols, but the magnitude of transfer is significantly greater when using the standard protocol than when the modified protocol is used (p<0.001. The results of this study suggest that composite surface sampling, by either method presented here, could successfully be used to increase the surface area sampled per sponge sampler, resulting in reduced sampling times in the field and decreased laboratory processing cost and turn-around times.

  17. Bacillus thuringiensis as a surrogate for Bacillus anthracis in aerosol research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tufts, Jenia A M; Calfee, M Worth; Lee, Sang Don; Ryan, Shawn P

    2014-05-01

    Characterization of candidate surrogate spores prior to experimental use is critical to confirm that the surrogate characteristics are as closely similar as possible to those of the pathogenic agent of interest. This review compares the physical properties inherent to spores of Bacillus anthracis (Ba) and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that impact their movement in air and interaction with surfaces, including size, shape, density, surface morphology, structure and hydrophobicity. Also evaluated is the impact of irradiation on the physical properties of both Bacillus species. Many physical features of Bt and Ba have been found to be similar and, while Bt is considered typically non-pathogenic, it is in the B. cereus group, as is Ba. When cultured and sporulated under similar conditions, both microorganisms share a similar cylindrical pellet shape, an aerodynamic diameter of approximately 1 μm (in the respirable size range), have an exosporium with a hairy nap, and have higher relative hydrophobicities than other Bacillus species. While spore size, morphology, and other physical properties can vary among strains of the same species, the variations can be due to growth/sporulation conditions and may, therefore, be controlled. Growth and sporulation conditions are likely among the most important factors that influence the representativeness of one species, or preparation, to another. All Bt spores may, therefore, not be representative of all Ba spores. Irradiated spores do not appear to be a good surrogate to predict the behavior of non-irradiated spores due to structural damage caused by the irradiation. While the use of Bt as a surrogate for Ba in aerosol testing appears to be well supported, this review does not attempt to narrow selection between Bt strains. Comparative studies should be performed to test the hypothesis that viable Ba and Bt spores will behave similarly when suspended in the air (as an aerosol) and to compare the known microscale characteristics

  18. Screening of peptide libraries against protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis in a disposable microfluidic cartridge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M Kogot

    Full Text Available Bacterial surface peptide display has gained popularity as a method of affinity reagent generation for a wide variety of applications ranging from drug discovery to pathogen detection. In order to isolate the bacterial clones that express peptides with high affinities to the target molecule, multiple rounds of manual magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS followed by multiple rounds of fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS are conventionally used. Although such manual methods are effective, alternative means of library screening which improve the reproducibility, reduce the cost, reduce cross contamination, and minimize exposure to hazardous target materials are highly desired for practical application. Toward this end, we report the first semi-automated system demonstrating the potential for screening bacterially displayed peptides using disposable microfluidic cartridges. The Micro-Magnetic Separation platform (MMS is capable of screening a bacterial library containing 3 × 10¹⁰ members in 15 minutes and requires minimal operator training. Using this system, we report the isolation of twenty-four distinct peptide ligands that bind to the protective antigen (PA of Bacilus anthracis in three rounds of selection. A consensus motif WXCFTC was found using the MMS and was also found in one of the PA binders isolated by the conventional MACS/FACS approach. We compared MMS and MACS rare cell recovery over cell populations ranging from 0.1% to 0.0000001% and found that both magnetic sorting methods could recover cells down to 0.0000001% initial cell population, with the MMS having overall lower standard deviation of cell recovery. We believe the MMS system offers a compelling approach towards highly efficient, semi-automated screening of molecular libraries that is at least equal to manual magnetic sorting methods and produced, for the first time, 15-mer peptide binders to PA protein that exhibit better affinity and specificity than peptides

  19. Activated protein C ameliorates Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin-induced lethal pathogenesis in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kau Jyh-Hwa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. Sprague Dawley rats manifest pronounced lung edema and shock after LT treatments, resulting in high mortality. The heart failure that is induced by LT has been suggested to be a principal mechanism of lung edema and mortality in rodents. Since LT-induced death occurs more rapidly in rats than in mice, suggesting that other mechanisms in addition to the heart dysfunction may be contributed to the fast progression of LT-induced pathogenesis in rats. Coagulopathy may contribute to circulatory failure and lung injury. However, the effect of LT on coagulation-induced lung dysfunction is unclear. Methods To investigate the involvement of coagulopathy in LT-mediated pathogenesis, the mortality, lung histology and coagulant levels of LT-treated rats were examined. The effects of activated protein C (aPC on LT-mediated pathogenesis were also evaluated. Results Fibrin depositions were detected in the lungs of LT-treated rats, indicating that coagulation was activated. Increased levels of plasma D-dimer and thrombomodulin, and the ameliorative effect of aPC further suggested that the activation of coagulation-fibrinolysis pathways plays a role in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. Reduced mortality was associated with decreased plasma levels of D-dimer and thrombomodulin following aPC treatments in rats with LT-mediated pathogenesis. Conclusions These findings suggest that the activation of coagulation in lung tissue contributes to mortality in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. In addition, anticoagulant aPC may help to develop a feasible therapeutic strategy.

  20. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2016-08-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets.

  1. Human monoclonal antibodies against anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen act independently to protect against Bacillus anthracis infection and enhance endogenous immunity to anthrax

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrecht, Mark T.; Li, Han; Williamson, E. Diane; LeButt, Chris S.; Flick-Smith, Helen C.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Westra, Hans; Galloway, Darrell; Mateczun, Alfred; Goldman, Stanley; Groen, Herman; Baillie, Les W. J.

    2007-01-01

    The unpredictable nature of bioterrorism and the absence of real-time detection systems have highlighted the need for an efficient postexposure therapy for Bacillus anthracis infection. One approach is passive immunization through the administration of antibodies that mitigate the biological action

  2. Bacillus anthracis acetyltransferases PatA1 and PatA2 modify the secondary cell wall polysaccharide and affect the assembly of S-layer proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunderberg, J Mark; Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Richter, G Stefan; Wang, Ya-Ting; Dworkin, Jonathan; Missiakas, Dominique M; Schneewind, Olaf

    2013-03-01

    The envelope of Bacillus anthracis encompasses a proteinaceous S-layer with two S-layer proteins (Sap and EA1). Protein assembly in the envelope of B. anthracis requires S-layer homology domains (SLH) within S-layer proteins and S-layer-associated proteins (BSLs), which associate with the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP), an acetylated carbohydrate that is tethered to peptidoglycan. Here, we investigated the contributions of two putative acetyltransferases, PatA1 and PatA2, on SCWP acetylation and S-layer assembly. We show that mutations in patA1 and patA2 affect the chain lengths of B. anthracis vegetative forms and perturb the deposition of the BslO murein hydrolase at cell division septa. The patA1 and patA2 mutants are defective for the assembly of EA1 in the envelope but retain the ability of S-layer formation with Sap. SCWP isolated from the patA1 patA2 mutant lacked acetyl moieties identified in wild-type polysaccharide and failed to associate with the SLH domains of EA1. A model is discussed whereby patA1- and patA2-mediated acetylation of SCWP enables the deposition of EA1 as well as BslO near the septal region of the B. anthracis envelope.

  3. Identification of stringent response-related and potential serological proteins released from Bacillus anthracis overexpressing the RelA/SpoT homolog, Rsh Bant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Se Kye; Park, Moon Kyoo; Kim, Sang Hoon; Oh, Kwang Gun; Jung, Kyoung Hwa; Hong, Chong-Hae; Yoon, Jang W; Chai, Young Gyu

    2014-10-01

    RelA and SpoT synthesize ppGpp, a key effector molecule that facilitates the adaptation of bacteria to nutrient starvation and other stresses, known as the stringent response. To investigate the role of Rsh Bant , a putative RelA/SpoT homolog (encoded by BAS4302) in Bacillus anthracis, we examined the alteration of the secretome profiles after the overexpression of a functional His-Rsh Bant protein in the B. anthracis strain Sterne at the stationary growth phase. In the ppGpp-deficient E. coli mutant strain CF1693, overexpression of Rsh Bant restored a ppGpp-dependent growth defect on minimal glucose media. The secretome profiles obtained using a two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis were altered by overexpression of Rsh Bant in B. anthracis. Among the 66 protein spots differentially expressed >1.5-fold, the 29 proteins were abundant for further identification using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Functional categorization of those proteins implicated their involvement in various biological activities. Taken together, our results imply that overexpression of a functional His-Rsh Bant can lead to the increased levels of intracellular ppGpp in B. anthracis, resulting in the significant changes in its secretome profiling. The stringent response-controlled proteins identified are likely useful as potential targets for serodiagnostic applications.

  4. Delineating the effect of host environmental signals on a fully virulent strain of Bacillus anthracis using an integrated transcriptomics and proteomics approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Panda, G.; Basak, T.; Tanwer, P.; Sengupta, S.; Martins dos Santos, V.A.P.; Bhatnagar, R.

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria sense the host environment and regulate expression of virulence-related genes. Environmental signals like temperature, bicarbonate/CO2 and glucose induce toxin production in Bacillus anthracis, but the mechanisms by which these signals contribute to virulence and overall physiolo

  5. Virtual screening of LPXTG competitive SrtA inhibitors targeting signal transduction mechanism in Bacillus anthracis: a combined experimental and theoretical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selvaraj, Chandrabose; Sivakamavalli, Jeyachandran; Baskaralingam, Vaseeharan; Singh, Sanjeev Kumar

    2014-06-01

    Members of the sortase enzyme super family decorate the surfaces of Bacillus anthracis cell wall with proteins that play key roles in microbial pathogenesis and its biofilm formation. Bacillus anthracis Sortase-A (Ba-SrtA) is a potential target for new therapeutics as it is required for B. anthracis survival and replication within macrophages. An understanding of the binding site pocket and substrate recognition mechanism by SrtA enzymes may serve to be beneficial in the rational development of sortase inhibitors. Here, the LPXTG signal peptide-based competitive inhibitors are screened against the Ba-SrtA and compounds with reasonable inhibition, specificity, and mechanisms of inactivation of SrtA have been covered. The screened compounds are experimentally validated against the phylogenetically similar Gram-positive pathogen B. cereus. In situ microscopic visualizations suggest that these screened compounds showed the microbial and biofilm inhibitory activity against B. cereus. It facilitates the further development of these molecules into useful anti-infective agents to treat infections caused by B. anthracis and other Gram-positive pathogens. These results provide insight into basic design principles for generating new clinically relevant lead molecules. It also provides an alternative strategy where a screened ligand molecule can be used in combination to battle increasingly against the Gram-positive pathogens.

  6. Rapid identification of bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dybwad, M.; Laaken, A.L. van der; Blatny, J.M.; Paauw, A.

    2013-01-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powders is important to mitigate the safety risks and economic burdens associated with such incidents. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and reliable laboratory- based matrix-assisted laser desorptio

  7. Identification of B. anthracis N(5)-carboxyaminoimidazole ribonucleotide mutase (PurE) active site binding compounds via fragment library screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Hao; Jones, Christopher; Zhu, Tian; Patel, Kavankumar; Wolf, Nina M; Fung, Leslie W-M; Lee, Hyun; Johnson, Michael E

    2016-02-15

    The de novo purine biosynthesis pathway is an attractive target for antibacterial drug design, and PurE from this pathway has been identified to be crucial for Bacillus anthracis survival in serum. In this study we adopted a fragment-based hit discovery approach, using three screening methods-saturation transfer difference nucleus magnetic resonance (STD-NMR), water-ligand observed via gradient spectroscopy (WaterLOGSY) NMR, and surface plasmon resonance (SPR), against B. anthracis PurE (BaPurE) to identify active site binding fragments by initially testing 352 compounds in a Zenobia fragment library. Competition STD NMR with the BaPurE product effectively eliminated non-active site binding hits from the primary hits, selecting active site binders only. Binding affinities (dissociation constant, KD) of these compounds varied between 234 and 301μM. Based on test results from the Zenobia compounds, we subsequently developed and applied a streamlined fragment screening strategy to screen a much larger library consisting of 3000 computationally pre-selected fragments. Thirteen final fragment hits were confirmed to exhibit binding affinities varying from 14μM to 700μM, which were categorized into five different basic scaffolds. All thirteen fragment hits have ligand efficiencies higher than 0.30. We demonstrated that at least two fragments from two different scaffolds exhibit inhibitory activity against the BaPurE enzyme.

  8. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin disrupts TCR signaling in CD1d-restricted NKT cells leading to functional anergy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil K Joshi

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Exogenous CD1d-binding glycolipid (alpha-Galactosylceramide, alpha-GC stimulates TCR signaling and activation of type-1 natural killer-like T (NKT cells. Activated NKT cells play a central role in the regulation of adaptive and protective immune responses against pathogens and tumors. In the present study, we tested the effect of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT on NKT cells both in vivo and in vitro. LT is a binary toxin known to suppress host immune responses during anthrax disease and intoxicates cells by protective antigen (PA-mediated intracellular delivery of lethal factor (LF, a potent metalloprotease. We observed that NKT cells expressed anthrax toxin receptors (CMG-2 and TEM-8 and bound more PA than other immune cell types. A sub-lethal dose of LT administered in vivo in C57BL/6 mice decreased expression of the activation receptor NKG2D by NKT cells but not by NK cells. The in vivo administration of LT led to decreased TCR-induced cytokine secretion but did not affect TCR expression. Further analysis revealed LT-dependent inhibition of TCR-stimulated MAP kinase signaling in NKT cells attributable to LT cleavage of the MAP kinase kinase MEK-2. We propose that Bacillus anthracis-derived LT causes a novel form of functional anergy in NKT cells and therefore has potential for contributing to immune evasion by the pathogen.

  9. Assessment of delivery parameters with the multi-electrode array for development of a DNA vaccine against Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donate, Amy; Heller, Richard

    2013-12-01

    Gene electrotransfer (GET) enhances delivery of DNA vaccines by increasing both gene expression and immune responses. Our lab has developed the multi-electrode array (MEA) for DNA delivery to skin. The MEA was used at constant pulse duration (150 ms) and frequency (6.67 Hz). In this study, delivery parameters including applied voltage (5-45 V), amount of plasmid (100-300 μg), and number of treatments (2-3) were evaluated for delivery of a DNA vaccine. Mice were intradermally injected with plasmid expressing Bacillus anthracis protective antigen with or without GET and αPA serum titers measured. Within this experiment no significant differences were noted in antibody levels from varying dose or treatment number. However, significant differences were measured from applied voltages of 25 and 35 V. These voltages generated antibody levels between 20,000 and 25,000. Serum from animals vaccinated with these conditions also resulted in toxin neutralization in 40-60% of animals. Visual damage was noted at MEA conditions of 40 V. No damage was noted either visually or histologically from conditions of 35 V or below. These results reflect the importance of establishing appropriate electrical parameters and the potential for the MEA in non-invasive DNA vaccination against B. anthracis.

  10. Immunological comparison of the NADH:nitrate reductase from different cucumber tissues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolanta Marciniak

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Soluble nitrate reductase from cucumber roots (Cucumis sativus L. was isolated and purified with blue-Sepharose 4B. Specific antibodies against the NR protein were raised by immunization of a goat. Using polyclonal antibodies anti-NR properties of the nitrate reductase from various cucumber tissues were examined. Experiments showed difference in immuno-logical properties of nitrate reductase (NR from cotyledon roots and leaves.

  11. Comparative studies on the soluble and plasma membrane associated nitrate reductase from Cucumis sativus L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grażyna Kłobus

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The biochemical comparison between two forms of nitrate reductase from cucumber roots: the soluble enzyme and the plasma membrane-associated one was made. Soluble nitrate reductase was purified on the blue-Sepharose 4B. The nitrate reductase bound with plasma membranes was isolated from cucumber roots by partition of microsomes in the 6.5% dextran-PEG two phase system. The molecular weight of native enzyme estimated with HPLC was 240 kDa and 114 kDa for the soluble and membrane bounded enzyme, respectively. Temperature induced phase separation in Triton X-114 indicated a huge difference in hydrophobicity of the plasma membrane associated nitrate reductase and soluble form of enzyme. Small differences were observed in partial activities of plasma membrane nitrate reductase and soluble nitrate reductase. Also experiments with polyclonal antiserum raised against the native nitrate reductase showed some differences in the immunological properties of both forms of the nitrate reductase. The above results indicated that in cucumber roots two different forms of the nitrate reductase are present.

  12. Histochemical Localization of Glutathione Dependent NBT-Reductase in Mouse Skin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Objective Localization of the glutathione dependent Nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reductase in fresh frozen sections of mouse skin and possible dependence of NBT reductase on tissue thiol levels has been investigated. Methods The fresh frozen tissue sections (8m thickness) were prepared and incubated in medium containing NBT, reduced glutathione (GSH) and phosphate buffer. The staining for GSH was performed with mercury orange. Results  The activity of the NBT-reductase in mouse skin has been found to be localized in the areas rich in glutathione and actively proliferating area of the skin. Conclusion The activity of the NBT-reductase seems to be dependent on the glutathione contents.

  13. Microevolution of Anthrax from a Young Ancestor (M.A.Y.A. Suggests a Soil-Borne Life Cycle of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Braun

    Full Text Available During an anthrax outbreak at the Pollino National Park (Basilicata, Italy in 2004, diseased cattle were buried and from these anthrax-foci Bacillus anthracis endospores still diffuse to the surface resulting in local accumulations. Recent data suggest that B. anthracis multiplies in soil outside the animal-host body. This notion is supported by the frequent isolation of B. anthracis from soil lacking one or both virulence plasmids. Such strains represent an evolutionary dead end, as they are likely no longer able to successfully infect new hosts. This loss of virulence plasmids is explained most simply by postulating a soil-borne life cycle of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis we investigated possible microevolution at two natural anthrax foci from the 2004 outbreak. If valid, then genotypes of strains isolated from near the surface at these foci should be on a different evolutionary trajectory from those below residing in deeper-laying horizons close to the carcass. Thus, the genetic diversity of B. anthracis isolates was compared conducting Progressive Hierarchical Resolving Assays using Nucleic Acids (PHRANA and next generation Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS. PHRANA was not discriminatory enough to resolve the fine genetic relationships between the isolates. Conversely, WGS of nine isolates from near-surface and nine from near-carcass revealed five isolate specific SNPs, four of which were found only in different near-surface isolates. In support of our hypothesis, one surface-isolate lacked plasmid pXO1 and also harbored one of the unique SNPs. Taken together, our results suggest a limited soil-borne life cycle of B. anthracis.

  14. Microevolution of Anthrax from a Young Ancestor (M.A.Y.A.) Suggests a Soil-Borne Life Cycle of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Peter; Grass, Gregor; Aceti, Angela; Serrecchia, Luigina; Affuso, Alessia; Marino, Leonardo; Grimaldi, Stefania; Pagano, Stefania; Hanczaruk, Matthias; Georgi, Enrico; Northoff, Bernd; Schöler, Anne; Schloter, Michael; Antwerpen, Markus; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    During an anthrax outbreak at the Pollino National Park (Basilicata, Italy) in 2004, diseased cattle were buried and from these anthrax-foci Bacillus anthracis endospores still diffuse to the surface resulting in local accumulations. Recent data suggest that B. anthracis multiplies in soil outside the animal-host body. This notion is supported by the frequent isolation of B. anthracis from soil lacking one or both virulence plasmids. Such strains represent an evolutionary dead end, as they are likely no longer able to successfully infect new hosts. This loss of virulence plasmids is explained most simply by postulating a soil-borne life cycle of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis we investigated possible microevolution at two natural anthrax foci from the 2004 outbreak. If valid, then genotypes of strains isolated from near the surface at these foci should be on a different evolutionary trajectory from those below residing in deeper-laying horizons close to the carcass. Thus, the genetic diversity of B. anthracis isolates was compared conducting Progressive Hierarchical Resolving Assays using Nucleic Acids (PHRANA) and next generation Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). PHRANA was not discriminatory enough to resolve the fine genetic relationships between the isolates. Conversely, WGS of nine isolates from near-surface and nine from near-carcass revealed five isolate specific SNPs, four of which were found only in different near-surface isolates. In support of our hypothesis, one surface-isolate lacked plasmid pXO1 and also harbored one of the unique SNPs. Taken together, our results suggest a limited soil-borne life cycle of B. anthracis.

  15. Antimicrobial effects of gold/copper sulphide (Gold/Copper monosulfide) core/shell nanoparticles on Bacillus anthracis spores and cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addae, Ebenezer

    Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, rod shaped and spore forming bacteria. It causes anthrax, a deadly human and animal disease that can kill its victims in three days. The spores of B. anthracis can survive extreme environmental conditions for decades and germinate when exposed to proper conditions. Due to its potential as a bio-weapon, effective disinfectants that pose less harm to the environment and animals are urgently needed. Metal nanoparticles have the potential of killing microbial cells and spores. We present here the effect of Gold/Copper Sulphide core/shell (Au/CuS) nanoparticles on B. anthracis cells and spores. The results indicated that the continuous presence of 0.83 microM during the spore growth in nutrient medium completely inhibited spore outgrowth. Au/CuS nanoparticles at concentration of 4.15 μM completely inactivated B. anthracis cells (x 107) after 30 min of pre-treatment in any of the three buffers including water, PBS, and nutrient broth. However, the same and even higher concentrations of nanoparticles produce no significant spore (x 105) killing after 24 h of pre-treatment. SEM imaging, EDS analysis, and DNA extrusion experiments revealed that nanoparticles damaged the cell membrane causing DNA and cytosolic content efflux and eventually cell death. The study demonstrated the strong antimicrobial activity of Au/CuS nanoparticles to B. anthracis cells and revealed that Au/CuS NPs showed more effective inactivation effect against the cells than they did against the spores.

  16. Failure of Sterne- and Pasteur-like strains of Bacillus anthracis to replicate and survive in the urban bluebottle blow fly Calliphora vicina under laboratory conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta von Terzi

    Full Text Available This study aimed to elucidate the bacteriological events occurring within the gut of Calliphora vicina, selected as the European representative of blow flies held responsible for the spread of anthrax during epidemics in certain parts of the world. Green-fluorescent-protein-carrying derivatives of Bacillus anthracis were used. These lacked either one of the virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 and were infected, or not infected, with a worm intestine phage (Wip4 known to influence the phenotype and survival of the pathogen. Blood meals were prepared for the flies by inoculation of sheep blood with germinated and, in case of pXO2+ strains, encapsulated cells of the four B. anthracis strains. After being fed for 4 h an initial 10 flies were externally disinfected with peracetic acid to ensure subsequent quantitation representing ingested B. anthracis only. Following neutralization, they were crushed in sterile saline. Over each of the ensuing 7 to 10 days, 10 flies were removed and processed the same way. In the absence of Wip4, strains showed steady declines to undetectable in the total B. anthracis counts, within 7-9 days. With the phage infected strains, the falls in viable counts were significantly more rapid than in their uninfected counterparts. Spores were detectable in flies for longer periods than vegetative bacteria. In line with the findings in both biting and non-biting flies of early workers our results indicate that B. anthracis does not multiply in the guts of blow flies and survival is limited to a matter of days.

  17. Aldo-keto reductases 1B in adrenal cortex physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie PASTEL

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Aldose reductase proteins are cytosolic monomeric enzymes, belonging to the aldo-keto reductase (AKR superfamily. They perform oxidoreduction of carbonyl groups from a wide variety of substrates such as aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes or ketones. The Aldose reductase subgroup (AKR1B is one of the most characterized because of its involvement in human diseases such as diabetic complications resulting from the ability of its human archetype AKR1B1 to reduce glucose into sorbitol. However the issue of AKR1B function in non pathologic condition remains poorly resolved. Adrenal steroidogenesis is strongly associated with high production of endogenous harmful lipid aldehyde by-products including isocaproaldehyde (4-methylpentanal derived from cholesterol side chain cleavage (the first step of steroid synthesis and 4-hydroxynonenal (4- HNE that can both be reduced by AKR1B proteins. More recently, some AKR1B isoforms have been shown to be endowed with prostaglandin F synthase activity, suggesting that in addition to possible scavenger function, they could instigate paracrine signals. Interestingly, previous studies have established that the adrenal gland is one of the major site for human and murine AKR1B expression suggesting that their detoxifying/signaling activity could be specifically required for the correct handling of adrenal function. Moreover chronic effects of ACTH result in a coordinated regulation of genes encoding the steroidogenic enzymes and some AKR1B isoforms.This review presents the molecular mechanisms accounting for the adrenal specific expression of some AKR1B genes. Using data from recent mouse genetic models, we will try to connect their enzymatic properties and regulation with adrenal functions.

  18. Terpenoids from Diplophyllum taxifolium with quinone reductase-inducing activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Zhang, Jiao-Zhen; Zhou, Jin-Chuan; Shen, Tao; Lou, Hong-Xiang

    2016-03-01

    Two new ent-prenylaromadendrane-type diterpenoids, diplotaxifols A (1) and B (2), a new ent-eudesmol, ent-eudesma-4(15),11(13)-dien-6α,12-diol (3), eight new eudesmanolides enantiomers (4-11) of the corresponding compounds from higher plants along with four known ent-eudesmanolides (12-15) were isolated from the 95% EtOH extract of Chinese liverwort Diplophyllum taxifolium. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of MS, NMR and IR spectral data, and confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. The quinone reductase-inducing activity of the compounds was evaluated.

  19. Applications of Carboxylic Acid Reductases in Oleaginous Microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resch, Michael G.; Linger, Jeffrey; McGeehan, John; Tyo, Keith; Beckham, Gregg

    2016-04-24

    Carboxylic acid reductases (CARs) are recently emerging reductive enzymes for the direct production of aldehydes from biologically-produced carboxylic acids. Recent work has demonstrated that these powerful enzymes are able to reduce a very broad range of volatile- to long-chain fatty acids as well as aromatic acids. Here, we express four CAR enzymes from different fungal origins to test their activity against fatty acids commonly produced in oleaginous microbes. These in vitro results will inform metabolic engineering strategies to conduct mild biological reduction of carboxylic acids in situ, which is conventionally done via hydrotreating catalysis at high temperatures and hydrogen pressures.

  20. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency presenting as a rash.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Crushell, Ellen

    2012-09-01

    We report on the case of a 2-year-old girl recently diagnosed with Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency who originally presented in the neonatal period with a distinctive rash. At 11 weeks of age she developed seizures, she had acquired microcephaly and developmental delay. The rash deteriorated dramatically following commencement of phenobarbitone; both rash and seizures abated following empiric introduction of pyridoxine and folinic acid as treatment of possible vitamin responsive seizures. We postulate that phenobarbitone in combination with MTHFR deficiency may have caused her rash to deteriorate and subsequent folinic acid was helpful in treating the rash and preventing further acute neurological decline as commonly associated with this condition.

  1. INHIBITION OF RAT LENS ALDOSE REDUCTASE BY QUERCETAGETIN AND PATULETIN

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1991-01-01

    In this paper the results of inhibition of the Aldose reductase(AR) activity on Wistar rat lens by Quercetagetin extracted from Tagetes erects Linn and by Patuletin extracted from Tagetes patula Linn are reported.Quercetagetin inhibited AR of the rat lens by 93.9% at 10~(-4)M, 76.0% at 10~(-5)M and 13.3% at 10~(-6)M. Patuletin inhibited AR of the rat lens by 100% at 10~(-1)M, 80% at 10~(-5)M and 22.7% at 10~(-6)M respectively. The results show that these two flavones are lens AR Inhibitors, but further ...

  2. CD4+ T cells targeting dominant and cryptic epitopes from Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eAscough

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an endemic infection in many countries, particularly in the developing world. The causative agent, Bacillus anthracis, mediates disease through the secretion of binary exotoxins. Until recently, research into adaptive immunity targeting this bacterial pathogen has largely focused on the humoral response to these toxins. There is, however, growing recognition that cellular immune responses involving IFNγ producing CD4+ T cells also contribute significantly to a protective memory response. An established concept in adaptive immunity to infection is that during infection of host cells, new microbial epitopes may be revealed, leading to immune recognition of so called ‘cryptic’ or ‘subdominant’ epitopes. We analysed the response to both cryptic and immunodominant T cell epitopes derived from the toxin component lethal factor and presented by a range of HLA-DR alleles. Using IFNγ-ELISPOT assays we characterised epitopes that elicited a response following immunisation with synthetic peptide and the whole protein and tested their capacities to bind purified HLA-DR molecules in vitro. We found that DR1 transgenics demonstrated T cell responses to a greater number of domain III cryptic epitopes than other HLA-DR transgenics, and that this pattern was repeated with the immunodominant epitopes, a greater proportion of these epitopes induced a T cell response when presented within the context of the whole protein. Immunodominant epitopes LF457-476 and LF467-487 were found to induce a T cell response to the peptide, as well as to the whole native LF protein in DR1 and DR15, but not in DR4 trangenics. The analysis of Domain I revealed the presence of several unique cryptic epitopes all of which showed a strong to moderate relative binding affinity to HLA-DR4 molecules. However, none of the cryptic epitopes from either domain III or I displayed notably high binding affinities across all HLA-DR alleles assayed. These responses were

  3. Naturally acquired antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in vultures of southern Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. C.B. Turnbull

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available TURNBULLP, P.C.B. DIEKMANNM,M., KILIAN, J.W., VERSFELDW, W.,DE VOS, V., ARNTZENL, L.,WOLTER, K., BARTELS, P. & KOTZE, A. 2008.N aturally acquired antibodies to Bacillusa nthracisp rotective antigeni n vultureso f southern Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, T5:95-102 Sera from 19 wild caught vultures in northern Namibia and 15 (12 wild caught and three captive bred but with minimal histories in North West Province, South Africa, were examined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbenats say( ELISAf or antibodiesto the Bacillus anthracis toxin protective antigen (PA. As assessed from the baseline established with a control group of ten captive reared vultures with well-documented histories, elevated titres were found in 12 of the 19 (63% wild caught Namibian birds as compared with none of the 15 South African ones. There was a highly significant difference between the Namibian group as a hole and the other groups (P < 0.001 and no significant difference between the South African and control groups (P > 0.05. Numbers in the Namibian group were too small to determine any significances in species-, sex- or age-related differences within the raw data showing elevated titres in four out of six Cape Vultures, Gyps coprotheress, six out of ten Whitebacked Vultures, Gyps africanus, and one out of three Lappet-faced Vultures, Aegypiust racheliotus, or in five of six males versus three of seven females, and ten of 15 adults versus one of four juveniles. The results are in line with the available data on the incidence of anthrax in northern Namibia and South Africa and the likely contact of the vultures tested with anthrax carcasses. lt is not known whether elevated titre indicates infection per se in vultures or absorption of incompletely digested epitopes of the toxin or both. The results are discussed in relation to distances travelled by vultures as determined by new tracking techniques, how serology can reveal anthrax activity in an area and

  4. National validation study of a swab protocol for the recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores from surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, Lisa R; Rose, Laura J; O'Connell, Heather; Arduino, Matthew J

    2010-05-01

    Twelve Laboratory Response Network (LRN) affiliated laboratories participated in a validation study of a macrofoam swab protocol for the recovery, detection, and quantification of viable B. anthracis (BA) Sterne spores from steel surfaces. CDC personnel inoculated steel coupons (26cm(2)) with 1-4 log(10) BA spores and recovered them by sampling with pre-moistened macrofoam swabs. Phase 1 (P1) of the study evaluated swabs containing BA only, while dust and background organisms were added to swabs in Phase 2 (P2) to mimic environmental conditions. Laboratories processed swabs and enumerated spores by culturing eluted swab suspensions and counting colonies with morphology consistent with BA. Processed swabs were placed in enrichment broth, incubated 24h, and cultured by streaking for isolation. Real-time PCR was performed on selected colonies from P2 samples to confirm the identity of BA. Mean percent recovery (%R) of spores from the surface ranged from 15.8 to 31.0% (P1) and from 27.9 to 55.0% (P2). The highest mean percent recovery was 31.0% (sd 10.9%) for P1 (4 log(10) inoculum) and 55.0% (sd 27.6%) for P2 (1 log(10) inoculum). The overall %R was higher for P2 (44.6%) than P1 (24.1%), but the overall reproducibility (between-lab variability) was lower in P2 than in P1 (25.0 vs 16.5%CV, respectively). The overall precision (within-lab variability) was close to identical for P1 and P2 (44.0 and 44.1, respectively), but varied greatly between inoculum levels. The protocol demonstrated linearity in %R over the three inoculum levels and is able to detect between 26 and 5x10(6)spores/26cm(2). Sensitivity as determined by culture was >98.3% for both phases and all inocula, suggesting that the culture method maintains sensitivity in the presence of contaminants. The enrichment broth method alone was less sensitive for sampled swabs (66.4%) during P2, suggesting that the presence of background organisms inhibited growth or isolation of BA from the broth. The addition of

  5. Identification of Novel Raft Marker Protein, FlotP in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somani, Vikas K; Aggarwal, Somya; Singh, Damini; Prasad, Tulika; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Lipid rafts are dynamic, nanoscale assemblies of specific proteins and lipids, distributed heterogeneously on eukaryotic membrane. Flotillin-1, a conserved eukaryotic raft marker protein (RMP) harbor SPFH (Stomatin, Prohibitin, Flotillin, and HflK/C) and oligomerization domains to regulate various cellular processes through its interactions with other signaling or transport proteins. Rafts were thought to be absent in prokaryotes hitherto, but recent report of its presence and significance in physiology of Bacillus subtilis prompted us to investigate the same in pathogenic bacteria (PB) also. In prokaryotes, proteins of SPFH2a subfamily show highest identity to SPFH domain of Flotillin-1. Moreover, bacterial genome organization revealed that Flotillin homolog harboring SPFH2a domain exists in an operon with an upstream gene containing NFeD domain. Here, presence of RMP in PB was initially investigated in silico by analyzing the presence of SPFH2a, oligomerization domains in the concerned gene and NfeD domain in the adjacent upstream gene. After investigating 300 PB, four were found to harbor RMP. Among them, domains of Bas0525 (FlotP) of Bacillus anthracis (BA) showed highest identity with characteristic domains of RMP. Considering the global threat of BA as the bioterror agent, it was selected as a model for further in vitro characterization of rafts in PB. In silico and in vitro analysis showed significant similarity of FlotP with numerous attributes of Flotillin-1. Its punctate distribution on membrane with exclusive localization in detergent resistant membrane fraction; strongly favors presence of raft with RMP FlotP in BA. Furthermore, significant effect of Zaragozic acid (ZA), a raft associated lipid biosynthesis inhibitor, on several patho-physiological attributes of BA such as growth, morphology, membrane rigidity etc., were also observed. Specifically, a considerable decrease in membrane rigidity, strongly recommended presence of an unknown raft associated

  6. Possession, Use, and Transfer of Select Agents and Toxins-- Addition of Bacillus Cereus Biovar Anthracis to the HHS List of Select Agents and Toxins. Interim final rule and request for comments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-14

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is adding Bacillus cereus Biovar anthracis to the list of HHS select agents and toxins as a Tier 1 select agent. We are taking this action to regulate this agent that is similar to B. anthracis to prevent its misuse, which could cause a biological threat to public health and/or national security.

  7. Functions of Flavin Reductase and Quinone Reductase in 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol Degradation by Cupriavidus necator JMP134▿

    OpenAIRE

    Belchik, Sara Mae; Xun, Luying

    2007-01-01

    The tcpRXABCYD operon of Cupriavidus necator JMP134 is involved in the degradation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP), a toxic pollutant. TcpA is a reduced flavin adenine dinucleotide (FADH2)-dependent monooxygenase that converts 2,4,6-TCP to 6-chlorohydroxyquinone. It has been implied via genetic analysis that TcpX acts as an FAD reductase to supply TcpA with FADH2, whereas the function of TcpB in 2,4,6-TCP degradation is still unclear. In order to provide direct biochemical evidence for t...

  8. Properties of the arsenate reductase of plasmid R773.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladysheva, T B; Oden, K L; Rosen, B P

    1994-06-14

    Resistance to toxic oxyanions in Escherichia coli is conferred by the ars operon carried on plasmid R773. The gene products of this operon catalyze extrusion of antimonials and arsenicals from cells of E. coli, thus providing resistance to those toxic oxyanions. In addition, resistance to arsenate is conferred by the product of the arsC gene. In this report, purified ArsC protein was shown to catalyze reduction of arsenate to arsenite. The enzymatic activity of the ArsC protein required glutaredoxin as a source of reducing equivalents. Other reductants, including glutathione and thioredoxin, were not effective electron donors. A spectrophotometric assay was devised in which arsenate reduction was coupled to NADPH oxidation. The results obtained with the coupled assay corresponded to those found by direct reduction of radioactive arsenate to arsenite. The only substrate of the reaction was arsenate (Km = 8 mM); other oxyanions including phosphate, sulfate, and antimonate were not reduced. Phosphate and sulfate were weak inhibitors, while the product, arsenite, was a stronger inhibitor (Ki = 0.1 mM). Arsenate reductase activity exhibited a pH optimum of 6.3-6.8. These results indicate that the ArsC protein is a novel reductase, and elucidation of its enzymatic mechanism should be of interest.

  9. Dimethyl Fumarate Induces Glutathione Recycling by Upregulation of Glutathione Reductase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Christina; Dietrich, Michael; Herrmann, Ann-Kathrin; Schacht, Teresa

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal degeneration in multiple sclerosis has been linked to oxidative stress. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is an effective oral therapeutic option shown to reduce disease activity and progression in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. DMF activates the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) leading to increased synthesis of the major cellular antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and prominent neuroprotection in vitro. We previously demonstrated that DMF is capable of raising GSH levels even when glutathione synthesis is inhibited, suggesting enhanced GSH recycling. Here, we found that DMF indeed induces glutathione reductase (GSR), a homodimeric flavoprotein that catalyzes GSSG reduction to GSH by using NADPH as a reducing cofactor. Knockdown of GSR using a pool of E. coli RNase III-digested siRNAs or pharmacological inhibition of GSR, however, also induced the antioxidant response rendering it impossible to verify the suspected attenuation of DMF-mediated neuroprotection. However, in cystine-free medium, where GSH synthesis is abolished, pharmacological inhibition of GSR drastically reduced the effect of DMF on glutathione recycling. We conclude that DMF increases glutathione recycling through induction of glutathione reductase. PMID:28116039

  10. Stereospecificity of (+)-pinoresinol and (+)-lariciresinol reductases from Forsythia intermedia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, A; Dinkova, A; Davin, L B; Bedgar, D L; Lewis, N G

    1993-12-25

    Pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase catalyzes the first known example of a highly unusual benzylic ether reduction in plants; its mechanism of hydride transfer is described. The enzyme was found in Forsythia intermedia and catalyzes the presumed regulatory branch-points in the pathway leading to benzylaryltetrahydrofuran, dibenzylbutane, dibenzylbutyrolactone, and aryltetrahydronaphthalene lignans. Using [7,7'-2H2]-pinoresinol and [7,7'-2H3]lariciresinol as substrates, the hydride transfers of the highly unusual reductase were demonstrated to be completely stereospecific (> 99%). The incoming hydrides were found to take up the pro-R position at C-7' (and/or C-7) in lariciresinol and secoisolariciresinol, thereby eliminating the possibility of random hydride delivery to a planar quinone methide intermediate. As might be expected, the mode of hydride abstraction from NADPH was also stereospecific: using [4R-3H] and [4S-3H]NADPH, it was found that only the 4 pro-R hydrogen was abstracted for enzymatic hydride transfer.

  11. Dimethyl Fumarate Induces Glutathione Recycling by Upregulation of Glutathione Reductase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Hoffmann

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal degeneration in multiple sclerosis has been linked to oxidative stress. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF is an effective oral therapeutic option shown to reduce disease activity and progression in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. DMF activates the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2 leading to increased synthesis of the major cellular antioxidant glutathione (GSH and prominent neuroprotection in vitro. We previously demonstrated that DMF is capable of raising GSH levels even when glutathione synthesis is inhibited, suggesting enhanced GSH recycling. Here, we found that DMF indeed induces glutathione reductase (GSR, a homodimeric flavoprotein that catalyzes GSSG reduction to GSH by using NADPH as a reducing cofactor. Knockdown of GSR using a pool of E. coli RNase III-digested siRNAs or pharmacological inhibition of GSR, however, also induced the antioxidant response rendering it impossible to verify the suspected attenuation of DMF-mediated neuroprotection. However, in cystine-free medium, where GSH synthesis is abolished, pharmacological inhibition of GSR drastically reduced the effect of DMF on glutathione recycling. We conclude that DMF increases glutathione recycling through induction of glutathione reductase.

  12. Determination of potential N2O-reductase activity in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qin, S.P.; Yuan, H.J.; Hu, C.S.; Oenema, O.; Zhang, Y.M.; Li, X.X.

    2014-01-01

    Determination of N2O-reductase activity in soil is important for understanding the microbial regulation of nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations in soil. Unfortunately, there are no easily applicable and accurate methods for determining N2O-reductase activity, which frustrates the understanding of the

  13. THE EFFECTS OF AN ALDOSE REDUCTASE INHIBITOR ON THE PROGRESSION OF DIABETIC-RETINOPATHY

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    TROMP, A; HOOYMANS, JMM; BARENDSEN, BC; VONDOORMAAL, JJ

    1991-01-01

    The polyol pathway has long been associated with diabetic retinopathy. Glucose is converted to sorbitol with the aid of the enzyme aldose reductase. Aldose reductase inhibitors can prevent changes induced by diabetes. A total of 30 patients with minimal background retinopathy were randomly divided i

  14. Separation and distribution of thiosulfate-oxidizing enzyme, tetrathionate reductase, and thiosulfate reductase in extracts of marine heterotroph strain 16B.

    OpenAIRE

    Whited, G M; Tuttle, J.H.

    1983-01-01

    Thiosulfate-oxidizing enzyme (TSO), tetrathionate reductase (TTR), and thiosulfate reductase (TSR) were demonstrated in cell-free extracts of the marine heterotrophic thiosulfate-oxidizing bacterium strain 16B. Extracts prepared from cells cultured aerobically in the absence of thiosulfate or tetrathionate exhibited constitutive TSO and TTR activity which resided in the soluble fraction of ultracentrifuged crude extracts. Constitutive TSO and TTR cochromatographed on DEAE-Sephadex A-50, Celle...

  15. The effect of ionic and non-ionic surfactants on the growth, nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase activities of Spirodela polyrrhiza (L. Schleiden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Józef Buczek

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Inclusion into the medium of 5 mg•dm-3 of non-ionic (ENF or ionic (DBST surfactant caused 50-60% inhibition of nitrite reductase MR activity in S. polyrrhiza. At the same time, increased accumulation of NO2- in the plant tissues and lowering of the total and soluble protein contents were found. DBST also lowered the nitrate reductase (NR activity and the dry mass of the plants.

  16. 炭疽芽孢杆菌S-层蛋白功能研究进展%S-layer proteins of Bacillus anthracis: research progress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王雪芳; 刘先凯; 陈福生; 王恒樑

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the etiological agent of anthrax. Currently, plasmids pXOl and pX02 of B. anthracis, which were encoding the virulence genes and capsule synthesis genes respectively, have been studied thoroughly. However, the S-layer, a protein paracrystalline structure that exists between the capsule and the cell wall of B. anthracis, is less known. Sap( surface array protein ) and EA1( extracellular antigen 1 ) are the major proteins of S-layer as well as some other relative proteins in B. anthracis. Investigation of the interaction of these proteins and their immunologic mechanism is vital for understanding the pathogenesis of B. anthracis. This brief review will focus on recent researches on the components of S-layer proteins, their linkage with the cell wall and the regulation patterns of their encoding genes of S-layer proteins, their role in the pathogenesis of B. anthracis, and the relationship between S-layer proteins and host immune systems.%炭疽芽孢杆菌是人畜共患病炭疽的病原菌.目前,对炭疽杆菌2个毒力大质粒(编码主要毒力基因的pXO1与编码合成荚膜基因的pXO2)的研究比较深入;炭疽杆菌细胞壁与荚膜间还存在一种蛋白性质的类晶体(paracrystalline)结构:S-层(surface-layer,表层)结构.炭疽杆菌的S-层蛋白主要为表面排列蛋白(surface array protein,Sap)和胞外抗原1(extracellular antigen 1,EA1),此外,在炭疽杆菌中还存在其他一些与S-层相关的蛋白,了解这些蛋白的相互作用及免疫机制对深入认识炭疽杆菌的致病机制具有重要意义.本文将就近年来关于炭疽杆菌S-层蛋白成分、与细胞壁的连接、S-层基因的调控、致病性及其与宿主免疫机制的关系等方面的研究进展做一简要综述.

  17. Evaluation of New Dihydrophthalazine-Appended 2,4-Diaminopyrimidines against Bacillus anthracis: Improved Syntheses Using a New Pincer Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagendra Prasad Muddala

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The synthesis and evaluation of ten new dihydrophthalazine-appended 2,4-diaminopyrimidines as potential drugs to treat Bacillus anthracis is reported. An improved synthesis utilizing a new pincer catalyst, dichlorobis[1-(dicyclohexylphosphanyl-piperidine]palladium(II, allows the final Heck coupling to be performed at 90 °C using triethylamine as the base. These milder conditions have been used to achieve improved yields for new and previously reported substrates with functional groups that degrade or react at the normal 140 °C reaction temperature. An analytical protocol for separating the S and R enantiomers of two of the most active compounds is also disclosed. Finally, the X-ray structure for the most active enantiomer of the lead compound, (S-RAB1, is given.

  18. Evaluation of Immunoassays and General Biological Indicator Tests for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis and Ricin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Hofstad, Beth A.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Jarman, Kristin; Melville, Angela M.; Victry, Kristin D.; Bruckner-Lea, Cynthia J.

    2017-02-01

    The goal of this testing was to evaluate the ability of currently available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) biological indicator tests and immunoassays to detect Bacillus anthracis (Ba) spores and ricin. In general, immunoassays provide more specific identification of biological threats as compared to indicator tests [3]. Many of these detection products are widely used by first responders and other end users. In most cases, performance data for these instruments are supplied directly from the manufacturer, but have not been verified by an external, independent assessment [1]. Our test plan modules included assessments of inclusivity (ability to generate true positive results), commonly encountered hoax powders (which can cause potential interferences or false positives), and estimation of limit of detection (LOD) (sensitivity) testing.

  19. A strain-variable bacteriocin in Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus with repeated Cys-Xaa-Xaa motifs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haft Daniel H

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Bacteriocins are peptide antibiotics from ribosomally translated precursors, produced by bacteria often through extensive post-translational modification. Minimal sequence conservation, short gene lengths, and low complexity sequence can hinder bacteriocin identification, even during gene calling, so they are often discovered by proximity to accessory genes encoding maturation, immunity, and export functions. This work reports a new subfamily of putative thiazole-containing heterocyclic bacteriocins. It appears universal in all strains of Bacillus anthracis and B. cereus, but has gone unrecognized because it is always encoded far from its maturation protein operon. Patterns of insertions and deletions among twenty-four variants suggest a repeating functional unit of Cys-Xaa-Xaa. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Andrei Osterman and Lakshminarayan Iyer.

  20. 炭疽芽胞杆菌的基因分型%The genotyping of Bacillus anthracis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周伟(综述); 郭学军(审校)

    2013-01-01

    In order to identify the genotype of the Bacillus anthracis,multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), single nucleotide polymorphism analysis (SNP) and single nucleotide repeat analysis (SNR) have been used, and become the main methods gradually .This paper reviewes the status of their application .%为了鉴别炭疽芽胞杆菌( Bacillus anthracis)的基因型,多位点可变数量串联重复序列分析( MLVA)、单核苷酸多态性分析( SNP )和单核苷酸重复序列分析( SNR )被广泛应用,并逐渐成为炭疽分型的基本方法,因而对其应用现状进行了综述。

  1. Evaluation of the FilmArray® system for detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seiner, Derrick R.; Colburn, Heather A.; Baird, Cheryl L.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Straub, Tim M.; Victry, Kristin D.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.

    2013-04-29

    To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the Idaho Technologies FilmArray® Biothreat Panel for the detection of Bacillus anthracis (Ba), Francisella tularensis (Ft), and Yersinia pestis (Yp) DNA, and demonstrate the detection of Ba spores. Methods and Results: DNA samples from Ba, Ft and Yp strains and near-neighbors, and live Ba spores were analyzed using the Biothreat Panel, a multiplexed PCR-based assay for 17 pathogens and toxins. Sensitivity studies with DNA suggest a limit of detection of 250 genome equivalents (GEs) per sample. Furthermore, the correct call of Ft, Yp or Bacillus species was made in 63 of 72 samples tested at 25 GE or less. With samples containing 25 Ba Sterne spores, at least one of the two possible Ba markers were identified in all samples tested. We observed no cross-reactivity with near-neighbor DNAs.

  2. Naegleria fowleri: a free-living highly pathogenic amoeba contains trypanothione/trypanothione reductase and glutathione/glutathione reductase systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ondarza, Raúl N; Hurtado, Gerardo; Tamayo, Elsa; Iturbe, Angélica; Hernández, Eva

    2006-11-01

    This paper presents definitive data showing that the thiol-bimane compound isolated and purified by HPLC from Naegleria fowleri trophozoites unequivocally corresponds by matrix assisted laser-desorption ionization-time-of-flight MS, to the characteristic monoprotonated ion of trypanothione-(bimane)(2) [M(+)H(+)] of m/z 1104.57 and to the trypanothione-(bimane) of m/z 914.46. The trypanothione disulfide T(S)(2) was also found to have a molecular ion of m/z 723.37. Additionally HPLC demonstrated that thiol-bimane compounds corresponding to cysteine and glutathione were present in Naegleria. The ion patterns of the thiol-bimane compounds prepared from commercial trypanothione standard, Entamoeba histolytica and Crithidia luciliae are identical to the Naegleria thiol-bimane compound. Partially purified extracts from N. fowleri showed the coexistence of glutathione and trypanothione reductases activities. There is not doubt that the thiol compound trypanothione, which was previously thought to occur only in Kinetoplastida, is also present in the human pathogens E. histolytica and N. fowleri, as well as in the non-pathogenic euglenozoan E. gracilis. The presence of the trypanothione/trypanothione reductase system in N. fowleri creates the possibility of using this enzyme as a new "drug target" for rationally designed drugs to eliminate the parasite, without affecting the human host.

  3. Peach MYB7 activates transcription of the proanthocyanidin pathway gene encoding leucoanthocyanidin reductase, but not anthocyanidin reductase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui eZhou

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Proanthocyanidins (PAs are a group of natural phenolic compounds that have a great effect on both flavour and nutritious value of fruit. It has been shown that PA synthesis is regulated by R2R3-MYB transcription factors (TFs via activation of PA-specific pathway genes encoding leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR and anthocyanidin reductase (ANR. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of a MYB gene designated PpMYB7 in peach. The peach PpMYB7 represents a new group of R2R3-MYB genes regulating PA synthesis in plants. It is able to activate transcription of PpLAR1 but not PpANR, and has a broader selection of potential bHLH partners compared with PpMYBPA1. Transcription of PpMYB7 can be activated by the peach basic leucine-zipper 5 TF (PpbZIP5 via response to ABA. Our study suggests a transcriptional network regulating PA synthesis in peach, with the results aiding the understanding of the functional divergence between R2R3-MYB TFs in plants.

  4. Proximal FAD histidine residue influences interflavin electron transfer in cytochrome P450 reductase and methionine synthase reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meints, Carla E; Parke, Sarah M; Wolthers, Kirsten R

    2014-04-01

    Cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) and methionine synthase reductase (MSR) transfer reducing equivalents from NADPH to FAD to FMN. In CPR, hydride transfer and interflavin electron transfer are kinetically coupled steps, but in MSR the two catalytic steps are represented by two distinct kinetic phases leading to transient formation of the FAD hydroquinone. In human CPR, His(322) forms a hydrogen-bond with the highly conserved Asp(677), a member of the catalytic triad. The catalytic triad is present in MSR, but Ala(312) replaces the histidine residue. To examine if this structural variation accounts for differences in their kinetic behavior, reciprocal substitutions were created. Substitution of His(322) for Ala in CPR does not affect the rate of NADPH hydride transfer or the FAD redox potentials, but does impede interflavin electron transfer. For MSR, swapping Ala(312) for a histidine residue resulted in the kinetic coupling of hydride and interflavin electron transfer, and eliminated the formation of the FAD hydroquinone intermediate. For both enzymes, placement of the His residue in the active site weakens coenzyme binding affinity. The data suggest that the proximal FAD histidine residue accelerates proton-coupled electron transfer from FADH2 to the higher potential FMN; a mechanism for this catalytic role is discussed.

  5. The central nervous system as target of Bacillus anthracis toxin independent virulence in rabbits and guinea pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Haim; Glinert, Itai; Weiss, Shay; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Schlomovitz, Josef; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David

    2014-01-01

    Infection of the central nervous system is considered a complication of Anthrax and was reported in humans and non-human primates. Previously we have reported that Bacillus anthracis possesses a toxin-independent virulent trait that, like the toxins, is regulated by the major virulence regulator, AtxA, in the presence of pXO2. This toxin-independent lethal trait is exhibited in rabbits and Guinea pigs following significant bacteremia and organ dissemination. Various findings, including meningitis seen in humans and primates, suggested that the CNS is a possible target for this AtxA-mediated activity. In order to penetrate into the brain tissue, the bacteria have to overcome the barriers isolating the CNS from the blood stream. Taking a systematic genetic approach, we compared intracranial (IC) inoculation and IV/SC inoculation for the outcome of the infection in rabbits/GP, respectively. The outstanding difference between the two models is exhibited by the encapsulated strain VollumΔpXO1, which is lethal when injected IC, but asymptomatic when inoculated IV/SC. The findings demonstrate that there is an apparent bottleneck in the ability of mutants to penetrate into the brain. Any mutant carrying either pXO1 or pXO2 will kill the host upon IC injection, but only those carrying AtxA either on pXO1 or in the chromosome in the background of pXO2 can penetrate into the brain following peripheral inoculation. The findings were corroborated by histological examination by H&E staining and immunofluorescence of rabbits' brains following IV and IC inoculations. These findings may have major implications on future research both on B. anthracis pathogenicity and on vaccine development.

  6. The central nervous system as target of Bacillus anthracis toxin independent virulence in rabbits and guinea pigs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available Infection of the central nervous system is considered a complication of Anthrax and was reported in humans and non-human primates. Previously we have reported that Bacillus anthracis possesses a toxin-independent virulent trait that, like the toxins, is regulated by the major virulence regulator, AtxA, in the presence of pXO2. This toxin-independent lethal trait is exhibited in rabbits and Guinea pigs following significant bacteremia and organ dissemination. Various findings, including meningitis seen in humans and primates, suggested that the CNS is a possible target for this AtxA-mediated activity. In order to penetrate into the brain tissue, the bacteria have to overcome the barriers isolating the CNS from the blood stream. Taking a systematic genetic approach, we compared intracranial (IC inoculation and IV/SC inoculation for the outcome of the infection in rabbits/GP, respectively. The outstanding difference between the two models is exhibited by the encapsulated strain VollumΔpXO1, which is lethal when injected IC, but asymptomatic when inoculated IV/SC. The findings demonstrate that there is an apparent bottleneck in the ability of mutants to penetrate into the brain. Any mutant carrying either pXO1 or pXO2 will kill the host upon IC injection, but only those carrying AtxA either on pXO1 or in the chromosome in the background of pXO2 can penetrate into the brain following peripheral inoculation. The findings were corroborated by histological examination by H&E staining and immunofluorescence of rabbits' brains following IV and IC inoculations. These findings may have major implications on future research both on B. anthracis pathogenicity and on vaccine development.

  7. Two-component system cross-regulation integrates Bacillus anthracis response to heme and cell envelope stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A Mike

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Two-component signaling systems (TCSs are one of the mechanisms that bacteria employ to sense and adapt to changes in the environment. A prototypical TCS functions as a phosphorelay from a membrane-bound sensor histidine kinase (HK to a cytoplasmic response regulator (RR that controls target gene expression. Despite significant homology in the signaling domains of HKs and RRs, TCSs are thought to typically function as linear systems with little to no cross-talk between non-cognate HK-RR pairs. Here we have identified several cell envelope acting compounds that stimulate a previously uncharacterized Bacillus anthracis TCS. Furthermore, this TCS cross-signals with the heme sensing TCS HssRS; therefore, we have named it HssRS interfacing TCS (HitRS. HssRS reciprocates cross-talk to HitRS, suggesting a link between heme toxicity and cell envelope stress. The signaling between HssRS and HitRS occurs in the parental B. anthracis strain; therefore, we classify HssRS-HitRS interactions as cross-regulation. Cross-talk between HssRS and HitRS occurs at both HK-RR and post-RR signaling junctions. Finally, HitRS also regulates a previously unstudied ABC transporter implicating this transporter in the response to cell envelope stress. This chemical biology approach to probing TCS signaling provides a new model for understanding how bacterial signaling networks are integrated to enable adaptation to complex environments such as those encountered during colonization of the vertebrate host.

  8. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerstrom, Troy G; Horton, Lori B; Swick, Michelle C; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Osipiuk, Jerzy; Koehler, Theresa M

    2015-02-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthetic operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO(2)/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO(2)/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (His→Asp) and phosphoablative (His→Ala) amino acid changes for activity in B. anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (i) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (ii) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. The AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator, and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.

  9. Comparison of Packed Beds and Qiagen Columns for Recovering Trace Amounts of B. anthracis DNA from Liquid Suspensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sorensen, K; Arroyo, E; Erler, A; Christian, A T; Camp, D; Wheeler, E K

    2006-06-23

    The goal of this work was to optimize and evaluate LLNL's in-bed amplification technology to improve the level of detection for suspensions containing trace amounts of anthracis DNA. The binding/cleaning performance of the packed bed is compared to the conventional commercial approach; Qiagen column cleanup and elution, followed by detection through an ex-situ amplification process. Five liquid suspensions were spiked with B.anthracis DNA in concentration series. These suspensions were: (1) water, (2) water with EDTA, (3) dirty water from carpet extraction, (4) dirty carpet extraction with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) plus 0.1% Tween 20 plus 0.1% gelatin, and (5) a subway aerosol collected in water. Each suspension matrix was spiked with DNA and injected (in replicate) into either Qiagen Microcolumns (using the kit processing instructions) or LLNL's packed bed (using the LLNL in-bed purification and amplification protocol). The process output was assayed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). Table ES-1 shows the level of DNA (pg per 100 uL of input suspension) that resulted in successful amplification for all reactions (X=Y), and the level for which at least one of the reactions was successful (X>0). For each suspension and DNA concentration, there were Y QPCR assays of which X showed successful amplification. LLNL's packed bed technology outperformed Qiagen Microcolumns for all five suspensions, typically by one order of magnitude in both the limit of assured detection (all reactions positive), and the lower limit of detection (some reactions positive).

  10. Detection probability models for bacteria, and how to obtain them from heterogeneous spiking data. An application to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedell, Ronny; Stephansson, Olga; Mostad, Petter; Andersson, Mats Gunnar

    2017-01-16

    Efficient and correct evaluation of sampling results with respect to hypotheses about the concentration or distribution of bacteria generally requires knowledge about the performance of the detection method. To assess the sensitivity of the detection method an experiment is usually performed where the target matrix is spiked (i.e. artificially contaminated) with different concentrations of the bacteria, followed by analyses of the samples using the pre-enrichment method and the analytical detection method of interest. For safety reasons or because of economic or time limits it is not always possible to perform exactly such an experiment, with the desired number of samples. In this paper, we show how heterogeneous data from diverse sources may be combined within a single model to obtain not only estimates of detection probabilities, but also, crucially, uncertainty estimates. We indicate how such results can then be used to obtain optimal conclusions about presence of bacteria, and illustrate how strongly the sampling results speak in favour of or against contamination. In our example, we consider the case when B. cereus is used as surrogate for B. anthracis, for safety reasons. The statistical modelling of the detection probabilities and of the growth characteristics of the bacteria types is based on data from four experiments where different matrices of food were spiked with B. anthracis or B. cereus and analysed using plate counts and qPCR. We show how flexible and complex Bayesian models, together with inference tools such as OpenBUGS, can be used to merge information about detection probability curves. Two different modelling approaches, differing in whether the pre-enrichment step and the PCR detection step are modelled separately or together, are applied. The relative importance on the detection curves for various existing data sets are evaluated and illustrated.

  11. Dynamic Changes of Nitrate Reductase Activity within 24 Hours

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2012-01-01

    [Objective] The research aimed to study the circadian rhythm of nitrate re- ductase activity (NRA) in plant. [Method] The wheat plants at heading stage were used as the materials for the measurement of dynamic changes of nitrate reductase activity (NRA) within 24 h under the conditions of constant high temperature. [Resulti The fluctuation of NRA in wheat changed greatly from 20:00 pm to 11:00 am. The enzyme activity remained constant, but at 14:00 the enzyme activity was the high- est, higher than all the other time points except the enzyme activity measured at11:00. The enzyme activity was the lowest of 17:00, which was lower than all the other time points except the enzyme activity measured at 2:00. [Conclusion] There were autonomous rhythm changes of NRA in wheat in a certain degree.

  12. Crystal structure of isoflavone reductase from alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaoqiang; He, Xianzhi; Lin, Jianqiao; Shao, Hui; Chang, Zhenzhan; Dixon, Richard A

    2006-05-19

    Isoflavonoids play important roles in plant defense and exhibit a range of mammalian health-promoting activities. Isoflavone reductase (IFR) specifically recognizes isoflavones and catalyzes a stereospecific NADPH-dependent reduction to (3R)-isoflavanone. The crystal structure of Medicago sativa IFR with deletion of residues 39-47 has been determined at 1.6A resolution. Structural analysis, molecular modeling and docking, and comparison with the structures of other NADPH-dependent enzymes, defined the putative binding sites for co-factor and substrate and potential key residues for enzyme activity and substrate specificity. Further mutagenesis has confirmed the role of Lys144 as a catalytic residue. This study provides a structural basis for understanding the enzymatic mechanism and substrate specificity of IFRs as well as the functions of IFR-like proteins.

  13. Two methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) polymorphisms, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jönsson, Erik G; Larsson, Kristina; Vares, Maria

    2008-01-01

    disorder. In a replication attempt the MTHFR C677T and A1298C SNPs were analyzed in three Scandinavian schizophrenia case-control samples. In addition, Norwegian patients with bipolar disorder were investigated. There were no statistically significant allele or genotype case-control differences....... The present Scandinavian results do not verify previous associations between the putative functional MTHFR gene polymorphisms and schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, when combined with previous studies in meta-analyses there is still evidence for association between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism......Recent meta-analyses of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) have suggested association between two of its functional single gene polymorphisms (SNPs; C677T and A1298C) and schizophrenia. Studies have also suggested association between MTHFR C677T and A1298C variation and bipolar...

  14. Two methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) polymorphisms, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jönsson, Erik G; Larsson, Kristina; Vares, Maria;

    2008-01-01

    Recent meta-analyses of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) have suggested association between two of its functional single gene polymorphisms (SNPs; C677T and A1298C) and schizophrenia. Studies have also suggested association between MTHFR C677T and A1298C variation and bipolar....... The present Scandinavian results do not verify previous associations between the putative functional MTHFR gene polymorphisms and schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, when combined with previous studies in meta-analyses there is still evidence for association between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism...... disorder. In a replication attempt the MTHFR C677T and A1298C SNPs were analyzed in three Scandinavian schizophrenia case-control samples. In addition, Norwegian patients with bipolar disorder were investigated. There were no statistically significant allele or genotype case-control differences...

  15. Go Green: The Antiinflammatory Effects of Biliverdin Reductase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eWegiel

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Biliverdin (BV has emerged as a cytoprotective and important anti-inflammatory molecule. Conversion of BV to bilirubin (BR is catalyzed by biliverdin reductase (BVR and is required for the downstream signaling and nuclear localization of BVR. Recent data by others and us make clear that BVR is a critical regulator of innate immune responses resulting from acute insult and injury and moreover, that a lack of BVR results in an enhanced pro-inflammatory phenotype. In macrophages, BVR is regulated by its substrate BV which leads to activation of the PI3K-Akt-IL10 axis and inhibition of TLR4 expression via direct binding of BVR to the TLR4 promoter. In this review, we will summarize recent findings on the role of BVR and the bile pigments in inflammation in context with its activity as an enzyme, receptor and transcriptional regulator.

  16. Pulse radiolysis studies on superoxide reductase from Treponema pallidum

    CERN Document Server

    Nivière, V; Fontecave, M; Houée-Levin, C

    2015-01-01

    Superoxide reductases (SORs) are small metalloenzymes, which catalyze reduction of O2*- to H2O2. The reaction of the enzyme from Treponema pallidum with superoxide was studied by pulse radiolysis methods. The first step is an extremely fast bi-molecular reaction of the ferrous center with O2, with a rate constant of 6 x 10 (8) M(-1) s(-1). A first intermediate is formed which is converted to a second one with a slower rate constant of 4800 s(-1). This latter value is 10 times higher than the corresponding one previously reported in the case of SOR from Desulfoarculus baarsii. The reconstituted spectra for the two intermediates are consistent with formation of transient iron-peroxide species.

  17. Progress on the Molecular Genotyping Techniques of Bacillus anthracis%炭疽芽孢杆菌分子分型研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴松羽; 刘先凯; 宋丽; 魏华; 王恒樑

    2011-01-01

    随着分子生物学的发展,分子分型技术被广泛应用于鉴别炭疽芽孢杆菌菌株间的遗传相关性和流行病学特征.我们就近年来常用的炭疽芽孢杆菌分子分型方法的优缺点和研究进展进行综述.%With the development of molecular biology, genotyping techniques are widely used in identification of strains of Bacillus anthracis in the genetic correlation and epidemiological characteristics. In this paper, we reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of the commonly methods used in genotyping of B.anthracis in recent years.

  18. Development of a killed but metabolically active anthracis vaccine candidate strain%一种KBMA炭疽疫苗候选株的研制

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    沈非; 刘纯杰; 袁盛凌; 展德文; 王艳春; 任敏; 陶好霞; 王芃; 王令春; 陈冬生

    2011-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonosis caused by Bacillus anthracis, which seriously affects human health. In recent years, a special phenomenon is found that the metabolic active of a bacterium remains after it is killed. To development of a KBMA (killed but metabolically active) Bacillus anthracis vaccine candidate strain, a plasmid pMAD and a recombinase system Cre-loxP were used to knockout the uvrAB gene of B. anthracis AP422 which lacks both of two plasmids pXOl and pXO2. The results of PCR and RT-PCR shows that uvrAB genes were deleted from B. anthracis AP422 chromosome successfully. The constructed B. anthracis AP422ΔuvrAB was inactivated by photochemical treatment (PCT) including an exposure in a long-wave-length ultraviolet (UVA)light and a treatment of 8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), then the metabolic activity were detected by the method of MTS. The results showed that the killed B. anthracis AP422ΔuvrAB maintained a highly metabolic activity for at least 4 hours, showing a state of KBMA. The KBMA strain of B. anthracis AP422ΔuvrAB provides the prospective vaccine candidate strain for anthrax.%炭疽病是由炭疽芽胞杆菌Bacillus anthracis 引起的一种人畜共患传染病,严重影响着人类的健康.近年来在细菌疫苗的研究中发现一种特殊的现象:细菌被杀死后,体内的代谢活性却仍然维持(Killed but metabolically active,KBMA).此发现为炭疽新型疫苗候选株的研制提供了新思路.先通过同源重组的方法,利用pMAD质粒和Cre-loxP重组酶系统完成对缺失两个毒性大质粒的炭疽芽胞杆菌减毒株AP422的uvrAB基因的敲除,得到AP422△uvrAB菌株,然后通过光化学处理(包括长波紫外光的照射和8-甲氧基补骨脂素处理),使炭疽芽胞杆菌AP422△uvrAB失去繁殖能力.利用四氮唑化合物MTS检测其代谢活性,表明光化学处理杀死后的炭疽芽胞杆菌AP422△uvrAB在至少4 h内维持一个很高的代谢活性水平,即具备

  19. Fatty acyl-CoA reductases of birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hellenbrand Janine

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Birds clean and lubricate their feathers with waxes that are produced in the uropygial gland, a holocrine gland located on their back above the tail. The type and the composition of the secreted wax esters are dependent on the bird species, for instance the wax ester secretion of goose contains branched-chain fatty acids and unbranched fatty alcohols, whereas that of barn owl contains fatty acids and alcohols both of which are branched. Alcohol-forming fatty acyl-CoA reductases (FAR catalyze the reduction of activated acyl groups to fatty alcohols that can be esterified with acyl-CoA thioesters forming wax esters. Results cDNA sequences encoding fatty acyl-CoA reductases were cloned from the uropygial glands of barn owl (Tyto alba, domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus and domestic goose (Anser anser domesticus. Heterologous expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed that they encode membrane associated enzymes which catalyze a NADPH dependent reduction of acyl-CoA thioesters to fatty alcohols. By feeding studies of transgenic yeast cultures and in vitro enzyme assays with membrane fractions of transgenic yeast cells two groups of isozymes with different properties were identified, termed FAR1 and FAR2. The FAR1 group mainly synthesized 1-hexadecanol and accepted substrates in the range between 14 and 18 carbon atoms, whereas the FAR2 group preferred stearoyl-CoA and accepted substrates between 16 and 20 carbon atoms. Expression studies with tissues of domestic chicken indicated that FAR transcripts were not restricted to the uropygial gland. Conclusion The data of our study suggest that the identified and characterized avian FAR isozymes, FAR1 and FAR2, can be involved in wax ester biosynthesis and in other pathways like ether lipid synthesis.

  20. Steroid 5β-Reductase from Leaves of Vitis vinifera: Molecular Cloning, Expression, and Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, Mona; Munkert, Jennifer; Campa, Manuela; Malnoy, Mickael; Martens, Stefan; Müller-Uri, Frieder

    2015-11-25

    A steroid 5β-reductase gene corresponding to the hypothetical protein LOC100247199 from leaves of Vitis vinifera (var. 'Chardonnay') was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein showed 5β-reductase activity when progesterone was used as a substrate. The reaction was stereoselective, producing only 5β-products such as 5β-pregnane-3,20-dione. Other small substrates (terpenoids and enones) were also accepted as substrates, indicating the highly promiscuous character of the enzyme class. Our results show that the steroid 5β-reductase gene, encoding an orthologous enzyme described as a key enzyme in cardenolide biosynthesis, is also expressed in leaves of the cardenolide-free plant V. vinifera. We emphasize the fact that, on some occasions, different reductases (e.g., progesterone 5β-reductase and monoterpenoid reductase) can also use molecules that are similar to the final products as a substrate. Therefore, in planta, the different reductases may contribute to the immense number of diverse small natural products finally leading to the flavor of wine.

  1. Glyphosate inhibition of ferric reductase activity in iron deficient sunflower roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozturk, Levent; Yazici, Atilla; Eker, Selim; Gokmen, Ozgur; Römheld, Volker; Cakmak, Ismail

    2008-01-01

    Iron (Fe) deficiency is increasingly being observed in cropping systems with frequent glyphosate applications. A likely reason for this is that glyphosate interferes with root uptake of Fe by inhibiting ferric reductase in roots required for Fe acquisition by dicot and nongrass species. This study investigated the role of drift rates of glyphosate (0.32, 0.95 or 1.89 mm glyphosate corresponding to 1, 3 and 6% of the recommended herbicidal dose, respectively) on ferric reductase activity of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) roots grown under Fe deficiency conditions. Application of 1.89 mm glyphosate resulted in almost 50% inhibition of ferric reductase within 6 h and complete inhibition 24 h after the treatment. Even at lower rates of glyphosate (e.g. 0.32 mm and 0.95 mm), ferric reductase was inhibited. Soluble sugar concentration and the NAD(P)H oxidizing capacity of apical roots were not decreased by the glyphosate applications. To our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the effects of glyphosate on ferric reductase activity. The nature of the inhibitory effect of glyphosate on ferric reductase could not be identified. Impaired ferric reductase could be a major reason for the increasingly observed Fe deficiency in cropping systems associated with widespread glyphosate usage.

  2. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria Isolated from Wild Great Apes from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon

    OpenAIRE

    Klee, Silke R.; Özel, Muhsin; Appel, Bernd; Boesch, Christophe; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Jacob, Daniela; Holland, Gudrun; Fabian H Leendertz; Pauli, Georg; Grunow, Roland; Nattermann, Herbert

    2006-01-01

    We present the microbiological and molecular characterization of bacteria isolated from four chimpanzees and one gorilla thought to have died of an anthrax-like disease in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon. These isolates differed significantly from classic Bacillus anthracis by the following criteria: motility, resistance to the gamma phage, and, for isolates from Cameroon, resistance to penicillin G. A capsule was expressed not only after induction by CO2 and bicarbonate but also under normal grow...

  3. Cloning and Expression of Fusion Genes of Domain A-1 Protective Antigen of Bacillus Anthracis and Shigella Enterotoxin B Subunit (Stxb In E. Coil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AH ahmadi

    2015-02-01

    Conclusion: The findings of the current study revealed that this antigen can be raised as an anti-cancer and recombinant vaccine candidate against types of Shigella, Escherichia coli and Bacillus anthracis which can be due to such factors as identification of antigen(PA by antibody PA20, its apoptosis induction properties, property of immunogenicity, adjuvant and delivery of STxB protein and high expression levels of Gb3 in human cancer cells.

  4. Two new sequence type isolates of Bacillus anthracis by multilocus sequence typing%两株炭疽芽胞杆菌MLST新序列型(ST)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    左庭婷; 李岩伟; 韩雪莲; 何君; 端青

    2012-01-01

    [目的]2株炭疽芽胞杆菌(Bacillus anthracis)17003-14和17003-32的多位点序列分型(Multilocussequence typing,MLST)研究.[方法]选取B.anthracis基因组7个常见管家基因位点glpF、gmk、ilvD、pta、pur、pycA和tpi进行PCR扩增、测序,与MLST数据库中的等位基因序列进行比对,确定菌株的序列型( sequence type,ST).[结果]B.anthracis 17003-14和17003-32的等位基因编号分别为113、31、1、43、1、53、7和113、31、1、43、1、53、37,比对结果显示这2株细菌的等位基因编号组合未见报道.[结论]17003-14和17003-32为新ST菌株,已被MLST数据库确认,注册号(pubMLST id)分别为id-1053和id-1054.%[Objective] To define the sequence type (ST) isolates of Bacillus anthracis by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). [Methods] Fragments of seven housekeeping genes (glpF, gmk, ilvD, pta, pur, pycA , and tpi) were amplified by PCR using the standard primers as described on the website for MLST of Bacillus and the sequences were compared with existing allele sequences on the MLST website. [Results] Two novel allele combinations of the seven loci were found in two isolates 17003-14 and 17003-32. [Conclusion] Two novel ST isolates of B. anthracis were identified by this study and confirmed by the MLST website, and the pubMLST ids were id-1053 and id-1054.

  5. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Bacillus anthracis: From Fingerprint Analysis of the Bacterium to Quantification of its Toxins in Clinical Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolfitt, Adrian R.; Boyer, Anne E.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Kozel, Thomas R.; de, Barun K.; Gallegos, Maribel; Moura, Hercules; Pirkle, James L.; Barr, John R.

    A range of mass spectrometry-based techniques have been used to identify, characterize and differentiate Bacillus anthracis, both in culture for forensic applications and for diagnosis during infection. This range of techniques could usefully be considered to exist as a continuum, based on the degrees of specificity involved. We show two examples here, a whole-organism fingerprinting method and a high-specificity assay for one unique protein, anthrax lethal factor.

  6. GneZ, a UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase, is required for S-layer assembly and vegetative growth of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Ting; Missiakas, Dominique; Schneewind, Olaf

    2014-08-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, forms an S-layer atop its peptidoglycan envelope and displays S-layer proteins and Bacillus S-layer-associated (BSL) proteins with specific functions to support cell separation of vegetative bacilli and growth in infected mammalian hosts. S-layer and BSL proteins bind via the S-layer homology (SLH) domain to the pyruvylated secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) with the repeat structure [→4)-β-ManNAc-(1→4)-β-GlcNAc-(1→6)-α-GlcNAc-(1→]n, where α-GlcNAc and β-GlcNAc are substituted with two and one galactosyl residues, respectively. B. anthracis gneY (BAS5048) and gneZ (BAS5117) encode nearly identical UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase enzymes that catalyze the reversible conversion of UDP-GlcNAc and UDP-ManNAc. UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase enzymes have been shown to be required for the attachment of the phage lysin PlyG with the bacterial envelope and for bacterial growth. Here, we asked whether gneY and gneZ are required for the synthesis of the pyruvylated SCWP and for S-layer assembly. We show that gneZ, but not gneY, is required for B. anthracis vegetative growth, rod cell shape, S-layer assembly, and synthesis of pyruvylated SCWP. Nevertheless, inducible expression of gneY alleviated all the defects associated with the gneZ mutant. In contrast to vegetative growth, neither germination of B. anthracis spores nor the formation of spores in mother cells required UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase activity.

  7. A survey of the occurrence of Bacillus anthracis in North American soils over two long-range transects and within post-Katrina New Orleans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.; Petrosky, Terry; Morman, Suzette A.; Luna, Vicki A.

    2009-01-01

    Soil samples were collected along a north-south transect extending from Manitoba, Canada, to the US-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas in 2004 (104 samples), a group of sites within New Orleans, Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (19 samples), and a Gulf Coast transect extending from Sulphur, Louisiana, to DeFuniak Springs, Florida, in 2007 (38 samples). Samples were collected from the top 40 cm of soil and were screened for the presence of total Bacillus species and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), specifically using multiplex-polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Using an assay with a sensitivity of ~170 equivalent colony-forming units (CFU) g-1 field moist soil, the prevalence rate of Bacillus sp./B. anthracis in the north-south transect and the 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina sample set were 20/5% and 26/26%, respectively. Prevalence in the 2007 Gulf Coast sample set using an assay with a sensitivity of ~4 CFU g-1 of soil was 63/0%. Individual transect-set data indicate a positive relation between occurrences of species and soil moisture or soil constituents (i.e., Zn and Cu content). The 2005 New Orleans post-Katrina data indicated that B. anthracis is readily detectable in Gulf Coast soils following flood events. The data also indicated that occurrence, as it relates to soil chemistry, may be confounded by flood-induced dissemination of germinated cells and the mixing of soil constituents for short temporal periods following an event.

  8. Characterization of Genetic Diversity of Bacillus anthracis in France by Using High-Resolution Melting Assays and Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis ▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, S.; Laroche, S.; Le Flèche, P.; Hauck, Y.; Thierry, S.; Vergnaud, G.; Madani, N.

    2011-01-01

    Using high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis, we developed a cost-effective method to genotype a set of 13 phylogenetically informative single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genome of Bacillus anthracis. SNP discrimination assays were performed in monoplex or duplex and applied to 100 B. anthracis isolates collected in France from 1953 to 2009 and a few reference strains. HRM provided a reliable and cheap alternative to subtype B. anthracis into one of the 12 major sublineages or subgroups. All strains could be correctly positioned on the canonical SNP (canSNP) phylogenetic tree, except the divergent Pasteur vaccine strain ATCC 4229. We detected the cooccurrence of three canSNP subgroups in France. The dominant B.Br.CNEVA sublineage was found to be prevalent in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Auvergne region, and the Saône-et-Loire department. Strains affiliated with the A.Br.008/009 subgroup were observed throughout most of the country. The minor A.Br.001/002 subgroup was restricted to northeastern France. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis using 24 markers further resolved French strains into 60 unique profiles and identified some regional patterns. Diversity found within the A.Br.008/009 and B.Br.CNEVA subgroups suggests that these represent old, ecologically established clades in France. Phylogenetic relationships with strains from other parts of the world are discussed. PMID:21998431

  9. Evaluation of the Relationship between the Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP Bioluminescence Assay and the Presence of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Vegetative Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn G. Gibbs

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Adenosine triphosphate (ATP bioluminescence assay was utilized in laboratory evaluations to determine the presence and concentration of vegetative and spore forms of Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2. Methods: Seventeen surfaces from the healthcare environment were selected for evaluation. Surfaces were inoculated with 50 µL of organism suspensions at three concentrations of 104, 106, 108 colony forming units per surface (CFU/surface of B. anthracis. Culture-based methods and ATP based methods were utilized to determine concentrations. Results: When all concentrations were evaluated together, a positive correlation between log-adjusted CFU and Relative Light Units (RLU for endospores and vegetative cells was established. When concentrations were evaluated separately, a significant correlation was not demonstrated. Conclusions: This study demonstrated a positive correlation for ATP and culture-based methods for the vegetative cells of B. anthracis. When evaluating the endospores and combining both metabolic states, the ATP measurements and CFU recovered did not correspond to the initial concentrations on the evaluated surfaces. The results of our study show that the low ATP signal which does not correlate well to the CFU results would not make the ATP measuring devises effective in confirming contamination residual from a bioterrorist event.

  10. Next-Generation Bacillus anthracis Live Attenuated Spore Vaccine Based on the htrA(-) (High Temperature Requirement A) Sterne Strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitlaru, Theodor; Israeli, Ma'ayan; Bar-Haim, Erez; Elia, Uri; Rotem, Shahar; Ehrlich, Sharon; Cohen, Ofer; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2016-01-06

    Anthrax is a lethal disease caused by the gram-positive spore-producing bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Live attenuated vaccines, such as the nonencapsulated Sterne strain, do not meet the safety standards mandated for human use in the Western world and are approved for veterinary purposes only. Here we demonstrate that disrupting the htrA gene, encoding the chaperone/protease HtrA (High Temperature Requirement A), in the virulent Bacillus anthracis Vollum strain results in significant virulence attenuation in guinea pigs, rabbits and mice, underlying the universality of the attenuated phenotype associated with htrA knockout. Accordingly, htrA disruption was implemented for the development of a Sterne-derived safe live vaccine compatible with human use. The novel B. anthracis SterneΔhtrA strain secretes functional anthrax toxins but is 10-10(4)-fold less virulent than the Sterne vaccine strain depending on animal model (mice, guinea pigs, or rabbits). In spite of this attenuation, double or even single immunization with SterneΔhtrA spores elicits immune responses which target toxaemia and bacteremia resulting in protection from subcutaneous or respiratory lethal challenge with a virulent strain in guinea pigs and rabbits. The efficacy of the immune-protective response in guinea pigs was maintained for at least 50 weeks after a single immunization.

  11. The effect of prolonged storage on the virulence of isolates of Bacillus anthracis obtained from environmental and animal sources in the Kars Region of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buyuk, Fatih; Sahin, Mitat; Cooper, Callum; Celebi, Ozgur; Saglam, Aliye Gulmez; Baillie, Les; Celik, Elif; Akca, Dogan; Otlu, Salih

    2015-07-01

    The stability of the plasmid-mediated virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis, a tripartite toxin located on pXO1 and an antiphagocytic capsule encoded by genes located on pXO2, following long-term storage was investigated. A collection of 159 isolates of B. anthracis were collected from the Kars region of Turkey between 2000 and 2013 and stored at -20°C in Brucella broth supplemented with 20% glycerine. A total of 142 isolates were recovered of which one failed to express a capsule upon primary culture. A further 35 isolates yielded a mixture of mucoid and non-mucoid colonies; the majority of which had lost the pXO2 plasmid as determined by PCR analysis. Results would suggest that pXO2 is more unstable than pXO1 and that this instability increases with the length of storage. It is possible that the pXO2-deficient isolates of B. anthracis described here could be developed into a vaccine to treat at risk animals in the Kars region as many animal vaccines are based upon pXO2 deficiency.

  12. Molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis in the Netherlands: investigating the relationship to the worldwide population using whole-genome SNP discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Girault, Guillaume; Roest, Hendrik Ido Jan; Koene, Miriam

    2015-06-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been widely described as a clonal species. Here we report the use of both canonical SNP analysis and whole-genome sequencing to characterize the phylogenetic lineages of B. anthracis from the Netherlands. Eleven strains isolated over a 25-years period (1968-1993) were paired-end sequenced using parallel sequencing technology. Five canSNP groups or lineages, i.e. A.Br.001/002 (n=6), A.Br.Aust94 (n=2), A.Br.008/011 (n=1), A.Br.011/009 (n=1) and A.Br.Vollum (n=1) were identified. Comparative analyses, with a focus on SNPs discovery, were carried out using a total of 52 B. anthracis genomes. A phylogeographic "Dutch" cluster within the dominant A.Br.001/002 group was discovered, involving isolates from a single outbreak. Diagnostic SNPs specific to the newly identified sub-groups were developed into high-resolution melting SNP discriminative assays for the purpose of rapid molecular epidemiology. Phylogenetic relationships with strains from other parts of the world are discussed.

  13. Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramage, Jason G.; Prentice, Kristin W.; DePalma, Lindsay; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S.; Chivukula, Sruti; Chapman, Carol; Bell, Melissa; Datta, Shomik; Singh, Ajay; Hoffmaster, Alex; Sarwar, Jawad; Parameswaran, Nishanth; Joshi, Mrinmayi; Thirunavkkarasu, Nagarajan; Krishnan, Viswanathan; Morse, Stephen; Avila, Julie R.; Sharma, Shashi; Estacio, Peter L.; Stanker, Larry; Hodge, David R.

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert® test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 106 spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 105 spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores. PMID:27661796

  14. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Direct in-situ Analysis of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Youngsu; Lee, Jonghee; Kim, Seongsoo [Agency for Defense Development, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-09-15

    The rapid and accurate identification of biological agents is a critical step in the case of bio-terror and biological warfare attacks. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been widely used for the identification of microorganisms. In this study, we describe a method for the rapid and accurate discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Our direct in-situ analysis of MALDI-TOF MS does not involve subsequent high-resolution mass analyses and sample preparation steps. This method allowed the detection of species-specific biomarkers from each Bacillus spores. Especially, B. anthracis spores had specific biomarker peaks at 2503, 3089, 3376, 6684, 6698, 6753, and 6840 m/z. Cluster and PCA analyses of the mass spectra of Bacillus spores revealed distinctively separated clusters and within-groups similarity. Therefore, we believe that this method is effective in the real-time identification of biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis as well as other microorganisms in the field.

  15. Survival and psychomotor development with early betaine treatment in patients with severe methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diekman, E.F.; Koning, T.J. de; Verhoeven-Duif, N.M.; Rovers, M.M.; Hasselt, P.M. van

    2014-01-01

    IMPORTANCE The impact of betaine treatment on outcome in patients with severe methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency is presently unclear. OBJECTIVE To investigate the effect of betaine treatment on development and survival in patients with severe MTHFR deficiency. DATA SOURCES MEDLI

  16. Survival and Psychomotor Development With Early Betaine Treatment in Patients With Severe Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Deficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diekman, Eugene F.; de Koning, Tom J.; Verhoeven-Duif, Nanda M.; Rovers, Maroeska M.; van Hasselt, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    IMPORTANCE The impact of betaine treatment on outcome in patients with severe methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency is presently unclear. OBJECTIVE To investigate the effect of betaine treatment on development