Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of hospital-acquired infection. In healthy hosts outside of the health care setting, S. aureus is a frequent colonizer of the human nose but rarely causes severe invasive infection such as bacteremia, endocarditis, or osteomyelitis. To identify genes associated with community-acquired invasive isolates, regions of genomic variability, and the S. aureus population structure, we compared 61 community-acquired invasive isolates of S. aureus and 100 nasal carriage isolates from healthy donors using a microarray spotted with PCR products representing every gene from the seven S. aureus sequencing projects. The core genes common to all strains were identified, and 10 dominant lineages of S. aureus were clearly discriminated. Each lineage carried a unique combination of hundreds of “core variable” (CV) genes scattered throughout the chromosome, suggesting a common ancestor but early evolutionary divergence. Many CV genes are regulators of virulence genes or known or predicted to be expressed on the bacterial surface and to interact with the host during nasal colonization and infection. Within each lineage, isolates showed substantial variation in the carriage of mobile genetic elements and their associated virulence and resistance genes, indicating frequent horizontal transfer. However, we were unable to identify any association between lineage or gene and invasive isolates. We suggest that the S. aureus gene combinations necessary for invasive disease may also be necessary for nasal colonization and that community-acquired invasive disease is strongly dependent on host factors.
The generation of microarray probes with specificity below the species level is an ongoing challenge, not least because the high-throughput detection of microorganisms would be an efficient means of identifying environmentally relevant microbes. Here, we describe how suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) can be applied to the production of microarray probes that are useful for microbial differentiation at the subspecies level. SSH was used to initially isolate unique genomic sequences of nine Salmonella strains, and these were validated in quadruplicate by microarray analysis. The results obtained indicate that a large group of genes subtracted by SSH could serve together, as one probe, for detecting a microbial subspecies. Similarly, the whole microbial genome (not subjected to SSH) can be used as a species-specific probe. The detailed methods described herein could be used and adapted for the estimation of any cultivable bacteria from different environments.
Echinacea, native to the Canadian prairies and the prairie states of the United States, has a long tradition as a folk medicine for the Native Americans. Currently, Echinacea are among the top 10 selling herbal medicines in the U.S. and Europe, due to increasing popularity for the treatment of common cold and ability to stimulate the immune system. However, the genetic relationship within the species of this genus is unclear, making the authentication of the species used for the medicinal industry more difficult. We report the construction of a novel Subtracted Diversity Array (SDA) for Echinacea species and demonstrate the potential of this array for isolating highly polymorphic sequences. In order to selectively isolate Echinacea-specific sequences, a Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) was performed between a pool of twenty-four Echinacea genotypes and a pool of other angiosperms and non-angiosperms. A total of 283 subtracted genomic DNA (gDNA) fragments were amplified and arrayed. Twenty-seven Echinacea genotypes including four that were not used in the array construction could be successfully discriminated. Interestingly, unknown samples of E. paradoxa and E. purpurea could be unambiguously identified from the cluster analysis. Furthermore, this Echinacea-specific SDA was also able to isolate highly polymorphic retrotransposon sequences. Five out of the eleven most discriminatory features matched to known retrotransposons. This is the first time retrotransposon sequences have been used to fingerprint Echinacea, highlighting the potential of retrotransposons as based molecular markers useful for fingerprinting and studying diversity patterns in Echinacea.
A novel subtraction hybridization procedure, incorporating a combination of four separation strategies, was developed to isolate unique DNA sequences from a strain of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii. Sau3A-digested DNA from this strain, i.e., the probe strain, was ligated to a linker and hybridized in solution with an excess of pooled subtracter DNA from seven other strains of the same biovar which had been restricted, ligated to a different, biotinylated, subtracter-specific linker, and amplified by polymerase chain reaction to incorporate dUTP. Subtracter DNA and subtracter-probe hybrids were removed by phenol-chloroform extraction of a streptavidin-biotin-DNA complex. NENSORB chromatography of the sequences remaining in the aqueous layer captured biotinylated subtracter DNA which may have escaped removal by phenol-chloroform treatment. Any traces of contaminating subtracter DNA were removed by digestion with uracil DNA glycosylase. Finally, remaining sequences were amplified by polymerase chain reaction with a probe strain-specific primer, labelled with 32P, and tested for specificity in dot blot hybridizations against total genomic target DNA from each strain in the subtracter pool. Two rounds of subtraction-amplification were sufficient to remove cross-hybridizing sequences and to give a probe which hybridized only with homologous target DNA. The method is applicable to the isolation of DNA and RNA sequences from both procaryotic and eucaryotic cells.
We have designed a novel transcriptome subtraction method for the genome-scale analysis of differential gene expression in highly complex eukaryotes, in which suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) is performed first to enrich the target and, after exchange of adapters, negative subtraction chain (NSC) is then used to eliminate the remaining background. NSC evolved from differential subtraction chain (DSC). We designed novel adapters which make the subtraction system more robust. SSH and NSC were then combined to successfully detect differentially expressed genes in Solanum. The combined technique improves qualitatively upon SSH, the only commercially available transcriptome subtraction system, by detecting target genes in the middle abundance class, to which most differentially expressed genes in highly complex eukaryotes are expected to belong. The main advantage of the combined technique with SSH/NSC is its ability to isolate differentially expressed genes quickly and cost-efficiently from non-standard models, for those microarrays are unavailable.
The clinical spectrum of Staphylococcus aureus infection ranges from asymptomatic nasal carriage to osteomyelitis, infective endocarditis (IE) and death. In this study, we evaluate potential association between the presence of specific genes in a collection of prospectively characterized S. aureus clinical isolates and clinical outcome.
Two hundred thirty-nine S. aureus isolates (121 methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA] and 118 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus [MSSA]) were screened by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to identify genes implicated in complicated infections. After adjustment for multiple tests, 226 genes were significantly associated with severity of infection. Of these 226 genes, 185 were not in the SCCmec element. Within the 185 non-SCCmec genes, 171 were less common and 14 more common in the complicated infection group. Among the 41 genes in the SCCmec element, 37 were more common and 4 were less common in the complicated group. A total of 51 of the 2014 sequences evaluated, 14 non-SCCmec and 37 SCCmec, were identified as genes of interest.
Of the 171 genes less common in complicated infections, 152 are of unknown function and may contribute to attenuation of virulence. The 14 non-SCCmec genes more common in complicated infections include bacteriophage-encoded genes such as regulatory factors and autolysins with potential roles in tissue adhesion or biofilm formation.
Vibrio cholerae has multiple survival strategies which are reflected both in its broad distribution in many aquatic environments and its high genotypic diversity. To obtain additional information regarding the content of the V. cholerae genome, suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to prepare libraries of DNA sequences from two southern California coastal isolates which are divergent or absent in the clinical strain V. cholerae O1 El Tor N16961. More than 1,400 subtracted clones were sequenced. This revealed the presence of novel sequences encoding functions related to cell surface structures, transport, metabolism, signal transduction, luminescence, mobile elements, stress resistance, and virulence. Flanking sequence information was determined for loci of interest, and the distribution of these sequences was assessed for a collection of V. cholerae strains obtained from southern California and Mexican environments. This led to the surprising observation that sequences related to the toxin genes toxA, cnf1, and exoY are widespread and more common in these strains than those of the cholera toxin genes which are a hallmark of the pandemic strains of V. cholerae. Gene transfer among these strains could be facilitated by a 4.9-kbp plasmid discovered in one isolate, which possesses similarity to plasmids from other environmental vibrios. By investigating some of the nucleotide sequence basis for V. cholerae genotypic diversity, DNA fragments have been uncovered which could promote survival in coastal environments. Furthermore, a set of genes has been described which could be involved in as yet undiscovered interactions between V. cholerae and eukaryotic organisms.
Melanoma progression occurs through three major stages: radial growth phase (RGP), confined to the epidermis; vertical growth phase (VGP), when the tumor has invaded into the dermis; and metastasis. In this work, we used suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to investigate the molecular signature of melanoma progression, by comparing a group of metastatic cell lines with an RGP-like cell line showing characteristics of early neoplastic lesions including expression of the metastasis suppressor KISS1, lack of αvβ3-integrin and low levels of RHOC.
Two subtracted cDNA collections were obtained, one (RGP library) by subtracting the RGP cell line (WM1552C) cDNA from a cDNA pool from four metastatic cell lines (WM9, WM852, 1205Lu and WM1617), and the other (Met library) by the reverse subtraction. Clones were sequenced and annotated, and expression validation was done by Northern blot and RT-PCR. Gene Ontology annotation and searches in large-scale melanoma expression studies were done for the genes identified.
We identified 367 clones from the RGP library and 386 from the Met library, of which 351 and 368, respectively, match human mRNA sequences, representing 288 and 217 annotated genes. We confirmed the differential expression of all genes selected for validation. In the Met library, we found an enrichment of genes in the growth factors/receptor, adhesion and motility categories whereas in the RGP library, enriched categories were nucleotide biosynthesis, DNA packing/repair, and macromolecular/vesicular trafficking. Interestingly, 19% of the genes from the RGP library map to chromosome 1 against 4% of the ones from Met library.
This study identifies two populations of genes differentially expressed between melanoma cell lines from two tumor stages and suggests that these sets of genes represent profiles of less aggressive versus metastatic melanomas. A search for expression profiles of melanoma in available expression study databases allowed us to point to a great potential of involvement in tumor progression for several of the genes identified here. A few sequences obtained here may also contribute to extend annotated mRNAs or to the identification of novel transcripts.
We investigated associations between the genotypic and phenotypic features of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream isolates and the clinical characteristics of bacteremic patients enrolled in a phase III trial of S. aureus bacteremia and endocarditis. Isolates underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, PCR for 33 putative virulence genes, and screening for heteroresistant glycopeptide intermediate S. aureus (hGISA). A total of 230 isolates (141 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus and 89 methicillin-resistant S. aureus [MRSA]) were analyzed. North American and European S. aureus isolates differed in their genotypic characteristics. Overall, 26% of the MRSA bloodstream isolates were USA 300 strains. Patients with USA 300 MRSA bacteremia were more likely to be injection drug users (61% versus 15%; P < 0.001), to have right-sided endocarditis (39% versus 9%; P = 0.002), and to be cured of right-sided endocarditis (100% versus 33%; P = 0.01) than patients with non-USA 300 MRSA bacteremia. Patients with persistent bacteremia were less likely to be infected with Panton-Valentine leukocidin gene (pvl)-constitutive MRSA (19% versus 56%; P = 0.005). Although 7 of 89 MRSA isolates (8%) exhibited the hGISA phenotype, no association with persistent bacteremia, daptomycin resistance, or bacterial genotype was observed. This study suggests that the virulence gene profiles of S. aureus bloodstream isolates from North America and Europe differ significantly. In this study of bloodstream isolates collected as part of a multinational randomized clinical trial, USA 300 and pvl-constitutive MRSA strains were associated with better clinical outcomes.
Much of the research aimed at defining the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus has been done with a limited number of strains, most notably the 8325-4 derivative RN6390. Several lines of evidence indicate that this strain is unique by comparison to clinical isolates of S. aureus. Based on this, we have focused our efforts on two clinical isolates (UAMS-1 and UAMS-601), both of which are hypervirulent in our animal models of musculoskeletal infection. In this study, we used comparative genomic hybridization to assess the genome content of these two isolates relative to RN6390 and each of seven sequenced S. aureus isolates. Our comparisons were done by using an amplicon-based microarray from the Pathogen Functional Genomics Resource Center and an Affymetrix GeneChip that collectively represent the genomes of all seven sequenced strains. Our results confirmed that UAMS-1 and UAMS-601 share specific attributes that distinguish them from RN6390. Potentially important differences included the presence of cna and the absence of isaB, sarT, sarU, and sasG in the UAMS isolates. Among the sequenced strains, the UAMS isolates were most closely related to the dominant European clone EMRSA-16. In contrast, RN6390, NCTC 8325, and COL formed a distinct cluster that, by comparison to the other four sequenced strains (Mu50, N315, MW2, and SANGER-476), was the most distantly related to the UAMS isolates and EMRSA-16.
Blooms of the freshwater cyanobacterium Anabaena circinalis are recognized as an important health risk worldwide due to the production of a range of toxins such as saxitoxin (STX) and its derivatives. In this study we used HIP1 octameric-palindrome repeated-sequence PCR to compare the genomic structure of phylogenetically similar Australian isolates of A. circinalis. STX-producing and nontoxic cyanobacterial strains showed different HIP1 (highly iterated octameric palindrome 1) DNA patterns, and characteristic interrepeat amplicons for each group were identified. Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was performed using HIP1 PCR-generated libraries to further identify toxic-strain-specific genes. An STX-producing strain and a nontoxic strain of A. circinalis were chosen as testers in two distinct experiments. The two categories of SSH putative tester-specific sequences were characterized by different families of encoded proteins that may be representative of the differences in metabolism between STX-producing and nontoxic A. circinalis strains. DNA-microarray hybridization and genomic screening revealed a toxic-strain-specific HIP1 fragment coding for a putative Na+-dependent transporter. Analysis of this gene demonstrated analogy to the mrpF gene of Bacillus subtilis, whose encoded protein is involved in Na+-specific pH homeostasis. The application of this gene as a molecular probe in laboratory and environmental screening for STX-producing A. circinalis strains was demonstrated. The possible role of this putative Na+-dependent transporter in the toxic cyanobacterial phenotype is also discussed, in light of recent physiological studies of STX-producing cyanobacteria.
Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus are closely related members of the B. cereus-group of bacilli. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to identify specific chromosomal sequences unique to B. anthracis.
Two SSH libraries were generated. Genomic DNA from plasmid-cured B. anthracis was used as the tester DNA in both libraries, while genomic DNA from either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis served as the driver DNA. Progressive screening of the libraries by colony filter and Southern blot analyses identified 29 different clones that were specific for the B. anthracis chromosome relative not only to the respective driver DNAs, but also to seven other different strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis included in the process. The nucleotide sequences of the clones were compared with those found in genomic databases, revealing that over half of the clones were located into 2 regions on the B. anthracis chromosome.
Genes encoding potential cell wall synthesis proteins dominated one region, while bacteriophage-related sequences dominated the other region. The latter supports the hypothesis that acquisition of these bacteriophage sequences occurred during or after speciation of B. anthracis relative to B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This study provides insight into the chromosomal differences between B. anthracis and its closest phylogenetic relatives.
Insect ovarioles are classified into two categories: panoistic and meroistic, the later having apparently evolved from an ancestral panoistic type. Molecular data on oogenesis is practically restricted to meroistic ovaries. If we aim at studying the evolutionary transition from panoistic to meroistic, data on panoistic ovaries should be gathered. To this end, we planned the construction of a Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) library to identify genes involved in panoistic choriogenesis, using the cockroach Blattella germanica as model.
We constructed a post-vitellogenic ovary library by SSH to isolate genes involved in choriogenesis in B. germanica. The tester library was prepared with an ovary pool from 6- to 7-day-old females, whereas the driver library was prepared with an ovary pool from 3- to 4-day-old females. From the SSH library, we obtained 258 high quality sequences which clustered into 34 unique sequences grouped in 19 contigs and 15 singlets. The sequences were compared against non-redundant NCBI databases using BLAST. We found that 44% of the unique sequences had homologous sequences in known genes of other organisms, whereas 56% had no significant similarity to any of the databases entries. A Gene Ontology analysis was carried out, classifying the 34 sequences into different functional categories. Seven of these gene sequences, representative of different categories and processes, were chosen to perform expression studies during the first gonadotrophic cycle by real-time PCR. Results showed that they were mainly expressed during post-vitellogenesis, which validates the SSH technique. In two of them corresponding to novel genes, we demonstrated that they are specifically expressed in the cytoplasm of follicular cells in basal oocytes at the time of choriogenesis.
The SSH approach has proven to be useful in identifying ovarian genes expressed after vitellogenesis in B. germanica. For most of the genes, functions related to choriogenesis are postulated. The relatively high percentage of novel genes obtained and the practical absence of chorion genes typical of meroistic ovaries suggest that mechanisms regulating chorion formation in panoistic ovaries are significantly different from those of meroistic ones.
To elucidate further the pathogenesis of sporadic, idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) and identify potential therapeutic avenues, differential gene expression in IPAH was examined by suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH).
Peripheral lung samples were obtained immediately after removal from patients undergoing lung transplant for IPAH without familial disease, and control tissues consisted of similarly sampled pieces of donor lungs not utilised during transplantation. Pools of lung mRNA from IPAH cases containing plexiform lesions and normal donor lungs were used to generate the tester and driver cDNA libraries, respectively. A subtracted IPAH cDNA library was made by SSH. Clones isolated from this subtracted library were examined for up regulated expression in IPAH using dot blot arrays of positive colony PCR products using both pooled cDNA libraries as probes. Clones verified as being upregulated were sequenced. For two genes the increase in expression was verified by northern blotting and data analysed using Student's unpaired two-tailed t-test.
We present preliminary findings concerning candidate genes upregulated in IPAH. Twenty-seven upregulated genes were identified out of 192 clones examined. Upregulation in individual cases of IPAH was shown by northern blot for tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 and decorin (P < 0.01) compared with the housekeeping gene glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.
Four of the up regulated genes, magic roundabout, hevin, thrombomodulin and sucrose non-fermenting protein-related kinase-1 are expressed specifically by endothelial cells and one, muscleblind-1, by muscle cells, suggesting that they may be associated with plexiform lesions and hypertrophic arterial wall remodelling, respectively.
In the United States the incidence of craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the sutures of the cranial vault) is 1 in 2,000-3,000 live births. The condition can cause increased intracranial pressure, severely altered head shape, and mental retardation. We have previously described a colony of rabbits with heritable coronal suture synostosis. This model has been instrumental in describing the post-surgical craniofacial growth associated with craniosynostosis. The molecular analysis of this model has been limited by the lack of molecular tools for use in rabbits. In order to understand the pathogenesis of craniosynostosis, we compared gene expression in perisutural tissues between wild-type (WT) and craniosynostotic (CS) rabbits using polymerase chain reaction-suppression subtractive hybridization (PCR SSH).
PCR SSH was performed on RNA derived from pooled samples of calvariae from 10-day old WT (n=3) and CS (n=3) rabbits to obtain cDNA clones that are either enriched in WT tissues (underexpressed in CS tissue) or enriched in CS tissues (overexpressed in CS compared to WT).
Differential expression was identified for approximately 140 recovered cDNA clones upregulated in CS tissues and 130 recovered clones for WT tissues. Of these, four genes were confirmed by quantitative reverse-transcriptase (RT)-PCR as being overexpressed in CS sutural tissue: β-globin, osteopontin (SPP1), SPARC, and cathepsin K (CTSK). Two genes were confirmed to be underexpressed in the CS samples: COL3A1 and RNF12.
The differential expression of these gene products in our naturally occurring CS model appears to be the result of differences in the normal bone formation/resorption pathway.
craniosynostosis; rabbit; gene expression; molecular tools; osteogenesis; differential expression
Xanthomonas albilineans causes leaf scald, a lethal disease of sugarcane. X. albilineans exhibits distinctive pathogenic mechanisms, ecology and taxonomy compared to other species of Xanthomonas. For example, this species produces a potent DNA gyrase inhibitor called albicidin that is largely responsible for inducing disease symptoms; its habitat is limited to xylem; and the species exhibits large variability. A first manuscript on the complete genome sequence of the highly pathogenic X. albilineans strain GPE PC73 focused exclusively on distinctive genomic features shared with Xylella fastidiosa—another xylem-limited Xanthomonadaceae. The present manuscript on the same genome sequence aims to describe all other pathogenicity-related genomic features of X. albilineans, and to compare, using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), genomic features of two strains differing in pathogenicity.
Comparative genomic analyses showed that most of the known pathogenicity factors from other Xanthomonas species are conserved in X. albilineans, with the notable absence of two major determinants of the “artillery” of other plant pathogenic species of Xanthomonas: the xanthan gum biosynthesis gene cluster, and the type III secretion system Hrp (hypersensitive response and pathogenicity). Genomic features specific to X. albilineans that may contribute to specific adaptation of this pathogen to sugarcane xylem vessels were also revealed. SSH experiments led to the identification of 20 genes common to three highly pathogenic strains but missing in a less pathogenic strain. These 20 genes, which include four ABC transporter genes, a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein gene and an oxidoreductase gene, could play a key role in pathogenicity. With the exception of hypothetical proteins revealed by our comparative genomic analyses and SSH experiments, no genes potentially involved in any offensive or counter-defensive mechanism specific to X. albilineans were identified, supposing that X. albilineans has a reduced artillery compared to other pathogenic Xanthomonas species. Particular attention has therefore been given to genomic features specific to X. albilineans making it more capable of evading sugarcane surveillance systems or resisting sugarcane defense systems.
This study confirms that X. albilineans is a highly distinctive species within the genus Xanthomonas, and opens new perpectives towards a greater understanding of the pathogenicity of this destructive sugarcane pathogen.
Staphylococcus xylosus is a commensal of the skin of humans and animals and a ubiquitous bacterium naturally present in food. It is one of the major starter cultures used for meat fermentation, but a few strains could potentially be hazardous and are related to animal opportunistic infections. To better understand the genetic diversity of S. xylosus intraspecies, suppressive and subtractive hybridization (SSH) was carried out with the S. xylosus C2a strain, a commensal of human skin, used as the driver for three tester strains, S04002 used as a starter culture, S04009 isolated from cow mastitis, and 00-1747, responsible for mouse dermatitis. SSH revealed 122 tester-specific fragments corresponding to 149 open reading frames (ORFs). A large proportion of these ORFs resembled genes involved in specific metabolisms. Analysis of the distribution of the tester-specific fragments in 20 S. xylosus strains of various origins showed that the S. xylosus species could be divided into two clusters with one composed only of potentially hazardous strains. The genetic content diversity of this species is colocalized in a region near the origin of replication of the chromosome. This region of speciation previously observed in the Staphylococcus genus corresponded in S. xylosus species to a strain-specific region potentially implicated in ecological fitness.
Comparisons between genomes of closely related bacteria often show large variations in gene content, even between strains of the same species. Such studies have focused mainly on pathogens; here, we examined Thermotoga maritima, a free-living hyperthermophilic bacterium, by using suppressive subtractive hybridization. The genome sequence of T. maritima MSB8 is available, and DNA from this strain served as a reference to obtain strain-specific sequences from Thermotoga sp. strain RQ2, a very close relative (∼96% identity for orthologous protein-coding genes, 99.7% identity in the small-subunit rRNA sequence). Four hundred twenty-six RQ2 subtractive clones were sequenced. One hundred sixty-six had no DNA match in the MSB8 genome. These differential clones comprise, in sum, 48 kb of RQ2-specific DNA and match 72 genes in the GenBank database. From the number of identical clones, we estimated that RQ2 contains 350 to 400 genes not found in MSB8. Assuming a similar genome size, this corresponds to 20% of the RQ2 genome. A large proportion of the RQ2-specific genes were predicted to be involved in sugar transport and polysaccharide degradation, suggesting that polysaccharides are more important as nutrients for this strain than for MSB8. Several clones encode proteins involved in the production of surface polysaccharides. RQ2 encodes multiple subunits of a V-type ATPase, while MSB8 possesses only an F-type ATPase. Moreover, an RQ2-specific MutS homolog was found among the subtractive clones and appears to belong to a third novel archaeal type MutS lineage. Southern blot analyses showed that some of the RQ2 differential sequences are found in some other members of the order Thermotogales, but the distribution of these variable genes is patchy, suggesting frequent lateral gene transfer within the group.
A PCR-based positive hybridization (PPH) method was developed to explore toxic-specific genes in common between toxigenic strains of Anabaena circinalis, a cyanobacterium able to produce saxitoxin (STX). The PPH technique is based on the same principles of suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), although with the former no driver DNA is required and two tester genomic DNAs are hybridized at high stringency. The aim was to obtain genes associated with cyanobacterial STX production. The genetic diversity within phylogenetically similar strains of A.circinalis was investigated by comparing the results of the standard SSH protocol to the PPH approach by DNA-microarray analysis. SSH allowed the recovery of DNA libraries that were mainly specific for each of the two STX-producing strains used. Several candidate sequences were found by PPH to be in common between both the STX-producing testers. The PPH technique performed using unsubtracted genomic libraries proved to be a powerful tool to identify DNA sequences possibly transferred laterally between two cyanobacterial strains that may be candidate(s) in STX biosynthesis. The approach presented in this study represents a novel and valid tool to study the genetic basis for secondary metabolite production in microorganisms.
Verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli causes zoonotic food- or waterborne infection that may be associated with massive outbreaks and with the serious complication of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Serotypes O157:H7 and O157:NM are more commonly associated with HUS and outbreaks than other serotypes, such as O26:H11. To determine whether a genetic basis exists for why serotype O157:H7/NM causes HUS and outbreaks more often than other serotypes, such as O26:H11, we conducted suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) between the genomes of the sequenced O157:H7 strain EDL933 and CL1, a clinical serotype O26:H11 isolate. Genes from four EDL933 fimbria-encoding genomic O islands (OIs) (OI-1, -47, -141, and -154) were identified in the SSH library. OI-47 encodes several additional putative virulence factors, including secreted and signaling proteins, a hemolysin locus, a lipoprotein, an ABC transport system, and a lipid biosynthesis locus. The distribution of the OIs was investigated by PCR and Southern hybridization (when PCR was negative) with 69 VTEC strains belonging to 39 different serotypes corresponding to 5 seropathotypes that differ in their disease and epidemic potential. The four OIs described here were distributed almost exclusively in serotypes O157:H7 and O157:NM, which indicates that they may be associated with the ability of these strains to colonize human and/or animal intestinal tracts and to cause epidemic and serious disease more frequently than other serotypes. The occurrence of the four OIs in enteropathogenic E. coli O55:H7 strains is consistent with their vertical inheritance by VTEC O157:H7/NM from this clonally related ancestor.
Uveal melanoma (UM) has been the subject of intense interest due to its distinctive metastatic pattern, which involves hematogenous dissemination of cancerous cells toward the liver in 50% of patients. To search for new UM prognostic markers, the Suppressive Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) technique was used to isolate genes that are differentially expressed between UM primary tumors and normal uveal melanocytes (UVM).
A subtracted cDNA library was prepared using cDNA from uncultured UM primary tumors and UVM. The expression level of selected genes was further validated by cDNA microarray, semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and immunofluorescence analyses.
One hundred-fifteen genes were identified using the SSH technique. Microarray analyses comparing the gene expression profiles of UM primary tumors to UVM validated a significant differential expression for 48% of these genes. The expression pattern of selected genes was then analyzed by semi-quantitative RT–PCR and was found to be consistent with the SSH and cDNA microarray findings. A down-regulation of genes associated with melanocyte differentiation was confirmed in UM primary tumors. Presence of undifferentiated cells in the UM was demonstrated by the expression of stem cell markers ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2) and octamer-binding protein 4 (OCT4).
We demonstrated that the SSH technique is efficient to detect differentially expressed genes between UM and UVM. The genes identified in this study represent valuable candidates for further functional analysis in UM and should be informative in studying the biology of this tumor. In addition, deregulation of the melanocyte differentiation pathway revealed the presence of UM cells exhibiting a stem cell-like phenotype.
Freshwater planarians are widely used as models for investigation of pattern formation and studies on genetic variation in populations. Despite extensive information on the biology and genetics of planaria, the occurrence and distribution of viruses in these animals remains an unexplored area of research.
Using a combination of Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) and Mirror Orientation Selection (MOS), we compared the genomes of two strains of freshwater planarian, Girardia tigrina. The novel extrachromosomal DNA-containing virus-like element denoted PEVE (Planarian Extrachromosomal Virus-like Element) was identified in one planarian strain. The PEVE genome (about 7.5 kb) consists of two unique regions (Ul and Us) flanked by inverted repeats. Sequence analyses reveal that PEVE comprises two helicase-like sequences in the genome, of which the first is a homolog of a circoviral replication initiator protein (Rep), and the second is similar to the papillomavirus E1 helicase domain. PEVE genome exists in at least two variant forms with different arrangements of single-stranded and double-stranded DNA stretches that correspond to the Us and Ul regions. Using PCR analysis and whole-mount in situ hybridization, we characterized PEVE distribution and expression in the planarian body.
PEVE is the first viral element identified in free-living flatworms. This element differs from all known viruses and viral elements, and comprises two potential helicases that are homologous to proteins from distant viral phyla. PEVE is unevenly distributed in the worm body, and is detected in specific parenchyma cells.
Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) is frequently used to unearth differentially expressed genes on a whole-genome scale. Its versatility is based on combining
cDNA library subtraction and normalization, which allows the isolation of sequences
of varying degrees of abundance and differential expression. SSH is a complex process
with many adjustable parameters that affect the outcome of gene isolation.We present
a mathematical model of SSH based on DNA hybridization kinetics for assessing the
effect of various parameters to facilitate its optimization. We derive an equation
for the probability that a particular differentially expressed species is successfully
isolated and use this to quantify the effect of the following parameters related to
the cDNA sample: (a) mRNA abundance; (b) partial sequence complementarity to
other species; and (3) degree of differential expression. We also evaluate the effect
of parameters related to the process, including: (a) reaction times; and (b) extent
of driver excess used in the two hybridization reactions. The optimum set of process
parameters for successful isolation of differentially expressed species depends
on transcript abundance. We show that the reaction conditions have a significant
effect on the occurrence of false-positives and formulate strategies to isolate specific
subsets of differentially expressed genes. We also quantify the effect of non-specific
hybridization on the false-positive results and present strategies for spiking cDNA
sequences to address this problem.
Cucurbit yellow vine disease (CYVD) is caused by disease-associated Serratia marcescens strains that have phenotypes significantly different from those of nonphytopathogenic strains. To identify the genetic differences responsible for pathogenicity-related phenotypes, we used a suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) strategy. S. marcescens strain Z01-A, isolated from CYVD-affected zucchini, was used as the tester, whereas rice endophytic S. marcescens strain R02-A (IRBG 502) was used as the driver. SSH revealed 48 sequences, ranging from 200 to 700 bp, that were present in Z01-A but absent in R02-A. Sequence analysis showed that a large proportion of these sequences resembled genes involved in synthesis of surface structures. By construction of a fosmid library, followed by colony hybridization, selection, and DNA sequencing, a phage gene cluster and a genome island containing a fimbrial-gene cluster were identified. Arrayed dot hybridization showed that the conservation of subtracted sequences among CYVD pathogenic and nonpathogenic S. marcescens strains varied. Thirty-four sequences were present only in pathogenic strains. Primers were designed based on one Z01-A-specific sequence, A79, and used in a multiplex PCR to discriminate between S. marcescens strains causing CYVD and those from other ecological niches.
Suppression Subtractive Hybridization PCR (SSH PCR) is a sophisticated cDNA subtraction method to enrich and isolate differentially expressed genes. Despite its popularity, the method has not been thoroughly studied for its practical efficacy and potential limitations.
To determine the factors that influence the efficacy of SSH PCR, a theoretical model, under the assumption that cDNA hybridization follows the ideal second kinetic order, is proposed. The theoretical model suggests that the critical factor influencing the efficacy of SSH PCR is the concentration ratio (R) of a target gene between two cDNA preparations. It preferentially enriches "all or nothing" differentially expressed genes, of which R is infinite, and strongly favors the genes with large R. The theoretical predictions were validated by our experiments. In addition, the experiments revealed some practical limitations that are not obvious from the theoretical model. For effective enrichment of differentially expressed genes, it requires fractional concentration of a target gene to be more than 0.01% and concentration ratio to be more than 5 folds between two cDNA preparations.
Our research demonstrated theoretical and practical limitations of SSH PCR, which could be useful for its experimental design and interpretation.