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.
Archaeosomes (ARC), vesicles made from lipids extracted from Archaea, display strong adjuvant properties. In this study, we evaluated the ability of the highly stable ARC formulated from total polar lipids of a new Halorubrum tebenquichense strain found in Argentinean Patagonia, to act as adjuvant for soluble parasite antigens in developing prophylactic vaccine against the intracellular protozoan T. cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. We demonstrated for the first time that C3H/HeN mice subcutaneously immunized with trypanosomal antigens entrapped in these ARC (ARC-TcAg) rapidly developed higher levels of circulating T. cruzi antibodies than those measured in the sera from animals receiving the antigen alone. Enhanced humoral responses elicited by ARC-TcAg presented a dominant IgG2a antibody isotype, usually associated with Th1-type immunity and resistance against T. cruzi. More importantly, ARC-TcAg-vaccinated mice displayed reduced parasitemia during early infection and were protected against an otherwise lethal challenge with the virulent Tulahuén strain of the parasite. Our findings suggest that, as an adjuvant, H. tebenquichense-derived ARC may hold great potential to develop a safe and helpful vaccine against this relevant human pathogen.
archaeosomes; Trypanosoma cruzi; vaccine adjuvants; nanotechnology; immunology
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.
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.
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.
Archaeosomes are a new generation of liposomes that exhibit higher stabilities under different conditions, such as high temperatures, alkaline or acidic pH, and presence of bile salts in comparison with liposomes, and can be used in biotechnology including drug, gene, and vaccine delivery. The objective of this study was to prepare archaeosomes using lipid extracted from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and evaluate their physicochemical properties. The lipids were extracted from S. acidocaldarius and assayed by High Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC). Archaeosomes were prepared using film method and methylene blue was used as drug model. They were characterized for their vesicle size and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) was used to investigate changes in their thermal behavior. The released amount of methylene blue was determined using a dialysis membrane and rat skin. HPTLC analysis of the extracted lipids showed that glycerol ether may be the major lipid with more than 78 percent probability. Results of particle size determination showed a mean size of 158.33 nm and the results of DSC indicated the possible interaction of methylene blue with lipids during the preparation of archaeosome. The addition of cholesterol significantly improved the encapsulation of methylene blue in the archaeosome so that the encapsulation efficiency was 61.66 ± 2.88%. The result of in vitro skin permeation showed that methylene blue could pass through skin model according to Peppas model and there was about 41.66% release after 6 h, whereas no release was observed through dialysis membrane. According to the results of the study, it is concluded that archaeosome may be successfully used as drug delivery system.
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.
In this study, we purified and characterized tetra- and triglycosyl glycolipids (GL-1 and GL-2, respectively) from two different colonial forms of Thermus scotoductus X-1, from T. filiformis Tok4 A2, and from T. oshimai SPS-11. Acid hydrolysis of the purified glycolipids liberated, in addition to the expected long-chain fatty acids, two components which were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as 16-methylheptadecane-1,2-diol and 15-methylheptadecane-1,2-diol. Fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry of the intact glycolipids indicated that a major proportion consisted of components with glycan head groups linked to long-chain 1,2-diols rather than to glycerol, although in all cases glycerol-linked compounds containing similar glycan head groups were also present. As in other Thermus strains, the polar head group of GL-1 from T. filiformis Tok4 A2 and from T. scotoductus X-1 colony type t2 was a glucosylgalactosyl-(N-acyl)glucosaminylglucosyl moiety. However, GL-2 from T. scotoductus X-1 colony type t1 and from T. oshimai SPS-11 was a truncated analog which lacked the nonreducing terminal glucose. Long-chain 1,2-diols have been previously reported in the polar lipids of Thermomicrobium roseum and (possibly) Chloroflexus aurantiacus, but to our knowledge, this is the first report of their detection in other bacteria and the first account of the structural determination of long-chain diol-linked glycolipids.
Cellular membrane lipids, of which phospholipids are the major
constituents, form one of the characteristic features that distinguish
Archaea from other organisms. In this study, we focused on the steps
in archaeal phospholipid synthetic pathways that generate polar lipids
such as archaetidylserine, archaetidylglycerol, and
archaetidylinositol. Only archaetidylserine synthase (ASS),
from Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus,has been experimentally identified. Other enzymes have not
been fully examined. Through database searching, we detected many
archaeal hypothetical proteins that show sequence similarity to
members of the CDP alcohol phosphatidyltransferase family, such as
phosphatidylserine synthase (PSS), phosphatidylglycerol synthase (PGS)
and phosphatidylinositol synthase (PIS) derived from Bacteria and
Eukarya. The archaeal hypothetical proteins were classified into two
groups, based on the sequence similarity. Members of the first group,
including ASS from M. thermautotrophicus, were
closely related to PSS. The rough agreement between PSS homologue
distribution within Archaea and the experimentally identified
distribution of archaetidylserine suggested that the hypothetical
proteins are ASSs. We found that an open reading frame (ORF) tends to
be adjacent to that of ASS in the genome, and that the order of the
two ORFs is conserved. The sequence similarity of phosphatidylserine
decarboxylase to the product of the ORF next to the ASS gene, together
with the genomic context conservation, suggests that the ORF encodes
archaetidylserine decarboxylase, which may transform archaetidylserine
to archaetidylethanolamine. The second group of archaeal hypothetical
proteins was related to PGS and PIS. The members of this group were
subjected to molecular phylogenetic analysis, together with PGSs and
PISs and it was found that they formed two distinct clusters in the
molecular phylogenetic tree. The distribution of members of each
cluster within Archaea roughly corresponded to the experimentally
identified distribution of archaetidylglycerol or archaetidylinositol.
The molecular phylogenetic tree patterns and the correspondence to the
membrane compositions suggest that the two clusters in this group
correspond to archaetidylglycerol synthases and archaetidylinositol
synthases. No archaeal hypothetical protein with sequence similarity
to known phosphatidylcholine synthases was detected in this study.
archaetidylcholine; archaetidylglycerol; archaetidylinositol; archaetidylserine; genomic context; phylogenetic tree
Phenolic glycolipids are produced by a very limited number of slow-growing mycobacterial species, most of which are pathogen for humans. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiologic agent of tuberculosis, these molecules play a role in the pathogenicity by modulating the host immune response during infection. The major variant of phenolic glycolipids produced by M. tuberculosis, named PGL-tb, consists of a large lipid core terminated by a glycosylated aromatic nucleus. The carbohydrate part is composed of three sugar residues, two rhamnosyl units and a terminal fucosyl residue, which is per-O-methylated, and seems to be important for pathogenicity. While most of the genes responsible for the synthesis of the lipid core domain and the saccharide appendage of PGL-tb have been characterized, the enzymes involved in the O-methylation of the fucosyl residue of PGL-tb remain unknown. In this study we report the identification and characterization of the methyltransferases required for the O-methylation of the terminal fucosyl residue of PGL-tb. These enzymes are encoded by genes Rv2954c, Rv2955c and Rv2956. Mutants of M. tuberculosis harboring deletion within these genes were constructed. Purification and analysis of the phenolglycolipids produced by these strains, using a combination of mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy, revealed that Rv2954c, Rv2955c and Rv2956 encode the methyltransferases that respectively catalysed the O-methylation of the hydroxyl groups located at positions 3, 4 and 2 of the terminal fucosyl residue of PGL-tb. Our data also suggest that methylation at these positions is a sequential process, starting with position 2, followed by positions 4 and 3.