Incidence of food-borne infections from Listeria monocytogenes, a parasite that has adapted intracellular residence to avoid antibody onslaught, has increased dramatically in the past few years. The apparent lack of an effective vaccine that is capable of evoking the desired cytotoxic T cell response to obliterate this intracellular pathogen has encouraged the investigation of alternate prophylactic strategies. It should also be noted that Archaebacteria (Archae) lipid-based adjuvants enhance the efficacy of subunit vaccines. In the present study, the adjuvant properties of archaeosomes (liposomes prepared from total polar lipids of archaebacteria, Halobacterium salinarum) combined with immunogenic culture supernatant antigens of L. monocytogenes have been exploited in designing a vaccine candidate against experimental listeriosis in murine model.
Archaeosome-entrapped secretory protein antigens (SAgs) of L. monocytogenes were evaluated for their immunological responses and tendency to deplete bacterial burden in BALB/c mice challenged with sublethal listerial infection. Various immunological studies involving cytokine profiling, lymphocyte proliferation assay, detection of various surface markers (by flowcytometric analysis), and antibody isotypes (by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) were used for establishing the vaccine potential of archaeosome-entrapped secretory proteins.
Immunization schedule involving archaeosome-encapsulated SAgs resulted in upregulation of Th1 cytokine production along with boosted memory in BALB/c mice. It also showed protective effect by reducing listerial burden in various vital organs (liver and spleen) of the infected mice. However, the soluble form of the antigens (SAgs) and their physical mixture with sham (empty) archaeosomes, besides showing feeble Th1 response, were unable to protect the animals against virulent listerial infection.
On the basis of the evidence provided by the current data, it is inferred that archaeosome-entrapped SAgs formulation not only enhances cytotoxic T cell response but also helps in the clearance of pathogens and thereby increases the survival of the immunized animals.
archaeosome; culture supernatant; antigen-presenting cells; Th1 cytokines; co- stimulatory markers; lymphocyte proliferation; protection studies
Archaeosomes prepared from total polar lipids extracted from six
archaeal species with divergent lipid compositions had the capacity to
deliver antigen for presentation via both MHC class I and class II
pathways. Lipid extracts from Halobacterium halobium
and from Halococcus morrhuae strains 14039 and 16008
contained archaetidylglycerol methylphosphate and sulfated glycolipids
rich in mannose residues, and lacked archaetidylserine, whereas the
opposite was found in Methanobrevibacter smithii,
Methanosarcina mazei and Methanococcus
jannaschii. Annexin V labeling revealed a surface orientation
of phosphoserine head groups in M. smithii,
M. mazei and M. jannaschii
archaeosomes. Uptake of rhodamine-labeled M.
smithii or M. jannaschii archaeosomes by
murine peritoneal macrophages was inhibited by unlabeled liposomes
containing phosphatidylserine, by the sulfhydryl inhibitor
N-ethylmaleimide, and by ATP depletion using azide plus fluoride, but
not by H. halobium archaeosomes. In contrast,
N-ethylmaleimide failed to inhibit uptake of the four other
rhodamine-labeled archaeosome types, and azide plus fluoride did not
inhibit uptake of H. halobium or H.
morrhuae archaeosomes. These results suggest endocytosis
ofarchaeosomes rich in surface-exposed phosphoserine
head groups via a phosphatidylserine receptor, and energy-independent
surface adsorption of certain other archaeosome composition classes.
Lipid composition affected not only the endocytic mechanism, but also
served to differentially modulate the activation of dendritic cells.
The induction of IL-12 secretion from dendritic cells exposed to
H. morrhuae 14039 archaeosomes was striking compared
with cells exposed to archaeosomes from 16008. Thus, archaeosome types
uniquely modulate antigen delivery and dendritic cell activation.
antibody; archaea; cytotoxic T lymphocyte; liposomes; phagocytosis; phosphatidylserine
Ether glycerolipids extracted from various archaeobacteria were formulated into liposomes (archaeosomes) possessing strong adjuvant properties. Mice of varying genetic backgrounds, immunized by different parenteral routes with bovine serum albumin (BSA) entrapped in archaeosomes (∼200-nm vesicles), demonstrated markedly enhanced serum anti-BSA antibody titers. These titers were often comparable to those achieved with Freund's adjuvant and considerably more than those with alum or conventional liposomes (phosphatidylcholine-phosphatidylglycerol-cholesterol, 1.8:0.2:1.5 molar ratio). Furthermore, antigen-specific immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), IgG2a, and IgG2b isotype antibodies were all induced. Association of BSA with the lipid vesicles was required for induction of a strong response, and >80% of the protein was internalized within most archaeosome types, suggesting efficient release of antigen in vivo. Encapsulation of ovalbumin and hen egg lysozyme within archaeosomes showed similar immune responses. Antigen-archaeosome immunizations also induced a strong cell-mediated immune response: antigen-dependent proliferation and substantial production of cytokines gamma interferon (Th1) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) (Th2) by spleen cells in vitro. In contrast, conventional liposomes induced little cell-mediated immunity, whereas alum stimulated only an IL-4 response. In contrast to alum and Freund's adjuvant, archaeosomes composed of Thermoplasma acidophilum lipids evoked a dramatic memory antibody response to the encapsulated protein (at ∼300 days) after only two initial immunizations (days 0 and 14). This correlated with increased antigen-specific cell cycling of CD4+ T cells: increase in synthetic (S) and mitotic (G2/M) and decrease in resting (G1) phases. Thus, archaeosomes may be potent vaccine carriers capable of facilitating strong primary and memory humoral, and cell-mediated immune responses to the entrapped antigen.
Vesicles comprised of the ether glycerolipids of the archaeon Methanobrevibacter smithii (archaeosomes) are potent adjuvants for evoking CD8+ T cell responses. We therefore explored the ability of archaeosomes to overcome immunologic tolerance to self-antigens. Priming and boosting of mice with archaeosome-antigen evoked comparable CD8+ T cell response and tumor protection to an alternate boosting strategy utilizing live bacterial vectors for antigen delivery. Vaccination with melanoma antigenic peptides TRP181-189 and Gp10025-33 delivered in archaeosomes resulted in IFN-γ producing antigen-specific CD8+ T cells with strong cytolytic capability and protection against subcutaneous B16 melanoma. Targeting responses against multiple antigens afforded prolonged median survival against melanoma challenge. Entrapment of multiple peptides within the same vesicle or admixed formulations were both effective at evoking CD8+ T cells against each antigen. Melanoma-antigen archaeosome formulations also afforded therapeutic protection against established B16 tumors when combined with depletion of T-regulatory cells. Overall, we demonstrate that archaeosome adjuvants constitute an effective choice for formulating cancer vaccines.
Archaeosomes (ARC), vesicles prepared from total polar lipids (TPL) extracted from selected genera and species from the Archaea domain, elicit both antibody and cell-mediated immunity to the entrapped antigen, as well as efficient cross priming of exogenous antigens, evoking a profound memory response. Screening for unexplored Archaea genus as new sources of adjuvancy, here we report the presence of two new Halorubrum tebenquichense strains isolated from grey crystals (GC) and black mood (BM) strata from a littoral Argentinean Patagonia salt flat. Cytotoxicity, intracellular transit and immune response induced by two subcutaneous (sc) administrations (days 0 and 21) with BSA entrapped in ARC made of TPL either form BM (ARC-BM) and from GC (ARC-GC) at 2% w/w (BSA/lipids), to C3H/HeN mice (25 μg BSA, 1.3 mg of archaeal lipids per mouse) and boosted on day 180 with 25 μg of bare BSA, were determined.
DNA G+C content (59.5 and 61.7% mol BM and GC, respectively), 16S rDNA sequentiation, DNA-DNA hybridization, arbitrarily primed fingerprint assay and biochemical data confirmed that BM and GC isolates were two non-previously described strains of H. tebenquichense. Both multilamellar ARC mean size were 564 ± 22 nm, with -50 mV zeta-potential, and were not cytotoxic on Vero cells up to 1 mg/ml and up to 0.1 mg/ml of lipids on J-774 macrophages (XTT method). ARC inner aqueous content remained inside the phago-lysosomal system of J-774 cells beyond the first incubation hour at 37°C, as revealed by pyranine loaded in ARC. Upon subcutaneous immunization of C3H/HeN mice, BSA entrapped in ARC-BM or ARC-GC elicited a strong and sustained primary antibody response, as well as improved specific humoral immunity after boosting with the bare antigen. Both IgG1 and IgG2a enhanced antibody titers could be demonstrated in long-term (200 days) recall suggesting induction of a mixed Th1/Th2 response.
We herein report the finding of new H. tebenquichense non alkaliphilic strains in Argentinean Patagonia together with the adjuvant properties of ARC after sc administration in mice. Our results indicate that archaeosomes prepared with TPL from these two strains could be successfully used as vaccine delivery vehicles.
Complete structures of nearly 40 ether polar lipids from seven species of methanogens have been elucidated during the past 10 years. Three kinds of variations of core lipids, macrocyclic archaeol and two hydroxyarchaeols, were identified, in addition to the usual archaeol and caldarchaeol (for the nomenclature of archaeal [archaebacterial] ether lipids, see the text). Polar head groups of methanogen phospholipids include ethanolamine, serine, inositol, N-acetylglucosamine, dimethyl- and trimethylaminopentanetetrol, and glucosaminylinositol. Glucose is the sole hexose moiety of glycolipids in most methanogens, and galactose and mannose have been found in a few species. Methanogen lipids are characterized by their diversity in phosphate-containing polar head groups and core lipids, which in turn can be used for chemotaxonomy of methanogens. This was shown by preliminary simplified analyses of lipid component residues. Core lipid analysis by high-pressure liquid chromatography provides a method of determining the methanogenic biomass in natural samples. There has been significant progress in the biosynthetic studies of methanogen lipids in recent years. In vivo incorporation experiments have led to delineation of the outline of the synthetic route of the diphytanylglycerol ether core. The mechanisms of biosynthesis of tetraether lipids and various polar lipids, and cell-free systems of either lipid synthesis, however, remain to be elucidated. The significance and the origin of archaeal ether lipids is discussed in terms of the lipid composition of bacteria living in a wide variety of environments, the oxygen requirement for biosynthesis of hydrocarbon chains, and the physicochemical properties and functions of lipids as membrane constituents.
The present studies were focused on the formation and characterization of sterically stabilized archaeosomes made from a synthetic PEGylated archaeal lipid. In a first step, a synthetic archaeal tetraether bipolar lipid was functionalized with a poly(ethylene glycol), PEG, and (PEG45-Tetraether) with the aim of coating the archaeosome surface with a sterically stabilizing hydrophilic polymer. In a second step, Egg-PC/PEG45-Tetraether (90/10 wt%) archaeosomes were prepared, and their physicochemical characteristics were determined by dynamic light scattering (size, polydispersity), cryo-TEM (morphology), and by high-performance thin layer chromatography (lipid composition), in comparison with standard Egg-PC/PEG45-DSPE formulations. Further, a fluorescent dye, the carboxyfluorescein, was encapsulated into the prepared archaeosomes in order to evaluate the potential of such nanostructures as drug carriers. Release studies have shown that the stability of Egg-PC/PEG45-Tetraether-based archaeosomes is significantly higher at 37°C than the one of Egg-PC/PEG45-DSPE-based liposomes, as evidenced by the slower release of the dye encapsulated into PEGylated archaeosomes. This enhanced stability could be related to the membrane spanning properties of the archaeal bipolar lipid as already described with natural or synthetic tetraether lipids.
As variance from standard phospholipids of eubacteria and eukaryotes, archaebacterial diether phospholipids contain branched alcohol chains (phytanol) linked to glycerol exclusively with ether bonds. Giant vesicles (GVs) constituted of different species of archaebacterial diether phospholipids and glycolipids (archaeosomes) were prepared by electroformation and observed under a phase contrast and/or fluorescence microscope. Archaebacterial lipids and different mixtures of archaebacterial and standard lipids formed GVs which were analysed for size, yield and ability to adhere to each other due to the mediating effects of certain plasma proteins. GVs constituted of different proportions of archaeal or standard phosphatidylcholine were compared. In nonarchaebacterial GVs (in form of multilamellar lipid vesicles, MLVs) the main transition was detected at Tm = 34. 2°C with an enthalpy of ΔH = 0.68 kcal/mol, whereas in archaebacterial GVs (MLVs) we did not observe the main phase transition in the range between 10 and 70°C. GVs constituted of archaebacterial lipids were subject to attractive interaction mediated by beta 2 glycoprotein I and by heparin. The adhesion constant of beta 2 glycoprotein I – mediated adhesion determined from adhesion angle between adhered GVs was in the range of 10−8 J/m2. In the course of protein mediated adhesion, lateral segregation of the membrane components and presence of thin tubular membranous structures were observed. The ability of archaebacterial diether lipids to combine with standard lipids in bilayers and their compatibility with adhesion-mediating molecules offer further evidence that archaebacterial lipids are appropriate for the design of drug carriers.
The absence of certain genomic loci that are present in most of the virulent strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as lack of lasting memory responses are some of the major causes attributed to the non effectiveness of Bacille Calmette-Gue'rin (BCG) vaccine. Immunization schedules addressing these issues can offer better strategy for protection against tuberculosis.
The immunological responses evoked upon administration of archaeosome based antigen delivery system comprising T cell antigen, Rv3619c (an ESAT-6 family protein), has been assessed against experimental murine tuberculosis in BALB/c mice.
Archaeosome based subunit vaccine has been found to elicit type-1 cytokines in the immunized mice. Besides effective T cell memory response, the Rv3619c based vaccine was able to reduce mycobacterial burden in the animals challenged with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.
The data of the present study suggest that archaeosome encapsulated RD gene products offer substantial protection against M. tuberculosis infection.
CDP-2,3-di-O-geranylgeranyl-sn-glycerol:l-serine O-archaetidyltransferase (archaetidylserine synthase) activity in cell extracts of Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus cells was characterized. The enzyme catalyzed the formation of unsaturated archaetidylserine from CDP-unsaturated archaeol and l-serine. The identity of the reaction products was confirmed by thin-layer chromatography, fast atom bombardment-mass spectrum analysis, and chemical degradation. The enzyme showed maximal activity in the presence of 10 mM Mn2+ and 1% Triton X-100. Among various synthetic substrate analogs, both enantiomers of CDP-unsaturated archaeols with ether-linked geranylgeranyl chains and CDP-saturated archaeol with ether-linked phytanyl chains were similarly active toward the archaetidylserine synthase. The activity on the ester analog of the substrate was two to three times higher than that on the corresponding ether-type substrate. The activity of d-serine with the enzyme was 30% of that observed for l-serine. A trace amount of an acid-labile, unsaturated archaetidylserine intermediate was detected in the cells by a pulse-labeling experiment. A gene (MT1027) in M. thermautotrophicus genome annotated as the gene encoding phosphatidylserine synthase was found to be homologous to Bacillus subtilis pssA but not to Escherichia coli pssA. The substrate specificity of phosphatidylserine synthase from B. subtilis was quite similar to that observed for the M. thermautotrophicus archaetidylserine synthase, while the E. coli enzyme had a strong preference for CDP-1,2-diacyl-sn-glycerol. It was concluded that M. thermautotrophicus archaetidylserine synthase belongs to subclass II phosphatidylserine synthase (B. subtilis type) on the basis of not only homology but also substrate specificity and some enzymatic properties. The possibility that a gene encoding the subclass II phosphatidylserine synthase might be transferred from a bacterium to an ancestor of methanogens is discussed.
The biosynthesis of archaeal ether-type glycolipids was investigated in vitro using Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus cell-free homogenates. The sole sugar moiety of glycolipids and phosphoglycolipids of the organism is the β-d-glucosyl-(1→6)-d-glucosyl (gentiobiosyl) unit. The enzyme activities of archaeol:UDP-glucose β-glucosyltransferase (monoglucosylarchaeol [MGA] synthase) and MGA:UDP-glucose β-1,6-glucosyltransferase (diglucosylarchaeol [DGA] synthase) were found in the methanoarchaeon. The synthesis of DGA is probably a two-step glucosylation: (i) archaeol + UDP-glucose → MGA + UDP, and (ii) MGA + UDP-glucose → DGA + UDP. Both enzymes required the addition of K+ ions and archaetidylinositol for their activities. DGA synthase was stimulated by 10 mM MgCl2, in contrast to MGA synthase, which did not require Mg2+. It was likely that the activities of MGA synthesis and DGA synthesis were carried out by different proteins because of the Mg2+ requirement and their cellular localization. MGA synthase and DGA synthase can be distinguished in cell extracts greatly enriched for each activity by demonstrating the differing Mg2+ requirements of each enzyme. MGA synthase preferred a lipid substrate with the sn-2,3 stereostructure of the glycerol backbone on which two saturated isoprenoid chains are bound at the sn-2 and sn-3 positions. A lipid substrate with unsaturated isoprenoid chains or sn-1,2-dialkylglycerol configuration exhibited low activity. Tetraether-type caldarchaetidylinositol was also actively glucosylated by the homogenates to form monoglucosyl caldarchaetidylinositol and a small amount of diglucosyl caldarchaetidylinositol. The addition of Mg2+ increased the formation of diglucosyl caldarchaetidylinositol. This suggested that the same enzyme set synthesized the sole sugar moiety of diether-type glycolipids and tetraether-type phosphoglycolipids.
This review deals with the in vitro biosynthesis of the characteristics of polar lipids in archaea along with preceding in vivo studies. Isoprenoid chains are synthesized through the classical mevalonate pathway, as in eucarya, with minor modifications in some archaeal species. Most enzymes involved in the pathway have been identified enzymatically and/or genomically. Three of the relevant enzymes are found in enzyme families different from the known enzymes. The order of reactions in the phospholipid synthesis pathway (glycerophosphate backbone formation, linking of glycerophosphate with two radyl chains, activation by CDP, and attachment of common polar head groups) is analogous to that of bacteria. sn-Glycerol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase is responsible for the formation of the sn-glycerol-1-phosphate backbone of phospholipids in all archaea. After the formation of two ether bonds, CDP-archaeol acts as a common precursor of various archaeal phospholipid syntheses. Various phospholipid-synthesizing enzymes from archaea and bacteria belong to the same large CDP-alcohol phosphatidyltransferase family. In short, the first halves of the phospholipid synthesis pathways play a role in synthesis of the characteristic structures of archaeal and bacterial phospholipids, respectively. In the second halves of the pathways, the polar head group-attaching reactions and enzymes are homologous in both domains. These are regarded as revealing the hybrid nature of phospholipid biosynthesis. Precells proposed by Wächtershäuser are differentiated into archaea and bacteria by spontaneous segregation of enantiomeric phospholipid membranes (with sn-glycerol-1-phosphate and sn-glycerol-3-phosphate backbones) and the fusion and fission of precells. Considering the nature of the phospholipid synthesis pathways, we here propose that common phospholipid polar head groups were present in precells before the differentiation into archaea and bacteria.
Oxic soils typically are a sink for methane due to the presence of high-affinity methanotrophic Bacteria capable of oxidising methane. However, soils experiencing water saturation are able to host significant methanogenic archaeal communities, potentially affecting the capacity of the soil to act as a methane sink. In order to provide insight into methanogenic populations in such soils, the distribution of archaeol in free and conjugated forms was investigated as an indicator of fossilised and living methanogenic biomass using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with selected ion monitoring. Of three soils studied, only one organic matter-rich site contained archaeol in quantifiable amounts. Assessment of the subsurface profile revealed a dominance of archaeol bound by glycosidic headgroups over phospholipids implying derivation from fossilised biomass. Moisture content, through control of organic carbon and anoxia, seemed to govern trends in methanogen biomass. Archaeol and crenarchaeol profiles differed, implying the former was not of thaumarcheotal origin. Based on these results, we propose the use of intact archaeol as a useful biomarker for methanogen biomass in soil and to track changes in moisture status and aeration related to climate change.
Microbial communities in hydrothermally active sediments of the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California, Mexico) were studied by using 16S rRNA sequencing and carbon isotopic analysis of archaeal and bacterial lipids. The Guaymas sediments harbored uncultured euryarchaeota of two distinct phylogenetic lineages within the anaerobic methane oxidation 1 (ANME-1) group, ANME-1a and ANME-1b, and of the ANME-2c lineage within the Methanosarcinales, both previously assigned to the methanotrophic archaea. The archaeal lipids in the Guaymas Basin sediments included archaeol, diagnostic for nonthermophilic euryarchaeota, and sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol, with the latter compound being particularly abundant in cultured members of the Methanosarcinales. The concentrations of these compounds were among the highest observed so far in studies of methane seep environments. The δ-13C values of these lipids (δ-13C = −89 to −58‰) indicate an origin from anaerobic methanotrophic archaea. This molecular-isotopic signature was found not only in samples that yielded predominantly ANME-2 clones but also in samples that yielded exclusively ANME-1 clones. ANME-1 archaea therefore remain strong candidates for mediation of the anaerobic oxidation of methane. Based on 16S rRNA data, the Guaymas sediments harbor phylogenetically diverse bacterial populations, which show considerable overlap with bacterial populations of geothermal habitats and natural or anthropogenic hydrocarbon-rich sites. Consistent with earlier observations, our combined evidence from bacterial phylogeny and molecular-isotopic data indicates an important role of some novel deeply branching bacteria in anaerobic methanotrophy. Anaerobic methane oxidation likely represents a significant and widely occurring process in the trophic ecology of methane-rich hydrothermal vents. This study stresses a high diversity among communities capable of anaerobic oxidation of methane.
The deep-sea archaeon Methanococcus jannaschii was grown at 86 degrees C and under 8, 250, and 500 atm (1 atm = 101.29 kPa) of hyperbaric pressure in a high-pressure, high-temperature bioreactor. The core lipid composition of cultures grown at 250 or 500 atm, as analyzed by supercritical fluid chromatography, exhibited an increased proportion of macrocyclic archaeol and corresponding reductions in aracheol and caldarchaeol compared with the 8-atm cultures. Thermal analysis of a model core-lipid system (23% archaeol, 37% macrocyclic archaeol, and 40% caldarchaeol) using differential scanning calorimetry revealed no well-defined phase transition in the temperature range of 20 to 120 degrees C. Complementary studies of spin-labeled samples under 10 and 500 atm in a special high-pressure, high-temperature electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy cell supported the differential scanning calorimetry phase transition data and established that pressure has a lipid-ordering effect over the full range of M. jannaschii's growth temperatures. Specifically, pressure shifted the temperature dependence of lipid fluidity by ca. 10 degrees C/500 atm.
The lipidome of the marine hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus was studied by means of combined thin-layer chromatography and MALDI-TOF/MS analyses of the total lipid extract. 80–90% of the major polar lipids were represented by archaeol lipids (diethers) and the remaining part by caldarchaeol lipids (tetraethers). The direct analysis of lipids on chromatography plate showed the presence of the diphytanylglycerol analogues of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylglycerol, the N-acetylglucosamine-diphytanylglycerol phosphate plus some caldarchaeol lipids different from those previously described. In addition, evidence for the presence of the dimeric ether lipid cardiolipin is reported, suggesting that cardiolipins are ubiquitous in archaea.
The cell envelope of mycobacteria is a complex structure that plays an important role in the interactions of the cell with its environment and in the protection against the antimicrobial activity of the immune system. Glycopeptidolipids (GPLs) are species- or type species-specific glycolipids that are present at the surface of a number of mycobacteria and that are characterized by a high variability in glycosylation patterns. These GPLs possess various biological activities that depend mostly on the sugars capping the core molecule. In Mycobacterium smegmatis, the GPL core can be substituted by either two or three deoxyhexoses. In this study, we show that Gtf3 is a glycosyltransferase responsible for the synthesis of the triglycosylated GPLs. Biochemical analysis of these molecules, with a combination of mass spectrometry and chemical degradation methods, has shown that they contain three deoxyhexose moieties. The presence of the triglycosylated GPLs is associated with cell surface modifications that lead to a decrease in sliding motility as well as a modification in cellular aggregation and colony appearance on Congo red. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that Gtf3 is a member of a yet-uncharacterized glycosyltransferase family conserved among the mycobacteria.
Direct analysis of membrane lipids by liquid chromatography-electrospray mass spectrometry was used to demonstrate the role of unsaturation in ether lipids in the adaptation of Methanococcoides burtonii to low temperature. A proteomics approach using two-dimensional liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to identify enzymes involved in lipid biosynthesis, and a pathway for lipid biosynthesis was reconstructed from the M. burtonii draft genome sequence. The major phospholipids were archaeol phosphatidylglycerol, archaeol phosphatidylinositol, hydroxyarchaeol phosphatidylglycerol, and hydroxyarchaeol phosphatidylinositol. All phospholipid classes contained a series of unsaturated analogues, with the degree of unsaturation dependent on phospholipid class. The proportion of unsaturated lipids from cells grown at 4°C was significantly higher than for cells grown at 23°C. 3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A synthase, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase were identified in the expressed proteome, and most genes involved in the mevalonate pathway and processes leading to the formation of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylglycerol were identified in the genome sequence. In addition, M. burtonii encodes CDP-inositol and CDP-glycerol transferases and a number of homologs of the plant geranylgeranyl reductase. It therefore appears that the unsaturation of lipids may be due to incomplete reduction of an archaeol precursor rather than to a desaturase mechanism. This study shows that cold adaptation in M. burtonii involves specific changes in membrane lipid unsaturation. It also demonstrates that global methods of analysis for lipids and proteomics linked to a draft genome sequence can be effectively combined to infer specific mechanisms of key biological processes.
The influence of pH (6.0; 7.0; 8.0) of the growth medium of Aeropyrum pernix K1 on the structural organization and fluidity of archaeosomes prepared from a polar-lipid methanol fraction (PLMF) was investigated using fluorescence anisotropy and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Fluorescence anisotropy of the lipophilic fluorofore 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene and empirical correlation time of the spin probe methylester of 5-doxylpalmitate revealed gradual changes with increasing temperature for the pH. A similar effect has been observed by using the trimethylammonium-6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene, although the temperature changes were much smaller. As the fluorescence steady-state anisotropy and the empirical correlation time obtained directly from the EPR spectra alone did not provide detailed structural information, the EPR spectra were analysed by computer simulation. This analysis showed that the archaeosome membranes are heterogeneous and composed of several regions with different modes of spin-probe motion at temperatures below 70°C. At higher temperatures, these membranes become more homogeneous and can be described by only one spectral component. Both methods indicate that the pH of the growth medium of A. pernix does not significantly influence its average membrane fluidity. These results are in accordance with TLC analysis of isolated lipids, which show no significant differences between PLMF isolated from A. pernix grown in medium with different pH.
Nine cloned cell lines producing antibodies to the unique phenolic glycolipid of Mycobacterium leprae have been established as a result of fusions with spleens from mice immunized with the glycolipid complexed with methylated bovine serum albumin. One of the antibodies was relatively nonspecific, binding to a related glycolipid from Mycobacterium kansasii, but the remaining antibodies were specific for the M. leprae lipid. Some of the antibodies required the intact (trisaccharide) carbohydrate portion for recognition of the glycolipid antigen, whereas others recognized partially hydrolyzed forms lacking one or two sugar residues. Monoclonal antibodies directed at the terminal saccharide of the glycolipid showed the greatest specificity for M. leprae in enzyme-linked immunoassays. These antibodies brightly labeled whole mycobacteria in indirect immunofluorescence experiments, demonstrating the surface location of M. leprae-specific determinants of the glycolipid antigen. In addition to their use in providing information about the antigenic properties of the phenolic glycolipid, these antibodies have potential applications for elucidating the roles of glycolipid in the pathogenesis of leprosy.
The membrane lipids of archaea are characterized by unique isoprenoid biochemistry, which typically is based on two core lipid structures, sn-2,3-diphytanylglycerol diether (archaeol) and sn-2,3-dibiphytanyldiglycerol tetraether (caldarchaeol). The biosynthetic pathway for the tetraether lipid entails unprecedented head-to-head coupling of isoprenoid intermediates by an unknown mechanism involving unidentified enzymes. To investigate the isoprenoid ether lipid biosynthesis pathway of the hyperthermophilic archaeon, Archaeoglobus fulgidus, its lipid synthesis machinery was reconstructed in an engineered E. coli strain in an effort to demonstrate, for the first time, efficient isoprenoid ether lipid biosynthesis for the production of the intermediate, digeranylgeranylglyceryl phosphate (DGGGP). The biosynthesis of DGGGP was verified using a LC/MS/MS technique and was accomplished by cloning and expressing the native E. coli gene for IPP isomerase (idi), along with the A. fulgidus genes for G1P dehydrogenase (egsA) and GGPP synthase (gps), under the control of the lac promoter. The A. fulgidus genes for GGGP synthase (GGGPS) and DGGGP synthase (DGGGPS), under the control of the araBAD promoter, were then introduced and expressed to enable DGGGP biosynthesis in vivo. This investigation established roles for four A. fulgidus genes in the isoprenoid ether lipid pathway for DGGGP biosynthesis and provides a platform useful for identification of subsequent, currently unknown, steps in tetraether lipid biosynthesis proceeding from DGGGP, which is the presumed substrate for the head-to-head coupling reaction yielding unsaturated caldarchaeol.
Archaeoglobus fulgidus; isoprenoid; ether lipid; DGGGP
Staudinger ligation was evaluated as a strategy for synthesizing receptor targeted liposomes. First, an activated lipid derivative was synthesized by reacting dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE) and 2-(diphenylphosphino) terephthalic acid 1-methyl 4-penta-fluorophenyldiester. Second, transferrin (Tf) was activated with p-azidophenyl isothiocyanate. Third, liposomes containing the activated lipid were prepared and then coupled to the activated Tf via the Staudinger reaction. These liposomes were evaluated in KB cells for cellular uptake and cytotoxicity, and in mice for pharmacokinetic properties. Tf-derivatized liposomes encapsulating calcein prepared by this conjugation method effectively targeted Tf receptor expressing KB cells. In addition, the Tf-targeted liposomes entrapping doxorubicin showed greatly enhanced in vitro cytotoxicity relative to non-targeted control liposomes. Pharmacokinetic parameters indicated that these liposomes retained long circulating properties relative to the free drug. In summary, Staudinger ligation is an effective method for the synthesis of receptor targeted liposomes.
Staudinger Ligation; Liposome; Doxorubicin; Transferrin; Drug targeting
Oxidative stress occurs when the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) exceeds the capacity of the cell's endogenous systems to neutralize them. Our analyses of the cellular damage and oxidative stress responses of the archaeon Halobacterium salinarum exposed to ionizing radiation (IR) revealed a critical role played by nonenzymatic antioxidant processes in the resistance of H. salinarum to IR. ROS-scavenging enzymes were essential for resistance to chemical oxidants, yet those enzymes were not necessary for H. salinarum's resistance to IR. We found that protein-free cell extracts from H. salinarum provided a high level of protection for protein activity against IR in vitro but did not protect DNA significantly. Compared with cell extracts of radiation-sensitive bacteria, H. salinarum extracts were enriched in manganese, amino acids, and peptides, supporting an essential role in ROS scavenging for those small molecules in vivo. With regard to chemical oxidants, we showed that the damage caused by gamma irradiation was mechanistically different than that produced by hydrogen peroxide or by the superoxide-generating redox-cycling drug paraquat. The data presented support the idea that IR resistance is most likely achieved by a “metabolic route,” with a combination of tightly coordinated physiological processes.
The two transducers in the phototaxis system of the archaeon Halobacterium salinarum, HtrI and HtrII, are methyl-accepting proteins homologous to the chemotaxis transducers in eubacteria. Consensus sequences predict three glutamate pairs containing potential methylation sites in HtrI and one in HtrII. Mutagenic substitution of an alanine pair for one of these, Glu265-Glu266, in HtrI and for the homologous Glu513-Glu514 in HtrII eliminated methylation of these two transducers, as demonstrated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis autofluorography. Photostimulation of the repellent receptor sensory rhodopsin II (SRII) induced reversible demethylation of HtrII, while no detectable change in the extent of methylation of HtrI was observed in response to stimulation of its cognate sensory rhodopsin, the attractant receptor SRI. Cells containing HtrI or HtrII with all consensus sites replaced by alanine still exhibited phototaxis responses and behavioral adaptation, and methanol release assays showed that methyl group turnover was still induced in response to photostimulation of SRI or SRII. By pulse-chase experiments with in vivo l-[methyl-3H]methionine-labeled cells, we found that repetitive photostimulation of SRI complexed with wild-type (or nonmethylatable) HtrI induced methyl group turnover in transducers other than HtrI to the same extent as in wild-type HtrI. Both attractant and repellent stimuli cause a transient increase in the turnover rate of methyl groups in wild-type H. salinarum cells. This result is unlike that obtained with Escherichia coli, in which attractant stimuli decrease and repellent stimuli increase turnover rate, and is similar to that obtained with Bacillus subtilis, which also shows turnover rate increases regardless of the nature of the stimulus. We found that a CheY deletion mutant of H. salinarum exhibited the E. coli-like asymmetric pattern, as has recently also been observed in B. subtilis. Further, we demonstrate that the CheY-dependent feedback effect does not require the stimulated transducer to be methylatable and operates globally on other transducers present in the cell.
Photo- and chemotaxis of the archaeon Halobacterium salinarum is based on the control of flagellar motor switching through stimulus-specific methyl-accepting transducer proteins that relay the sensory input signal to a two-component system. Certain members of the transducer family function as receptor proteins by directly sensing specific chemical or physical stimuli. Others interact with specific receptor proteins like the phototaxis photoreceptors sensory rhodopsin I and II, or require specific binding proteins as for example some chemotaxis transducers. Receptor activation by light or a change in receptor occupancy by chemical stimuli results in reversible methylation of glutamate residues of the transducer proteins. Both, methylation and demethylation reactions are involved in sensory adaptation and are modulated by the response regulator CheY.
By mathematical modeling we infer the kinetic mechanisms of stimulus-induced transducer methylation and adaptation. The model (deterministic and in the form of ordinary differential equations) correctly predicts experimentally observed transducer demethylation (as detected by released methanol) in response to attractant and repellent stimuli of wildtype cells, a cheY deletion mutant, and a mutant in which the stimulated transducer species is methylation-deficient.
We provide a kinetic model for signal processing in photo- and chemotaxis in the archaeon H. salinarum suggesting an essential role of receptor cooperativity, antagonistic reversible methylation, and a CheY-dependent feedback on transducer demethylation.