Nitrosative stress is an ongoing challenge that most organisms have to contend with. When nitric oxide (NO) that may be generated either exogenously or endogenously encounters reactive oxygen species (ROS), it produces a set of toxic moieties referred to as reactive nitrogen species (RNS). As these RNS can severely damage essential biomolecules, numerous organisms have evolved elaborate detoxification strategies to nullify RNS. However, the contribution of cellular metabolism in fending off nitrosative stress is poorly understood. Using a variety of functional proteomic and metabolomic analyses, we have identified how the soil microbe Pseudomonas fluorescens reprogrammed its metabolic networks to survive in an environment enriched by sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a generator of nitrosative stress. To combat the RNS-induced ineffective aconitase (ACN) and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, the microbe invoked the participation of citrate lyase (CL), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK) to convert citrate, the sole source of carbon into pyruvate and ATP. These enzymes were not evident in the control conditions. This metabolic shift was coupled to the concomitant increase in the activities of such classical RNS detoxifiers as nitrate reductase (NR), nitrite reductase (NIR) and S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR). Hence, metabolism may hold the clues to the survival of organisms subjected to nitrosative stress and may provide therapeutic cues against RNS-resistant microbes.
Essential genes, those indispensable for the survival of an organism, play a key role in the emerging field, synthetic biology. Characterization of functions encoded by essential genes not only has important practical implications, such as in identifying antibiotic drug targets, but can also enhance our understanding of basic biology, such as functions needed to support cellular life. Enzymes are critical for almost all cellular activities. However, essential genes have not been systematically examined from the aspect of enzymes and the chemical reactions that they catalyze. Here, by comprehensively analyzing essential genes in 14 bacterial genomes in which large-scale gene essentiality screens have been performed, we found that enzymes are enriched in essential genes. Essential enzymes have overrepresented ligases (especially those forming carbon-oxygen bonds and carbon-nitrogen bonds), nucleotidyltransferases and phosphotransferases, while have underrepresented oxidoreductases. Furthermore, essential enzymes tend to associate with more gene ontology domains. These results, from the aspect of chemical reactions, provide further insights into the understanding of functions needed to support natural cellular life, as well as synthetic cells, and provide additional parameters that can be integrated into gene essentiality prediction algorithms.
α-Ketoglutarate (KG) is a crucial metabolite in all living organisms, as it participates in a variety of biochemical processes. We have previously shown that this keto acid is an antioxidant and plays a key role in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In an effort to further confirm this intriguing phenomenon, Pseudomonas fluorescens was exposed to menadione-containing media, with various amino acids as the sources of nitrogen. Here, we demonstrate that KG dehydrogenase (KGDH) and NAD-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) work in tandem to modulate KG homeostasis. While KGDH was sharply decreased in cells challenged with menadione, GDH was markedly increased in cultures containing arginine (Arg), glutamate (Glu), and proline (Pro). When ammonium (NH4) was utilized as the nitrogen source, both KGDH and GDH levels were diminished. These enzymatic profiles were reversed when control cells were incubated in menadione media. 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and high-performance liquid chromatography studies revealed how KG was utilized to eliminate ROS with the concomitant formation of succinate. The accumulation of KG in the menadione-treated cells was dependent on the redox status of the lipoic acid residue in KGDH. Indeed, the treatment of cellular extracts from the menadione-exposed cells with dithiothreitol, a reducing agent, partially restored the activity of KGDH. Taken together, these data reveal that KG is pivotal to the antioxidative defense strategy of P. fluorescens and also point to the ROS-sensing role for KGDH.
Although the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is essential in almost all aerobic organisms, its precise modulation and integration in global cellular metabolism is not fully understood. Here, we report on an alternative TCA cycle uniquely aimed at generating ATP and oxalate, two metabolites critical for the survival of Pseudomonas fluorescens. The upregulation of isocitrate lyase (ICL) and acylating glyoxylate dehydrogenase (AGODH) led to the enhanced synthesis of oxalate, a dicarboxylic acid involved in the immobilization of aluminum (Al). The increased activity of succinyl-CoA synthetase (SCS) and oxalate CoA-transferase (OCT) in the Al-stressed cells afforded an effective route to ATP synthesis from oxalyl-CoA via substrate level phosphorylation. This modified TCA cycle with diminished efficacy in NADH production and decreased CO2-evolving capacity, orchestrates the synthesis of oxalate, NADPH, and ATP, ingredients pivotal to the survival of P. fluorescens in an Al environment. The channeling of succinyl-CoA towards ATP formation may be an important function of the TCA cycle during anaerobiosis, Fe starvation and O2-limited conditions.
The reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) is pivotal to the cellular anti-oxidative defence strategies in most organisms. Although its production mediated by different enzyme systems has been relatively well-studied, metabolic networks dedicated to the biogenesis of NADPH have not been fully characterized. In this report, a metabolic pathway that promotes the conversion of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), a pro-oxidant into NADPH has been uncovered in Pseudomonas fluorescens exposed to oxidative stress. Enzymes such as pyruvate carboxylase (PC), malic enzyme (ME), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), malate synthase (MS), and isocitrate lyase (ICL) that are involved in disparate metabolic modules, converged to create a metabolic network aimed at the transformation of NADH into NADPH. The downregulation of phosphoenol carboxykinase (PEPCK) and the upregulation of pyruvate kinase (PK) ensured that this metabolic cycle fixed NADH into NADPH to combat the oxidative stress triggered by the menadione insult. This is the first demonstration of a metabolic network invoked to generate NADPH from NADH, a process that may be very effective in combating oxidative stress as the increase of an anti-oxidant is coupled to the decrease of a pro-oxidant.
Lactate has long been regarded as an end product of anaerobic energy production and its fate in cerebral metabolism has not been precisely delineated. In this report, we demonstrate, for the first time, the ability of a human astrocytic cell line (CCF-STTG1) to consume lactate and to generate ATP via oxidative phosphorylation. 13C-NMR and HPLC analyses aided in the identification of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cyle metabolites and ATP in the astrocytic mitochondria incubated with lactate. Oxamate, an inhibitor of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), abolished mitochondrial lactate consumption. Electrophoretic and fluorescence microscopic analyses helped localize LDH in the mitochondria. Taken together, this study implicates lactate as an important contributor to ATP metabolism in the brain, a finding that may significantly change our notion of how this important organ manipulates its energy budget.
The fate of all aerobic organisms is dependent on the varying intracellular concentrations of NADH and NADPH. The former is the primary ingredient that fuels ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation, while the latter helps maintain the reductive environment necessary for this process and other cellular activities. In this study we demonstrate a metabolic network promoting NADPH production and limiting NADH synthesis as a consequence of an oxidative insult. The activity and expression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, malic enzyme, and NADP+-isocitrate dehydrogenase, the main generators of NADPH, were markedly increased during oxidative challenge. On the other hand, numerous tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes that supply the bulk of intracellular NADH were significantly downregulated. These metabolic pathways were further modulated by NAD+ kinase (NADK) and NADP+ phosphatase (NADPase), enzymes known to regulate the levels of NAD+ and NADP+. While in menadione-challenged cells, the former enzyme was upregulated, the phosphatase activity was markedly increased in control cells. Thus, NADK and NADPase play a pivotal role in controlling the cross talk between metabolic networks that produce NADH and NADPH and are integral components of the mechanism involved in fending off oxidative stress.
The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is an essential metabolic network in all oxidative organisms and provides precursors for anabolic processes and reducing factors (NADH and FADH2) that drive the generation of energy. Here, we show that this metabolic network is also an integral part of the oxidative defence machinery in living organisms and α-ketoglutarate (KG) is a key participant in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Its utilization as an anti-oxidant can effectively diminish ROS and curtail the formation of NADH, a situation that further impedes the release of ROS via oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, the increased production of KG mediated by NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (NADP-ICDH) and its decreased utilization via the TCA cycle confer a unique strategy to modulate the cellular redox environment. Activities of α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (KGDH), NAD-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (NAD-ICDH), and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) were sharply diminished in the cellular systems exposed to conditions conducive to oxidative stress. These findings uncover an intricate link between TCA cycle and ROS homeostasis and may help explain the ineffective TCA cycle that characterizes various pathological conditions and ageing.
Phytoplankton growth rates are limited by the supply of iron (Fe) in approximately one third of the open ocean, with major implications for carbon dioxide sequestration and carbon (C) biogeochemistry. To date, understanding how alteration of Fe supply changes phytoplankton physiology has focused on traditional metrics such as growth rate, elemental composition, and biophysical measurements such as photosynthetic competence (Fv/Fm). Researchers have subsequently employed transcriptomics to probe relationships between changes in Fe supply and phytoplankton physiology. Recently, studies have investigated longer-term (i.e. following acclimation) responses of phytoplankton to various Fe conditions. In the present study, the coastal diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, was acclimated (10 generations) to either low or high Fe conditions, i.e. Fe-limiting and Fe-replete. Quantitative proteomics and a newly developed proteomic profiling technique that identifies low abundance proteins were employed to examine the full complement of expressed proteins and consequently the metabolic pathways utilized by the diatom under the two Fe conditions. A total of 1850 proteins were confidently identified, nearly tripling previous identifications made from differential expression in diatoms. Given sufficient time to acclimate to Fe limitation, T. pseudonana up-regulates proteins involved in pathways associated with intracellular protein recycling, thereby decreasing dependence on extracellular nitrogen (N), C and Fe. The relative increase in the abundance of photorespiration and pentose phosphate pathway proteins reveal novel metabolic shifts, which create substrates that could support other well-established physiological responses, such as heavily silicified frustules observed for Fe-limited diatoms. Here, we discovered that proteins and hence pathways observed to be down-regulated in short-term Fe starvation studies are constitutively expressed when T. pseudonana is acclimated (i.e., nitrate and nitrite transporters, Photosystem II and Photosystem I complexes). Acclimation of the diatom to the desired Fe conditions and the comprehensive proteomic approach provides a more robust interpretation of this dynamic proteome than previous studies.
Substituting galactose for glucose in cell culture media has been suggested to enhance mitochondrial metabolism in a variety of cell lines. We studied the effects of carbohydrate availability on growth, differentiation and metabolism of C2C12 myoblasts and myotubes.
We measured growth rates, ability to differentiate, citrate synthase and respiratory chain activities and several parameters of mitochondrial respiration in C2C12 cells grown in media with varying carbohydrate availability (5 g/l glucose, 1 g/l glucose, 1 g/l galactose, and no added carbohydrates). C2C12 myoblasts grow more slowly without glucose irrespective of the presence of galactose, which is not consumed by the cells, and they fail to differentiate without glucose in the medium. Cells grown in a no-glucose medium (with or without galactose) have lower maximal respiration and spare respiratory capacity than cells grown in the presence of glucose. However, increasing glucose concentration above physiological levels decreases the achievable maximal respiration. C2C12 myotubes differentiated at a high glucose concentration showed higher dependency on oxidative respiration under basal conditions but had lower maximal and spare respiratory capacity when compared to cells differentiated under low glucose condition. Citrate synthase activity or mitochondrial yield were not significantly affected by changes in the available substrate concentration but a trend towards a higher respiratory chain activity was observed at reduced glucose levels.
Our results show that using galactose to increase oxidative metabolism may not be applicable to every cell line, and the changes in mitochondrial respiratory parameters associated with treating cells with galactose are mainly due to glucose deprivation. Moderate concentrations of glucose (1 g/l) in a growth medium are optimal for mitochondrial respiration in C2C12 cell line while supraphysiological concentrations of glucose cause mitochondrial dysfunction in C2C12 myoblasts and myotubes.
The maturity of green coffee beans is the most influential determinant of the quality and flavor of the resultant coffee beverage. However, the chemical compounds that can be used to discriminate the maturity of the beans remain uncharacterized. We herein analyzed four distinct stages of maturity (immature, semi-mature, mature and overripe) of nine different varieties of green Coffea arabica beans hand-harvested from a single experimental field in Hawaii. After developing a high-throughput experimental system for sample preparation and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) measurement, we applied metabolic profiling, integrated with chemometric techniques, to explore the relationship between the metabolome and maturity of the sample in a non-biased way. For the multivariate statistical analyses, a partial least square (PLS) regression model was successfully created, which allowed us to accurately predict the maturity of the beans based on the metabolomic information. As a result, tryptophan was identified to be the best contributor to the regression model; the relative MS intensity of tryptophan was higher in immature beans than in those after the semi-mature stages in all arabica varieties investigated, demonstrating a universal discrimination factor for diverse arabica beans. Therefore, typtophan, either alone or together with other metabolites, may be utilized for traders as an assessment standard when purchasing qualified trading green arabica bean products. Furthermore, our results suggest that the tryptophan metabolism may be tightly linked to the development of coffee cherries and/or beans.
The Nrf2 (NF-E2 related factor 2)-ARE (antioxidant response element) pathway controls a powerful array of endogenous cellular antioxidant systems and is an important pathway in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the brain. Using a combination of quantitative proteomics and siRNA screening, we have identified novel protective mechanisms of the Nrf2-ARE pathway against oxidative stress in astrocytes. Studies from our lab and others have shown Nrf2 overexpression protects astrocytes from oxidative stress. However, the exact mechanisms by which Nrf2 elicits these effects are unknown. In this study, we show that induction of Nrf2 reduces levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by various oxidative stressors and results in robust cytoprotection. To identify the enzymes responsible for these effects, we used stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and quantitative shotgun proteomics to identify 72 Nrf2-regulated proteins in astrocytes. We hypothesized a subset of these proteins might play a critical role in Nrf2 protection. In order to identify these critical proteins, we used bioinformatics to narrow our target list of proteins and then systematically screened each candidate with siRNA to assess the role of each in Nrf2 protection. We screened each target against H2O2, tert-butyl hydroperoxide, and 4-hydroxynonenal and subsequently identified three enzymes–catalase, prostaglandin reductase-1, and peroxiredoxin-6–that are critical for Nrf2-mediated protection in astrocytes.
Microalgal lipid is one of the most promising feedstocks for biodiesel production. Chlorella appears to be a particularly good option, and nitrogen (N) starvation is an efficient environmental pressure used to increase lipid accumulation in Chlorella cells. The effects of N starvation of an oil-producing wild microalga, Chlorella sorokiniana C3, on lipid accumulation were investigated using thin layer chromatography (TLC), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and flow cytometry (FCM). The results showed that N starvation resulted in lipid accumulation in C. sorokiniana C3 cells, oil droplet (OD) formation and significant lipid accumulation in cells were detected after 2 d and 8 d of N starvation, respectively. During OD formation, reduced photosynthetic rate, respiration rate and photochemistry efficiency accompanied by increased damage to PSII were observed, demonstrated by chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence, 77K fluorescence and oxygen evolution tests. In the mean time the rate of cyclic electron transportation increased correspondingly to produce more ATP for triacylglycerols (TAGs) synthesis. And 0.5 d was found to be the turning point for the early stress response and acclimation of cells to N starvation. Increased level of membrane peroxidation was also observed during OD formation, and superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxide dismutase (POD) and catalase (CAT) enzyme activity assays suggested impaired reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging ability. Significant neutral lipid accumulation was also observed by artificial oxidative stress induced by H2O2 treatment. These results suggested coupled neutral lipid accumulation and oxidative stress during N starvation in C. sorokiniana C3.
Heterologous expression of bacterial biosynthetic gene clusters is currently an indispensable tool for characterizing biosynthetic pathways. Development of an effective, general heterologous expression system that can be applied to bioprospecting from metagenomic DNA will enable the discovery of a wealth of new natural products.
We have developed a new Escherichia coli-based heterologous expression system for polyketide biosynthetic gene clusters. We have demonstrated the over-expression of the alternative sigma factor σ54 directly and positively regulates heterologous expression of the oxytetracycline biosynthetic gene cluster in E. coli. Bioinformatics analysis indicates that σ54 promoters are present in nearly 70% of polyketide and non-ribosomal peptide biosynthetic pathways.
We have demonstrated a new mechanism for heterologous expression of the oxytetracycline polyketide biosynthetic pathway, where high-level pleiotropic sigma factors from the heterologous host directly and positively regulate transcription of the non-native biosynthetic gene cluster. Our bioinformatics analysis is consistent with the hypothesis that heterologous expression mediated by the alternative sigma factor σ54 may be a viable method for the production of additional polyketide products.
We previously found that inhibition of the TCA cycle, either through mutations or chemical inhibition, increased toxT transcription in Vibrio cholerae. In this study, we found that the addition of malonate, an inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), decreased toxT transcription in V. cholerae, an observation inconsistent with the previous pattern observed. Unlike another SDH inhibitor, 2-thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA), which increased toxT transcription and slightly inhibited V. cholerae growth, malonate inhibited toxT transcription in both the wild-type strain and TCA cycle mutants, suggesting malonate-mediated inhibition of virulence gene expression is independent to TCA cycle activity. Addition of malonate also inhibited ctxB and tcpA expressions but did not affect aphA, aphB, tcpP and toxR expressions. Malonate inhibited cholera toxin (CT) production in both V. cholerae classical biotype strains O395N1 and CA401, and El Tor biotype strain, N16961. Consistent with previous reports, we confirmed that these strains of V. cholerae did not utilize malonate as a primary carbon source. However, we found that the addition of malonate to the growth medium stimulated V. cholerae growth. All together, these results suggest that metabolizing malonate as a nutrient source negatively affects virulence gene expression in V. cholerae.
The effect of oleic, linoleic and γ-linolenic acids on ROS production by 3T3 Swiss and Rat 1 fibroblasts was investigated. Using lucigenin-amplified chemiluminescence, a dose-dependent increase in extracellular superoxide levels was observed during the treatment of fibroblasts with oleic, linoleic and γ-linolenic acids. ROS production was dependent on the addition of β-NADH or NADPH to the medium. Diphenyleneiodonium inhibited the effect of oleic, linoleic and γ-linolenic acids on fibroblast superoxide release by 79%, 92% and 82%, respectively. Increased levels of p47phox phosphorylation due to fatty acid treatment were detected by Western blotting analyses of fibroblast proteins. Increased p47phox mRNA expression was observed using real-time PCR. The rank order for the fatty acid stimulation of the fibroblast oxidative burst was as follows: γ-linolenic > linoleic > oleic. In conclusion, oleic, linoleic and γ-linolenic acids stimulated ROS production via activation of the NADPH oxidase enzyme complex in fibroblasts.
Maintaining metabolic homeostasis is critical for plant growth and development. Here we report proteome and metabolome changes when the metabolic homeostasis is perturbed due to gene-dosage dependent mutation of Arabidopsis isopropylmalate dehydrogenases (IPMDHs). By integrating complementary quantitative proteomics and metabolomics approaches, we discovered that gradual ablation of the oxidative decarboxylation step in leucine biosynthesis caused imbalance of amino acid homeostasis, redox changes and oxidative stress, increased protein synthesis, as well as a decline in photosynthesis, which led to rearrangement of central metabolism and growth retardation. Disruption of IPMDHs involved in aliphatic glucosinolate biosynthesis led to synchronized increase of both upstream and downstream biosynthetic enzymes, and concomitant repression of the degradation pathway, indicating metabolic regulatory mechanisms in controlling glucosinolate biosynthesis.
Malate, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolite, increased lifespan and thermotolerance in the nematode C. elegans. Malate can be synthesized from fumarate by the enzyme fumarase and further oxidized to oxaloacetate by malate dehydrogenase with the accompanying reduction of NAD. Addition of fumarate also extended lifespan, but succinate addition did not, although all three intermediates activated nuclear translocation of the cytoprotective DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor and protected from paraquat-induced oxidative stress. The glyoxylate shunt, an anabolic pathway linked to lifespan extension in C. elegans, reversibly converts isocitrate and acetyl-CoA to succinate, malate, and CoA. The increased longevity provided by malate addition did not occur in fumarase (fum-1), glyoxylate shunt (gei-7), succinate dehydrogenase flavoprotein (sdha-2), or soluble fumarate reductase F48E8.3 RNAi knockdown worms. Therefore, to increase lifespan, malate must be first converted to fumarate, then fumarate must be reduced to succinate by soluble fumarate reductase and the mitochondrial electron transport chain complex II. Reduction of fumarate to succinate is coupled with the oxidation of FADH2 to FAD. Lifespan extension induced by malate depended upon the longevity regulators DAF-16 and SIR-2.1. Malate supplementation did not extend the lifespan of long-lived eat-2 mutant worms, a model of dietary restriction. Malate and fumarate addition increased oxygen consumption, but decreased ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential suggesting a mild uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Malate also increased NADPH, NAD, and the NAD/NADH ratio. Fumarate reduction, glyoxylate shunt activity, and mild mitochondrial uncoupling likely contribute to the lifespan extension induced by malate and fumarate by increasing the amount of oxidized NAD and FAD cofactors.
Nicotinamidases catalyze the hydrolysis of nicotinamide to nicotinic acid and ammonia, an important reaction in the NAD+ salvage pathway. This paper reports a new nicotinamidase from the deep-sea extremely halotolerant and alkaliphilic Oceanobacillus iheyensis HTE831 (OiNIC). The enzyme was active towards nicotinamide and several analogues, including the prodrug pyrazinamide. The enzyme was more nicotinamidase (kcat/Km = 43.5 mM−1s−1) than pyrazinamidase (kcat/Km = 3.2 mM−1s−1). Mutational analysis was carried out on seven critical amino acids, confirming for the first time the importance of Cys133 and Phe68 residues for increasing pyrazinamidase activity 2.9- and 2.5-fold, respectively. In addition, the change in the fourth residue involved in the ion metal binding (Glu65) was detrimental to pyrazinamidase activity, decreasing it 6-fold. This residue was also involved in a new distinct structural motif DAHXXXDXXHPE described in this paper for Firmicutes nicotinamidases. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that OiNIC is the first nicotinamidase described for the order Bacillales.
Burgeoning antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa has necessitated the development of anti pathogenic agents that can quench acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) mediated QS with least risk of resistance. This study explores the anti quorum sensing potential of T. chebula Retz. and identification of probable compounds(s) showing anti QS activity and the mechanism of attenuation of P. aeruginosa PAO1 virulence factors.
Methods and Results
Methanol extract of T. chebula Retz. fruit showed anti QS activity using Agrobacterium tumefaciens A136. Bioactive fraction (F7), obtained by fractionation of methanol extract using Sephadex LH20, showed significant reduction (p<0.001) in QS regulated production of extracellular virulence factors in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Biofilm formation and alginate were significantly (p<0.05) reduced with enhanced (20%) susceptibility to tobramycin. Real Time PCR of F7 treated P. aeruginosa showed down regulation of autoinducer synthase (lasI and rhlI) and their cognate receptor (lasR and rhlR) genes by 89, 90, 90 and 93%, respectively. Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry also showed 90 and 64% reduction in the production of 3-oxo-C12HSL and C4HSL after treatment. Decrease in AHLs as one of the mechanisms of quorum quenching by F7 was supported by the reversal of inhibited swarming motility in F7-treated P. aeruginosa PAO1 on addition of C4HSL. F7 also showed antagonistic activity against 3-oxo-C12HSL-dependent QS in E. coli bioreporter. C. elegans fed on F7-treated P. aeruginosa showed enhanced survival with LT50 increasing from 24 to 72 h. LC-ESI-MS of F7 revealed the presence of ellagic acid derivatives responsible for anti QS activity in T. chebula extract.
This is the first report on anti QS activity of T. chebula fruit linked to EADs which down regulate the expression of lasIR and rhlIR genes with concomitant decrease in AHLs in P. aeruginosa PAO1 causing attenuation of its virulence factors and enhanced sensitivity of its biofilm towards tobramycin.
A novel assay procedure has been developed to allow simultaneous activity discrimination in crude tissue extracts of the three known mammalian nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT, EC 188.8.131.52) isozymes. These enzymes catalyse the same key reaction for NAD biosynthesis in different cellular compartments. The present method has been optimized for NMNAT isozymes derived from Mus musculus, a species often used as a model for NAD-biosynthesis-related physiology and disorders, such as peripheral neuropathies. Suitable assay conditions were initially assessed by exploiting the metal-ion dependence of each isozyme recombinantly expressed in bacteria, and further tested after mixing them in vitro. The variable contributions of the three individual isozymes to total NAD synthesis in the complex mixture was calculated by measuring reaction rates under three selected assay conditions, generating three linear simultaneous equations that can be solved by a substitution matrix calculation. Final assay validation was achieved in a tissue extract by comparing the activity and expression levels of individual isozymes, considering their distinctive catalytic efficiencies. Furthermore, considering the key role played by NMNAT activity in preserving axon integrity and physiological function, this assay procedure was applied to both liver and brain extracts from wild-type and Wallerian degeneration slow (WldS) mouse. WldS is a spontaneous mutation causing overexpression of NMNAT1 as a fusion protein, which protects injured axons through a gain-of-function. The results validate our method as a reliable determination of the contributions of the three isozymes to cellular NAD synthesis in different organelles and tissues, and in mutant animals such as WldS.
Disease is increasingly viewed as a major factor in the ecology of marine communities and its impact appears to be increasing with environmental change, such as global warming. The temperate macroalga Delisea pulchra bleaches in Southeast Australia during warm summer periods, a phenomenon which previous studies have indicated is caused by a temperature induced bacterial disease. In order to better understand the ecology of this disease, the bacterial communities associated with threes type of samples was investigated using 16S rRNA gene and environmental shotgun sequencing: 1) unbleached (healthy) D. pulchra 2) bleached parts of D. pulchra and 3) apparently healthy tissue adjacent to bleached regions. Phylogenetic differences between healthy and bleached communities mainly reflected relative changes in the taxa Colwelliaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Thalassomonas and Parvularcula. Comparative metagenomics showed clear difference in the communities of healthy and diseased D. pulchra as reflected by changes in functions associated with transcriptional regulation, cation/multidrug efflux and non-ribosomal peptide synthesis. Importantly, the phylogenetic and functional composition of apparently healthy tissue adjacent to bleached sections of the thalli indicated that changes in the microbial communities already occur in the absence of visible tissue damage. This shift in unbleached sections might be due to the decrease in furanones, algal metabolites which are antagonists of bacterial quorum sensing. This study reveals the complex shift in the community composition associated with bleaching of Delisea pulchra and together with previous studies is consistent with a model in which elevated temperatures reduce levels of chemical defenses in stressed thalli, leading to colonization or proliferation by opportunistic pathogens or scavengers.
The aim of this study was to compare the impact of dietary supplementation with a Bifidobacterium breve strain together with linoleic acid & α-linolenic acid, for 7 weeks, on colonic sensitivity and fatty acid metabolism in rats. Maternally separated and non-maternally separated Sprague Dawley rats (n = 15) were orally gavaged with either B. breve DPC6330 (109 microorganisms/day) alone or in combination with 0.5% (w/w) linoleic acid & 0.5% (w/w) α-linolenic acid, daily for 7 weeks and compared with trehalose and bovine serum albumin. Tissue fatty acid composition was assessed by gas-liquid chromatography and visceral hypersensitivity was assessed by colorectal distension. Significant differences in the fatty acid profiles of the non-separated controls and maternally separated controls were observed for α-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid in the liver, oleic acid and eicosenoic acid (c11) in adipose tissue, and for palmitoleic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in serum (p<0.05). Administration of B. breve DPC6330 to MS rats significantly increased palmitoleic acid, arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in the liver, eicosenoic acid (c11) in adipose tissue and palmitoleic acid in the prefrontal cortex (p<0.05), whereas feeding B. breve DPC6330 to non separated rats significantly increased eicosapentaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid in serum (p<0.05) compared with the NS un-supplemented controls. Administration of B. breve DPC6330 in combination with linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid to maternally separated rats significantly increased docosapentaenoic acid in the serum (p<0.01) and α-linolenic acid in adipose tissue (p<0.001), whereas feeding B. breve DPC6330 with fatty acid supplementation to non-separated rats significantly increased liver and serum docosapentaenoic acid (p<0.05), and α-linolenic acid in adipose tissue (p<0.001). B. breve DPC6330 influenced host fatty acid metabolism. Administration of B. breve DPC6330 to maternally separated rats significantly modified the palmitoleic acid, arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid contents in tissues. The effect was not observed in non-separated animals.
Exposure to chemicals in the environment is believed to play a critical role in the etiology of many human diseases. To enhance understanding about environmental effects on human health, the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD; http://ctdbase.org) provides unique curated data that enable development of novel hypotheses about the relationships between chemicals and diseases. CTD biocurators read the literature and curate direct relationships between chemicals-genes, genes-diseases, and chemicals-diseases. These direct relationships are then computationally integrated to create additional inferred relationships; for example, a direct chemical-gene statement can be combined with a direct gene-disease statement to generate a chemical-disease inference (inferred via the shared gene). In CTD, the number of inferences has increased exponentially as the number of direct chemical, gene and disease interactions has grown. To help users navigate and prioritize these inferences for hypothesis development, we implemented a statistic to score and rank them based on the topology of the local network consisting of the chemical, disease and each of the genes used to make an inference. In this network, chemicals, diseases and genes are nodes connected by edges representing the curated interactions. Like other biological networks, node connectivity is an important consideration when evaluating the CTD network, as the connectivity of nodes follows the power-law distribution. Topological methods reduce the influence of highly connected nodes that are present in biological networks. We evaluated published methods that used local network topology to determine the reliability of protein–protein interactions derived from high-throughput assays. We developed a new metric that combines and weights two of these methods and uniquely takes into account the number of common neighbors and the connectivity of each entity involved. We present several CTD inferences as case studies to demonstrate the value of this metric and the biological relevance of the inferences.