Bacteriophage Mu DNA was labeled after induction in the presence of [2-3H]adenine or [8-3H]adenine. Both Mu mom+·dam+ DNA and Mu mom−·dam+ DNA have similar N6-methyladenine (MeAde) contents, as well as similar frequencies of MeAde nearest neighbors. Both DNAs are sensitive to in vitro cleavage by R·DpnI but resistant to cleavage by R·DpnII. These results indicate that the mom+ protein does not alter the sequence specificity of the host dam+ methylase to produce MeAde at new sites. However, we have discovered a new modified base, denoted Ax, in Mu mom+·dam+ DNA; approximately 15% of the adenine residues are modified to Ax. Although the precise nature of the modification is not yet defined, analysis by electrophoresis and chromatography indicates that the N6-amino group is not the site of modification, and that the added moiety contains a free carboxyl group. Ax is not present in Mu mom+·dam+ or Mu mom−·dam+ phage DNA or in cellular DNA from uninduced Mu mom+·dam+ lysogens. These results suggest that expression of the dam+ and mom+ genes are required for the Ax modification and that this modification is responsible for protecting Mu DNA against certain restriction nucleases. Mu mom+·dam− DNA and Mu mom−·dam− DNA contain a very low level of MeAde (ca. 1 MeAde per 5,000 adenine residues). Since the only nearest neighbor to MeAde appears to be cytosine, we suggest that the methylated sequence is 5′... C-A*-C... 3′ and that this methylation is mediated by the EcoK modification enzyme.
Transcription of the bacteriophage Mu mom operon requires transactivation by the phage-encoded C protein. DNase I footprinting showed that in the absence of C, Escherichia coli RNA polymerase E(sigma)70 (RNAP) binds to the mom promoter (Pmom) region at a site, P2 (from -64 to -11 with respect to the transcription start site), on the top (non-transcribed) strand. This is slightly upstream from, but overlapping P1 (-49 to +16), the functional binding site for rightward transcription. Host DNA-[N6-adenine] methyltransferase (Dam) methylation of three GATCs immediately upstream of the C binding site is required to prevent binding of the E.coli OxyR protein, which represses mom transcription in dam- strains. OxyR, known to induce DNA bending, is normally in a reduced conformation in vivo, but is converted to an oxidized state under standard in vitro conditions. Using DNase I footprinting, we provide evidence supporting the proposal that the oxidized and reduced forms of OxyR interact differently with their target DNA sequences in vitro. A mutant form, OxyR-C199S, was shown to be able to repress mom expression in vivo in a dam- host. In vitro DNase I footprinting showed that OxyR-C199S protected Pmom from -104 to -46 on the top strand and produced a protection pattern characteristic of reduced wild-type OxyR. Prebinding of OxyR-C199S completely blocked RNAP binding to P2 (in the absence of C), whereas it only slightly decreased binding of C to its target site (-55 to -28, as defined by DNase I footprinting). In contrast, OxyR-C199S strongly inhibited C-activated recruitment of RNAP to P1. These results indicate that OxyR repression is mediated subsequent to binding by C. Mutations have been isolated that relieve the dependence on C activation and have the same transcription start site as the C-activated wild-type promoter. One such mutant, tin7, has a single base change at -14, which changes a T6 run to T3GT2. OxyR-C199S partially inhibited RNAP binding to the tin7 promoter in vitro, even though the OxyR and RNAP-P1 binding sites probably do not overlap, and in vivo expression of tin7 was reduced 5- to 10-fold in dam- cells. These results suggest that OxyR can repress tin7.
DNA sequence analysis revealed that the putative yhdJ DNA methyltransferase gene of Escherichia coli is 55% identical to the Nostoc sp. strain PCC7120 gene encoding DNA methyltransferase AvaIII, which methylates adenine in the recognition sequence, ATGCAT. The yhdJ gene was cloned, and the enzyme was overexpressed and purified. Methylation and restriction analysis showed that the DNA methyltransferase methylates the first adenine in the sequence ATGCAT. This DNA methylation was found to be regulated during the cell cycle, and the DNA adenine methyltransferase was designated M.EcoKCcrM (for “cell cycle-regulated methyltransferase”). The CcrM DNA adenine methyltransferase is required for viability in E. coli, as a strain lacking a functional genomic copy of ccrM can be isolated only in the presence of an additional copy of ccrM supplied in trans. The cells of such a knockout strain stopped growing when expression of the inducible plasmid ccrM gene was shut off. Overexpression of M.EcoKCcrM slowed bacterial growth, and the ATGCAT sites became fully methylated throughout the cell cycle; a high proportion of cells with an anomalous size distribution and DNA content was found in this population. Thus, the temporal control of this methyltransferase may contribute to accurate cell cycle control of cell division and cellular morphology. Homologs of M.EcoKCcrM are present in other bacteria belonging to the gamma subdivision of the class Proteobacteria, suggesting that methylation at ATGCAT sites may have similar functions in other members of this group.
The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) from the N. meningitidis prototype serogroup A strain NMA Z2491, an L9 immunotype LOS, was isolated and structurally characterized using glycosyl composition and linkage determination, mass spectrometry and both 1- and 2-D nuclear resonance spectroscopy. The results show that the L9 LOS has an identical structure to that of an L4 LOS structure with the exception that it does not contain a sialic acid residue linked to position 3 of the lactoneotetraose terminal galactosyl residue. Further, two oligosaccharides are present in the Z2491 LOS preparation, OS1 and OS2. They differ from one another only in that OS2 contains an added glycine moiety, presumably at O-7 on the inner core Hep II residue. The structures of these oligosaccharides are as follows:
Where R = H or Gly.
Neisseria meningitidis; NMA; L9 Immunotype; Lipooligosaccharide; LOS; Structure; Phosphoethanolamine
The Hia autotransporter proteins are highly immunogenic surface adhesins expressed by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI). The objective of our study was to assess the opsonophagocytic activity of anti-Hia antibodies against homologous and heterologous NTHI. A segment of the hia gene that encodes a surface-exposed portion of the H. influenzae strain 11 Hia protein was cloned into a pGEMEX-2 expression vector. Escherichia coli JM101 was transformed with the resulting pGEMEX-Hia BstEII del recombinant plasmid, and recombinant fusion protein was recovered. An immune serum against recombinant GEMEX-Hia (rGEMEX-Hia)-mediated killing of the homologous NTHI strain 11 at a 1:160 titer and five heterologous Hia-expressing strains at titers of ≥1:40. Immune serum did not mediate killing of two Hia-knockout strains whose hia genes were inactivated but did mediate killing of one knockout strain at a high titer after the strain was transformed with a plasmid containing the hia gene. Immune serum did not mediate killing of HMW1/HMW2-expressing NTHI strains, which do not express the Hia adhesin. However, when two representative HMW1/HMW2-expressing strains were transformed with the plasmid containing the hia gene, they expressed abundant Hia and were susceptible to killing by the immune serum. Immune serum did not mediate killing of HMW1/HMW2-expressing strains transformed with the plasmid without the hia gene. Our results demonstrate that the Hia proteins of NTHI are targets of opsonophagocytic antibodies and that shared epitopes recognized by such antibodies are present on the Hia proteins of unrelated NTHI strains. These data argue for the continued investigation of the Hia proteins as vaccine candidates for the prevention of NTHI disease.
An extended ENU screen for modifiers of transgene variegation identified four new modifiers, MommeD7-D10.
Some years ago we established an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea screen for modifiers of transgene variegation in the mouse and a preliminary description of the first six mutant lines, named MommeD1-D6, has been published. We have reported the underlying genes in three cases: MommeD1 is a mutation in SMC hinge domain containing 1 (Smchd1), a novel modifier of epigenetic gene silencing; MommeD2 is a mutation in DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1); and MommeD4 is a mutation in Smarca 5 (Snf2h), a known chromatin remodeler. The identification of Dnmt1 and Smarca5 attest to the effectiveness of the screen design.
We have now extended the screen and have identified four new modifiers, MommeD7-D10. Here we show that all ten MommeDs link to unique sites in the genome, that homozygosity for the mutations is associated with severe developmental abnormalities and that heterozygosity results in phenotypic abnormalities and reduced reproductive fitness in some cases. In addition, we have now identified the underlying genes for MommeD5 and MommeD10. MommeD5 is a mutation in Hdac1, which encodes histone deacetylase 1, and MommeD10 is a mutation in Baz1b (also known as Williams syndrome transcription factor), which encodes a transcription factor containing a PHD-type zinc finger and a bromodomain. We show that reduction in the level of Baz1b in the mouse results in craniofacial features reminiscent of Williams syndrome.
These results demonstrate the importance of dosage-dependent epigenetic reprogramming in the development of the embryo and the power of the screen to provide mouse models to study this process.
The genomic region encoding the type IIS restriction-modification (R-M) system HphI (enzymes recognizing the asymmetric sequence 5'-GGTGA-3'/5'-TCACC-3') from Haemophilus parahaemolyticus were cloned into Escherichia coli and sequenced. Sequence analysis of the R-M HphI system revealed three adjacent genes aligned in the same orientation: a cytosine 5 methyltransferase (gene hphIMC), an adenine N6 methyltransferase (hphIMA) and the HphI restriction endonuclease (gene hphIR). Either methyltransferase is capable of protecting plasmid DNA in vivo against the action of the cognate restriction endonuclease. hphIMA methylation renders plasmid DNA resistant to R.Hindill at overlapping sites, suggesting that the adenine methyltransferase modifies the 3'-terminal A residue on the GGTGA strand. Strong homology was found between the N-terminal part of the m6A methyltransferasease and an unidentified reading frame interrupted by an incomplete gaIE gene of Neisseria meningitidis. The HphI R-M genes are flanked by a copy of a 56 bp direct nucleotide repeat on each side. Similar sequences have also been identified in the non-coding regions of H.influenzae Rd DNA. Possible involvement of the repeat sequences in the mobility of the HphI R-M system is discussed.
The gene encoding the DNA methyltransferase M.CviRI from Chlorella virus XZ-6E was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. M.CviRI methylates adenine in TGCA sequences. DNA containing the M.CviRI gene was sequenced and a single open reading frame of 1137 bp was identified which could code for a polypeptide of 379 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 42,814. Comparison of the M.CviRI predicted amino acid sequence with another Chlorella virus and 14 bacterial adenine methyltransferases revealed extensive similarity to the other Chlorella virus enzyme.
Bacteria and bacteriophages have evolved DNA modification as a strategy to protect their genomes. Mom protein of bacteriophage Mu modifies the phage DNA, rendering it refractile to numerous restriction enzymes and in turn enabling the phage to successfully invade a variety of hosts. A strong fortification, a combined activity of the phage and host factors, prevents untimely expression of mom and associated toxic effects. Here, we identify the bacterial chromatin architectural protein Fis as an additional player in this crowded regulatory cascade. Both in vivo and in vitro studies described here indicate that Fis acts as a transcriptional repressor of mom promoter. Further, our data shows that Fis mediates its repressive effect by denying access to RNA polymerase at mom promoter. We propose that a combined repressive effect of Fis and previously characterized negative regulatory factors could be responsible to keep the gene silenced most of the time. We thus present a new facet of Fis function in Mu biology. In addition to bringing about overall downregulation of Mu genome, it also ensures silencing of the advantageous but potentially lethal mom gene.
The expression of the DNA modification gene (mom) of bacteriophage Mu requires the cellular deoxyadenosine methylase (dam) and a transactivation factor from the phage. By hypothesis, the transcription of mom is activated by methylation of three GATC sequences upstream from the mom gene. We have introduced small deletions at a fourth GATC site located about 140 base pairs downstream from the primary methylation region. Some of the deletions severely affect the mom gene expression. We propose from this analysis that (1) some important elements, possibly the promoter, concerned with the expression of mom are located between nucleotides 840 and 880 from the right end of Mu and (2) the mom protein starts with the codon GTG located at position 810. We favor the hypothesis that methylation turns off transcription upstream, thereby allowing the main mom promoter to function.
We have identified the yeast homologue of Neurospora crassa MOM72, the mitochondrial import receptor for the ADP/ATP carrier (AAC), by functional studies and by cDNA sequencing. Mitochondria of a yeast mutant in which the gene for MOM72 was disrupted were impaired in specific binding and import of AAC. Unexpectedly, we found a residual, yet significant import of AAC into mitochondria lacking MOM72 that occurred via the receptor MOM19. We conclude that both MOM72 and MOM19 can direct AAC into mitochondria, albeit with different efficiency. Moreover, the precursor of MOM72 apparently does not require a positively charged sequence at the extreme amino terminus for targeting to mitochondria.
DNA adenine methylation plays an important role in several critical bacterial processes including mismatch repair, the timing of DNA replication and the transcriptional control of gene expression. The dependence of bacterial virulence on DNA adenine methyltransferase (Dam) has led to the proposal that selective Dam inhibitors might function as broad spectrum antibiotics.
Herein we report the expression and purification of Yersinia pestis Dam and the development of a continuous fluorescence based assay for DNA adenine methyltransferase activity that is suitable for determining the kinetic parameters of the enzyme and for high throughput screening against potential Dam inhibitors. The assay utilised a hemimethylated break light oligonucleotide substrate containing a GATC methylation site. When this substrate was fully methylated by Dam, it became a substrate for the restriction enzyme DpnI, resulting in separation of fluorophore (fluorescein) and quencher (dabcyl) and therefore an increase in fluorescence. The assays were monitored in real time using a fluorescence microplate reader in 96 well format and were used for the kinetic characterisation of Yersinia pestis Dam, its substrates and the known Dam inhibitor, S-adenosylhomocysteine. The assay has been validated for high throughput screening, giving a Z-factor of 0.71±0.07 indicating that it is a sensitive assay for the identification of inhibitors.
The assay is therefore suitable for high throughput screening for inhibitors of DNA adenine methyltransferases and the kinetic characterisation of the inhibition.
Expression of the site-specific adenine methylase HhaII (GmeANTC, where me is methyl) or PstI (CTGCmeAG) induced the SOS DNA repair response in Escherichia coli. In contrast, expression of methylases indigenous to E. coli either did not induce SOS (EcoRI [GAmeATTC] or induced SOS to a lesser extent (dam [GmeATC]). Recognition of adenine-methylated DNA required the product of a previously undescribed gene, which we named mrr (methylated adenine recognition and restriction). We suggest that mrr encodes an endonuclease that cleaves DNA containing N6-methyladenine and that DNA double-strand breaks induce the SOS response. Cytosine methylases foreign to E. coli (MspI [meCCGG], HaeIII [GGmeCC], BamHI [GGATmeCC], HhaI [GmeCGC], BsuRI [GGmeCC], and M.Spr) also induced SOS, whereas one indigenous to E. coli (EcoRII [CmeCA/TGG]) did not. SOS induction by cytosine methylation required the rglB locus, which encodes an endonuclease that cleaves DNA containing 5-hydroxymethyl- or 5-methylcytosine (E. A. Raleigh and G. Wilson, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83:9070-9074, 1986).
Wolbachia is an obligatory intracellular bacterium which often manipulates the reproduction of its insect and isopod hosts. In contrast, Wolbachia is an essential symbiont in filarial nematodes. Lately, Wolbachia has been implicated in genomic imprinting of host DNA through cytosine methylation. The importance of DNA methylation in cell fate and biology calls for in depth studing of putative methylation-related genes. We present a molecular and phylogenetic analysis of a putative DNA adenine methyltransferase encoded by a prophage in the Wolbachia genome. Two slightly different copies of the gene, met1 and met2, exhibit a different distribution over various Wolbachia strains. The met2 gene is present in the majority of strains, in wAu, however, it contains a frameshift caused by a 2 bp deletion. Phylogenetic analysis of the met2 DNA sequences suggests a long association of the gene with the Wolbachia host strains. In addition, our analysis provides evidence for previously unnoticed multiple infections, the detection of which is critical for the molecular elucidation of modification and/or rescue mechanism of cytoplasmic incompatibility.
The DNA sequence that encodes 23S rRNA domain V of Bacillus subtilis, nucleotides 2036 to 2672 (C. J. Green, G. C. Stewart, M. A. Hollis, B. S. Vold, and K. F. Bott, Gene 37:261-266, 1985), was cloned and used as a template from which to transcribe defined domain V RNA in vitro. The RNA transcripts served as a substrate in vitro for specific methylation of B. subtilis adenine 2085 (adenine 2058 in Escherichia coli 23S rRNA) by the ErmSF methyltransferase, an enzyme that confers resistance to the macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B group of antibiotics on Streptomyces fradiae NRRL 2702, the host from which it was cloned. Thus, neither RNA sequences belonging to domains other than V nor the association of 23S rRNA with ribosomal proteins is needed for the specific methylation of adenine that confers resistance to the macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B group of antibiotics.
In murine cells expressing the PaeR7 endonuclease and methylase genes, the recognition sites (CTCGAG) of these enzymes can be methylated at the adenine residue by the PaeR7 methylase and at the internal cytosine by the mouse DNA methyltransferase. Using nonadecameric duplex deoxyoligonucleotide substrates, the specificity of the PaeR7 endonuclease for unmethylated, hemi-methylated, and fully methylated N6-methyladenine (m6A) and C5-methylcytosine (m5C) versions of these substrates has been studied. The Km, Kcat, and Ki values for these model substrates have been measured and suggest that fully or hemi-m6A-methylated PaeR7 sites in the murine genome are completely protected. However, the reactivity of fully or hemi-m5C-methylated PaeR7 sites is depressed 2900- and 100-fold respectively, compared to unmodified PaeR7 sites. The implications of the kinetic constants of the PaeR7 endonuclease for these methylated recognition sites as they occur in murine cells expressing this endonuclease gene are discussed.
Two enzymes of unknown function from the amidohydrolase superfamily were discovered to catalyze the deamination of N-6-methyladenine to hypoxanthine and methyl amine. The methylation of adenine in bacterial DNA is a common modification for the protection of host DNA against restriction endonucleases. The enzyme from Bacillus halodurans, Bh0637, catalyzes the deamination of N-6-methyladenine with a kcat of 185 s−1 and a kcat/Km of 2.5 × 106 M−1 s−1. Bh0637 catalyzes the deamination of N-6-methyladenine two orders of magnitude faster than adenine. A comparative model of Bh0637 was computed using the three-dimensional structure of Atu4426 (PDB code: 3NQB) as a structural template and computational docking was used to rationalize the preferential utilization of N-6-methyladenine over adenine. This is the first identification of an N-6-methyladenine deaminase (6-MAD).
Arabidopsis MOM1 is required for the heritable maintenance of transcriptional gene silencing (TGS). Unlike many other silencing factors, depletion of MOM1 evokes transcription at selected loci without major changes in DNA methylation or histone modification. These loci retain unusual, bivalent chromatin properties, intermediate to both euchromatin and heterochromatin. The structure of MOM1 previously suggested an integral nuclear membrane protein with chromatin-remodeling and actin-binding activities. Unexpected results presented here challenge these presumed MOM1 activities and demonstrate that less than 13% of MOM1 sequence is necessary and sufficient for TGS maintenance. This active sequence encompasses a novel Conserved MOM1 Motif 2 (CMM2). The high conservation suggests that CMM2 has been the subject of strong evolutionary pressure. The replacement of Arabidopsis CMM2 by a poplar motif reveals its functional conservation. Interspecies comparison suggests that MOM1 proteins emerged at the origin of vascular plants through neo-functionalization of the ubiquitous eukaryotic CHD3 chromatin remodeling factors. Interestingly, despite the divergent evolution of CHD3 and MOM1, we observed functional cooperation in epigenetic control involving unrelated protein motifs and thus probably diverse mechanisms.
Epigenetic regulation of transcription usually involves changes in histone modifications, as well as DNA methylation changes in plants and mammals. Previously, we found an exceptional epigenetic regulator in Arabidopsis, MOM1, acting independently of these epigenetic marks. Interestingly, MOM1 controls loci associated with bivalent chromatin marks, intermediate to active euchromatin and silent heterochromatin. Such bivalent marks are often associated with newly inserted and/or potentially active transposons, silent transgenes, and certain chromosomal loci. Notably, bivalent chromatin seems to be characteristic for embryonic stem cells, where such loci change their activity and determination of epigenetic marks during cell differentiation. Here, we provide evidence that in vascular plants, the MOM1-like proteins evolved from the ubiquitous eukaryotic chromatin remodeling factor CHD3. The domains necessary for CHD3 function degenerated in MOM1, became dispensable for its gene silencing activity, and were replaced by a novel, unrelated domain providing silencing function. Therefore, MOM1-like proteins use a different silencing mechanism compared to the ancestral CHD3s. In spite of this divergent evolution, CHD3 and MOM1 seem to retain a functional cooperation in control of transcriptionally silent loci. Our results provide an unprecedented example of an evolutionary path for epigenetic components resulting in increased complexity of an epigenetic regulatory network characteristic for multicellular eukaryotes.
φX-174 replicative form (RF) DNA was cleaved by restriction enzymes from Haemophilus aphirophilus (Hap) and H. influenzae (H-I strain Osaka) (HinH). Five fragments were produced by Hap and eight by HinH. The positions of all of the Hap fragments and six of the HinH fragments were mapped on the genome by heteroduplex transfection and DNA-DNA hybridization methods. In addition, fragment sizes of φX-174 RF DNA and S13 RF DNA by Hap and HinH were compared. Considerable differences of the size of the fragments produced from these closely related phage genomes were observed.
DNA adenine methyltransferase (Dam) activity is absent in many, but not all, disease isolates of Neisseria meningitidis, as a consequence of the insertion of a restriction endonuclease-encoding gene, the 'dam replacing gene' (drg) at the dam locus. Here, we report the results of a survey to assess the prevalence of drg in a globally representative panel of disease-associated meningococci.
Of the known meningococcal hyper-invasive lineages investigated, drg was absent in all representatives of the ST-8 and ST-11 clonal complexes tested, but uniformly present in the representatives of the other hyper-invasive lineages present in the isolate collection (the ST-1, ST-4, ST-5, ST-32 and ST-41/44 clonal complexes). The patterns of sequence diversity observed in drg were consistent with acquisition of this gene from a source organism with a different G+C content, at some time prior to the emergence of present-day meningococcal clonal complexes, followed by spread through the meningococcal population by horizontal genetic exchange. During this spread a number of alleles have arisen by mutation and intragenic recombination.
These findings are consistent with the idea that possession of the drg gene may contribute to the divergence observed among meningococcal clonal complexes, but does not have a direct mechanistic involvement in virulence.
Bacteriophage T2 codes for a DNA-(adenine-N6)methyltransferase (Dam), which is able to methylate both cytosine- and hydroxymethylcytosine-containing DNAs to a greater extent than the corresponding methyltransferase encoded by bacteriophage T4. We have cloned and sequenced the T2 dam gene and compared it with the T4 dam gene. In the Dam coding region, there are 22 nucleotide differences, 4 of which result in three coding differences (2 are in the same codon). Two of the amino acid alterations are located in a region of homology that is shared by T2 and T4 Dam, Escherichia coli Dam, and the modification enzyme of Streptococcus pneumoniae, all of which methylate the sequence 5' GATC 3'. The T2 dam and T4 dam promoters are not identical and appear to have slightly different efficiencies; when fused to the E. coli lacZ gene, the T4 promoter produces about twofold more beta-galactosidase activity than does the T2 promoter. In our first attempt to isolate T2 dam, a truncated gene was cloned on a 1.67-kilobase XbaI fragment. This construct produces a chimeric protein composed of the first 163 amino acids of T2 Dam followed by 83 amino acids coded by the pUC18 vector. Surprisingly, the chimera has Dam activity, but only on cytosine-containing DNA. Genetic and physical analyses place the T2 dam gene at the same respective map location as the T4 dam gene. However, relative to T4, T2 contains an insertion of 536 base pairs 5' to the dam gene. Southern blot hybridization and computer analysis failed to reveal any homology between this insert and either T4 or E. coli DNA.
The DNA of bacteriophage Mu, extracted from induced lysates, is partially resistant to digestion by the endonuclease BalI. This modification of DNA is controlled by the Mu modification function (mom), which acts in conjunction with the dam (DNA-adenine methylation) function of Escherichia coli. Since the BalI recognition site is apparently different from the dam recognition site, these results imply that either the specificity of the dam function is changed by the mom function or the mom function requires the dam function for its activity.
All examined Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius isolates of the clone associated with Brazilian purpuric fever (the BPF clone) produced type 2 immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) proteases encoded by identical iga genes that were distinct from the iga genes of other Brazilian H. influenzae biogroup aegyptius isolates. A partial nucleotide sequence analysis revealed close similarities to the iga genes of H. influenzae serotype c and one noncapsular H. influenzae biotype III strain isolated from a case of conjunctivitis in Tunisia, suggesting an evolutionary relationship. Epitopes recognized by neutralizing antibodies differed for the IgA1 proteases of the BPF clone and of other H. influenzae strains, including Brazilian H. influenzae biogroup aegyptius isolates from patients with noninvasive conjunctivitis. The low probability of developing cross-reacting neutralizing antibodies to the IgA1 protease of the BPF clone may contribute to the pathogenic potential of this virulent phenotype in Brazil.
This study is concerned with the isolation and characterization of the enzyme, S-adenosylmethionine:ribosomal ribonucleic acid-adenine (N6−) methyl-transferase [rRNA-adenine (N6-) methylase] of Escherichia coli strain B, which is responsible for the formation of N6-methyladenine moieties in ribosomal ribonucleic acids (rRNA). A 1,500-fold purified preparation of the species-specific methyltransferase methylates a limited number of adenine moieties in heterologous rRNA (Micrococcus lysodeikticus and Bacillus subtilis) and methyl-deficient homologous rRNA. The site recognition mechanism does not require intact 16 or 23S rRNA. The enzyme does not utilize transfer ribonucleic acid as a methyl acceptor nor does it synthesize 2-methyladenine or N6-dimethyladenine moieties. Mg2+, spermine, K+, and Na+ increase the reaction rate but not the extent of methylation; elevated concentrations of the cations inhibit markedly. The purified preparations utilize 9-β-ribosyl-2,6-diaminopurine (DAPR) as a methyl acceptor with the synthesis of 9-β-ribosyl-6-amino-2-methylaminopurine. A comparison of the two activities demonstrated that one methyltransferase is responsible for the methylation of both DAPR and rRNA. This property provides a sensitive assay procedure unaffected by ribonucleases and independent of any specificity exhibited by rRNA methyl acceptors.
The alternate expression of the Salmonella flagellin genes H1 and H2 is controlled by the orientation of a 995-base-pair invertible segment of DNA located at the 5' end of the H2 gene. The hin gene, which is encoded within the invertible region, is essential for the inversion of this DNA segment. We cloned the hin gene into Escherichia coli and placed it under the control of the PL promoter of bacteriophage lambda. These cells overproduced the Hin protein. In vivo inversion activity was measured by using a recombinant lambda phage which contains the H2 and lacZ genes under the control of the invertible region. Using this phage, we showed that the amount of inversion activity is proportional to the amount of Hin protein in the cell. An inactive form of the protein was purified by using the unusual solubility properties of the overproduced protein. The amino acid composition of the protein agreed with the DNA sequence of the hin gene. Antibodies were made to the isolated protein. These antibodies cross-reacted with two other unidentified E. coli proteins.