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Sample records for bacterial melanin interacts

  1. Bacterial melanin promotes recovery after sciatic nerve injury in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Olga V Gevorkyan; Irina B Meliksetyan; Tigran R Petrosyan; Anichka S Hovsepyan

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial melanin, obtained from the mutant strain ofBacillus Thuringiensis, has been shown to promote recovery after central nervous system injury. It is hypothesized, in this study, that bacterial melanin can promote structural and functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury. Rats subjected to sciatic nerve transection were intramuscularly administered bacterial melanin. The sciatic nerve transected rats that did not receive intramuscular administration of bacterial melanin served as controls. Behavior tests showed that compared to control rats, the time taken for instrumental conditioned relfex recovery was signiifcantly shorter and the ability to keep the balance on the rotating bar was signiifcantly better in bacterial melanin-treated rats. Histomor-phological tests showed that bacterial melanin promoted axon regeneration after sciatic nerve injury. These ifndings suggest that bacterial melanin exhibits neuroprotective effects on injured sciatic nerve, contributes to limb motor function recovery, and therefore can be used for rehabil-itation treatment of peripheral nerve injury.

  2. [Generation of superoxides during the interaction of melanins with oxygen].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapina, V A; Dontsov, A E; Ostrovskiĭ, M A

    1984-10-01

    The rate of nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction by dihydroxyphenylalanine-melanin, pheomelanin and retinal pigment epithelium melanosomes under aerobic conditions (pH 7.4) is low both in the dark and upon illumination, but increases drastically in the presence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). Under these conditions, the light insignificantly stimulates NBT reduction (1.3-fold). The reaction is effectively inhibited by superoxide dismutase. This suggests that superoxide anions (O2-. are formed as intermediate reaction products in the course of NBT reduction by melanins. At alkaline values of pH (greater than or equal to 9.0), the O2-.-dependent reduction of NBT can also take place in the absence of CTAB. In contrast with oxidation of photoreduced riboflavin, the melanin oxidation by O2 cannot induce lipid peroxidation. It is concluded that O2-. generation via melanin oxidation of melanosomes occurs only under non-physiological conditions and can hardly take place in vivo.

  3. GAMMA RADIATION INTERACTS WITH MELANIN TO ALTER ITS OXIDATION-REDUCTION POTENTIAL AND RESULTS IN ELECTRIC CURRENT PRODUCTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turick, C.; Ekechukwu, A.; Milliken, C.

    2011-05-17

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials.

  4. Research progress of bacterial melanin and nervous system diseases%细菌黑色素与神经系统疾病的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨倩; 韩彦青; 姜晓萌; 裴宇恒; 李东芳; 李光来

    2016-01-01

    黑色素是广泛存在于自然界中的一类天然色素家族,苏云金芽孢杆菌突变株可获得高水平细菌黑色素,细菌黑色素能透过血脑屏障,具有抗氧化、螯合有毒金属、促进神经再生等生物学特性,可用来治疗某些与黑色素缺乏相关的神经性疾病,也能促进中枢神经系统及周围神经损伤后的结构和功能的恢复,文章就细菌黑色素在神经系统疾病的相关研究做了综述。%Melanin is a class of natural pigments family in nature. Bacterial melanin with high level of pigment synthesis-Bacillus thuringiensis was obtained. Bacterial melanin can cross the blood-brain barrier, accomplish antioxidant protection, chelate toxic metals, promote nerve regeneration. It can treat nervous system diseases with melanin deficiency, promote the structural and functional recovery of the central nervous system and peripheral nerve injury. This article summarized the research of the function of the bacterial melanin in the nervous system diseases.

  5. Melanin Made by Dopamine Oxidation: Thin Films and Interactions with Polyelectrolyte Multilayers

    OpenAIRE

    Bernsmann, Falk

    2014-01-01

    The spontaneous oxidation of dopamine in slightly alkaline solutions was investigated on the basis of the work of Lee and others [Science, 318:426-430, 2007], and the reaction product was identified as dopamine-melanin. The ability of melanin to covalently bind amine functional groups was confirmed by quantification of the corresponding binding sites on dopamine-melanin aggregates. Furthermore it is possible to redissolve dopamine-melanin aggregates in strongly alkaline solutions. The obtaine...

  6. Bacterial Communities: Interactions to Scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reed M. Stubbendieck

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In the environment, bacteria live in complex multispecies communities. These communities span in scale from small, multicellular aggregates to billions or trillions of cells within the gastrointestinal tract of animals. The dynamics of bacterial communities are determined by pairwise interactions that occur between different species in the community. Though interactions occur between a few cells at a time, the outcomes of these interchanges have ramifications that ripple through many orders of magnitude, and ultimately affect the macroscopic world including the health of host organisms. In this review we cover how bacterial competition influences the structures of bacterial communities. We also emphasize methods and insights garnered from culture-dependent pairwise interaction studies, metagenomic analyses, and modeling experiments. Finally, we argue that the integration of multiple approaches will be instrumental to future understanding of the underlying dynamics of bacterial communities.

  7. Protein adsorption on dopamine-melanin films: role of electrostatic interactions inferred from zeta-potential measurements versus chemisorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernsmann, Falk; Frisch, Benoît; Ringwald, Christian; Ball, Vincent

    2010-04-01

    We recently showed the possibility to build dopamine-melanin films of controlled thickness by successive immersions of a substrate in alkaline solutions of dopamine [F. Bernsmann, A. Ponche, C. Ringwald, J. Hemmerlé, J. Raya, B. Bechinger, J.-C. Voegel, P. Schaaf, V. Ball, J. Phys. Chem. C 113 (2009) 8234-8242]. In this work the structure and properties of such films are further explored. The zeta-potential of dopamine-melanin films is measured as a function of the total immersion time to build the film. It appears that the film bears a constant zeta-potential of (-39+/-3) mV after 12 immersion steps. These data are used to calculate the surface density of charged groups of the dopamine-melanin films at pH 8.5 that are mostly catechol or quinone imine chemical groups. Furthermore the zeta-potential is used to explain the adsorption of three model proteins (lysozyme, myoglobin, alpha-lactalbumin), which is monitored by quartz crystal microbalance. We come to the conclusion that protein adsorption on dopamine-melanin is not only determined by possible covalent binding between amino groups of the proteins and catechol groups of dopamine-melanin but that electrostatic interactions contribute to protein binding. Part of the adsorbed proteins can be desorbed by sodium dodecylsulfate solutions at the critical micellar concentration. The fraction of weakly bound proteins decreases with their isoelectric point. Additionally the number of available sites for covalent binding of amino groups on melanin grains is quantified.

  8. Physical factors affecting chloroquine binding to melanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, R L; Pendleton, P; Gerber, J P

    2015-10-01

    Chloroquine is an antimalarial drug but is also prescribed for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Long-term users risk toxic side effects, including retinopathy, thought to be caused by chloroquine accumulation on ocular melanin. Although the binding potential of chloroquine to melanin has been investigated previously, our study is the first to demonstrate clear links between chloroquine adsorption by melanin and system factors including temperature, pH, melanin type, and particle size. In the current work, two Sepia melanins were compared with bovine eye as a representative mammalian melanin. Increasing the surface anionic character due to a pH change from 4.7 to 7.4 increased each melanin's affinity for chloroquine. Although the chloroquine isotherms exhibited an apparently strong interaction with each melanin, isosteric heat analysis indicated a competitive interaction. Buffer solution cations competed effectively at low surface coverage; chloroquine adsorption occurs via buffer cation displacement and is promoted by temperature-influenced secondary structure swelling.

  9. Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ruijie; Li, Mingyun; Gregory, Richard L

    2011-01-01

    Biofilms are masses of microorganisms that bind to and multiply on a solid surface, typically with a fluid bathing the microbes. The microorganisms that are not attached but are free floating in an aqueous environment are termed planktonic cells. Traditionally, microbiology research has addressed results from planktonic bacterial cells. However, many recent studies have indicated that biofilms are the preferred form of growth of most microbes and particularly those of a pathogenic nature. Biofilms on animal hosts have significantly increased resistance to various antimicrobials compared to planktonic cells. These microbial communities form microcolonies that interact with each other using very sophisticated communication methods (i.e., quorum-sensing). The development of unique microbiological tools to detect and assess the various biofilms around us is a tremendously important focus of research in many laboratories. In the present review, we discuss the major biofilm mechanisms and the interactions among oral bacteria.

  10. In vivo bacterial morphogenetic protein interactions

    OpenAIRE

    van der Ploeg, R.; den Blaauwen, T.; Meghea, A.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter will discuss none-invasive techniques that are widely used to study protein-protein interactions. As an example, their application in exploring interactions between proteins involved in bacterial cell division will be evaluated. First, bacterial morphology and cell division of the rod-shaped bacterium Escherichia coli will be introduced. Next, three bacterial two-hybrid methods and three Förster resonance energy transfer detection methods that are frequently applied to detect int...

  11. In vivo bacterial morphogenetic protein interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ploeg, R.; den Blaauwen, T.; Meghea, A.

    2012-01-01

    This chapter will discuss none-invasive techniques that are widely used to study protein-protein interactions. As an example, their application in exploring interactions between proteins involved in bacterial cell division will be evaluated. First, bacterial morphology and cell division of the rod-s

  12. Trace metals, melanin-based pigmentation and their interaction influence immune parameters in feral pigeons (Columba livia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatelain, M; Gasparini, J; Frantz, A

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the effects of trace metals emitted by anthropogenic activities on wildlife is of great concern in urban ecology; yet, information on how they affect individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems remains scarce. In particular, trace metals may impact survival by altering the immune system response to parasites. Plumage melanin is assumed to influence the effects of trace metals on immunity owing to its ability to bind metal ions in feathers and its synthesis being coded by a pleiotropic gene. We thus hypothesized that trace metal exposure would interact with plumage colouration in shaping immune response. We experimentally investigated the interactive effect between exposure to an environmentally relevant range of zinc and/or lead and melanin-based plumage colouration on components of the immune system in feral pigeons (Columba livia). We found that zinc increased anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) IgY primary response maintenance, buffered the negative effect of lead on anti-KLH IgY secondary response maintenance and tended to increase T-cell mediated phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) skin response. Lead decreased the peak of the anti-KLH IgY secondary response. In addition, pheomelanic pigeons exhibited a higher secondary anti-KLH IgY response than did eumelanic ones. Finally, T-cell mediated PHA skin response decreased with increasing plumage eumelanin level of birds exposed to lead. Neither treatments nor plumage colouration correlated with endoparasite intensity. Overall, our study points out the effects of trace metals on some parameters of birds' immunity, independently from other confounding urbanization factors, and underlines the need to investigate their impacts on other life history traits and their consequences in the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions.

  13. Fungal melanins differ in planar stacking distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casadevall, Arturo; Nakouzi, Antonio; Crippa, Pier R; Eisner, Melvin

    2012-01-01

    Melanins are notoriously difficult to study because they are amorphous, insoluble and often associated with other biological materials. Consequently, there is a dearth of structural techniques to study this enigmatic pigment. Current models of melanin structure envision the stacking of planar structures. X ray diffraction has historically been used to deduce stacking parameters. In this study we used X ray diffraction to analyze melanins derived from Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus niger, Wangiella dermatitides and Coprinus comatus. Analysis of melanin in melanized C. neoformans encapsulated cells was precluded by the fortuitous finding that the capsular polysaccharide had a diffraction spectrum that was similar to that of isolated melanin. The capsular polysaccharide spectrum was dominated by a broad non-Bragg feature consistent with origin from a repeating structural motif that may arise from inter-molecular interactions and/or possibly gel organization. Hence, we isolated melanin from each fungal species and compared diffraction parameters. The results show that the inferred stacking distances of fungal melanins differ from that reported for synthetic melanin and neuromelanin, occupying intermediate position between these other melanins. These results suggest that all melanins have a fundamental diffracting unit composed of planar graphitic assemblies that can differ in stacking distance. The stacking peak appears to be a distinguishing universal feature of melanins that may be of use in characterizing these enigmatic pigments.

  14. Studies on phytoplankton-bacterial interactions

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    DeCosta, P.M.

    Given the sheer range of phytoplankton-bacterial interactions, some intriguing aspects have been addressed in this study. Firstly, the role of bacteria in influencing phytoplankton communities at the system level was examined. The seasonal changes...

  15. Volatiles in Inter-Specific Bacterial Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyc, Olaf; Zweers, Hans; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2015-01-01

    The importance of volatile organic compounds for functioning of microbes is receiving increased research attention. However, to date very little is known on how inter-specific bacterial interactions effect volatiles production as most studies have been focused on volatiles produced by monocultures of well-described bacterial genera. In this study we aimed to understand how inter-specific bacterial interactions affect the composition, production and activity of volatiles. Four phylogenetically different bacterial species namely: Chryseobacterium, Dyella, Janthinobacterium, and Tsukamurella were selected. Earlier results had shown that pairwise combinations of these bacteria induced antimicrobial activity in agar media whereas this was not the case for monocultures. In the current study, we examined if these observations were also reflected by the production of antimicrobial volatiles. Thus, the identity and antimicrobial activity of volatiles produced by the bacteria were determined in monoculture as well in pairwise combinations. Antimicrobial activity of the volatiles was assessed against fungal, oomycetal, and bacterial model organisms. Our results revealed that inter-specific bacterial interactions affected volatiles blend composition. Fungi and oomycetes showed high sensitivity to bacterial volatiles whereas the effect of volatiles on bacteria varied between no effects, growth inhibition to growth promotion depending on the volatile blend composition. In total 35 volatile compounds were detected most of which were sulfur-containing compounds. Two commonly produced sulfur-containing volatile compounds (dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide) were tested for their effect on three target bacteria. Here, we display the importance of inter-specific interactions on bacterial volatiles production and their antimicrobial activities.

  16. Volatiles in inter-specific bacterial interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olaf eTyc

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The importance of volatile organic compounds for functioning of microbes is receiving increased research attention. However, to date very little is known on how inter-specific bacterial interactions effect volatiles production as most studies have been focused on volatiles produced by monocultures of well described bacterial genera. In this study we aimed to understand how inter-specific bacterial interactions affect the composition, production and activity of volatiles. Four phylogenetically different bacterial species namely: Chryseobacterium, Dyella, Janthinobacterium and Tsukamurella were selected. Earlier results had shown that pairwise combinations of these bacteria induced antimicrobial activity in agar media whereas this was not the case for monocultures. In the current study, we examined if these observations were also reflected by the production of antimicrobial volatiles. Thus, the identity and antimicrobial activity of volatiles produced by the bacteria were determined in monoculture as well in pairwise combinations. Antimicrobial activity of the volatiles was assessed against fungal, oomycetal and bacterial model organisms. Our results revealed that inter-specific bacterial interactions affected volatiles blend composition. Fungi and oomycetes showed high sensitivity to bacterial volatiles whereas the effect of volatiles on bacteria varied between no effects, growth inhibition to growth promotion depending on the volatile blend composition. In total 35 volatile compounds were detected most of which were sulfur-containing compounds. Two commonly produced sulfur-containing volatile compounds (dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide were tested for their effect on three target bacteria. Here we display the importance of inter-specific interactions on bacterial volatiles production and their antimicrobial activities.

  17. Mining into interspecific bacterial interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tyc, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    In terrestrial ecosystems bacteria live in close proximity with many different microbial species and form complex multi-species networks. Within those networks bacteria are constantly interacting with each other and produce a plethora of secondary metabolites like antibiotics, enzymes, volatiles and

  18. Detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity identifies neuronal integrity in damaged rat central nervous system after application of bacterial melanin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tigran R Petrosyan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The study aims to confirm the neuroregenerative effects of bacterial melanin (BM on central nervous system injury using a special staining method based on the detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity. Twenty-four rats were randomly assigned to undergo either unilateral destruction of sensorimotor cortex (group I; n = 12 or unilateral rubrospinal tract transection at the cervical level (C3–4 (group II; n = 12. In each group, six rats were randomly selected after surgery to undergo intramuscular injection of BM solution (BM subgroup and the remaining six rats were intramuscularly injected with saline (saline subgroup. Neurological testing confirmed that BM accelerated the recovery of motor function in rats from both BM and saline subgroups. Two months after surgery, Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity detection in combination with Chilingarian's calcium adenoside triphosphate method revealed that BM stimulated the sprouting of fibers and dilated the capillaries in the brain and spinal cord. These results suggest that BM can promote the recovery of motor function of rats with central nervous system injury; and detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity is a fast and easy method used to study the regeneration-promoting effects of BM on the injured central nervous system.

  19. Volatiles in inter-specific bacterial interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tyc, O.; Zweers, H.; De Boer, W.; Garbeva, P.V.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of volatile organic compounds for functioning of microbes is receiving increased research attention. However, to date very little is known on how inter-specific bacterial interactions effect volatiles production as most studies have been focused on volatiles produced by monocultures o

  20. Volatiles in inter-specific bacterial interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tyc, O.; Zweers, H.; De Boer, W.; Garbeva, P.V.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of volatile organic compounds for functioning of microbes is receiving increased research attention. However, to date very little is known on how inter-specific bacterial interactions effect volatiles production as most studies have been focused on volatiles produced by monocultures

  1. Effects of hydrodynamic interactions in bacterial swimming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chattopadhyay, Suddhashil; Lun Wu, Xiao

    2008-03-01

    The lack of precise experimental data has prevented the investigation of the effects of long range hydrodynamic interactions in bacterial swimming. We perform measurements on various strains of bacteria with the aid of optical tweezers to shed light on this aspect of bacterial motility. Geometrical parameters recorded by fluorescence microscopy are used with theories which model flagella propulsion (Resistive force theory & Lighthill's formulation which includes long range interactions). Comparison of the predictions of these theories with experimental data, observed directly from swimming bacterium, led to the conclusion that while long range inetractions were important for single polar flagellated strains (Vibrio Alginolyticus & Caulobacter Crescentus), local force theory was adequate to describe the swimming of multi-flagellated Esherichia Coli. We performed additional measurements on E. Coli minicells (miniature cells with single polar flagellum) to try and determine the cause of this apparent effect of shielding of long range interactions in multiple flagellated bacteria.

  2. Melanin-binding radiopharmaceuticals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Packer, S; Fairchild, R G; Watts, K P; Greenberg, D; Hannon, S J

    1980-01-01

    The scope of this paper is limited to an analysis of the factors that are important to the relationship of radiopharmaceuticals to melanin. While the authors do not attempt to deal with differences between melanin-binding vs. melanoma-binding, a notable variance is assumed. (PSB)

  3. Isolation of a novel strain of Aeromonas media producing high levels of DOPA-melanin and assessment of the photoprotective role of the melanin in bioinsecticide applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, X; Liu, H M; Liao, Y; Su, Y; Geng, J; Yang, M Y; Chen, X D; Shen, P

    2007-12-01

    To isolate a bacterium that produces high yield of melanin and to examine the effect of this bacterial pigment on the efficacy of a bioinsecticide. A novel melanin-producing bacterium, designated as strain WS, was isolated from the East Lake, Wuhan, China. Taxonomic studies of this strain indicate that it belongs to Aeromonas media. Physicochemical analysis of the pigment produced by strain WS (melanin WS) suggests that it is the authentic 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)-melanin. This melanin and that produced by Pseudomonas maltophilia P28 (melanin P28) share many biophysical properties, but the yield of the melanin WS is significantly higher than that of the melanin P28. In addition, the melanin WS appears to be more effective in the protection of a bioinsecticide against ultraviolet (UV) or solar radiation. At the concentration of 10 ppm, the melanin P28 exhibited no photoprotective effect on the bioinsecticide against UV radiation; in contrast, 5 ppm of melanin WS displayed an obvious protective effect. Similarly, the melanin WS displayed more protective effect on the bioinsecticide against solar radiation than the melanin P28 did over a 4-day period, with the effect being more dramatic for the last 2 days. We have isolated a novel bacterial strain of A. media that produces high levels of melanin. The melanin produced by this strain offers effective photoprotection of a commercial bioinsecticide BTI against UV and solar radiation. Our study suggests that the melanin produced by our newly isolated A. media strain has the potential to be used as a general photoprotective agent for bioinsecticides.

  4. Interaction between resource identity and bacterial community composition regulates bacterial respiration in aquatic ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. P. F. Pires

    Full Text Available Abstract Resource identity and composition structure bacterial community, which in turn determines the magnitude of bacterial processes and ecological services. However, the complex interaction between resource identity and bacterial community composition (BCC has been poorly understood so far. Using aquatic microcosms, we tested whether and how resource identity interacts with BCC in regulating bacterial respiration and bacterial functional diversity. Different aquatic macrophyte leachates were used as different carbon resources while BCC was manipulated through successional changes of bacterial populations in batch cultures. We observed that the same BCC treatment respired differently on each carbon resource; these resources also supported different amounts of bacterial functional diversity. There was no clear linear pattern of bacterial respiration in relation to time succession of bacterial communities in all leachates, i.e. differences on bacterial respiration between different BCC were rather idiosyncratic. Resource identity regulated the magnitude of respiration of each BCC, e.g. Ultricularia foliosa leachate sustained the greatest bacterial functional diversity and lowest rates of bacterial respiration in all BCC. We conclude that both resource identity and the BCC interact affecting the pattern and the magnitude of bacterial respiration in aquatic ecosystems.

  5. Antiradiation properties of melanin

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    Bushmanov A.Ju.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim: to examine the therapeutic efficiency of melanin administered to mice after irradiation at lethal and sublethal doses. Material and methods: Survival and hematological states were studied on CD-1 mice receiving on acute or fractionated whole-body doses on X-rays or gamma-irradiation. Melanin soluble was given with water ad libitum from the first to the 30th-day after irradiation. Results. It was shown that melanin produced a significant therapeutic and protective-therapeutic action against acute radiation injury in the dose range 6,5-7,5 Gy (LD80-LD under our conditions. Cumulative survival melanin treated mice was increased to 14,4%, in control group — 1,9%. After fractionated injury (1 Gy daily, total dose 10 Gy all mice which consumed melanin remained alive, versus 43,7% in control. Melanin decreased radiation-induced damage and stimulated the hematopoiesis recovery after sublethal exposure (5Gy. Conclusion. The results permit to regard melanin as a therapeutic agent for treatment of radiation injuries.

  6. Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-01

    knockdown of individual enzymes that are specifically involved in melanin biosynthesis phenylalanine hydroxylase , tyrosinase, tyrosine hydroxylase and...with siRNAs directed against melanin biosynthetic enzymes, tyrosinase (siTYR), tyrosine hydroxylase (TYH), phenlyalanine hydroxylase (siPKU), and

  7. Airborne Bacterial interactions: functions out of thin air?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca eAUDRAIN

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria produce and release a large diversity of small molecules including organic and inorganic volatile compounds, hereafter referred to as BVCs. Whereas BVCs were often only considered as wasted metabolic by-product sometimes perceived by animal olfactory systems, it is increasingly clear that they can also mediate cross-kingdom interactions with fungi, plants and animals. Recently, in vitro studies also reported the impact of BVCs on bacterial biology through modulation of antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation and virulence. Here, we review BVCs influence on bacterial adaptation to their environment and discuss the biological relevance of recently reported inter- and intra-species bacterial interactions mediated by BVCs.

  8. Biocatalysis on the surface of Escherichia coli: melanin pigmentation of the cell exterior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustavsson, Martin; Hörnström, David; Lundh, Susanna; Belotserkovsky, Jaroslav; Larsson, Gen

    2016-01-01

    Today, it is considered state-of-the-art to engineer living organisms for various biotechnology applications. Even though this has led to numerous scientific breakthroughs, the enclosed interior of bacterial cells still restricts interactions with enzymes, pathways and products due to the mass-transfer barrier formed by the cell envelope. To promote accessibility, we propose engineering of biocatalytic reactions and subsequent product deposition directly on the bacterial surface. As a proof-of-concept, we used the AIDA autotransporter vehicle for Escherichia coli surface expression of tyrosinase and fully oxidized externally added tyrosine to the biopolymer melanin. This resulted in a color change and creation of a black cell exterior. The capture of ninety percent of a pharmaceutical wastewater pollutant followed by regeneration of the cell bound melanin matrix through a simple pH change, shows the superior function and facilitated processing provided by the surface methodology. The broad adsorption spectrum of melanin could also allow removal of other micropollutants. PMID:27782179

  9. Binding characteristics of fluoroquinolones to synthetic levodopa melanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Chiho; Tanaka, Makoto

    2003-08-01

    To define the binding characteristics of fluoroquinolones to synthetic levodopa melanin, the binding of various drugs, including levofloxacin and ofloxacin, and positive controls (timolol and chloroquine), was investigated in-vitro. The affinity and capacity of the drug binding were calculated by Langmuir's adsorption isotherm. The affinity constant (K) and the binding capacity (r(max)) of levofloxacin were similar to those of timolol and much lower than those of chloroquine. Racemic ofloxacin and its enantiomers showed similar K and r(max), suggesting that the binding lacked stereoselectivity. The binding experiment with levofloxacin derivatives indicated that the basic nitrogen atom at position 7 of the quinolone ring, but not carboxyl group at position 3, would play a critical role in the interaction of fluoroquinolones with melanin. The melanin-drug complexes of levofloxacin and chloroquine were washed with neutral phosphate buffer, ethanol and 1 M HCl solution to explain the nature of the interaction of melanin with the drugs. Electrostatic forces mainly participate in the formation of the chloroquine-melanin complex, whereas van der Waals' and hydrophobic interactions are involved in the levofloxacin-melanin complex in addition to electrostatic forces. The interactions of various fluoroquinolones such as norfloxacin, enoxacin, sparfloxacin, ciprofloxacin and lomefloxacin with melanin were also studied. The results showed that the relative K value was: chloroquine approximately ciprofloxacin, sparfloxacin >/= lomefloxacin > timolol, levofloxacin approximately enoxacin, norfloxacin, and that the relative r(max) value was: norfloxacin, enoxacin >/= chloroquine, sparfloxacin > levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, timolol, lomefloxacin. The fluoroquinolones vary in their affinity and capacity to bind with melanin, and ciprofloxacin and sparfloxacin showed a stronger interaction with melanin than the other fluoroquinolones studied.

  10. Interactions between Autophagy and Bacterial Toxins: Targets for Therapy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Mathieu

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Autophagy is a physiological process involved in defense mechanisms for clearing intracellular bacteria. The autophagic pathway is finely regulated and bacterial toxins interact with this process in a complex manner. Bacterial toxins also interact significantly with many biochemical processes. Evaluations of the effects of bacterial toxins, such as endotoxins, pore-forming toxins and adenylate cyclases, on autophagy could support the development of new strategies for counteracting bacterial pathogenicity. Treatment strategies could focus on drugs that enhance autophagic processes to improve the clearance of intracellular bacteria. However, further in vivo studies are required to decipher the upregulation of autophagy and potential side effects limiting such approaches. The capacity of autophagy activation strategies to improve the outcome of antibiotic treatment should be investigated in the future.

  11. Interactions between Autophagy and Bacterial Toxins: Targets for Therapy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathieu, Jacques

    2015-08-04

    Autophagy is a physiological process involved in defense mechanisms for clearing intracellular bacteria. The autophagic pathway is finely regulated and bacterial toxins interact with this process in a complex manner. Bacterial toxins also interact significantly with many biochemical processes. Evaluations of the effects of bacterial toxins, such as endotoxins, pore-forming toxins and adenylate cyclases, on autophagy could support the development of new strategies for counteracting bacterial pathogenicity. Treatment strategies could focus on drugs that enhance autophagic processes to improve the clearance of intracellular bacteria. However, further in vivo studies are required to decipher the upregulation of autophagy and potential side effects limiting such approaches. The capacity of autophagy activation strategies to improve the outcome of antibiotic treatment should be investigated in the future.

  12. Viral-bacterial interactions in acute otitis media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marom, Tal; Nokso-Koivisto, Johanna; Chonmaitree, Tasnee

    2012-12-01

    Acute otitis media (AOM) is a polymicrobial disease, which usually occurs as a complication of viral upper respiratory tract infection (URI). While respiratory viruses alone may cause viral AOM, they increase the risk of bacterial middle ear infection and worsen clinical outcomes of bacterial AOM. URI viruses alter Eustachian tube (ET) function via decreased mucociliary action, altered mucus secretion and increased expression of inflammatory mediators among other mechanisms. Transient reduction in protective functions of the ET allows colonizing bacteria of the nasopharynx to ascend into the middle ear and cause AOM. Advances in research help us to better understand the host responses to viral URI, the mechanisms of viral-bacterial interactions in the nasopharynx and the development of AOM. In this review, we present current knowledge regarding viral-bacterial interactions in the pathogenesis and clinical course of AOM. We focus on the common respiratory viruses and their established role in AOM.

  13. Platelet interaction with bacterial toxins and secreted products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Oonagh

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria that enter the bloodstream will encounter components of the cellular and soluble immune response. Platelets contribute to this response and have emerged as an important target for bacterial pathogens. Bacteria produce diverse extracellular proteins and toxins that have been reported to modulate platelet function. These interactions can result in complete or incomplete platelet activation or inhibition of platelet activation, depending on the bacteria and bacterial product. The nature of the platelet response may be highly relevant to disease pathogenesis.

  14. Assessing Bacterial Interactions Using Carbohydrate-Based Microarrays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Flannery

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Carbohydrates play a crucial role in host-microorganism interactions and many host glycoconjugates are receptors or co-receptors for microbial binding. Host glycosylation varies with species and location in the body, and this contributes to species specificity and tropism of commensal and pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, bacterial glycosylation is often the first bacterial molecular species encountered and responded to by the host system. Accordingly, characterising and identifying the exact structures involved in these critical interactions is an important priority in deciphering microbial pathogenesis. Carbohydrate-based microarray platforms have been an underused tool for screening bacterial interactions with specific carbohydrate structures, but they are growing in popularity in recent years. In this review, we discuss carbohydrate-based microarrays that have been profiled with whole bacteria, recombinantly expressed adhesins or serum antibodies. Three main types of carbohydrate-based microarray platform are considered; (i conventional carbohydrate or glycan microarrays; (ii whole mucin microarrays; and (iii microarrays constructed from bacterial polysaccharides or their components. Determining the nature of the interactions between bacteria and host can help clarify the molecular mechanisms of carbohydrate-mediated interactions in microbial pathogenesis, infectious disease and host immune response and may lead to new strategies to boost therapeutic treatments.

  15. Paraquat-Melanin Redox-Cycling: Evidence from Electrochemical Reverse Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunkyoung; Leverage, W Taylor; Liu, Yi; Panzella, Lucia; Alfieri, Maria Laura; Napolitano, Alessandra; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2016-08-17

    Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with oxidative stress and the death of melanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra. Epidemiological evidence links exposure to the pesticide paraquat (PQ) to Parkinson's disease, and this link has been explained by a redox cycling mechanism that induces oxidative stress. Here, we used a novel electrochemistry-based reverse engineering methodology to test the hypothesis that PQ can undergo reductive redox cycling with melanin. In this method, (i) an insoluble natural melanin (from Sepia melanin) and a synthetic model melanin (having a cysteinyldopamine-melanin core and dopamine-melanin shell) were entrapped in a nonconducting hydrogel film adjacent to an electrode, (ii) the film-coated electrode was immersed in solutions containing PQ (putative redox cycling reductant) and a redox cycling oxidant (ferrocene dimethanol), (iii) sequences of input potentials (i.e., voltages) were imposed to the underlying electrode to systematically engage reductive and oxidative redox cycling, and (iv) output response currents were analyzed for signatures of redox cycling. The response characteristics of the PQ-melanin systems to various input potential sequences support the hypothesis that PQ can directly donate electrons to melanin. This observation of PQ-melanin redox interactions demonstrates an association between two components that have been individually linked to oxidative stress and Parkinson's disease. Potentially, melanin's redox activity could be an important component in understanding the etiology of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

  16. Electrical double layer interactions in bacterial adhesion to surfaces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poortinga, A.T.; Bos, van den R.; Norde, W.; Busscher, H.J.

    2002-01-01

    The DLVO (Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey, Overbeek) theory was originally developed to describe interactions between non-biological lyophobic colloids such as polystyrene particles, but is also used to describe bacterial adhesion to surfaces. Despite the differences between the surface of bacteria and

  17. Microbial small talk: volatiles in fungal-bacterial interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmidt, Ruth; Etalo, D.N.; de Jager, V.C.L.; Gerards, S.; Zweers, H.; De Boer, W.; Garbeva, P.V.

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play an important role in the interactions between fungi and bacteria, two major groups of soil inhabiting microorganisms. Yet, most of the research has been focused on effects of bacterial volatiles on suppression of plant pathogen

  18. Interactions between model bacterial membranes and synthetic antimicrobials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lihua; Mishra, Abhijit; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N.; Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2006-03-01

    Antimicrobial peptides comprise a key component of innate immunity for a wide range of multicellular organisms. It has been shown that natural antimicrobial peptides and their analogs can permeate bacterial membranes selectively. There are a number of proposed models for this action, but the detailed molecular mechanism of the induced membrane permeation remains unclear. We investigate interactions between model bacterial membranes and a prototypical family of phenylene ethynylene-based antimicrobials with controllable hydrophilic and hydrophobic volume fractions, controllable charge placement. Preliminary results from synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) results will be presented.

  19. Interspecific bacterial interactions are reflected in multispecies biofilm spatial organization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Wenzheng; Røder, Henriette Lyng; Madsen, Jonas Stenløkke;

    2016-01-01

    Interspecies interactions are essential for the persistence and development of any kind of complex community, and microbial biofilms are no exception. Multispecies biofilms are structured and spatially defined communities that have received much attention due to their omnipresence in natural...... environments. Species residing in these complex bacterial communities usually interact both intra- and interspecifically. Such interactions are considered to not only be fundamental in shaping overall biomass and the spatial distribution of cells residing in multispecies biofilms, but also to result...... not only the enabling sub-populations. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of cellular processes affecting spatial organization, and vice versa, are poorly understood and very complex to unravel. Therefore, detailed description of the spatial organization of individual bacterial cells...

  20. Bacteriocin-Mediated Competitive Interactions of Bacterial Populations and Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Margaret A.

    Explaining the coexistence of competing species is a major challenge in community ecology. In bacterial systems, competition is often driven by the production of bacteriocins; narrow spectrum proteinaceous toxins that serve to kill closely related species providing the producer better access to limited resources. Bacteriocin producers have been shown to competitively exclude sensitive, nonproducing strains. However, the interaction dynamics between bacteriocin producers, each lethal to its competitor, are largely unknown. Several recent studies have revealed some of the complexity of these interactions, employing a suite of in vitro, in vivo, and in silico bacterial model systems. This chapter describes the current state of knowledge regarding the population and community ecology of this potent family of toxins.

  1. Interspecific bacterial interactions are reflected in multispecies biofilm spatial organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenzheng Liu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Interspecies interactions are essential for the persistence and development of any kind of complex community, and microbial biofilms are no exception. Multispecies biofilms are structured and spatially defined communities that have received much attention due to their omnipresence in natural environments. Species residing in these complex bacterial communities usually interact both intra- and interspecifically. Such interactions are considered to not only be fundamental in shaping overall biomass and the spatial distribution of cells residing in multispecies biofilms, but also to result in coordinated regulation of gene expression in the different species present. These communal interactions often lead to emergent properties in biofilms, such as enhanced tolerance against antibiotics, host immune responses and other stresses, which have been shown to provide benefits to all biofilm members not only the enabling sub-populations. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of cellular processes affecting spatial organization, and vice versa, are poorly understood and very complex to unravel. Therefore, detailed description of the spatial organization of individual bacterial cells in multispecies communities can be an alternative strategy to reveal the nature of interspecies interactions of constituent species. Closing the gap between visual observation and biological processes may become crucial for resolving biofilm related problems, which is of utmost importance to environmental, industrial, and clinical implications. This review briefly presents the state of the art of studying interspecies interactions and spatial organization of multispecies communities, aiming to support theoretical and practical arguments for further advancement of this field.

  2. Photoacoustic measurement of epidermal melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viator, John A.; Svaasand, Lars O.; Aguilar, Guillermo; Choi, Bernard; Nelson, J. Stuart

    2003-06-01

    Most dermatologic laser procedures must consider epidermal melanin, as it is a broadband optical absorber which affects subsurface fluence, effectively limiting the amount of light reaching the dermis and targeted chromophores. An accurate method for quantifying epidermal melanin content would aid clinicians in determining proper light dosage for therapeutic laser procedures. While epidermal melanin content has been quantified non-invasively using optical methods, there is currently no way to determine the melanin distribution in the epidermis. We have developed a photoacoustic probe that uses a Q-switched, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser operating at 532nm to generate acoustic pulses in skin in vivo. The probe contained a piezoelectric element that detected photoacoustic waves which were then analyzed for epidermal melanin content, using a photoacoustic melanin index (PAMI). We tested 15 human subjects with skin types I--VI using the photoacoustic probe. We also present photoacoustic data for a human subject with vitiligo. Photoacoustic measurement showed melanin in the vitiligo subject was almost completely absent.

  3. Microarray analysis of human epithelial cell responses to bacterial interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mans, Jeffrey J; Lamont, Richard J; Handfield, Martin

    2006-09-01

    Host-pathogen interactions are inherently complex and dynamic. The recent use of human microarrays has been invaluable to monitor the effects of various bacterial and viral pathogens upon host cell gene expression programs. This methodology has allowed the host response transcriptome of several cell lines to be studied on a global scale. To this point, the great majority of reports have focused on the response of immune cells, including macrophages and dendritic cells. These studies revealed that the immune response to microbial pathogens is tailored to different microbial challenges. Conversely, the paradigm for epithelial cells has--until recently--held that the epithelium mostly served as a relatively passive physical barrier to infection. It is now generally accepted that the epithelial barrier contributes more actively to signaling events in the immune response. In light of this shift, this review will compare transcriptional profiling data from studies that involved host-pathogen interactions occurring with epithelial cells. Experiments that defined both a common core response, as well as pathogen-specific host responses will be discussed. This review will also summarize the contributions that transcriptional profiling analysis has made to our understanding of bacterial physio-pathogensis of infection. This will include a discussion of how host transcriptional responses can be used to infer the function of virulence determinants from bacterial pathogens interacting with epithelial mucosa. In particular, we will expand upon the lessons that have been learned from gastro-intestinal and oral pathogens, as well as from members of the commensal flora.

  4. A fragrant neighborhood: volatile mediated bacterial interactions in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz-Bohm, Kristin; Zweers, Hans; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play essential roles in communication and competition between soil microorganisms. Here we assessed volatile-mediated interactions of a synthetic microbial community in a model system that mimics the natural conditions in the heterogeneous soil environment along the rhizosphere. Phylogenetic different soil bacterial isolates (Burkholderia sp., Dyella sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Paenibacillus sp.) were inoculated as mixtures or monoculture in organic-poor, sandy soil containing artificial root exudates (ARE) and the volatile profile and growth were analyzed. Additionally, a two-compartment system was used to test if volatiles produced by inter-specific interactions in the rhizosphere can stimulate the activity of starving bacteria in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil. The obtained results revealed that both microbial interactions and shifts in microbial community composition had a strong effect on the volatile emission. Interestingly, the presence of a slow-growing, low abundant Paenibacillus strain significantly affected the volatile production by the other abundant members of the bacterial community as well as the growth of the interacting strains. Furthermore, volatiles released by mixtures of root-exudates consuming bacteria stimulated the activity and growth of starved bacteria. Besides growth stimulation, also an inhibition in growth was observed for starving bacteria exposed to microbial volatiles. The current work suggests that volatiles produced during microbial interactions in the rhizosphere have a significant long distance effect on microorganisms in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil.

  5. A fragrant neighborhood: Volatile mediated bacterial interactions in soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin eSchulz-Bohm

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence that volatile organic compounds play essential roles in communication and competition between soil microorganisms. Here we assessed volatile-mediated interactions of a synthetic microbial community in a model system that mimics the natural conditions in the heterogeneous soil environment along the rhizosphere. Phylogenetic different soil bacterial isolates (Burkholderia sp., Dyella sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Paenibacillus sp. were inoculated as mixtures or monoculture in organic-poor, sandy soil containing artificial root exudates and the volatile profile and growth were analyzed. Additionally, a two-compartment system was used to test if volatiles produced by inter-specific interactions in the rhizosphere can stimulate the activity of starving bacteria in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil. The obtained results revealed that both microbial interactions and shifts in microbial community composition had a strong effect on the volatile emission. Interestingly, the presence of a slow-growing, low abundant Paenibacillus strain significantly affected the volatile production by the other abundant members of the bacterial community as well as the growth of the interacting strains. Furthermore, volatiles released by mixtures of root-exudates consuming bacteria stimulated the activity and growth of starved bacteria. Besides growth stimulation, also an inhibition in growth was observed for starving bacteria exposed to microbial volatiles. The current work suggests that volatiles produced during microbial interactions in the rhizosphere have a significant long distance effect on microorganisms in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil.

  6. Synthetic Melanin E-Ink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Lingqian; Chen, Feng; Zhang, Xiaokang; Kuang, Tairong; Li, Mi; Hu, Jiaming; Shi, Junfeng; Lee, Ly James; Cheng, Huanyu; Li, Yiwen

    2017-05-17

    Extensive efforts have been devoted to the development of surfactant-free electronic ink (E-ink) with excellent display resolution for high-definition resolution display. Herein, we report the use of polydopamine-based synthetic melanin, a class of functional nanoparticles with similar chemical compositions and physical properties to those of naturally occurring melanin, as a new E-ink material. It was found that such E-ink displays could achieve ultrahigh resolution (>10 000 ppi) and low power consumption (operation voltage of only 1 V) in aqueous solutions. Interestingly, simple oxidation of synthetic melanin nanoparticles enables the generation of intrinsic fluorescence, allowing further development of fluorescent E-ink displays with nanoscale resolution. We describe these bioinspired materials in an initial proof-of-concept study and propose that synthetic melanin nanoparticles will be suitable for electronic nanoinks with a potential wide range of applications in molecular patterning and fluorescence bioimaging.

  7. Protein-lipid interactions in the purple bacterial reaction centre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Michael R; Fyfe, Paul K; Roszak, Aleksander W; Isaacs, Neil W; Cogdell, Richard J

    2002-10-11

    The purple bacterial reaction centre uses the energy of sunlight to power energy-requiring reactions such as the synthesis of ATP. During the last 20 years, a combination of X-ray crystallography, spectroscopy and mutagenesis has provided a detailed insight into the mechanism of light energy transduction in the bacterial reaction centre. In recent years, structural techniques including X-ray crystallography and neutron scattering have also been used to examine the environment of the reaction centre. This mini-review focuses on recent studies of the surface of the reaction centre, and briefly discusses the importance of the specific protein-lipid interactions that have been resolved for integral membrane proteins.

  8. Interactions of bacterial proteins with host eukaryotic ubiquitin pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Averil Perrett

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification in which one or more 76 amino acid polypeptide ubiquitin molecules are covalently linked to the lysine residues of target proteins. Ubiquitination is the main pathway for protein degradation that governs a variety of eukaryotic cellular processes, including the cell cycle, vesicle trafficking, antigen presentation and signal transduction. Not surprisingly, aberrations in the system have been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases including inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Recent studies have revealed that viruses and bacterial pathogens exploit the host ubiquitination pathways to gain entry and to aid their survival/replication inside host cells. This review will summarize recent developments in understanding the biochemical and structural mechanisms utilized by bacterial pathogens to interact with the host ubiquitination pathways.

  9. Modelling the interaction between bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beke, Gabor; Stano, Matej; Klucar, Lubos

    2016-09-01

    A mathematical model simulating the interaction between bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts has been developed. It is based on other known models describing this type of interaction, enhanced with an ability to model the system influenced by other environmental factor such as pH and temperature. This could be used for numerous estimations of growth rate, when the pH and/or the temperature of the environment are not constant. The change of pH or the temperature greatly affects the specific growth rate which has an effect on the final results of the simulation. Since the model aims on practical application and easy accessibility, an interactive website has been developed where users can run simulations with their own parameters and easily calculate and visualise the result of simulation. The web simulation is accessible at the URL http://www.phisite.org/model.

  10. Production and cytotoxicity of extracellular insoluble and droplets of soluble melanin by Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madhusudhan, D N; Mazhari, Bi Bi Zainab; Dastager, Syed G; Agsar, Dayanand

    2014-01-01

    A Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 strain with potential to synthesize both insoluble and soluble melanins was detected. Melanins are quite distinguished based on their solubility for varied biotechnological applications. The present investigation reveals the enhanced production of insoluble and soluble melanins in tyrosine medium by a single culture. Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 was characterized by 16S rRNA gene analysis. An enhanced production of 5.29 g/L insoluble melanin was achieved in a submerged bioprocess following response surface methodology. Combined interactive effect of temperature (50°C), pH (8.5), tyrosine (2.0 g/L), and beef extract (0.5 g/L) were found to be critical variables for enhanced production in central composite design analysis. An optimized indigenous slant culture system was an innovative approach for the successful production (264 mg/L) of pure soluble melanin from the droplets formed on the surface of the culture. Both insoluble and soluble melanins were confirmed and characterized by Chemical, reactions, UV, FTIR, and TLC analysis. First time, cytotoxic study of melanin using brine shrimps was reported. Maximum cytotoxic activity of soluble melanin was Lc50-0.40 µg/mL and insoluble melanin was Lc50-0.80 µg/mL.

  11. New Systems for Studying Intercellular Interactions in Bacterial Vaginosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst-Kralovetz, Melissa M.; Pyles, Richard B.; Ratner, Adam J.; Sycuro, Laura K.; Mitchell, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects almost a quarter of US women, making it a condition of major public health relevance. Key questions remain regarding the etiology of BV, mechanisms for its association with poor reproductive health outcomes, and reasons for high rates of treatment failure. New model systems are required to answer these remaining questions, elucidate the complex host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, and develop new, effective interventions. In this review, we cover the strengths and limitations of in vitro and in vivo model systems to study these complex intercellular interactions. Furthermore, we discuss advancements needed to maximize the translational utility of the model systems. As no single model can recapitulate all of the complex physiological and environmental conditions of the human vaginal microenvironment, we conclude that combinatorial approaches using in vitro and in vivo model systems will be required to address the remaining fundamental questions surrounding the enigma that is BV. PMID:27449872

  12. Bacterial hybrid histidine kinases in plant-bacteria interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borland, Stéphanie; Prigent-Combaret, Claire; Wisniewski-Dyé, Florence

    2016-10-01

    Two-component signal transduction systems are essential for many bacteria to maintain homeostasis and adapt to environmental changes. Two-component signal transduction systems typically involve a membrane-bound histidine kinase that senses stimuli, autophosphorylates in the transmitter region and then transfers the phosphoryl group to the receiver domain of a cytoplasmic response regulator that mediates appropriate changes in bacterial physiology. Although usually found on distinct proteins, the transmitter and receiver modules are sometimes fused into a so-called hybrid histidine kinase (HyHK). Such structure results in multiple phosphate transfers that are believed to provide extra-fine-tuning mechanisms and more regulatory checkpoints than classical phosphotransfers. HyHK-based regulation may be crucial for finely tuning gene expression in a heterogeneous environment such as the rhizosphere, where intricate plant-bacteria interactions occur. In this review, we focus on roles fulfilled by bacterial HyHKs in plant-associated bacteria, providing recent findings on the mechanistic of their signalling properties. Recent insights into understanding additive regulatory properties fulfilled by the tethered receiver domain of HyHKs are also addressed.

  13. Role of Sex Steroid Hormones in Bacterial-Host Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth García-Gómez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Sex steroid hormones play important physiological roles in reproductive and nonreproductive tissues, including immune cells. These hormones exert their functions by binding to either specific intracellular receptors that act as ligand-dependent transcription factors or membrane receptors that stimulate several signal transduction pathways. The elevated susceptibility of males to bacterial infections can be related to the usually lower immune responses presented in males as compared to females. This dimorphic sex difference is mainly due to the differential modulation of the immune system by sex steroid hormones through the control of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines expression, as well as Toll-like receptors (TLRs expression and antibody production. Besides, sex hormones can also affect the metabolism, growth, or virulence of pathogenic bacteria. In turn, pathogenic, microbiota, and environmental bacteria are able to metabolize and degrade steroid hormones and their related compounds. All these data suggest that sex steroid hormones play a key role in the modulation of bacterial-host interactions.

  14. Study of Melanin Bleaching After Immunohistochemistry of Melanin-containing Tissues

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3′-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium perman...

  15. Bacterial mycophagy: definition and diagnosis of a unique bacterial-fungal interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leveau, J.H.J.; Preston, G.M.

    2008-01-01

    This review analyses the phenomenon of bacterial mycophagy, which we define as a set of phenotypic behaviours that enable bacteria to obtain nutrients from living fungi and thus allow the conversion of fungal into bacterial biomass. We recognize three types of bacterial strategies to derive

  16. Melanins: Skin Pigments and Much More—Types, Structural Models, Biological Functions, and Formation Routes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Solano

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This review presents a general view of all types of melanin in all types of organisms. Melanin is frequently considered just an animal cutaneous pigment and is treated separately from similar fungal or bacterial pigments. Similarities concerning the phenol precursors and common patterns in the formation routes are discussed. All melanins are formed in a first enzymatically-controlled phase, generally a phenolase, and a second phase characterized by an uncontrolled polymerization of the oxidized intermediates. In that second phase, quinones derived from phenol oxidation play a crucial role. Concerning functions, all melanins show a common feature, a protective role, but they are not merely photoprotective pigments against UV sunlight. In pathogenic microorganisms, melanization becomes a virulence factor since melanin protects microbial cells from defense mechanisms in the infected host. In turn, some melanins are formed in tissues where sunlight radiation is not a potential threat. Then, their redox, metal chelating, or free radical scavenging properties are more important than light absorption capacity. These pigments sometimes behave as a double-edged sword, and inhibition of melanogenesis is desirable in different cells. Melanin biochemistry is an active field of research from dermatological, biomedical, cosmetical, and microbiological points of view, as well as fruit technology.

  17. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Almeida-Paes

    Full Text Available Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies.

  18. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies. PMID:27031728

  19. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies.

  20. Multifaceted interactions of bacterial toxins with the gastrointestinal mucosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, M R

    2011-07-01

    The digestive tract is one of the ecosystems that harbors the largest number and greatest variety of bacteria. Among them, certain bacteria have developed various strategies, including the synthesis of virulence factors such as toxins, to interact with the intestinal mucosa, and are responsible for various pathologies. A large variety of bacterial toxins of different sizes, structures and modes of action are able to interact with the gastrointestinal mucosa. Some toxins, termed enterotoxins, directly stimulate fluid secretion in enterocytes or cause their death, whereas other toxins pass through the intestinal barrier and disseminate by the general circulation to remote organs or tissues, where they are active. After recognition of a membrane receptor on target cells, toxins can act at the cell membrane by transducing a signal across the membrane in a hormone-like manner, by pore formation or by damaging membrane compounds. Other toxins can enter the cells and modify an intracellular target leading to a disregulation of certain physiological processes or disorganization of some structural architectures and cell death. Toxins are fascinating molecules, which mimic or interfere with eukaryotic physiological processes. Thereby, they have permitted the identification and characterization of new natural hormones or regulatory pathways. Besides use as protective antigens in vaccines, toxins offer multiple possibilities in pharmacology, such as immune modulation or specific delivery of a protein of interest into target cells.

  1. Interaction of variable bacterial outer membrane lipoproteins with brain endothelium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaurav Gandhi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previously we reported that the variable outer membrane lipoprotein Vsp1 from the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia turicatae disseminates from blood to brain better than the closely related Vsp2 [1]. Here we studied the interaction between Vsp1 and Vsp2 with brain endothelium in more detail. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compared Vsp1 to Vsp2 using human brain microvascular endothelial cell (HBMEC association assays with aminoacid radiolabeled Vsp-expressing clones of recombinant Borrelia burgdorferi and lanthanide-labeled purified lipidated Vsp1 (LVsp1 and Vsp2 (LVsp2 and inoculations of the lanthanide-labeled proteins into mice. The results showed that heterologous expression of LVsp1 or LVsp2 in B. burgdorferi increased its association with HBMEC to a similar degree. Purified lanthanide-labeled lipidated Vsp1 (LVsp1 and LVsp2 by themselves were capable of associating with HBMEC. The association of LVsp1 with brain endothelium was time-dependent, saturable, and required the lipidation. The association of Vsp1 with HBMEC was inhibited by incubation at lower temperature or with excess unlabeled LVsp1 or LVsp2 but not with excess rVsp1 or mouse albumin or an anti Vsp1 monoclonal antibody. The association of LVsp2 with HBMEC and its movement from blood to brain parenchyma significantly increased in the presence of LVsp1. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Variable bacterial outer membrane lipoproteins interact with brain endothelium differently; the lipidation and variable features at the protein dome region are key modulators of this interaction.

  2. EFFECT OF CADMIUM(II) ON FREE RADICALS IN DOPA-MELANIN TESTED BY EPR SPECTROSCOPY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Chodurek, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy may be applied to examine interactions of melanin with metal ions and drugs. In this work EPR method was used to examination of changes in free radical system of DOPA-melanin--the model eumelanin after complexing with diamagnetic cadmium(II) ions. Cadmium(II) may affect free radicals in melanin and drugs binding by this polymer, so the knowledge of modification of properties and free radical concentration in melanin is important to pharmacy. The effect of cadmium(II) in different concentrations on free radicals in DOPA-melanin was determined. EPR spectra of DOPA-melanin, and DOPA-melanin complexes with cadmium(II) were measured by an X-band (9.3 GHz) EPR spectrometer produced by Radiopan (Poznań, Poland) and the Rapid Scan Unit from Jagmar (Krak6w, Poland). The DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) to metal ions molar ratios in the reaction mixtures were 2:1, 1:1, and 1: 2. High concentrations of o-semiquinone (g ~2.0040) free radicals (~10(21)-10(22) spin/g) characterize DOPA-melanin and its complexes with cadmium(II). Formation of melanin complexes with cadmium(II) increase free radical concentration in DOPA-melanin. The highest free radical concentration was obtained for DOPA-melanin-cadmium(II) (1:1) complexes. Broad EPR lines with linewidths: 0.37-0.73 mT, were measured. Linewidths increase after binding of cadmium(II) to melanin. Changes of integral intensities and linewidths with increasing microwave power indicate the homogeneous broadening of EPR lines, independently on the metal ion concentration. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested samples, their EPR lines saturated at low microwave powers. Cadmium(II) causes fastening of spin-lattice relaxation processes in DOPA-melanin. The EPR results bring to light the effect of cadmium(II) on free radicals in melanin, and probably as the consequence on drug binding to eumelanin.

  3. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenman, Helene C; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-02-01

    Melanin is a unique pigment with myriad functions that is found in all biological kingdoms. It is multifunctional, providing defense against environmental stresses such as ultraviolet (UV) light, oxidizing agents and ionizing radiation. Melanin contributes to the ability of fungi to survive in harsh environments. In addition, it plays a role in fungal pathogenesis. Melanin is an amorphous polymer that is produced by one of two synthetic pathways. Fungi may synthesize melanin from endogenous substrate via a 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) intermediate. Alternatively, some fungi produce melanin from L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa). The detailed chemical structure of melanin is not known. However, microscopic studies show that it has an overall granular structure. In fungi, melanin granules are localized to the cell wall where they are likely cross-linked to polysaccharides. Recent studies suggest the fungal melanin may be synthesized in internal vesicles akin to mammalian melanosomes and transported to the cell wall. Potential applications of melanin take advantage of melanin's radioprotective properties and propensity to bind to a variety of substances.

  4. High-level production of melanin by a novel isolate of Streptomyces kathirae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jing; Rao, Zhiming; Yang, Taowei; Man, Zaiwei; Xu, Meijuan; Zhang, Xian

    2014-08-01

    Forty-five bacterial strains that produced diffusive pigments were isolated from 40 soil samples. Maximum pigment production was from a Streptomyces kathirae strain designated SC-1. The diffused pigment was characterized by UV-visual and infrared spectroscopy, MS and (1) H nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and was confirmed as melanin. This may be the first report of melanin production by S. kathirae. To enhance melanin production, the culture medium was optimized by conducting a series of batch fermentations in a defined medium, and the results were analysed statistically using a response surface method. The optimal culture medium comprised 3.3 g L(-1) amylodextrine, 37 g L(-1) yeast extract, 5 g L(-1) NaCl, 0.1 g L(-1) CaCl2 and 54.4 μM CuSO4 . The pH of this medium was 6.0. Under optimal conditions, the melanin concentration was maximized at 13.7 g L(-1) , c. 8.6-fold higher than obtained in suboptimal medium. To our knowledge, the results provide novel data on melanin fermentation, and identify an excellent candidate for industrial-scale microbial fermentation of melanin.

  5. Enthalpy of interaction between coaggregating and non-coaggregating oral bacterials pairs - a microcalorimetric study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Postollec, F.; Norde, W.; Mei, van der H.C.; Busscher, H.J.

    2003-01-01

    Bacterial adhesion and coaggregation are involved in the development of oral biofilms, called dental plaque. Although various techniques have already been used to study different aspects of these bacterial interactions, microcalorimetry has not yet been applied. This paper describes how isothermal r

  6. Enthalpy of interaction between coaggregating and non-coaggregating oral bacterial pairs - a microcalorimetric study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Postollec, F; Norde, W; van der Mei, HC; Busscher, HJ

    2003-01-01

    Bacterial adhesion and coaggregation are involved in the development of oral biofilms, called dental plaque. Although various techniques have already been used to study different aspects of these bacterial interactions, microcalorimetry has not yet been applied. This paper describes how isothermal r

  7. Structure and Function of Iron-Loaded Synthetic Melanin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Yiwen; Xie, Yijun; Wang, Zhao; Zang, Nanzhi; Carniato, Fabio; Huang, Yuran; Andolina, Christopher M.; Parent, Lucas R.; Ditri, Treffly B.; Walter, Eric D.; Botta, Mauro; Rinehart, Jeffrey D.; Gianneschi, Nathan C.

    2016-11-22

    We describe a synthetic method for increasing and controlling the iron loading of synthetic melanin nanoparticles and use the resulting materials to perform a systematic quantitative investigation on their structure- property relationship. A comprehensive analysis by magnetometry, electron paramagnetic resonance, and nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion reveals the complexities of their magnetic behavior and how these intraparticle magnetic interactions manifest in useful material properties such as their performance as MRI contrast agents. This analysis allows predictions of the optimal iron loading through a quantitative modeling of antiferromagnetic coupling that arises from proximal iron ions. This study provides a detailed understanding of this complex class of synthetic biomaterials and gives insight into interactions and structures prevalent in naturally occurring melanins.

  8. Interaction between host genotype and environmental conditions affects bacterial density in Wolbachia symbiosis

    OpenAIRE

    Mouton, Laurence; Henri, Hélène; Charif, Delphine; Boulétreau, Michel; Vavre, Fabrice

    2007-01-01

    Regulation of microbial population density is a necessity in stable symbiotic interactions. In Wolbachia symbiosis, both bacterial and host genotypes are involved in density regulation, but environmental factors may also affect bacterial population density. Here, we studied the interaction between three strains of Wolbachia in two divergent homozygous lines of the wasp Leptopilina heterotoma at two different temperatures. Wolbachia density varied between the two host genotypes at only one tem...

  9. Diversity of Streptococcus mutans strains in bacterial interspecies interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, X.; Hoogenkamp, M.A.; Ling, J.; Crielaard, W.; Deng, D.M.

    2014-01-01

    Biofilms are matrix-enclosed microbial population adhere to each other and to surfaces. Compared to planktonic bacterial cells, biofilm cells show much higher levels of antimicrobial resistance. We aimed to investigate Streptococcus mutans strain diversity in biofilm formation and chlorhexidine (CHX

  10. The role of alpha-synuclein in melanin synthesis in melanoma and dopaminergic neuronal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianhong Pan

    Full Text Available The relatively high co-occurrence of Parkinson's disease (PD and melanoma has been established by a large number of epidemiological studies. However, a clear biological explanation for this finding is still lacking. Ultra-violet radiation (UVR-induced skin melanin synthesis is a defense mechanism against UVR-induced damage relevant to the initiation of melanoma, whereas, increased neuromelanin (NM, the melanin synthesized in dopaminergic neurons, may enhance the susceptibility to oxidative stress-induced neuronal injury relevant to PD. SNCA is a PD-causing gene coding for alpha-Synuclein (α-Syn that expresses not only in brain, but also in skin as well as in tumors, such as melanoma. The findings that α-Syn can interact with tyrosinase (TYR and inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, both of which are enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of melanin and dopamine (DA, led us to propose that α-Syn may participate in the regulation of melanin synthesis. In this study, by applying ultraviolet B (UVB light, a physiologically relevant stimulus of melanogenesis, we detected melanin synthesis in A375 and SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells and in SH-SY5Y and PC12 dopaminergic neuronal cells and determined effects of α-Syn on melanin synthesis. Our results showed that UVB light exposure increased melanin synthesis in all 4 cell lines. However, we found that α-Syn expression reduced UVB light-induced increase of melanin synthesis and that melanin content was lower when melanoma cells were expressed with α-Syn, indicating that α-Syn may have inhibitory effects on melanin synthesis in melanoma cells. Different from melanoma cells, the melanin content was higher in α-Syn-over-expressed dopaminergic neuronal SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells, cellular models of PD, than that in non-α-Syn-expressed control cells. We concluded that α-Syn could be one of the points responsible for the positive association between PD and melanoma via its differential roles in melanin synthesis in

  11. Bio-Inspired Structural Colors Produced via Self-Assembly of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Ming; Li, Yiwen; Allen, Michael C; Deheyn, Dimitri D; Yue, Xiujun; Zhao, Jiuzhou; Gianneschi, Nathan C; Shawkey, Matthew D; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-05-26

    Structural colors arising from interactions of light with submicron scale periodic structures have been found in many species across all taxa, serving multiple biological functions including sexual signaling, camouflage, and aposematism. Directly inspired by the extensive use of self-assembled melanosomes to produce colors in avian feathers, we set out to synthesize and assemble polydopamine-based synthetic melanin nanoparticles in an effort to fabricate colored films. We have quantitatively demonstrated that synthetic melanin nanoparticles have a high refractive index and broad absorption spanning across the UV-visible range, similar to natural melanins. Utilizing a thin-film interference model, we demonstrated the coloration mechanism of deposited films and showed that the unique optical properties of synthetic melanin nanoparticles provide advantages for structural colors over other polymeric nanoparticles (i.e., polystyrene colloidal particles).

  12. Influence of bacterial interactions on the susceptibility to photodynamic inactivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upadya, M. H.; Tegos, G.; Hamblin, M.; Kishen, A.

    2009-06-01

    Photodynamic therapy has emerged as a possible supplement to the existing protocols for endodontic disinfection. Microbes are known to gain significant ecological advantage when they survive as coaggregates and biofilms in an infected tissue. Such microbial coaggregates and biofilms have been confirmed to play a key role in the pathogenicity of many infections. So far, not many studies have correlated the efficacy of antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (APDI) to the different modes of bacterial growth. This study aims to evaluate the APDI of 3 strains of Enterococcus faecalis in planktonic phase, in a co-aggregated suspension and in a 4-day old biofilm. The results showed that the biofilm mode of growth offered the greatest resistance to APDI and the inclusion of an efflux pump inhibitor significantly increased the APDI of biofilm bacteria. From this study, we conclude that APDI of bacteria in biofilms is the most challenging and that the use of bacterial efflux pump inhibitors enhances its photodynamic antibiofilm efficacy.

  13. Actin: Structure, Function, Dynamics, and Interactions with Bacterial Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühn, Sonja; Mannherz, Hans Georg

    Actin is one of the most abundant proteins in any eukaryotic cell and an indispensable component of the cytoskeleton. In mammalian organisms, six highly conserved actin isoforms can be distinguished, which differ by only a few amino acids. In non-muscle cells, actin polymerizes into actin filaments that form actin structures essential for cell shape stabilization, and participates in a number of motile activities like intracellular vesicle transport, cytokinesis, and also cell locomotion. Here, we describe the structure of monomeric and polymeric actin, the polymerization kinetics, and its regulation by actin-binding proteins. Probably due to its conserved nature and abundance, actin and its regulating factors have emerged as prefered targets of bacterial toxins and effectors, which subvert the host actin cytoskeleton to serve bacterial needs.

  14. Fungal-bacterial interactions and their relevance to oral health: linking the clinic and the bench

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia I Diaz

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available High throughput sequencing has accelerated knowledge on the oral microbiome. While the bacterial component of oral communities has been extensively characterized, the role of the fungal microbiota in the oral cavity is largely unknown. Interactions among fungi and bacteria are likely to influence oral health as exemplified by the synergistic relationship between Candida albicans and oral streptococci. In this perspective, we discuss the current state of the field of fungal-bacterial interactions in the context of the oral cavity. We highlight the need to conduct longitudinal clinical studies to simultaneously characterize the bacterial and fungal components of the human oral microbiome in health and during disease progression. Such studies need to be coupled with investigations using disease-relevant models to mechanistically test the associations observed in humans and eventually identify fungal-bacterial interactions that could serve as preventive or therapeutic targets for oral diseases.

  15. Fungal-bacterial interactions and their relevance to oral health: linking the clinic and the bench.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Patricia I; Strausbaugh, Linda D; Dongari-Bagtzoglou, Anna

    2014-01-01

    High throughput sequencing has accelerated knowledge on the oral microbiome. While the bacterial component of oral communities has been extensively characterized, the role of the fungal microbiota in the oral cavity is largely unknown. Interactions among fungi and bacteria are likely to influence oral health as exemplified by the synergistic relationship between Candida albicans and oral streptococci. In this perspective, we discuss the current state of the field of fungal-bacterial interactions in the context of the oral cavity. We highlight the need to conduct longitudinal clinical studies to simultaneously characterize the bacterial and fungal components of the human oral microbiome in health and during disease progression. Such studies need to be coupled with investigations using disease-relevant models to mechanistically test the associations observed in humans and eventually identify fungal-bacterial interactions that could serve as preventive or therapeutic targets for oral diseases.

  16. Spiders do have melanin after all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiung, Bor-Kai; Blackledge, Todd A; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-11-01

    Melanin pigments are broadly distributed in nature - from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals. However, many previous attempts to identify melanins in spiders were unsuccessful, suggesting that these otherwise ubiquitous pigments were lost during spider evolution. Yet, spiders exhibit many dark colours similar to those produced by melanins in other organisms, and the low solubility of melanins makes isolation and characterization difficult. Therefore, whether melanins are truly absent or have simply not yet been detected is an open question. Raman spectroscopy provides a reliable way to detect melanins in situ, without the need for isolation. In this study, we document the presence of eumelanin in diverse species of spiders using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Comparisons of spectra with theoretically calculated data falsify the previous hypothesis that dark colours are produced solely by ommochromes in spiders. Our data indicate that melanins are present in spiders and further supporting that they are present in most living organisms. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Interspecies interaction extends bacterial survival at solid-air interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronan, Evan; Yeung, C William; Hausner, Martina; Wolfaardt, Gideon M

    2013-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of biofilms in natural and man-made environments, research on surface-associated cells has focused primarily on solid-liquid interfaces. This study evaluated the extent to which bacterial cells persist on inanimate solid-air interfaces. The desiccation tolerance of bacterial strains isolated from indoor air, as well as of a test strain (Pseudomonas aeruginosa), was determined at different levels of relative humidity (RH) using the large droplet inoculation method in an aerosol chamber. The cells survived longer at lower (25 and 42%) than at high RH (95%). Four of the seven indoor strains selected for further study showed extended period of survival following deposition as 0.05-0.1 ml of washed culture followed by desiccation, each with different effects on the survival of the test strain, P. aeruginosa. A strain closely related to Arthrobacter species afforded the highest level of protection to the test strain. Even though the desiccation-tolerant strains survived when they were deposited as bioaerosols, the protective role towards the test strain was not observed when the latter was deposited as a bioaerosol. These, which are often-unculturable, bacteria may go undetected during routine monitoring of biofouling, thereby allowing them to act as reservoirs and extending the habitat range of undesired microorganisms.

  18. Plasmonic imaging of protein interactions with single bacterial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syal, Karan; Wang, Wei; Shan, Xiaonan; Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Hong-Yuan; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-01-15

    Quantifying the interactions of bacteria with external ligands is fundamental to the understanding of pathogenesis, antibiotic resistance, immune evasion, and mechanism of antimicrobial action. Due to inherent cell-to-cell heterogeneity in a microbial population, each bacterium interacts differently with its environment. This large variability is washed out in bulk assays, and there is a need of techniques that can quantify interactions of bacteria with ligands at the single bacterium level. In this work, we present a label-free and real-time plasmonic imaging technique to measure the binding kinetics of ligand interactions with single bacteria, and perform statistical analysis of the heterogeneity. Using the technique, we have studied interactions of antibodies with single Escherichia coli O157:H7 cells and demonstrated a capability of determining the binding kinetic constants of single live bacteria with ligands, and quantify heterogeneity in a microbial population.

  19. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for sepia melanin

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mbonyiryivuze, A

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available intensively studied biomolecule systems such as nucleic acid, proteins and carbohydrates. Melanins have been reported to have a diverse number of functions in the biosystem, including photosensitization, metal ion chelation, photoprotection to absorb a broad...

  20. Interplay of Bacterial Interactions and Spatial Organisation in Multispecies Biofilms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Wenzheng

    understanding of interspecies interactions and molecular mechanisms behind these activities of complex communities in combina-tion with omics technologies. Manuscript I demonstrates the apparent and predictable correlation between interspecific interactions and spatial organization of microbes in mul...... of member species’ spatial organization on biofilm formation and community assembly. The observations from Manuscript II suggest that low abundance key species can significantly impact the spatial organization and hereby stabilize the func-tion and composition of complex microbiomes. Manuscript III...

  1. Flavonoids and Melanins: a common strategy across two kingdoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2 (-)). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as free radical scavenging mechanisms. Both are phenol compounds constitutively synthesized and enhanced after exposure to UV rays, often conferring a red-brown-dark tissue pigmentation. Noteworthy, beside anti-oxidant scavenging activity, melanins and flavonoids have acquired secondary functions that, both in plants and animals, concern reproductions and fitness. Plants highly pigmented are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Darker wild vertebrates are generally more aggressive, sexually active and resistant to stress than lighter individuals. Flavonoids have been associated with signal attraction between flowers and insects and with plant-plant interaction. Melanin pigmentation has been proposed as trait in bird communication, acting as honest signals of quality. This review shows how the molecular mechanisms leading to tissue pigmentation have many functional analogies between plants and animals and how their origin lies in simpler organisms such as Cyanobacteria. Comparative studies between plant and animal kingdoms can reveal new insight of the antioxidant strategies in vivant.

  2. REVIEW ARTICLE: DNA protein interactions and bacterial chromosome architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavans, Joel; Oppenheim, Amos

    2006-12-01

    Bacteria, like eukaryotic organisms, must compact the DNA molecule comprising their genome and form a functional chromosome. Yet, bacteria do it differently. A number of factors contribute to genome compaction and organization in bacteria, including entropic effects, supercoiling and DNA-protein interactions. A gamut of new experimental techniques have allowed new advances in the investigation of these factors, and spurred much interest in the dynamic response of the chromosome to environmental cues, segregation, and architecture, during both exponential and stationary phases. We review these recent developments with emphasis on the multifaceted roles that DNA-protein interactions play.

  3. Weibull analyses of bacterial interaction forces measured using AFM

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Mei, Henderina; de Vries, Jacob; Busscher, Hendrik

    2010-01-01

    Statistically significant conclusions from interaction forces obtained by AFM are difficult to draw because of large data spreads. Weibull analysis, common in macroscopic bond-strength analyses, takes advantage of this spread to derive a Weibull distribution, yielding the probability of occurrence o

  4. Viral and Bacterial Interactions in the Upper Respiratory Tract

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosch, Astrid A. T. M.; Biesbroek, Giske; Trzcinski, Krzysztof; Sanders, Elisabeth A. M.; Bogaert, Debby

    2013-01-01

    Respiratory infectious diseases are mainly caused by viruses or bacteria that often interact with one another. Although their presence is a prerequisite for subsequent infections, viruses and bacteria may be present in the nasopharynx without causing any respiratory symptoms. The upper respiratory t

  5. Actinobacterial melanins: current status and perspective for the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manivasagan, Panchanathan; Venkatesan, Jayachandran; Sivakumar, Kannan; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-10-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of bacteria and fungi. Melanins are biological macromolecules with multiple important functions, yet their structures are not well understood. Melanins are frequently used in medicine, pharmacology, and cosmetics preparations. Melanins also have great application potential in agriculture industry. They have several biological functions including photoprotection, thermoregulation, action as free radical sinks, cation chelators, and antibiotics. Plants and insects incorporate melanins as cell wall and cuticle strengtheners, respectively. Actinobacteria are the most economically as well as biotechnologically valuable prokaryotes. However, the melanin properties are, in general, poorly understood. In this review an evaluation is made on the present state of research on actinobacterial melanins and its perspectives. The highlights include the production and biotechnological applications of melanins in agriculture, food, cosmetic and medicinal fields. With increasing advancement in science and technology, there would be greater demands in the future for melanins produced by actinobacteria from various sources.

  6. DOPA and DHN pathway orchestrate melanin synthesis in Aspergillus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Anuradha K; Gajjar, Devarshi U; Vasavada, Abhay R

    2014-01-01

    Melanins are high molecular weight hydrophobic pigments that have been studied for their role in the virulence of fungal pathogens. We investigated the amount and type of melanin in 20 isolates of Aspergillus spp.; A. niger (n = 3), A. flavus (n = 5), A. tamarii (n = 3), A. terreus (n = 3), A. tubingensis (n = 3), A. sydowii (n = 3). Aspergillus spp. were identified by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Extraction of melanin from culture filtrate and fungal biomass was done and followed by qualitative and quantitative analysis of melanin pigment. Ultraviolet (UV), Fourier transformed infrared (FT-IR), and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra analyses confirmed the presence of melanin. The melanin pathway was studied by analyzing the effects of inhibitors; kojic acid, tropolone, phthalide, and tricyclazole. The results indicate that in A. niger and A. tubingensis melanin was found in both culture filtrate and fungal biomass. For A. tamarii and A. flavus melanin was extracted from biomass only, whereas melanin was found only in culture filtrate for A. terreus. A negligible amount of melanin was found in A. sydowii. The maximum amount of melanin from culture filtrate and fungal biomass was found in A. niger and A. tamarrii, respectively. The DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) pathway produces melanin in A. niger, A. tamarii and A. flavus, whereas the DHN (1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene) pathway produces melanin in A. tubingensis and A. terreus. It can be concluded that the amount and type of melanin in aspergilli largely differ from species to species.

  7. Study of melanin bleaching after immunohistochemistry of melanin-containing tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Hongwu; Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-04-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium permanganate bleaching and potassium dichromate bleaching clearly destroyed DAB, whereas TCCA bleaching had no significant effect on DAB. Therefore, neither potassium permanganate nor potassium dichromate is an ideal solution, whereas TCCA might be an ideal solution for melanin bleaching after the immunohistochemical staining of melanin-containing tissues. After immunostaining followed by TCCA bleaching, the melanin could be completely removed in all 120 malignant melanoma tissue sections. Compared with the control, the DAB intensity was clear, and the tissue structure and cellular nuclei were well maintained. It is worth noting that TCCA should be freshly prepared before each experiment, and used within 2 hours of its preparation. In addition, sections should not be incubated with TCCA for over 30 minutes.

  8. Development of a chemically defined medium for studying foodborne bacterial-fungal interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aunsbjerg, Stina Dissing; Honoré, Anders Hans; Vogensen, Finn Kvist

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing interest for using natural preservatives in the food and dairy industries including the application of bacterial cultures to inhibit fungal spoilage. Several antifungal metabolites from bacteria have been identified, but their relative importance has been difficult to establish....... In dynamic systems such as fermented milk products, the complexity of the food matrix affects detection, identification and quantification of antifungal metabolites, and thereby the understanding of the bacterial-fungal interactions. To ease the identification and quantification of bacterial metabolites (as...... judged by ultra-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry) a chemically defined interaction medium (CDIM) was developed. The medium supported growth of antifungal cultures such as Lactobacillus paracasei and Propionibacterium freudenreichii, as well as spoilage moulds and yeasts isolated from...

  9. Trophic interactions between rhizosphere bacteria and bacterial feeders influenced by phosphate and aphids in barley

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandmark, Lisa Bjørnlund; Mørk, Søren; Madsen, Mette Vestergård;

    2006-01-01

    The aim was to study the effects of P fertilization and leaf aphid attack on the trophic interactions of bacteria and bacterial feeders in the rhizospheres of barley plants. The density of protozoa peaked in the rhizospheres of plants fertilized with N and P, whereas nematodes peaked in the rhizo......The aim was to study the effects of P fertilization and leaf aphid attack on the trophic interactions of bacteria and bacterial feeders in the rhizospheres of barley plants. The density of protozoa peaked in the rhizospheres of plants fertilized with N and P, whereas nematodes peaked...... in the rhizospheres of plants to which only N had been added. Fingerprinting of bacterial communities by length heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction revealed differences in community structure between NP rhizospheres and N rhizospheres as well as aphid-related differences within N rhizospheres. Specifically, a...

  10. Impact of Bacterial-Fungal Interactions on the Colonization of the Endosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overbeek, van L.S.; Saikkonen, Kari

    2016-01-01

    Research on different endophyte taxa and the related scientific disciplines have largely developed separately, and comprehensive community-level studies on bacterial and fungal interactions and their importance are lacking. Here, we discuss the transmission modes of bacteria and fungi and the nat

  11. A new mathematical model of bacterial interactions in two-species oral biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Bénédicte; Tamanai-Shacoori, Zohreh; Bronsard, Julie; Ginguené, Franck; Meuric, Vincent; Mahé, Fabrice; Bonnaure-Mallet, Martine

    2017-01-01

    Periodontitis are bacterial inflammatory diseases, where the bacterial biofilms present on the tooth-supporting tissues switch from a healthy state towards a pathogenic state. Among bacterial species involved in the disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to induce dysbiosis, and to induce virulence of otherwise healthy bacteria like Streptococcus gordonii. During biofilm development, primary colonizers such as S. gordonii first attach to the surface and allow the subsequent adhesion of periodontal pathogens such as P. gingivalis. Interactions between those two bacteria have been extensively studied during the adhesion step of the biofilm. The aim of the study was to understand interactions of both species during the growing phase of the biofilm, for which little knowledge is available, using a mathematical model. This two-species biofilm model was based on a substrate-dependent growth, implemented with damage parameters, and validated thanks to data obtained on experimental biofilms. Three different hypothesis of interactions were proposed and assayed using this model: independence, competition between both bacteria species, or induction of toxicity by one species for the other species. Adequacy between experimental and simulated biofilms were found with the last hypothetic mathematical model. This new mathematical model of two species bacteria biofilms, dependent on different substrates for growing, can be applied to any bacteria species, environmental conditions, or steps of biofilm development. It will be of great interest for exploring bacterial interactions in biofilm conditions.

  12. A new mathematical model of bacterial interactions in two-species oral biofilms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Bénédicte; Tamanai-Shacoori, Zohreh; Bronsard, Julie; Ginguené, Franck; Meuric, Vincent

    2017-01-01

    Periodontitis are bacterial inflammatory diseases, where the bacterial biofilms present on the tooth-supporting tissues switch from a healthy state towards a pathogenic state. Among bacterial species involved in the disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to induce dysbiosis, and to induce virulence of otherwise healthy bacteria like Streptococcus gordonii. During biofilm development, primary colonizers such as S. gordonii first attach to the surface and allow the subsequent adhesion of periodontal pathogens such as P. gingivalis. Interactions between those two bacteria have been extensively studied during the adhesion step of the biofilm. The aim of the study was to understand interactions of both species during the growing phase of the biofilm, for which little knowledge is available, using a mathematical model. This two-species biofilm model was based on a substrate-dependent growth, implemented with damage parameters, and validated thanks to data obtained on experimental biofilms. Three different hypothesis of interactions were proposed and assayed using this model: independence, competition between both bacteria species, or induction of toxicity by one species for the other species. Adequacy between experimental and simulated biofilms were found with the last hypothetic mathematical model. This new mathematical model of two species bacteria biofilms, dependent on different substrates for growing, can be applied to any bacteria species, environmental conditions, or steps of biofilm development. It will be of great interest for exploring bacterial interactions in biofilm conditions. PMID:28253369

  13. Melanin dependent survival of Apergillus fumigatus conidia in lung epithelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Shayista; Thywissen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Saluz, Hans Peter; Brakhage, Axel A

    2014-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne pathogenic fungus of humans. Upon inhalation of conidia, the fungus makes close contact with lung epithelial cells, which only possess low phagocytic activity. These cells are in particular interesting to address the question whether there is some form of persistence of conidia of A. fumigatus in the human host. Therefore, by also using uracil-auxotrophic mutant strains, we were able to investigate the interaction of A549 lung epithelial cells and A. fumigatus conidia in detail for long periods. Interestingly, unlike professional phagocytes, our study showed that the presence of conidial dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin enhanced the uptake of A. fumigatus conidia by epithelial cells when compared with non-pigmented pksP mutant conidia. Furthermore, conidia of A. fumigatus were able to survive within epithelial cells. This was due to the presence of DHN melanin in the cell wall of conidia, because melanised wild-type conidia showed a higher survival rate inside epithelial cells and led to inhibition of acidification of phagolysosomes. Both effects were not observed for white (non-melanised) conidia of the pksP mutant strain. Moreover, in contrast to pksP mutant conidia, melanised wild-type conidia were able to inhibit the extrinsic apoptotic pathway in A549 lung epithelial cells even for longer periods. The anti-apoptotic effect was not restricted to conidia, because both conidia-derived melanin ghosts (cell-free DHN melanin) and a different type of melanin, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, acted anti-apoptotically. Taken together, these data indicate the possibility of melanin-dependent persistence of conidia in lung epithelial cells.

  14. Insights in Nanoparticle-Bacterium Interactions: New Frontiers to Bypass Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diab, Roudayna; Khameneh, Bahman; Joubert, Olivier; Duval, Raphael

    2015-01-01

    Nanotechnology has been revealed as a fundamental approach for antibiotics delivery. In this paper, recent findings demonstrating the superiority of nanocarried-antibiotics over "naked" ones and the ways by which nanoparticles can help to overwhelm bacterial drug resistance are reviewed. The second part of this paper sheds light on nanoparticle-bacterium interaction patterns. Finally, key factors affecting the effectiveness of nanoparticles interactions with bacteria are discussed.

  15. Phosphorus chemistry and bacterial community composition interact in brackish sediments receiving agricultural discharges.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Sinkko

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: External nutrient discharges have caused eutrophication in many estuaries and coastal seas such as the Baltic Sea. The sedimented nutrients can affect bacterial communities which, in turn, are widely believed to contribute to release of nutrients such as phosphorus from the sediment. METHODS: We investigated relationships between bacterial communities and chemical forms of phosphorus as well as elements involved in its cycling in brackish sediments using up-to-date multivariate statistical methods. Bacterial community composition was determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and cloning of the 16S rRNA gene. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The bacterial community composition differed along gradients of nutrients, especially of different phosphorus forms, from the estuary receiving agricultural phosphorus loading to the open sea. This suggests that the chemical composition of sediment phosphorus, which has been affected by riverine phosphorus loading, influenced on bacterial communities. Chemical and spatial parameters explained 25% and 11% of the variation in bacterial communities. Deltaproteobacteria, presumptively sulphate and sulphur/iron reducing, were strongly associated to chemical parameters, also when spatial autocorrelation was taken into account. Sulphate reducers correlated positively with labile organic phosphorus and total nitrogen in the open sea sediments. Sulphur/iron reducers and sulphate reducers linked to iron reduction correlated positively with aluminium- and iron-bound phosphorus, and total iron in the estuary. The sulphate and sulphur/iron reducing bacteria can thus have an important role both in the mineralization and mobilization of nutrients from sediment. SIGNIFICANCE: Novelty in our study is that relationships between bacterial community composition and different phosphorus forms, instead of total phosphorus, were investigated. Total phosphorus does not necessarily bring out interactions

  16. Thermohydrogel Containing Melanin for Photothermal Cancer Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Miri; Kim, Hyun Soo; Kim, Min Ah; Ryu, Hyanghwa; Jeong, Hwan-Jeong; Lee, Chang-Moon

    2016-12-01

    Melanin is an effective absorber of light and can extend to near infrared (NIR) regions. In this study, a natural melanin is presented as a photothermal therapeutic agent (PTA) because it provides a good photothermal conversion efficiency, shows biodegradability, and does not induce long-term toxicity during retention in vivo. Poloxamer solution containing melanin (Pol-Mel) does not show any precipitation and shows sol-gel transition at body temperature. After irradiation from 808 nm NIR laser at 1.5 W cm(-2) for 3 min, the photothermal conversion efficiency of Pol-Mel is enough to kill cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The tumor growth of mice bearing CT26 tumors treated with Pol-Mel injection and laser irradiation is suppressed completely without recurrence postirradiation. All these results indicate that Pol-Mel can become an attractive PTA for photothermal cancer therapy.

  17. A metabolic approach to study algal-bacterial interactions in changing environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittami, Simon M; Eveillard, Damien; Tonon, Thierry

    2014-04-01

    Increasing evidence exists that bacterial communities interact with and shape the biology of algae and that their evolutionary histories are connected. Despite these findings, physiological studies were and still are generally carried out with axenic or at least antibiotic-treated cultures. Here, we argue that considering interactions between algae and associated bacteria is key to understanding their biology and evolution. To deal with the complexity of the resulting 'holobiont' system, a metabolism-centred approach that uses combined metabolic models for algae and associated bacteria is proposed. We believe that these models will be valuable tools both to study algal-bacterial interactions and to elucidate processes important for the acclimation of the holobiont to environmental changes. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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.

  19. Evidence for a Melanin Cell Wall Component in Pneumocystis carinii

    OpenAIRE

    Icenhour, Crystal R.; Kottom, Theodore J.; Limper, Andrew H

    2003-01-01

    Fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled monoclonal antibodies specific for fungal melanin were used in this study to visualize melanin-like components of the Pneumocystis carinii cell wall. A colorimetric enzyme assay confirmed these findings. This is the first report of melanin-like pigments in Pneumocystis.

  20. Cohabitation in the Intestine: Interactions among Helminth Parasites, Bacterial Microbiota, and Host Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Lisa A; Finlay, B Brett; Maizels, Rick M

    2015-11-01

    Both intestinal helminth parasites and certain bacterial microbiota species have been credited with strong immunomodulatory effects. Recent studies reported that the presence of helminth infection alters the composition of the bacterial intestinal microbiota and, conversely, that the presence and composition of the bacterial microbiota affect helminth colonization and persistence within mammalian hosts. This article reviews recent findings on these reciprocal relationships, in both human populations and mouse models, at the level of potential mechanistic pathways and the implications these bear for immunomodulatory effects on allergic and autoimmune disorders. Understanding the multidirectional complex interactions among intestinal microbes, helminth parasites, and the host immune system allows for a more holistic approach when using probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, antibiotics, and anthelmintics, as well as when designing treatments for autoimmune and allergic conditions.

  1. Pigment Melanin Scavenges Nitric Oxide In Vitro: Possible Relevance to Keloid Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian M. Menter

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nitric oxide (NO has been implicated in the formation of keloids, preferentially formed in dark-skinned persons, and we suspected that pigment melanin itself may play a direct role by adsorbing NO. We tested the ability of cuttlefish sepia melanin to scavenge (adsorb NO, generated in situ by 2-(N.N Diethylamino diazeneolate-2-oxide (DEA/NO, through a dialysis membrane. NO was measured as NO2_ and NO3_ by the Griess method and as N2O3 by trapping experiments with the fluorogenic substrate 4,5-diaminofluorescein (DAF-2. Initial NO2_ and NO3_ concentrations were significantly lower in the test dialyzates than in controls. Scavenging of NO was rapid enough to compete with DAF adduct formation. Both analytical methods gave comparable results. Adsorbed NO and/or its oxidized products may undergo interactions with melanin, adsorbed O2, and/or dermal material that may lead to keloid formation.

  2. Interpreting melanin-based coloration through deep time: a critical review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindgren, Johan; Moyer, Alison; Schweitzer, Mary H.; Sjövall, Peter; Uvdal, Per; Nilsson, Dan E.; Heimdal, Jimmy; Engdahl, Anders; Gren, Johan A.; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Kear, Benjamin P.

    2015-01-01

    Colour, derived primarily from melanin and/or carotenoid pigments, is integral to many aspects of behaviour in living vertebrates, including social signalling, sexual display and crypsis. Thus, identifying biochromes in extinct animals can shed light on the acquisition and evolution of these biological traits. Both eumelanin and melanin-containing cellular organelles (melanosomes) are preserved in fossils, but recognizing traces of ancient melanin-based coloration is fraught with interpretative ambiguity, especially when observations are based on morphological evidence alone. Assigning microbodies (or, more often reported, their ‘mouldic impressions’) as melanosome traces without adequately excluding a bacterial origin is also problematic because microbes are pervasive and intimately involved in organismal degradation. Additionally, some forms synthesize melanin. In this review, we survey both vertebrate and microbial melanization, and explore the conflicts influencing assessment of microbodies preserved in association with ancient animal soft tissues. We discuss the types of data used to interpret fossil melanosomes and evaluate whether these are sufficient for definitive diagnosis. Finally, we outline an integrated morphological and geochemical approach for detecting endogenous pigment remains and associated microstructures in multimillion-year-old fossils. PMID:26290071

  3. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina, E-mail: marinaness@yahoo.com; Congiu, Mirko, E-mail: congiumat@gmail.com; Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico de, E-mail: graeff@fc.unesp.br [Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences - UNESP, Bauru, SP (Brazil); Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi, E-mail: jeziga-cf@yahoo.com.br; Biziak de Figueiredo, Natália, E-mail: natbiziak@yahoo.com.br; Mulato, Marcelo, E-mail: mmulato@ffclrp.usp.br [Department of Physics, Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters at Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP (Brazil)

    2014-03-15

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  4. Melanin biosynthesis pathway in Agaricus bisporus mushrooms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijn, A.; Bastiaan-Net, S.; Wichers, H.J.; Mes, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    With the full genome sequence of Agaricus bisporus available, it was possible to investigate the genes involved in the melanin biosynthesis pathway of button mushrooms. Based on different BLAST and alignments, genes were identified in the genome which are postulated to be involved in this pathway.

  5. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Piacenti da Silva

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  6. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi; de Figueiredo, Natália Biziak; Congiu, Mirko; Mulato, Marcelo; de Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico

    2014-03-01

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  7. Designed to penetrate: Time-resolved interaction of single antibiotic molecules with bacterial pores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Danelon, Christophe; Winterhalter, Mathias; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2002-07-01

    Membrane permeability barriers are among the factors contributing to the intrinsic resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. We have been able to resolve single ampicillin molecules moving through a channel of the general bacterial porin, OmpF (outer membrane protein F), believed to be the principal pathway for the -lactam antibiotics. With ion channel reconstitution and high-resolution conductance recording, we find that ampicillin and several other efficient penicillins and cephalosporins strongly interact with the residues of the constriction zone of the OmpF channel. Therefore, we hypothesize that, in analogy to substrate-specific channels that evolved to bind certain metabolite molecules, antibiotics have "evolved" to be channel-specific. Molecular modeling suggests that the charge distribution of the ampicillin molecule complements the charge distribution at the narrowest part of the bacterial porin. Interaction of these charges creates a region of attraction inside the channel that facilitates drug translocation through the constriction zone and results in higher permeability rates.

  8. Bacterial interactions and transport in geological formation of alumino-silica clays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu, Kien; Yang, Guang; Wang, Boya; Tawfiq, Kamal; Chen, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial transport in the subsurface is controlled by their interactions with the surrounding environment, which are determined by the surface properties of the geological formation and bacterial surfaces. In this research, surface thermodynamic properties of Escherichia coli and the geological formation of alumino-silica clays were characterized based on contact angle measurements, which were utilized to quantify the distance-dependent interactions between E. coli and the geological formation according to the traditional and extended Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey and Overbeek (DLVO) theory. E. coli attachment to alumino-silica clays was evaluated in laboratory columns under saturated and steady-state flow conditions. E. coli deposition coefficient and desorption coefficient were simulated using convection-dispersion transport models against E. coli breakthrough curves, which were then linked to interactions between E. coli and the geological formation. It was discovered that E. coli deposition was controlled by the long-ranged electrostatic interaction and E. coli desorption was attributed to the short-ranged Lifshitz-van der Waals and Lewis acid-base interactions. E. coli transport in three layers of different alumino-silica clays was further examined and the breakthrough curve was simulated using E. coli deposition coefficient and desorption coefficient obtained from their individual column experiments. The well-fitted simulation confirmed that E. coli transport observations were interaction-dependent phenomena between E. coli and the geological formation.

  9. Melanin: A scavenger in gingival inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Nilima

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: One of the major direct or indirect targets of ultraviolet exposure of skin is the melanocyte or the melanin -forming cell. Epidermal melanocytes act as a trap for free radicals. Based on the protective role of melanocytes in medical literature, the role of melanin pigmentation in gingiva needs to be elucidated. Periodontal pathogens and their products demonstrate the ability to induce the generation of reactive oxygen species. Hence purpose of this study was to unravel the protective role of melanin (if any against the gingival inflammation. Materials and Methods: A total of 80 subjects; 20 in each group were selected. The selection of subjects regarding gingival pigmentation was based on Dummett′s scoring criteria 0, 3. A complete medical, dental history and an informed consent were obtained from the patients. After evaluation of clinical parameters the GCF was collected using microcapillary pipettes at the selected sites. IL-1β levels were quantitated using ELISA. Results: In non-pigmented healthy and gingivitis groups, there was a positive correlation between plaque index, gingival index and bleeding index versus IL-1β level: indicating an increase in the biochemical mediator of inflammation corresponding to an increase in the clinical parameters of inflammation. Also a positive correlation was found between the gingival index and bleeding index versus the IL-1β levels in the pigmented healthy group. The pigmented gingivitis groups showed a negative correlation between the plaque index, gingival index and bleeding index. Conclusions: The clinical markers of inflammation such as gingival index, bleeding index was of low numerical value in pigmented group than in the non-pigmented group, supposedly due to the protective action of melanin. The negative correlation of clinical markers of inflammation to the IL-1β levels in the pigmented gingivitis group could possibly be attributed to the protective role of melanins.

  10. Epidermal melanin absorption in human skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norvang Nilsen, Lill T.; Fiskerstrand, Elisanne J.; Nelson, J. Stuart; Berns, Michael W.; Svaasand, Lars O.

    1996-01-01

    The principle of laser induced selective photothermolysis is to induced thermal damage to specific targets in such a manner that the temperature of the surrounding tissue is maintained below the threshold for thermal damage. The selectivity is obtained by selection of a proper wavelength and pulse duration. The technique is presently being used in the clinic for removal of port-wine stains. The presence of melanin in the epidermal layer can represent a limitation to the selectivity. Melanin absorption drops off significantly with increasing wavelength, but is significant in the entire wavelength region where the blood absorption is high. Treatment of port-wine stain in patients with high skin pigmentation may therefore give overheating of the epidermis, resulting in epidermal necrosis. Melanosomal heating is dependent on the energy and duration of the laser pulse. The heating mechanism for time scales less than typically 1 microsecond(s) corresponds to a transient local heating of the individual melanosomes. For larger time scales, heat diffusion out of the melanosomes become of increased importance, and the temperature distribution will reach a local steady state condition after typically 10 microsecond(s) . For even longer pulse duration, heat diffusing from neighboring melanosomes becomes important, and the temperature rise in a time scale from 100 - 500 microsecond(s) is dominated by this mechanism. The epidermal heating during the typical 450 microsecond(s) pulse used for therapy is thus dependent on the average epidermal melanin content rather than on the absorption coefficient of the individual melanosomes. This study will present in vivo measurements of the epidermal melanin absorption of human skin when exposed to short laser pulses (< 0.1 microsecond(s) ) from a Q-switched ruby laser and with long laser pulses (approximately 500 microsecond(s) ) from a free-running ruby laser or a long pulse length flashlamp pumped dye laser. The epidermal melanin

  11. Modeling the within-host dynamics of cholera: bacterial-viral interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xueying; Wang, Jin

    2016-12-22

    Novel deterministic and stochastic models are proposed in this paper for the within-host dynamics of cholera, with a focus on the bacterial-viral interaction. The deterministic model is a system of differential equations describing the interaction among the two types of vibrios and the viruses. The stochastic model is a system of Markov jump processes that is derived based on the dynamics of the deterministic model. The multitype branching process approximation is applied to estimate the extinction probability of bacteria and viruses within a human host during the early stage of the bacterial-viral infection. Accordingly, a closed-form expression is derived for the disease extinction probability, and analytic estimates are validated with numerical simulations. The local and global dynamics of the bacterial-viral interaction are analysed using the deterministic model, and the result indicates that there is a sharp disease threshold characterized by the basic reproduction number [Formula: see text]: if [Formula: see text], vibrios ingested from the environment into human body will not cause cholera infection; if [Formula: see text], vibrios will grow with increased toxicity and persist within the host, leading to human cholera. In contrast, the stochastic model indicates, more realistically, that there is always a positive probability of disease extinction within the human host.

  12. Distribution and interaction patterns of bacterial communities in an ornithogenic soil of Seymour Island, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampelotto, Pabulo Henrique; Barboza, Anthony Diego Muller; Pereira, Antônio Batista; Triplett, Eric W; Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto G R; de Oliveira Camargo, Flávio Anastácio; Roesch, Luiz Fernando Wurdig

    2015-04-01

    Next-generation, culture-independent sequencing offers an excellent opportunity to examine network interactions among different microbial species. In this study, soil bacterial communities from a penguin rookery site at Seymour Island were analyzed for abundance, structure, diversity, and interaction networks to identify interaction patterns among the various taxa at three soil depths. The analysis revealed the presence of eight phyla distributed in different proportions among the surface layer (0-8 cm), middle layer (20-25 cm), and bottom (35-40 cm). The bottom layer presented the highest values of bacterial richness, diversity, and evenness when compared to surface and middle layers. The network analysis revealed the existence of a unique pattern of interactions in which the soil microbial network formed a clustered topology, rather than a modular structure as is usually found in biological communities. In addition, specific taxa were identified as important players in microbial community structure. Furthermore, simulation analyses indicated that the loss of potential keystone groups of microorganisms might alter the patterns of interactions within the microbial community. These findings provide new insights for assessing the consequences of environmental disturbances at the whole-community level in Antarctica.

  13. Raman spectroscopy based toolkit for mapping bacterial social interactions relevant to human and plant health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvillion, Sheha Polisetti

    Bacteria interact and co-exist with other microbes and with higher organisms like plants and humans, playing a major role in their health and well being. These ubiquitous single celled organisms are so successful, because they can form organized communities, called biofilms, that protect them from environmental stressors and enable communication and cooperation among members of the community. The work described in this thesis develops a toolkit of analytical techniques centered around Raman microspectroscopy and imaging representing a powerful approach to non-invasively investigate bacterial communities, yielding molecular information at the sub-micrometer length scale. Bacterial cellular components of non-pigmented and pigmented rhizosphere strains are characterized, and regiospecific SERS is used for cases where resonantly enhanced background signals obscure the spectra. Silver nanoparticle colloids were synthesized in situ, in the presence of the cells to form a proximal coating and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed features attributed to flavins. SERS enabled in situ acquisition of Raman spectra and chemical images in highly autofluorescent P.aeruginosa biofilms. In combination with PCA, this allowed for non-invasive spatial mapping of bacterial communities and revealed differences between strains and nutrients in the secretion of virulence factor pyocyanin. The rich potential of using Raman microspectroscopy to study plant-microbe interactions is demonstrated. Effect of exposure to oxidative stress, on both the wild type Pantoea sp. YR343 and carotenoid mutant Delta crtB, was assessed by following the intensity of the 1520 cm -1 and 1126 cm-1 Raman bands, respectively, after treatment with various concentrations of H2O2. Significant changes were observed in these marker bands even at concentrations (1 mM) below the point at which the traditional plate-based viability assay shows an effect (5-10 mM), thus establishing the value of Raman

  14. Antagonistic interactions are sufficient to explain self-assemblage of bacterial communities in a homogeneous environment: a computational modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapién-Campos, Román; Olmedo-Álvarez, Gabriela; Santillán, Moisés

    2015-01-01

    Most of the studies in Ecology have been devoted to analyzing the effects the environment has on individuals, populations, and communities, thus neglecting the effects of biotic interactions on the system dynamics. In the present work we study the structure of bacterial communities in the oligotrophic shallow water system of Churince, Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico. Since the physicochemical conditions of this water system are homogeneous and quite stable in time, it is an excellent candidate to study how biotic factors influence the structure of bacterial communities. In a previous study, the binary antagonistic interactions of 78 bacterial strains, isolated from Churince, were experimentally determined. We employ these data to develop a computer algorithm to simulate growth experiments in a cellular grid representing the pond. Remarkably, in our model, the dynamics of all the simulated bacterial populations is determined solely by antagonistic interactions. Our results indicate that all bacterial strains (even those that are antagonized by many other bacteria) survive in the long term, and that the underlying mechanism is the formation of bacterial community patches. Patches corresponding to less antagonistic and highly susceptible strains are consistently isolated from the highly-antagonistic bacterial colonies by patches of neutral strains. These results concur with the observed features of the bacterial community structure previously reported. Finally, we study how our findings depend on factors like initial population size, differential population growth rates, homogeneous population death rates, and enhanced bacterial diffusion.

  15. Antagonistic interactions are sufficient to explain self-assemblage of bacterial communities in a homogeneous environment: a computational modeling approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Román eZapién-Campos

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Most of the studies in Ecology have been devoted to analyzing the effects the environment has on individuals, populations, and communities, thus neglecting the effects of biotic interactions on the system dynamics. In the present work we study the structure of bacterial communities in the oligotrophic shallow water system of Churince, Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico. Since the physicochemical conditions of this water system are homogeneous and quite stable in time, it is an excellent candidate to study how biotic factors influence the structure of bacterial communities. In a previous study, the binary antagonistic interactions of 78 bacterial strains, isolated from Churince, were experimentally determined. We employ these data to develop a computer algorithm to simulate growth experiments in a cellular grid representing the pond. Remarkably, in our model, the dynamics of all the simulated bacterial populations is determined solely by antagonistic interactions. Our results indicate that all bacterial strains (even those that are antagonized by many other bacteria survive in the long term, and that the underlying mechanism is the formation of bacterial community patches. Patches corresponding to less antagonistic and highly susceptible strains are consistently isolated from the highly-antagonistic bacterial colonies by patches of neutral strains. These results concur with the observed features of the bacterial community structure previously reported. Finally, we study how our findings depend on factors like initial population size, differential population growth rates, homogeneous population death rates, and enhanced bacterial diffusion.

  16. Studies on interaction of colloidal silver nanoparticles (SNPs) with five different bacterial species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, S Sudheer; Mukherjee, Amitava; Chandrasekaran, N

    2011-10-01

    Silver nanoparticles (SNPs) are being increasingly used in many consumer products like textile fabrics, cosmetics, washing machines, food and drug products owing to its excellent antimicrobial properties. Here we have studied the adsorption and toxicity of SNPs on bacterial species such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus barbaricus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The influence of zeta potential on the adsorption of SNPs on bacterial cell surface was investigated at acidic, neutral and alkaline pH and with varying salt (NaCl) concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1 and 1.5 M). The survival rate of bacterial species decreased with increase in adsorption of SNPs. Maximum adsorption and toxicity was observed at pH 5, and NaCl concentration of 0.5 M, there by resulting in less toxicity. The zeta potential study suggests that, the adsorption of SNPs on the cell surface was related to electrostatic force of attraction. The equilibrium and kinetics of the adsorption process were also studied. The adsorption equilibrium isotherms fitted well to the Langmuir model. The kinetics of adsorption fitted best to pseudo-first-order. These findings form a basis for interpreting the interaction of nanoparticles with environmental bacterial species.

  17. Study of the interactions between endolysin and bacterial peptidoglycan on S. aureus by dynamic force spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianli; Zhang, Xuejie; Yang, Hang; Yuan, Jinghe; Wei, Hongping; Yu, Junping; Fang, Xiaohong

    2015-09-01

    The cell wall binding domain (CBD) of bacteriophage lysins can recognize target bacteria with extraordinary specificity through binding to bacterial peptidoglycan, thus it is a promising new probe to identify the corresponding bacterial pathogen. In this work, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) based single-molecule force spectroscopy to investigate the interaction between the CBD of lysin PlyV12 (PlyV12C) and pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The binding forces of PlyV12C with S. aureus have been measured, and the dissociation process of their binding complex has been characterized. Furthermore, we compared the interactions of PlyV12C-S. aureus and antibody-S. aureus. It is revealed that PlyV12C has a comparable affinity to bacterial peptidoglycans as that of the S. aureus antibody. The results provide new information on the binding properties of lysin CBD with bacterium, and the application of lysin CBD in bacterium detection.

  18. Interaction between selected bacterial strains and Arabidopsis halleri modulates shoot proteome and cadmium and zinc accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farinati, Silvia; DalCrso, Giovanni; Panigati, Monica; Furini, Antonella

    2011-06-01

    The effects of plant-microbe interactions between the hyperaccumulator Arabidopsis halleri and eight bacterial strains, isolated from the rhizosphere of A. halleri plants grown in a cadmium- and zinc-contaminated site, were analysed for shoot metal accumulation, shoot proteome, and the transcription of genes involved in plant metal homeostasis and hyperaccumulation. Cadmium and zinc concentrations were lower in the shoots of plants cultivated in the presence of these metals plus the selected bacterial strains compared with plants grown solely with these metals or, as previously reported, with plants grown with these metals plus the autochthonous rhizosphere-derived microorganisms. The shoot proteome of plants cultivated in the presence of these selected bacterial strains plus metals, showed an increased abundance of photosynthesis- and abiotic stress-related proteins (e.g. subunits of the photosynthetic complexes, Rubisco, superoxide dismutase, and malate dehydrogenase) counteracted by a decreased amount of plant defence-related proteins (e.g. endochitinases, vegetative storage proteins, and β-glucosidase). The transcription of several homeostasis genes was modulated by the microbial communities and by Cd and Zn content in the shoot. Altogether these results highlight the importance of plant-microbe interactions in plant protein expression and metal accumulation and emphasize the possibility of exploiting microbial consortia for increasing or decreasing shoot metal content.

  19. Interaction between selected bacterial strains and Arabidopsis halleri modulates shoot proteome and cadmium and zinc accumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panigati, Monica; Furini, Antonella

    2011-01-01

    The effects of plant–microbe interactions between the hyperaccumulator Arabidopsis halleri and eight bacterial strains, isolated from the rhizosphere of A. halleri plants grown in a cadmium- and zinc-contaminated site, were analysed for shoot metal accumulation, shoot proteome, and the transcription of genes involved in plant metal homeostasis and hyperaccumulation. Cadmium and zinc concentrations were lower in the shoots of plants cultivated in the presence of these metals plus the selected bacterial strains compared with plants grown solely with these metals or, as previously reported, with plants grown with these metals plus the autochthonous rhizosphere-derived microorganisms. The shoot proteome of plants cultivated in the presence of these selected bacterial strains plus metals, showed an increased abundance of photosynthesis- and abiotic stress-related proteins (e.g. subunits of the photosynthetic complexes, Rubisco, superoxide dismutase, and malate dehydrogenase) counteracted by a decreased amount of plant defence-related proteins (e.g. endochitinases, vegetative storage proteins, and β-glucosidase). The transcription of several homeostasis genes was modulated by the microbial communities and by Cd and Zn content in the shoot. Altogether these results highlight the importance of plant-microbe interactions in plant protein expression and metal accumulation and emphasize the possibility of exploiting microbial consortia for increasing or decreasing shoot metal content. PMID:21357773

  20. Study of the interactions between endolysin and bacterial peptidoglycan on S. aureus by dynamic force spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianli; Zhang, Xuejie; Yang, Hang; Yuan, Jinghe; Wei, Hongping; Yu, Junping; Fang, Xiaohong

    2015-10-07

    The cell wall binding domain (CBD) of bacteriophage lysins can recognize target bacteria with extraordinary specificity through binding to bacterial peptidoglycan, thus it is a promising new probe to identify the corresponding bacterial pathogen. In this work, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) based single-molecule force spectroscopy to investigate the interaction between the CBD of lysin PlyV12 (PlyV12C) and pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The binding forces of PlyV12C with S. aureus have been measured, and the dissociation process of their binding complex has been characterized. Furthermore, we compared the interactions of PlyV12C-S. aureus and antibody-S. aureus. It is revealed that PlyV12C has a comparable affinity to bacterial peptidoglycans as that of the S. aureus antibody. The results provide new information on the binding properties of lysin CBD with bacterium, and the application of lysin CBD in bacterium detection.

  1. Assessing Interactions of Multiple Agrichemicals by Using Bacterial Assemblages in a Wetland Mesocosm System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce Libman

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Agrichemicals may enter wetlands located adjacent to or downstream from agricultural fields. We investigated the individual and interactive effects of three agrichemicals [atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and monosodium acid methanearsonate (MSMA] and methyl mercury on abundance and heterotrophic potential of wetland heterotrophic bacteria assemblages. We used a factorial experimental design, in which chemicals were introduced in all possible combinations to 66 500-liter mesocosms at the Biological Field Station of the University of Mississippi. Methyl mercury was added to bring the total mercury (HG concentration to 0.4 mg/Kg wet weight at the sediment surface. Atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and MSMA were added at concentrations of 192, 51, and 219μg/L, respectively. Over 32 days of exposure, microbial heterotrophic activity was sensitive to only the interactive effect of HG*ATR*CPF in the sediments and only CPF in the water. Total bacterial numbers did not exhibit any significant treatment effects. Therefore, the effects of agrichemicals were reflected on cell-specific bacterial heterotrophic activity rather than bacterial population size.

  2. Vector-borne bacterial plant pathogens: Interactions with hemipteran insects and plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M Perilla-Henao

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Hemipteran insects are devastating pests of crops due to their wide host range, rapid reproduction, and ability to transmit numerous plant-infecting pathogens as vectors. While the field of plant-virus-vector interactions has flourished in recent years, plant-bacteria-vector interactions remain poorly understood. Leafhoppers and psyllids are by far the most important vectors of bacterial pathogens, yet there are still significant gaps in our understanding of their feeding behavior, salivary secretions, and plant responses as compared to important viral vectors, such as whiteflies and aphids. Even with an incomplete understanding of plant-bacteria-vector interactions, some common themes have emerged: 1 all known vector-borne bacteria share the ability to propagate in the plant and insect host; 2 particular hemipteran families appear to be incapable of transmitting vector-borne bacteria; 3 all known vector-borne bacteria have highly reduced genomes and coding capacity, resulting in host-dependence; and 4 vector-borne bacteria encode proteins that are essential for colonization of specific hosts, though only a few types of proteins have been investigated. Here, we review the current knowledge on important vector-borne bacterial pathogens, including Xylella fastidiosa, Spiroplasma spp., Liberibacter spp., and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma spp.’. We then highlight recent approaches used in the study of vector-borne bacteria. Finally, we discuss the application of this knowledge for control and future directions that will need to be addressed in the field of vector-plant-bacteria interactions.

  3. Interparticle interactions mediated superspin glass to superferromagnetic transition in Ni-bacterial cellulose aerogel nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiruvengadam, V.; Vitta, Satish

    2016-06-01

    The interparticle interactions in the magnetic nanocomposites play a dominant role in controlling phase transitions: superparamagnetic to superspin glass and to superferromagnetic. These interactions can be tuned by controlling the size and number density of nanoparticles. The aerogel composites, 0.3Ni-BC and 0.7Ni-BC, consisting of Ni nanoparticles distributed in the bacterial cellulose have been used as a model system to study these interactions. Contrary to conventional approach, size of Ni-nanoparticles is not controlled and allowed to form naturally in bacterial cellulose template. The uncontrolled growth of Ni results in the formation of nanoparticles with 3 different size distributions - 100 nm particles in voids formed by reticulate structure. At room temperature, the composites exhibit a weakly ferromagnetic behaviour with a coercivity of 40 Oe, which increases to 160 Oe at 10 K. The transition from weakly ferromagnetic state to superferromagnetic state at low temperatures is mediated by the superspin glass state at intermediate temperatures via the interparticle interactions aided by nanoparticles present along the length of fibres. A temperature dependent microstructural model has been developed to understand the magnetic behaviour of nanocomposite aerogels.

  4. Effects of structure on the interactions between five natural antimicrobial compounds and phospholipids of bacterial cell membrane on model monolayers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monolayers composed of bacterial phospholipids were used as model membranes to study interactions of naturally occurring phenolic compounds 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde and the plant essential oil compounds carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol, previously found to be...

  5. Melanins and melanogenesis: methods, standards, protocols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Ischia, Marco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Napolitano, Alessandra; Briganti, Stefania; Garcia-Borron, José-Carlos; Kovacs, Daniela; Meredith, Paul; Pezzella, Alessandro; Picardo, Mauro; Sarna, Tadeusz; Simon, John D; Ito, Shosuke

    2013-09-01

    Despite considerable advances in the past decade, melanin research still suffers from the lack of universally accepted and shared nomenclature, methodologies, and structural models. This paper stems from the joint efforts of chemists, biochemists, physicists, biologists, and physicians with recognized and consolidated expertise in the field of melanins and melanogenesis, who critically reviewed and experimentally revisited methods, standards, and protocols to provide for the first time a consensus set of recommended procedures to be adopted and shared by researchers involved in pigment cell research. The aim of the paper was to define an unprecedented frame of reference built on cutting-edge knowledge and state-of-the-art methodology, to enable reliable comparison of results among laboratories and new progress in the field based on standardized methods and shared information.

  6. Enhanced Biofilm Formation and Increased Resistance to Antimicrobial Agents and Bacterial Invasion Are Caused by Synergistic Interactions in Multispecies Biofilms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burmølle, Mette; Webb, J.S.; Rao, D.

    2006-01-01

    Most biofilms in their natural environments are likely to consist of consortia of species that influence each other in synergistic and antagonistic manners. However, few reports specifically address interactions within multispecies biofilms. In this study, 17 epiphytic bacterial strains, isolated...... specific interactions. In summary, our data strongly indicate that synergistic effects promote biofilm biomass and resistance of the biofilm to antimicrobial agents and bacterial invasion in multispecies biofilms....

  7. Induction of melanin biosynthesis in Vibrio cholerae.

    OpenAIRE

    Coyne, V E; al-Harthi, L

    1992-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae synthesized the pigment melanin in response to specific physiological conditions that were stressful to the bacterium. Pigmentation was induced when V. cholerae was subjected to hyperosmotic stress in conjunction with elevated growth temperatures (above 30 degrees C). The salt concentration tolerated by V. cholerae was lowered by additional abiotic factors such as acidic starting pH of the growth medium and limitation of organic nutrients. Although the amount of toxin detected...

  8. Studies on Synthetic and Natural Melanin and Its Affinity for Fe(III Ion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. G. Costa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we measured the metal-binding sites of natural and synthetic dihydroxyindole (DHI melanins and their respective interactions with Fe(III ions. Besides the two acid groups detected for the DHI system: catechol (Cat and quinone-imine (QI, acetate groups were detected in the natural oligomer by potentiometric titrations. At acidic pH values, Fe(III complexation with synthetic melanin was detected in an Fe(OH(CatH2Cat interaction. With an increase of pH, three new interactions occurred: dihydroxide diprotonated catechol, Fe(OH2(CatH2Cat−, dihydroxide monoprotonated catechol, [Fe(OH2(CatHCat]2−, and an interaction resulting from the association of one quinone-imine and a catechol group, [Fe(OH2(Qi−(CatHCat]3−. In the natural melanin system, we detected the same interactions involving catechol and quinone-imine groups but also the metal interacts with acetate group at pH values lower than 4.0. Furthermore, interactions in the synthetic system were also characterized by infrared spectroscopy by using the characteristic vibrations of catechol and quinone-imine groups. Finally, scanning electronic microscopy (SEM and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDS analysis were used to examine the differences in morphology of these two systems in the absence and presence of Fe(III ions. The mole ratio of metal and donor atoms was obtained by the EDS analysis.

  9. The interaction of bacterial magnetosomes and human liver cancer cells in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Pingping; Chen, Chuanfang; Chen, Changyou; Li, Yue; Pan, Weidong; Song, Tao

    2017-04-01

    As the biogenic magnetic nanomaterial, bacterial magnetic nanoparticles, namely magnetosomes, provide many advantages for potential biomedical applications. As such, interactions among magnetosomes and target cells should be elucidated to develop their bioapplications and evaluate their biocompatibilities. In this study, the interaction of magnetosomes and human liver cancer HepG2 cells was examined. Prussian blue staining revealed numerous stained particles in or on the cells. Intracellular iron concentrations, measured through inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, increased with the increasing concentration of the magnetosomes. Transmission electron microscopy images showed that magnetosomes could be internalized in cells, mainly encapsulated in membrane vesicles, such as endosomes and lysosomes, and partly found as free particles in the cytosol. Some of the magnetosomes on cellular surfaces were encapsulated through cell membrane ruffling, which is the initiating process of endocytosis. Applying low temperature treatment and using specific endocytic inhibitors, we validated that macropinocytosis and clathrin-mediated endocytosis were involved in magnetosome uptake by HepG2 cells. Consequently, we revealed the interaction and intrinsic endocytic mechanisms of magnetosomes and HepG2 cells. This study provides a basis for the further research on bacterial magnetosome applications in liver diseases.

  10. Interactions of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharides with Gold Nanorod Surfaces Investigated by Refractometric Sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abadeer, Nardine S; Fülöp, Gergő; Chen, Si; Käll, Mikael; Murphy, Catherine J

    2015-11-11

    The interface between nanoparticles and bacterial surfaces is of great interest for applications in nanomedicine and food safety. Here, we demonstrate that interactions between gold nanorods and bacterial surface molecules are governed by the nanoparticle surface coating. Polymer-coated gold nanorod substrates are exposed to lipopolysaccharides extracted from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli, and attachment is monitored using localized surface plasmon resonance refractometric sensing. The number of lipopolysaccharide molecules attached per nanorod is calculated from the shift in the plasmon maximum, which results from the change in refractive index after analyte binding. Colloidal gold nanorods in water are also incubated with lipopolysaccharides to demonstrate the effect of lipopolysaccharide concentration on plasmon shift, ζ-potential, and association constant. Both gold nanorod surface charge and surface chemistry affect gold nanorod-lipopolysaccharide interactions. In general, anionic lipopolysaccharides was found to attach more effectively to cationic gold nanorods than to neutral or anionic gold nanorods. Some variation in lipopolysaccharide attachment is also observed between the three strains studied, demonstrating the potential complexity of bacteria-nanoparticle interactions.

  11. Burkholderia type VI secretion systems have distinct roles in eukaryotic and bacterial cell interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Schwarz

    Full Text Available Bacteria that live in the environment have evolved pathways specialized to defend against eukaryotic organisms or other bacteria. In this manuscript, we systematically examined the role of the five type VI secretion systems (T6SSs of Burkholderia thailandensis (B. thai in eukaryotic and bacterial cell interactions. Consistent with phylogenetic analyses comparing the distribution of the B. thai T6SSs with well-characterized bacterial and eukaryotic cell-targeting T6SSs, we found that T6SS-5 plays a critical role in the virulence of the organism in a murine melioidosis model, while a strain lacking the other four T6SSs remained as virulent as the wild-type. The function of T6SS-5 appeared to be specialized to the host and not related to an in vivo growth defect, as ΔT6SS-5 was fully virulent in mice lacking MyD88. Next we probed the role of the five systems in interbacterial interactions. From a group of 31 diverse bacteria, we identified several organisms that competed less effectively against wild-type B. thai than a strain lacking T6SS-1 function. Inactivation of T6SS-1 renders B. thai greatly more susceptible to cell contact-induced stasis by Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Serratia proteamaculans-leaving it 100- to 1000-fold less fit than the wild-type in competition experiments with these organisms. Flow cell biofilm assays showed that T6S-dependent interbacterial interactions are likely relevant in the environment. B. thai cells lacking T6SS-1 were rapidly displaced in mixed biofilms with P. putida, whereas wild-type cells persisted and overran the competitor. Our data show that T6SSs within a single organism can have distinct functions in eukaryotic versus bacterial cell interactions. These systems are likely to be a decisive factor in the survival of bacterial cells of one species in intimate association with those of another, such as in polymicrobial communities present both in the environment and in many infections.

  12. Melanins and melanogenesis: from pigment cells to human health and technological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Ischia, Marco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Cicoira, Fabio; Di Mauro, Eduardo; Garcia-Borron, Josè Carlos; Commo, Stephane; Galván, Ismael; Ghanem, Ghanem; Kenzo, Koike; Meredith, Paul; Pezzella, Alessandro; Santato, Clara; Sarna, Tadeusz; Simon, John D; Zecca, Luigi; Zucca, Fabio A; Napolitano, Alessandra; Ito, Shosuke

    2015-09-01

    During the past decade, melanins and melanogenesis have attracted growing interest for a broad range of biomedical and technological applications. The burst of polydopamine-based multifunctional coatings in materials science is just one example, and the list may be expanded to include melanin thin films for organic electronics and bioelectronics, drug delivery systems, functional nanoparticles and biointerfaces, sunscreens, environmental remediation devices. Despite considerable advances, applied research on melanins and melanogenesis is still far from being mature. A closer intersectoral interaction between research centers is essential to raise the interests and increase the awareness of the biomedical, biomaterials science and hi-tech sectors of the manifold opportunities offered by pigment cells and related metabolic pathways. Starting from a survey of biological roles and functions, the present review aims at providing an interdisciplinary perspective of melanin pigments and related pathway with a view to showing how it is possible to translate current knowledge about physical and chemical properties and control mechanisms into new bioinspired solutions for biomedical, dermocosmetic, and technological applications.

  13. Bacterial N2-fixation in mangrove ecosystems: insights from a diazotroph-mangrove interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela eAlfaro-Espinoza

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove forests are highly productive ecosystems but represent low nutrient environments. Nitrogen availability is one of the main factors limiting mangrove growth. Diazotrophs have been identified as key organisms that provide nitrogen to these environments. N2-fixation by such organisms was found to be higher in the mangrove roots than in surrounding rhizosphere. Moreover, previous studies showed that mangroves grew better in the presence of N2-fixers indicating a potentially mutualistic relationship. However, the molecular signals and mechanisms that govern these interactions are still poorly understood. Here we present novel insights in the interaction of a diazotroph with a mangrove species to improve our understanding of the molecular and ecophysiological relationship between these two organisms under controlled conditions. Our results showed that M. mangrovicola is a versatile organism capable of competing with other organisms to survive for long periods in mangrove soils. N2-fixation by this bacterium was up-regulated in the presence of mangrove roots, indicating a possible beneficial interaction. The increase in N2-fixation was limited to cells of the exponential growth phase suggesting that N2-fixation differs over the bacterial growth cycle. Bacterial transformants harboring a transcriptional nifH::gusA fusion showed that M. mangrovicola successfully colonized mangrove roots and simultaneously conducted N2-fixation. The colonization process was stimulated by the lack of an external carbon source suggesting a possible mutualistic relationship. M. mangrovicola represents an interesting genetically accessible diazotroph, which colonize mangrove roots and exhibit higher N2-fixation in the presence of mangrove roots. Consequently, we propose this microorganism as a tool to study molecular interactions between N2-fixers and mangrove plants and to better understand how changes in the environment could impact these important and relatively

  14. Bacterial N2-fixation in mangrove ecosystems: insights from a diazotroph-mangrove interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfaro-Espinoza, Gabriela; Ullrich, Matthias S

    2015-01-01

    Mangrove forests are highly productive ecosystems but represent low nutrient environments. Nitrogen availability is one of the main factors limiting mangrove growth. Diazotrophs have been identified as key organisms that provide nitrogen to these environments. N2-fixation by such organisms was found to be higher in the mangrove roots than in surrounding rhizosphere. Moreover, previous studies showed that mangroves grew better in the presence of N2-fixers indicating a potentially mutualistic relationship. However, the molecular signals and mechanisms that govern these interactions are still poorly understood. Here we present novel insights in the interaction of a diazotroph with a mangrove species to improve our understanding of the molecular and ecophysiological relationship between these two organisms under controlled conditions. Our results showed that Marinobacterium mangrovicola is a versatile organism capable of competing with other organisms to survive for long periods in mangrove soils. N2-fixation by this bacterium was up-regulated in the presence of mangrove roots, indicating a possible beneficial interaction. The increase in N2-fixation was limited to cells of the exponential growth phase suggesting that N2-fixation differs over the bacterial growth cycle. Bacterial transformants harboring a transcriptional nifH::gusA fusion showed that M. mangrovicola successfully colonized mangrove roots and simultaneously conducted N2-fixation. The colonization process was stimulated by the lack of an external carbon source suggesting a possible mutualistic relationship. M. mangrovicola represents an interesting genetically accessible diazotroph, which colonize mangrove roots and exhibit higher N2-fixation in the presence of mangrove roots. Consequently, we propose this microorganism as a tool to study molecular interactions between N2-fixers and mangrove plants and to better understand how changes in the environment could impact these important and relatively unknown

  15. Biochemical degradation of soil humic acids and fungal melanins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zavgorodnyaya, Y.A.; Demin, V.V.; Kurakov, A.V. [Moscow MV Lomonosov State University, Moscow (Russian Federation). Dept. of Soil Science

    2002-07-01

    Studies were conducted to compare properties and biodegradation of fungal melanins from Aspergillus niger and Cladosporium cladosporiodes with those of humic acids from soils and brown coal. Compared to the humic acids the fungal melanins contained more functional groups, were less hydrophilic and had relatively high molecular weights. Under the conditions of incubation the melanins were found to be more readily degradable than the humic acids studied. The changes in elemental composition, optical parameters and the decrease of molecular weight, observed for both fungal melanins during degradation, made them more similar to soil humic acids.

  16. Dopamine-melanin nanofilms for biomimetic structural coloration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tong-Fei; Hong, Jong-Dal

    2015-02-09

    This article describes the formation of dopamine-melanin thin films (50-200 nm thick) at an air/dopamine solution interface under static conditions. Beneath these films, spherical melanin granules formed in bulk liquid phase. The thickness of dopamine-melanin films at the interface relied mainly on the concentration of dopamine solution and the reaction time. A plausible mechanism underlining dopamine-melanin thin film formation was proposed based on the hydrophobicity of dopamine-melanin aggregates and the mass transport of the aggregates to the air/solution interface as a result of convective flow. The thickness of the interfacial films increased linearly with the dopamine concentration and the reaction time. The dopamine-melanin thin film and granules (formed in bulk liquid phase) with a double-layered structure were transferred onto a solid substrate to mimic the (keratin layer)/(melanin granules) structure present in bird plumage, thereby preparing full dopamine-melanin thin-film reflectors. The reflected color of the thin-film reflectors depended on the film thickness, which could be adjusted according to the dopamine concentration. The reflectance of the resulted reflectors exhibited a maximal reflectance value of 8-11%, comparable to that of bird plumage (∼11%). This study provides a useful, simple, and low-cost approach to the fabrication of biomimetic thin-film reflectors using full dopamine-melanin materials.

  17. Effect of UV irradiation on free radicals in synthetic melanin and melanin biopolymer from Sepia officinalis – EPR examination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zdybel Magdalena

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Free radicals in synthetic melanin and melanin from Sepia officinalis were studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy. The effect of time of ultraviolet (UV irradiation on free radicals in these melanins was tested. The samples were exposed to UV during 15, 30, and 60 minutes. EPR spectra were measured with microwaves from an X-band (9.3 GHz in the range of microwave power of 2.2–70 mW. The performed EPR examinations indicate that high concentrations (~1021–1022 spin/g of o-semiquinone free radicals with g factors of 2.0039–2.0045 exist in all the tested samples. For nonirradiated samples, free radical concentration was higher in natural melanin than in synthetic melanin. UV irradiation caused the increase of free radical concentrations in synthetic melanin samples and this effect depends on the time of irradiation. The largest free radical formation in the both melanins was obtained for 60 min of UV irradiation. Free radical concentrations after the UV irradiation of melanins during 30 min were lower than during irradiation by 15 min, and probably this effect was the result of recombination of the radiatively formed free radicals. EPR lines of the tested samples broadened with increasing microwave power, so these lines were homogeneously broadened. The two types of melanins differed in the time of spin-lattice relaxation processes. Slower spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in melanin from Sepia officinalis than in synthetic melanin. UV irradiation did not change the time of spin-lattice relaxation processes in the tested melanins. The performed studies confirmed the usefulness of EPR spectroscopy in cosmetology and medicine.

  18. Role of the σ54 Activator Interacting Domain in Bacterial Transcription Initiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siegel, Alexander R. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Wemmer, David E. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2016-10-11

    Bacterial sigma factors are subunits of RNA polymerase that direct the holoenzyme to specific sets of promoters in the genome and are a central element of regulating transcription. Most polymerase holoenzymes open the promoter and initiate transcription rapidly after binding. However, polymerase containing the members of the σ54 family must be acted on by a transcriptional activator before DNA opening and initiation occur. A key domain in these transcriptional activators forms a hexameric AAA + ATPase that acts through conformational changes brought on by ATP hydrolysis. Contacts between the transcriptional activator and σ54 are primarily made through an N-terminal σ54 activator interacting domain (AID). To better understand this mechanism of bacterial transcription initiation, we characterized the σ54 AID by NMR spectroscopy and other biophysical methods and show that it is an intrinsically disordered domain in σ54 alone. In this paper, we identified a minimal construct of the Aquifex aeolicus σ54 AID that consists of two predicted helices and retains native-like binding affinity for the transcriptional activator NtrC1. Using the NtrC1 ATPase domain, bound with the non-hydrolyzable ATP analog ADP-beryllium fluoride, we studied the NtrC1–σ54 AID complex using NMR spectroscopy. We show that the σ54 AID becomes structured after associating with the core loops of the transcriptional activators in their ATP state and that the primary site of the interaction is the first predicted helix. Finally, understanding this complex, formed as the first step toward initiation, will help unravel the mechanism of σ54 bacterial transcription initiation.

  19. The interaction of DNA gyrase with the bacterial toxin CcdB

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kampranis, S C; Howells, A J; Maxwell, A

    1999-01-01

    CcdB is a bacterial toxin that targets DNA gyrase. Analysis of the interaction of CcdB with gyrase reveals two distinct complexes. An initial complex (alpha) is formed by direct interaction between GyrA and CcdB; this complex can be detected by affinity column and gel-shift analysis, and has...... of this initial complex with ATP in the presence of GyrB and DNA slowly converts it to a second complex (beta), which has a lower rate of ATP hydrolysis and is unable to catalyse supercoiling. The efficiency of formation of this inactive complex is dependent on the concentrations of ATP and CcdB. We suggest...

  20. Microbial interactions chapter: binding and entry of DNA in bacterial transformation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lacks, S.A.

    1977-01-01

    Genetic transformation of bacteria by DNA released from cells of a related strain is discussed. The mechanism by which the giant information-bearing molecules of DNA are transported into the bacterial cell was investigated. It was concluded that the overall process of DNA uptake consists of two main steps, binding of donor DNA to the outside of the cell and entry of the bound DNA into the cell. Each step is discussed in detail. Inasmuch as these phenomena occur at the cell surface, they are related to structures and functions of the cell wall and membrane. In addition, the development of competence, that is the formation of cell surface structures allowing DNA uptake, is examined from both a physiological and evolutionary point of view. Genetic transfer mediated by free DNA is an obvious and important form of cellular interaction. The development of competence involves another, quite distinct system of interaction between bacterial cells. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, and Hemophilus influenzae were used as the test organisms. 259 references.

  1. Burkholderia type VI secretion systems have distinct roles in eukaryotic and bacterial cell interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwarz, Sandra; West, T Eoin; Boyer, Frédéric

    2010-01-01

    lacking the other four T6SSs remained as virulent as the wild-type. The function of T6SS-5 appeared to be specialized to the host and not related to an in vivo growth defect, as ¿T6SS-5 was fully virulent in mice lacking MyD88. Next we probed the role of the five systems in interbacterial interactions......Bacteria that live in the environment have evolved pathways specialized to defend against eukaryotic organisms or other bacteria. In this manuscript, we systematically examined the role of the five type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) of Burkholderia thailandensis (B. thai) in eukaryotic and bacterial...... cell interactions. Consistent with phylogenetic analyses comparing the distribution of the B. thai T6SSs with well-characterized bacterial and eukaryotic cell-targeting T6SSs, we found that T6SS-5 plays a critical role in the virulence of the organism in a murine melioidosis model, while a strain...

  2. Culturable bacterial communities associated to Brazilian Oscarella species (Porifera: Homoscleromorpha) and their antagonistic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laport, Marinella Silva; Bauwens, Mathieu; de Oliveira Nunes, Suzanne; Willenz, Philippe; George, Isabelle; Muricy, Guilherme

    2017-04-01

    Sponges offer an excellent model to investigate invertebrate-microorganism interactions. Furthermore, bacteria associated with marine sponges represent a rich source of bioactive metabolites. The aim of this study was to characterize the bacteria inhabiting a genus of sponges, Oscarella, and their potentiality for antimicrobial production. Bacterial isolates were recovered from different Oscarella specimens, among which 337 were phylogenetically identified. The culturable community was dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, and Vibrio was the most frequently isolated genus, followed by Shewanella. When tested for antimicrobial production, bacteria of the 12 genera isolated were capable of producing antimicrobial substances. The majority of strains were involved in antagonistic interactions and inhibitory activities were also observed against bacteria of medical importance. It was more pronounced in some isolated genera (Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Photobacterium, Shewanella and Vibrio). These findings suggest that chemical antagonism could play a significant role in shaping bacterial communities within Oscarella, a genus classified as low-microbial abundance sponge. Moreover, the identified strains may contribute to the search for new sources of antimicrobial substances, an important strategy for developing therapies to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. This study was the first to investigate the diversity and antagonistic activity of bacteria isolated from Oscarella spp. It highlights the biotechnological potential of sponge-associated bacteria.

  3. Probing Induced Structural Changes in Biomimetic Bacterial Cell Membrane Interactions with Divalent Cations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holt, Allison M [ORNL; Standaert, Robert F [ORNL; Jubb, Aaron M [ORNL; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Johs, Alexander [ORNL

    2017-01-01

    Biological membranes, formed primarily by the self-assembly of complex mixtures of phospholipids, provide a structured scaffold for compartmentalization and structural processes in living cells. The specific physical properties of phospholipid species present in a given membrane play a key role in mediating these processes. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a zwitterionic lipid present in bacterial, yeast, and mammalian cell membranes, is exceptional. In addition to undergoing the standard lipid polymorphic transition between the gel and liquid-crystalline phase, it can also assume an unusual polymorphic state, the inverse hexagonal phase (HII). Divalent cations are among the factors that drive the formation of the HII phase, wherein the lipid molecules form stacked tubular structures by burying the hydrophilic head groups and exposing the hydrophobic tails to the bulk solvent. Most biological membranes contain a lipid species capable of forming the HII state suggesting that such lipid polymorphic structural states play an important role in structural biological processes such as membrane fusion. In this study, the interactions between Mg2+ and biomimetic bacterial cell membranes composed of PE and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) were probed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), and fluorescence spectroscopy. The lipid phase transitions were examined at varying ratios of PE to PG and upon exposure to physiologically relevant concentrations of Mg2+. An understanding of these basic interactions enhances our understanding of membrane dynamics and how membrane-mediated structural changes may occur in vivo.

  4. Fluorescence quenching as a tool to investigate quinolone antibiotic interactions with bacterial protein OmpF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, Patrícia; Sousa, Isabel; Winterhalter, Mathias; Gameiro, Paula

    2009-02-01

    The outer membrane porin OmpF is an important protein for the uptake of antibiotics through the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria; however, the possible binding sites involved in this uptake are still not recognized. Determination, at the molecular level, of the possible sites of antibiotic interaction is very important, not only to understand their mechanism of action but also to unravel bacterial resistance. Due to the intrinsic OmpF fluorescence, attributed mainly to its tryptophans (Trp(214), Trp(61)), quenching experiments were used to assess the site(s) of interaction of some quinolone antibiotics. OmpF was reconstituted in different organized structures, and the fluorescence quenching results, in the presence of two quenching agents, acrylamide and iodide, certified that acrylamide quenches Trp(61) and iodide Trp(214). Similar data, obtained in presence of the quinolones, revealed distinct behaviors for these antibiotics, with nalidixic acid interacting near Trp(214) and moxifloxacin near Trp(61). These studies, based on straightforward and quick procedures, show the existence of conformational changes in the protein in order to adapt to the different organized structures and to interact with the quinolones. The extent of reorganization of the protein in the presence of the different quinolones allowed an estimate on the sites of protein/quinolone interaction.

  5. Intimate bacterial-fungal interaction triggers biosynthesis of archetypal polyketides in Aspergillus nidulans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeckh, Volker; Scherlach, Kirstin; Nützmann, Hans-Wilhelm; Shelest, Ekaterina; Schmidt-Heck, Wolfgang; Schuemann, Julia; Martin, Karin; Hertweck, Christian; Brakhage, Axel A

    2009-08-25

    Fungi produce numerous low molecular weight molecules endowed with a multitude of biological activities. However, mining the full-genome sequences of fungi indicates that their potential to produce secondary metabolites is greatly underestimated. Because most of the biosynthesis gene clusters are silent under laboratory conditions, one of the major challenges is to understand the physiological conditions under which these genes are activated. Thus, we cocultivated the important model fungus Aspergillus nidulans with a collection of 58 soil-dwelling actinomycetes. By microarray analyses of both Aspergillus secondary metabolism and full-genome arrays and Northern blot and quantitative RT-PCR analyses, we demonstrate at the molecular level that a distinct fungal-bacterial interaction leads to the specific activation of fungal secondary metabolism genes. Most surprisingly, dialysis experiments and electron microscopy indicated that an intimate physical interaction of the bacterial and fungal mycelia is required to elicit the specific response. Gene knockout experiments provided evidence that one induced gene cluster codes for the long-sought after polyketide synthase (PKS) required for the biosynthesis of the archetypal polyketide orsellinic acid, the typical lichen metabolite lecanoric acid, and the cathepsin K inhibitors F-9775A and F-9775B. A phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that orthologs of this PKS are widespread in nature in all major fungal groups, including mycobionts of lichens. These results provide evidence of specific interaction among microorganisms belonging to different domains and support the hypothesis that not only diffusible signals but intimate physical interactions contribute to the communication among microorganisms and induction of otherwise silent biosynthesis genes.

  6. Bioproduction, characterization, anticancer and antioxidant activities of extracellular melanin pigment produced by newly isolated microbial cell factories Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Naggar, Noura El-Ahmady; El-Ewasy, Sara M.

    2017-01-01

    In this present study, a newly isolated strain, Streptomyces sp. NEAE-H, capable of producing high amount of black extracellular melanin pigment on peptone-yeast extract iron agar and identified as Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H. Plackett–Burman statistical design was conducted for initial screening of 17 independent (assigned) variables for their significances on melanin pigment production by Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H. The most significant factors affecting melanin production are incubation period, protease-peptone and ferric ammonium citrate. The levels of these significant variables and their interaction effects were optimized by using face-centered central composite design. The maximum melanin production (31.650 μg/0.1 ml) and tyrosinase activity (6089.10 U/ml) were achieved in the central point runs under the conditions of incubation period (6 days), protease-peptone (5 g/L) and ferric ammonium citrate (0.5 g/L). Melanin pigment was recovered by acid-treatment. Higher absorption of the purified melanin pigment was observed in the UV region at 250 nm. It appeared to have defined small spheres by scanning electron microscopy imaging. The maximum melanin yield was 350 mg dry wt/L of production medium. In vitro anticancer activity of melanin pigment was assayed against skin cancer cell line using MTT assay. The IC50 value was 16.34 ± 1.31 μg/ml for melanin and 8.8 ± 0.5 μg/ml for standard 5-fluorouracil. PMID:28195138

  7. Suppressing bacterial interaction with copper surfaces through graphene and hexagonal-boron nitride coatings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Carolina; Montero-Silva, Francisco; Henríquez, Ricardo; Flores, Marcos; Garín, Carolina; Ramírez, Cristian; Moreno, Macarena; Correa, Jonathan; Seeger, Michael; Häberle, Patricio

    2015-04-01

    Understanding biological interaction with graphene and hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) membranes has become essential for the incorporation of these unique materials in contact with living organisms. Previous reports show contradictions regarding the bacterial interaction with graphene sheets on metals. Here, we present a comprehensive study of the interaction of bacteria with copper substrates coated with single-layer graphene and h-BN. Our results demonstrate that such graphitic coatings substantially suppress interaction between bacteria and underlying Cu substrates, acting as an effective barrier to prevent physical contact. Bacteria do not "feel" the strong antibacterial effect of Cu, and the substrate does not suffer biocorrosion due to bacteria contact. Effectiveness of these systems as barriers can be understood in terms of graphene and h-BN impermeability to transfer Cu(2+) ions, even when graphene and h-BN domain boundary defects are present. Our results seem to indicate that as-grown graphene and h-BN films could successfully protect metals, preventing their corrosion in biological and medical applications.

  8. A functional interaction between ribosomal proteins S7 and S11 within the bacterial ribosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Francis; Brakier-Gingras, Léa

    2003-11-01

    In this study, we used site-directed mutagenesis to disrupt an interaction that had been detected between ribosomal proteins S7 and S11 in the crystal structure of the bacterial 30 S subunit. This interaction, which is located in the E site, connects the head of the 30 S subunit to the platform and is involved in the formation of the exit channel through which passes the 30 S-bound messenger RNA. Neither mutations in S7 nor mutations in S11 prevented the incorporation of the proteins into the 30 S subunits but they perturbed the function of the ribosome. In vivo assays showed that ribosomes with either mutated S7 or S11 were altered in the control of translational fidelity, having an increased capacity for frameshifting, readthrough of a nonsense codon and codon misreading. Toeprinting and filter-binding assays showed that 30 S subunits with either mutated S7 or S11 have an enhanced capacity to bind mRNA. The effects of the S7 and S11 mutations can be related to an increased flexibility of the head of the 30 S, to an opening of the mRNA exit channel and to a perturbation of the proposed allosteric coupling between the A and E sites. Altogether, our results demonstrate that S7 and S11 interact in a functional manner and support the notion that protein-protein interactions contribute to the dynamics of the ribosome.

  9. Aspergillus fumigatus conidial melanin modulates host cytokine response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.Y.A. Chai (Louis); M.G. Netea (Mihai); J. Sugui (Janyce); A.G. Vonk (Alieke); W.W.J. van de Sande (Wendy); A. Warris (Adilia); K.J. Kwon-Chung (Kyung); B. Jan Kullberg (Bart)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractMelanin biopigments have been linked to fungal virulence. Aspergillus fumigatus conidia are melanised and are weakly immunogenic. We show that melanin pigments on the surface of resting Aspergillus fumigatus conidia may serve to mask pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-induced

  10. Aspergillus fumigatus conidial melanin modulates host cytokine response.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chai, L.; Netea, M.G.; Sugui, J.; Vonk, A.G.; Sande, W.W. van de; Warris, A.; Kwon-Chung, K.J.; Kullberg, B.J.

    2010-01-01

    Melanin biopigments have been linked to fungal virulence. Aspergillus fumigatus conidia are melanised and are weakly immunogenic. We show that melanin pigments on the surface of resting Aspergillus fumigatus conidia may serve to mask pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-induced cytokine re

  11. Aspergillus fumigatus conidial melanin modulates host cytokine response.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chai, L.; Netea, M.G.; Sugui, J.; Vonk, A.G.; Sande, W.W. van de; Warris, A.; Kwon-Chung, K.J.; Kullberg, B.J.

    2010-01-01

    Melanin biopigments have been linked to fungal virulence. Aspergillus fumigatus conidia are melanised and are weakly immunogenic. We show that melanin pigments on the surface of resting Aspergillus fumigatus conidia may serve to mask pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-induced cytokine

  12. Aspergillus fumigatus conidial melanin modulates host cytokine response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.Y.A. Chai (Louis); M.G. Netea (Mihai); J. Sugui (Janyce); A.G. Vonk (Alieke); W.W.J. van de Sande (Wendy); A. Warris (Adilia); K.J. Kwon-Chung (Kyung); B. Jan Kullberg (Bart)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractMelanin biopigments have been linked to fungal virulence. Aspergillus fumigatus conidia are melanised and are weakly immunogenic. We show that melanin pigments on the surface of resting Aspergillus fumigatus conidia may serve to mask pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-induced

  13. Interocular agreement in melanin and macular pigment optical density.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanis, M.J.; Berendschot, T.T.J.M.; van Norren, D.

    2007-01-01

    Macular pigment (MP) and melanin possibly protect the macular area by absorbing blue light and acting as antioxidants. Because little is known about the interocular correlation of melanin, we determined its optical density (MOD) in both eyes of healthy subjects using fundus reflectometry. The measur

  14. Phytoplankton and bacterial community structures and their interaction during red-tide phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Mona Mohamed; Ibrahim, Hassan Abd Allah

    2017-07-01

    Phytoplankton and bacteria diversity were studied before, during and after red tide phenomena during spring season 2015 in the Eastern Harbour (E.H.) of Alexandria, Egypt. Fifty five species of phytoplankton were identified and represented different distinct classes "Bacillariophyceae; Dinophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Cyanophyceae and Eugelenophyceae". Also, Diatom formed the most dominant group. The average number of the phytoplankton density varied from 4.8 × 104 to 1.1 × 106 cell l-1 during the study period and Skeletonema costatum was the agent causing the red tide. The existence percentages of bacteria ranged from 2.6 to 17.9% on all media tested. The bacterial isolates on the nutrient agar medium represented the highest existence with a total percentage of 43.6%, followed by MSA medium (25.7%), while the lowest percentage was for the AA medium at 7.8%. However, twelve isolates were selected as representative for bacterial community during study interval. Based on the morphological, biochemical, physiological and enzymatic characteristics, the bacterial strains were described. Depending on the 16S rDNA gene sequence, three common antagonists were aligned as: Vibrio toranzoniae strain Vb 10.8, Ruegeria pelagia strain NBRC 102038 and Psychrobacter adeliensis strain DSM 15333. The interaction between these bacteria and S. costatum was studied. The growth of S. costatum was significantly lower whenever each bacterium was present as compared to axenic culture. More specifically, 30% (v/v) of the all tested bacteria showed the strongest algicidal activities, as all S. costatum cells were killed after two days. 10% of R. pelagia and P. adeliensis also showed significant algicidal activities within six days.

  15. Natural melanin composites by layer-by-layer assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eom, Taesik; Shim, Bong Sub

    2015-04-01

    Melanin is an electrically conductive and biocompatible material, because their conjugated backbone structures provide conducting pathways from human skin, eyes, brain, and beyond. So there is a potential of using as materials for the neural interfaces and the implantable devices. Extracted from Sepia officinalis ink, our natural melanin was uniformly dispersed in mostly polar solvents such as water and alcohols. Then, the dispersed melanin was further fabricated to nano-thin layered composites by the layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique. Combined with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), the melanin nanoparticles behave as an LBL counterpart to from finely tuned nanostructured films. The LBL process can adjust the smart performances of the composites by varying the layering conditions and sandwich thickness. We further demonstrated the melanin loading degree of stacked layers, combination nanostructures, electrical properties, and biocompatibility of the resulting composites by UV-vis spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscope (SEM), multimeter, and in-vitro cell test of PC12, respectively.

  16. Electronic structure calculations of ESR parameters of melanin units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batagin-Neto, Augusto; Bronze-Uhle, Erika Soares; Graeff, Carlos Frederico de Oliveira

    2015-03-21

    Melanins represent an important class of natural pigments present in plants and animals that are currently considered to be promising materials for applications in optic and electronic devices. Despite their interesting properties, some of the basic features of melanins are not satisfactorily understood, including the origin of their intrinsic paramagnetism. A number of experiments have been performed to investigate the electron spin resonance (ESR) response of melanin derivatives, but until now, there has been no consensus regarding the real structure of the paramagnetic centers involved. In this work, we have employed electronic structure calculations to evaluate the ESR parameters of distinct melanin monomers and dimers in order to identify the possible structures associated with unpaired spins in this biopolymer. The g-factors and hyperfine constants of the cationic, anionic and radicalar structures were investigated. The results confirm the existence of at least two distinct paramagnetic centers in melanin structure, identifying the chemical species associated with them and their roles in electrical conductivity.

  17. Complete structure of the bacterial flagellar hook reveals extensive set of stabilizing interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunami, Hideyuki; Barker, Clive S.; Yoon, Young-Ho; Wolf, Matthias; Samatey, Fadel A.

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial flagellar hook is a tubular helical structure made by the polymerization of multiple copies of a protein, FlgE. Here we report the structure of the hook from Campylobacter jejuni by cryo-electron microscopy at a resolution of 3.5 Å. On the basis of this structure, we show that the hook is stabilized by intricate inter-molecular interactions between FlgE molecules. Extra domains in FlgE, found only in Campylobacter and in related bacteria, bring more stability and robustness to the hook. Functional experiments suggest that Campylobacter requires an unusually strong hook to swim without its flagella being torn off. This structure reveals details of the quaternary organization of the hook that consists of 11 protofilaments. Previous study of the flagellar filament of Campylobacter by electron microscopy showed its quaternary structure made of seven protofilaments. Therefore, this study puts in evidence the difference between the quaternary structures of a bacterial filament and its hook. PMID:27811912

  18. Biophysical analysis of the interaction of the serum protein human β2GPI with bacterial lipopolysaccharide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Gries

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available There are several human serum proteins for which no clear role is yet known. Among these is the abundant serum protein beta2-glycoprotein-I (β2GPI, which is known to bind to negatively charged phospholipids as well as to bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS, and was therefore proposed to play a role in the immune response. To understand the details of these interactions, a biophysical analysis of the binding of β2GPI to LPS and phosphatidylserine (PS was performed. The data indicate only a moderate tendency of the protein (1 to influence the LPS-induced cytokine production in vitro, (2 to react exothermally with LPS in a non-saturable way, and (3 to change its local microenvironment upon LPS association. Additionally, we found that the protein binds more strongly to phosphatidylserine (PS than to LPS. Furthermore, β2GPI converts the LPS bilayer aggregates into a stronger multilamellar form, and reduces the fluidity of the hydrocarbon moiety of LPS due to a rigidification of the acyl chains. From these data it can be concluded that β2GPI plays a role as an immune-modulating agent, but there is much less evidence for a role in immune defense against bacterial toxins such as LPS.

  19. Pigment Melanin: Pattern for Iris Recognition

    CERN Document Server

    Hosseini, Mahdi S; Soltanian-Zadeh, Hamid

    2009-01-01

    Recognition of iris based on Visible Light (VL) imaging is a difficult problem because of the light reflection from the cornea. Nonetheless, pigment melanin provides a rich feature source in VL, unavailable in Near-Infrared (NIR) imaging. This is due to biological spectroscopy of eumelanin, a chemical not stimulated in NIR. In this case, a plausible solution to observe such patterns may be provided by an adaptive procedure using a variational technique on the image histogram. To describe the patterns, a shape analysis method is used to derive feature-code for each subject. An important question is how much the melanin patterns, extracted from VL, are independent of iris texture in NIR. With this question in mind, the present investigation proposes fusion of features extracted from NIR and VL to boost the recognition performance. We have collected our own database (UTIRIS) consisting of both NIR and VL images of 158 eyes of 79 individuals. This investigation demonstrates that the proposed algorithm is highly s...

  20. EPR examination of free radical properties of DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beberok, Artur; Buszman, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2010-09-01

    Paramagnetic complexes of DOPA-melanin with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin were studied by EPR spectroscopy. The aim of this work was to determine free radical concentration and properties of these complexes. Free radical concentrations in the studied complexes were ∼1019-1020 spin/g. Relatively lower and similar (5.1-6.6 × 1019 spin/g) free radical concentrations characterized DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, and lomefloxacin. Higher concentrations (0.8-1.2 × 1020 spin/g) were obtained for complexes of norfloxacin and sparfloxacin. Effect of the drug concentration on free radicals in melanin was observed. Strong dipolar spin-spin interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in all of the samples.

  1. Plutonium interaction with a bacterial strain isolated from the waste isolation pilot plant (WIPP) environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strietelmeier, B.A.; Kraus, S.M.; Leonard, P.A.; Triay, I.R. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)] [and others

    1996-12-31

    This work was conducted as part of a series of experiments to determine the association and interaction of various actinides with bacteria isolated from the WIPP site. The majority of bacteria that exist at the site are expected to be halophiles, or extreme halophiles, due to the high concentration of salt minerals at the location. Experiments were conducted to determine the toxicity of plutonium-n-239, neptunium-237 and americium-243 to several species of these halophiles and the results were reported elsewhere. As an extension of these experiments, we report an investigation of the type of association that occurs between {sup 239}Pu and the isolate WIPP-1A, isolated by staff at Brookhaven National Laboratory, when grown in a high-salt, defined medium. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques, we demonstrate a surface association of the {sup 239}Pu with the bacterial cells.

  2. Facing the challenges of multiscale modelling of bacterial and fungal pathogen-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleicher, Jana; Conrad, Theresia; Gustafsson, Mika; Cedersund, Gunnar; Guthke, Reinhard; Linde, Jörg

    2017-03-01

    Recent and rapidly evolving progress on high-throughput measurement techniques and computational performance has led to the emergence of new disciplines, such as systems medicine and translational systems biology. At the core of these disciplines lies the desire to produce multiscale models: mathematical models that integrate multiple scales of biological organization, ranging from molecular, cellular and tissue models to organ, whole-organism and population scale models. Using such models, hypotheses can systematically be tested. In this review, we present state-of-the-art multiscale modelling of bacterial and fungal infections, considering both the pathogen and host as well as their interaction. Multiscale modelling of the interactions of bacteria, especially Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with the human host is quite advanced. In contrast, models for fungal infections are still in their infancy, in particular regarding infections with the most important human pathogenic fungi, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. We reflect on the current availability of computational approaches for multiscale modelling of host-pathogen interactions and point out current challenges. Finally, we provide an outlook for future requirements of multiscale modelling. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  3. Facing the challenges of multiscale modelling of bacterial and fungal pathogen–host interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleicher, Jana; Conrad, Theresia; Gustafsson, Mika; Cedersund, Gunnar; Guthke, Reinhard

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Recent and rapidly evolving progress on high-throughput measurement techniques and computational performance has led to the emergence of new disciplines, such as systems medicine and translational systems biology. At the core of these disciplines lies the desire to produce multiscale models: mathematical models that integrate multiple scales of biological organization, ranging from molecular, cellular and tissue models to organ, whole-organism and population scale models. Using such models, hypotheses can systematically be tested. In this review, we present state-of-the-art multiscale modelling of bacterial and fungal infections, considering both the pathogen and host as well as their interaction. Multiscale modelling of the interactions of bacteria, especially Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with the human host is quite advanced. In contrast, models for fungal infections are still in their infancy, in particular regarding infections with the most important human pathogenic fungi, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. We reflect on the current availability of computational approaches for multiscale modelling of host–pathogen interactions and point out current challenges. Finally, we provide an outlook for future requirements of multiscale modelling. PMID:26857943

  4. Interaction of antimicrobial peptide Plantaricin149a and four analogs with lipid bilayers and bacterial membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luiz de Souza Lopes

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The amidated analog of Plantaricin149, an antimicrobial peptide from Lactobacillus plantarum NRIC 149, directly interacts with negatively charged liposomes and bacterial membranes, leading to their lysis. In this study, four Pln149-analogs were synthesized with different hydrophobic groups at their N-terminus with the goal of evaluating the effect of the modifications at this region in the peptide's antimicrobial properties. The interaction of these peptides with membrane models, surface activity, their hemolytic effect on red blood cells, and antibacterial activity against microorganisms were evaluated. The analogs presented similar action of Plantaricin149a; three of them with no hemolytic effect (< 5% until 0.5 mM, in addition to the induction of a helical element when binding to negative liposomes. The N-terminus difference between the analogs and Plantaricin149a retained the antibacterial effect on S. aureus and P. aeruginosa for all peptides (MIC50 of 19 µM and 155 µM to Plantaricin149a, respectively but resulted in a different mechanism of action against the microorganisms, that was bactericidal for Plantaricin149a and bacteriostatic for the analogs. This difference was confirmed by a reduction in leakage action for the analogs. The lytic activity of Plantaricin149a is suggested to be a result of the peptide-lipid interactions from the amphipathic helix and the hydrophobic residues at the N-terminus of the antimicrobial peptide.

  5. Interactions of a bacterial trehalose lipid with phosphatidylglycerol membranes at low ionic strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teruel, José A; Ortiz, Antonio; Aranda, Francisco J

    2014-07-01

    Trehalose lipids are bacterial biosurfactants which present interesting physicochemical and biological properties. These glycolipids have a number of different commercial applications and there is an increasing interest in their use as therapeutic agents. The amphiphilic nature of trehalose lipids points to the membrane as their hypothetical site of action and therefore the study of the interaction between these biosurfactants and biological membranes is critical. In this study, we examine the interactions between a trehalose lipid (TL) from Rhodococcus sp. and dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG) membranes at low ionic strength, by means of differential scanning calorimetry, light scattering, fluorescence polarization and infrared spectroscopy. We describe that there are extensive interactions between TL and DMPG involving the perturbation of the thermotropic intermediate phase of the phospholipid, the destabilization and shifting of the DMPG gel to liquid crystalline phase transition to lower temperatures, the perturbation of the sample transparency, and the modification of the order of the phospholipid palisade in the gel phase. We also report an increase of fluidity of the phosphatidylglycerol acyl chains and dehydration of the interfacial region of the bilayer. These changes would increase the monolayer negative spontaneous curvature of the phospholipid explaining the destabilizing effect on the intermediate state exerted by this biosurfactant. The observations contribute to get insight into the biological mechanism of action of the biosurfactant and help to understand the properties of the intermediate phase display by DMPG at low ionic strength.

  6. Cytokinin-induced phenotypes in plant-insect interactions: learning from the bacterial world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giron, David; Glevarec, Gaëlle

    2014-07-01

    Recently, a renewed interest in cytokinins (CKs) has allowed the characterization of these phytohormones as key regulatory molecules in plant biotic interactions. They have been proved to be instrumental in microbe- and insect-mediated plant phenotypes that can be either beneficial or detrimental for the host-plant. In parallel, insect endosymbiotic bacteria have emerged as key players in plant-insect interactions mediating directly or indirectly fundamental aspects of insect nutrition, such as insect feeding efficiency or the ability to manipulate plant physiology to overcome food nutritional imbalances. However, mechanisms that regulate CK production and the role played by insects and their endosymbionts remain largely unknown. Against this backdrop, studies on plant-associated bacteria have revealed fascinating and complex molecular mechanisms that lead to the production of bacterial CKs and the modulation of plant-borne CKs which ultimately result in profound metabolic and morphological plant modifications. This review highlights major strategies used by plant-associated bacteria that impact the CK homeostasis of their host-plant, to raise parallels with strategies used by phytophagous insects and to discuss the possible role played by endosymbiotic bacteria in these CK-mediated plant phenotypes. We hypothesize that insects employ a CK-mix production strategy that manipulates the phytohormonal balance of their host-plant and overtakes plant gene expression causing a metabolic and morphological habitat modification. In addition, insect endosymbiotic bacteria may prove to be instrumental in these manipulations through the production of bacterial CKs, including specific forms that challenge the CK-degrading capacity of the plant (thus ensuring persistent effects) and the CK-mediated plant defenses.

  7. Receptor interacting protein kinase-2 inhibition by CYLD impairs anti-bacterial immune responses in macrophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina eWex

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Upon infection with intracellular bacteria, nucleotide oligomerization domain protein 2 (NOD2 recognizes bacterial muramyl dipeptide and binds, subsequently, to receptor-interacting serine/threonine kinase 2 (RIPK2. RIPK2 mediates the activation of immune responses via the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB and extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK pathways. Previously, it has been shown that RIPK2 activation dependens on its K63-ubiquitination by the E3 ligases pellino-3 and ITCH, whereas the deubiquitinating enzyme A20 counter-regulates RIPK2 activity by cleaving K63-polyubiquitin chains from RIPK2. Here, we newly identify the deubiquitinating enzyme CYLD as a new interacting partner and inhibitor of RIPK2. We show that CYLD binds to and removes K63-polyubiquitin chains from RIPK2 in Listeria monocytogenes (Lm infected bone-marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM. CYLD-mediated K63-deubiquitination of RIPK2 resulted in an impaired activation of both NF-κB and ERK1/2 pathways, reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-12, anti-listerial ROS and NO, and, finally, impaired pathogen control. In turn, RIPK2 inhibition by siRNA prevented activation of NF-κB and ERK1/2 and completely abolished the protective effect of CYLD-deficiency with respect to the production of IL-6, NO, ROS and pathogen control. Noteworthy, CYLD also inhibited autophagy of Listeria in a RIPK2-ERK1/2 dependent manner.The protective function of CYLD-deficiency was dependent on IFN-γ pre-stimulation of infected macrophages. Interestingly, the reduced NF-κB activation in CYLD-expressing macrophages limited the protective effect of IFN-γ by reducing NF-κB-dependent STAT1 activation. Taken together, our study identifies CYLD as an important inhibitor of RIPK2-dependent anti-bacterial immune responses in macrophages.

  8. Adaptive melanin response of the soil fungus Aspergillus niger to UV radiation stress at "Evolution Canyon", Mount Carmel, Israel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natarajan Singaravelan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adaptation is an evolutionary process in which traits in a population are tailored by natural selection to better meet the challenges presented by the local environment. The major discussion relating to natural selection concerns the portraying of the cause and effect relationship between a presumably adaptive trait and selection agents generating it. Therefore, it is necessary to identify trait(s that evolve in direct response to selection, enhancing the organism's fitness. "Evolution Canyon" (EC in Israel mirrors a microcosmic evolutionary system across life and is ideal to study natural selection and local adaptation under sharply, microclimatically divergent environments. The south-facing, tropical, sunny and xeric "African" slope (AS receives 200%-800% higher solar radiation than the north-facing, temperate, shady and mesic "European" slope (ES, 200 meters apart. Thus, solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR is a major selection agent in EC influencing the organism-environment interaction. Melanin is a trait postulated to have evolved for UV-screening in microorganisms. Here we investigate the cause and effect relationship between differential UVR on the opposing slopes of EC and the conidial melanin concentration of the filamentous soil fungus Aspergillus niger. We test the working hypothesis that the AS strains exhibit higher melanin content than strains from the ES resulting in higher UV resistance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured conidial melanin concentration of 80 strains from the EC using a spectrophotometer. The results indicated that mean conidial melanin concentration of AS strains were threefold higher than ES strains and the former resisted UVA irradiation better than the latter. Comparisons of melanin in the conidia of A. niger strains from sunny and shady microniches on the predominantly sunny AS and predominantly shady ES indicated that shady conditions on the AS have no influence on the selection on melanin

  9. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted.

  10. Interactions between Lactobacillus crispatus and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)-Associated Bacterial Species in Initial Attachment and Biofilm Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, António; Jefferson, Kimberly Kay; Cerca, Nuno

    2013-01-01

    Certain anaerobic bacterial species tend to predominate the vaginal flora during bacterial vaginosis (BV), with Gardnerella vaginalis being the most common. However, the exact role of G. vaginalis in BV has not yet been determined. The main goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that G. vaginalis is an early colonizer, paving the way for intermediate (e.g., Fusobacterium nucleatum) and late colonizers (e.g., Prevotella bivia). Theoretically, in order to function as an early colonizer, species would need to be able to adhere to vaginal epithelium, even in the presence of vaginal lactobacilli. Therefore, we quantified adherence of G. vaginalis and other BV-associated bacteria to an inert surface pre-coated with Lactobacillus crispatus using a new Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) methodology. We found that G. vaginalis had the greatest capacity to adhere in the presence of L. crispatus. Theoretically, an early colonizer would contribute to the adherence and/or growth of additional species, so we next quantified the effect of G. vaginalis biofilms on the adherence and growth of other BV-associated species by quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) technique. Interestingly, G. vaginalis derived a growth benefit from the addition of a second species, regardless of the species. Conversely, G. vaginalis biofilms enhanced the growth of P. bivia, and to a minor extent of F. nucleatum. These results contribute to our understanding of BV biofilm formation and the progression of the disorder. PMID:23739678

  11. Interactions of seedborne bacterial pathogens with host and non-host plants in relation to seed infestation and seedling transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhabesh Dutta

    Full Text Available The ability of seed-borne bacterial pathogens (Acidovorax citrulli, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, and Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea to infest seeds of host and non-host plants (watermelon, tomato, pepper, and soybean and subsequent pathogen transmission to seedlings was investigated. A non-pathogenic, pigmented strain of Serratia marcescens was also included to assess a null-interacting situation with the same plant species. Flowers of host and non-host plants were inoculated with 1 × 10(6 colony forming units (CFUs/flower for each bacterial species and allowed to develop into fruits or umbels (in case of onion. Seeds harvested from each host/non-host bacterial species combination were assayed for respective bacteria by plating on semi-selective media. Additionally, seedlots for each host/non-host bacterial species combination were also assayed for pathogen transmission by seedling grow-out (SGO assays under greenhouse conditions. The mean percentage of seedlots infested with compatible and incompatible pathogens was 31.7 and 30.9% (by plating, respectively and they were not significantly different (P = 0.67. The percentage of seedlots infested with null-interacting bacterial species was 16.8% (by plating and it was significantly lower than the infested lots generated with compatible and incompatible bacterial pathogens (P = 0.03. None of the seedlots with incompatible/null-interacting bacteria developed symptoms on seedlings; however, when seedlings were assayed for epiphytic bacterial presence, 19.5 and 9.4% of the lots were positive, respectively. These results indicate that the seeds of non-host plants can become infested with incompatible and null-interacting bacterial species through flower colonization and they can be transmitted via epiphytic colonization of seedlings. In addition, it was also observed that flowers and seeds of non-host plants can be

  12. Interactions of Seedborne Bacterial Pathogens with Host and Non-Host Plants in Relation to Seed Infestation and Seedling Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Bhabesh; Gitaitis, Ronald; Smith, Samuel; Langston, David

    2014-01-01

    The ability of seed-borne bacterial pathogens (Acidovorax citrulli, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, and Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea) to infest seeds of host and non-host plants (watermelon, tomato, pepper, and soybean) and subsequent pathogen transmission to seedlings was investigated. A non-pathogenic, pigmented strain of Serratia marcescens was also included to assess a null-interacting situation with the same plant species. Flowers of host and non-host plants were inoculated with 1×106 colony forming units (CFUs)/flower for each bacterial species and allowed to develop into fruits or umbels (in case of onion). Seeds harvested from each host/non-host bacterial species combination were assayed for respective bacteria by plating on semi-selective media. Additionally, seedlots for each host/non-host bacterial species combination were also assayed for pathogen transmission by seedling grow-out (SGO) assays under greenhouse conditions. The mean percentage of seedlots infested with compatible and incompatible pathogens was 31.7 and 30.9% (by plating), respectively and they were not significantly different (P = 0.67). The percentage of seedlots infested with null-interacting bacterial species was 16.8% (by plating) and it was significantly lower than the infested lots generated with compatible and incompatible bacterial pathogens (P = 0.03). None of the seedlots with incompatible/null-interacting bacteria developed symptoms on seedlings; however, when seedlings were assayed for epiphytic bacterial presence, 19.5 and 9.4% of the lots were positive, respectively. These results indicate that the seeds of non-host plants can become infested with incompatible and null-interacting bacterial species through flower colonization and they can be transmitted via epiphytic colonization of seedlings. In addition, it was also observed that flowers and seeds of non-host plants can be colonized

  13. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Chantal; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Silva, Branca M A; Nakouzi-Naranjo, Antonio; Zuzarte, Mónica; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth E; Casadevall, Arturo; Gonçalves, Teresa

    2015-12-28

    The importance of Alternaria species fungi to human health ranges from their role as etiological agents of serious infections with poor prognoses in immunosuppressed individuals to their association with respiratory allergic diseases. The present work focuses on Alternaria infectoria, which was used as a model organism of the genus, and was designed to unravel melanin production in response to antifungals. After we characterized the pigment produced by A. infectoria, we studied the dynamics of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin production during growth, the degree of melanization in response to antifungals, and how melanization affected susceptibility to several classes of therapeutic drugs. We demonstrate that A. infectoria increased melanin deposition in cell walls in response to nikkomycin Z, caspofungin, and itraconazole but not in response to fluconazole or amphotericin B. These results indicate that A. infectoria activates DHN-melanin synthesis in response to certain antifungal drugs, possibly as a protective mechanism against these drugs. Inhibition of DHN-melanin synthesis by pyroquilon resulted in a lower minimum effective concentration (MEC) of caspofungin and enhanced morphological changes (increased hyphal balloon size), characterized by thinner and less organized A. infectoria cell walls. In summary, A. infectoria synthesizes melanin in response to certain antifungal drugs, and its susceptibility is influenced by melanization, suggesting the therapeutic potential of drug combinations that affect melanin synthesis.

  14. Antagonistic interactions between endophytic cultivable bacterial communities isolated from the medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maida, Isabel; Chiellini, Carolina; Mengoni, Alessio; Bosi, Emanuele; Firenzuoli, Fabio; Fondi, Marco; Fani, Renato

    2016-09-01

    In this work we have studied the antagonistic interactions existing among cultivable bacteria isolated from three ecological niches (rhizospheric soil, roots and stem/leaves) of the traditional natural medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea. The three compartments harboured different taxonomic assemblages of strains, which were previously reported to display different antibiotic resistance patterns, suggesting the presence of differential selective pressure due to antagonistic molecules in the three compartments. Antagonistic interactions were assayed by the cross-streak method and interpreted using a network-based analysis. In particular 'within-niche inhibition' and 'cross-niche inhibition' were evaluated among isolates associated with each compartment as well as between isolates retrieved from the three different compartments respectively. Data obtained indicated that bacteria isolated from the stem/leaves compartment were much more sensitive to the antagonistic activity than bacteria from roots and rhizospheric soil. Moreover, both the taxonomical position and the ecological niche might influence the antagonistic ability/sensitivity of different strains. Antagonism could play a significant role in contributing to the differentiation and structuring of plant-associated bacterial communities. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Studies on interfacial interactions of TiO2 nanoparticles with bacterial cells under light and dark conditions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Swayamprava Dalai; Sunandan Pakrashi; Sujay Chakravarty; Shamima Hussain; N Chandrasekaran; Amitava Mukherjee

    2014-05-01

    The probable underlying mechanism(s) of bacterial cell–TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) interaction in the absence of photo-irradiation has been less studied since most of the prior cytotoxicity studies focused on irradiated TiO2. The present study draws attention to the possible role of cell surface–TiO2 NP interactions under dark conditions, through an array of spectroscopic and microscopic investigations. A dominant freshwater bacterial isolate, Bacillus licheniformis, which interacted with environmentally relevant concentrations of TiO2 NPs (1 g/mL), was analysed and compared under both light and dark conditions. Aggregation of cells upon NP interaction and adsorption of NPs onto the cell membrane was evident from the scanning electron micrographs under both light and dark conditions. The FT–IR and FT–Raman spectra suggested stress response of bacterial cells by elevated protein and polysaccharide content in the cell–NP interaction. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic data substantiated the reduction of titanium from Ti(IV) to Ti(III) species which might have contributed to the redox interactions on the cell surface under light as well as dark conditions. The internalization of NPs in the cytoplasm were obvious from the transmission electron micrographs. The consequent cell death/damage was confirmed through fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy. To conclude, the current study established the substantial role of interfacial interactions in cytotoxicity of the TiO2 NPs irrespective of the irradiation conditions.

  16. Subcellular Compartmentalization and Trafficking of the Biosynthetic Machinery for Fungal Melanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Xu, Xinping; Lowry, David; Jackson, Jennifer C; Roberson, Robert W; Lin, Xiaorong

    2016-03-22

    Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs and how it is deposited as extracellular granules remain elusive. Using a forward genetic screen in the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we find that mutations in an endosomal sorting nexin abolish melanin cell-wall deposition. We find that all enzymes involved in the early steps of melanin biosynthesis are recruited to endosomes through a non-conventional secretory pathway. In contrast, late melanin enzymes accumulate in the cell wall. Such subcellular compartmentalization of the melanin biosynthetic machinery occurs in both A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. Thus, fungal melanin biosynthesis appears to be initiated in endosomes with exocytosis leading to melanin extracellular deposition, much like the synthesis and trafficking of mammalian melanin in endosomally derived melanosomes.

  17. Subcellular Compartmentalization and Trafficking of the Biosynthetic Machinery for Fungal Melanin

    OpenAIRE

    Srijana Upadhyay; Xinping Xu; David Lowry; Jennifer C. Jackson; Robert W. Roberson; Xiaorong Lin

    2016-01-01

    Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs, and how it is deposited as extracellular granules, remain elusive. Using a forward genetic screen in the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we find that mutations in an endosomal sorting nexin abolish melanin cell wall deposition. We find that all enzymes involved in the early steps of melanin biosynthesis are ...

  18. The Zebrafish as a New Model for the In Vivo Study of Shigella flexneri Interaction with Phagocytes and Bacterial Autophagy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostowy, Serge; Boucontet, Laurent; Mazon Moya, Maria J.; Sirianni, Andrea; Boudinot, Pierre; Hollinshead, Michael; Cossart, Pascale; Herbomel, Philippe; Levraud, Jean-Pierre; Colucci-Guyon, Emma

    2013-01-01

    Autophagy, an ancient and highly conserved intracellular degradation process, is viewed as a critical component of innate immunity because of its ability to deliver cytosolic bacteria to the lysosome. However, the role of bacterial autophagy in vivo remains poorly understood. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as a vertebrate model for the study of infections because it is optically accessible at the larval stages when the innate immune system is already functional. Here, we have characterized the susceptibility of zebrafish larvae to Shigella flexneri, a paradigm for bacterial autophagy, and have used this model to study Shigella-phagocyte interactions in vivo. Depending on the dose, S. flexneri injected in zebrafish larvae were either cleared in a few days or resulted in a progressive and ultimately fatal infection. Using high resolution live imaging, we found that S. flexneri were rapidly engulfed by macrophages and neutrophils; moreover we discovered a scavenger role for neutrophils in eliminating infected dead macrophages and non-immune cell types that failed to control Shigella infection. We observed that intracellular S. flexneri could escape to the cytosol, induce septin caging and be targeted to autophagy in vivo. Depletion of p62 (sequestosome 1 or SQSTM1), an adaptor protein critical for bacterial autophagy in vitro, significantly increased bacterial burden and host susceptibility to infection. These results show the zebrafish larva as a new model for the study of S. flexneri interaction with phagocytes, and the manipulation of autophagy for anti-bacterial therapy in vivo. PMID:24039575

  19. Expression of melanin and insecticidal protein from Rhodotorula ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2006-02-16

    Feb 16, 2006 ... Key words: Rhodotorula glutinis, Escherichia coli, Melanin, Insecticidal Protein. INTRODUCTION ... proteinaceous crystals toxic to different insect larvae (Bulla ..... Gulex univitattus, Aedes aegypti and Culex pipens. Mosq.

  20. Morphological and chemical composition characterization of commercial sepia melanin

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mbonyiryivuze, A

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available of functions in the biosystem, including photosensitization, metal ion chelation, photoprotection to absorb a broad range of electromagnetic radiation, antibiotic, thermoregulation [6]. Melanins are found all over the body from the skin and blood...

  1. Mechanisms of assembly and cellular interactions for the bacterial genotoxin CDT.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragana Nesic

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Many bacterial pathogens that cause different illnesses employ the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT to induce host cell DNA damage, leading to cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. CDT is a tripartite holotoxin that consists of a DNase I family nuclease (CdtB bound to two ricin-like lectin domains (CdtA and CdtC. Through the use of structure-based mutagenesis, biochemical and cellular toxicity assays, we have examined several key structural elements of the CdtA and CdtC subunits for their importance to toxin assembly, cell surface binding, and activity. CdtA and CdtC possess N- and C-terminal nonglobular polypeptides that extensively interact with each other and CdtB, and we have determined the contribution of each to toxin stability and activity. We have also functionally characterized two key binding elements of the holotoxin revealed from its crystal structure. One is an aromatic cluster in CdtA, and the other is a long and deep groove that is formed at the interface of CdtA and CdtC. We demonstrate that mutations of the aromatic patch or groove residues impair toxin binding to HeLa cells and that cell surface binding is tightly correlated with intoxication of cultured cells. These results establish several structure-based hypotheses for the assembly and function of this toxin family.

  2. Mechanisms of Assembly and Cellular Interactions for the Bacterial Genotoxin CDT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesic, Dragana; Stebbins, C. Erec

    2005-01-01

    Many bacterial pathogens that cause different illnesses employ the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) to induce host cell DNA damage, leading to cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. CDT is a tripartite holotoxin that consists of a DNase I family nuclease (CdtB) bound to two ricin-like lectin domains (CdtA and CdtC). Through the use of structure-based mutagenesis, biochemical and cellular toxicity assays, we have examined several key structural elements of the CdtA and CdtC subunits for their importance to toxin assembly, cell surface binding, and activity. CdtA and CdtC possess N- and C-terminal nonglobular polypeptides that extensively interact with each other and CdtB, and we have determined the contribution of each to toxin stability and activity. We have also functionally characterized two key binding elements of the holotoxin revealed from its crystal structure. One is an aromatic cluster in CdtA, and the other is a long and deep groove that is formed at the interface of CdtA and CdtC. We demonstrate that mutations of the aromatic patch or groove residues impair toxin binding to HeLa cells and that cell surface binding is tightly correlated with intoxication of cultured cells. These results establish several structure-based hypotheses for the assembly and function of this toxin family. PMID:16304609

  3. Disinfectants - bacterial cells interactions in the view of hygiene and public health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Książczyk

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the use of biocides has increased rapidly. One common example is triclosan, with wide application in households as well as medical and industrial fields, especially food industry and animal husbandry. Chemical disinfection is a major mean to control and eliminate pathogenic bacteria, particularly those with multidrug resistance (MDR phenotype. However, exposition to biocides results in an adaptive response in microorganisms, causing them to display a wide range of resistance mechanisms. Numerous microorganisms are characterized by either natural resistance to chemical compounds or an ability to adapt to biocides using various strategies, such as: modification of cell surface structures (lipopolisaccharide, membrane fatty acids, over-expression of efflux pumps (a system for active transport of toxic compounds out of bacterial cell, enzymatic inactivation of biocides or altering biocide targets. For instance, it was shown that in vitro exposition of Salmonella Typhimurium to subinhibitory concentration of biocides (triclosan, quaternary ammonium compounds [QACs] resulted in selection of variants resistant to tested biocides and, additionally, to acridine dyes and antibiotics. Bacillus subtilis and Micrococcus luteus strains isolated from chlorine dioxide containing disinfection devices were found to be resistant to chlorine dioxide and also to other oxidizing compounds, such as peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Interaction between chemical compounds, including disinfectants and microbial cells, can create a serious threat to public health and sanitary-hygienic security. This phenomenon is connected with factor risk that intensify the probability of selection and dissemination of multidrug resistance among pathogenic bacteria.

  4. Carbon utilization profiles of river bacterial strains facing sole carbon sources suggest metabolic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetghebuer, Lise; Servais, Pierre; George, Isabelle F

    2017-05-01

    Microbial communities play a key role in water self-purification. They are primary drivers of biogenic element cycles and ecosystem processes. However, these communities remain largely uncharacterized. In order to understand the diversity-heterotrophic activity relationship facing sole carbon sources, we assembled a synthetic community composed of 20 'typical' freshwater bacterial species mainly isolated from the Zenne River (Belgium). The carbon source utilization profiles of each individual strain and of the mixed community were measured in Biolog Phenotype MicroArrays PM1 and PM2A microplates that allowed testing 190 different carbon sources. Our results strongly suggest interactions occurring between our planktonic strains as our synthetic community showed metabolic properties that were not displayed by its single components. Finally, the catabolic performances of the synthetic community and a natural community from the same sampling site were compared. The synthetic community behaved like the natural one and was therefore representative of the latter in regard to carbon source consumption. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Patterning of mutually interacting bacterial bodies: close contacts and airborne signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markoš Anton

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacterial bodies (colonies can develop complex patterns of color and structure. These patterns may arise as a result of both colony-autonomous developmental and regulatory processes (self-patterning and environmental influences, including those generated by neighbor bodies. We have studied the interplay of intra-colony signaling (self-patterning and inter-colony influences in related clones of Serratia rubidaea grown on rich media. Results Colonies are shaped by both autonomous patterning and by signals generated by co-habitants of the morphogenetic space, mediating both internal shaping of the body, and communication between bodies sharing the same living space. The result of development is affected by the overall distribution of neighbors in the dish. The neighbors' presence is communicated via at least two putative signals, while additional signals may be involved in generating some unusual patterns observed upon encounters of different clones. A formal model accounting for some aspects of colony morphogenesis and inter-colony interactions is proposed. Conclusions The complex patterns of color and texture observed in Serratia rubidaea colonies may be based on at least two signals produced by cells, one of them diffusing through the substrate (agar and the other carried by a volatile compound and absorbed into the substrate. Differences between clones with regard to the interpretation of signals may result from different sensitivity to signal threshold(s.

  6. Melanin content in melanoma metastases affects the outcome of radiotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brożyna, Anna A; Jóźwicki, Wojciech; Roszkowski, Krzysztof; Filipiak, Jan; Slominski, Andrzej T

    2016-04-05

    Melanin possess radioprotective and scavenging properties, and its presence can affect the behavior of melanoma cells, its surrounding environment and susceptibility to the therapy, as showed in vitro experiments. To determine whether melanin presence in melanoma affects the efficiency of radiotherapy (RTH) we evaluated the survival time after RTH treatment in metastatic melanoma patients (n = 57). In another cohort of melanoma patients (n = 84), the relationship between melanin level and pT and pN status was determined. A significantly longer survival time was found in patients with amelanotic metastatic melanomas in comparison to the melanotic ones, who were treated with either RTH or chemotherapy (CHTH) and RTH. These differences were more significant in a group of melanoma patients treated only with RTH. A detailed analysis of primary melanomas revealed that melanin levels were significantly higher in melanoma cells invading reticular dermis than the papillary dermis. A significant reduction of melanin pigmentation in pT3 and pT4 melanomas in comparison to pT1 and T2 tumors was observed. However, melanin levels measured in pT3-pT4 melanomas developing metastases (pN1-3, pM1) were higher than in pN0 and pM0 cases. The presence of melanin in metastatic melanoma cells decreases the outcome of radiotherapy, and melanin synthesis is related to higher disease advancement. Based on our previous cell-based and clinical research and present research we also suggest that inhibition of melanogenesis can improve radiotherapy modalities. The mechanism of relationship between melanogenesis and efficacy of RTH requires additional studies, including larger melanoma patients population and orthotopic, imageable mouse models of metastatic melanoma.

  7. Role of bacterial surface structures on the interaction of Klebsiella pneumoniae with phagocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina March

    Full Text Available Phagocytosis is a key process of the immune system. The human pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae is a well known example of a pathogen highly resistant to phagocytosis. A wealth of evidence demonstrates that the capsule polysaccharide (CPS plays a crucial role in resistance to phagocytosis. The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum shares with mammalian macrophages the ability to phagocytose and kill bacteria. The fact that K. pneumoniae is ubiquitous in nature and, therefore, should avoid predation by amoebae, poses the question whether K. pneumoniae employs similar means to counteract amoebae and mammalian phagocytes. Here we developed an assay to evaluate K. pneumoniae-D. discoideum interaction. The richness of the growth medium affected the threshold at which the cps mutant was permissive for Dictyostelium and only at lower nutrient concentrations the cps mutant was susceptible to predation by amoebae. Given the critical role of bacterial surface elements on host-pathogen interactions, we explored the possible contribution of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS and outer membrane proteins (OMPs to combat phagoyctosis by D. discoideum. We uncover that, in addition to the CPS, the LPS O-polysaccharide and the first core sugar participate in Klebsiella resistance to predation by D. discoideum. K. pneumoniae LPS lipid A decorations are also necessary to avoid predation by amoebae although PagP-dependent palmitoylation plays a more important role than the lipid A modification with aminoarabinose. Mutants lacking OMPs OmpA or OmpK36 were also permissive for D. discoideium growth. Except the LPS O-polysaccharide mutants, all mutants were more susceptible to phagocytosis by mouse alveolar macrophages. Finally, we found a correlation between virulence, using the pneumonia mouse model, and resistance to phagocytosis. Altogether, this work reveals novel K. pneumoniae determinants involved in resistance to phagocytosis and supports the notion that Dictyostelium amoebae

  8. Bacterial exposure to metal-oxide nanoparticles: Methods, physical interactions, and biological effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horst, Allison Marie

    Nanotechnology is a major endeavor of this century, with proposed applications in fields ranging from agriculture to energy to medicine. Nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) is among the most widely produced nanoparticles worldwide, and already exists in consumer products including impermanent personal care products and surface coatings. Inevitably, nano-TiO2 will be transported into the environment via consumer or industrial waste, where its effects on organisms are largely unknown. Out of concern for the possible ill-effects of nanoparticles in the environment, there is now a field of study in nanotoxicology. Bacteria are ideal organisms for nanotoxicology research because they are environmentally important, respond rapidly to intoxication, and provide evidence for effects in higher organisms. My doctoral research focuses on the effects and interactions of nano-TiO2 in aqueous systems with planktonic bacteria. This dissertation describes four projects and the outcomes of the research: (1) A discovery, using a combination of environmental- and cryogenic-scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS), that initially agglomerated nano-TiO2 is dispersed upon bacterial contact, as nanoparticles preferentially sorbed to cell surfaces. (2) Establishment of a method to disperse nanoparticles in an aqueous culture medium for nanotoxicology studies. A combination of electrostatic repulsion, steric hindrance and sonication yielded a high initial level of nano-TiO2 dispersion (i.e. E. coli growth and membrane processes. Together, this research is towards: better understanding outcomes of interactions between nanoparticles and bacteria, advancing methods in the relatively new field of nanotoxicology that are transferable to other nanoparticle and media chemistries, and improving our understanding of structure-activity relationships (e.g. size and doping effects) leading to intoxication in environmental organisms.

  9. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected.

  10. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected. PMID

  11. Dissecting the specificity of protein-protein interaction in bacterial two-component signaling: orphans and crosstalks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Procaccini

    Full Text Available Predictive understanding of the myriads of signal transduction pathways in a cell is an outstanding challenge of systems biology. Such pathways are primarily mediated by specific but transient protein-protein interactions, which are difficult to study experimentally. In this study, we dissect the specificity of protein-protein interactions governing two-component signaling (TCS systems ubiquitously used in bacteria. Exploiting the large number of sequenced bacterial genomes and an operon structure which packages many pairs of interacting TCS proteins together, we developed a computational approach to extract a molecular interaction code capturing the preferences of a small but critical number of directly interacting residue pairs. This code is found to reflect physical interaction mechanisms, with the strongest signal coming from charged amino acids. It is used to predict the specificity of TCS interaction: Our results compare favorably to most available experimental results, including the prediction of 7 (out of 8 known interaction partners of orphan signaling proteins in Caulobacter crescentus. Surveying among the available bacterial genomes, our results suggest 15∼25% of the TCS proteins could participate in out-of-operon "crosstalks". Additionally, we predict clusters of crosstalking candidates, expanding from the anecdotally known examples in model organisms. The tools and results presented here can be used to guide experimental studies towards a system-level understanding of two-component signaling.

  12. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael Galván

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models.

  13. [Intervention of nicotinamide on skin melanin genesis after UVA exposed].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patam, Muhammad; Jin, Xi-peng; Zhang, Yu-bin; Pan, Jian-ying; Shen, Guang-zu

    2007-08-01

    To investigate the interference effect of nicotinamide on UVA-induced melanin genesis and melanin transport in human skin melanocyte. The optimum UVA dose expected to cause cell proliferation: 0.2 J/cm(2), nicotinamide was added immediately after the 0.2 J/cm(2) UVA exposure and the melanin content, cell cycles, cell apoptosis and mRNA express level were measured respectively. Melanin content in melanocytes was increased significantly after exposed to 0.2 J/cm(2) UVA. Melanin content in melanocytes was decreased after treatment with 10.0 mmol/ml nicotinamide following UVA exposure, but the cell cycles and the cell apoptosis rate were not significantly altered. mRNA express levels of TYR, TRP-1 were modulated by nicotinamide. Nicotinamide has more effect on decreasing melanin genesis after UVA exposure, nicotinamide also plays a role in modulating the mRNA express of TYR, TRP-1 gene. It is possible to consider nicotinamide as an efficient and safe sun screen to provide a certain level of protection for UVA exposed skin.

  14. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-04-08

    Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models.

  15. In vitro pharmacological interaction of caffeine and first-line antibiotics is antagonistic against clinically important bacterial pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olajuyigbe, Olufunmiso O; Adeoye-Isijola, Morenike O; Okon, Victoria; Adedayo, Otunola; Coopoosamy, Roger M

    2017-01-01

    The in vitro antibacterial activity of pure caffeine powder and its interaction with first line antibiotic against bacterial isolates were investigated with the macrobroth dilution and the checkerboard assay methods. This study showed that caffeine and the antibiotics exhibited various degrees of antibacterial activities. While caffeine had MICs ranging between 67.19 and 268.75 µg/ml, chloramphenicol was characterized by MICs between 0.98 and 31.25 µg/ml, kanamycin - 15.63-62.5 µg/ml, nalidixic acid - 0.49-250 µg/ml, erythromycin - 0.49-62.5 µg/ml, tetracycline - 1.99-62.5 µg/ml and metronidazole - 15.63-31.25 µg/ml. Combining ½ MICs and MICs of caffeine with the antibiotics as well as direct combination of caffeine and the antibiotics resulted in significant reduction of antibiotics' effectiveness. The fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) for the combination of ½ MICs of caffeine with different antibiotics showed antagonistic interactions with the antibiotics except kanamycin which had additive and indifferent interactions with caffeine. The FICI of the MICs of caffeine combined with antibiotics showed a reduction in the number of antagonistic interactions as chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid and erythromycin showed some indifferent interactions while kanamycin was the only antibiotic that showed indifferent interaction against all the bacterial isolates. The direct combination of caffeine and the antibiotics resulted in significant antagonistic interactions higher than in the case when caffeine, at the ½ MICs and MICs, was combined with the antibiotics. Although caffeine demonstrated significant antibacterial activity against the selected bacterial isolates, its combination with the selected antibiotics resulted in significant antagonistic interactions. Caffeine should not be combined with antibiotics as this could result in serious therapeutic failure and, possibly, drug toxicity in vivo.

  16. Insight into bacterial virulence mechanisms against host immune response via the Yersinia pestis-human protein-protein interaction network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huiying; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Jian; Tan, Yafang; Myeni, Sebenzile K; Li, Dong; Shi, Qinghai; Yan, Yanfeng; Chen, Hui; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yuan, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2011-11-01

    A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP.

  17. Cd 2+ effect on free radicals in Cladosporium cladosporioides-melanin tested by EPR spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matuszczyk, Magdalena; Buszman, Ewa; Pilawa, Barbara; Witoszyńska, Teresa; Wilczok, Tadeusz

    2004-08-01

    Changes in free radicals system of Cladosporium cladosporioides-melanin and model DOPA-melanin caused by diamagnetic Cd 2+ ions were studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR line of eumelanin was mainly found in the spectrum of Cl.cl.-melanin. Cd 2+ ions increased o-semiquinone free radicals concentration in both natural and synthetic melanins. Cd 2+ broadened EPR lines of Cl.cl.-melanin in mycelium and the ions fastened spin-lattice relaxation processes. The narrower EPR lines and slower spin-lattice relaxation were obtained for DOPA-melanin-Cd 2+ complexes than for DOPA-melanin. Pheomelanin additionally existing in Cl.cl. samples was responsible for differences between the EPR data for Cl.cl. melanin and DOPA-melanin.

  18. Human eccrine sweat gland cells turn into melanin-uptaking keratinocytes in dermo-epidermal skin substitutes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böttcher-Haberzeth, Sophie; Biedermann, Thomas; Pontiggia, Luca; Braziulis, Erik; Schiestl, Clemens; Hendriks, Bart; Eichhoff, Ossia M; Widmer, Daniel S; Meuli-Simmen, Claudia; Meuli, Martin; Reichmann, Ernst

    2013-02-01

    Recently, Biedermann et al. (2010) have demonstrated that human eccrine sweat gland cells can develop a multilayered epidermis. The question still remains whether these cells can fulfill exclusive and very specific functional properties of epidermal keratinocytes, such as the incorporation of melanin, a feature absent in sweat gland cells. We added human melanocytes to eccrine sweat gland cells to let them develop into an epidermal analog in vivo. The interaction between melanocytes and sweat gland-derived keratinocytes was investigated. The following results were gained: (1) macroscopically, a pigmentation of the substitutes was seen 2-3 weeks after transplantation; (2) we confirmed the development of a multilayered, stratified epidermis with melanocytes distributed evenly throughout the basal layer; (3) melanocytic dendrites projected to suprabasal layers; and (4) melanin was observed to be integrated into former eccrine sweat gland cells. These skin substitutes were similar or equal to skin substitutes cultured from human epidermal keratinocytes. The only differences observed were a delay in pigmentation and less melanin uptake. These data suggest that eccrine sweat gland cells can form a functional epidermal melanin unit, thereby providing striking evidence that they can assume one of the most characteristic keratinocyte properties.

  19. X-ray spectromicroscopy analysis and its applications to bacterial interactions in the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Bjorg A.

    The US Department of Energy must clean up a large number of sites with groundwater and soils polluted with multiple contaminants including heavy metals and radionuclides. Important in situ remediation approaches are being developed to reduce the bioavailability and prevent the further spread of these contaminants via groundwater transport by promoting the activity of microorganisms that will transform the contaminants into insoluble and immobile forms. In order for this approach to work the soil bacteria must be resistant to a wide range of co-contaminant metals such as nickel. Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM) provides the means for studying chemical speciation at the 30-50 nm spatial scale, and can be used to identify spectroscopic signatures of metal resistant mechanisms used by common soil bacteria. We have been using pattern-recognition clustering techniques developed at Stony Brook in a unique way to identify subcellular features in bacteria and to investigate the changes in bacterial chemistry due to interactions with contaminants in their environment. We can determine the functional group responsible for metal binding using the C1s absorption edge spectra. We can quantify the extent of the nickel binding associated with the cell wall, the interior of the cell, and surrounding the cell. In addition, we have been using a segmented detector to record a dark field image simultaneously with the bright field absorption image. Dark field imaging identifies small strongly scattering objects, such as nanoparticles or metal precipitates and can be used in combination with bright field absorption data to determine the spatial distribution of the precipitates in relation to the bacterium.

  20. Diversity of endophytic bacterial populations and their interaction with Xylella fastidiosa in citrus plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Araujo, W.L.; Marcon, J.; jr. Maccheroni, W.; Elsas, van J.D.; Vuurde, van J.W.L.; Azevedo, de J.L.

    2002-01-01

    Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium that can infect all Citrus sinensis cultivars. The endophytic bacterial communities of healthy, resistant, and CVC-affected citrus plants were studied by using cultivation as well as

  1. Effect of Structure on the Interactions between Five Natural Antimicrobial Compounds and Phospholipids of Bacterial Cell Membrane on Model Monolayers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella W. Nowotarska

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Monolayers composed of bacterial phospholipids were used as model membranes to study interactions of the naturally occurring phenolic compounds 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde and 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde, and the plant essential oil compounds carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol, previously found to be active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogenic microorganisms. The lipid monolayers consist of 1,2-dihexadecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE, 1,2-dihexa- decanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol (DPPG, and 1,1',2,2'-tetratetradecanoyl cardiolipin (cardiolipin. Surface pressure–area (π-A and surface potential–area (Δψ-A isotherms were measured to monitor changes in the thermodynamic and physical properties of the lipid monolayers. Results of the study indicated that the five compounds modified the three lipid monolayer structures by integrating into the monolayer, forming aggregates of antimicrobial –lipid complexes, reducing the packing effectiveness of the lipids, increasing the membrane fluidity, and altering the total dipole moment in the monolayer membrane model. The interactions of the five antimicrobial compounds with bacterial phospholipids depended on both the structure of the antimicrobials and the composition of the monolayers. The observed experimental results provide insight into the mechanism of the molecular interactions between naturally-occurring antimicrobial compounds and phospholipids of the bacterial cell membrane that govern activities.

  2. Morpho-histology of head kidney of female catfish Heteropneustes fossilis: seasonal variations in melano-macrophage centers, melanin contents and effects of lipopolysaccharide and dexamethasone on melanins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ravi; Joy, K P; Singh, S M

    2016-10-01

    In the catfish Heteropneustes fossilis, the anterior kidney is a hemopoietic tissue which surrounds the adrenal homologues, interrenal (IR) and chromaffin tissues corresponding to the adrenal cortical and adrenal medulla of higher mammals. The IR tissue is arranged in cell cords around the posterior cardinal vein (PCV) and its tributaries and secretes corticosteroids. The chromaffin tissue is scattered singly or in nests of one or more cells around the epithelial lining of the PCV or blood capillaries within the IR tissue. They are ferric ferricyanide-positive. Leukemia-inhibitory factor (LIF)-like reactivity was noticed in the lining of the epithelium of the IR cell cords and around the wall of the PCV and blood capillaries. No staining was observed in the hemopoietic cells. IL-1β- and TNF-α-like immunoreactivity was seen in certain cells in the hemopoietic tissue but not in the IR region. Macrophages were identified with mammalian macrophage-specific MAC387 antibodies and are present in the hemopoietic mass but not in the IR tissue. Pigments accumulate in the hemopoietic mass as melano-macrophage centers (MMCs) and are PAS-, Schmorl's- and Perls'-positive. The pigments contain melanin (black), hemosiderin (blue) and lipofuscin/ceroid (oxidized lipid, yellowish tan), as evident from the Perls' reaction. The MMCs were TUNEL-positive as evident from FITC fluorescence, indicating their apoptotic nature. The MMCs showed significant seasonal variation with their density increasing to the peak in the postspawning phase. Melanins were characterized spectrophotometrically for the first time in fish anterior kidney. The predominant form is pheomelanin (PM), followed by eumelanin (EM) and alkali-soluble melanin (ASM). Melanins showed significant seasonal variations with the level low in the resting phase and increasing to the peak in the postspawning phase. Under in vitro conditions, lipopolysaccharide (10 µg/mL) treatment increased significantly the levels of PM and EM

  3. Bacterial beta-lactamase fragmentation complementation strategy can be used as a method for identifying interacting protein pairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jong-Hwa; Back, Jung Ho; Hahm, Soo Hyun; Shim, Hye-Young; Park, Min Ju; Ko, Sung Il; Han, Ye Sun

    2007-10-01

    We investigated the applicability of the TEM-1 beta- lactamase fragment complementation (BFC) system to develop a strategy for the screening of protein-protein interactions in bacteria. A BFC system containing a human Fas-associated death domain (hFADD) and human Fas death domain (hFasDD) was generated. The hFADD-hFasDD interaction was verified by cell survivability in ampicillin-containing medium and the colorimetric change of nitrocefin. It was also confirmed by His pull-down assay using cell lysates obtained in selection steps. A coiled-coil helix coiled-coil domain-containing protein 5 (CHCH5) was identified as an interacting protein of human uracil DNA glycosylase (hUNG) from the bacterial BFC cDNA library strategy. The interaction between hUNG and CHCH5 was further confirmed with immunoprecipitation using a mammalian expression system. CHCH5 enhanced the DNA glycosylase activity of hUNG to remove uracil from DNA duplexes containing a U/G mismatch pair. These results suggest that the bacterial BFC cDNA library strategy can be effectively used to identify interacting protein pairs.

  4. The interaction between vitamin K nutriture and warfarin administration in patients with bacterial overgrowth due to atrophic gastritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camilo, M E; Paiva, S A; O'Brien, M E; Booth, S L; Davidson, K W; Sokoll, L J; Sadowski, J A; Russell, R M

    1998-01-01

    Atrophic gastritis patients have intestinal bacterial overgrowth which could produce menaquinones. The aim of this study was to evaluate the interaction between a diet low in phylloquinone and minidoses of warfarin in subjects with and without bacterial overgrowth. Subjects with atrophic gastritis (indicated by serum pepsinogen ratio) and healthy volunteers were studied while fed a restrictive phylloquinone diet and while receiving a minidose of warfarin. Coagulation times, serum osteocalcin, serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin, plasma phylloquinone, plasma K-epoxide, plasma undercarboxylated prothrombin (PIVKA)-II and urinary gamma-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla) were measured. At baseline, there were no differences between groups for any variable measured. Comparisons between baseline and post intervention in both groups, showed significant increases in circulating levels of K-epoxide, PIVKA II and undercarboxylated osteocalcin. However, no differences were observed when comparisons were made between groups. Our data do not support the hypothesis that bacterial synthesis of menaquinones in patients with bacterial overgrowth due to atrophic gastritis confers considerable resistance to the effect of warfarin.

  5. Experimental manipulations of microbial food web interactions in a humic lake: shifting biological drivers of bacterial community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Angela D; Jones, Stuart E; Lauster, George H; Graham, James M; Newton, Ryan J; McMahon, Katherine D

    2006-08-01

    A previous multiyear study observed correlations between bacterioplankton community composition (BCC) and abundance and the dynamics of phytoplankton populations and bacterivorous grazers in a humic lake. These observations generated hypotheses about the importance of trophic interactions (both top-down and bottom-up) for structuring bacterial communities in this lake, which were tested using two multifactorial food web manipulation experiments that separately manipulated the intensity of grazing and the composition of the phytoplankton community. Our results, combined with field observations, suggest that a hierarchy of drivers structures bacterial communities in this lake. While other studies have noted links between aggregate measures of phytoplankton and bacterioplankton communities, we demonstrate here correlations between succession of phytoplankton assemblages and BCC as assessed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). We used a novel approach linking community ARISA data to phylogenetic assignments from sequence analysis of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries to examine the responses of specific bacterial phylotypes to the experimental manipulations. The synchronous dynamics of these populations suggests that primary producers may mediate BCC and diversity through labile organic matter production, which evolves in quality and quantity during phytoplankton succession. Superimposed on this resource-mediated control of BCC are brief periods of intense bacterivory that impact bacterial abundance and composition.

  6. Applications of synchrotron infrared microspectroscopy to the study of inorganic-organic interactions at the bacterial-mineral interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holman, H.Y.N.; Perry, D.L.; Martin, M.C.; McKinney, W.R. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., CA (United States)

    1998-12-31

    Synchrotron microspectroscopy has been used to study the inorganic-organic interactions in the mid-infrared region (4,000-400 cm{sup {minus}1}) as Arthrobacter oxydans attach themselves to magnetite surfaces. Relative band intensities and band intensity ratios for functional groups of organically-derived biological molecules that are inherent to the experimental system are discussed. The molecular components as they are perturbed by interactions with water, dichromate and chromate metal ions on the mineral surfaces are investigated. Mapping of the spectral markers for the inorganic-organic interactions at the biological-mineral interfaces is presented and discussed. Comparative analyses of the synchrotron infrared microspectra suggest that the bacterial-chromium interactions depend on the solubility and toxicity of the chromium compounds.

  7. The Siderocalin/Enterobactin Interaction: A Link between Mammalian Immunity and Bacterial Iron Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meux, Susan C.

    2008-05-12

    The siderophore enterobactin (Ent) is produced by enteric bacteria to mediate iron uptake. Ent scavenges iron and is taken up by the bacteria as the highly stable ferric complex [Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-}. This complex is also a specific target of the mammalian innate immune system protein, Siderocalin (Scn), which acts as an anti-bacterial agent by specifically sequestering siderophores and their ferric complexes during infection. Recent literature suggesting that Scn may also be involved in cellular iron transport has increased the importance of understanding the mechanism of siderophore interception and clearance by Scn; Scn is observed to release iron in acidic endosomes and [Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-} is known to undergo a change from catecholate to salicylate coordination in acidic conditions, which is predicted to be sterically incompatible with the Scn binding pocket (also referred to as the calyx). To investigate the interactions between the ferric Ent complex and Scn at different pH values, two recombinant forms of Scn with mutations in three residues lining the calyx were prepared: Scn-W79A/R81A and Scn-Y106F. Binding studies and crystal structures of the Scn-W79A/R81A:[Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-} and Scn-Y106F:[Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-} complexes confirm that such mutations do not affect the overall conformation of the protein but do weaken significantly its affinity for [Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-}. Fluorescence, UV-Vis and EXAFS spectroscopies were used to determine Scn/siderophore dissociation constants and to characterize the coordination mode of iron over a wide pH range, in the presence of both mutant proteins and synthetic salicylate analogs of Ent. While Scn binding hinders salicylate coordination transformation, strong acidification results in the release of iron and degraded siderophore. Iron release may therefore result from a combination of Ent degradation and coordination change.

  8. Tuberculous Granuloma Induction via Interaction of a Bacterial Secreted Protein with Host Epithelium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volkman, Hannah E.; Pozos, Tamara C.; Zheng, John; Davis, J. Muse; Rawls, John F.; Ramakrishnan, Lalita

    2011-01-01

    Granulomas, organized aggregates of immune cells, are a hallmark of tuberculosis, and have traditionally been thought to restrict mycobacterial growth. However, analysis of Mycobacterium marinum in zebrafish has shown that the early granuloma facilitates mycobacterial growth; uninfected macrophages are recruited to the granuloma where they are productively infected by M. marinum. Here, we identified the molecular mechanism by which mycobacteria induce granulomas: the bacterial secreted protein ESAT-6, which has long been implicated in virulence, induced matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) in epithelial cells neighboring infected macrophages. MMP9 enhanced recruitment of macrophages, which contributed to nascent granuloma maturation and bacterial growth. Disruption of MMP9 function attenuated granuloma formation and bacterial growth. Thus, interception of epithelial MMP9 production could hold promise as a host-targeting tuberculosis therapy. PMID:20007864

  9. Establishing a role for bacterial cellulose in environmental interactions: lessons learned from diverse biofilm-producing Proteobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Vincent Augimeri

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial cellulose (BC serves as a molecular glue to facilitate intra- and inter-domain interactions in nature. Biosynthesis of BC-containing biofilms occurs in a variety of Proteobacteria that inhabit diverse ecological niches. The enzymatic and regulatory systems responsible for the polymerization, exportation and regulation of BC are equally as diverse. Though the magnitude and environmental consequences of BC production are species-specific, the common role of BC containing biofilms is to establish close contact with a preferred host to facilitate efficient host-bacteria interactions. Universally, BC aids in attachment, adherence, and subsequent colonization of a substrate. Bi-directional interactions influence host physiology, bacterial physiology and regulation of BC biosynthesis, primarily through modulation of intracellular bis-(3’→5’-cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP levels. Depending on the circumstance, BC producers exhibit a pathogenic or symbiotic relationship with plant, animal or fungal hosts. Rhizobiaceae species colonize plant roots, Pseudomonadaceae inhabit the phyllosphere, Acetobacteriaceae associate with sugar-loving insects and inhabit the carposphere, Enterobacteriaceae use fresh produce as vehicles to infect animal hosts, and Vibrionaceae, particularly Aliivibrio fischeri, colonize the light organ of squid. This review will highlight the diversity of the biosynthesis and regulation of BC in nature by discussing various examples of Proteobacteria that use BC-containing biofilms to facilitate host-bacteria interactions. Through discussion of current data we will establish new directions for the elucidation of BC biosynthesis, regulation and ecophysiological roles.

  10. Interaction between workers during a short time window is required for bacterial symbiont transmission in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián;

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudon......Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry...... occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure...

  11. Interaction of Gram-negative bacteria with cationic proteins: Dependence on the surface characteristics of the bacterial cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabella R Prokhorenko

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Isabella R Prokhorenko1, Svetlana V Zubova1, Alexandr Yu Ivanov2, Sergey V Grachev31Laboratory of Molecular Biomedicine, Institute of Basic Biological Problems; 2Institute of Cell Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; 3I.M. Sechenov’s Moscow Medical Academy, Moscow, Russia Abstract: Gram-negative bacteria can enter the bloodstream and interact with serum cationic proteins. The character of interaction will depend on the surface characteristics of bacterial cells, which are determined by bacterial chemotype and density of lipopolysaccharide (LPS packing in the cell wall. It was shown that the lysozyme treatment resulted in the increase sensitivity to hypotonic shock. Signifi cant differences to this effect were found between Escherichia coli strain D21 and D21f2 under treatment with physiological protein concentration. On the basis of electrokinetic measurements and studies of the interaction of cells with lysozyme, the hypothesis was formed that the cell wall of the E. coli strain D21f2 contains more LPS and has a higher density of their packing than the cell wall of the E. coli D21 cells. The effect of lysozyme and lactoferrin on the viability of E. coli cells of two different strains was examined. Lysozyme was found to more effectively inhibit the growth of the E. coli D21 bacteria, and lactoferrin suppressed mainly the growth of the E. coli D21f2 bacteria. These results indicate that the differences in LPS core structure of bacterial R-chemotype, which determines surface charge and density of LPS packing, plays an essential role in the mechanisms of interaction of the cationic proteins with the cell wall.Keywords: lipopolysaccharide, Escherichia coli, chemotype, lysozyme, lactoferrin, colony-forming units

  12. Melanin determination by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for K. marxianus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultraviolet light (UV) mutated K. marxianus was found to turn dark brown during a growth assay. This brown color was hypothesized to be melanin overproduction influenced by the UV exposure. Cell cultures were oxidized and HPLC analyzed to determine melanin concentrations. The resulting melanin con...

  13. Bacterial Canker of Tomato: Current Knowledge of Detection, Management, Resistance, and Interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sen, Y.; Wolf, van der J.M.; Visser, R.G.F.; Heusden, van A.W.

    2015-01-01

    Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is the causal agent of bacterial canker of tomato. The disease was first described in 1910 in Michigan, USA. C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (from now on called clavibacter) was initially thought to be a phloem parasite, but was later found to be

  14. Diversity of endophytic bacterial populations and their interaction with Xylella fastidiosa in citrus plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Araujo, W.L.; Marcon, J.; Maccheroni, jr. W.; Elsas, van J.D.; Vuurde, van J.W.L.; Azevedo, de J.L.

    2002-01-01

    Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium that can infect all Citrus sinensis cultivars. The endophytic bacterial communities of healthy, resistant, and CVC-affected citrus plants were studied by using cultivation as well as cultivation-independen

  15. BPhyOG: An interactive server for genome-wide inference of bacterial phylogenies based on overlapping genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Kui

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Overlapping genes (OGs in bacterial genomes are pairs of adjacent genes of which the coding sequences overlap partly or entirely. With the rapid accumulation of sequence data, many OGs in bacterial genomes have now been identified. Indeed, these might prove a consistent feature across all microbial genomes. Our previous work suggests that OGs can be considered as robust markers at the whole genome level for the construction of phylogenies. An online, interactive web server for inferring phylogenies is needed for biologists to analyze phylogenetic relationships among a set of bacterial genomes of interest. Description BPhyOG is an online interactive server for reconstructing the phylogenies of completely sequenced bacterial genomes on the basis of their shared overlapping genes. It provides two tree-reconstruction methods: Neighbor Joining (NJ and Unweighted Pair-Group Method using Arithmetic averages (UPGMA. Users can apply the desired method to generate phylogenetic trees, which are based on an evolutionary distance matrix for the selected genomes. The distance between two genomes is defined by the normalized number of their shared OG pairs. BPhyOG also allows users to browse the OGs that were used to infer the phylogenetic relationships. It provides detailed annotation for each OG pair and the features of the component genes through hyperlinks. Users can also retrieve each of the homologous OG pairs that have been determined among 177 genomes. It is a useful tool for analyzing the tree of life and overlapping genes from a genomic standpoint. Conclusion BPhyOG is a useful interactive web server for genome-wide inference of any potential evolutionary relationship among the genomes selected by users. It currently includes 177 completely sequenced bacterial genomes containing 79,855 OG pairs, the annotation and homologous OG pairs of which are integrated comprehensively. The reliability of phylogenies complemented by

  16. Differential Antifungal Activity of Human and Cryptococcal Melanins with Structural Discrepancies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Néstor Correa

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Melanin is a pigment found in all biological kingdoms, and plays a key role in protection against ultraviolet radiation, oxidizing agents, and ionizing radiation damage. Melanin exerts an antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, and parasites. We demonstrated an antifungal activity of synthetic and human melanin against Candida sp. The members of the Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii species complexes are capsulated yeasts, which cause cryptococcosis. For both species melanin is an important virulence factor. To evaluate if cryptococcal and human melanins have antifungal activity against Cryptococcus species they both were assayed for their antifungal properties and physico-chemical characters. Melanin extracts from human hair and different strains of C. neoformans (n = 4 and C. gattii (n = 4 were investigated. The following minimum inhibitory concentrations were found for different melanins against C. neoformans and C. gattii were (average/range: 13.7/(7.8–15.6 and 19.5/(15.6–31.2 μg/mL, respectively, for human melanin; 273.4/(125–>500 and 367.2/(125.5–>500 μg/mL for C. neoformans melanin and 125/(62.5–250 and 156.2/(62–250 μg/mL for C. gattii melanin. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we observed that human melanin showed a compact conformation and cryptococcal melanins exposed an amorphous conformation. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR showed some differences in the signals related to C-C bonds of the aromatic ring of the melanin monomers. High Performance Liquid Chromatography established differences in the chromatograms of fungal melanins extracts in comparison with human and synthetic melanin, particularly in the retention time of the main compound of fungal melanin extracts and also in the presence of minor unknown compounds. On the other hand, MALDI-TOF-MS analysis showed slight differences in the spectra, specifically the presence of a minor intensity ion in synthetic and human melanin, as well as in some fungal

  17. Interactions among genes influencing bacterial recognition increase IBD risk in a population-based New Zealand cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petermann, Ivonne; Huebner, Claudia; Browning, Brian L; Gearry, Richard B; Barclay, Murray L; Kennedy, Martin; Roberts, Rebecca; Shelling, Andrew N; Philpott, Martin; Han, Dug Yeo; Ferguson, Lynnette R

    2009-06-01

    Bacterial sensing is crucial for appropriate response by the innate and adaptive immune system against invading microorganisms. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in bacterial recognition, CARD15 and TLR4, increased the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a New Zealand Caucasian case-control cohort. We now consider the effects of SNPs in CD14, TLR9, and BPI, analyzed individually, in association with one another, and with SNPs in CARD15 or TLR4 in this same population group. SNPs in CD14 (c.-159 C>T), TLR9 (c.-1237T>C) and BPI (c.645A>G) showed no significant allele or genotype frequency differences between IBD cases and controls. Genotype-phenotype mapping reveals an association with BPI and ileocolonic Crohn's disease (CD) as well as an association with CD14 and early-onset ulcerative colitis (UC). Genotype interaction analyses using three different statistical approaches provided significant evidence of interaction for the following combinations: CARD15/TLR4 (CD and UC), CARD15/CD14 (CD and UC), CD14/TLR4 (UC only), and CD14/BPI (UC only). A trend for an association between BPI and TLR4 was observed in UC patients, but failed to reach statistical significance. Our findings support the idea of gene-gene interactions for genes involved in closely related pathways (i.e. bacterial detection). There is evidence that carrying two SNPs in genes may lead to statistical significance for genes and SNPs that do not otherwise confirm as risk alleles for disease aetiology when analysed alone.

  18. Aerobic bacterial catabolism of persistent organic pollutants - potential impact of biotic and abiotic interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Jong-Rok; Murugesan, Kumarasamy; Baldrian, Petr; Schmidt, Stefan; Chang, Yoon-Seok

    2016-04-01

    Several aerobic bacteria possess unique catabolic pathways enabling them to degrade persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The catabolic activity of aerobic bacteria employed for removal of POPs in the environment may be modulated by several biotic (i.e. fungi, plants, algae, earthworms, and other bacteria) and abiotic (i.e. zero-valent iron, advanced oxidation, and electricity) agents. This review describes the basic biochemistry of the aerobic bacterial catabolism of selected POPs and discusses how biotic and abiotic agents enhance or inhibit the process. Solutions allowing biotic and abiotic agents to exert physical and chemical assistance to aerobic bacterial catabolism of POPs are also discussed.

  19. The interaction between bacterial transcription factors and RNA polymerase during the transition from initiation to elongation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiao; Lewis, Peter J

    2010-01-01

    There are three stages of transcription: initiation, elongation and termination, and traditionally there has been a clear distinction between the stages. The specificity factor sigma is completely released from bacterial RNA polymerase after initiation, and then recycled for another round of transcription. Elongation factors then associate with the polymerase followed by termination factors (where necessary). These factors dissociate prior to initiation of a new round of transcription. However, there is growing evidence suggesting that sigma factors can be retained in the elongation complex. The structure of bacterial RNAP in complex with an essential elongation factor NusA has recently been published, which suggested rather than competing for the major σ binding site, NusA binds to a discrete region on RNAP. A model was proposed to help explain the way in which both factors could be associated with RNAP during the transition from transcription initiation to elongation.

  20. Diversity of Endophytic Bacterial Populations and Their Interaction with Xylella fastidiosa in Citrus Plants

    OpenAIRE

    Araujo, W.L.; Marcon, J; Maccheroni, jr., W.; Elsas, van, J.D.; Vuurde, van, M.; Azevedo

    2002-01-01

    Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium that can infect all Citrus sinensis cultivars. The endophytic bacterial communities of healthy, resistant, and CVC-affected citrus plants were studied by using cultivation as well as cultivation-independent techniques. The endophytic communities were assessed in surface-disinfected citrus branches by plating and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Dominant isolates were characterized by ...

  1. Interactions among Strategies Associated with Bacterial Infection: Pathogenicity, Epidemicity, and Antibiotic Resistance†

    OpenAIRE

    Martínez, José L; Baquero, Fernando

    2002-01-01

    Infections have been the major cause of disease throughout the history of human populations. With the introduction of antibiotics, it was thought that this problem should disappear. However, bacteria have been able to evolve to become antibiotic resistant. Nowadays, a proficient pathogen must be virulent, epidemic, and resistant to antibiotics. Analysis of the interplay among these features of bacterial populations is needed to predict the future of infectious diseases. In this regard, we hav...

  2. Altering plant-microbe interaction through artificially manipulating bacterial quorum sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fray, Rupert G

    2002-03-01

    Many bacteria regulate diverse physiological processes in concert with their population size. Bacterial cell-to-cell communication utilizes small diffusible signal molecules, which the bacteria both produce and perceive. The bacteria couple gene expression to cell density by eliciting a response only when the signalling molecules reach a critical threshold (a point at which the population is said to be 'quorate'). The population as a whole is thus able to modify its behaviour as a single unit. Amongst Gram-negative bacteria, the quorum sensing signals most commonly used are N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). It is now apparent that AHLs are used for regulating diverse behaviours in epiphytic, rhizosphere-inhabiting and plant pathogenic bacteria and that plants may produce their own metabolites that interfere with this signalling. Transgenic plants that produce high levels of AHLs or which can degrade bacterial-produced AHLs have been made. These plants have dramatically altered susceptibilities to infection by pathogenic Erwinia species. In addition, such plants will prove useful tools in determining the roles of AHL-regulated density-dependent behaviour in growth promoting, biological control and pathogenic plant-associated bacterial species.

  3. diversion of the melanin synthetic pathway by dopamine product ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies have been reported about the physiological regulation of the ... However, the understanding of how melanin synthesis is regulated in the human body still needs ... conditions for temperature (298.15 K) and pressure (1.00 atm) using ...

  4. Structural Characterization of Melanin Pigments from Commercial Preparations of the Edible Mushroom Auricularia auricula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Toriola, Stacy; Nakouzi, Antonio; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth; Gerfen, Gary; Tumpowsky, Paul; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-08-26

    Many of the most widely consumed edible mushrooms are pigmented, and these have been associated with some beneficial health effects. Nevertheless, the majority of the reported compounds associated with these desirable properties are non-pigmented. We have previously reported that melanin pigment from the edible mushroom Auricularia auricula can protect mice against ionizing radiation, although no physicochemical characterization was reported. Consequently, in this study we have characterized commercial A. auricula mushroom preparations for melanin content and carried out structural characterization of isolated insoluble melanin materials using a panel of sophisticated spectroscopic and physical/imaging techniques. Our results show that approximately 10% of the dry mass of A. auricula is melanin and that the pigment has physicochemical properties consistent with those of eumelanins, including hosting a stable free radical population. Electron microscopy studies show that melanin is associated with the mushroom cell wall in a manner similar to that of melanin from the model fungus C. neoformans. Elemental analysis of melanin indicated C, H, and N ratios consistent with 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid/5,6-dihydroxyindole and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene eumelanin. Validation of the identity of the isolated product as melanin was achieved by EPR analysis. A. auricula melanin manifested structural differences, relative to the C. neoformans melanin, with regard to the variable proportions of alkyl chains or oxygenated carbons. Given the necessity for new oral and inexpensive radioprotective materials coupled with the commercial availability of A. auricula mushrooms, this product may represent an excellent source of edible melanin.

  5. Synthesis of melanin-like pigments by Sporothrix schenckii in vitro and during mammalian infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Youngchim, Sirida; Gomez, Beatriz L; Aisen, Phil; Hay, Roderick J; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J

    2003-07-01

    Melanin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human fungal pathogens. Existing data suggest that the conidia of the dimorphic fungal pathogen Sporothrix schenckii produce melanin or melanin-like compounds; in this study we aimed to confirm this suggestion and to demonstrate in vitro and in vivo production of melanin by yeast cells. S. schenckii grown on Mycosel agar produced visibly pigmented conidia, although yeast cells grown in brain heart infusion and minimal medium broth appeared to be nonpigmented macroscopically. However, treatment of both conidia and yeast cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and concentrated hot acid yielded dark particles similar in shape and size to the corresponding propagules, which were stable free radicals consistent with identification as melanins. Melanin particles extracted from S. schenckii yeast cells were used to produce a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which labeled pigmented conidia, yeast cells, and the isolated particles. Tissue from hamster testicles infected with S. schenckii contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAbs, and digestion of infected hamster tissue yielded dark particles that were also reactive. Additionally, sera from humans with sporotrichosis contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. These findings indicate that S. schenckii conidia and yeast cells can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and that yeast cells can synthesize pigment in vivo. Since melanin is an important virulence factor in other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may have a similar role in the pathogenesis of sporotrichosis.

  6. Decolorization of synthetic melanins by crude laccases of Lentinus polychrous Lév.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khammuang, Saranyu; Sarnthima, Rakrudee

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are complex natural pigments that darken the skin and are difficult to degrade. This study evaluated synthetic melanin decolorization by the crude laccase from fungus Lentinus polychrous in the absence and presence of selected redox mediators. The greatest melanin decolorization activity was 87 % at pH 6.5 within 3 h in the presence of 2,2-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) diammonium salt (ABTS), whereas only about 22 % melanin decolorized at pH 5.0 in case of no mediator. The optimum temperatures for melanin decolorization in the absence and presence of ABTS were 55 and 35°C, respectively. Using a natural redox mediator, 1.0 mmol/L vanillin leads to 45 % melanin decolorization. Our results suggest the possibility of applying vanillin for L. polychrous laccase-catalyzed decolorization of melanin.

  7. Keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 protein promotes melanin synthesis via regulation of tyrosine uptake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Heesung; Jung, Hyejung; Lee, Jung-Hyun; Oh, Hye Yun; Kim, Ok Bin; Han, Inn-Oc; Oh, Eok-Soo

    2014-08-01

    Melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin, are known to be closely regulated by neighboring keratinocytes. However, how keratinocytes regulate melanin production is unclear. Here we report that melanin production in melanoma cells (B16F10 and MNT-1) was increased markedly on a keratinocyte-derived extracellular matrix compared with a melanoma cell-derived extracellular matrix. siRNA-mediated reduction of keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 expression decreased melanin synthesis in melanoma cells, and laminin-332, but not fibronectin, enhanced melanin content and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-regulated melanin production in melanoma cells. Similar effects were observed in human melanocytes. Interestingly, however, laminin-332 did not affect the expression or activity of tyrosinase. Instead, laminin-332 promoted the uptake of extracellular tyrosine and, subsequently, increased intracellular levels of tyrosine in both melanocytes and melanoma cells. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 contributes to melanin production by regulating tyrosine uptake.

  8. Viral-bacterial interactions and risk of acute otitis media complicating upper respiratory tract infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Melinda M; Gent, Janneane F; Pyles, Richard B; Miller, Aaron L; Nokso-Koivisto, Johanna; Chonmaitree, Tasnee

    2011-11-01

    Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common complication of upper respiratory tract infection whose pathogenesis involves both viruses and bacteria. We examined risks of acute otitis media associated with specific combinations of respiratory viruses and acute otitis media bacterial pathogens. Data were from a prospective study of children ages 6 to 36 months and included viral and bacterial culture and quantitative PCR for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human bocavirus, and human metapneumovirus. Repeated-measure logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between specific viruses, bacteria, and the risk of acute otitis media complicating upper respiratory tract infection. In unadjusted analyses of data from 194 children, adenovirus, bocavirus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis were significantly associated with AOM (P virus loads (≥3.16 × 10(7) copies/ml) experienced increased acute otitis media risk. Higher viral loads of bocavirus and metapneumovirus were not significantly associated with acute otitis media. In adjusted models controlling for the presence of key viruses, bacteria, and acute otitis media risk factors, acute otitis media risk was independently associated with high RSV viral load with Streptococcus pneumoniae (odds ratio [OR], 4.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.90 and 10.19) and Haemophilus influenzae (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.38 and 3.02). The risk was higher for the presence of bocavirus and H. influenzae together (OR, 3.61; 95% CI, 1.90 and 6.86). Acute otitis media risk differs by the specific viruses and bacteria involved. Acute otitis media prevention efforts should consider methods for reducing infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus, bocavirus, and adenovirus in addition to acute otitis media bacterial pathogens.

  9. Action of 2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone in the biosynthesis pathway of melanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Jimenez, Antonio; Teruel-Puche, Jose Antonio; Garcia-Ruiz, Pedro Antonio; Berna, Jose; Rodríguez-López, Jose Neptuno; Tudela, Jose; Garcia-Canovas, Francisco

    2017-05-01

    2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone (Uvinul D50), a sunscreen used in cosmetics, has two effects in the melanin biosynthesis pathway. On the one hand, it acts a weak inhibitor of tyrosinase and on the other, it accelerates the conversion of dopachrome to melanin. Uvinul D50 was seen to behave as a weak competitive inhibitor: apparent constant inhibition=2.02±0.09mM and IC50=3.82±0.39mM established in this work. These values are higher than those in the bibliography, which tend to be undersetimated. This discrepancy could be explained by the reaction of Uvinul D50 with the dopachrome produced from l-tyrosine or l-dopa, which would interfere in the measurement. Based on studies of its docking to tyrosinase, it seems that Uvinul D50 interacts with the active site of the enzyme (oxytyrosinase) both in its protonated and deprotonated forms (pKa=7). However, it cannot be hydroxylated, meaning that it acts as a weak inhibitor, not as an alternative substrate, despite its resorcinol structure. Uvinul D50 can be used as sunscreen, in low concentrations without significant adverse effects on melanogenesis.

  10. Mapping key interactions in the dimerization process of HBHA from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, insights into bacterial agglutination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Carla; Cantisani, Marco; D'Auria, Gabriella; Falcigno, Lucia; Pedone, Emilia; Galdiero, Stefania; Berisio, Rita

    2012-03-23

    HBHA is a cell-surface protein implicated in the dissemination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) from the site of primary infection. Its N-terminal coiled-coil region is also involved in bacterial agglutination. However, despite the importance of HBHA dimerization in agglutination, protein regions involved in dimerization are hitherto not known. Here, we mapped these regions by coupling peptide synthesis, biochemical and computational analyses, and identified structural determinants for HBHA monomer-monomer recognition. Importantly, we obtained the first molecule able to induce HBHA dimer disaggregation at 37°C, the typical growth temperature of Mtb. This result provides new opportunities towards the development of Mtb anti-aggregation molecules with therapeutic interest.

  11. Bacterial receptors for host transferrin and lactoferrin: molecular mechanisms and role in host-microbe interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgenthau, Ari; Pogoutse, Anastassia; Adamiak, Paul; Moraes, Trevor F; Schryvers, Anthony B

    2013-12-01

    Iron homeostasis in the mammalian host limits the availability of iron to invading pathogens and is thought to restrict iron availability for microbes inhabiting mucosal surfaces. The presence of surface receptors for the host iron-binding glycoproteins transferrin (Tf) and lactoferrin (Lf) in globally important Gram-negative bacterial pathogens of humans and food production animals suggests that Tf and Lf are important sources of iron in the upper respiratory or genitourinary tracts, where they exclusively reside. Lf receptors have the additional function of protecting against host cationic antimicrobial peptides, suggesting that the bacteria expressing these receptors reside in a niche where exposure is likely. In this review we compare Tf and Lf receptors with respect to their structural and functional features, their role in colonization and infection, and their distribution among pathogenic and commensal bacteria.

  12. Early canine plaque biofilms: characterization of key bacterial interactions involved in initial colonization of enamel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy J Holcombe

    Full Text Available Periodontal disease (PD is a significant problem in dogs affecting between 44% and 63.6% of the population. The main etiological agent for PD is plaque, a microbial biofilm that colonizes teeth and causes inflammation of the gingiva. Understanding how this biofilm initiates on the tooth surface is of central importance in developing interventions against PD. Although the stages of plaque development on human teeth have been well characterized little is known about how canine plaque develops. Recent studies of the canine oral microbiome have revealed distinct differences between the canine and human oral environments and the bacterial communities they support, particularly with respect to healthy plaque. These differences mean knowledge about the nature of plaque formation in humans may not be directly translatable to dogs. The aim of this study was to identify the bacterial species important in the early stages of canine plaque formation in vivo and then use isolates of these species in a laboratory biofilm model to develop an understanding of the sequential processes which take place during the initial colonization of enamel. Supra-gingival plaque samples were collected from 12 dogs at 24 and 48 hour time points following a full mouth descale and polish. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA identified 134 operational taxonomic units after statistical analysis. The species with the highest relative abundance were Bergeyella zoohelcum, Neisseria shayeganii and a Moraxella species. Streptococcal species, which tend to dominate early human plaque biofilms, had very low relative abundance. In vitro testing of biofilm formation identified five primary colonizer species, three of which belonged to the genus Neisseria. Using these pioneer bacteria as a starting point, viable two and three species communities were developed. Combining in vivo and in vitro data has led us to construct novel models of how the early canine plaque biofilm develops.

  13. Diversity of endophytic bacterial populations and their interaction with Xylella fastidiosa in citrus plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Welington L; Marcon, Joelma; Maccheroni, Walter; Van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Van Vuurde, Jim W L; Azevedo, João Lúcio

    2002-10-01

    Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium that can infect all Citrus sinensis cultivars. The endophytic bacterial communities of healthy, resistant, and CVC-affected citrus plants were studied by using cultivation as well as cultivation-independent techniques. The endophytic communities were assessed in surface-disinfected citrus branches by plating and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Dominant isolates were characterized by fatty-acid methyl ester analysis as Bacillus pumilus, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter cloacae, Methylobacterium spp. (including Methylobacterium extorquens, M. fujisawaense, M. mesophilicum, M. radiotolerans, and M. zatmanii), Nocardia sp., Pantoea agglomerans, and Xanthomonas campestris. We observed a relationship between CVC symptoms and the frequency of isolation of species of Methylobacterium, the genus that we most frequently isolated from symptomatic plants. In contrast, we isolated C. flaccumfaciens significantly more frequently from asymptomatic plants than from those with symptoms of CVC while P. agglomerans was frequently isolated from tangerine (Citrus reticulata) and sweet-orange (C. sinensis) plants, irrespective of whether the plants were symptomatic or asymptomatic or showed symptoms of CVC. DGGE analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total plant DNA resulted in several bands that matched those from the bacterial isolates, indicating that DGGE profiles can be used to detect some endophytic bacteria of citrus plants. However, some bands had no match with any isolate, suggesting the occurrence of other, nonculturable or as yet uncultured, endophytic bacteria. A specific band with a high G+C ratio was observed only in asymptomatic plants. The higher frequency of C. flaccumfaciens in asymptomatic plants suggests a role for this organism in the resistance of plants to CVC.

  14. Interactions of antibiotics and methanolic crude extracts of Afzelia Africana (Smith.) against drug resistance bacterial isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiyegoro, Olayinka; Adewusi, Adekanmi; Oyedemi, Sunday; Akinpelu, David; Okoh, Anthony

    2011-01-01

    Infection due to multidrug resistance pathogens is difficult to manage due to bacterial virulence factors and because of a relatively limited choice of antimicrobial agents. Thus, it is imperative to discover fresh antimicrobials or new practices that are effective for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by drug-resistant microorganisms. The objective of this experiment is to investigate for synergistic outcomes when crude methanolic extract of the stem bark of Afzelia africana and antibiotics were combined against a panel of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains that have been implicated in infections. Standard microbiological protocols were used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the extract and antibiotics, as well as to investigate the effect of combinations of the methanolic extract of A. africana stem bark and selected antibiotics using the time-kill assay method. The extract of Afzelia africana exhibited antibacterial activities against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria made up of environmental and standard strains at a screening concentration of 5 mg/mL. The MICs of the crude extracts and the antibiotics varied between 1 μg/mL and 5.0 mg/mL. Overall, synergistic response constituted about 63.79% of all manner of combinations of extract and antibiotics against all test organisms; antagonism was not detected among the 176 tests carried out. The extract from A. africana stem bark showed potentials of synergy in combination with antibiotics against strains of pathogenic bacteria. The detection of synergy between the extract and antibiotics demonstrates the potential of this plant as a source of antibiotic resistance modulating compounds.

  15. Isolation and characterization of melanin pigment from yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiujun; Wu, Biao; Zhou, Liqing; Liu, Zhihong; Dong, Yinghui; Yang, Aiguo

    2017-04-01

    Melanin is one of the essential compounds in the pigments of molluscan shells. However, the effects of melanin on color variations in molluscs are largely unknown. Our previous study suggests that Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis might contain melanin pigment in the dark brown shell. We therefore isolated melanin from the pigmented shells using hydrochloric acid method, and characterized the types of melanin pigments by spectrophotometry. The purified melanin, which was verified by spectrophotometry scanning and HPLC analysis, showed the typical characteristics of melanin absorption spectra and HPLC chromatograms. The contents of pheomelanin and eumelanin in pigmented shells, which were determined by the linear standard curve of melanin at 405 nm and 350 nm absorbance, were 48.23 ± 1.350 and 157.65 ± 5.905 mg, respectively. The present results indicate that the brown-pigmented shells of scallops comprise approximately 76.6% of eumelanin and 23.4% of pheomelanin, which supports the presence of eumelanin-rich pigment in scallop shells. Therefore, the combination of hydrochloric acid extraction and spectrophotometric quantification is a rapid and efficient method to isolate and quantify melanin in shells. This will facilitate the melanin studies related to shell color polymorphism and the selective breeding of bivalves with different shell colors.

  16. Bacterial Colonies in Solid Media and Foods: A Review on Their Growth and Interactions with the Micro-Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanson, Sophie; Floury, Juliane; Gagnaire, Valérie; Lortal, Sylvie; Thierry, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria, either indigenous or added, are immobilized in solid foods where they grow as colonies. Since the 80's, relatively few research groups have explored the implications of bacteria growing as colonies and mostly focused on pathogens in large colonies on agar/gelatine media. It is only recently that high resolution imaging techniques and biophysical characterization techniques increased the understanding of the growth of bacterial colonies, for different sizes of colonies, at the microscopic level and even down to the molecular level. This review covers the studies on bacterial colony growth in agar or gelatine media mimicking the food environment and in model cheese. The following conclusions have been brought to light. Firstly, under unfavorable conditions, mimicking food conditions, the immobilization of bacteria always constrains their growth in comparison with planktonic growth and increases the sensibility of bacteria to environmental stresses. Secondly, the spatial distribution describes both the distance between colonies and the size of the colonies as a function of the initial level of population. By studying the literature, we concluded that there systematically exists a threshold that distinguishes micro-colonies (radius macro-colonies (radius >200 μm). Micro-colonies growth resembles planktonic growth and no pH microgradients could be observed. Macro-colonies growth is slower than planktonic growth and pH microgradients could be observed in and around them due to diffusion limitations which occur around, but also inside the macro-colonies. Diffusion limitations of milk proteins have been demonstrated in a model cheese around and in the bacterial colonies. In conclusion, the impact of immobilization is predominant for macro-colonies in comparison with micro-colonies. However, the interaction between the colonies and the food matrix itself remains to be further investigated at the microscopic scale.

  17. Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications—Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Solano

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The huge development of bioengineering during the last years has boosted the search for new bioinspired materials, with tunable chemical, mechanical, and optoelectronic properties for the design of semiconductors, batteries, biosensors, imaging and therapy probes, adhesive hydrogels, tissue restoration, photoprotectors, etc. These new materials should complement or replace metallic or organic polymers that cause cytotoxicity and some adverse health effects. One of the most interesting biomaterials is melanin and synthetic melanin-related molecules. Melanin has a controversial molecular structure, dependent on the conditions of polymerization, and therefore tunable. It is found in animal hair and skin, although one of the common sources is cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis ink. On the other hand, mussels synthesize adhesive proteins to anchor these marine animals to wet surfaces. Both melanin and mussel foot proteins contain a high number of catecholic residues, and their properties are related to these groups. Dopamine (DA can easily polymerize to get polydopamine melanin (PDAM, that somehow shares properties with melanin and mussel proteins. Furthermore, PDAM can easily be conjugated with other components. This review accounts for the main aspects of melanin, as well as DA-based melanin-like materials, related to their biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  18. Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications-Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, Francisco

    2017-07-18

    The huge development of bioengineering during the last years has boosted the search for new bioinspired materials, with tunable chemical, mechanical, and optoelectronic properties for the design of semiconductors, batteries, biosensors, imaging and therapy probes, adhesive hydrogels, tissue restoration, photoprotectors, etc. These new materials should complement or replace metallic or organic polymers that cause cytotoxicity and some adverse health effects. One of the most interesting biomaterials is melanin and synthetic melanin-related molecules. Melanin has a controversial molecular structure, dependent on the conditions of polymerization, and therefore tunable. It is found in animal hair and skin, although one of the common sources is cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) ink. On the other hand, mussels synthesize adhesive proteins to anchor these marine animals to wet surfaces. Both melanin and mussel foot proteins contain a high number of catecholic residues, and their properties are related to these groups. Dopamine (DA) can easily polymerize to get polydopamine melanin (PDAM), that somehow shares properties with melanin and mussel proteins. Furthermore, PDAM can easily be conjugated with other components. This review accounts for the main aspects of melanin, as well as DA-based melanin-like materials, related to their biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  19. Detection of antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis melanin in in vitro and in vivo studies during infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urán, Martha E; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Restrepo, Angela; Hamilton, Andrew J; Gómez, Beatriz L; Cano, Luz E

    2011-10-01

    Several cell wall constituents, including melanins or melanin-like compounds, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of microbial diseases caused by diverse species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and helminthes. Among these microorganisms, the dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produces melanin in its conidial and yeast forms. In the present study, melanin particles from P. brasiliensis were injected into BALB/c mice in order to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). We identified five immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) κ-chain and four IgM melanin-binding MAbs. The five IgG1 κ-chain isotypes are the first melanin-binding IgG MAbs ever reported. The nine MAbs labeled P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast cells both in vitro and in pulmonary tissues. The MAbs cross-reacted with melanin-like purified particles from other fungi and also with commercial melanins, such as synthetic and Sepia officinalis melanin. Melanization during paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) was also further supported by the detection of IgG antibodies reactive to melanin from P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast in sera and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from P. brasiliensis-infected mice, as well as in sera from human patients with PCM. Serum specimens from patients with other mycoses were also tested for melanin-binding antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cross-reactivities were detected for melanin particles from different fungal sources. These results suggest that melanin from P. brasiliensis is an immunologically active fungal structure that activates a strong IgG humoral response in humans and mice.

  20. Studies on Bacterial Proteins Corona Interaction with Saponin Imprinted ZnO Nanohoneycombs and Their Toxic Responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Deepali; Ashaduzzaman, Md; Golabi, Mohsen; Shriwastav, Amritanshu; Bisetty, Krishna; Tiwari, Ashutosh

    2015-11-01

    Molecular imprinting generates robust, efficient, and highly mesoporous surfaces for biointeractions. Mechanistic interfacial interaction between the surface of core substrate and protein corona is crucial to understand the substantial microbial toxic responses at a nanoscale. In this study, we have focused on the mechanistic interactions between synthesized saponin imprinted zinc oxide nanohoneycombs (SIZnO NHs), average size 80-125 nm, surface area 20.27 m(2)/g, average pore density 0.23 pore/nm and number-average pore size 3.74 nm and proteins corona of bacteria. The produced SIZnO NHs as potential antifungal and antibacterial agents have been studied on Sclerotium rolfsii (S. rolfsii), Pythium debarynum (P. debarynum) and Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), respectively. SIZnO NHs exhibited the highest antibacterial (∼50%) and antifungal (∼40%) activity against Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli) and fungus (P. debarynum), respectively at concentration of 0.1 mol. Scanning electron spectroscopy (SEM) observation showed that the ZnO NHs ruptured the cell wall of bacteria and internalized into the cell. The molecular docking studies were carried out using binding proteins present in the gram negative bacteria (lipopolysaccharide and lipocalin Blc) and gram positive bacteria (Staphylococcal Protein A, SpA). It was envisaged that the proteins present in the bacterial cell wall were found to interact and adsorb on the surface of SIZnO NHs thereby blocking the active sites of the proteins used for cell wall synthesis. The binding affinity and interaction energies were higher in the case of binding proteins present in gram negative bacteria as compared to that of gram positive bacteria. In addition, a kinetic mathematical model (KMM) was developed in MATLAB to predict the internalization in the bacterial cellular uptake of the ZnO NHs for better understanding of their controlled toxicity. The results obtained from KMM exhibited a good

  1. Flavonoids and Melanins: A Common Strategy across Two Kingdoms

    OpenAIRE

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2 -). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as...

  2. Bacterial Toxins and the Nervous System: Neurotoxins and Multipotential Toxins Interacting with Neuronal Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, Michel R.; Poulain, Bernard

    2010-01-01

    Toxins are potent molecules used by various bacteria to interact with a host organism. Some of them specifically act on neuronal cells (clostridial neurotoxins) leading to characteristics neurological affections. But many other toxins are multifunctional and recognize a wider range of cell types including neuronal cells. Various enterotoxins interact with the enteric nervous system, for example by stimulating afferent neurons or inducing neurotransmitter release from enterochromaffin cells which result either in vomiting, in amplification of the diarrhea, or in intestinal inflammation process. Other toxins can pass the blood brain barrier and directly act on specific neurons. PMID:22069606

  3. Bacterial toxins and the nervous system: neurotoxins and multipotential toxins interacting with neuronal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, Michel R; Poulain, Bernard

    2010-04-01

    Toxins are potent molecules used by various bacteria to interact with a host organism. Some of them specifically act on neuronal cells (clostridial neurotoxins) leading to characteristics neurological affections. But many other toxins are multifunctional and recognize a wider range of cell types including neuronal cells. Various enterotoxins interact with the enteric nervous system, for example by stimulating afferent neurons or inducing neurotransmitter release from enterochromaffin cells which result either in vomiting, in amplification of the diarrhea, or in intestinal inflammation process. Other toxins can pass the blood brain barrier and directly act on specific neurons.

  4. Disentangling the interactions between photochemical and bacterial degradation of dissolved organic matter: amino acids play a central role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amado, André M; Cotner, James B; Cory, Rose M; Edhlund, Betsy L; McNeill, Kristopher

    2015-04-01

    Photochemical and bacterial degradation are important pathways to carbon mineralization and can be coupled in dissolved organic matter (DOM) decomposition. However, details of several mechanisms of the coupled photochemical and biological processing of DOM remain too poorly understood to achieve accurate predictions of the impact of these processes on DOM fate and reactivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate how photochemical degradation of amino acids affects bacterial metabolism and whether or not photochemical degradation of DOM competes for amino acids with biological processes. We examined the interactions between photochemical and bacterial degradation dynamics using a mixture of 18 amino acids and examined their dynamics and turnover rates within a larger pool of allochthonous or autochthonous DOM. We observed that photochemical exposure of DOM containing amino acids led to delayed biomass production (even though the final biomass did not differ), most likely due to a need for upregulation of biosynthetic pathways for amino acids that were damaged by photochemically produced reactive oxygen species (ROS). This response was most pronounced in bacterial communities where the abundance of photosensitive amino acids was highest (amended treatments and autochthonous DOM) and least pronounced when the abundance of these amino acids was low (unamended and allochthonous DOM), likely because these bacteria already had these biosynthetic pathways functioning. We observed both a cost and benefit associated with photochemical exposure of DOM. We observed a cost associated with photochemically produced ROS that partially degrade key amino acids and a benefit associated with an increase in the availability of other compounds in the DOM. Bacteria growing on DOM sources that are low in labile amino acids, such as those in terrestrially influenced environments, experience more of the benefits associated with photochemical exposure, whereas bacteria growing in more amino

  5. Interactive effect of biochar and plant growth-promoting bacterial endophytes on ameliorating salinity stress in maize

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saleem Akhtar, Saqib; Andersen, Mathias Neumann; Naveed, Muhammad

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this work was to study the interactive effect of biochar and plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria containing 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase and exopolysaccharide activity on mitigating salinity stress in maize (Zea mays L.). The plants were grown in a greenhouse...... under controlled conditions, and were subjected to separate or combined treatments of biochar (0% and 5%, w/w) and two endophytic bacterial strains (Burkholderia phytofirmans (PsJN) and Enterobacter sp. (FD17)) and salinity stress. The results indicated that salinity significantly decreased the growth...... of maize, whereas both biochar and inoculation mitigated the negative effects of salinity on maize performance either by decreasing the xylem Na+ concentration ([Na+]xylem) uptake or by maintaining nutrient balance within the plant, especially when the two treatments were applied in combination. Moreover...

  6. Genetic Basis of Melanin Pigmentation in Butterfly Wings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Linlin; Martin, Arnaud; Perry, Michael W; van der Burg, Karin R L; Matsuoka, Yuji; Monteiro, Antónia; Reed, Robert D

    2017-04-01

    Despite the variety, prominence, and adaptive significance of butterfly wing patterns, surprisingly little is known about the genetic basis of wing color diversity. Even though there is intense interest in wing pattern evolution and development, the technical challenge of genetically manipulating butterflies has slowed efforts to functionally characterize color pattern development genes. To identify candidate wing pigmentation genes, we used RNA sequencing to characterize transcription across multiple stages of butterfly wing development, and between different color pattern elements, in the painted lady butterfly Vanessa cardui This allowed us to pinpoint genes specifically associated with red and black pigment patterns. To test the functions of a subset of genes associated with presumptive melanin pigmentation, we used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 genome editing in four different butterfly genera. pale, Ddc, and yellow knockouts displayed reduction of melanin pigmentation, consistent with previous findings in other insects. Interestingly, however, yellow-d, ebony, and black knockouts revealed that these genes have localized effects on tuning the color of red, brown, and ochre pattern elements. These results point to previously undescribed mechanisms for modulating the color of specific wing pattern elements in butterflies, and provide an expanded portrait of the insect melanin pathway. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  7. Interactions between bacteria and solid surfaces in relation to bacterial transport in porous media

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijnaarts, H.H.M.

    1994-01-01

    Interactions between bacteria and solid surfaces strongly influence the behaviour of bacteria in natural and engineered ecosystems. Many biofilm reactors and terrestrial environments are porous media. The purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to gain a better insight into the

  8. Interactions between bacteria and solid surfaces in relation to bacterial transport in porous media.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijnaarts, H.H.M.

    1994-01-01

    Interactions between bacteria and solid surfaces strongly influence the behaviour of bacteria in natural and engineered ecosystems. Many biofilm reactors and terrestrial environments are porous media. The purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to gain a better insight into the basic mec

  9. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent progres

  10. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent

  11. Exploring structure and interactions of the bacterial adaptor protein YjbH by crosslinking mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Eryani, Yusra; Ib Rasmussen, Morten; Kjellström, Sven; Højrup, Peter; Emanuelsson, Cecilia; von Wachenfeldt, Claes

    2016-09-01

    Adaptor proteins assist proteases in degrading specific proteins under appropriate conditions. The adaptor protein YjbH promotes the degradation of an important global transcriptional regulator Spx, which controls the expression of hundreds of genes and operons in response to thiol-specific oxidative stress in Bacillus subtilis. Under normal growth conditions, the transcription factor is bound to the adaptor protein and therefore degraded by the AAA+ protease ClpXP. If this binding is alleviated during stress, the transcription factor accumulates and turns on genes encoding stress-alleviating proteins. The adaptor protein YjbH is thus a key player involved in these interactions but its structure is unknown. To gain insight into its structure and interactions we have used chemical crosslinking mass spectrometry. Distance constraints obtained from the crosslinked monomer were used to select and validate a structure model of YjbH and then to probe its interactions with other proteins. The core structure of YjbH is reminiscent of DsbA family proteins. One lysine residue in YjbH (K177), located in one of the α-helices outside the thioredoxin fold, crosslinked to both Spx K99 and Spx K117, thereby suggesting one side of the YjbH for the interaction with Spx. Another lysine residue that crosslinked to Spx was YjbH K5, located in the long and presumably very flexible N-terminal arm of YjbH. Our crosslinking data lend support to a model proposed based on site-directed mutagenesis where the YjbH interaction with Spx can stabilize and present the C-terminal region of Spx for protease recognition and proteolysis. Proteins 2016; 84:1234-1245. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Implication of the bacterial endosymbiont Rickettsia spp. in interactions of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci with tomato yellow leaf curl virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliot, Adi; Cilia, Michelle; Czosnek, Henryk; Ghanim, Murad

    2014-05-01

    Numerous animal and plant viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors in a persistent, circulative manner. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is transmitted by the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci. We report here that infection with Rickettsia spp., a facultative endosymbiont of whiteflies, altered TYLCV-B. tabaci interactions. A B. tabaci strain infected with Rickettsia acquired more TYLCV from infected plants, retained the virus longer, and exhibited nearly double the transmission efficiency compared to an uninfected B. tabaci strain with the same genetic background. Temporal and spatial antagonistic relationships were discovered between Rickettsia and TYLCV within the whitefly. In different time course experiments, the levels of virus and Rickettsia within the insect were inversely correlated. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of Rickettsia-infected midguts provided evidence for niche exclusion between Rickettsia and TYLCV. In particular, high levels of the bacterium in the midgut resulted in higher virus concentrations in the filter chamber, a favored site for virus translocation along the transmission pathway, whereas low levels of Rickettsia in the midgut resulted in an even distribution of the virus. Taken together, these results indicate that Rickettsia, by infecting the midgut, increases TYLCV transmission efficacy, adding further insights into the complex association between persistent plant viruses, their insect vectors, and microorganism tenants that reside within these insects. Interest in bacterial endosymbionts in arthropods and many aspects of their host biology in agricultural and human health systems has been increasing. A recent and relevant studied example is the influence of Wolbachia on dengue virus transmission by mosquitoes. In parallel with our recently studied whitefly-Rickettsia-TYLCV system, other studies have shown that dengue virus levels in the mosquito vector are inversely correlated with bacterial load. Our work

  13. Sub-nm 3D observation of human hair melanin by high-voltage STEM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Takehito; Higuchi, Kimitaka; Yamamoto, Yuta; Arai, Shigeo; Nakano, Takashi; Tanaka, Nobuo

    2016-04-01

    The ultrastructure of melanin granules in human hair was studied using 1,000 kV high-voltage scanning transmission electron microscopy to successfully reconstruct three-dimensional images of the whole melanin granule. It was revealed that the melanin granule was composed of a membrane-like outer structure that included many spherical vesicles, and an inner matrix containing a sheet-like structure in the elongated direction of the melanin granule and a sheet-like arrays structure in the cross direction. The outer structure of the melanin granule was maintained even after exposure to hair-bleaching agents to decompose the melanin granule, suggesting that the outer structure was a highly robust structure and composition compared with the inner matrix . © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Japanese Society of Microscopy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Melanin from the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: a spectroscopic characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Aulie; Supakar, Subhrangshu; Banerjee, Raja

    2014-01-01

    Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state (13)C NMR), we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation.

  15. Engineering bacterial surface displayed human norovirus capsid proteins: A novel system to explore interaction between norovirus and ligands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengya eNiu

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Human noroviruses (HuNoVs are major contributors to acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks. Many aspects of HuNoVs are poorly understood due to both the current inability to culture HuNoVs, and the lack of efficient small animal models. Surrogates for HuNoVs, such as recombinant viral like particles (VLPs expressed in eukaryotic system or P particles expressed in prokaryotic system, have been used for studies in immunology and interaction between the virus and its receptors. However, it is difficult to use VLPs or P particles to collect or isolate potential ligands binding to these recombinant capsid proteins. In this study, a new strategy was used to collect HuNoVs binding ligands through the use of ice nucleation protein (INP to display recombinant capsid proteins of HuNoVs on bacterial surfaces. The viral protein-ligand complex could be easily separated by a low speed centrifugation step. This system was also used to explore interaction between recombinant capsid proteins of HuNoVs and their receptors. In this system, the VP1 capsid encoding gene (ORF2 and the protruding domain (P domain encoding gene (3’ terminal fragment of ORF2 of HuNoVs GI.1 and GII.4 were fused with 5’ terminal fragment of ice nucleation protein encoding gene (inaQn. The results demonstrated that the recombinant VP1 and P domains of HuNoVs were expressed and anchored on the surface of Escherichia coli BL21 cells after the bacteria were transformed with the corresponding plasmids. Both cell surface displayed VP1 and P domains could be recognized by HuNoVs specific antibodies and interact with the viral histo-blood group antigens receptors. In both cases, displayed P domains had better binding abilities than VP1. This new strategy of using displayed HuNoVs capsid proteins on the bacterial surface could be utilized to separate HuNoVs binding components from complex samples, to investigate interaction between the virus and its receptors, as well as to develop an

  16. Influence of variation in melanin content on absorbance spectra of liquid skin phantoms

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smit, Jacoba E

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available , Melanin Skin pigments • Melanin (epidermis), Haemoglobin (dermis), Bilirubin, Carotene, Keratin Melanocytes • Located at epidermal-dermal junction • Melanosomes • Melanin biosynthesis • In contact with ~ 40 keratinocytes Slide 4 of 41 © CSIR... due to keratin. More realistic phantoms – adding keratin • Comparison between the PheroidTM phantoms and melanosomes from different skin phototypes could not be made. To verify the true amount to which these phantoms represent real skin, such a...

  17. A common theme in interaction of bacterial immunoglobulin-binding proteins with immunoglobulins illustrated in the equine system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Melanie J; Meehan, Mary; Owen, Peter; Woof, Jenny M

    2008-06-20

    The M protein of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi known as fibrinogen-binding protein (FgBP) is a cell wall-associated protein with antiphagocytic activity that binds IgG. Recombinant versions of the seven equine IgG subclasses were used to investigate the subclass specificity of FgBP. FgBP bound predominantly to equine IgG4 and IgG7, with little or no binding to the other subclasses. Competitive binding experiments revealed that FgBP could inhibit the binding of staphylococcal protein A and streptococcal protein G to both IgG4 and IgG7, implicating the Fc interdomain region in binding to FgBP. To identify which of the two IgG Fc domains contributed to the interaction with FgBP, we tested two human IgG1/IgA1 domain swap mutants and found that both domains are required for full binding, with the CH3 domain playing a critical role. The binding site for FgBP was further localized using recombinant equine IgG7 antibodies with single or double point mutations to residues lying at the CH2-CH3 interface. We found that interaction of FgBP with equine IgG4 and IgG7 was able to disrupt C1q binding and antibody-mediated activation of the classical complement pathway, demonstrating an effective means by which S. equi may evade the immune response. The mode of interaction of FgBP with IgG fits a common theme for bacterial Ig-binding proteins. Remarkably, for those interactions studied in detail, it emerges that all the Ig-binding proteins target the CH2-CH3 domain interface, regardless of specificity for IgG or IgA, streptococcal or staphylococcal origin, or host species (equine or human).

  18. Protein-protein docking and analysis reveal that two homologous bacterial adenylyl cyclase toxins interact with calmodulin differently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Qing; Jureller, Justin E; Warren, Julia T; Solomaha, Elena; Florián, Jan; Tang, Wei-Jen

    2008-08-29

    Calmodulin (CaM), a eukaryotic calcium sensor that regulates diverse biological activities, consists of N- and C-terminal globular domains (N-CaM and C-CaM, respectively). CaM serves as the activator of CyaA, a 188-kDa adenylyl cyclase toxin secreted by Bordetella pertussis, which is the etiologic agent for whooping cough. Upon insertion of the N-terminal adenylyl cyclase domain (ACD) of CyaA to its targeted eukaryotic cells, CaM binds to this domain tightly ( approximately 200 pm affinity). This interaction activates the adenylyl cyclase activity of CyaA, leading to a rise in intracellular cAMP levels to disrupt normal cellular signaling. We recently solved the structure of CyaA-ACD in complex with C-CaM to elucidate the mechanism of catalytic activation. However, the structure of the interface between N-CaM and CyaA, the formation of which contributes a 400-fold increase of binding affinity between CyaA and CaM, remains elusive. Here, we used site-directed mutations and molecular dynamic simulations to generate several working models of CaM-bound CyaA-ACD. The validity of these models was evaluated by disulfide bond cross-linking, point mutations, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments. Our study reveals that a beta-hairpin region (amino acids 259-273) of CyaA-ACD likely makes contacts with the second calcium binding motif of the extended CaM. This mode of interaction differs from the interaction of N-CaM with anthrax edema factor, which binds N-CaM via its helical domain. Thus, two structurally conserved, bacterial adenylyl cyclase toxins have evolved to utilize distinct binding surfaces and modes of activation in their interaction with CaM, a highly conserved eukaryotic signaling protein.

  19. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations reveal significant differences in interaction between antimycin and conserved amino acid residues in bovine and bacterial bc1 complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokhan, Oleksandr; Shinkarev, Vladimir P

    2011-02-02

    Antimycin A is the most frequently used specific and powerful inhibitor of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. We used all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the dynamic aspects of the interaction of antimycin A with the Q(i) site of the bacterial and bovine bc(1) complexes embedded in a membrane. The MD simulations revealed considerable conformational flexibility of antimycin and significant mobility of antimycin, as a whole, inside the Q(i) pocket. We conclude that many of the differences in antimycin binding observed in high-resolution x-ray structures may have a dynamic origin and result from fluctuations of protein and antimycin between multiple conformational states of similar energy separated by low activation barriers, as well as from the mobility of antimycin within the Q(i) pocket. The MD simulations also revealed a significant difference in interaction between antimycin and conserved amino acid residues in bovine and bacterial bc(1) complexes. The strong hydrogen bond between antimycin and conserved Asp-228 (bovine numeration) was observed to be frequently broken in the bacterial bc(1) complex and only rarely in the bovine bc(1) complex. In addition, the distances between antimycin and conserved His-201 and Lys-227 were consistently larger in the bacterial bc(1) complex. The observed differences could be responsible for a weaker interaction of antimycin with the bacterial bc(1) complex.

  20. Applying photoacoustics to quantification of melanin concentration in retinal pigment epithelium (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Xiao; Zhang, Hao F.; Liu, Wenzhong

    2016-03-01

    The melanin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) protects retina and other ocular tissues by photo-screening and acting as antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It helps maintain normal visual functions since human eye is subjected to lifelong high oxygen stress and photon exposure. Loss of the RPE melanin weakens the protection mechanism and jeopardizes ocular health. Local decrease in the RPE melanin concentration is believed to be both a cause and a sign of early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading blinding disease in developed world. Current technology cannot quantitatively measure the RPE melanin concentration which might be a promising marker in early AMD screening. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an emerging optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure the RPE melanin concentration if the dependence of the detectable photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes on the RPE melanin concentrations is verified. In this study, we tested the feasibility of using PA signal ratio from RPE melanin and the nearby retinal blood vessels as an indicator of the RPE melanin variation. A novel whole eye optical model was designed and Monte Carlo modeling of light (MCML) was employed. We examined the influences on quantification from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness. The results show that the scheme is robust to individual histological and illumination variations. This study suggests that PAOM is capable of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin concentration in vivo.

  1. Effect of pH on Paramagnetic Centers in Cladosporium cladosporioides Melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilawa, B.; Buszman, E.; Gondzik, A.; Wilczyński, S.; Zdybel, M.; Witoszyńska, T.; Wilczok, T.

    2006-07-01

    Paramagnetic centers in melanin existing in pigmented soil fungi Cladosporium cladosporioides cultured at acidic (4, 5, 6), neutral (7), and alkaline (8) pH were studied by EPR method. o-semiquinone free radicals (g: 2.0032-2.0040) concentration in melanin biopolymer increased for pH from 4 to 6, decreased at pH 7, and reached the maximum value at pH 8. It may be expected that melanin free radicals reactions with small molecules (metal ions, drugs) are the most effective at pH between 6 and 8. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in the all studied melanin samples.

  2. Production of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula and its physicochemical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shujing; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Chen, Wenxing; Zhang, Liaoyuan; Zhu, Hu

    2016-04-01

    Fermentation conditions of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula were optimized to obtain a high melanin yield and physicochemical properties of melanin were firstly investigated. The results indicated that yeast extract, tyrosine and lactose have significant effects on melanin production. Under the proposed optimized conditions, the melanin experimental yield (2.97 g/L) closely matched the value (3.04 g/L) predicted by the second-order model, which provided a statistically prediction of media in submerged fermentation of A. auricula. The yield achieved was 2.14-fold higher compared to the control. It was firstly revealed that tyrosine could stimulate melanin synthesis in A. auricula. The results showed that this melanin had better thermostability and light resistance, and its solubility was relatively high under alkaline conditions. Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) could result in melanin precipitation. The results should be useful for the efficient production of melanin and enable numerous applications in food, cosmetics, pharmacology, medicines and other fields.

  3. Isolation and characterization of biologically active melanin from Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manivasagan, Panchanathan; Venkatesan, Jayachandran; Senthilkumar, Kalimuthu; Sivakumar, Kannan; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-07-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments and biological macromolecules that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of bacteria and fungi. The present study was carried out on isolation and characterization of melanin from marine actinobacteria, Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32. Medium composition and culture conditions for the melanin production by Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32 were optimized using two statistical methods: Plackett-Burman design applied to find the key ingredients and conditions for the best yield of melanin production and central composite design used to optimize the concentration of the four significant variables: glycerol, L-tyrosine, NaCl and trace salt solution. The melanin was optimally active at pH 7-9 and temperature 45-60°C and it was most stable up to pH 11 and 4% of NaCl concentration. Melanin was examined by UV-vis absorption spectroscopy and infrared spectrometry. Melanin has potential antibacterial activity as it showed greater antagonistic and it has a strong antioxidant potential observed in the in vitro evaluation of its DPPH radical-scavenging activity, superoxide radical-scavenging activity, nitric oxide-scavenging activity, reducing power and metal chelating activity. The observed activities indicate that melanin might be a novel potential antioxidant. This study suggested that the melanin could potentially be used as a natural antioxidant in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

  4. Different culture media containing methyldopa for melanin production by Cryptococcus species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralciane de Paula Menezes

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Melanin production by species of Cryptococcus is widely used to characterize C. neoformans complex in mycology laboratories. This study aims to test the efficacy of methyldopa from pharmaceutical tablet as a substrate for melanin production, to compare the production of melanin using different agar base added with methyldopa, and to compare the melanin produced in those media with that produced in Niger seed agar and sunflower seed agar by C. neoformans, C. laurentii, and C. albidus. Two isolates of each species, C. neoformans, C. laurentii, and C. albidus, and one of Candida albicans were used to experimentally detect conditions for melanin production. METHODS: The following media were tested: Mueller-Hinton agar (MHA, brain and heart infusion agar (BHIA, blood agar base (BAB, and minimal medium agar (MMA, all added with methyldopa, and the media Niger seed agar (NSA and sunflower seed agar (SSA. RESULTS: All isolates grew in most of the culture media after 24h. Strains planted on media BAB and BHIA showed growth only after 48h. All isolates produced melanin in MMA, MHA, SSA, and NSA media. CONCLUSIONS: Methyldopa in the form pharmaceutical tablet can be used as a substrate for melanin production by Cryptococcus species; minimal medium plus methyldopa was more efficient than the BAB, MHA, and BHIA in the melanin production; and NSA and SSA, followed by MMA added with methyldopa, were more efficient than other media studied for melanin production by all strains studied.

  5. Bacterial Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenchel, Tom

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial ecology is concerned with the interactions between bacteria and their biological and nonbiological environments and with the role of bacteria in biogeochemical element cycling. Many fundamental properties of bacteria are consequences of their small size. Thus, they can efficiently exploit...

  6. Increasing metagenomic resolution of microbiome interactions through functional phylogenomics and bacterial sub-communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angélica eCibrián-Jaramillo

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The genomic composition of the microbiome and its relationship with the environment is an exciting open question in biology. Metagenomics is a useful tool in the discovery of previously unknown taxa, but its use to understand the functional and ecological capacities of the microbiome is limited until taxonomy and function are understood in the context of the community. We suggest that this can be achieved using a combined functional phylogenomics and co-culture-based experimental strategy that can increase our capacity to measure sub-community interactions. Functional phylogenomics can identify and partition the genome such that hidden gene functions and gene clusters with unique evolutionary signals are revealed. We can test these phylogenomic predictions using an experimental model based on sub-community populations that represent a subset of the diversity directly obtained from environmental samples. These populations increase the detection of mechanisms that drive functional forces in the assembly of the microbiome, in particular the role of metabolites from keystone taxa in community interactions. Our combined approach leverages the potential of metagenomics to address biological questions from ecological systems.

  7. In vitro interaction of certain antimicrobial agents in combination with plant extracts against some pathogenic bacterial strains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kalpna Rakholiya; Sumitra Chanda

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the in vitro interaction between methanolic extracts of Terminalia catappa (Combretaceae) (T. catappa) and Carica papaya (caricaceae) (C. papaya) leaves and certain known antimicrobial drugs like penicillin G (P), ampicillin (AMP), amoxyclav (AMC), cephalothin (CEP), polymyxin B (PB), rifampicin (RIF), amikacin (AK), nilidixic acid (NA), gentamicin (GEN), chloramphenicol (C), ofloxacin (OF) against five Gram positive and five Gram negative bacteria.Methods:Evaluation of synergy interaction between plant extracts and antimicrobial agents was carried out using disc diffusion method. Results: The results of this study showed that there is an increased activity in case of combination of methanolic plant extracts and test antimicrobial agents. The more potent result was that the synergism between methanolic extract of C. papaya and antibiotics showed highest and strong synergistic effect against tested bacterial strains;though methanolic extract of C. papaya alone was not showing any antibacterial activity.Conclusions:These results indicate that combination between plant extract and the antibiotics could be useful in fighting emerging drug-resistance microorganisms.

  8. In vitro interaction of certain antimicrobial agents in combination with plant extracts against some pathogenic bacterial strains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kalpna Rakholiya; Sumitra Chanda

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the in vitro interaction between methanolic extracts of Terminalia catappa (T. catappa) (Combretaceae) and Carica papaya (C. papaya) (caricaceae) leaves and certain known antimicrobial drugs like penicillin G (P), ampicillin (AMP), amoxyclav (AMC), cephalothin (CEP), polymyxin B (PB), rifampicin (RIF), amikacin (AK), nilidixic acid (NA), gentamicin (GEN), chloramphenicol (C), ofloxacin (OF) against five Gram positive and five Gram negative bacteria. Methods: Evaluation of synergy interaction between plant extracts and antimicrobial agents was carried out using disc diffusion method. Results: The results of this study showed that there is an increased activity in case of combination of methanolic plant extracts and test antimicrobial agents. The more potent result was that the synergism between methanolic extract of C. papaya and antibiotics showed highest and strong synergistic effect against tested bacterial strains;though methanolic extract of C. papaya alone was not showing any antibacterial activity. Conclusions: These results indicate that combination between plant extract and the antibiotics could be useful in fighting emerging drug-resistance microorganisms.

  9. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: Mechanisms of actions in a mice model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunwar, A., E-mail: amitbio@rediffmail.com [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Adhikary, B. [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Jayakumar, S. [Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Barik, A. [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Chattopadhyay, S. [Bio-Organic Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Raghukumar, S. [Myko Tech Private Limited, Dona Paula, Goa‐403004 (India); Priyadarsini, K.I., E-mail: kindira@barc.gov.in [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India)

    2012-10-15

    The radioprotective effect of extracellular melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, isolated from the fungus Gliocephalotrichum simplex was examined in BALB/C mice, and the probable mechanism of action was established. At an effective dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, melanin exhibited both prophylactic and mitigative activities, increasing the 30-day survival of mice by 100% and 60%, respectively, after exposure to radiation (7 Gy, whole body irradiation (WBI)). The protective activity of melanin was primarily due to inhibition of radiation-induced hematopoietic damages as evidenced by improvement in spleen parameters such as index, total cellularity, endogenous colony forming units, and maintenance of circulatory white blood cells and platelet counts. Melanin also reversed the radiation-induced decrease in ERK phosphorylation in splenic tissue, which may be the key feature in its radioprotective action. Additionally, our results indicated that the sustained activation of AKT, JNK and P38 proteins in splenic tissue of melanin pre-treated group may also play a secondary role. This was also supported by the fact that melanin could prevent apoptosis in splenic tissue by decreasing BAX/Bcl-XL ratio, and increasing the expressions of the proliferation markers (PCNA and Cyclin D1), compared to the radiation control group. Melanin also reduced the oxidative stress in hepatic tissue and abrogated immune imbalance by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6 and TNFα). In conclusion, our results confirmed that fungal melanin is a very effective radioprotector against WBI and the probable mechanisms of radioprotection are due to modulation in pro-survival (ERK) signaling, prevention of oxidative stress and immunomodulation. -- Highlights: ► Melanin showed promising radioprotection under pre and post irradiation condition. ► Melanin protects the hematopoietic system from radiation induced damage. ► Melanin modulates pro-survival pathways, immune system

  10. Exploring structure and interactions of the bacterial adaptor protein YjbH by crosslinking mass spectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Eryani, Yusra; Ib Rasmussen, Morten; Kjellström, Sven;

    2016-01-01

    Adaptor proteins assist proteases in degrading specific proteins under appropriate conditions. The adaptor protein YjbH promotes the degradation of an important global transcriptional regulator Spx, which controls the expression of hundreds of genes and operons in response to thiol-specific oxida......Adaptor proteins assist proteases in degrading specific proteins under appropriate conditions. The adaptor protein YjbH promotes the degradation of an important global transcriptional regulator Spx, which controls the expression of hundreds of genes and operons in response to thiol......-specific oxidative stress in Bacillus subtilis. Under normal growth conditions, the transcription factor is bound to the adaptor protein and therefore degraded by the AAA+ protease ClpXP. If this binding is alleviated during stress, the transcription factor accumulates and turns on genes encoding stress...... and validate a structure model of YjbH and then to probe its interactions with other proteins. The core structure of YjbH is reminiscent of DsbA family proteins. One lysine residue in YjbH (K177), located in one of the α-helices outside the thioredoxin fold, crosslinked to both Spx K99 and Spx K117, thereby...

  11. Trimeric autotransporter adhesins contribute to Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae pathogenicity in mice and regulate bacterial gene expression during interactions between bacteria and porcine primary alveolar macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Wanhai; Wang, Lei; Zhai, Ruidong; Ma, Qiuyue; Liu, Jianfang; Bao, Chuntong; Zhang, Hu; Sun, Changjiang; Feng, Xin; Gu, Jingmin; Du, Chongtao; Han, Wenyu; Langford, P R; Lei, Liancheng

    2016-01-01

    Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is an important pathogen that causes respiratory disease in pigs. Trimeric autotransporter adhesin (TAA) is a recently discovered bacterial virulence factor that mediates bacterial adhesion and colonization. Two TAA coding genes have been found in the genome of A. pleuropneumoniae strain 5b L20, but whether they contribute to bacterial pathogenicity is unclear. In this study, we used homologous recombination to construct a double-gene deletion mutant, ΔTAA, in which both TAA coding genes were deleted and used it in in vivo and in vitro studies to confirm that TAAs participate in bacterial auto-aggregation, biofilm formation, cell adhesion and virulence in mice. A microarray analysis was used to determine whether TAAs can regulate other A. pleuropneumoniae genes during interactions with porcine primary alveolar macrophages. The results showed that deletion of both TAA coding genes up-regulated 36 genes, including ene1514, hofB and tbpB2, and simultaneously down-regulated 36 genes, including lgt, murF and ftsY. These data illustrate that TAAs help to maintain full bacterial virulence both directly, through their bioactivity, and indirectly by regulating the bacterial type II and IV secretion systems and regulating the synthesis or secretion of virulence factors. This study not only enhances our understanding of the role of TAAs but also has significance for those studying A. pleuropneumoniae pathogenesis.

  12. Nematode-trapping fungi and fungus-associated bacteria interactions: the role of bacterial diketopiperazines and biofilms on Arthrobotrys oligospora surface in hyphal morphogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lei; Yang, Min; Luo, Jun; Qu, Qing; Chen, Ying; Liang, Lianming; Zhang, Keqin

    2016-11-01

    In soil, nematode-trapping fungi and bacteria often share microhabitats and interact with each other, but effects of fungus-associated bacteria on its trap formation are underestimated. We have ascertained the presence of Stenotrophomonas and Rhizobium genera associated with A. oligospora GJ-1. After A. oligospora GJ-1 without associated bacteria (cured Arthrobotrys) was co-cultivated with Stenotrophomonas and its supernatant extract, microscopic study of hyphae from co-cultivation indicated that bacterial biofilm formation on hyphae was related to trap formation in fungi and Stenotrophomonas supernatant extract. Four diketopiperazines (DKPs) were purified from Stenotrophomonas supernatant extract that could not induce traps in the cured Arthrobotrys. When cured Arthrobotrys was cultured with Stenotrophomonas and one of DKPs, polar attachment, bacterial biofilms on hyphae and trap formation in fungi were observed. After cured Arthrobotrys with bacterial biofilms was consecutively transferred several times on nutrient poor medium, trap formation disappeared with the disappearance of bacterial biofilms on hyphae. DKPs could facilitate chemotaxis of Stenotrophomonas towards fungal extract which was suggested to contribute to bacterial biofilms on hyphae. Furthermore, when cured Arthrobotrys was cultured with Stenotrophomonas and DKPs in soil, trap formation in fungi and bacterial biofilms on hyphae were also observed, and the fungal activity against nematode was enhanced.

  13. From tyrosine to melanin: Signaling pathways and factors regulating melanogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzanna Rzepka

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Melanins are natural pigments of skin, hair and eyes and can be classified into two main types: brown to black eumelanin and yellow to reddish-brown pheomelanin. Biosynthesis of melanins takes place in melanosomes, which are specialized cytoplasmic organelles of melanocytes - dendritic cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis, uveal tract of the eye, hair follicles, as well as in the inner ear, central nervous system and heart. Melanogenesis is a multistep process and begins with the conversion of amino acid L-tyrosine to DOPAquinone. The addition of cysteine or glutathione to DOPAquinone leads to the intermediates formation, followed by subsequent transformations and polymerization to the final product, pheomelanin. In the absence of thiol compounds DOPAquinone undergoes an intramolecular cyclization and oxidation to form DOPAchrome, which is then converted to 5,6-dihydroksyindole (DHI or 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA. Eumelanin is formed by polymerization of DHI and DHICA and their quinones. Regulation of melanogenesis is achieved by physical and biochemical factors. The article presents the intracellular signaling pathways: cAMP/PKA/CREB/MITF cascade, MAP kinases cascade, PLC/DAG/PKCβ cascade and NO/cGMP/PKG cascade, which are involved in the regulation of expression and activity of the melanogenesis-related proteins by ultraviolet radiation and endogenous agents (cytokines, hormones. Activity of the key melanogenic enzyme, tyrosinase, is also affected by pH and temperature. Many pharmacologically active substances are able to inhibit or stimulate melanin biosynthesis, as evidenced by in vitro studies on cultured pigment cells.

  14. Odontogenic Cyst with Verrucous Proliferation Exhibiting Melanin Pigmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soni, Krupa Mehta; Ahmed, Junaid; Bhat, Keshava; Kottieth Pallam, Nandita; Lewis, Amitha Juanita

    2017-01-01

    Verrucous proliferation arising from odontogenic cysts is a rare entity. We report an unusual case of an infected odontogenic cyst with verrucous proliferation and melanin pigmentation in a 13-year-old male patient who presented with an intraoral swelling in relation to impacted teeth 26 and 27. The enucleated lesion was diagnosed as an odontogenic keratocyst and the patient died within two years of presentation due to multiple recurrences. The clinical, radiological, and microscopic features of the lesion are presented with an attempt to discuss the etiopathogenesis. The case hereby reported is uncommon with only eight cases reported in the literature. PMID:28409045

  15. Modelling and verification of melanin concentration on human skin type

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Karsten, AE

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available -brown colour) and pheomelanin (yellow-reddish 11 colour) (3,4). Melanin is synthesized within melanosomes inside melanocytes located in the 12 basal layer of the epidermis and the mature melanosomes get transferred via dendrites to the 13 keratinocytes... in die epidermis where they are responsible for skin photoprotection (3). 14 It is well documented that the absorption and scattering of light through skin tissue 15 depends on the skin?s optical properties (see for example studies by Tuchin (5...

  16. Is there any difference in the photobiological properties of melanins isolated from human blue and brown eyes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menon, I A; Basu, P K; Persad, S; Avaria, M; Felix, C C; Kalyanaraman, B

    1987-01-01

    Investigations were carried out to determine whether the melanin present in the blue and brown eyes were eumelanin, the melanin present in black hair and dark skin, or pheomelanin, the melanin present in red hair and the skin of people with red hair. Our results showed that UV-visible irradiation of blue or brown eye melanin did not produce any superoxide. Irradiation of 51Cr-labelled Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells in the presence of blue or brown eye melanin did not produce significant cell lysis. The electron spin resonance (ESR) signals of blue and brown eye melanins were very similar to those of eumelanin. Comparison of these findings with our previous results indicated that the blue and brown eye melanins are essentially eumelanin. The ESR signals further suggested that in the case of both blue and brown eye melanins the iris, ciliary body, choroid, and retinal pigment epithelium did not differ. PMID:2820463

  17. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    2012-01-01

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent.

  18. CONSTITUTIVE MELANIN IN THE CELL WALL OF THE ETIOLOGIC AGENT OF LOBO'S DISEASE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TABORDA Valeria B.A.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Lobo's disease is a chronic granulomatous disease caused by the obligate pathogenic fungus, whose cell walls contain constitutive melanin. In contrast, melanin does not occur in the cell walls of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis when stained by the Fontana-Masson stain.

  19. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent.

  20. (Pheo)melanin photosensitizes UVA-induced DNA damage in cultured human melanocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wenczl, E.; Schans, G.P. van der; Roza, L.; Kolb, R.M.; Timmerman, A.J.; Smit, N.P.M.; Pavel, S.; Schothorst, A.A.

    1998-01-01

    The question of whether melanins are photoprotecting and/or photosensitizing in human skin cells continues to be debated. To evaluate the role of melanin upon UVA irradiation, DNA single-strand breaks (ssb) were measured in human melanocytes differing only in the amount of pigment produced by

  1. (Pheo)melanin photosensitizes UVA-induced DNA damage in cultured human melanocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wenczl, E.; Schans, G.P. van der; Roza, L.; Kolb, R.M.; Timmerman, A.J.; Smit, N.P.M.; Pavel, S.; Schothorst, A.A.

    1998-01-01

    The question of whether melanins are photoprotecting and/or photosensitizing in human skin cells continues to be debated. To evaluate the role of melanin upon UVA irradiation, DNA single-strand breaks (ssb) were measured in human melanocytes differing only in the amount of pigment produced by cultur

  2. Color reduction of melanin by lysosomal and peroxisomal enzymes isolated from mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Dong Jun; Sekhon, Simranjeet Singh; Yoon, Jihee; Kim, Yang-Hoon; Min, Jiho

    2016-02-01

    Lysosomes and peroxisomes are organelles with many functions in all eukaryotic cells. Lysosomes contain hydrolytic enzymes (lysozyme) that degrade molecules, whereas peroxisomes contain enzymes such as catalase that convert hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to water and oxygen and neutralize toxicity. In contrast, melanin is known as a helpful element to protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. However, a high quantity of melanin leads to hyperpigmentation or skin cancer in human. New materials have already been discovered to inhibit tyrosinase in melanogenesis; however, melanin reduction does not suggest their preparation. In this study, we report that the color intensity because of melanin decreased by the cellular activation of lysosomes and peroxisomes. An increase in the superficial intensity of lysosome and peroxisome activities of HeLa cells was observed. In addition, a decrease in the amount of melanin has also been observed in mammalian cells without using any other chemical, showing that the process can work in vivo for treating melanin. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that the amount of melanin decreases by the lysosome and peroxisome activity after entering the cells, and functional organelles are effective in color reduction. This mechanism can be used in vivo for treating melanin.

  3. Monte Carlo investigation on quantifying the retinal pigment epithelium melanin concentration by photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Xiao; Liu, Wenzhong; Zhang, Hao F

    2015-10-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) melanin plays an important role in maintaining normal visual functions. A decrease in the RPE melanin concentration with aging is believed to be associated with several blinding diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. Quantifying the RPE melanin noninvasively is therefore important in evaluating the retinal health and aging conditions. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure variations in the RPE melanin if the relationship between the detected photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes and the RPE melanin concentrations can be established. In this work, we tested the feasibility of using PA signals from retinal blood vessels as references to measure RPE melanin variation using Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. The influences from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness were examined. We proposed a calibration scheme by relating detected PA signals to the RPE melanin concentrations, and we found that the scheme is robust to these tested parameters. This study suggests that PAOM has the capability of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin in vivo.

  4. Tet38 Efflux Pump Affects Staphylococcus aureus Internalization by Epithelial Cells through Interaction with CD36 and Contributes to Bacterial Escape from Acidic and Nonacidic Phagolysosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong-Bolduc, Q C; Khan, N S; Vyas, J M; Hooper, D C

    2017-02-01

    We previously reported that the Tet38 efflux pump is involved in internalization of Staphylococcus aureus by A549 lung epithelial cells. A lack of tet38 reduced bacterial uptake by A549 cells to 36% of that of the parental strain RN6390. Using invasion assays coupled with confocal microscopy imaging, we studied the host cell receptor(s) responsible for bacterial uptake via interaction with Tet38. We also assessed the ability of S. aureus to survive following alkalinization of the phagolysosomes by chloroquine. Antibody to the scavenger receptor CD36 reduced the internalization of S. aureus RN6390 by A549 cells, but the dependence on CD36 was reduced in QT7 tet38, suggesting that an interaction between Tet38 and CD36 contributed to S. aureus internalization. Following fusion of the S. aureus-associated endosomes with lysosomes, alkalinization of the acidic environment with chloroquine led to a rapid increase in the number of S. aureus RN6390 bacteria in the cytosol, followed by a decrease shortly thereafter. This effect of chloroquine was not seen in the absence of intact Tet38 in mutant QT7. These data taken together suggest that Tet38 plays a role both in bacterial internalization via interaction with CD36 and in bacterial escape from the phagolysosomes.

  5. [Involvement of soluble mediators of inflammation in the pathogenic agent interaction--immune system in acute bacterial meningitis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerescu, L; Tucureanu, C; Caraş, Iuliana; Pitica, Ramona; Ungureanu, Vasilica; Sălăgeanu, Aurora

    2008-01-01

    Acute Bacterial Meningitis is a medical emergency, which warrants early diagnosis and aggressive therapy, which in most cases must be initiated as an "empirical" treatment. Such an approach needs permanent epidemiological surveillance due to the major variability of the etiological agents depending upon time, geographical areas and demographic characteristics of the population. A program for the surveillance of meningitis is in progress in Romania, but the available clinical inbformation is incomplete and not well documented by paraclinical data, poorly reflecting the real incidence of the disease. The specific anatomic localization of the disease has major influences on the antiinfectious immune response. Inflammation is involved in the disease pathogenesis, especially in promotion and evolution of neurological sequelae (neuronal demyelinisation and degeneration) even in case of pathogen clearance following antimicrobial therapy. Activation of the immune response in a immunologically "privileged "region can lead to the break of tolerance and induction of autoimmunity (neuronal degenerescence). On the other hand, an efficient immune response is necessary for the clearance of pathogenic agents. A detailed investigation of the interaction between pathogenic agents and the immune system in relation to the particular meningeal localization and also a study on the involvement of soluble mediators of inflammation (cytokines, chemokines) in the pathogenesis of meningitis might prove useful for differential diagnosis (viral or "aseptic" meningitis) and also for elucidating the mechanisms which that underlie the disease pathogenesis/neurological complications.

  6. Interaction between workers during a short time window is required for bacterial symbiont transmission in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Currie, Cameron R

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using subcolony experiments, we investigate exosymbiont transmission within Acromyrmex colonies. We found successful transmission to newly eclosed major workers fostered by major workers with visible Actinobacteria in all cases (100% acquiring, n = 19). In contrast, newly eclosed major workers reared without exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure the defensive function within colonies, as well as specificity and partner fidelity in the ant-bacterium association.

  7. A Novel Mechanism of Host-Pathogen Interaction through sRNA in Bacterial Outer Membrane Vesicles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Koeppen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial outer membrane vesicle (OMV-mediated delivery of proteins to host cells is an important mechanism of host-pathogen communication. Emerging evidence suggests that OMVs contain differentially packaged short RNAs (sRNAs with the potential to target host mRNA function and/or stability. In this study, we used RNA-Seq to characterize differentially packaged sRNAs in Pseudomonas aeruginosa OMVs, and to show transfer of OMV sRNAs to human airway cells. We selected one sRNA for further study based on its stable secondary structure and predicted mRNA targets. Our candidate sRNA (sRNA52320, a fragment of a P. aeruginosa methionine tRNA, was abundant in OMVs and reduced LPS-induced as well as OMV-induced IL-8 secretion by cultured primary human airway epithelial cells. We also showed that sRNA52320 attenuated OMV-induced KC cytokine secretion and neutrophil infiltration in mouse lung. Collectively, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that sRNA52320 in OMVs is a novel mechanism of host-pathogen interaction whereby P. aeruginosa reduces the host immune response.

  8. Madecassoside Inhibits Melanin Synthesis by Blocking Ultraviolet-Induced Inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunsun Jung

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Madecassoside (MA, a pentacyclic triterpene isolated from Centella asitica (L., is used as a therapeutic agent in wound healing and also as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent. However, the involvement of MA in skin-pigmentation has not been reported. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of MA on ultraviolet (UV-induced melanogenesis and mechanisms in a co-culture system of keratinocytes and melanocytes. MA significantly inhibited UVR-induced melanin synthesis and melanosome transfer in the co-culture system. These effects were further demonstrated by the MA-induced inhibition of protease-activated receptor-2 expression and its signaling pathway, cyclooxygenase-2, prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2 alpha in keratinocytes. The clinical efficacy of MA was confirmed on artificially tanned human skin. MA significantly reduced UV-induced melanin index at 8 weeks after topical application. Overall, the study demonstrated significant benefits of MA use in the inhibition of hyperpigmentation caused by UV irradiation.

  9. Hesperetin induces melanin production in adult human epidermal melanocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usach, Iris; Taléns-Visconti, Raquel; Magraner-Pardo, Lorena; Peris, José-Esteban

    2015-06-01

    One of the major sources of flavonoids for humans are citrus fruits, hesperidin being the predominant flavonoid. Hesperetin (HSP), the aglycon of hesperidin, has been reported to provide health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effects. However, the effect of HSP on skin pigmentation is not clear. Some authors have found that HSP induces melanogenesis in murine B16-F10 melanoma cells, which, if extrapolated to in vivo conditions, might protect skin against photodamage. Since the effect of HSP on normal melanocytes could be different to that observed on melanoma cells, the described effect of HSP on murine melanoma cells has been compared to the effect obtained using normal human melanocytes. HSP concentrations of 25 and 50 µM induced melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in human melanocytes in a concentration-dependent manner. Compared to control melanocytes, 25 µM HSP increased melanin production and tyrosinase activity 1.4-fold (p melanocyte cultures could be reproduced on human skin.

  10. Role of Melanin in Melanocyte Dysregulation of Reactive Oxygen Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah C. Jenkins

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We have recently reported a potential alternative tumor suppressor function for p16 relating to its capacity to regulate oxidative stress and observed that oxidative dysregulation in p16-depleted cells was most profound in melanocytes, compared to keratinocytes or fibroblasts. Moreover, in the absence of p16 depletion or exogenous oxidative insult, melanocytes exhibited significantly higher basal levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS than these other epidermal cell types. Given the role of oxidative stress in melanoma development, we speculated that this increased susceptibility of melanocytes to oxidative stress (and greater reliance on p16 for suppression of ROS may explain why genetic compromise of p16 is more commonly associated with predisposition to melanoma rather than other cancers. Here we show that the presence of melanin accounts for this differential oxidative stress in normal and p16-depleted melanocytes. Thus the presence of melanin in the skin appears to be a double-edged sword: it protects melanocytes as well as neighboring keratinocytes in the skin through its capacity to absorb UV radiation, but its synthesis in melanocytes results in higher levels of intracellular ROS that may increase melanoma susceptibility.

  11. Comparison of Antioxidant Activities of Melanin Fractions from Chestnut Shell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeng-Yu Yao

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Chestnut shell melanin can be used as a colorant and antioxidant, and fractionated into three fractions (Fr. 1, Fr. 2, and Fr. 3 with different physicochemical properties. Antioxidant activities of the fractions were comparatively evaluated for the first time. The fractions exhibited different antioxidative potential in different evaluation systems. Fr. 1, which is only soluble in alkaline water, had the strongest peroxidation inhibition and superoxide anion scavenging activity; Fr. 2, which is soluble in alkaline water and hydrophilic organic solvents but insoluble in neutral and acidic water, had the greatest power to chelate ferrous ions; and Fr. 3, which is soluble both in hydrophilic organic solvents and in water at any pH conditions, had the greatest hydroxyl (·OH and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH· radicals scavenging abilities, reducing power, and phenolic content. The pigment fractions were superior to butylated hydroxytolune (BHT in ·OH and DPPH· scavenging and to ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA in the Fe2+–chelation. They were inferior to BHT in peroxidation inhibition and O2·− scavenging and reducing power. However, BHT is a synthetic antioxidant and cannot play the colorant role. The melanin fractions might be used as effective biological antioxidant colorants.

  12. Soil pH effects on the interactions between dissolved zinc, non-nano- and nano-ZnO with soil bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, Daniel S; Matzke, Marianne; Gweon, Hyun S; Newbold, Lindsay K; Heggelund, Laura; Ortiz, Maria Diez; Lahive, Elma; Spurgeon, David; Svendsen, Claus

    2016-03-01

    Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are used in an array of products and processes, ranging from personal care products to antifouling paints, textiles, food additives, antibacterial agents and environmental remediation processes. Soils are an environment likely to be exposed to manmade nanoparticles due to the practice of applying sewage sludge as a fertiliser or as an organic soil improver. However, understanding on the interactions between soil properties, nanoparticles and the organisms that live within soil is lacking, especially with regards to soil bacterial communities. We studied the effects of nanoparticulate, non-nanoparticulate and ionic zinc (in the form of zinc chloride) on the composition of bacterial communities in soil with a modified pH range (from pH 4.5 to pH 7.2). We observed strong pH-dependent effects on the interaction between bacterial communities and all forms of zinc, with the largest changes in bacterial community composition occurring in soils with low and medium pH levels (pH 4.8 and 5.9). The high pH soil (pH 7.2) was less susceptible to the effects of zinc exposure. At the highest doses of zinc (2500 mg/kg dw soil), both nano and non-nano particulate zinc applications elicited a similar response in the soil bacterial community, and this differed significantly to the ionic zinc salt treatment. The results highlight the importance of considering soil pH in nanotoxicology studies, although further work is needed to determine the exact mechanisms controlling the toxicity and fate and interactions of nanoparticles with soil microbial communities.

  13. Multimodal microscopy and the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua

    The author's work is divided into three aspects: multimodal microscopy, stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, and customized-profile lenses (CPL) for on-axis laser scanners, which will be introduced respectively. A multimodal microscope provides the ability to image samples with multiple modalities on the same stage, which incorporates the benefits of all modalities. The multimodal microscopes developed in this dissertation are the Keck 3D fusion multimodal microscope 2.0 (3DFM 2.0), upgraded from the old 3DFM with improved performance and flexibility, and the multimodal microscope for targeting small particles (the "Target" system). The control systems developed for both microscopes are low-cost and easy-to-build, with all components off-the-shelf. The control system have not only significantly decreased the complexity and size of the microscope, but also increased the pixel resolution and flexibility. The SMPAF of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near-infrared (NIR) laser, has potential applications for a low-cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. The photophysics of melanin SMPAF has been studied by theoretical analysis of the excitation process and investigation of the spectra, activation threshold, and photon number absorption of melanin SMPAF. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin, mouse melanoma, and human black and white hairs are compared with images taken by conventional multi-photon fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). SMPAF images significantly increase specificity and demonstrate the potential to increase sensitivity for melanin detection compared to MPFM images and CRM images. Employing melanin SMPAF imaging to detect melanin inside human skin in vivo has been demonstrated, which proves the effectiveness of melanin detection using SMPAF for medical purposes. Selective melanin ablation with micrometer resolution has been presented using the Target system

  14. Interactive effects of a bacterial parasite and the insecticide carbaryl to life-history and physiology of two Daphnia magna clones differing in carbaryl sensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Coninck, Dieter I.M., E-mail: Dieter.DeConinck@UGent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, J. Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); De Schamphelaere, Karel A.C. [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, J. Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); Jansen, Mieke; De Meester, Luc [Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, University of Leuven, Ch. Deberiotstraat 32, B-3000 Leuven (Belgium); Janssen, Colin R. [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, J. Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium)

    2013-04-15

    Highlights: ► Interactive effects between a bacterial parasite and an insecticide in Daphnia magna. ► Two D. magna clones differing strongly in their sensitivity to the insecticide. ► Effects studied on various life-history and physiological endpoints. ► Genetic differences in strength and direction of interaction effects. -- Abstract: Natural and chemical stressors occur simultaneously in the aquatic environment. Their combined effects on biota are usually difficult to predict from their individual effects due to interactions between the different stressors. Several recent studies have suggested that synergistic effects of multiple stressors on organisms may be more common at high compared to low overall levels of stress. In this study, we used a three-way full factorial design to investigate whether interactive effects between a natural stressor, the bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa, and a chemical stressor, the insecticide carbaryl, were different between two genetically distinct clones of Daphnia magna that strongly differ in their sensitivity to carbaryl. Interactive effects on various life-history and physiological endpoints were assessed as significant deviations from the reference Independent Action (IA) model, which was implemented by testing the significance of the two-way carbaryl × parasite interaction term in two-way ANOVA's on log-transformed observational data for each clone separately. Interactive effects (and thus significant deviations from IA) were detected in both the carbaryl-sensitive clone (on survival, early reproduction and growth) and in the non-sensitive clone (on growth, electron transport activity and prophenoloxidase activity). No interactions were found for maturation rate, filtration rate, and energy reserve fractions (carbohydrate, protein, lipid). Furthermore, only antagonistic interactions were detected in the non-sensitive clone, while only synergistic interactions were observed in the carbaryl sensitive clone

  15. Data on melanin production in B16F1 melanoma cells in the presence of emu oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minoru Ito

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Here, we present data on the effects of emu oil, obtained from emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae fat deposits, on melanogenesis in B16F1 murine melanoma cells. The cells were cultured in media containing different concentrations of emu oil, and the melanin content of these cells was measured using a microplate reader. Next, melanin content was measured for cells cultured with α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone. This article reports the different melanin contents as μg melanin/mg cellular protein, by using bar graphs with error bars. The present data imply that emu oil reduces the cellular melanin production.

  16. The immune receptor NOD1 and kinase RIP2 interact with bacterial peptidoglycan on early endosomes to promote autophagy and inflammatory signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irving, Aaron T; Mimuro, Hitomi; Kufer, Thomas A; Lo, Camden; Wheeler, Richard; Turner, Lorinda J; Thomas, Belinda J; Malosse, Christian; Gantier, Michael P; Casillas, Linda N; Votta, Bartholomew J; Bertin, John; Boneca, Ivo G; Sasakawa, Chihiro; Philpott, Dana J; Ferrero, Richard L; Kaparakis-Liaskos, Maria

    2014-05-14

    The intracellular innate immune receptor NOD1 detects Gram-negative bacterial peptidoglycan (PG) to induce autophagy and inflammatory responses in host cells. To date, the intracellular compartment in which PG is detected by NOD1 and whether NOD1 directly interacts with PG are two questions that remain to be resolved. To address this, we used outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) from pathogenic bacteria as a physiological mechanism to deliver PG into the host cell cytosol. We report that OMVs induced autophagosome formation and inflammatory IL-8 responses in epithelial cells in a NOD1- and RIP2-dependent manner. PG contained within OMVs colocalized with both NOD1 and RIP2 in EEA1-positive early endosomes. Further, we provide evidence for direct interactions between NOD1 and PG. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that NOD1 detects PG within early endosomes, thereby promoting RIP2-dependent autophagy and inflammatory signaling in response to bacterial infection.

  17. Screening for compounds that affect the interaction between bacterial two-component signal transduction response regulator protein and cognate promoter DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Matthew G; Ulijasz, Andrew T; Weisblum, Bernard

    2008-01-01

    Bacterial signal transduction systems can be used as drug targets. The signal transduction targets fall into two groups--sensor kinases and response regulators. Previously reported studies describe hits that were thought to inactivate sensor kinases but on closer examination were found to act elsewhere instead; a possible reason for this is that full-length sensor kinases are integral membrane proteins whose activity might reflect interaction with the cell membrane or with membrane components. We describe a model system that instead is based on the interaction between a test compound and a response regulator in a homogeneous phase reaction. In this system, response regulator-DNA complex formation and its inhibition by a test compound are measured by fluorescence polarization. The model system should be readily adaptable to drug discovery based on other bacterial two-component s transduction systems.

  18. A novel human tectonin protein with multivalent beta-propeller folds interacts with ficolin and binds bacterial LPS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Hooi Ping Low

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although the human genome database has been completed a decade ago, approximately 50% of the proteome remains hypothetical as their functions are unknown. The elucidation of the functions of these hypothetical proteins can lead to additional protein pathways and revelation of new cascades. However, many of these inferences are limited to proteins with substantial sequence similarity. Of particular interest here is the Tectonin domain-containing family of proteins. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have identified hTectonin, a hypothetical protein in the human genome database, as a distant ortholog of the limulus galactose binding protein (GBP. Phylogenetic analysis revealed strong evolutionary conservation of hTectonin homologues from parasite to human. By computational analysis, we showed that both the hTectonin and GBP form beta-propeller structures with multiple Tectonin domains, each containing beta-sheets of 4 strands per beta-sheet. hTectonin is present in the human leukocyte cDNA library and immune-related cell lines. It interacts with M-ficolin, a known human complement protein whose ancient homolog, carcinolectin (CL5, is the functional protein partner of GBP during infection. Yeast 2-hybrid assay showed that only the Tectonin domains of hTectonin recognize the fibrinogen-like domain of the M-ficolin. Surface plasmon resonance analysis showed real-time interaction between the Tectonin domains 6 & 11 and bacterial LPS, indicating that despite forming 2 beta-propellers with its different Tectonin domains, the hTectonin molecule could precisely employ domains 6 & 11 to recognise bacteria. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: By virtue of a recent finding of another Tectonin protein, leukolectin, in the human leukocyte, and our structure-function analysis of the hypothetical hTectonin, we propose that Tectonin domains of proteins could play a vital role in innate immune defense, and that this function has been conserved over several

  19. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  20. Experimental autoimmune anterior uveitis (EAAU): induction by melanin antigen and suppression by various treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broekhuyse, R M; Kuhlmann, E D; Winkens, H J

    1993-02-01

    The uveitogenicity of melanin has been a controversial subject for a long time, presumably as a result of the use of ill-defined preparations in the experiments. We have developed procedures for the preparation of purified uveitogenic melanins from the retinal pigment epithelium and choroid that are free from pathogenic retinal photoreceptor proteins. The active melano-antigen is located at the surface of the melanin granules and is probably identical in both tissues. It retains its pathogenicity in hot polar detergent and during in vitro proteolysis, but it is inactivated by macrophage phagocytosis and hydrolysis in hot hydrochloric acid. Lewis rats immunized with microgram doses of bovine retinal pigment epithelial or choroidal melanin develop severe experimental autoimmune anterior uveitis (EAAU) about 10 days later. Retinitis and pinealitis are not observed. Skin melanin prepared in a similar way evokes EAAU as well, but it is only weakly pathogenic. EAAU cannot be transferred by serum, and its development can effectively be inhibited by antibodies to the inciting antigen and by cyclosporin. Vitamin E treatment of the animals causes a delay in its onset. The results indicate that cell-mediated immunity plays a dominant role in the pathogenesis of EAAU. This is the first time it has been shown that purified ocular and skin melanins are able to induce an autoimmune disease. The relevance of this finding for the study of melanin-related immunopathology in man is discussed.

  1. Syndecan-2 regulates melanin synthesis via protein kinase C βII-mediated tyrosinase activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Hyejung; Chung, Heesung; Chang, Sung Eun; Choi, Sora; Han, Inn-Oc; Kang, Duk-Hee; Oh, Eok-Soo

    2014-05-01

    Syndecan-2, a transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan that is highly expressed in melanoma cells, regulates melanoma cell functions (e.g. migration). Since melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes, which largely function to synthesize melanin, we investigated the possible involvement of syndecan-2 in melanogenesis. Syndecan-2 expression was increased in human skin melanoma tissues compared with normal skin. In both mouse and human melanoma cells, siRNA-mediated knockdown of syndecan-2 was associated with reduced melanin synthesis, whereas overexpression of syndecan-2 increased melanin synthesis. Similar effects were also detected in human primary epidermal melanocytes. Syndecan-2 expression did not affect the expression of tyrosinase, a key enzyme in melanin synthesis, but instead enhanced the enzymatic activity of tyrosinase by increasing the membrane and melanosome localization of its regulator, protein kinase CβII. Furthermore, UVB caused increased syndecan-2 expression, and this up-regulation of syndecan-2 was required for UVB-induced melanin synthesis. Taken together, these data suggest that syndecan-2 regulates melanin synthesis and could be a potential therapeutic target for treating melanin-associated diseases. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. A Non-canonical Melanin Biosynthesis Pathway Protects Aspergillus terreus Conidia from Environmental Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geib, Elena; Gressler, Markus; Viediernikova, Iuliia; Hillmann, Falk; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Nietzsche, Sandor; Hertweck, Christian; Brock, Matthias

    2016-05-19

    Melanins are ubiquitous pigments found in all kingdoms of life. Most organisms use them for protection from environmental stress, although some fungi employ melanins as virulence determinants. The human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and related Ascomycetes produce dihydroxynaphthalene- (DHN) melanin in their spores, the conidia, and use it to inhibit phagolysosome acidification. However, biosynthetic origin of melanin in a related fungus, Aspergillus terreus, has remained a mystery because A. terreus lacks genes for synthesis of DHN-melanin. Here we identify genes coding for an unusual NRPS-like enzyme (MelA) and a tyrosinase (TyrP) that A. terreus expressed under conidiation conditions. We demonstrate that MelA produces aspulvinone E, which is activated for polymerization by TyrP. Functional studies reveal that this new pigment, Asp-melanin, confers resistance against UV light and hampers phagocytosis by soil amoeba. Unexpectedly, Asp-melanin does not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, thus likely contributing specifically to survival of A. terreus conidia in acidic environments.

  3. Fruit over sunbed: carotenoid skin colouration is found more attractive than melanin colouration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefevre, Carmen E; Perrett, David I

    2015-01-01

    Skin colouration appears to play a pivotal part in facial attractiveness. Skin yellowness contributes to an attractive appearance and is influenced both by dietary carotenoids and by melanin. While both increased carotenoid colouration and increased melanin colouration enhance apparent health in Caucasian faces by increasing skin yellowness, it remains unclear, firstly, whether both pigments contribute to attractiveness judgements, secondly, whether one pigment is clearly preferred over the other, and thirdly, whether these effects depend on the sex of the face. Here, in three studies, we examine these questions using controlled facial stimuli transformed to be either high or low in (a) carotenoid colouration, or (b) melanin colouration. We show, firstly, that both increased carotenoid colouration and increased melanin colouration are found attractive compared to lower levels of these pigments. Secondly, we show that carotenoid colouration is consistently preferred over melanin colouration when levels of colouration are matched. In addition, we find an effect of the sex of stimuli with stronger preferences for carotenoids over melanin in female compared to male faces, irrespective of the sex of the observer. These results are interpreted as reflecting preferences for sex-typical skin colouration: men have darker skin than women and high melanization in male faces may further enhance this masculine trait, thus carotenoid colouration is not less desirable, but melanin colouration is relatively more desirable in males compared to females. Taken together, our findings provide further support for a carotenoid-linked health-signalling system that is highly important in mate choice.

  4. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  5. Production of natural melanin by Auricularia auricula and study on its molecular structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shujing; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Sun, Shiwei; Zhang, Liaoyuan; Shan, Shukai; Zhu, Hu

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the production and structure of melanin produced by Auricularia auricula have been determined and analyzed in detail. The results showed that the highest mycelial growth rate was observed in low-carbon and carbon-free medium. In low-nitrogen and nitrogen-free medium, melanin yield was very low. Deficiency of tyrosine in medium led to weak secretion of melanin. The inorganic salt could markedly influence mycelia morphology, but did not obviously impact mycelia growth rate and melanin yield. Meanwhile the condensed molecular formula ([C18(OR)3H7O4N2]n) and structural formula of melanin were concluded based on UV-Vis, HPLC, FTIR, NMR and elemental assay. This is an eumelanin and also a macromolecular polymer of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid. The 6 main components were phenolic hydroxyl, carboxyl, amidogen, carbonyl, methylene, methyne and sulfur. This work testified that nutritional control was very important to promote melanin production, making melanin more affordable as material in food, cosmetics and medicines.

  6. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; Dimarzio, Charles A

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  7. Biologically derived melanin electrodes in aqueous sodium-ion energy storage devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young Jo; Wu, Wei; Chun, Sang-Eun; Whitacre, Jay F; Bettinger, Christopher J

    2013-12-24

    Biodegradable electronics represents an attractive and emerging paradigm in medical devices by harnessing simultaneous advantages afforded by electronically active systems and obviating issues with chronic implants. Integrating practical energy sources that are compatible with the envisioned operation of transient devices is an unmet challenge for biodegradable electronics. Although high-performance energy storage systems offer a feasible solution, toxic materials and electrolytes present regulatory hurdles for use in temporary medical devices. Aqueous sodium-ion charge storage devices combined with biocompatible electrodes are ideal components to power next-generation biodegradable electronics. Here, we report the use of biologically derived organic electrodes composed of melanin pigments for use in energy storage devices. Melanins of natural (derived from Sepia officinalis) and synthetic origin are evaluated as anode materials in aqueous sodium-ion storage devices. Na(+)-loaded melanin anodes exhibit specific capacities of 30.4 ± 1.6 mAhg(-1). Full cells composed of natural melanin anodes and λ-MnO2 cathodes exhibit an initial potential of 1.03 ± 0.06 V with a maximum specific capacity of 16.1 ± 0.8 mAhg(-1). Natural melanin anodes exhibit higher specific capacities compared with synthetic melanins due to a combination of beneficial chemical, electrical, and physical properties exhibited by the former. Taken together, these results suggest that melanin pigments may serve as a naturally occurring biologically derived charge storage material to power certain types of medical devices.

  8. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  9. Synthesis of biotin-labelled core glycans of GPI anchors and their application in the study of GPI interaction with pore-forming bacterial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jian; Zhou, Zhifang; Guo, Jiatong; Guo, Zhongwu

    2017-06-06

    A convergent strategy was developed for the first-time synthesis of biotin-labeled GPI core glycans. These GPI conjugates are useful for various biological studies showcased by their application in the scrutiny of pore-forming bacterial toxin-GPI interaction, revealing that the phosphate group at the GPI inositol 1-O-position had a significant impact on GPI-toxin binding.

  10. Melanin concentration gradients in modern and fossil feathers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Field

    Full Text Available In birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs, within-feather pigmentation patterns range from discrete spots and stripes to more subtle patterns, but the latter remain largely unstudied. A ∼55 million year old fossil contour feather with a dark distal tip grading into a lighter base was recovered from the Fur Formation in Denmark. SEM and synchrotron-based trace metal mapping confirmed that this gradient was caused by differential concentration of melanin. To assess the potential ecological and phylogenetic prevalence of this pattern, we evaluated 321 modern samples from 18 orders within Aves. We observed that the pattern was found most frequently in distantly related groups that share aquatic ecologies (e.g. waterfowl Anseriformes, penguins Sphenisciformes, suggesting a potential adaptive function with ancient origins.

  11. Soil pH effects on the interactions between dissolved zinc, non-nano- and nano-ZnO with soil bacterial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Read, Daniel S.; Matzke, Marianne; Gweon, Hyun S.

    2016-01-01

    nanoparticles due to the practice of applying sewage sludge as a fertiliser or as an organic soil improver. However, understanding on the interactions between soil properties, nanoparticles and the organisms that live within soil is lacking, especially with regards to soil bacterial communities. We studied......Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are used in an array of products and processes, ranging from personal care products to antifouling paints, textiles, food additives, antibacterial agents and environmental remediation processes. Soils are an environment likely to be exposed to manmade...... and fate and interactions of nanoparticles with soil microbial communities....

  12. Electrostatic interactions between the CTX phage minor coat protein and the bacterial host receptor TolA drive the pathogenic conversion of Vibrio cholerae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houot, Laetitia; Navarro, Romain; Nouailler, Matthieu; Duché, Denis; Guerlesquin, Françoise; Lloubes, Roland

    2017-08-18

    Vibrio cholerae is a natural inhabitant of aquatic environments and converts to a pathogen upon infection by a filamentous phage, CTXΦ, that transmits the cholera toxin-encoding genes. This toxigenic conversion of V. cholerae has evident implication in both genome plasticity and epidemic risk, but the early stages of the infection have not been thoroughly studied. CTXΦ transit across the bacterial periplasm requires binding between the minor coat protein named pIII and a bacterial inner-membrane receptor, TolA, which is part of the conserved Tol-Pal molecular motor. To gain insight into the TolA-pIII complex, we developed a bacterial two-hybrid approach, named Oxi-BTH, suited for studying the interactions between disulfide bond-folded proteins in the bacterial cytoplasm of an Escherichia coli reporter strain. We found that two of the four disulfide bonds of pIII are required for its interaction with TolA. By combining Oxi-BTH assays, NMR, and genetic studies, we also demonstrate that two intermolecular salt bridges between TolA and pIII provide the driving forces of the complex interaction. Moreover, we show that TolA residue Arg-325 involved in one of the two salt bridges is critical for proper functioning of the Tol-Pal system. Our results imply that to prevent host evasion, CTXΦ uses an infection strategy that targets a highly conserved protein of Gram-negative bacteria essential for the fitness of V. cholerae in its natural environment. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Use of bacterial two-hybrid system to investigate the molecular interaction between the regulators NifA and NifL of Enterobacter cloacae

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    廖贡献; 俞冠翘; 沈善炯; 朱家璧

    2002-01-01

    Expression of the nitrogen fixation (nif ) genes is tightly regulated by two proteins NifA and NifL in the (-subdivision of the proteobacteria. NifA is a transcriptional activator, which can be inactivated by NifL in the presence of oxygen or excess fixed nitrogen. A direct interaction between E. cloacae NifL and NifA was detected using the bacterial two-hybrid system. This interaction was accelerated in the presence of fixed nitrogen, while oxygen had no effect. NifL proteins, with their C-terminus being deleted, completely lost the ability to interact with NifA. The data suggest that the C-terminal domain of NifL acts as a sensor of the nitrogen status of the cell and mediates interaction with NifA.

  14. Composition and interactions among bacterial, microeukaryotic and T4-like viral assemblages in lakes from both polar zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eAguirre De Cárcer

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study we assess global biogeography and correlation patterns among three components of microbial life: bacteria, microeukaryotes, and T4-like myoviruses. In addition to environmental and biogeographical considerations, we have focused our study on samples from high-latitude pristine lakes from both poles, since these simple island-like ecosystems represent ideal ecological models to probe the relationships among microbial components and with the environment. Bacterial assemblages were dominated by members of the same groups found to dominate freshwater ecosystems elsewhere, and microeukaryotic assemblages were dominated by photosynthetic microalgae. Despite inter-lake variations in community composition, the overall percentages of OTUs shared among sites was remarkable, indicating that many microeukaryotic, bacterial, and viral OTUs are globally-distributed. We observed an intriguing negative correlation between bacterial and microeukaryotic diversity values. Notably, our analyses show significant global correlations between bacterial and microeukaryotic community structures, and between the phylogenetic compositions of bacterial and T4-like virus assemblages. Overall, environmental filtering emerged as the main factor driving community structures.

  15. Distinct Network Interactions in Particle-Associated and Free-Living Bacterial Communities during a Microcystis aeruginosa Bloom in a Plateau Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caiyun Yang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Particle-associated bacteria (PAB and free-living bacteria (FLB from aquatic environments during phytoplankton blooms differ in their physical distance from algae. Both the interactions within PAB and FLB community fractions and their relationship with the surrounding environmental properties are largely unknown. Here, by using high-throughput sequencing and network-based analyses, we compared the community and network characteristics of PAB and FLB from a plateau lake during a Microcystis aeruginosa bloom. Results showed that PAB and FLB differed significantly in diversity, structure and microbial connecting network. PAB communities were characterized by highly similar bacterial community structure in different sites, tighter network connections, important topological roles for the bloom-causing M. aeruginosa and Alphaproteobacteria, especially for the potentially nitrogen-fixing (Pleomorphomonas and algicidal bacteria (Brevundimonas sp.. FLB communities were sensitive to the detected environmental factors and were characterized by significantly higher bacterial diversity, less connectivity, larger network size and marginal role of M. aeruginosa. In both networks, covariation among bacterial taxa was extensive (>88% positive connections, and bacteria potentially affiliated with biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen (i.e., denitrification, nitrogen-fixation and nitrite-oxidization were important in occupying module hubs, such as Meganema, Pleomorphomonas, and Nitrospira. These findings highlight the importance of considering microbial network interactions for the understanding of blooms.

  16. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-09-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms.

  17. Characterization of melanin produced by a wild-type strain of Bacillus cereus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Jianping; CAI Jun; DENG Yinyue; CHEN Yuehua; REN Gaixin

    2007-01-01

    Bacillus cereus 58 (Bc58)is a UV-resistant wild type strain that has an ability to produce a sorrel pigment induced by L-tyrosine.The Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR)spectra and chemical tests of its pigment are similar to that of the standard melanin (Sigma).A bioassay shows that the LC50 of a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)formulation added with the melanin of Bc58 and exposed to UV for 5 h is 16.1 μg/ml,which is similar to that of the Bt formulation without UV treatment,however,it is almost double that of the Bt formulation exposed to UV without the melanin of Bc58.The result of SDS-PAGE indicates that the melanin of Bc58 can protect the insecticidal crystal proteins from degradation.This suggests that it is an excellent UV protective agent for the insecticidal crystal proteins of the Bt formulation.

  18. Lasers in esthetic treatment of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation: a review article.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakhshi, Mahin; Rahmani, Somayeh; Rahmani, Ali

    2015-11-01

    The health and suitability of mouth components play an important role towards defining facial attractiveness. An important component of the oral cavity is the color of the gingival tissue. Gingival melanin hyperpigmentation is caused by several reasons and affects people across ethnicity, race, age, and both gender. Lasers are presently being used for gingival melanin depigmentation. In this article, we reviewed studies on laser parameters, duration of gingival healing, pain perception during and after the operation, scores used for the evaluation of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation, follow-up period, treatment results, and recurrence reports. We conclude that laser ablation for gingival depigmentation is one of the most pleasant, reliable, acceptable, and impressive techniques available for treating gingival melanin hyperpigmentation.

  19. Melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonists - Still a viable approach for obesity treatment?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Högberg, T.; Frimurer, T.M.; Sasmal, P.K.

    2012-01-01

    Obesity is a global epidemic associated with multiple severe diseases. Several pharmacotherapies have been investigated including the melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) and its receptor 1. The development of MCHR1 antagonists are described with a specific perspective on different chemotypes...

  20. Melanin and blood concentration in human skin studied by multiple regression analysis: experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, M.; Yamada, Y.; Itoh, M.; Yatagai, T.

    2001-09-01

    Knowledge of the mechanism of human skin colour and measurement of melanin and blood concentration in human skin are needed in the medical and cosmetic fields. The absorbance spectrum from reflectance at the visible wavelength of human skin increases under several conditions such as a sunburn or scalding. The change of the absorbance spectrum from reflectance including the scattering effect does not correspond to the molar absorption spectrum of melanin and blood. The modified Beer-Lambert law is applied to the change in the absorbance spectrum from reflectance of human skin as the change in melanin and blood is assumed to be small. The concentration of melanin and blood was estimated from the absorbance spectrum reflectance of human skin using multiple regression analysis. Estimated concentrations were compared with the measured one in a phantom experiment and this method was applied to in vivo skin.

  1. Natural melanin: a potential pH-responsive drug release device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Marco; Viveiros, Raquel; Correia, Tiago R; Correia, Ilídio J; Bonifácio, Vasco D B; Casimiro, Teresa; Aguiar-Ricardo, Ana

    2014-07-20

    This work proposes melanin as a new nanocarrier for pH-responsive drug release. Melanin is an abundant natural polymer that can be easily extracted from cuttlefish as nanoparticles with a suitable size range for drug delivery. However, despite its high potentiality, the application of this biopolymer in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields is yet to be explored. Herein, melanin nanoparticles were impregnated with metronidazole, chosen as model antibiotic drug, using supercritical carbon dioxide. The drug release profile was investigated at acidic and physiologic pH, and the dominant mechanism was found to follow a non-Fickian transport. Drug release from melanin shows a strong pH dependency, which allied to its biocompatibility and lack of cytotoxicity envisages its potential application as nanocarrier in formulations for colon and intestine targeted drug delivery.

  2. Quick analysis of optical spectra to quantify epidermal melanin and papillary dermal blood content of skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacques, Steven L

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents a practical approach for assessing the melanin and blood content of the skin from total diffuse reflectance spectra, R(λ), where λ is wavelength. A quick spectral analysis using just three wavelengths (585 nm, 700 nm and 800 nm) is presented, based on the 1985 work of Kollias and Baquer who documented epidermal melanin of skin using the slope of optical density (OD) between 620 nm and 720 nm. The paper describes the non-rectilinear character of such a quick analysis, and shows that almost any choice of two wavelengths in the 600-900 range can achieve the characterization of melanin. The extrapolation of the melanin slope to 585 nm serves as a baseline for subtraction from the OD (585 nm) to yield a blood perfusion score. Monte Carlo simulations created spectral data for a skin model with epidermis, papillary dermis and reticular dermis to illustrate the analysis.

  3. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-01-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms. PMID:27658854

  4. Blood Supply--Susceptible Formation of Melanin Pigment in Hair Bulb Melanocytes of Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shogo Maeda, MD

    2015-03-01

    Conclusions: Melanin pigment formation in the hair bulb melanocytes appeared to be susceptible to the blood supply, and melanocytosis was promoted in the follicles and in the epidermis of Kitl-Tg C57BL/6 mice.

  5. Atomic force microscopy measurements for the surface and the interaction characterization to optimize the surface patterning for bacterial micro arrays

    OpenAIRE

    Muri, Harald Ian Damm Irgens

    2013-01-01

    This Master project was done in the Department of Physics at NTNU in the spring2013. The project focus on the optimization of micro patterning techniques to producemicro arrays for single bacterial cell studies. The micro arrays are produced by con-trolling the surface chemistry and the spatial resolution of the two dimensional (2D)patterns in the micro or nanometer range. Such micro arrays of bacteria consist of ahigh number of spots of bacterial adhering molecules on a at surface having a s...

  6. The role of melanin as protector against free radicals in skin and its role as free radical indicator in hair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrling, Thomas; Jung, Katinka; Fuchs, Jürgen

    2008-05-01

    Throughout the body, melanin is a homogenous biological polymer containing a population of intrinsic, semiquinone-like radicals. Additional extrinsic free radicals are reversibly photo-generated by UV and visible light. Melanin photochemistry, particularly the formation and decay of extrinsic radicals, has been the subject of numerous electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy studies. Several melanin monomers exist, and the predominant monomer in a melanin polymer depends on its location within an organism. In skin and hair, melanin differs in content of eumelanin or pheomelanin. Its bioradical character and its susceptibility to UV irradiation makes melanin an excellent indicator for UV-related processes in both skin and hair. The existence of melanin in skin is strongly correlated with the prevention against free radicals/ROS generated by UV radiation. Especially in the skin melanin (mainly eumelanin) ensures the only natural UV protection by eliminating the generated free radicals/ROS. Melanin in hair can be used as a free radical detector for evaluating the efficacy of hair care products. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of melanin as protector of skin against UV generated free radicals and as free radical indicator in hair.

  7. Roles of reactive oxygen species in UVA-induced oxidation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid-melanin as studied by differential spectrophotometric method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Shosuke; Kikuta, Marina; Koike, Shota; Szewczyk, Grzegorz; Sarna, Michal; Zadlo, Andrzej; Sarna, Tadeusz; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2016-05-01

    Eumelanin photoprotects pigmented tissues from ultraviolet (UV) damage. However, UVA-induced tanning seems to result from the photooxidation of preexisting melanin and does not contribute to photoprotection. We investigated the mechanism of UVA-induced degradation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA)-melanin taking advantage of its solubility in a neutral buffer and using a differential spectrophotometric method to detect subtle changes in its structure. Our methodology is suitable for examining the effects of various agents that interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to determine how ROS is involved in the UVA-induced oxidative modifications. The results show that UVA radiation induces the oxidation of DHICA to indole-5,6-quinone-2-carboxylic acid in eumelanin, which is then cleaved to form a photodegraded, pyrrolic moiety and finally to form free pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid. The possible involvement of superoxide radical and singlet oxygen in the oxidation was suggested. The generation and quenching of singlet oxygen by DHICA-melanin was confirmed by direct measurements of singlet oxygen phosphorescence.

  8. Examination by EPR spectroscopy of free radicals in melanins isolated from A-375 cells exposed on valproic acid and cisplatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chodurek, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Dzierzewicz, Zofia

    2012-01-01

    Drug binding by melanin biopolymers influence the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy. Free radicals of melanins take part in formation of their complex with drugs. The aim of this work was to determine the effect of the two compounds: valproic acid (VPA) and cisplatin (CPT) on free radicals properties of melanin isolated from A-375 melanoma cells. Free radicals were examined by an X-band (9.3 GHz) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR spectra were measured for the model synthetic eumelanin - DOPA-melanin, the melanin isolated from the control A-375 cells and these cells treated by VPA, CPT and both VPA and CPT. For all the examined samples broad EPR lines (deltaBpp: 0.48-0.68 mT) with g-factors of 2.0045-2.0060 characteristic for o-semiquinone free radicals were observed. Free radicals concentrations (N) in the tested samples, g-factors, amplitudes (A), integral intensities (I) and linewidths (deltaBpp) of the EPR spectra, were analyzed. The EPR lines were homogeneously broadened. Continuous microwave saturation of the EPR spectra indicated that slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested melanin samples. The relatively slowest spin-lattice relaxation processes characterized melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT. The changes of the EPR spectra with increasing microwave power in the range of 2.2-70 mW were evaluated. Free radicals concentrations in the melanin from A-375 cells were higher than in the synthetic DOPA-melanin. The strong increase of free radicals concentration in the melanin from A-375 cells was observed after their treating by VPA. CPT also caused the increase of free radicals concentrations in the examined natural melanin. The free radicals concentration in melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT was slightly higher than those in melanin from the control cells.

  9. KHG26792 Inhibits Melanin Synthesis in Mel-Ab Cells and a Skin Equivalent Model

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Hailan; Kim, Jandi; Hahn, Hoh-Gyu; Yun, Jun; Jeong, Hyo-Soon; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Min, Young Sil; Park, Kyoung-Chan; Kim, Dong-Seok

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to characterize the effects of KHG26792 (3-(naphthalen-2-yl(propoxy) methyl)azetidine hydrochloride), a potential skin whitening agent, on melanin synthesis and identify the underlying mechanism of action. Our data showed that KHG26792 significantly reduced melanin synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, KHG26792 downregulated microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis, although tyros...

  10. An Ultra-Violet Tolerant Wild-Type Strain of Melanin-Producing Bacillus thuringiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansinenea, Estibaliz; Salazar, Francisco; Ramirez, Melanie; Ortiz, Aurelio

    2015-01-01

    Background: Bacillus thuringiensis is the most successful biological control agent used in agriculture, forestry and mosquito control. However, the insecticidal activity of the B. thuringiensis formulation is not very stable and rapidly loses its biological activity under field conditions, due to the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Melanin is known to absorb radiation therefore photo protection of B. thuringiensis based on melanin has been extensively studied. Objectives: The aim of this study was to find a wild type strain of naturally melanin-producing B. thuringiensis to avoid any mutation or manipulation that can affect the Cry protein content. Materials and Methods: Bacillus thuringiensis strains were isolated from soils of different States of Mexico and pigment extraction was followed by lowering the pH to 2 using 1N HCl. Pigment was characterized by some chemical tests based on its solubility, bleaching by H2O2 and flocculation with FeCl3, and using an Infrared (IR) spectrum. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation experiment was performed to probe the melanin efficacy. Results: ELI52 strain of B. thuringiensis was confirmed to naturally produce melanin. The Cry protein analysis suggested that ELI52 is probably a B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strain with toxic activity against the Diptera order of insects. Ultra Violet protection efficacy of melanin was probed counting total viable colonies after UV radiation and comparing the results with the non-producing melanin strain L-DOPA (L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) was also detected in the culture. ELI52 strain showed an antagonistic effect over some common bacteria from the environment. Conclusions: ELI52 wild-type strain of B. thuringiensis is a good bio-insecticide that produces melanin with UV-resistance that is probably toxic against the Diptera order of insects and can inhibit the growth of other environmental bacteria. PMID:26421136

  11. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin) in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown) and belly (white-to-brownish) feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu) differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations, potentially

  12. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: mechanisms of actions in a mice model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunwar, A; Adhikary, B; Jayakumar, S; Barik, A; Chattopadhyay, S; Raghukumar, S; Priyadarsini, K I

    2012-10-15

    The radioprotective effect of extracellular melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, isolated from the fungus Gliocephalotrichum simplex was examined in BALB/C mice, and the probable mechanism of action was established. At an effective dose of 50mg/kg body weight, melanin exhibited both prophylactic and mitigative activities, increasing the 30-day survival of mice by 100% and 60%, respectively, after exposure to radiation (7Gy, whole body irradiation (WBI)). The protective activity of melanin was primarily due to inhibition of radiation-induced hematopoietic damages as evidenced by improvement in spleen parameters such as index, total cellularity, endogenous colony forming units, and maintenance of circulatory white blood cells and platelet counts. Melanin also reversed the radiation-induced decrease in ERK phosphorylation in splenic tissue, which may be the key feature in its radioprotective action. Additionally, our results indicated that the sustained activation of AKT, JNK and P38 proteins in splenic tissue of melanin pre-treated group may also play a secondary role. This was also supported by the fact that melanin could prevent apoptosis in splenic tissue by decreasing BAX/Bcl-XL ratio, and increasing the expressions of the proliferation markers (PCNA and Cyclin D1), compared to the radiation control group. Melanin also reduced the oxidative stress in hepatic tissue and abrogated immune imbalance by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6 and TNFα). In conclusion, our results confirmed that fungal melanin is a very effective radioprotector against WBI and the probable mechanisms of radioprotection are due to modulation in pro-survival (ERK) signaling, prevention of oxidative stress and immunomodulation.

  13. On the lipid-bacterial protein interaction studied by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation, transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Delcea, Mihaela; Pum, Dietmar; Sleytr, Uwe Bernd; Toca-Herrera, Jose Luis

    2009-01-01

    The interaction between the bacterial S-protein SbpA on different types of lipid membranes has been studied using atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation. On one hand, It has been found that the bacterial forms two dimensional nanocrystals on zwitterionic DOPC bilayers and negatively charged DMPG vesicles adsorbed on mica, on zwitterionic DPPC and charged DPPC/DMPG (1:1) monolayers adsorbed on carbon grids. On the other hand, SbpA protein adsorption took place on zwitterionic DOPC bilayers and DOPC/DOPS (4:1) bilayers, previously adsorbed on silicon supports. SbpA adsorption also took place on DPPC/DOPS (1:1) monolayers adsorbed on carbon grids. Finally, neither SbpA adsorption, nor recrystallization was observed on zwitterionic DMPC vesicles (previously adsorbed on polyelectrolyte multilayers), and on DPPC vesicles supported on silicon.

  14. Rapid MALDI-TOF-MS analysis in the study of interaction between whole bacterial cells and human target molecules: binding of Bifidobacterium to human plasminogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candela, Marco; Fiori, Jessica; Dipalo, Samuele; Naldi, Marina; Gotti, Roberto; Brigidi, Patrizia

    2008-06-01

    MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight)-mass spectrometry has been applied, for the first time, in the investigation of whole Bifidobacterium cells-host target proteins interaction. In particular, by means of this technique, a dose dependent human plasminogen-binding activity has been shown for Bifidobacterium. The involvement of lysine binding sites on the bacterial cell surface has been proved. The obtained result was found to be consistent with that from well-established standard methodologies, thus the proposed MALDI-TOF approach has the potential to enter as a fast alternative method in the field of biorecognition studies involving in bacterial cells and proteins of human origin.

  15. Melanin from the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: a spectroscopic characterization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aulie Banerjee

    Full Text Available Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state (13C NMR, we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation.

  16. Efektivitas kurkumin sebagai antioksidan dan inhibitor melanin pada kultur sel B16F1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sugiharto Sugiharto

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Melanin inhibitors have become increasingly important ingredients in medication and cosmetics for the prevention ofhyperpigmentation. In the last few years, a huge number of natural herbal extracts have been tested as inhibitors of melanin synthesisand some of these effects are related to the antioxidant properties. The objectives of this study were to determine of curcumin propertiesas antioxidant activity and melanin inhibitors. In this study, our data indicated that antioxidant assay with DPPH showed IC50 was16,05 μg/ml. In the absence of α-MSH (α-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone, melanin content assay in cell B16-F1 indicated thatthe highest activity of curcumin to reduce melanin content of 45,67% at 25 μg/ml. Meanwhile, in the presence of α-MSH at the sameconcentration indicated that the highest activity was 53,87%. Based on the data, curcumin has potential properties as antioxidantactivity and melanin inhibitor.

  17. Manassantin A and B from Saururus chinensis inhibiting cellular melanin production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Chang-Seob; Lee, Won-Hee; Chung, Hee-Wook; Chang, Eun Ju; Lee, Seung Ho; Jahng, Yurngdong; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Son, Jong-Keun; Han, Sang-Bae; Kim, Youngsoo

    2009-11-01

    Hyperpigmentation disorders such as freckles and senile lentigines in the skin are associated with abnormal accumulation of melanin pigments. In this study, two lignan constituents were isolated from Saururus chinensis Baill (Saururaceae) as inhibitors of cellular melanin production by bioassay-guided fractionations. The active constituents were manassantin A and B that dose-dependently inhibited melanin production in alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH)-activated melanoma B16 cells with IC(50) values of 13 nm and 8 nm, respectively. Arbutin as a positive control exhibited an IC(50) value of 96 microm on alpha-MSH-induced melanin production. Further, manassantin A inhibited forskolin- or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)-induced melanin production with IC(50) values of 14 nm or 12 nm, respectively. Manassantin A decreased cellular amounts of IBMX-inducible tyrosinase protein but could not affect the catalytic activity of cell-free tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of melanin pigments. Finally, this study could provide a pharmacological potential of S. chinensis in hyperpigmentation disorders.

  18. Production and Characterization of Melanin by Submerged Culture of Culinary and Medicinal Fungi Auricularia auricula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Min; Xiao, Gongnian; Thring, Ronald W; Chen, Wan; Zhou, Huabin; Yang, Hailong

    2015-05-01

    Natural melanin is of great potential value and application in the fields of pharmacology, cosmetics, and functional foods. In the present study, statistically designed experiments were conducted for the optimization of the media to enhance the production of melanin by submerged culture of Auricularia auricula. Glucose, tyrosine, peptone, and CaCO3 were found to have significant effects (P melanin biosynthesis by a Plackett-Burman experimental design and subsequently optimized using response surface methodology. Optimal media were obtained at the following concentrations: glucose, 0.90 g/L; tyrosine, 6.68 g/L; peptone, 6.99 g/L; and CaCO3, 6.75 g/L. The validity of the optimum media was verified in separate experiments in which the melanin yield of 1008.08 mg/L was obtained under optimum conditions, compared with 306.52 mg/L at other conditions, i.e., a 3.29-fold increase. Furthermore, the important physical and chemical properties of A. auricula melanin were determined. The findings from the present study indicate that large-scale production of natural melanin by submerged culture of A. auricular could be a useful approach.

  19. Preparation of melanin from Catharsius molossus L. and preliminary study on its chemical structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Chao; Ma, Jia-hua; Tan, Cheng-jia; Yang, Zhou; Ye, Feng; Long, Chan; Ye, Shuang; Hou, Da-bin

    2015-04-01

    A great deal of melanin was found in the waste alkali liquor produced by extraction of chitin from Catharsius molossus L. Discarding the lye could harm the environment and cause waste of resources. In this paper, melanin from C. molossus L. was recovered through acid precipitation and purified by pepsin and so on. The purity, chemical composition and structure of the prepared melanin were explored by UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, high resolution (13)C Cross polarization magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry, X ray diffraction, X ray fluorescence, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight tandem mass spectrometry, thermal analysis, and so on. The results showed that the purity of the prepared melanin was higher than the commercial standard melanin and it was a kind of nanoaggregates composed of a large quantity of 5,6-dihydroxyindole eumelanin and a small amount of phaeomelanin. In addition, the prepared melanin was irregular in shape and its structure could be divided into three levels: advanced structure maintained by polypeptides, substructure maintained by the ferric ion and microstructure. In particular, the smallest structural unit showed the graphite-like layered structure containing five layers linked by non-covalent bonds and each layer mainly consisted of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and its derivatives, which might be connected to each other through various chemical bonds.

  20. Characterization and biological activities of extracellular melanin produced by Schizophyllum commune (Fries).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arun, G; Eyini, M; Gunasekaran, P

    2015-06-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Here, we have isolated and characterized extracellular melanin from mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune. The extracellular dark pigment produced by the broth culture of S. commune, after 21 days of incubation was recovered by hot acid-alkali treatment. The melanin nature of the pigment was characterized by biochemical tests and further, confirmed by UV, IR, EPR, NMR and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectra. Extracellular melanin, at 100 μg/ml, showed significant antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas fluorescens and antifungal activity against Trichophyton simii and T. rubrum. At a concentration of 50 μg/ml, melanin showed high free radical scavenging activity of DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) indicating its antioxidant potential. It showed concentration dependent inhibition of cell proliferation of Human Epidermoid Larynx Carcinoma Cell Line (HEP-2). This study has demonstrated characterization of melanin from basidiomycetes mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune and its applications.

  1. BmPAH catalyzes the initial melanin biosynthetic step in Bombyx mori.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Chen

    Full Text Available Pigmentation during insect development is a primal adaptive requirement. In the silkworm, melanin is the primary component of larval pigments. The rate limiting substrate in melanin synthesis is tyrosine, which is converted from phenylalanine by the rate-limiting enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH. While the role of tyrosine, derived from phenylalanine, in the synthesis of fiber proteins has long been known, the role of PAH in melanin synthesis is still unknown in silkworm. To define the importance of PAH, we cloned the cDNA sequence of BmPAH and expressed its complete coding sequence using the Bac-to-Bac baculovirus expression system. Purified recombinant protein had high PAH activity, some tryptophan hydroxylase activity, but no tyrosine hydroxylase activity, which are typical properties of PAH in invertebrates. Because melanin synthesis is most robust during the embryonic stage and larval integument recoloring stage, we injected BmPAH dsRNA into silkworm eggs and observed that decreasing BmPAH mRNA reduced neonatal larval tyrosine and caused insect coloration to fail. In vitro cultures and injection of 4(th instar larval integuments with PAH inhibitor revealed that PAH activity was essential for larval marking coloration. These data show that BmPAH is necessary for melanin synthesis and we propose that conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine by PAH is the first step in the melanin biosynthetic pathway in the silkworm.

  2. The effects of chemical interactions and culture history on the colonization of structured habitats by competing bacterial populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Vliet, S.; Hol, F.J.H.; Weenink, T.; Galajda, P.; Keymer, J.E.

    2014-01-01

    Background Bacterial habitats, such as soil and the gut, are structured at the micrometer scale. Important aspects of microbial life in such spatial ecosystems are migration and colonization. Here we explore the colonization of a structured ecosystem by two neutrally labeled strains of Escherichia c

  3. Interactions between algal-bacterial populations and trace metals in fjord surface waters during a nutrient stimulated summer bloom

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Muller, F.; Larsen, A.; Stedmon, C.

    2005-01-01

    We examined how variations in algal-bacterial community structure relate to Cu, Zn, and Mn speciation during a diatom-rich bloom that was induced by daily additions of inorganic macronutrients to fjord waters in August 2002. The experiments were carried out in 11-m3 floating mesocosm bags deploye...

  4. Interaction of mouse splenocytes and macrophages with bacterial strains in vitro : the effect of age in the immune response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Beek, A. A.; Hoogerland, J. A.; Belzer, C.; De Vos, P.; De Vos, W. M.; Savelkoul, H. F. J.; Leenen, P. J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Probiotics influence the immune system, both at the local and systemic level. Recent findings suggest the relation between microbiota and the immune system alters with age. Our objective was to address direct effects of six bacterial strains on immune cells from young and aged mice: Lactobacillus pl

  5. Interaction of mouse splenocytes and macrophages with bacterial strains in vitro: the effect of age in the immune response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beek, van A.A.; Hoogerland, Joanne; Belzer, C.; Vos, de P.; Vos, de W.M.; Savelkoul, H.F.J.; Leenen, P.J.

    2016-01-01

    Probiotics influence the immune system, both at the local and systemic level. Recent findings suggest the relation between microbiota and the immune system alters with age. Our objective was to address direct effects of six bacterial strains on immune cells from young and aged mice: Lactobacillus pl

  6. Bacteria attenuation by iron electrocoagulation governed by interactions between bacterial phosphate groups and Fe(III) precipitates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Delaire, Caroline; van Genuchten, Case M.; Amrose, Susan E.; Gadgil, Ashok J.

    2016-01-01

    Iron electrocoagulation (Fe-EC) is a low-cost process in which Fe(II) generated from an Fe(0) anode reacts with dissolved O2 to form (1) Fe(III) precipitates with an affinity for bacterial cell walls and (2) bactericidal reactive oxidants. Previous work suggests that Fe-EC is a promising treatment o

  7. Identification of two proteins that interact with the Erp virulence factor from Mycobacterium tuberculosis by using the bacterial two-hybrid system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cataldi Angel A

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The exported repetitive protein (erp gene encodes a secreted 36-kDa protein with a central domain containing several proline-glycine-leucine-threonine-serine (PGLTS repeats. It has been demonstrated that erp is a virulence-associated factor since the disruption of this gene impairs the growth of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mice. Results In order to elucidate the function of Erp we searched for Erp-binding proteins from M. tuberculosis by using a bacterial two-hybrid system. Our results indicate that Erp interacts specifically with two putative membrane proteins, Rv1417 and Rv2617c. Further analysis revealed that the latter two interact with each other, indicating that Rv1417, Rv2617c and Erp are connected through multiple interactions. While Rv1417 is disseminated in several Actinomycetales genera, orthologues of Rv2617c are exclusively present in members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTC. The central and amino-terminal regions of Erp were determined to be involved in the interaction with Rv1417 and Rv2627c. Erp forms from Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium leprae were not able to interact with Rv2617c in two-hybrid assays. Immunolocalization experiments showed that Rv1417 and Rv2617c are found on the cell membrane and Erp on the bacterial cell wall. Finally, comparative genomics and expression studies revealed a possible role of Rv1417 in riboflavin metabolism. Conclusion We identified interactive partners of Erp, an M. tuberculosis protein involved in virulence, which will be the focus of future investigation to decipher the function of the Erp family protein.

  8. Vaccinia virus-mediated melanin production allows MR and optoacoustic deep tissue imaging and laser-induced thermotherapy of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stritzker, Jochen; Kirscher, Lorenz; Scadeng, Miriam; Deliolanis, Nikolaos C; Morscher, Stefan; Symvoulidis, Panagiotis; Schaefer, Karin; Zhang, Qian; Buckel, Lisa; Hess, Michael; Donat, Ulrike; Bradley, William G; Ntziachristos, Vasilis; Szalay, Aladar A

    2013-02-26

    We reported earlier the delivery of antiangiogenic single chain antibodies by using oncolytic vaccinia virus strains to enhance their therapeutic efficacy. Here, we provide evidence that gene-evoked production of melanin can be used as a therapeutic and diagnostic mediator, as exemplified by insertion of only one or two genes into the genome of an oncolytic vaccinia virus strain. We found that produced melanin is an excellent reporter for optical imaging without addition of substrate. Melanin production also facilitated deep tissue optoacoustic imaging as well as MRI. In addition, melanin was shown to be a suitable target for laser-induced thermotherapy and enhanced oncolytic viral therapy. In conclusion, melanin as a mediator for thermotherapy and reporter for different imaging modalities may soon become a versatile alternative to replace fluorescent proteins also in other biological systems. After ongoing extensive preclinical studies, melanin overproducing oncolytic virus strains might be used in clinical trials in patients with cancer.

  9. View of the bacterial strains of Escherichia coli M-17 and its interaction with the nanoparticles of zinc oxide by means of atomic force microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagitova, A.; Yaminsky, I.; Meshkov, G.

    2016-08-01

    Visualization of the structure of biological objects plays a key role in medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology and IT-technology. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a promising method of studying of objects’ morphology and structure. In this work, AFM was used to determine the size and shape of the bacterial strains of Escherichia coli M-17 and visualization its interaction with the nanoparticles of zinc oxide. The suspension of E.coli bacteria was applied to natural mica and studied by contact mode using the FemtoScan multifunctional scanning probe microscope.

  10. Non-toxic melanin production inhibitors from Garcinia livingstonei (Clusiaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulholland, Dulcie A; Mwangi, Elizabeth M; Dlova, Ncoza C; Plant, Nick; Crouch, Neil R; Coombes, Phillip H

    2013-09-16

    The stem bark of Garcinia livingstonei is used traditionally as a skin lightening agent. To isolate and identify compounds responsible for the observed skin lightening activity of Garcinia livingstonei and to evaluate their cytotoxicity. Constituents of the stem bark and fruits of Garcinia livingstonei were isolated using chromatographic techniques and structures were determined using 1D and 2D NMR and MS analysis. MeWo cells were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity and impact on melanin levels of extracts and compounds isolated, in vitro. Twelve known compounds, morelloflavone (1), morelloflavone-7″-sulphate (2), guttiferone A (3), sargaol (4), isojacareubin (5), 6-deoxyisojacareubin (6) and in addition to the common triterpenoids, betulin, betulin aldehyde, lupeol, lupenone, euphol and stigmasterol were isolated in this investigation. Morelloflavone, morelloflavone-7″-sulphate and sargaol, were found to be considerably less cytotoxic and more effective as skin lightening agents than hydroquinone. A range of compounds was isolated from the stem bark and fruit of Garcinia livingstonei. Although the bark extract contained the cytotoxic guttiferone A, it was found to be less toxic than hydroquinone, and morelloflavone, the 7″-sulphate derivative and sargaol show potential for development as depigmentation/skin lightening agents. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH: a new sleep factor?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo eTorterolo

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Neurons that utilize the neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH as a neuromodulator are mainly located in the lateral hypothalamus and the incerto-hypothalamic area, and have widespread projections throughout the brain. While the biological functions of this neuropeptide are exerted in humans through two metabotropic receptors, the MCHR1 and MCHR2, only the MCHR1 is present in rodents. Recently, it has been shown that the MCHergic system is involved in the control of sleep. We can summarize the experimental findings as follows:1. The areas related to the control of sleep and wakefulness have an important density of MCHergic fibers and receptors.2. MCHergic neurons are active during sleep, especially during REM sleep.3. Genetically-modified animals without MCH have less REM sleep, notably under conditions of negative energy balance. 4. Systemically administered MCHR1 antagonists reduce sleep. 5. Intraventricular microinjection of MCH increases both slow wave sleep (SWS and REM sleep; however, the increment in REM sleep is more pronounced.6. Microinjection of MCH into the dorsal raphe nucleus increases REM sleep time. REM seep is inhibited by immunoneutralization of MCH within this nucleus.7. Microinjection of MCH in the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat enhances REM sleep time and reduces REM sleep latency.All these data strongly suggest that MCH has a potent role in the promotion of sleep. Although both SWS and REM sleep are facilitated by MCH, REM sleep seems to be more sensitive to MCH modulation.

  12. A proteomics approach to study synergistic and antagonistic interactions of the fungal-bacterial consortium Fusarium oxysporum wild-type MSA 35.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moretti, Marino; Grunau, Alexander; Minerdi, Daniela; Gehrig, Peter; Roschitzki, Bernd; Eberl, Leo; Garibaldi, Angelo; Gullino, Maria Lodovica; Riedel, Kathrin

    2010-09-01

    Fusarium oxysporum is an important plant pathogen that causes severe damage of many economically important crop species. Various microorganisms have been shown to inhibit this soil-borne plant pathogen, including non-pathogenic F. oxysporum strains. In this study, F. oxysporum wild-type (WT) MSA 35, a biocontrol multispecies consortium that consists of a fungus and numerous rhizobacteria mainly belonging to gamma-proteobacteria, was analyzed by two complementary metaproteomic approaches (2-DE combined with MALDI-Tof/Tof MS and 1-D PAGE combined with LC-ESI-MS/MS) to identify fungal or bacterial factors potentially involved in antagonistic or synergistic interactions between the consortium members. Moreover, the proteome profiles of F. oxysporum WT MSA 35 and its cured counter-part CU MSA 35 (WT treated with antibiotics) were compared with unravel the bacterial impact on consortium functioning. Our study presents the first proteome mapping of an antagonistic F. oxysporum strain and proposes candidate proteins that might play an important role for the biocontrol activity and the close interrelationship between the fungus and its bacterial partners.

  13. A small-scale, low-cost isolation system for the incubation and rearing of low bacterial load chicks as a model to study microbial-intestinal interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forder, Rebecca E A; Firth, Gordon A; Tivey, David R; Howarth, Gordon S; Hughes, Robert J

    2008-04-01

    A small-scale, economical isolator system was adapted to hatch and raise chicks in a bacteria-free environment as a means to observe bacterial interactions with the intestinal mucosa during early development. The design and construction of flexible plastic isolators for incubation and brooding are described along with methodologies for preparation of eggs for entry into the isolators, incubation and hatching. Two trials were conducted, the first in August 2005 and the second in March 2006. Results from both trials showed no differences in body weights of chicks raised in isolation when compared with those raised conventionally. Growth of bacteria was detected from rectal swabs at day 2 post-hatch, with both trials, showing a light growth of Bacillus sp., coagulase-negative staphylococci and haemolytic streptococcus in trial 1, and a light growth of Bacillus cereus only in trial 2. Although not germfree, the growth of bacteria in chicks raised in isolation was decreased or absent when compared with chicks raised conventionally. Feed was negative for contamination and surface swabs of equipment were also negative until day 3 post-hatch, suggesting possible contamination within the eggs themselves. Despite the presence of bacterial species, the isolator system was successful in producing low bacterial load chicks for comparison studies with conventionally raised chicks.

  14. Redox activity of melanin from the ink sac of Sepia officinalis by means of colorimetric oxidative assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srisuk, Pathomthat; Correlo, Vitor M; Leonor, Isabel B; Palladino, Pasquale; Reis, Rui L

    2016-01-01

    The redox properties of natural extract from cuttlefish ink sac (Sepia officinalis) and synthetic melanin used as a biomimetic in melanin structural investigation were determined by comparison of this phenol-based heterogeneous pigment with gallic acid used as a standard in Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric assay widely employed for characterisation of oxidative properties of biomaterials. Reactivity of sepia melanin reported here is much higher than previously indicated and this protocol should allow the redox characterisation of all melanins irrespective of their origin and composition.

  15. Preparation of Thin Melanin-Type Films by Surface-Controlled Oxidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salomäki, Mikko; Tupala, Matti; Parviainen, Timo; Leiro, Jarkko; Karonen, Maarit; Lukkari, Jukka

    2016-04-26

    The preparation of thin melanin films suitable for applications is challenging. In this work, we present a new alternative approach to thin melanin-type films using oxidative multilayers prepared by the sequential layer-by-layer deposition of cerium(IV) and inorganic polyphosphate. The interfacial reaction between cerium(IV) in the multilayer and 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) in the adjacent aqueous solution leads to the formation of a thin uniform film. The oxidation of DHI by cerium(IV) proceeds via known melanin intermediates. We have characterized the formed DHI-melanin films using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-vis spectroscopy, and spectroelectrochemistry. When a five-bilayer oxidative multilayer is used, the film is uniform with a thickness of ca. 10 nm. Its chemical composition, as determined using XPS, is typical for melanin. It is also redox active, and its oxidation occurs in two steps, which can be assigned to semiquinone and quinone formation within the indole structural motif. Oxidative multilayers can also oxidize dopamine, but the reaction stops at the dopamine quinone stage because of the limited amount of the multilayer-based oxidizing agent. However, dopamine oxidation by Ce(IV) was studied also in solution by UV-vis spectroscopy and mass spectrometry in order to verify the reaction mechanism and the final product. In solution, the oxidation of dopamine by cerium shows that the indole ring formation takes place already at low pH and that the mass spectrum of the final product is practically identical with that of commercial melanin. Therefore, layer-by-layer formed oxidative multilayers can be used to deposit functional melanin-type thin films on arbitrary substrates by a surface-controlled reaction.

  16. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewnowska, Justyna M; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment.

  17. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justyna M Drewnowska

    Full Text Available Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment.

  18. The potential of phage therapy in cystic fibrosis: Essential human-bacterial-phage interactions and delivery considerations for use in Pseudomonas aeruginosa-infected airways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trend, Stephanie; Fonceca, Angela M; Ditcham, William G; Kicic, Anthony; Cf, Arest

    2017-07-15

    As antimicrobial-resistant microbes become increasingly common and a significant global issue, novel approaches to treating these infections particularly in those at high risk are required. This is evident in people with cystic fibrosis (CF), who suffer from chronic airway infection caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria, typically Pseudomonas aeruginosa. One option is bacteriophage (phage) therapy, which utilises the natural predation of phage viruses upon their host bacteria. This review summarises the essential and unique aspects of the phage-microbe-human lung interactions in CF that must be addressed to successfully develop and deliver phage to CF airways. The current evidence regarding phage biology, phage-bacterial interactions, potential airway immune responses to phages, previous use of phages in humans and method of phage delivery to the lung are also summarised. Copyright © 2017 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A microfluidic device for real-time monitoring of Bacillus subtilis bacterial spores during germination based on non-specific physicochemical interactions on the nanoscale level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabrocka, L; Langer, K; Michalski, A; Kocik, J; Langer, J J

    2015-01-07

    A microfluidic device for studies on the germination of bacterial spores (e.g. Bacillus subtilis) based on non-specific interactions on the nanoscale is presented. A decrease in the population of spores during germination followed by the appearance of transition forms and an increase in the number of vegetative cells can be registered directly and simultaneously by using the microfluidic device, which is equipped with a conductive polymer layer (polyaniline) in the form of a nano-network. The lab-on-a-chip-type device, operating in a continuous flow regime, allows monitoring of germination of bacterial spores and analysis of the process in detail. The procedure is fast and accurate enough for quantitative real-time monitoring of the main steps of germination, including final transformation of the spores into vegetative cells. All of this is done without the use of biomarkers or any bio-specific materials, such as enzymes, antibodies and aptamers, and is simply based on an analysis of physicochemical interactions on the nanoscale level.

  20. Possible interaction between the bacterial transcription factor ArtA and the eukaryotic RNA polymerase III promoter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsutani, Sachiko

    2016-06-01

    Eukaryotic RNA polymerase III (RNAP III) transcribes tRNA genes and short interspersed elements that have internal promoters consisting of A- and B-blocks. The B-block binding subunit of the transcription initiation factor TFIIIC binds to the B-block. The mobile bacterial insertion sequence (IS) 1 contains a RNAP III promoter-like sequence, which stimulates bacterial transcription along with the bacterial ArtA protein. Here, the DNA-binding ability of ArtA was examined in vitro using a simple, newly developed method. Various DNA fragments, including RNAP III promoter fragments, were separately incubated with purified ArtA, and then loaded onto a polyacrylamide gel. Since DNAs bound by ArtA remain in the gel wells during electrophoresis, SDS was added into the wells at the electrophoresis halfway point. It was hypothesized that SDS would dissociate the DNA-ArtA complexes in the wells, and then the DNAs would begin to migrate. In fact, new bands appeared in all of the lanes at similar intensities, indicating that ArtA binds nonspecifically to DNA. Therefore, labeled wild-type RNAP III promoter fragments were incubated with either the unlabeled wild-type or mutant fragments and ArtA, and electrophoresed. The B-block(-like) sequences of IS1, a human Alu element, and an anuran tRNA gene were important for binding to ArtA. Additionally, in silico analyses revealed the presence of the RNAP III promoter-like structures in the IS1 isoforms and the IS3 family elements. These results suggest the presence of parts of the RNAP III transcription machinery in bacteria, and might imply that its prototype existed in the common ancestor.

  1. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2013-03-01

    Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo.

  2. Localization of melanin in conidia of Alternaria alternata using phage display antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carzaniga, Raffaella; Fiocco, Daniela; Bowyer, Paul; O'Connell, Richard J

    2002-03-01

    Melanins derived from 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) are important for the pathogenicity and survival of fungi causing disease in both plants and animals. However, precise information on their location within fungal cell walls is lacking. To obtain antibodies for the immunocytochemical localization of melanin, 83 phage antibodies binding to 1,8-DHN were selected from a naive semisynthetic single-chain Fv (scFv) phage display library. Sequence analysis of the heavy chain binding domains of 17 antibodies showed a high frequency of positively charged amino acids. One antibody, designated M1, was characterized in detail. M1 bound specifically to 1,8-DHN in competitive inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, showing no cross-reaction with nine structurally related phenolic compounds. Epitope recognition required two hydroxyl groups in a 1,8 configuration. M1 also bound to naturally occurring melanin isolated from mycelia of Alternaria alternata, suggesting that epitopes remain accessible in polymerized melanin. Transmission electron microscopy-immunogold labeling, using M1 in the form of soluble scFv fragments, showed that melanin was located in the septa and outer (primary) walls of wild-type A. alternata conidia, but not those of an albino mutant, AKT88-1. The M1 antibody provides a new tool for detecting melanized pathogens in plant and animal tissues and for precisely mapping the distribution of the polymer within spores, appressoria, and hyphae.

  3. A novel melanin inhibitor: hydroperoxy traxastane-type triterpene from flowers of Arnica montana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Kazuhisa; Naitou, Tomoko; Umishio, Kenichi; Fukuhara, Tadao; Motoyama, Akira

    2007-05-01

    We isolated a novel inhibitor of melanin biosynthesis from the flowers of Arnica montana L. (Compositae), and identified it as a traxastane-type triterpene (3beta,16beta-dihydroxy-21alpha-hydroperoxy-20(30)-taraxastene) [1] by means of 1D or 2D-NMR and liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HR-MS). Compound [1] at the concentration of 0.53 muM completely inhibited melanin accumulation in cultured B16 melanoma cells. It is one of the most potent among known plant inhibitors of melanin biosynthesis in cultured cells, being 50 times more potent than 4-methoxyphenol, which is used as an anti-pigmentation agent. Its mechanism of action is considered to involve inhibition of transcriptional factor MITF-M (melanocyte-type isoform of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor), which would lead to a decrease of tyrosinase and related genes. We confirmed that compound [1] decreased the protein levels of tyrosinase and its related proteins in B16 melanoma cells. Further study revealed that a similar hydroperoxy triterpene also suppressed the melanin pigment accumulation of B16 melanoma cells. These results indicate that the hydroperoxy group may play an important role in the suppression of the melanin accumulation by compound [1].

  4. Aspergillus Cell Wall Melanin Blocks LC3-Associated Phagocytosis to Promote Pathogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Valsecchi, Isabel; Gresnigt, Mark S; Samonis, George; Drakos, Elias; Boumpas, Dimitrios; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Netea, Mihai G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Brakhage, Axel A; El-Benna, Jamel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul; Chamilos, Georgios

    2016-01-13

    Concealing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) is a principal strategy used by fungi to avoid immune recognition. Surface exposure of PAMPs during germination can leave the pathogen vulnerable. Accordingly, β-glucan surface exposure during Aspergillus fumigatus germination activates an Atg5-dependent autophagy pathway termed LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP), which promotes fungal killing. We found that LAP activation also requires the genetic, biochemical or biological (germination) removal of A. fumigatus cell wall melanin. The attenuated virulence of melanin-deficient A. fumigatus is restored in Atg5-deficient macrophages and in mice upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells. Mechanistically, Aspergillus melanin inhibits NADPH oxidase-dependent activation of LAP by excluding the p22phox subunit from the phagosome. Thus, two events that occur concomitantly during germination of airborne fungi, surface exposure of PAMPs and melanin removal, are necessary for LAP activation and fungal killing. LAP blockade is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications.

  5. Role of GTP-CHI links PAH and TH in melanin synthesis in silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ping; Wang, Jiying; Li, Haiyin; Li, Yan; Chen, Peng; Li, Tian; Chen, Xi; Xiao, Junjie; Zhang, Liang

    2015-08-10

    In insects, pigment patterns are formed by melanin, ommochromes, and pteridines. Here, the effects of pteridine synthesis on melanin formation were studied using 4th instar larvae of a wild-type silkworm strain, dazao (Bombyx mori), with normal color and markings. Results from injected larvae and in vitro integument culture indicated that decreased activity of guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase I (GTP-CH I, a rate-limiting enzyme for pteridine synthesis), lowers BH4 (6R-l-erythro-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin, a production correlated with GTP-CH I activity) levels and eliminates markings and coloration. The conversion of phenylalanine and tyrosine to melanin was prevented when GTP-CH I was inhibited. When BH4 was added, phenylalanine was converted to tyrosine, and the tyrosine concentration increased. Tyrosine was then converted to melanin to create normal markings and coloration. Decreasing GTP-CH I activity did not affect L-DOPA (3,4-l-dihydroxyphenylalanine). GTP-CH I affected melanin synthesis by generating the BH4 used in two key reaction steps: (1) conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine by PAH (phenylalanine hydroxylase) and (2) conversion of tyrosine to L-DOPA by TH (tyrosine hydroxylase). Expression profiles of BmGTPCH Ia, BmGTPCH Ib, BmTH, and BmPAH in the integument were consistent with the current findings.

  6. Evolutionary shifts in the melanin-based color system of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-02-01

    Melanin pigments contained in organelles (melanosomes) impart earthy colors to feathers. Such melanin-based colors are distributed across birds and thought to be the ancestral color-producing mechanism in birds. However, we have had limited data on melanin-based color and melanosome diversity in Palaeognathae, which includes the flighted tinamous and large-bodied, flightless ratites and is the sister taxon to all other extant birds. Here, we use scanning electron microscopy and spectrophotometry to assess melanosome morphology and quantify reflected color for 19 species within this clade. We find that brown colors in ratites are uniquely associated with elongated melanosomes nearly identical in shape to those associated with black colors. Melanosome and color diversity in large-bodied ratites is limited relative to other birds (including flightless penguins) and smaller bodied basal maniraptoran dinosaur outgroups of Aves, whereas tinamous show a wider range of melanosome forms similar to neognaths. The repeated occurrence of novel melanosome forms in the nonmonophyletic ratites suggests that melanin-based color tracks changes in body size, physiology, or other life history traits associated with flight loss, but not feather morphology. We further anticipate these findings will be useful for future color reconstructions in extinct species, as variation in melanosome shape may potentially be linked to a more nuanced palette of melanin-based colors.

  7. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  8. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data.

  9. Melanin-containing films: growth from dopamine solutions versus layer-by-layer deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernsmann, Falk; Ersen, Ovidiu; Voegel, Jean-Claude; Jan, Edward; Kotov, Nicholas A; Ball, Vincent

    2010-10-25

    Films formed by oxidation of dopamine are of interest for functionalisation of solid-liquid interfaces owing to their versatility. However, the ability to modulate the properties of such films, for example, permeability to ionic species and the absorption coefficient, is urgently needed. Indeed, melanin films produced by oxidation of dopamine absorb strongly over the whole UV/Vis part of the electromagnetic spectrum and are impermeable to anions even for a film thickness as low as a few nanometers. Herein we combine oxidation of dopamine to produce a solution containing dopamine-melanin particles and their alternating deposition with poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) to produce films which have nearly the same morphology as pure dopamine-melanin films but are less compact, more transparent and more permeable to ferrocyanide anions.

  10. Experimentally induced melanin-like pigmentation (thesaurismosis) related to acorn ingestion in Nero Siciliano pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanteri, Giovanni; Marino, Fabio; Liotta, Luigi; Stefano, Carmelo; Macrì, Battesimo

    2011-09-01

    In this study, an experimental challenge was carried out by feeding Nero Siciliano pigs with acorn to evoke melanin-like pigmentation and support the hypothesis that it is caused by ingested material. Twelve pigs were studied, 6 fed with acorns and 6 fed commercial feed. At slaughter, all the animals fed on acorns showed black discolouration of almost all lymph nodes. The lymph nodes were normal in size and shape. Histochemical tests performed on tissues allowed us to identify and differentiate the pigment. Immunohistochemical staining for macrophage markers showed macrophages containing a variable amount of melanin-like granules. Our data, and the well-known steps of melanin formation, confirm that swine enzymes could act on phenolic substances found in acorns.

  11. Skip areas of retained melanin: A clue to the histopathological diagnosis of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajiv Joshi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Biopsy findings in 55 cases of idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis (IGH are reported. Most cases had a flat epidermis with loss of the rete pattern and a thickened orthokeratotic basket weave stratum corneum. The epidermis had markedly decreased to absent melanin in the basal layer and reduced numbers of melanocytes at the dermoepidermal junction. One-third of patients had a sparse perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate, whereas the rest had no significant dermal inflammation. These findings are in concordance with current literature.However, small foci of retained melanin in the basal layer (skip areas alternating with larger areas of melanin loss were present in almost 80% of cases. This finding has not been reported earlier and appears to be quite specific to IGH and may be used as a clue to differentiate IGH from other similar conditions such as vitiligo and guttate morphea.

  12. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-04-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29-270 mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850-5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 min.

  13. Analysis of the melanin distribution in different ethnic groups by in vivo laser scanning microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoniou, C.; Lademann, J.; Richter, H.; Astner, S.; Patzelt, A.; Zastrow, L.; Sterry, W.; Koch, S.

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSM) is able to visualize differences in melanin content and distribution in different Skin Phototypes. The investigations were carried out on six healthy volunteers with Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI. Representative skin samples of Skin Phototypes II, V, and VI were obtained for histological analysis from remaining tissue of skin grafts and were used for LSM-pathologic correlation. LSM evaluation showed significant differences in melanin distribution in Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI, respectively. Based on the differences in overall reflectivity and image brightness, a visual evaluation scheme showed increasing brightness of the basal and suprabasal layers with increasing Skin Phototypes. The findings correlated well with histological analysis. The results demonstrate that LSM may serve as a promising adjunctive tool for real time assessment of melanin content and distribution in human skin, with numerous clinical applications and therapeutic and preventive implications.

  14. Antagonistic bacterial interactions help shape host-symbiont dynamics within the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Michael; Erhardt, Daniel P; Molinaro, Daniel J;

    2007-01-01

    Conflict within mutually beneficial associations is predicted to destabilize relationships, and theoretical and empirical work exploring this has provided significant insight into the dynamics of cooperative interactions. Within mutualistic associations, the expression and regulation of conflict...

  15. Metagenome survey of a multispecies and alga-associated biofilm revealed key elements of bacterial-algal interactions in photobioreactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohn-Molt, Ines; Wemheuer, Bernd; Alawi, Malik; Poehlein, Anja; Güllert, Simon; Schmeisser, Christel; Pommerening-Röser, Andreas; Grundhoff, Adam; Daniel, Rolf; Hanelt, Dieter; Streit, Wolfgang R

    2013-10-01

    Photobioreactors (PBRs) are very attractive for sunlight-driven production of biofuels and capturing of anthropogenic CO2. One major problem associated with PBRs however, is that the bacteria usually associated with microalgae in nonaxenic cultures can lead to biofouling and thereby affect algal productivity. Here, we report on a phylogenetic, metagenome, and functional analysis of a mixed-species bacterial biofilm associated with the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus obliquus in a PBR. The biofilm diversity and population dynamics were examined through 16S rRNA phylogeny. Overall, the diversity was rather limited, with approximately 30 bacterial species associated with the algae. The majority of the observed microorganisms were affiliated with Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. A combined approach of sequencing via GS FLX Titanium from Roche and HiSeq 2000 from Illumina resulted in the overall production of 350 Mbp of sequenced DNA, 165 Mbp of which was assembled in larger contigs with a maximum size of 0.2 Mbp. A KEGG pathway analysis suggested high metabolic diversity with respect to the use of polymers and aromatic and nonaromatic compounds. Genes associated with the biosynthesis of essential B vitamins were highly redundant and functional. Moreover, a relatively high number of predicted and functional lipase and esterase genes indicated that the alga-associated bacteria are possibly a major sink for lipids and fatty acids produced by the microalgae. This is the first metagenome study of microalga- and PBR-associated biofilm bacteria, and it gives new clues for improved biofuel production in PBRs.

  16. Bacterial hydrodynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Lauga, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria predate plants and animals by billions of years. Today, they are the world's smallest cells yet they represent the bulk of the world's biomass, and the main reservoir of nutrients for higher organisms. Most bacteria can move on their own, and the majority of motile bacteria are able to swim in viscous fluids using slender helical appendages called flagella. Low-Reynolds-number hydrodynamics is at the heart of the ability of flagella to generate propulsion at the micron scale. In fact, fluid dynamic forces impact many aspects of bacteriology, ranging from the ability of cells to reorient and search their surroundings to their interactions within mechanically and chemically-complex environments. Using hydrodynamics as an organizing framework, we review the biomechanics of bacterial motility and look ahead to future challenges.

  17. Sexual selection and the function of a melanin-based plumage ornament in polygamous penduline tits Remiz pendulinus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kingma, Sjouke A.; Szentirmai, Istvan; Szekely, Tamas; Bokony, Veronika; Bleeker, Maarten; Liker, Andras; Komdeur, Jan; McGraw, K.

    2008-01-01

    Melanin-based ornaments are often involved in signaling aggression and dominance, and their role in sexual selection is increasingly recognized. We investigated the functions of a melanin-based plumage ornament (facial 'mask') in male Eurasian penduline tits Remiz pendulinus in the contexts of male-

  18. Sexual selection and the function of a melanin-based plumage ornament in polygamous penduline tits Remiz pendulinus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kingma, Sjouke A.; Szentirmai, Istvan; Szekely, Tamas; Bokony, Veronika; Bleeker, Maarten; Liker, Andras; Komdeur, Jan; McGraw, K.

    2008-01-01

    Melanin-based ornaments are often involved in signaling aggression and dominance, and their role in sexual selection is increasingly recognized. We investigated the functions of a melanin-based plumage ornament (facial 'mask') in male Eurasian penduline tits Remiz pendulinus in the contexts of male-

  19. Sexual Dichromatism of the Damselfly Calopteryx japonica Caused by a Melanin-Chitin Multilayer in the Male Wing Veins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Leertouwer, Hein L.; Hariyama, Takahiko; De Raedt, Hans A.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    2012-01-01

    Mature male Calopteryx japonica damselflies have dark-blue wings, due to darkly coloured wing membranes and blue reflecting veins. The membranes contain a high melanin concentration and the veins have a multilayer of melanin and chitin. Female and immature C. japonica damselflies have brown wings. W

  20. Melanin offers protection against induction of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 6-4 photoproducts by UVB in cultured human melanocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, N.P.M.; Vink, A.A.; Kolb, R.M.; Steenwinkel, M.J.S.T.; Berg, P.T.M. van den; Nieuwpoort, F. van; Roza, L.; Pavel, S.

    2001-01-01

    The goal of this investigation was to correlate the melanin content in human pigmentary cells with the generation of UVB-induced photoproducts and to examine the relationship between the melanin content and the removal of the photoproducts. Cultured melanocytes from light-skinned individuals

  1. Sexual Dichromatism of the Damselfly Calopteryx japonica Caused by a Melanin-Chitin Multilayer in the Male Wing Veins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Leertouwer, Hein L.; Hariyama, Takahiko; De Raedt, Hans A.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    2012-01-01

    Mature male Calopteryx japonica damselflies have dark-blue wings, due to darkly coloured wing membranes and blue reflecting veins. The membranes contain a high melanin concentration and the veins have a multilayer of melanin and chitin. Female and immature C. japonica damselflies have brown wings.

  2. Flux pinning mechanism and H{sub c2}-anisotropy in melanin doped bulk MgB{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shahabuddin Shah, M., E-mail: mshahabuddin@ksu.edu.sa; Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Alzayed, Nasser S.; Parakkandy, Jafar M.

    2014-06-15

    Highlights: • Melanin doping enhances superconducting properties of MgB{sub 2}. • Grain boundary pinning is the dominant pinning mechanism in melanin doped MgB{sub 2}. • Experimental J{sub c} data could be very closely fitted using Percolation model. • Anisotropy is reduced due to melanin doping resulting in increase in J{sub c} in high field. • Pinning force maximum is suppressed due to melanin doping. - Abstract: Flux pinning mechanism in melanin doped MgB{sub 2} superconductor has been studied using a scaling law proposed by Dew-Hughes and another method proposed by Eisterer. Our experimental data could be fitted very closely by the aforementioned scaling law. The fitting parameters, the positions of peaks b{sub peak} and k = b{sub peak}/b{sub n} confirm a grain-boundary pinning in the 10% melanin doped sample, while the undoped sample consists of mixed pinning. Furthermore, percolation theory was utilized under grain-boundary approximation to investigate the role of H{sub c2}-anisotropy in the critical current density, and its dependence on applied field as well as temperature. The H{sub c2}-anisotropy decreases with melanin doping resulting in the increase of J{sub c} in high field. There is suppression of flux pinning maximum due to melanin doping, which is found to be the main reason for the degradation of low-field J{sub c}.

  3. Melanin offers protection against induction of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 6-4 photoproducts by UVB in cultured human melanocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, N.P.M.; Vink, A.A.; Kolb, R.M.; Steenwinkel, M.J.S.T.; Berg, P.T.M. van den; Nieuwpoort, F. van; Roza, L.; Pavel, S.

    2001-01-01

    The goal of this investigation was to correlate the melanin content in human pigmentary cells with the generation of UVB-induced photoproducts and to examine the relationship between the melanin content and the removal of the photoproducts. Cultured melanocytes from light-skinned individuals synthes

  4. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saager, Rolf B; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J; Kelly, Kristen M; Tromberg, Bruce J

    2015-06-01

    The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ~30-65 μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R² = 0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R² = 0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types.

  5. Innovative use of Mucuna monosperma (Wight) callus cultures for continuous production of melanin by using statistically optimized biotransformation medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inamdar, Shrirang; Joshi, Swati; Bapat, Vishwas; Jadhav, Jyoti

    2014-01-20

    Melanins are predominantly indolic polymers which are having extensive applications in cosmetics, agriculture and medicine. In the present study, optimization of nutritional parameters influencing melanin production by Mucuna monosperma callus cultures was attempted using the response surface methodology (RSM). Standardization of four factors was carried out using the Box-Behnken design. The optimized levels of factors predicted by the model include tyrosine 0.978gL(-1), pH 5.85, SDS 34.55mgL(-1)and copper sulphate 21.14mgL(-1) tyrosine, which resulted in highest melanin yield of 0.887gL(-1). The optimization of medium using RSM resulted in a 3.06-fold increase in the yield of melanin. The ANOVA analysis showed a significant R(2)-value (0.9995), model F-value (1917.72) and probability (0.0001), with insignificant lack of fit. Optimized medium was used in the laboratory scale column reactor for the continuous production of melanin. Uninterrupted flow column exhibited maximum melanin production rate of 250mgL(-1)h(-1) which is the highest value ever reported using plant as a biotransformation source. Melanin production was confirmed by spectrophotometric and chemical analysis. Thus, this study demonstrates the production of melanin by M. monosperma callus, using a laboratory scale column reactor.

  6. Condition-dependence, pleiotropy and the handicap principle of sexual selection in melanin-based colouration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-05-01

    The signalling function of melanin-based colouration is debated. Sexual selection theory states that ornaments should be costly to produce, maintain, wear or display to signal quality honestly to potential mates or competitors. An increasing number of studies supports the hypothesis that the degree of melanism covaries with aspects of body condition (e.g. body mass or immunity), which has contributed to change the initial perception that melanin-based colour ornaments entail no costs. Indeed, the expression of many (but not all) melanin-based colour traits is weakly sensitive to the environment but strongly heritable suggesting that these colour traits are relatively cheap to produce and maintain, thus raising the question of how such colour traits could signal quality honestly. Here I review the production, maintenance and wearing/displaying costs that can generate a correlation between melanin-based colouration and body condition, and consider other evolutionary mechanisms that can also lead to covariation between colour and body condition. Because genes controlling melanic traits can affect numerous phenotypic traits, pleiotropy could also explain a linkage between body condition and colouration. Pleiotropy may result in differently coloured individuals signalling different aspects of quality that are maintained by frequency-dependent selection or local adaptation. Colouration may therefore not signal absolute quality to potential mates or competitors (e.g. dark males may not achieve a higher fitness than pale males); otherwise genetic variation would be rapidly depleted by directional selection. As a consequence, selection on heritable melanin-based colouration may not always be directional, but mate choice may be conditional to environmental conditions (i.e. context-dependent sexual selection). Despite the interest of evolutionary biologists in the adaptive value of melanin-based colouration, its actual role in sexual selection is still poorly understood.

  7. Tyrosine and the synthesis of melanin in embryonic cells fromAmbystoma mexicanum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landström, Ulf; Løvtrup, Søren

    1978-09-01

    Explants comprising about 15 cells were dissected from various regions of the blastula ofAmbystoma mexicanum and cultured in Barth's medium. By addition of L-tyrosine to the culture medium it was possible to induce melanin synthesis in three different cells types: undifferentiated embryonic cells, mesenchyme cells and nerve cells. Tyrosine was found to act as an inductor in a very low concentration (1 μM). It is suggested that tyrosine serves both as an inductor and as a substrate for melanin synthesis in the amphibian larva.

  8. Prevention of melanin formation during aryl alcohol oxidase production under growth-limited conditions using an Aspergillus nidulans cell factory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo-Planas, Oscar; Prade, Rolf A; Müller, Michael; Atiyeh, Hasan K; Wilkins, Mark R

    2017-11-01

    An Aspergillus nidulans cell factory was genetically engineered to produce an aryl alcohol oxidase (AAO). The cell factory initiated production of melanin when growth-limited conditions were established using stationary plates and shaken flasks. This phenomenon was more pronounced when the strain was cultured in a trickle bed reactor (TBR). This study investigated different approaches to reduce melanin formation in fungal mycelia and liquid medium in order to increase the enzyme production yield. Removal of copper from the medium recipe reduced melanin formation in agar cultures and increased enzyme activities by 48% in agitated liquid cultures. Copper has been reported as a key element for tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for melanin production. Ascorbic acid (0.44g/L) stopped melanin accumulation, did not affect growth parameters and resulted in AAO activity that was more than two-fold greater than a control treatment with no ascorbic acid. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Co-evolution of quaternary organization and novel RNA tertiary interactions revealed in the crystal structure of a bacterial protein–RNA toxin–antitoxin system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Feng; Short, Francesca L.; Voss, Jarrod E.; Blower, Tim R.; Orme, Anastasia L.; Whittaker, Tom E.; Luisi, Ben F.; Salmond, George P. C.

    2015-01-01

    Genes encoding toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are near ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and they play key roles in important aspects of bacterial physiology, including genomic stability, formation of persister cells under antibiotic stress, and resistance to phage infection. The CptIN locus from Eubacterium rectale is a member of the recently-discovered Type III class of TA systems, defined by a protein toxin suppressed by direct interaction with a structured RNA antitoxin. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CptIN protein–RNA complex to 2.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a new heterotetrameric quaternary organization for the Type III TA class, and the RNA antitoxin bears a novel structural feature of an extended A-twist motif within the pseudoknot fold. The retention of a conserved ribonuclease active site as well as traits normally associated with TA systems, such as plasmid maintenance, implicates a wider functional role for Type III TA systems. We present evidence for the co-variation of the Type III component pair, highlighting a distinctive evolutionary process in which an enzyme and its substrate co-evolve. PMID:26350213

  10. Co-evolution of quaternary organization and novel RNA tertiary interactions revealed in the crystal structure of a bacterial protein-RNA toxin-antitoxin system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Feng; Short, Francesca L; Voss, Jarrod E; Blower, Tim R; Orme, Anastasia L; Whittaker, Tom E; Luisi, Ben F; Salmond, George P C

    2015-10-30

    Genes encoding toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are near ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and they play key roles in important aspects of bacterial physiology, including genomic stability, formation of persister cells under antibiotic stress, and resistance to phage infection. The CptIN locus from Eubacterium rectale is a member of the recently-discovered Type III class of TA systems, defined by a protein toxin suppressed by direct interaction with a structured RNA antitoxin. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CptIN protein-RNA complex to 2.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a new heterotetrameric quaternary organization for the Type III TA class, and the RNA antitoxin bears a novel structural feature of an extended A-twist motif within the pseudoknot fold. The retention of a conserved ribonuclease active site as well as traits normally associated with TA systems, such as plasmid maintenance, implicates a wider functional role for Type III TA systems. We present evidence for the co-variation of the Type III component pair, highlighting a distinctive evolutionary process in which an enzyme and its substrate co-evolve.

  11. Protection of melanized Cryptococcus neoformans from lethal dose gamma irradiation involves changes in melanin's chemical structure and paramagnetism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelahad Khajo

    Full Text Available Certain fungi thrive in highly radioactive environments including the defunct Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans, which uses L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA to produce melanin, was used here to investigate how gamma radiation under aqueous aerobic conditions affects the properties of melanin, with the aim of gaining insight into its radioprotective role. Exposure of melanized fungal cell in aqueous suspensions to doses of γ-radiation capable of killing 50 to 80% of the cells did not lead to a detectable loss of melanin integrity according to EPR spectra of melanin radicals. Moreover, upon UV-visible (Xe-lamp illumination of melanized cells, the increase in radical population was unchanged after γ-irradiation. Gamma-irradiation of frozen cell suspensions and storage of samples for several days at 77 K however, produced melanin modification noted by a reduced radical population and reduced photoresponse. More direct evidence for structural modification of melanin came from the detection of soluble products with absorbance maxima near 260 nm in supernatants collected after γ-irradiation of cells and cell-free melanin. These products, which include thiobarbituric acid (TBA-reactive aldehydes, were also generated by Fenton reagent treatment of cells and cell-free melanin. In an assay of melanin integrity based on the metal (Bi(+3 binding capacity of cells, no detectable loss in binding was detected after γ-irradiation. Our results show that melanin in C. neoformans cells is susceptible to some damage by hydroxyl radical formed in lethal radioactive aqueous environments and serves a protective role in melanized fungi that involves sacrificial breakdown.

  12. Vimentin in Bacterial Infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mak, Tim N; Brüggemann, Holger

    2016-01-01

    Despite well-studied bacterial strategies to target actin to subvert the host cell cytoskeleton, thus promoting bacterial survival, replication, and dissemination, relatively little is known about the bacterial interaction with other components of the host cell cytoskeleton, including intermediate...... filaments (IFs). IFs have not only roles in maintaining the structural integrity of the cell, but they are also involved in many cellular processes including cell adhesion, immune signaling, and autophagy, processes that are important in the context of bacterial infections. Here, we summarize the knowledge...... about the role of IFs in bacterial infections, focusing on the type III IF protein vimentin. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of vimentin in host cell defenses, acting as ligand for several pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system. Two main aspects of bacteria...

  13. Bacterial Vaginosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) Note: Javascript is disabled or is not ... STD on Facebook Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Bacterial Vaginosis – CDC Fact Sheet Language: English (US) Españ ...

  14. Effects of interactions of auxin-producing bacteria and bacterial-feeding nematodes on regulation of peanut growths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Li; Xu, Wensi; Jiang, Ying; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    The influences of an IAA (indole-3-acetic acid)-producing bacterium (Bacillus megaterium) and two bacterial-feeding nematodes (Cephalobus sp. or Mesorhabditis sp.) on the growth of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. cv. Haihua 1) after various durations of time were investigated in natural soils. The addition of bacteria and nematodes and incubation time all significantly affected plant growth, plant root growth, plant nutrient concentrations, soil nutrient concentrations, soil microorganisms and soil auxin concentration. The addition of nematodes caused greater increases in these indices than those of bacteria, while the addition of the combination of bacteria and nematodes caused further increases. After 42-day growth, the increases in soil respiration differed between the additions of two kinds of nematodes because of differences in their life strategies. The effects of the bacteria and nematodes on the nutrient and hormone concentrations were responsible for the increases in plant growth. These results indicate the potential for promoting plant growth via the addition of nematodes and bacteria to soil.

  15. Use of Atomic Force Microscopy to Study the Multi-Modular Interaction of Bacterial Adhesins to Mucins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Patrick Gunning

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal (GI epithelium is critical in selecting and maintaining homeostatic interactions with our gut bacteria. However, the molecular details of these interactions are not well understood. Here, we provide mechanistic insights into the adhesion properties of the canonical mucus-binding protein (MUB, a large multi-repeat cell–surface adhesin found in Lactobacillus inhabiting the GI tract. We used atomic force microscopy to unravel the mechanism driving MUB-mediated adhesion to mucins. Using single-molecule force spectroscopy we showed that MUB displayed remarkable adhesive properties favouring a nanospring-like adhesion model between MUB and mucin mediated by unfolding of the multiple repeats constituting the adhesin. We obtained direct evidence for MUB self-interaction; MUB–MUB followed a similar binding pattern, confirming that MUB modular structure mediated such mechanism. This was in marked contrast with the mucin adhesion behaviour presented by Galectin-3 (Gal-3, a mammalian lectin characterised by a single carbohydrate binding domain (CRD. The binding mechanisms reported here perfectly match the particular structural organization of MUB, which maximizes interactions with the mucin glycan receptors through its long and linear multi-repeat structure, potentiating the retention of bacteria within the outer mucus layer.

  16. Use of Atomic Force Microscopy to Study the Multi-Modular Interaction of Bacterial Adhesins to Mucins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunning, A Patrick; Kavanaugh, Devon; Thursby, Elizabeth; Etzold, Sabrina; MacKenzie, Donald A; Juge, Nathalie

    2016-11-08

    The mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal (GI) epithelium is critical in selecting and maintaining homeostatic interactions with our gut bacteria. However, the molecular details of these interactions are not well understood. Here, we provide mechanistic insights into the adhesion properties of the canonical mucus-binding protein (MUB), a large multi-repeat cell-surface adhesin found in Lactobacillus inhabiting the GI tract. We used atomic force microscopy to unravel the mechanism driving MUB-mediated adhesion to mucins. Using single-molecule force spectroscopy we showed that MUB displayed remarkable adhesive properties favouring a nanospring-like adhesion model between MUB and mucin mediated by unfolding of the multiple repeats constituting the adhesin. We obtained direct evidence for MUB self-interaction; MUB-MUB followed a similar binding pattern, confirming that MUB modular structure mediated such mechanism. This was in marked contrast with the mucin adhesion behaviour presented by Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a mammalian lectin characterised by a single carbohydrate binding domain (CRD). The binding mechanisms reported here perfectly match the particular structural organization of MUB, which maximizes interactions with the mucin glycan receptors through its long and linear multi-repeat structure, potentiating the retention of bacteria within the outer mucus layer.

  17. Root and bacterial secretions regulate the interaction between plants and PGPR leading to distinct plant growth promotion effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have garnered interest in agriculture due to their ability to influence the growth and production of host plants. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play important roles in plant-microbe interactions by modulating plant root exudation. The present stu...

  18. Antagonistic bacterial interactions help shape host-symbiont dynamics within the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism

    OpenAIRE

    Michael Poulsen; Erhardt, Daniel P.; Daniel J Molinaro; Ting-Li Lin; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-01-01

    Conflict within mutually beneficial associations is predicted to destabilize relationships, and theoretical and empirical work exploring this has provided significant insight into the dynamics of cooperative interactions. Within mutualistic associations, the expression and regulation of conflict is likely more complex than in intraspecific cooperative relationship, because of the potential presence of: i) multiple genotypes of microbial species associated with individual hosts, ii) multiple s...

  19. Bacterial Vaginosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Issues > Conditions > Sexually Transmitted > Bacterial Vaginosis Health Issues Listen Español Text Size Email Print Share Bacterial Vaginosis Page Content Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in sexually active teenaged girls . It appears to be caused by ...

  20. Interaction Network among Escherichia coli Membrane Proteins Involved in Cell Division as Revealed by Bacterial Two-Hybrid Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Karimova, Gouzel; Dautin, Nathalie; Ladant, Daniel

    2005-01-01

    Formation of the Escherichia coli division septum is catalyzed by a number of essential proteins (named Fts) that assemble into a ring-like structure at the future division site. Several of these Fts proteins are intrinsic transmembrane proteins whose functions are largely unknown. Although these proteins appear to be recruited to the division site in a hierarchical order, the molecular interactions underlying the assembly of the cell division machinery remain mostly unspecified. In the prese...

  1. Bacterial Sialidase

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Data shows that elevated sialidase in bacterial vaginosis patients correlates to premature births in women. Bacterial sialidase also plays a significant role in the unusual colonization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients. Crystals of Salmonella sialidase have been reproduced and are used for studying the inhibitor-enzyme complexes. These inhibitors may also be used to inhibit a trans-sialidase of Trypanosome cruzi, a very similar enzyme to bacterial sialidase, therefore preventing T. cruzi infection, the causitive agent of Chagas' disease. The Center for Macromolecular Crystallography suggests that inhibitors of bacterial sialidases can be used as prophylactic drugs to prevent bacterial infections in these critical cases.

  2. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Ro, Hyunju; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α -melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content.

  3. High refractive index of melanin in shiny occipital feathers of a bird of paradise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Leertouwer, Heinrich; Osorio, Daniel C.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    2015-01-01

    Male Lawes's Parotia, a bird of paradise, use the highly directional reflection of the structurally colored, brilliant-silvery occipital feathers in their courtship display. As in other birds, the structural coloration is produced by ordered melanin pigmentation. The barbules of the Parotia's occipi

  4. Combined effects of Cu and UVR on survival and melanin synthesis in Chironomus riparius larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Baat, M.L.; van Gemert, M.; Verweij, R.A.; Loayza Muro, R.A.; Kraak, M.H.S.

    2012-01-01

    The tropical Andes encompass vast areas with altitudes above 4000 m, where the combination of high UV radiation and metal pollution creates environments that challenge the survival and persistence of aquatic life. Since the pigment melanin counteracts the negative effects of UVR, and has the additio

  5. High refractive index of melanin in shiny occipital feathers of a bird of paradise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Leertouwer, Heinrich; Osorio, Daniel C.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    Male Lawes's Parotia, a bird of paradise, use the highly directional reflection of the structurally colored, brilliant-silvery occipital feathers in their courtship display. As in other birds, the structural coloration is produced by ordered melanin pigmentation. The barbules of the Parotia's

  6. Combined effects of Cu and UVR on survival and melanin synthesis in Chironomus riparius larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Baat, M.L.; van Gemert, M.; Verweij, R.A.; Loayza Muro, R.A.; Kraak, M.H.S.

    2012-01-01

    The tropical Andes encompass vast areas with altitudes above 4000 m, where the combination of high UV radiation and metal pollution creates environments that challenge the survival and persistence of aquatic life. Since the pigment melanin counteracts the negative effects of UVR, and has the

  7. Effect of Purified Mushroom Tyrosinase on Melanin Content and Melanogenic Protein Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal Uddin Zaidi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In mammalian melanocytes, melanosome is a highly specialized organelle where melanin is synthesized. Melanin synthesis is controlled by tyrosinase, the vital enzyme in melanogenic pathway. The present investigation is based on an effect of purified mushroom tyrosinase of Agaricus bisporus on B16F10 melanocytes for the melanin production via blocking pigment cell machinery. Using B16F10 melanocytes showed that the stimulation of melanogenesis by purified tyrosinase is due to increased tyrosinase absorption. Cellular tyrosinase activity and melanin content in B16F10 melanocytes were increased by purified tyrosinase in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that cellular tyrosinase levels were enhanced after treatment with purified tyrosinase for 48 hours. Furthermore, tyrosinase induced phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB in a dose-dependent manner. The purified tyrosinase-mediated increase of tyrosinase activity was significantly attenuated by H89, LY294002, Ro-32-0432, and PD98059, cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitors. The results indicate that purified tyrosinase can be used as contestant for the treatment of vitiligous skin conditions.

  8. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spencer, Karen A.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P.; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if or how the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or color-imparting structural feather microstructure may be adversely affected by condition. Here we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, while in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account.

  9. Effect of Purified Mushroom Tyrosinase on Melanin Content and Melanogenic Protein Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Ayesha S.

    2016-01-01

    In mammalian melanocytes, melanosome is a highly specialized organelle where melanin is synthesized. Melanin synthesis is controlled by tyrosinase, the vital enzyme in melanogenic pathway. The present investigation is based on an effect of purified mushroom tyrosinase of Agaricus bisporus on B16F10 melanocytes for the melanin production via blocking pigment cell machinery. Using B16F10 melanocytes showed that the stimulation of melanogenesis by purified tyrosinase is due to increased tyrosinase absorption. Cellular tyrosinase activity and melanin content in B16F10 melanocytes were increased by purified tyrosinase in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that cellular tyrosinase levels were enhanced after treatment with purified tyrosinase for 48 hours. Furthermore, tyrosinase induced phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB) in a dose-dependent manner. The purified tyrosinase-mediated increase of tyrosinase activity was significantly attenuated by H89, LY294002, Ro-32-0432, and PD98059, cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitors. The results indicate that purified tyrosinase can be used as contestant for the treatment of vitiligous skin conditions. PMID:27699070

  10. Metal exposure influences the melanin and carotenoid-based colorations in great tits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraudeau, M; Mateos-Gonzalez, F; Cotín, J; Pagani-Nuñez, E; Torné-Noguera, A; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    Metals are naturally found in the environment but are also emitted through anthropogenic activities, raising some concerns about the potential deleterious effects of these elements on wildlife. The potential effects of metals on bird coloration have been the focus of several recent studies since animal colored-signals often reflect the physiology of their bearers and are thus used by animals to assess the quality of another individual as a mate or competitor. These studies have shown that the melanin pigmentation seems to be positively associated and the carotenoid-based coloration negatively associated with metal exposure in wild birds. Although these studies have been very useful to show the associations between metal exposure and coloration, only few of them have actually quantified the levels of metal exposure at the individual level; always focusing on one or two of them. Here, we measured the concentrations of eight metals in great tits' feathers and then assessed how these levels of metals were associated with the carotenoid and melanin-based colorations. We found that the melanin pigmentation was positively associated with the copper concentration and negatively correlated with the chromium concentration in feathers. In addition, we have shown that the carotenoid-based coloration was negatively associated with the feather's mercury concentration. This study is the first one to identify some metals that might affect positively and negatively the deposition of melanin and carotenoid into the plumage of wild birds.

  11. Mechanistic insights into the bleaching of melanin by alkaline hydrogen peroxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R A W; Garrett, B; Naqvi, K R; Fülöp, A; Godfrey, S P; Marsh, J M; Chechik, V

    2017-07-01

    This work aims to determine the roles of reactive oxygen species HO∙ and HO2(-) in the bleaching of melanins by alkaline hydrogen peroxide. Experiments using melanosomes isolated from human hair indicated that the HO∙ radical generated in the outside solution does not contribute significantly to bleaching. However, studies using soluble Sepia melanin demonstrated that both HO2(-) and HO∙ will individually bleach melanin. Additionally, when both oxidants are present, bleaching is increased dramatically in both rate and extent. Careful experimental design enabled the separation of the roles and effects of these key reactive species, HO∙ and HO2(-). Rationalisation of the results presented, and review of previous literature, allowed the postulation of a simplified general scheme whereby the strong oxidant HO∙ is able to pre-oxidise melanin units to o-quinones enabling more facile ring opening by the more nucleophilic HO2(-). In this manner the efficiency of the roles of both species is maximised. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Silver nanoparticles mediated altered gene expression of melanin biosynthesis genes in Bipolaris sorokiniana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Sandhya; Singh, H B

    2015-03-01

    Melanin production in many fungal phytopathogens has been investigated to play direct or indirect role in pathogenesis. However, in Bipolaris sorokiniana, the spot blotch pathogen of wheat, much less is known about the role melanin play in pathogenesis. As an extension of our previous report, the present study aims to investigate the plausible association between melanin production and virulence factor in B. sorokiniana. In the previous study, we carried out analysis on the antifungal efficacy of biosynthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) against B. sorokiniana. The present investigation revealed the gene expression analysis of melanin biosynthesis genes viz. polyketide synthase (PKS1) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1) under the influence of AgNPs. The 0.05mg/ml concentration of AgNPs yielded noticeable inhibition of B. sorokiniana growth, while 0.1mg/ml concentration of AgNPs accounted for complete inhibition of pathogen growth. In addition, the semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis exhibited reduced expression of PKS1 and SCD1 under the influence of AgNPs treatment. Furthermore, the qRT-PCR demonstrated 6.47 and 1.808 fold significant decrease in the expression pattern of PKS1 and SCD1, respectively, in B. sorokiniana treated with AgNPs. The present study provides probable understanding of molecular events underlying the antifungal role of AgNPs against B. sorokiniana.

  13. Melanin-independent accumulation of turgor pressure in appressoria of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

    Science.gov (United States)

    In some plant pathogenic fungi, turgor pressure accumulation in appressoria produces a mechanical force enabling the direct penetration of hyphae through the plant cell epidermis. Melanin has been reported to function as an impermeable barrier to osmolytes, which allow appressoria to accumulate high...

  14. Near-infrared autofluorescence imaging of cutaneous melanins and human skin in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xiao; Lui, Harvey; McLean, David I.; Zeng, Haishan

    2009-03-01

    In recent years, near-infrared (NIR) autofluorescence imaging has been explored as a novel technique for tissue evaluation and diagnosis. We present an NIR fluorescence imaging system optimized for the dermatologic clinical setting, with particular utility for the direct characterization of cutaneous melanins in vivo. A 785-nm diode laser is coupled into a ring light guide to uniformly illuminate the skin. A bandpass filter is used to purify the laser light for fluorescence excitation, while a long-pass filter is used to block the main laser wavelength but pass the spontaneous components for NIR reflectance imaging. A computer-controlled filter holder is used to switch these two filters to select between reflectance and fluorescence imaging modes. Both the reflectance and fluorescence photons are collected by an NIR-sensitive charge-coupled device (CCD) camera to form the respective images. Preliminary results show that cutaneous melanin in pigmented skin disorders emits higher NIR autofluorescence than surrounding normal tissue. This confirmed our previous findings from NIR fluorescence spectroscopy study of cutaneous melanins and provides a new approach to directly image the distributions of cutaneous melanins in the skin. In-vivo NIR autofluorescence images may be useful for clinical evaluation and diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions, including melanoma.

  15. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content. PMID:23781272

  16. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hwayong Park

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content.

  17. Isolation of a Siderophore-Producting Bacterial Strain and Mica-bacterial Interactions%一株产铁载体细菌的筛选及其与云母的相互作用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何琳燕; 张垠; 盛下放; 黄智

    2012-01-01

    Studies on the interactions between siderophore-producting bacteria and mica minerals will help us understand the mechanism of bio-weathering, the formation of soil, global cycle of several elements, and local environmental contamination. A siderophore(pyoverdins)-producting bacterial strain Z6 was isolated from rhizosphere soil of advantage wild plants sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosa L.) growing in Longshan potassium mine tailings in Nanjing, which was identified as Pseudomonas sp. By checking the individual morphology, colony characteristics, and 16S rDNA sequencing. Using the test cultures containing biotite or muscovite inoculated with Pseudomonas sp. Z6, we found that a strong increase in the amount of siderophore in the fiest 15 days and bacteria could influence silicon and iron mobilization from mica minerals consistently until 75 d of culture. The amounts of iron released from biotite in the presence of Z6 increased by 211 times and the silicon increased by a factor of 27.8, much higher than that in the negative control without minerals. SEM analysis revealed the formation of erosion and bacteria-mineral aggregates on the surface of mica. Cellular growth, siderophere production and pH change by Pseudomonas sp. Z6 cultivated in biotite were directly and quickly influenced, more significantly than that in muscovite experimental setup. The siderophore(pyoverdins)-producting bacterial strain Z6 might play an important role in the process of mica weathering. Production of bacterial siderophore may be related to the presence of different mica minerals.%产铁载体细菌与云母类矿物相互作用的研究有助于了解矿物生物风化和土壤形成的演化规律和机理.采用纯培养法自南京龙山废钾矿区酸模根际土壤分离筛选到一株高产荧光铁载体的细菌Z6,通过16S rDNA序列分析和生理生化反应将其鉴定为假单胞菌属(Pseudomonas sp.);通过室温静置培养试验研究Z6菌株与云母的相互作用结果

  18. Reverse and Multiple Stable Isotope Probing to Study Bacterial Metabolism and Interactions at the Single Cell Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yun; Song, Yizhi; Tao, Yifan; Muhamadali, Howbeer; Goodacre, Royston; Zhou, Ning-Yi; Preston, Gail M; Xu, Jian; Huang, Wei E

    2016-10-04

    The interactions between microorganisms driven by substrate metabolism and energy flow are important to shape diversity, abundance, and structure of a microbial community. Single cell technologies are useful tools for dissecting the functions of individual members and their interactions in microbial communities. Here, we developed a novel Raman stable isotope probing (Raman-SIP), which uses Raman microspectroscopy coupled with reverse and D2O colabeling to study metabolic interactions in a two-species community consisting of Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 and Escherichia coli DH5α-GFP. This Raman-SIP approach is able to detect carbon assimilation and general metabolic activity simultaneously. Taking advantage of Raman shift of single cell Raman spectra (SCRS) mediated by incorporation of stable-isotopic substrates, Raman-SIP with reverse labeling has been applied to detect initially (13)C-labeled bands of ADP1 SCRS reverting back to (12)C positions in the presence of (12)C citrate. Raman-SIP with D2O labeling has been employed to probe metabolic activity of single cells without the need of cell replication. Our results show that E. coli alone in minimal medium with citrate as the sole carbon source had no metabolic activity, but became metabolically active in the presence of ADP1. Mass spectrometry-based metabolite footprint analysis suggests that putrescine and phenylalanine excreted by ADP1 cells may support the metabolic activity of E. coli. This study demonstrates that Raman-SIP with reverse labeling would be a useful tool to probe metabolism of any carbon substrate, overcoming limitations when stable isotopic substrates are not readily available. It is also found that Raman-SIP with D2O labeling is a sensitive and reliable approach to distinguish metabolically active cells but not quiescent cells. This novel approach extends the application of Raman-SIP and demonstrates its potential application as a valuable strategic approach for probing cellular metabolism

  19. 产胞外黑色素海洋菌的鉴定及发酵条件优化%Identification and culture condition optimization for a marine extracellular melanin producing bacterium

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    田欣欣; 王琛; 曹为; 曲凌云

    2014-01-01

    从山东近海海域沉积物的微生物筛选中获得了一株高产胞外黑色素的菌株QJNY82,通过对该菌株菌落形态特征观察、生理生化检验及16S rDNA序列测定,初步确定该菌株为发光杆菌属细菌.通过对菌株QJNY82的胞外产物进行红外光谱分析,得到该细菌的胞外产物为黑色素,纯化后的黑色素的红外光谱图与标准黑色素(SIGMA)的红外光谱图一致,且该细菌所产黑色素的理化性质与标准黑色素具有一致性.该海洋菌株具有产黑色素速度快,产量高且不需要L-酪氨酸诱导的特点,而且经L-酪氨酸诱导后,可显著提高菌株QJNY82胞外黑色素的产量,在L-酪氨酸的含量为0.75 g/dm3、盐度为30、pH值为8.0、温度为28℃的条件下,菌株黑色素产量是未加L-酪氨酸的3.5倍,其产量达1.325 g/dm3.鉴于菌株QJNY82具有产黑色素的特性,将成为发光杆菌属的一个新的菌种资源.%One bacterial strain(QJNY82)that can produce melanin was isolated from a sample from Shandong coast-al sediment by our laboratory.Strain QJNY82 was identified as Photobacterium sp.based on morphological,physio-logical and biochemical tests as well as the 16S rDNA sequence analysis.We confirm the extracellular products of melanin through the infrared spectrum.The FT-IR spectra of its pigment is similar to that of the standard melanin (SIGMA).Moreover the physicochemical properties of melanin are similar to that of the standard melanin.Strain QJNY82 has advantages that it can produce melanin with a high yield in the absense of L-tyrosine.Induced by L-tyrosine,the melanin production could increases sharply.The results showed that the optimum condition was as fol-lows,i.e.L-tyrosine 0.75 g/dm3 ,pH=8.0,salinity 30,temperature 28℃.Its production reached 1.325 g/dm3 in the optimum condition.Strain QJNY82 may be identified as Photobacterium sp.,a new strain for melanin producing bacterium.

  20. Surface structure characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia mutated in the melanin synthesis pathway and their human cellular immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A; Kaveri, Srini V; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Beauvais, Anne

    2014-08-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface.

  1. Real-time in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy of melanin-containing cells: A promising diagnostic intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Wenzhong; Song, Xiuzu; Peng, Jianzhong; Xu, Aie; Bi, Zhigang

    2015-12-01

    The use of noninvasive imaging techniques to evaluate different types of skin lesions is increasing popular. In vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is a new method for high resolution non-invasive imaging of intact skin in situ and in vivo. Although many studies have investigated melanin-containing cells in lesions by in vivo CLSM, few studies have systematically characterized melanin-containing cells based on their morphology, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness. In this study, the characteristics of melanin-containing cells were further investigated by in vivo CLSM. A total of 130 lesions, including common nevi, giant congenital pigmented nevi, vitiligo, melasma, melanoma, and chronic eczema, were imaged by in vivo CLSM. This research helps dermatologists understand the characteristics of melanin-containing cells and facilitate the clinical application of melanin-containing cells in the investigation of dermatological disease. In summary, melanin-containing cells include keratinocytes, melanocytes, macrophages, and melanocytic skin tumor cells. Our study presents the CLSM characteristics of melanin-containing cells to potentially facilitate in vivo diagnosis based on shape, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness.

  2. Insulin-sensitizing and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects of the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from Inonotus obliquus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jung-Han; Hyun, Chang-Kee

    2014-09-01

    Inonotus obliquus has been traditionally used for treatment of metabolic diseases; however, the mechanism remains to be elucidated. In this study, we found that the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from I. obliquus improved insulin sensitivity and reduced adiposity in high fat (HF)-fed obese mice. When the melanin complex was treated to 3T3-L1 adipocytes, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased significantly, and its phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent action was proven with wortmannin treatment. Additionally, dose-dependent increases in Akt phosphorylation and glucose transporter 4 translocation into the plasma membrane were observed in melanin complex-treated cells. Adiponectin gene expression in 3T3-L1 cells incubated with melanin complex increased which was corroborated by increased AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in HepG2 and C2C12 cells treated with conditioned media from the 3T3-L1 culture. Melanin complex-treated 3T3-L1 cells showed no significant change in expression of several lipogenic genes, whereas enhanced expressions of fatty acid oxidative genes were observed. Similarly, the epididymal adipose tissue of melanin complex-treated HF-fed mice had higher expression of fatty acid oxidative genes without significant change in lipogenic gene expression. Together, these results suggest that the water-soluble melanin complex of I. obliquus exerts antihyperglycemic and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects, making it a candidate for promising antidiabetic agent.

  3. Role of melanin in release of extracellular enzymes and selection of aggressive isolates of Bipolaris sorokiniana in barley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chand, Ramesh; Kumar, Manoj; Kushwaha, Chanda; Shah, Kavita; Joshi, Arun K

    2014-08-01

    Eighteen barley isolates of Bipolaris sorokiniana belonging to wild and clonal type of black, mixed and white subpopulations were quantitatively assayed for their melanin content and aggressiveness with respect to production of some of the extracellular enzymes such as cellulase, pectinase, amylase and protease. Cellulase and pectinase constituted major portion of the enzymes recovered from the black, mixed and white isolates. Enzyme production and aggressiveness were relatively higher in melanin devoid or low melanin isolates. The melanin deficient isolates were also differentiated from black and mixed isolates on the basis of variation in internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal DNA. Higher enzyme productions positively correlated with area under disease progress curve (AUDPC) and lesion development. Melanin content was negatively correlated with extracellular enzymes and aggressiveness of the isolates. Based on melanin content, lesion size, AUDPC and extracellular enzymes, the isolates were grouped in two major clusters (I and II) with further division of cluster II into two sub-clusters (II-A and II-B). The results appears to indicate a possible role of melanin in release of extracellular enzymes and hence in evolution and selection of aggressive isolates of B. sorokiniana in barley.

  4. Melanin is required for the formation of the multi-cellular conidia in the endophytic fungus Pestalotiopsis microspora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Xi; Huo, Liang; Liu, Heng; Chen, Longfei; Wang, Yu; Zhu, Xudong

    2015-10-01

    Melanin plays an important role in regulating various biological processes in many fungi. However, its biological role in conidiation remains largely elusive. We report here that conidia production, morphogenesis, integrity, germination and their viability in Pestalotiopsis microspora require the polyketide-derived melanin. A polyketide synthase gene, pks1, was identified and demonstrated responsible for melanin biosynthesis in this fungus. A targeted deletion mutant strain Δpks1 displayed a defect in pigmentation of conidia and had an albino colonial phenotype. Interestingly, Δpks1 produced approximately 6-fold as many conidia as the wild type did, suggesting a negative modulation of melanin on conidia production in this fungus. Moreover, the conidia failed to develop into the normal five-cell morphology, rather the three main-body cells separated via constriction at the original septum position to generate three independent mutant conidia. This result suggests a novel role of melanin in the formation of the multi-cellular conidia. Germ tubes could develop from the three different types of mutant conidia and kept elongating, despite a significantly lower germination rate was observed for them. Still more, the unpigmented conidia became permeable to Calcofluor White and DAPI, suggesting the integrity of the conidia was impaired. Deliberate inhibition of melanin biosynthesis by a specific inhibitor, tricyclazole, led to a similar phenotypes. This work demonstrates a new function of fungal melanin in conidial development.

  5. Rab11b mediates melanin transfer between donor melanocytes and acceptor keratinocytes via coupled exo/endocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarafder, Abul K; Bolasco, Giulia; Correia, Maria S; Pereira, Francisco J C; Iannone, Lucio; Hume, Alistair N; Kirkpatrick, Niall; Picardo, Mauro; Torrisi, Maria R; Rodrigues, Inês P; Ramalho, José S; Futter, Clare E; Barral, Duarte C; Seabra, Miguel C

    2014-04-01

    The transfer of melanin from melanocytes to keratinocytes is a crucial process underlying maintenance of skin pigmentation and photoprotection against UV damage. Here, we present evidence supporting coupled exocytosis of the melanin core, or melanocore, by melanocytes and subsequent endocytosis by keratinocytes as a predominant mechanism of melanin transfer. Electron microscopy analysis of human skin samples revealed three lines of evidence supporting this: (1) the presence of melanocores in the extracellular space; (2) within keratinocytes, melanin was surrounded by a single membrane; and (3) this membrane lacked the melanosomal membrane protein tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1). Moreover, co-culture of melanocytes and keratinocytes suggests that melanin exocytosis is specifically induced by keratinocytes. Furthermore, depletion of Rab11b, but not Rab27a, caused a marked decrease in both keratinocyte-stimulated melanin exocytosis and transfer to keratinocytes. Thus, we propose that the predominant mechanism of melanin transfer is keratinocyte-induced exocytosis, mediated by Rab11b through remodeling of the melanosome membrane, followed by subsequent endocytosis by keratinocytes.

  6. Unlocking the molecular structure of fungal melanin using 13C biosynthetic labeling and solid-state NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Shiying; Garcia-Rivera, Javier; Yan, Bin; Casadevall, Arturo; Stark, Ruth E

    2003-07-15

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments found in all biological kingdoms that are associated with a variety of functions, including microbial virulence. Despite being ubiquitous in nature, melanin pigments have long resisted atomic-level structural examination because of their insolubility and amorphous organization. Cryptococcus neoformans is a human pathogenic fungus that melanizes only when provided with exogenous substrate, thus offering a unique system for exploring questions related to melanin structure at the molecular level. We have exploited the requirement for exogenous substrate in melanin synthesis as well as the capabilities of high-resolution solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to establish the predominantly aliphatic composition of l-dopa melanin and to introduce (13)C labels that permit the identification of proximal carbons in the developing biopolymer. By swelling solid melanin samples in organic solvents and using two-dimensional heteronuclear NMR in conjunction with magic-angle spinning, we have identified chemical bonding patterns typical of alkane, alkene, alcohol, ketone, ester, and indole functional groups. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of a novel approach to determining the structure of melanin using metabolic labeling and NMR spectroscopy.

  7. Chlamydia psittaci: new insights into genomic diversity, clinical pathology, host-pathogen interaction and anti-bacterial immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knittler, Michael R; Berndt, Angela; Böcker, Selina; Dutow, Pavel; Hänel, Frank; Heuer, Dagmar; Kägebein, Danny; Klos, Andreas; Koch, Sophia; Liebler-Tenorio, Elisabeth; Ostermann, Carola; Reinhold, Petra; Saluz, Hans Peter; Schöfl, Gerhard; Sehnert, Philipp; Sachse, Konrad

    2014-10-01

    The distinctive and unique features of the avian and mammalian zoonotic pathogen Chlamydia (C.) psittaci include the fulminant course of clinical disease, the remarkably wide host range and the high proportion of latent infections that are not leading to overt disease. Current knowledge on associated diseases is rather poor, even in comparison to other chlamydial agents. In the present paper, we explain and summarize the major findings of a national research network that focused on the elucidation of host-pathogen interactions in vitro and in animal models of C. psittaci infection, with the objective of improving our understanding of genomics, pathology, pathophysiology, molecular pathogenesis and immunology, and conceiving new approaches to therapy. We discuss new findings on comparative genome analysis, the complexity of pathophysiological interactions and systemic consequences, local immune response, the role of the complement system and antigen presentation pathways in the general context of state-of-the-art knowledge on chlamydial infections in humans and animals and single out relevant research topics to fill remaining knowledge gaps on this important yet somewhat neglected pathogen.

  8. Melanin and Cryptococcus neoformans%黑素与新生隐球菌

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王雪连; 孔庆涛; 王高峰; 刘芳; 邓德权; 桑红

    2011-01-01

    黑素的产生与多种微生物的毒力相关.新生隐球菌主要通过酚氧化酶(漆酶)合成黑素,黑素主要通过抵抗宿主微生物杀伤机制和影响宿主免疫应答来致病.主要就新生隐球菌黑素的微观结构、生物合成,漆酶的分子调节,黑素与新生隐球菌毒力的关系,黑化对真菌生存的影响及与抗真菌治疗的关系等方面进行概述,以期通过对黑素特征的理解为抗真菌药物的开发和对疾病的治疗策略选择提供帮助.%The production of melanin is associated with the virulence of various microorganisms.Cryptococcus neoformans produces melanin mainly via phenoloxidase(laccase)pathway.Melanin contributes to virulence likely by reducing the susceptibility of melanized fungi to host defense mechanisms and affecting immune responses in infected hosts.This review mainly focuses on the microstructure and biosynthesis of Cryptococcus neoformans melanin, molecular regulation of laecase, relationship between melanin and Cryptococcus neoformans virulence, effects of melanization on the survival of fungi, relationship between melanization and antifungal treatment, ete, which may facilitate the design and development of antifungal agents and strategies.

  9. Melanin-targeted nonlinear microscopy for label-free molecular diagnosis and staining (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Warren S.

    2017-02-01

    Visible absorption in tissue is dominated by a very small number of chromophores (hemoglobins and melanins) with broad optical spectra; for melanins in particular, the optical absorption spectrum is typically featureless. In addition, scattering limits penetration depth. As a result, the most common microscopy application by far is with excised tissue, which can be stained. However, nonlinear optical methods have the additional advantages of greater penetration depth and reduced sensitivity to scattering. Traditional nonlinear microscopy relies on mechanisms which produce light of a different color than the irradiating lasers, such as second harmonic generation or two photon induced fluorescence, and this contrast is sparse in biological issue without expressing or injecting different chromophores. Recently, stable laser sources and pulse shaping/pulse train modulation methods have made it possible to detect a much wider range of nonlinear molecular signatures, even at modest laser powers (much less than a laser pointer). Here we show the utility of a variety of such signatures (pump-probe, pulse-shaped stimulated Raman, cross-phase modulation) to quantitatively image the biochemical composition of transparent or pigmented tissue in a variety of applications, ranging from thin, unstained tissue sections to live knockout mice. The rich biochemical information provided by this method can be used as an indicator of melanocyte activity, which in turn (for example) reflects the status of melanocytic lesions. Comparisons with model systems (synthetic melanin nanoparticles, sepia melanin) and analysis of melanin degradation pathways in vivo have led to a quantitative understanding of the molecular basis of these changes.

  10. Characterization of human hair melanin and its degradation products by means of magnetic resonance techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghiani, Simona; Baroni, Simona; Burgio, Daniela; Digilio, Giuseppe; Fukuhara, Masaki; Martino, Paola; Monda, Keiji; Nervi, Carlo; Kiyomine, Akira; Aime, Silvio

    2008-05-01

    Melanin granules (MGs) have been extracted from human Chinese black hairs by either acid hydrolysis (CH-type MGs) or enzymatic digestion (CP-type MGs), and their chemical structure investigated at the solid state by means of (13)C cross polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS NMR) and EPR spectroscopy. Both types of MGs contain a large amount of protein that is tightly bound to the true melanin polymer, with CP-type MGs having a larger protein content than CH-type ones. Moreover, MGs may also contain variable amounts of lipid-like material. A high amount of paramagnetic metals is detected by EPR in CP-type MGs, in particular Fe(III). Iron can be bound in two chemical forms: as isolated high spin Fe(III) ions with rhombic symmetry and as small oxy-hydroxy Fe(III) aggregates. Iron is poorly available to chelators. CH-type MGs contain much fewer metals. CP-type MGs have then been subjected to partial bleaching by hydrogen peroxide in ammonia, yielding a residual solid, called residual oxidized melanin (ROM) and a soluble but still pigmented fraction called melanin free acid (MFA). MFA can be isolated by precipitation at acidic pH. The (13)C-CPMAS NMR and EPR spectra of these derivatives indicated that ROM has a structure very similar to that of parent MGs, whereas MFA shows a decrease of the protein content with respect to the melanin and a decreased amount of bound iron. Thus, the oxidative degradation of CP-type MGs is a process not involving the bulk of MGs, but rather it proceeds from the solvent-exposed outer parts to the interior. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Brightness of melanin-based plumage coloration is a cue to oxidative stress in Himalayan Black Bulbuls (Hypsipete leucocephalus nigerrimus)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hsin?Yi Hung; Shou?Hsien Li

    2015-01-01

    Background: Melanin?based coloration is often found to be associated with variations in physiological and behavio?ral traits that are essential in avian communication.However,the function of melanin?based traits to their bearers has been investigated less than that of carotenoid?based ones.It is commonly believed that expression of melanin?based pigmentation is genetically controlled.However,whether it could be modulated by physical condition has remained controversial.In this study,we demonstrate that the level of melanin?based plumage pigmentation could be nega?tively correlated with an individual’s oxidative stress level.Methods: In this study,we used two groups of Black Bulbuls(Hypsipetes leucocephalus nigerrimus) obtained from a pet?shop in 2010 and 2011 to examine the correlation between the melanin?based plumage coloration and the ratio of lymphocytes to heterocytes,which is an indicator of the oxidative stress experienced by an individual.Results: We found a negative correlation between oxidative stress levels and expression of melanin?based pigmen?tation on the breast and scapular feathers,but the correlation only appeared in the 2011 group,individuals of which had higher oxidative stress level and brighter plumage(i.e.more melanins) than those of the 2010 group.Conclusions: Our data suggest that melanin?based plumage could reflect an individual’s physical condition in certain situations.Therefore,melanin?based plumage coloration could have a function in Himalayan Black Bulbuls’ communication.

  12. Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Geoffrey; Bercovich, Dani

    2008-08-01

    Pigments serve many visually obvious animal functions (e.g. hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales). One is 'melanin', unusual in an absorption across the UV-visual spectrum which is controversial. Any polymer or macro-structure of melanin monomers is 'melanin'. Its roles derive from complex structural and physical-chemical properties e.g. semiconductor, stable radical, conductor, free radical scavenger, charge-transfer. Clinicians and researchers are well acquainted with melanin in skin and ocular pathologies and now increasingly are with internal, melanized, pathology-associated sites not obviously subject to light radiation (e.g. brain, cochlea). At both types of sites some findings puzzle: positive and negative neuromelanin effects in Parkinsons; unexpected melanocyte action in the cochlea, in deafness; melanin reduces DNA damage, but can promote melanoma; in melanotic cells, mitochondrial number was 83% less, respiration down 30%, but development similar to normal amelanotic cells. A little known, avian anatomical conundrum may help resolve melanin paradoxes. One of many unique adaptations to flight, the pecten, strange intra-ocular organ with unresolved function(s), is much enlarged and heavily melanized in birds fighting gravity, hypoxia, thirst and hunger during long-distance, frequently sub-zero, non-stop migration. The pecten may help cope with energy and nutrient needs under extreme conditions, by a marginal but critical, melanin-initiated conversion of light to metabolic energy, coupled to local metabolite recycling. Similarly in Central Africa, reduction in body hair and melanin increase may also have lead to 'photomelanometabolism' which, though small scale/ unit body area, in total may have enabled a sharply increased development of the energy-hungry cortex and enhanced human survival generally. Animal inability to utilize light energy directly has been traditionally assumed. Melanin and the pecten may have unexpected lessons also for human physiology

  13. A high-throughput method to examine protein-nucleotide interactions identifies targets of the bacterial transcriptional regulatory protein fur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chunxiao; Lopez, Carlos A; Hu, Han; Xia, Yu; Freedman, David S; Reddington, Alexander P; Daaboul, George G; Unlü, M Selim; Genco, Caroline Attardo

    2014-01-01

    The Ferric uptake regulatory protein (Fur) is a transcriptional regulatory protein that functions to control gene transcription in response to iron in a number of pathogenic bacteria. In this study, we applied a label-free, quantitative and high-throughput analysis method, Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS), to rapidly characterize Fur-DNA interactions in vitro with predicted Fur binding sequences in the genome of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. IRIS can easily be applied to examine multiple protein-protein, protein-nucleotide and nucleotide-nucleotide complexes simultaneously and demonstrated here that seventy percent of the predicted Fur boxes in promoter regions of iron-induced genes bound to Fur in vitro with a range of affinities as observed using this microarray screening technology. Combining binding data with mRNA expression levels in a gonococcal fur mutant strain allowed us to identify five new gonococcal genes under Fur-mediated direct regulation.

  14. Arabidopsis seedling flood-inoculation technique: a rapid and reliable assay for studying plant-bacterial interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uppalapati Srinivasa R

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Arabidopsis thaliana-Pseudomonas syringae model pathosystem is one of the most widely used systems to understand the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and plant innate immunity. Several inoculation methods have been used to study plant-pathogen interactions in this model system. However, none of the methods reported to date are similar to those occurring in nature and amicable to large-scale mutant screens. Results In this study, we developed a rapid and reliable seedling flood-inoculation method based on young Arabidopsis seedlings grown on MS medium. This method has several advantages over conventional soil-grown plant inoculation assays, including a shorter growth and incubation period, ease of inoculation and handling, uniform infection and disease development, requires less growth chamber space and is suitable for high-throughput screens. In this study we demonstrated the efficacy of the Arabidopsis seedling assay to study 1 the virulence factors of P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000, including type III protein secretion system (TTSS and phytotoxin coronatine (COR; 2 the effector-triggered immunity; and 3 Arabidopsis mutants affected in salicylic acid (SA- and pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMPs-mediated pathways. Furthermore, we applied this technique to study nonhost resistance (NHR responses in Arabidopsis using nonhost pathogens, such as P. syringae pv. tabaci, pv. glycinea and pv. tomato T1, and confirmed the functional role of FLAGELLIN-SENSING 2 (FLS2 in NHR. Conclusions The Arabidopsis seedling flood-inoculation assay provides a rapid, efficient and economical method for studying Arabidopsis-Pseudomonas interactions with minimal growth chamber space and time. This assay could also provide an excellent system for investigating the virulence mechanisms of P. syringae. Using this method, we demonstrated that FLS2 plays a critical role in conferring NHR against nonhost pathovars of P. syringae, but not to

  15. In vivo isolation of the effects of melanin from underlying hemodynamics across skin types using spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saager, Rolf B.; Sharif, Ata; Kelly, Kristen M.; Durkin, Anthony J.

    2016-05-01

    Skin is a highly structured tissue, raising concerns as to whether skin pigmentation due to epidermal melanin may confound accurate measurements of underlying hemodynamics. Using both venous and arterial cuff occlusions as a means of inducing differential hemodynamic perturbations, we present analyses of spectra limited to the visible or near-infrared regime, in addition to a layered model approach. The influence of melanin, spanning Fitzpatrick skin types I to V, on underlying estimations of hemodynamics in skin as interpreted by these spectral regions are assessed. The layered model provides minimal cross-talk between melanin and hemodynamics and enables removal of problematic correlations between measured tissue oxygenation estimates and skin phototype.

  16. Pigmented epidermal cyst with dense collection of melanin: A rare entity - Report of a case with review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayalakshmy, P S; Subitha, K; Priya, P V; Johnson, Gerald

    2012-05-01

    Epidermal cyst is a very common benign cystic lesion of the skin. It is usual to find ulceration of the lining epithelium, rupture of the cyst wall with chronic inflammation and foreign body giant cell reaction. But, it is very rare to see an epidermal cyst with marked accumulation of melanin pigment. Only a few cases of pigmented epidermal cyst with dense collection of melanin pigment have been published in the literature. Here, we are reporting a case of ruptured epidermal cyst with keratin granuloma formation and showing dense collection of melanin pigment.

  17. Bacterial- and plant-type phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase isozymes from developing castor oil seeds interact in vivo and associate with the surface of mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Joonho; Khuu, Nicholas; Howard, Alexander S M; Mullen, Robert T; Plaxton, William C

    2012-07-01

    Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) from developing castor oil seeds (COS) exists as two distinct oligomeric isoforms. The typical class-1 PEPC homotetramer consists of 107-kDa plant-type PEPC (PTPC) subunits, whereas the allosterically desensitized 910-kDa class-2 PEPC hetero-octamer arises from the association of class-1 PEPC with 118-kDa bacterial-type PEPC (BTPC) subunits. The in vivo interaction and subcellular location of COS BTPC and PTPC were assessed by imaging fluorescent protein (FP)-tagged PEPCs in tobacco suspension-cultured cells. The BTPC-FP mainly localized to cytoplasmic punctate/globular structures, identified as mitochondria by co-immunostaining of endogenous cytochrome oxidase. Inhibition of respiration with KCN resulted in proportional decreases and increases in mitochondrial versus cytosolic BTPC-FP, respectively. The FP-PTPC and NLS-FP-PTPC (containing an appended nuclear localization signal, NLS) localized to the cytosol and nucleus, respectively, but both co-localized with mitochondrial-associated BTPC when co-expressed with BTPC-FP. Transmission electron microscopy of immunogold-labeled developing COS revealed that BTPC and PTPC are localized at the mitochondrial (outer) envelope, as well as the cytosol. Moreover, thermolysin-sensitive BTPC and PTPC polypeptides were detected on immunoblots of purified COS mitochondria. Overall, our results demonstrate that: (i) COS BTPC and PTPC interact in vivo as a class-2 PEPC complex that associates with the surface of mitochondria, (ii) BTPC's unique and divergent intrinsically disordered region mediates its interaction with PTPC, whereas (iii) the PTPC-containing class-1 PEPC is entirely cytosolic. We hypothesize that mitochondrial-associated class-2 PEPC facilitates rapid refixation of respiratory CO(2) while sustaining a large anaplerotic flux to replenish tricarboxylic acid cycle C-skeletons withdrawn for biosynthesis.

  18. Bacterial blight of cotton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aïda JALLOUL

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial blight of cotton (Gossypium ssp., caused by Xanthomonas citri pathovar malvacearum, is a severe disease occurring in all cotton-growing areas. The interactions between host plants and the bacteria are based on the gene-for-gene concept, representing a complex resistance gene/avr gene system. In light of the recent data, this review focuses on the understanding of these interactions with emphasis on (1 the genetic basis for plant resistance and bacterial virulence, (2 physiological mechanisms involved in the hypersensitive response to the pathogen, including hormonal signaling, the oxylipin pathway, synthesis of antimicrobial molecules and alteration of host cell structures, and (3 control of the disease.

  19. Study of the interactions bacteria - phenanthrene - activated carbon for the preparation of a permeable reactive barrier; Etude des interactions bacteries - phenanthrene - charbon en vue de l'elaboration d'une barriere permeable reactive

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leglize, P.

    2004-12-01

    Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) is a new way for the remediation of contaminated groundwater, but up to now Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were rarely considered. We investigated PAH - bacteria - materials interactions in order to validate the feasibility of PRB for PAH contamination. PHE Adsorption/desorption kinetics onto different materials, activated carbons (CA), pozzolana (Pz) and pozzolana coated with heavy fuel (PzF), were investigated. PHE biodegradation were performed on batch using PAH degrading bacteria and the PRB materials. CA was a good media for PRB process: Phenanthrene sorption capacity is 100 to 10000 fold higher than PzF and Pz. Phenanthrene mineralization with CA was higher than without material. Bacterial properties affected PHE biodegradation. Bio-film production improved PHE biodegradation by PAH degrading bacteria. Column studies showed that inoculation of the column improved its efficiency: adsorbed PHE degradation and increased retardation of PHE. (author)

  20. A high-throughput method to examine protein-nucleotide interactions identifies targets of the bacterial transcriptional regulatory protein fur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunxiao Yu

    Full Text Available The Ferric uptake regulatory protein (Fur is a transcriptional regulatory protein that functions to control gene transcription in response to iron in a number of pathogenic bacteria. In this study, we applied a label-free, quantitative and high-throughput analysis method, Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS, to rapidly characterize Fur-DNA interactions in vitro with predicted Fur binding sequences in the genome of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. IRIS can easily be applied to examine multiple protein-protein, protein-nucleotide and nucleotide-nucleotide complexes simultaneously and demonstrated here that seventy percent of the predicted Fur boxes in promoter regions of iron-induced genes bound to Fur in vitro with a range of affinities as observed using this microarray screening technology. Combining binding data with mRNA expression levels in a gonococcal fur mutant strain allowed us to identify five new gonococcal genes under Fur-mediated direct regulation.

  1. A thioredoxin of Sinorhizobium meliloti CE52G is required for melanin production and symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Sowinski, Susana; Matan, Ofra; Bonafede, Paula; Okon, Yaacov

    2007-08-01

    A miniTn5-induced mutant of a melanin-producing strain of Sinorhizobium meliloti (CE52G) that does not produce melanin was mapped to a gene identified as a probable thioredoxin gene. It was proved that the thiol-reducing activity of the mutant was affected. Addition to the growth medium of substrates that induce the production of melanin (L-tyrosine, guaiacol, orcinol) increased the thioredoxin-like (trxL) mRNA level in the wild-type strain. The mutant strain was affected in the response to paraquat-induced oxidative stress, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, and both laccase and tyrosinase activities. The importance of thioredoxin in melanin production in bacteria, through the regulation of laccase or tyrosinase activities, or both, by the redox state of structural or catalytic SH groups, is discussed.

  2. Inhibitory effects of melanin monomers, dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) and dihydroxyindole (DHI) on mammalian tyrosinase, with a special reference to the role of DHICA/DHI ratio in melanogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilczek, A; Mishima, Y

    1995-04-01

    DOPAchrome tautomerase (DCT) is known to control the ratio of DHICA/DHI formed within the melanocyte, but physiologic significance of this activity is not yet fully elucidated. In this study the two melanin monomers are shown to inhibit with different efficacy the initial, tyrosinase-controlled, melanogenic reaction, namely conversion of L-tyrosine to DOPAchrome (2-carboxy-2,3-dihydroindole-5,6-quinone). This is demonstrated in the test tube assay system whereby formation of DOPAchrome is catalyzed by i) isolated premelanosomes (PMS), ii) tyrosinase-rich PMS glycoproteins, or iii) tyrosinase purified from fibroblasts transfected with human tyrosinase gene. Both DHI and DHICA suppress the conversion of L-tyrosine to DOPAchrome when added to reaction mixture but the inhibitory effect is far more strongly pronounced by DHI. DHI inhibits both activities of tyrosinase--tyrosine-hydroxylation and DOPA-oxidation--more strongly than DHICA. The different extent of inhibition is shown to reflect i) the ability of the two monomers to compete with tyrosinase substrates for the enzyme's active center and ii) the rate of interaction between melanin monomers and DOPAquinone. Consequently, we demonstrate that the tyrosinase-catalyzed DOPAchrome formation can be modulated by the ratio of DHICA/DHI among melanin monomers with the increased proportion of DHICA resulting in more efficient DOPAchrome formation. These results raise the possibility that DOPAchrome tautomerase plays a role in positive control of the tyrosinase-catalyzed early phase of melanogenesis.

  3. BTLA interaction with HVEM expressed on CD8(+) T cells promotes survival and memory generation in response to a bacterial infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Marcos W; Huang, Yujun; Wang-Zhu, Yiran; Ware, Carl F; Cheroutre, Hilde; Kronenberg, Mitchell

    2013-01-01

    The B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) is an Ig super family member that binds to the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM), a TNF receptor super family (TNFRSF) member. Engagement of BTLA by HVEM triggers inhibitory signals, although recent evidence indicates that BTLA also may act as an activating ligand for HVEM. In this study, we reveal a novel role for the BTLA-HVEM pathway in promoting the survival of activated CD8(+) T cells in the response to an oral microbial infection. Our data show that both BTLA- and HVEM-deficient mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes had significantly reduced numbers of primary effector and memory CD8(+) T cells, despite normal proliferation and expansion compared to controls. In addition, blockade of the BTLA-HVEM interaction early in the response led to significantly reduced numbers of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. HVEM expression on the CD8(+) T cells as well as BTLA expression on a cell type other than CD8(+) T lymphocytes, was required. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the function of the BTLA-HVEM pathway is not limited to inhibitory signaling in T lymphocytes, and instead, that BTLA can provide crucial, HVEM-dependent signals that promote survival of antigen activated CD8(+) T cell during bacterial infection.

  4. BTLA Interaction with HVEM Expressed on CD8+ T Cells Promotes Survival and Memory Generation in Response to a Bacterial Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang-Zhu, Yiran; Ware, Carl F.; Cheroutre, Hilde; Kronenberg, Mitchell

    2013-01-01

    The B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) is an Ig super family member that binds to the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM), a TNF receptor super family (TNFRSF) member. Engagement of BTLA by HVEM triggers inhibitory signals, although recent evidence indicates that BTLA also may act as an activating ligand for HVEM. In this study, we reveal a novel role for the BTLA-HVEM pathway in promoting the survival of activated CD8+ T cells in the response to an oral microbial infection. Our data show that both BTLA- and HVEM-deficient mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes had significantly reduced numbers of primary effector and memory CD8+ T cells, despite normal proliferation and expansion compared to controls. In addition, blockade of the BTLA-HVEM interaction early in the response led to significantly reduced numbers of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. HVEM expression on the CD8+ T cells as well as BTLA expression on a cell type other than CD8+ T lymphocytes, was required. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the function of the BTLA-HVEM pathway is not limited to inhibitory signaling in T lymphocytes, and instead, that BTLA can provide crucial, HVEM-dependent signals that promote survival of antigen activated CD8+ T cell during bacterial infection. PMID:24205057

  5. Attachment and biofilm formation by foodborne bacteria in meat processing environments: causes, implications, role of bacterial interactions and control by alternative novel methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giaouris, Efstathios; Heir, Even; Hébraud, Michel; Chorianopoulos, Nikos; Langsrud, Solveig; Møretrø, Trond; Habimana, Olivier; Desvaux, Mickaël; Renier, Sandra; Nychas, George-John

    2014-07-01

    Attachment of potential spoilage and pathogenic bacteria to food contact surfaces and the subsequent biofilm formation represent serious challenges to the meat industry, since these may lead to cross-contamination of the products, resulting in lowered-shelf life and transmission of diseases. In meat processing environments, microorganisms are sometimes associated to surfaces in complex multispecies communities, while bacterial interactions have been shown to play a key role in cell attachment and detachment from biofilms, as well as in the resistance of biofilm community members against antimicrobial treatments. Disinfection of food contact surfaces in such environments is a challenging task, aggravated by the great antimicrobial resistance of biofilm associated bacteria. In recent years, several alternative novel methods, such as essential oils and bacteriophages, have been successfully tested as an alternative means for the disinfection of microbial-contaminated food contact surfaces. In this review, all these aspects of biofilm formation in meat processing environments are discussed from a microbial meat-quality and safety perspective. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. RNA Detection in Live Bacterial Cells Using Fluorescent Protein Complementation Triggered by Interaction of Two RNA Aptamers with Two RNA-Binding Peptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles R. Cantor

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Many genetic and infectious diseases can be targeted at the RNA level as RNA is more accessible than DNA. We seek to develop new approaches for detection and tracking RNA in live cells, which is necessary for RNA-based diagnostics and therapy. We recently described a method for RNA visualization in live bacterial cells based on fluorescent protein complementation [1-3]. The RNA is tagged with an RNA aptamer that binds an RNA-binding protein with high affinity. This RNA-binding protein is expressed as two split fragments fused to the fragments of a split fluorescent protein. In the presence of RNA the fragments of the RNA-binding protein bind the aptamer and bring together the fragments of the fluorescent protein, which results in its re-assembly and fluorescence development [1-3]. Here we describe a new version of the RNA labeling method where fluorescent protein complementation is triggered by paired interactions of two different closely-positioned RNA aptamers with two different RNA-binding viral peptides. The new method, which has been developed in bacteria as a model system, uses a smaller ribonucleoprotein complementation complex, as compared with the method using split RNA-binding protein, and it can potentially be applied to a broad variety of RNA targets in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. We also describe experiments exploring background fluorescence in these RNA detection systems and conditions that improve the signal-to-background ratio.

  7. The roles of epithelial cell contact, respiratory bacterial interactions and phosphorylcholine in promoting biofilm formation by Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Ajay; Kyd, Jennelle

    2014-08-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) often share a common niche within the nasopharynx, both associated with infections such as bronchitis and otitis media. This study investigated how the association between NTHi and S. pneumoniae and the host affects their propensity to form biofilms. We investigated a selection of bacterial strain and serotype combinations on biofilm formation, and the effect of contact with respiratory epithelial cells. Measurement of biofilm showed that co-infection with NTHi and S. pneumoniae increased biofilm formation following contact with epithelial cells compared to no contact demonstrating the role of epithelial cells in biofilm formation. Additionally, the influence of phosphorylcholine (ChoP) on biofilm production was investigated using the licD mutant strain of NTHi 2019 and found that ChoP had a role in mixed biofilm formation but was not the only requirement. The study highlights the complex interactions between microbes and the host epithelium during biofilm production, suggesting the importance of understanding why certain strains and serotypes differentially influence biofilm formation. A key contributor to increased biofilm formation was the upregulation of biofilm formation by epithelial cell factors.

  8. A common origin for the bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems parD and ccd, suggested by analyses of toxin/target and toxin/antitoxin interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew B Smith

    Full Text Available Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA systems encode two proteins, a potent inhibitor of cell proliferation (toxin and its specific antidote (antitoxin. Structural data has revealed striking similarities between the two model TA toxins CcdB, a DNA gyrase inhibitor encoded by the ccd system of plasmid F, and Kid, a site-specific endoribonuclease encoded by the parD system of plasmid R1. While a common structural fold seemed at odds with the two clearly different modes of action of these toxins, the possibility of functional crosstalk between the parD and ccd systems, which would further point to their common evolutionary origin, has not been documented. Here, we show that the cleavage of RNA and the inhibition of protein synthesis by the Kid toxin, two activities that are specifically counteracted by its cognate Kis antitoxin, are altered, but not inhibited, by the CcdA antitoxin. In addition, Kis was able to inhibit the stimulation of DNA gyrase-mediated cleavage of DNA by CcdB, albeit less efficiently than CcdA. We further show that physical interactions between the toxins and antitoxins of the different systems do occur and define the stoichiometry of the complexes formed. We found that CcdB did not degrade RNA nor did Kid have any reproducible effect on the tested DNA gyrase activities, suggesting that these toxins evolved to reach different, rather than common, cellular targets.

  9. BTLA interaction with HVEM expressed on CD8(+ T cells promotes survival and memory generation in response to a bacterial infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos W Steinberg

    Full Text Available The B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA is an Ig super family member that binds to the herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM, a TNF receptor super family (TNFRSF member. Engagement of BTLA by HVEM triggers inhibitory signals, although recent evidence indicates that BTLA also may act as an activating ligand for HVEM. In this study, we reveal a novel role for the BTLA-HVEM pathway in promoting the survival of activated CD8(+ T cells in the response to an oral microbial infection. Our data show that both BTLA- and HVEM-deficient mice infected with Listeria monocytogenes had significantly reduced numbers of primary effector and memory CD8(+ T cells, despite normal proliferation and expansion compared to controls. In addition, blockade of the BTLA-HVEM interaction early in the response led to significantly reduced numbers of antigen-specific CD8(+ T cells. HVEM expression on the CD8(+ T cells as well as BTLA expression on a cell type other than CD8(+ T lymphocytes, was required. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the function of the BTLA-HVEM pathway is not limited to inhibitory signaling in T lymphocytes, and instead, that BTLA can provide crucial, HVEM-dependent signals that promote survival of antigen activated CD8(+ T cell during bacterial infection.

  10. Distinct interactions of Na{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+} ions with the selectivity filter of the bacterial sodium channel Na{sub V}Ab

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ke, Song, E-mail: song.ke@univie.ac.at [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, UZA 2, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Zangerl, Eva-Maria, E-mail: a0509032@unet.univie.ac.at [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, UZA 2, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Stary-Weinzinger, Anna, E-mail: anna.stary@univie.ac.at [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, UZA 2, A-1090 Vienna (Austria)

    2013-01-25

    Highlights: ► Ca{sup 2+} translocates slowly in the filter, due to lack of “loose” knock-on mechanism. ► Identification of a high affinity binding site in Na{sub V}Ab selectivity filter. ► Changes of EEEE locus triggered by electrostatic interactions with Ca{sup 2+} ions. -- Abstract: Rapid and selective ion transport is essential for the generation and regulation of electrical signaling pathways in living organisms. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations to investigate how the bacterial sodium channel Na{sub V}Ab (Arcobacter butzleri) differentiates between Na{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+} ions. Multiple nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations revealed distinct binding patterns for these two cations in the selectivity filter and suggested a high affinity calcium binding site formed by backbone atoms of residues Leu-176 and Thr-175 (S{sub CEN}) in the sodium channel selectivity filter.

  11. Compositional changes of human hair melanin resulting from bleach treatment investigated by nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Toru; Yamada, Hiromi; Isobe, Mitsuru; Yamamoto, Toshihiko; Takeuchi, Miyuki; Aoki, Dan; Matsushita, Yasuyuki; Fukushima, Kazuhiko

    2014-11-01

    It is important to understand the influence of bleach treatment on human hair because it is one of the most important chemical treatments in hair cosmetic processes. A comparison of the elemental composition of melanin between virgin hair and bleached hair would provide important information about the structural changes of melanin. To investigate the elemental composition of melanin granules in virgin black hair and bleached hair, these hair cross-sections are analyzed by using a nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS). The virgin black hair and bleached hair samples were embedded in resin and smooth hair cross-sections were obtained using an ultramicrotome. NanoSIMS measurements were performed using a Cs(+) primary ion beam to detect negative secondary ions. More intensive (16) O(-) ions were detected from the melanin granules of bleached hair than from those of virgin black hair in NanoSIMS (16) O(-) ion image. In addition, it was indicated that (16) O(-) ion intensity and (16) O(-) /(12) C(14) N(-) ion intensity ratio of melanin granules in bleached hair were higher than those in virgin black hair. Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis of the cross-sections of virgin black hair and bleached hair indicated that the oxygen content in melanin granules was increased by bleach treatment. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. [THE INFLUENCE OF MELANIN ON THE GASTRIC MUCOSA AND HYPOTHALAMIC-PITUITARY-ADRENOCORTICAL AXIS UNDER ACUTE STRESS CONDITIONS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golyshkin, D V; Falalyeyeva, T M; Neporada, K S; Beregova, T V

    2015-01-01

    We studied the influence of melanin from yeast-like fungi Nadsoniella nigra strain X1 on the changes of the levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol in blood serum of rats, adrenal glands weight ratio and lesions of the gastric mucosa (GM) caused by neuromuscular tension by Selye. Melanin administration restored functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis that was evident by an increase of ACTH concentration by 42% and a decrease of cortisol concentration by 19% compared to the rats injected with water (group 2). In rats treated with melanin, the adrenal glands weight ratio, didn't differ from intact control group of the rats. Melanin decreased ulcers area by 64% and reduced the content of free hydroxyproline by 29%, the free fucose by 16% and the free hexuronic acids by 24% in the GM compared to the group 2 of the rats. It is established that the mechanism of melanin stress-protective properties are based on its regulation of the glucocorticoids secretion and prevention of GM collagen and extracellular matrix substances depolymerization. Melanin possesses gastroprotective properties and is a perspective agent for preventing and treatment of consequences of the stress influence on the organism.

  13. Compton scattering by internal shields based on melanin-containing mushrooms provides protection of gastrointestinal tract from ionizing radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Howell, Robertha C; Schweitzer, Andrew D; Bryan, Ruth A; Harris, Matthew; Gerfen, Gary; Jiang, Zewei; Jandl, Thomas; Kim, Kami; Ting, Li-Min; Sellers, Rani S; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-11-01

    There is a need for radioprotectors that protect normal tissues from ionizing radiation in patients receiving high doses of radiation and during nuclear emergencies. We investigated the possibility of creating an efficient oral radioprotector based on the natural pigment melanin that would act as an internal shield and protect the tissues via Compton scattering followed by free radical scavenging. CD-1 mice were fed melanin-containing black edible mushrooms Auricularia auricila-judae before 9 Gy total body irradiation. The location of the mushrooms in the body before irradiation was determined by in vivo fluorescent imaging. Black mushrooms protected 80% of mice from the lethal dose, while control mice or those given melanin-devoid mushrooms died from gastrointestinal syndrome. The crypts of mice given black mushrooms showed less apoptosis and more cell division than those in control mice, and their white blood cell and platelet counts were restored at 45 days to preradiation levels. The role of melanin in radioprotection was proven by the fact that mice given white mushrooms supplemented with melanin survived at the same rate as mice given black mushrooms. The ability of melanin-containing mushrooms to provide remarkable protection against radiation suggests that they could be developed into oral radioprotectors.

  14. Melanin- and carotenoid-dependent signals of great tits (Parus major) relate differently to metal pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauwe, Tom; Eens, Marcel

    2008-10-01

    Due to their high phenotypic plasticity, the expression of secondary sexual characteristics is particularly sensitive to stress. Here, we investigated the expression of two conspicuous visual signals in great tits (Parus major) in a metal pollution gradient. In three study sites with marked differences in metal contamination (mainly lead, cadmium, copper and zinc), we compared melanin and carotenoid colouration of great tits. While carotenoid colouration (yellow breast) was negatively related to metal pollution, the size of a melanin trait (breast stripe) was larger in the most polluted sites. Environmental pollutants not only affect the expression of conspicuous signals but may even enhance, directly or indirectly, a signal of male quality such as breast stripe. Our results also support the multiple messages hypothesis predicting that different signals highlight different aspects of geno- and phenotypic condition of the bearer.

  15. [The magnetic susceptibility of the melanin in the eyes of representatives of different vertebrate classes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagal'skaia, E O

    1995-01-01

    The magnetoperceptivity (Chi) and element composition of eye pigment epitelium (EPE) melanin in vertebrate animals were measured. The minimal values of EPE Chi were found in winter-sleeping and anabiotic animals (Ursus arctos, Rana temporaria). The magnetoperception was high in migrating animals (Oncorhynchus keta, 0. gorbuscha, Anas crecca) and in wild gray rats as well, EPE magnetoperceptivity in albino rats wasn't practicaly established. In the majority of cases the quantity of magnetoperceptivity correlates with per-cent content of iron. The evident correlation between melanin magnet properties and the life strategy of the investigated animals allows to propose the participance of eye pigment epithelium in orientation and navigation of the animals.

  16. Melanin- and carotenoid-dependent signals of great tits ( Parus major) relate differently to metal pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauwe, Tom; Eens, Marcel

    2008-10-01

    Due to their high phenotypic plasticity, the expression of secondary sexual characteristics is particularly sensitive to stress. Here, we investigated the expression of two conspicuous visual signals in great tits ( Parus major) in a metal pollution gradient. In three study sites with marked differences in metal contamination (mainly lead, cadmium, copper and zinc), we compared melanin and carotenoid colouration of great tits. While carotenoid colouration (yellow breast) was negatively related to metal pollution, the size of a melanin trait (breast stripe) was larger in the most polluted sites. Environmental pollutants not only affect the expression of conspicuous signals but may even enhance, directly or indirectly, a signal of male quality such as breast stripe. Our results also support the multiple messages hypothesis predicting that different signals highlight different aspects of geno- and phenotypic condition of the bearer.

  17. Photochemistry. Chemiexcitation of melanin derivatives induces DNA photoproducts long after UV exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premi, Sanjay; Wallisch, Silvia; Mano, Camila M; Weiner, Adam B; Bacchiocchi, Antonella; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Bechara, Etelvino J H; Halaban, Ruth; Douki, Thierry; Brash, Douglas E

    2015-02-20

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), DNA photoproducts that are typically created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. We found that in melanocytes, CPDs are generated for >3 hours after exposure to UVA, a major component of the radiation in sunlight and in tanning beds. These "dark CPDs" constitute the majority of CPDs and include the cytosine-containing CPDs that initiate UV-signature C→T mutations. Dark CPDs arise when UV-induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species combine to excite an electron in fragments of the pigment melanin. This creates a quantum triplet state that has the energy of a UV photon but induces CPDs by energy transfer to DNA in a radiation-independent manner. Melanin may thus be carcinogenic as well as protective against cancer. These findings also validate the long-standing suggestion that chemically generated excited electronic states are relevant to mammalian biology.

  18. Two-photon excited fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging of melanin in vitro and in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2012-03-01

    The ability to detect early melanoma non-invasively would improve clinical outcome and reduce mortality. Recent advances in two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) in vivo microscopy offer a powerful tool in early malignant melanoma diagnostics. The goal of this work was to develop a TPEF optical index for measuring relative concentrations of eumelanin and pheomelanin since ex vivo studies show that changes in this ratio have been associated with malignant transformation. We acquired TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin from several specimens, including human hair, malignant melanoma cell lines, and normal melanocytes and keratinocytes in different skin layers (epidermis, papillary dermis) in five healthy volunteers in vivo. We found that the pheomelanin emission peaks at around 620 nm and is blue-shifted from the eumelanin with broad maximum at 640-680nm. We defined "optical melanin index" (OMI) as a ratio of fluorescence signal intensities measured at 645 nm and 615nm. The measured OMI for a melanoma cell line MNT-1 was 1.6+/-0.2. The MNT-46 and MNT-62 lines (Mc1R gene knockdown) showed an anticipated change in melanins production ratio and had OMI of 0.55+/-0.05 and 0.17+/-0.02, respectively, which strongly correlated with HPLC data obtained for these lines. Average OMI measured for basal cells layers (melanocytes and keratinocytes) in normal human skin type I, II-III (not tanned and tanned) in vivo was 0.5, 1.05 and 1.16 respectively. We could not dependably detect the presence of pheomelanin in highly pigmented skin type V-VI. These data suggest that a non-invasive TPEF index could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo, including pigmented lesions.

  19. Rapid and accurate estimation of blood saturation, melanin content, and epidermis thickness from spectral diffuse reflectance.

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    We present a method to determine chromophore concentrations, blood saturation, and epidermal thickness of human skin from diffuse reflectance spectra. Human skin was approximated as a plane-parallel slab of variable thickness supported by a semi-infinite layer corresponding to the epidermis and dermis, respectively. The absorption coefficient was modeled as a function of melanin content for the epidermis and blood content and oxygen saturation for the dermis. The scattering coefficient and re...

  20. Skin melanin degradation%皮肤黑素降解的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周颖丽; 宋秀祖

    2014-01-01

    The difference in human skin complexion is mainly determined by melanin content,type and distribution (granular or scattered).It is considered that melanin is synthesized in melanocytes firstly,then transported from melanocytes to keratinocytes through a variety of ways,degraded in keratinocytes,and finally passes out of the body.Although there have been many studies on the production and transport of melanin,little is known about the degradation process of melanin in keratinocytes.Autophagy is likely to play an important role in this process.%人类皮肤颜色的差异主要由黑素在皮肤中的含量、种类及其分布状态(颗粒状或分散状)来决定.黑素在黑素细胞的黑素小体内被合成后,借助多种途径完成在黑素细胞内以及从黑素细胞到邻近角质形成细胞的转运,最终在角质形成细胞内被降解而排出体外.对于黑素的生成和转运,各方面的研究很多,而对黑素在角质形成细胞内的降解过程研究甚少,机制尚不明了.目前研究认为,自噬在其中发挥着重要的作用.

  1. Melanocytes and melanin represent a first line of innate immunity against Candida albicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, Cecilia V; Falconer, Maryanne; Tempio, Fabián; Falcón, Felipe; López, Mercedes; Fuentes, Marisol; Alburquenque, Claudio; Amaro, José; Bucarey, Sergio A; Di Nardo, Anna

    2014-07-01

    Melanocytes are dendritic cells located in the skin and mucosae that synthesize melanin. Some infections induce hypo- or hyperpigmentation, which is associated with the activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), especially TLR4. Candida albicans is an opportunist pathogen that can switch between blastoconidia and hyphae forms; the latter is associated with invasion. Our objectives in this study were to ascertain whether C. albicans induces pigmentation in melanocytes and whether this process is dependent on TLR activation, as well as relating this with the antifungal activity of melanin as a first line of innate immunity against fungal infections. Normal human melanocytes were stimulated with C. albicans supernatants or with crude extracts of the blastoconidia or hyphae forms, and pigmentation and TLR2/TLR4 expression were measured. Expression of the melanosomal antigens Melan-A and gp100 was examined for any correlation with increased melanin levels or antifungal activity in melanocyte lysates. Melanosomal antigens were induced earlier than cell pigmentation, and hyphae induced stronger melanization than blastoconidia. Notably, when melanocytes were stimulated with crude extracts of C. albicans, the cell surface expression of TLR2/TLR4 began at 48 h post-stimulation and peaked at 72 h. At this time, blastoconidia induced both TLR2 and TLR4 expression, whereas hyphae only induced TLR4 expression. Taken together, these results suggest that melanocytes play a key role in innate immune responses against C. albicans infections by recognizing pathogenic forms of C. albicans via TLR4, resulting in increased melanin content and inhibition of infection.

  2. Toxicological and melanin synthesis effects of Polygonum multiflorum root extracts on zebrafish embryos and human melanocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thanh Thi Hoai Dang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Polygonum multiflorum (PM has been commmonly used as folk medicine for treatment of various conditions, such as early graying of hair in humans. However, there have been limited studies which have evaluated the toxicological and biological effects of PM in vitro as well as in vivo. In this study, PM root extracts in ethyl acetate (PM-E and in distilled water (PM-W were examined for their effects on the development of teratogenic defects/deaths. Additionally, they were evaluated for their effects on melanin formation in human melanocytes and pigmentation in embryos/larvae of wild type strain AB zebrafish (Danio rerio. Our results showed that PM root extracts at concentrations of 40 mg/L and 105 mg/L induced the development of teratogenic defects, including yolk sac edema (or heart edema, hemovascular defects, necrosis and abnormal trunk in zebrafish embryos at 4 days post fertilization; teratogenic indexes (TIs were 1.43 and 0.63 for ethyl acetate extract and distilled water extract, respectively. Our results also demonstrated that PM-W significantly increased the pigmentation level of embryos/larvae and induced melanin formation in human melanocytes. The amount of melanin in PM-W-exposed embryos/larvae was 2.2-fold and 1.71-fold greater than those in the control embryos/larvae and control melanocytes, respectively. Our study also showed that the increased level of pigmentation in PM-W embryos/larvae or melanin biosynthesis in melanocytes were both regulated by activation of tyrosinase. Conclusively, our study suggests that PM root extracts could be used as potential agents for treatment of early hair graying as well as various other diseases related to loss of pigmentation. However, these PM root extracts may also have some negative effects on embryos; therefore it should be careful when using for women during pregnancy. [Biomed Res Ther 2016; 3(9.000: 808-818

  3. The Protective Role of Melanin Against UV Damage in Human Skin

    OpenAIRE

    Brenner, Michaela; Hearing, Vincent J.

    2008-01-01

    Human skin is repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that influences the function and survival of many cell types and is regarded as the main causative factor in the induction of skin cancer. It has been traditionally believed that skin pigmentation is the most important photoprotective factor, since melanin, besides functioning as a broadband UV absorbent, has antioxidant and radical scavenging properties. Besides, many epidemiological studies have shown a lower incidence for skin...

  4. Endothelin-1 increases melanin synthesis in an established sheep skin melanocyte culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Yamiao; Geng, Jianjun; Qin, Yilong; Wang, Haidong; Fan, Ruiwen; Zhang, Ying; Li, Hongquan; Jiang, Shan; Dong, Changsheng

    2016-08-01

    The aims of the study were to establish a culture system for sheep skin melanocytes and uncover the effects of endothelin-1 on melanin synthesis in cultured melanocytes in order to provide an optimal cell system and a theoretical basis for studying the regulatory mechanism of coat color in sheep. In this study, skin punch biopsies were harvested from the dorsal region of 1-3-yr-old sheep, and skin melanocytes were then obtained by the two-step digestion using dispase II and trypsin/ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). The primary cultures of the melanocytes were established and characterized by dopa-staining, immunocytochemical localization of melanocyte markers, and RT-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of coat color genes. To determine the effect of endothelin-1 on proliferation and melanin synthesis of melanocytes, the cultured cells were treated with different doses of endothelin-1 (10(-7), 10(-8), 10(-9), 10(-10), and 0 mol/L), and the growth rate of melanocytes, production of melanin, expression of related genes, and location of related protein in cultured cells were examined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), ultraviolet spectrophotometry, qRT-PCR, and immunocytochemical localization, respectively. The results showed that the established melanocyte culture functions properly. Endothelin-1 treatment increased markedly the number of melanocytes and melanin content. In responding to this treatment, expressions of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), tyrosinase (TYR), and endothelin receptor B (EDNRB) in the melanocytes were significantly up regulated (P skin melanocytes was established successfully in vitro, and endothelin-1 promotes the melanogenesis in sheep skin melanocytes.

  5. Arbutin encapsulated micelles improved transdermal delivery and suppression of cellular melanin production

    OpenAIRE

    Liang, Ke; Xu, Keming; Bessarab, Dmitri; Obaje, Jonathan; Xu, Chenjie

    2016-01-01

    Background Hyperpigmentation is a skin disorder characterized by elevated production of melanin. Current treatment approaches mainly rely on the application of skin lightening chemicals, most of which have safety issues. Efficacy of delivery of the active ingredients to the target organ has also been a challenge. Transdermal based drug delivery platform has been shown to improve drug bioavailability, avoiding the hepatic first pass metabolism, decrease gastrointestinal side effects, and event...

  6. Interactions in multispecies biofilms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burmølle, Mette; Ren, Dawei; Bjarnsholt, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    The recent focus on complex bacterial communities has led to the recognition of interactions across species boundaries. This is particularly pronounced in multispecies biofilms, where synergistic interactions impact the bacterial distribution and overall biomass produced. Importantly, in a number...

  7. Three-photon fluorescence imaging of melanin with a dual-wedge confocal scanning system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mega, Yair; Kerimo, Joseph; Robinson, Joseph; Vakili, Ali; Johnson, Nicolette; DiMarzio, Charles

    2012-03-01

    Confocal microscopy can be used as a practical tool in non-invasive applications in medical diagnostics and evaluation. In particular, it is being used for the early detection of skin cancer to identify pathological cellular components and, potentially, replace conventional biopsies. The detection of melanin and its spatial location and distribution plays a crucial role in the detection and evaluation of skin cancer. Our previous work has shown that the visible emission from melanin is strong and can be easily observed with a near-infrared CW laser using low power. This is due to a unique step-wise, (SW) three-photon excitation of melanin. This paper shows that the same SW, 3-photon fluorescence can also be achieved with an inexpensive, continuous-wave laser using a dual-prism scanning system. This demonstrates that the technology could be integrated into a portable confocal microscope for clinical applications. The results presented here are in agreement with images obtained with the larger and more expensive femtosecond laser system used earlier.

  8. Substantial Effect of Melanin Influencing Factors on Melanogenesis in Muzzle Melanocytes of Differently Colored Hanwoo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Touseef Amna

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study was designed to investigate the effect of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH, nitric oxide (NO and L-cysteine on melanin production and expression of related genes MC1R, Tyr, Tyrp-1 and Tyrp-2 in muzzle melanocytes of differently colored three native Hanwoo cattle. Muzzle samples were taken from black, brindle and brown Hanwoo and purified melanocytes were cultured with α-MSH, nitric oxide and L-cysteine at 100 nM, 50 µM and 0.07 mg/ml of media respectively. The amounts of total melanin, eumelanin and mRNA expression at Tyr, Tyrp-1, Tyrp-2 and MC1R levels were quantified. α-MSH and nitric oxide significantly increased (p<0.05 the amount of total melanin in black and brindle whereas eumelanin production in brown Hanwoo muzzle melanocytes. On the contrary, L-cysteine greatly (p<0.05 depressed the eumelanin production in black color but increased in brown. Simultaneously, up regulation of Tyr by nitric oxide and α-MSH and down regulation of Tyr, Tyrp-2 and MC1R genes by L-cysteine were observed in muzzle melanocytes of all three phenotypes. The results of this study revealed nitric oxide and α-MSH contribute hyper-pigmentation by enhancing eumelanogenesis whereas L-cysteine contributes to pheomelanin production in different colored Hanwoo muzzle melanocytes.

  9. Prenylated flavonoids from Artocarpus altilis: antioxidant activities and inhibitory effects on melanin production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Wen-Chun; Tzeng, Cheng-Wei; Lin, Chun-Ching; Yen, Feng-Lin; Ko, Horng-Huey

    2013-05-01

    Flavonoids, 10-oxoartogomezianone (1), 8-geranyl-3-(hydroxyprenyl)isoetin (2), hydroxyartoflavone A (3), isocycloartobiloxanthone (4), and furanocyclocommunin (5), together with 12 known compounds, were isolated from heartwood and cortex of Artocarpus altilis, and their structures were identified by comparing their spectra with those of similar compounds. To identify natural antioxidants and whitening agents, the ability of these prenylated flavonoids was assessed to scavenge the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH), the 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS(+·)) radical cation, and the superoxide anion (O2(-·)), and their abilities to inhibit tyrosinase and melanin production. It was found that compounds 3, 4, and artoflavone A (15) had moderate DPPH(·)-scavenging activity, whereas compound 4 exhibited significant ABTS(+·)-scavenging activity, and that norartocarpetin (7) and artogomezianone (8) exhibited moderate ABTS(+·)-scavenging activity, with compounds 2, 7, and artocarpin (6) displaying good superoxide anion-scavenging activity. In addition, compounds 7, 8, cudraflavone A (14), and artonin M (17), inhibited melanin production by strongly suppressing tyrosinase activity. Compound 6 reduced the melanin content without inhibiting tyrosinase activity. These results suggest that flavonoids isolated from A. altilis may be candidate antioxidants and/or skin-whitening agents. However, further investigations are required to determine their mechanisms of action. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. ULK1 regulates melanin levels in MNT-1 cells independently of mTORC1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eyal Kalie

    Full Text Available Melanosomes are lysosome-related organelles that serve as specialized sites of melanin synthesis and storage in melanocytes. The progression of melanosomes through the different stages of their formation requires trafficking of specific proteins and membrane constituents in a sequential manner, which is likely to deploy ubiquitous cellular machinery along with melanocyte-specific proteins. Recent evidence revealed a connection between melanogenesis and the autophagy machinery, suggesting a novel role for members of the latter in melanocytes. Here we focused on ULK1, a key autophagy protein which is negatively regulated by mTORC1, to assess its potential role in melanogenesis in MNT-1 cells. We found that ULK1 depletion causes an increase in melanin levels, suggesting an inhibitory function for this protein in melanogenesis. Furthermore, this increase was accompanied by increased transcription of MITF (microphthalmia-associated transcription factor and tyrosinase and by elevated protein levels of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting factor in melanin biogenesis. We also provide evidence to show that ULK1 function in this context is independent of the canonical ULK1 autophagy partners, ATG13 and FIP200. Furthermore we show that regulation of melanogenesis by ULK1 is independent of mTORC1 inhibition. Our data thus provide intriguing insights regarding the involvement of the key regulatory autophagy machinery in melanogenesis.

  11. Hydration of swelling clay and bacteria interaction. An experimental in situ reaction study; Hydratation des argiles gonflantes et influence des bacteries. Etude experimentale de reaction in situ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, J

    2008-01-15

    This study reports on the physical-chemical behaviour of swelling di-octahedral clays (smectites) and their interaction with aqueous solutions and bacteria (Shewanella putrefaciens). Experimental results are presented for compacted clays, hydrated under confined volume conditions, using a new type of reaction-cell (the 'wet-cell' of Warr and Hoffman, 2004) that was designed for in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurement. For comparison, dispersed clay systems were studied using standard batch solutions subjected to varying degrees of agitation. The combination of time-dependent in situ XRD measurements with gravimetric measurements and calculated diffraction patterns using the CALCMIX software (Plancon and Drits, 1999) allowed to successful quantification of the dynamics of water uptake and storage. This analytical procedure combined with published water vapour adsorption data enabled determination of the abundance of structured water layers, developed in the interlayer space, and the amount of water contained in different storage sites (interlayers, surfaces and pore spaces). Qualitative information on surface area and textural organization was also estimated based on calculated changes in the average particle thickness and the organization of water layer structures (ordering). Abiotic smectite hydration experiments, using a range of natural and industrial bentonites (SWy-2, IBECO, MX80, TIXOTON), focused on defining the role of the interlayer cation, variable clay packing densities and the ionic strength of the infiltrating solution. The rate of smectite hydration, as expected, was seen to be highly dependent on the type of interlayer cation (enhanced for Ca as opposed to Na) and the ionic strength of solution (enhanced uptake rates with saline solutions, particularly as they infiltrate Na-smectite). A range of dynamic changes in micro textural state occurred as a function of packing density. These changes explain the differences in hydration behaviour

  12. Bacterial gastroenteritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... most common types of bacterial gastroenteritis in a couple of days. The goal is to make you feel better and avoid dehydration. Drinking enough fluids and learning what to eat will help ease symptoms. You ...

  13. Bacterial vaginosis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Islam, Aliya; Safdar, Anjum; Malik, Ayesha

    2009-01-01

    To estimate the frequency of bacterial vaginosis in women with preterm labour. Descriptive cross sectional study carried out in department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Military Hospital and Army Medical College Laboratory, Rawalpindi...

  14. Disease interactions in a shared host plant: effects of pre-existing viral infection on cucurbit plant defense responses and resistance to bacterial wilt disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori R Shapiro

    Full Text Available Both biotic and abiotic stressors can elicit broad-spectrum plant resistance against subsequent pathogen challenges. However, we currently have little understanding of how such effects influence broader aspects of disease ecology and epidemiology in natural environments where plants interact with multiple antagonists simultaneously. In previous work, we have shown that healthy wild gourd plants (Cucurbita pepo ssp. texana contract a fatal bacterial wilt infection (caused by Erwinia tracheiphila at significantly higher rates than plants infected with Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV. We recently reported evidence that this pattern is explained, at least in part, by reduced visitation of ZYMV-infected plants by the cucumber beetle vectors of E. tracheiphila. Here we examine whether ZYMV-infection may also directly elicit plant resistance to subsequent E. tracheiphila infection. In laboratory studies, we assayed the induction of key phytohormones (SA and JA in single and mixed infections of these pathogens, as well as in response to the feeding of A. vittatum cucumber beetles on healthy and infected plants. We also tracked the incidence and progression of wilt disease symptoms in plants with prior ZYMV infections. Our results indicate that ZYMV-infection slightly delays the progression of wilt symptoms, but does not significantly reduce E. tracheiphila infection success. This observation supports the hypothesis that reduced rates of wilt disease in ZYMV-infected plants reflect reduced visitation by beetle vectors. We also documented consistently strong SA responses to ZYMV infection, but limited responses to E. tracheiphila in the absence of ZYMV, suggesting that the latter pathogen may effectively evade or suppress plant defenses, although we observed no evidence of antagonistic cross-talk between SA and JA signaling pathways. We did, however, document effects of E. tracheiphila on induced responses to herbivory that may influence host

  15. Disease interactions in a shared host plant: effects of pre-existing viral infection on cucurbit plant defense responses and resistance to bacterial wilt disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Lori R; Salvaudon, Lucie; Mauck, Kerry E; Pulido, Hannier; De Moraes, Consuelo M; Stephenson, Andrew G; Mescher, Mark C

    2013-01-01

    Both biotic and abiotic stressors can elicit broad-spectrum plant resistance against subsequent pathogen challenges. However, we currently have little understanding of how such effects influence broader aspects of disease ecology and epidemiology in natural environments where plants interact with multiple antagonists simultaneously. In previous work, we have shown that healthy wild gourd plants (Cucurbita pepo ssp. texana) contract a fatal bacterial wilt infection (caused by Erwinia tracheiphila) at significantly higher rates than plants infected with Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). We recently reported evidence that this pattern is explained, at least in part, by reduced visitation of ZYMV-infected plants by the cucumber beetle vectors of E. tracheiphila. Here we examine whether ZYMV-infection may also directly elicit plant resistance to subsequent E. tracheiphila infection. In laboratory studies, we assayed the induction of key phytohormones (SA and JA) in single and mixed infections of these pathogens, as well as in response to the feeding of A. vittatum cucumber beetles on healthy and infected plants. We also tracked the incidence and progression of wilt disease symptoms in plants with prior ZYMV infections. Our results indicate that ZYMV-infection slightly delays the progression of wilt symptoms, but does not significantly reduce E. tracheiphila infection success. This observation supports the hypothesis that reduced rates of wilt disease in ZYMV-infected plants reflect reduced visitation by beetle vectors. We also documented consistently strong SA responses to ZYMV infection, but limited responses to E. tracheiphila in the absence of ZYMV, suggesting that the latter pathogen may effectively evade or suppress plant defenses, although we observed no evidence of antagonistic cross-talk between SA and JA signaling pathways. We did, however, document effects of E. tracheiphila on induced responses to herbivory that may influence host-plant quality for (and

  16. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Yi-Cheng [Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics, and Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Chen, Sih-Min [Graduate Institute of Biophysics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China); Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei [Department of Physics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China); Lin, Hoang-Yan [Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics, and Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Chen, Szu-yuan, E-mail: sychen@ltl.iams.sinica.edu.tw [Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Graduate Institute of Biophysics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China); Department of Physics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China)

    2015-02-14

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H{sub 2}O{sub 2} stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  17. A guide to the field of palaeo colour: Melanin and other pigments can fossilise: Reconstructing colour patterns from ancient organisms can give new insights to ecology and behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinther, Jakob

    2015-06-01

    Melanin, and other pigments have recently been shown to preserve over geologic time scales, and are found in several different organisms. This opens up the possibility of inferring colours and colour patterns ranging from invertebrates to feathered dinosaurs and mammals. An emerging discipline is palaeo colour: colour plays an important role in display and camouflage as well as in integumental strengthening and protection, which makes possible the hitherto difficult task of doing inferences about past ecologies, behaviours, and organismal appearance. Several studies and techniques have been presented in the last couple of years that have described ways to characterize pigment patterns. Here, I will review the available methods and the likely applications to understand past ecologies. A golden age of colourized dinosaurs and other animals is now dawning upon us, which may elucidate the nature of ancient predator prey interactions and display structures. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Hydration of swelling clay and bacteria interaction. An experimental in situ reaction study; Hydratation des argiles gonflantes et influence des bacteries. Etude experimentale de reaction in situ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, J

    2008-01-15

    This study reports on the physical-chemical behaviour of swelling di-octahedral clays (smectites) and their interaction with aqueous solutions and bacteria (Shewanella putrefaciens). Experimental results are presented for compacted clays, hydrated under confined volume conditions, using a new type of reaction-cell (the 'wet-cell' of Warr and Hoffman, 2004) that was designed for in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurement. For comparison, dispersed clay systems were studied using standard batch solutions subjected to varying degrees of agitation. The combination of time-dependent in situ XRD measurements with gravimetric measurements and calculated diffraction patterns using the CALCMIX software (Plancon and Drits, 1999) allowed to successful quantification of the dynamics of water uptake and storage. This analytical procedure combined with published water vapour adsorption data enabled determination of the abundance of structured water layers, developed in the interlayer space, and the amount of water contained in different storage sites (interlayers, surfaces and pore spaces). Qualitative information on surface area and textural organization was also estimated based on calculated changes in the average particle thickness and the organization of water layer structures (ordering). Abiotic smectite hydration experiments, using a range of natural and industrial bentonites (SWy-2, IBECO, MX80, TIXOTON), focused on defining the role of the interlayer cation, variable clay packing densities and the ionic strength of the infiltrating solution. The rate of smectite hydration, as expected, was seen to be highly dependent on the type of interlayer cation (enhanced for Ca as opposed to Na) and the ionic strength of solution (enhanced uptake rates with saline solutions, particularly as they infiltrate Na-smectite). A range of dynamic changes in micro textural state occurred as a function of packing density. These changes explain the differences in hydration behaviour

  19. Inhibitory Effects of Adlay Extract on Melanin Production and Cellular Oxygen Stress in B16F10 Melanoma Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huey-Chun Huang

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine the effects of adlay extract on melanin production and the antioxidant characteristics of the extract. The seeds were extracted by the supercritical fluid CO2 extraction (SFE method. The effect of adlay extract on melanin production was evaluated using mushroom tyrosinase activity assay, intracellular tyrosinase activity, antioxidant properties and melanin content. Those assays were performed spectrophotometrically. In addition, the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins was determined by western blotting. The results revealed that the adlay extract suppressed intracellular tyrosinase activity and decreased the amount of melanin in B16F10 cells. The adlay extract decreased the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF, tyrosinase, tyrosinase related protein-1 (TRP-1 and tyrosinase related protein-2 (TRP-2. The extract also exhibited antioxidant characteristics such as free radical scavenging capacity and reducing power. It effectively decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS levels in B16F10 cells. We concluded that the adlay extract inhibits melanin production by down-regulation of MITF, tyrosinase, TRP-1 and TRP-2. The antioxidant properties of the extract may also contribute to the inhibition of melanogenesis. The adlay extract can therefore be applied as an inhibitor of melanogenesis and could also act as a natural antioxidant in skin care products.

  20. 黑素及其对真菌毒力的影响%Melanin and its contribution to fungal virulence

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张晓利; 吕雪莲; 刘维达

    2008-01-01

    Melanin is a kind of dark-brown or black negative charged materials formed by the oxidative polymerization of phenolic compounds. Melanin synthesis is associated with the virulence of a number of human pathogenic fungi. Melanin can enhance the pathogenicity and survival of infective fungi by protecting them against environmental damage, oxidative injury and antifungal agents. It has been observed that the melanin in Cryptococcus neoformans, Fonsecaea pedrosoi and Sporotrichum schenckii is closely related to the virulence of these fungi. This article presents the possible mechanisms underlying the enhancement of fungal virulence by melanin.%黑素是一类带负电荷的暗褐色或黑色物质,多由酚类化合物氧化聚合而成.黑素的合成与多种人类致病性真菌的毒力相关,它具有保护真菌免受环境因素损伤、抗氧化、抗宿主防御系统和耐受抗真菌药物等作用,从而能够提高菌株在宿主内的存活率,增强对宿主的致病能力.新生隐球菌,裴氏着色芽生菌及申克孢子丝菌等存在的黑素与毒力密切相关,探讨黑素能增强真菌毒力的机制.

  1. The pbrB gene encodes a laccase required for DHN-melanin synthesis in conidia of Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapmak, Ariya; Boyce, Kylie J; Andrianopoulos, Alex; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2015-01-01

    Talaromyces marneffei (Basionym: Penicillium marneffei) is a significant opportunistic fungal pathogen in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus in Southeast Asia. T. marneffei cells have been shown to become melanized in vivo. Melanins are pigment biopolymers which act as a non-specific protectant against various stressors and which play an important role during virulence in fungi. The synthesis of the two most commonly found melanins in fungi, the eumelanin DOPA-melanin and the allomelanin DHN-melanin, requires the action of laccase enzymes. The T. marneffei genome encodes a number of laccases and this study describes the characterization of one of these, pbrB, during growth and development. A strain carrying a PbrB-GFP fusion shows that pbrB is expressed at high levels during asexual development (conidiation) but not in cells growing vegetatively. The pbrB gene is required for the synthesis of DHN-melanin in conidia and when deleted results in brown pigmented conidia, in contrast to the green conidia of the wild type.

  2. Ultrastructural changes produced in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells by ultraviolet-visible radiation in the presence of melanins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lea, P.J.; Pawlowski, A.; Persad, S.D.; Menon, I.A.; Haberman, H.F.

    1988-01-01

    Irradiation of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells in the presence of pheomelanin, i.e., red hair melanin (RHM), has been reported to produce extensive cell lysis. Irradiation in the presence of eumelanin, i.e., black hair melanin (BHM), or irradiation in the absence of either type of melanin did not produce this effect. We observed that RHM particles penetrated the cell membrane without apparent structural damage to the cell or the cell membrane. Irradiation of the cells in the absence of melanin did not produce any changes in the ultrastructure of the cells. Incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM produced only minor structural, mainly cytoplasmic changes. Irradiation of the cells in the presence of RHM produced extensive ultrastructural changes prior to complete cell lysis; these changes were more severe than the effects of incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM. When the cells incubated in the dark or irradiated in the presence of latex particles or either one of the eumelanins particles, viz. BHM or synthetic dopa melanin, these particles did not penetrate into the cells or produce any ultrastructural changes. These particles were in fact not even ingested by the cells.

  3. pH-Induced aggregated melanin nanoparticles for photoacoustic signal amplification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Kuk-Youn; Kang, Jeeun; Pyo, Jung; Lim, Joohyun; Chang, Jin Ho; Lee, Jin-Kyu

    2016-07-01

    We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one another under mildly acidic conditions after introducing hydrolysis-susceptible citraconic amide on the surface of bare MelNPs. We ascertained that the physical aggregation of the MelNPs resulted in an increased PA signal strength in the near-infrared window of biological tissue (i.e., 700 nm) without absorption tuning. This phenomenon is likely because of the overlapping thermal fields of the developed MelNPs. The PA signal produced from the developed MelNPs, after exposure to mildly acidic conditions (i.e., pH 6), is 8.1 times stronger than under neutral conditions. This unique characteristic found in this study can be utilized in a practical strategy for highly sensitive in vivo cancer target imaging in response to its acidic microenvironment. This approach to amplify the PA response of MelNPs in clusters could accelerate the use of MelNPs as an alternative to non-biological nanoprobes, so that MelNPs may be applicable in PA imaging and functional PA imaging such as stimuli sensitive, multimodal, and theranostic imaging.We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one

  4. Dopamine-melanin film deposition depends on the used oxidant and buffer solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernsmann, Falk; Ball, Vincent; Addiego, Frédéric; Ponche, Arnaud; Michel, Marc; Gracio, José Joaquin de Almeida; Toniazzo, Valérie; Ruch, David

    2011-03-15

    The deposition of "polydopamine" films, from an aqueous solution containing dopamine or other catecholamines, constitutes a new and versatile way to functionalize solid-liquid interfaces. Indeed such films can be deposited on almost all kinds of materials. Their deposition kinetics does not depend markedly on the surface chemistry of the substrate, and the films can reach thickness of a few tens of nanometers in a single reaction step. Up to now, even if a lot is known about the oxidation mechanism of dopamine in solution, only little information is available to describe the deposition mechanism on surfaces either by oxidation in solution or by electrodeposition. The deposition kinetics of melanin was only investigated from dopamine solutions using oxygen or ammonium persulfate as an oxidant and from a tris(hydroxymethyl) aminomethane (Tris) containing buffer solutions at pH 8.5. Many other oxidants could be used, and the buffer agent containing a primary amine group may influence the deposition process. Herein we show that the deposition kinetics of melanin from dopamine containing buffers at pH 8.5 can be markedly modified using Cu(2+) instead of O2 as an oxidant: the deposition kinetics remains linear up to thicknesses of more than 70 nm, whereas the film growth stops at 45 ± 5 nm in the presence of 02. In addition, the films prepared from Cu(2+) containing solutions display an absorption spectrum with defined peaks at 320 and 370 nm, which are absent in the spectra of films prepared in oxygenated solutions. The replacement of Tris buffer by phosphate buffer also has a marked effect on the melanin deposition kinetics.

  5. Duration of reappearance of gingival melanin pigmentation after surgical removal - A clinical study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaur Harjit

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: In dentistry, esthetics has a special place. Although gingival melanin pigmentation does not present a medical problem, clinicians are often faced with a challenge of achieving gingival esthetics. Materials and Methods: A method of de-epithelialization of the pigmented gingiva using Kirkland′s gingivectomy knife is described. Twenty patients who were conscious about their gingival melanin pigmentation were selected. The gingiva of the whole of the arch was abraded until the entire visible pigmentation was removed. Clinical observations for intensity of pigmentation were recorded at baseline and then after surgery at monthly intervals over a period of 9 months according to Dummett-Gupta Oral Pigmentation Index scoring criteria proposed by Dummett C. O. in 1964. Results: The mean gingival melanin pigmentation score came down to 0.407 after 9 months as compared to preoperative score, which was 2.24. No repigmentation occurred in fair-complexioned persons. In persons with wheatish complexion, repigmentation was seen in 85.71% of the cases, but scores came down to 0.38 postoperatively as compared to 2.27 preoperatively. In dark complexioned persons, repigmentation occurred in all cases, but the mean scores were 0.93 as compared to 2.40 preoperatively. The difference between preoperative and postoperative mean scores for each segment was put to statistical analysis by applying paired t test and was found to be significant. Conclusion: As this method has shown statistically significant results, it can be used in patients who are conscious of pigmented gingiva and want an esthetically satisfactory color.

  6. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serrano G

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Gabriel Serrano,1 Patricia Almudéver,2 Juan M Serrano,3 Julio Cortijo,2 Carmen Faus,1 Magda Reyes,1 Inmaculada Expósito,3 Ana Torrens,3 Fernando Millán1 1Clínica Dermatológica Serrano, 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Valencia, 3Research and Development Department, Sesderma Laboratories, Valencia, Spain Abstract: Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin–fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller. The product was applied by hand massage (A or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B. An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C. Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin–fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin–fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47% of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. Keywords: liposomes, melanin, microneedling, follicular infundibulum, hair removal

  7. New insights into the physicochemical effects of ammonia/peroxide bleaching of hair and Sepia melanins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prem, Padmaja; Dube, Katherine J; Madison, Stephen A; Bartolone, John

    2003-01-01

    Chemically unaltered melanosomes from black hair were isolated using a mild enzymatic procedure reported by Novellino et al. involving sequential treatment of a homogenized hair sample with different protease enzymes. Time-dependent fluorescence studies show, under identical conditions, that the rate of bleaching upon NH3/H2O2 treatment of hair melanosomes is twice that of Sepia melanosomes. The structure and morphology of hair melanosomes are compared to Sepia eumelanin using ESEM and TEM imaging studies. Black hair melanosomes are aggregates of rice-shaped ellipsoidal particles (0.8-1.0 microm in length and 0.2-0.6 microm in width) surrounded by an amorphous material suspected to be made of non-proteinacious materials. Sepia eumelanin aggregates are larger (2-5 microm) particles with a "doughnut" shape comprised of 100-150-nm spherical particles. Time-dependent TEM imaging studies of ammonia-treated (pH 10) hair melanosomes showed an initial breakdown of melanosomal aggregates followed by rupture of the melanosomal membrane, releasing melanin nanoparticles and leaving a ghost membrane behind. After prolonged treatment with aqueous NH3, a total loss of characteristic melanosome morphology was observed leading to an amorphous material. By contrast, Sepia melanosomes under identical conditions of ammonia treatment did not show such changes, probably due to different surface properties and aggregation behavior. Sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate at identical pH did not show similar changes to ammonia, suggesting that the changes are not merely due to alkaline pH, but, rather, are specific to ammonia. Co-treatment with ammonia and peroxide induced a faster disintegration of the melanosomes, resulting in a complete dissolution and discoloration of melanin in 30 minutes. The data suggest that ammonia helps to release melanin nanoparticles out of melanosomes, making them more susceptible to oxidative attack by H2O2.

  8. Transcription Factor Amr1 Induces Melanin Biosynthesis and Suppresses Virulence in Alternaria brassicicola

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Yangrae; Srivastava, Akhil; Ohm, Robin A.; Lawrence, Christopher B.; Wang, Koon-Hui; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Marahatta, Sharadchandra P.

    2012-05-01

    Alternaria brassicicola is a successful saprophyte and necrotrophic plant pathogen. Several A. brassicicola genes have been characterized as affecting pathogenesis of Brassica species. To study regulatory mechanisms of pathogenesis, we mined 421 genes in silico encoding putative transcription factors in a machine-annotated, draft genome sequence of A. brassicicola. In this study, targeted gene disruption mutants for 117 of the transcription factor genes were produced and screened. Three of these genes were associated with pathogenesis. Disruption mutants of one gene (AbPacC) were nonpathogenic and another gene (AbVf8) caused lesions less than half the diameter of wild-type lesions. Unexpectedly, mutants of the third gene, Amr1, caused lesions with a two-fold larger diameter than the wild type and complementation mutants. Amr1 is a homolog of Cmr1, a transcription factor that regulates melanin biosynthesis in several fungi. We created gene deletion mutants of ?amr1 and characterized their phenotypes. The ?amr1 mutants used pectin as a carbon source more efficiently than the wild type, were melanin-deficient, and more sensitive to UV light and glucanase digestion. The AMR1 protein was localized in the nuclei of hyphae and in highly melanized conidia during the late stage of plant pathogenesis. RNA-seq analysis revealed that three genes in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, along with the deleted Amr1 gene, were expressed at low levels in the mutants. In contrast, many hydrolytic enzyme-coding genes were expressed at higher levels in the mutants than in the wild type during pathogenesis. The results of this study suggested that a gene important for survival in nature negatively affected virulence, probably by a less efficient use of plant cell-wall materials. We speculate that the functions of the Amr1 gene are important to the success of A. brassicicola as a competitive saprophyte and plant parasite.

  9. Duration of reappearance of gingival melanin pigmentation after surgical removal — A clinical study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Harjit; Jain, Sanjeev; Sharma, Roshan Lal

    2010-01-01

    Background: In dentistry, esthetics has a special place. Although gingival melanin pigmentation does not present a medical problem, clinicians are often faced with a challenge of achieving gingival esthetics. Materials and Methods: A method of de-epithelialization of the pigmented gingiva using Kirkland’s gingivectomy knife is described. Twenty patients who were conscious about their gingival melanin pigmentation were selected. The gingiva of the whole of the arch was abraded until the entire visible pigmentation was removed. Clinical observations for intensity of pigmentation were recorded at baseline and then after surgery at monthly intervals over a period of 9 months according to Dummett-Gupta Oral Pigmentation Index scoring criteria proposed by Dummett C. O. in 1964. Results: The mean gingival melanin pigmentation score came down to 0.407 after 9 months as compared to preoperative score, which was 2.24. No repigmentation occurred in fair-complexioned persons. In persons with wheatish complexion, repigmentation was seen in 85.71% of the cases, but scores came down to 0.38 postoperatively as compared to 2.27 preoperatively. In dark-complexioned persons, repigmentation occurred in all cases, but the mean scores were 0.93 as compared to 2.40 preoperatively. The difference between preoperative and postoperative mean scores for each segment was put to statistical analysis by applying paired t test and was found to be significant. Conclusion: As this method has shown statistically significant results, it can be used in patients who are conscious of pigmented gingiva and want an esthetically satisfactory color. PMID:21691546

  10. Comparison of the effectiveness between 2% and 4% nicotinamide gel in reducing melanin index

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Murtisari, Lisa Murtisari

    2015-01-01

    Background: Nicotinamide is a safe agent inhibiting melanosome transfer in vitro therefore it can reduce skin pigmentation. Two percent nicotinamide cream combined with sunscreen as a lightening agent in-creases skin lightness in vivo. Measurement of skin colour changes can be performed by mexameter to measure melanin index (MI).Objective: This study was aimed to compare the effectiveness of 2% and 4% nicotinamide gel as a lightening agent in reducing MI.Materials and Methods: This study was ...

  11. Comparison of the effectiveness between 2% and 4% nicotinamide gel in reducing melanin index

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Murtisari, Lisa Murtisari

    2015-01-01

    Background: Nicotinamide is a safe agent inhibiting melanosome transfer in vitro therefore it can reduce skin pigmentation. Two percent nicotinamide cream combined with sunscreen as a lightening agent in-creases skin lightness in vivo. Measurement of skin colour changes can be performed by mexameter to measure melanin index (MI).Objective: This study was aimed to compare the effectiveness of 2% and 4% nicotinamide gel as a lightening agent in reducing MI.Materials and Methods: This study was ...

  12. Bacterial lipases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jaeger, Karl-Erich; Ransac, Stéphane; Dijkstra, Bauke W.; Colson, Charles; Heuvel, Margreet van; Misset, Onno

    1994-01-01

    Many different bacterial species produce lipases which hydrolyze esters of glycerol with preferably long-chain fatty acids. They act at the interface generated by a hydrophobic lipid substrate in a hydrophilic aqueous medium. A characteristic property of lipases is called interfacial activation, mea

  13. Bacterial Adhesion & Blocking Bacterial Adhesion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vejborg, Rebecca Munk

    2008-01-01

    tract to the microbial flocs in waste water treatment facilities. Microbial biofilms may however also cause a wide range of industrial and medical problems, and have been implicated in a wide range of persistent infectious diseases, including implantassociated microbial infections. Bacterial adhesion...... is the first committing step in biofilm formation, and has therefore been intensely scrutinized. Much however, still remains elusive. Bacterial adhesion is a highly complex process, which is influenced by a variety of factors. In this thesis, a range of physico-chemical, molecular and environmental parameters......, which influence the transition from a planktonic lifestyle to a sessile lifestyle, have been studied. Protein conditioning film formation was found to influence bacterial adhesion and subsequent biofilm formation considerable, and an aqueous extract of fish muscle tissue was shown to significantly...

  14. Melanin synthesis is associated with changes in hyphopodial turgor, permeability, and wall rigidity in gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Money, N P; Caesar-TonThat, T C; Frederick, B; Henson, J M

    1998-01-01

    Mycelia of Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis form large cells called hyphopodia with deeply lobed, melanized walls. Like appressoria produced by other pathogens, hyphopodia develop on hydrophobic surfaces, but it is not clear that hyphopodia function as platforms for host penetration. In appressoria, melanin synthesis is linked to the generation of enormous turgor pressures that provide the necessary force for plant penetration. In the present study, hyphopodial turgor was measured in a wild-type strain of G. graminis var. graminis, a mutant exhibiting constitutive synthesis of melanin (referred to as the dark mutant), and a melanin-deficient strain (thr). These experiments demonstrate that hyphopodia of the wild-type strain generate higher pressures than the dark mutant and that nonmelanized thr hyphopodia generate minuscule internal pressures. Melanization of the wall is also associated with an increase in its rigidity. These data correlate with differences in wall permeability consistent with a recent model for turgor generation by appressoria.

  15. Melanin and blood concentration in a human skin model studied by multiple regression analysis: assessment by Monte Carlo simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, M.; Yamada, Y.; Itoh, M.; Yatagai, T.

    2001-09-01

    Measurement of melanin and blood concentration in human skin is needed in the medical and the cosmetic fields because human skin colour is mainly determined by the colours of melanin and blood. It is difficult to measure these concentrations in human skin because skin has a multi-layered structure and scatters light strongly throughout the visible spectrum. The Monte Carlo simulation currently used for the analysis of skin colour requires long calculation times and knowledge of the specific optical properties of each skin layer. A regression analysis based on the modified Beer-Lambert law is presented as a method of measuring melanin and blood concentration in human skin in a shorter period of time and with fewer calculations. The accuracy of this method is assessed using Monte Carlo simulations.

  16. Using Sepia melanin as a PD model to describe the binding characteristics of neuromelanin - A critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Rhiannon L; Double, Kay L; Gerber, Jacobus P

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is characterised pathologically by a relatively selective death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain. The vulnerability of these neurons appears to be linked to the pigment neuromelanin. However, as yet there is limited understanding behind the mechanisms of this disease process. Complications arise due to the difficulty in obtaining appreciable quantities of neuromelanin. Furthermore, an appropriate model for studying neuromelanin has not been identified. To date there has been many studies looking at the binding and chemical characteristics of neuromelanin. However, a range of different synthetic and organic melanins have been used as models and leading to many varied conclusions being drawn. Therefore, the aim of this review is to present Sepia melanin as the most appropriate study model for the binding characteristics of neuromelanin. Considerations included chemical structure, surface characteristics and structural features of both synthetic and organic melanins.

  17. High-Throughput Melanin-Binding Affinity and In Silico Methods to Aid in the Prediction of Drug Exposure in Ocular Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, John; Williams, Sarah L; Forster, Cornelia J; Kansara, Viral; End, Peter; Serrano-Wu, Michael H

    2015-12-01

    Drugs possessing the ability to bind to melanin-rich tissue, such as the eye, are linked with higher ocular exposure, and therefore have the potential to affect the efficacy and safety profiles of therapeutics. A high-throughput melanin chromatographic affinity assay has been developed and validated, which has allowed the rapid melanin affinity assessment for a large number of compounds. Melanin affinity of compounds can be quickly assigned as low, medium, or high melanin binders. A high-throughput chromatographic method has been developed and fully validated to assess melanin affinity of pharmaceuticals and has been useful in predicting ocular tissue distribution in vivo studies. The high-throughput experimental approach has also allowed for a specific training set of 263 molecules for a quantitative structure-affinity relationships (QSAR) method to be developed, which has also been shown to be a predictor of ocular tissue exposure. Previous studies have reported the development of in silico QSAR models based on training sets of relatively small and mostly similar compounds; this model covers a broader range of melanin-binding affinities than what has been previously published and identified several physiochemical descriptors to be considered in the design of compounds where melanin-binding modulation is desired.

  18. Stability of polydopamine and poly(DOPA) melanin-like films on the surface of polymer membranes under strongly acidic and alkaline conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Houliang; Ren, Jun; Han, Bo; Xu, Li; Han, Lulu; Jia, Lingyun

    2013-10-01

    This study investigated the stability of polydopamine and poly(3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) (poly(DOPA)) melanin-like films on the surface of polymer substrates. Three polymer membranes, polypropylene (PP), poly(vinylidenefluoride) (PVDF) and nylon, were modified with polydopamine or poly(DOPA), and then immersed in 0.1M HCl or NaOH, followed by UV-vis spectrometry analysis to detec