AIM: To investigate the therapeutic efficacy and mechanisms of action of oncolytic-herpes-simplex-virus encoding granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (HSVGM-CSF) in pancreatic carcinoma.
METHODS: Tumor blocks were homogenized in a sterile grinder in saline. The homogenate was injected into the right armpit of each mouse. After vaccination, the mice were randomly assigned into four groups: a control group, a high dose HSVGM-CSF group [1 × 107 plaque forming units (pfu)/tumor], a medium dose HSVGM-CSF group (5 × 106 pfu/tumor) and a low dose HSVGM-CSF group (5 × 105 pfu/tumor). After initiation of drug administration, body weights and tumor diameters were measured every 3 d. Fifteen days later, after decapitation of the animal by cervical dislocation, each tumor was isolated, weighed and stored in 10% formaldehyde solution. The drug effectiveness was evaluated according to the weight, volume and relative volume change of each tumor. Furthermore, GM-CSF protein levels in serum were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays at 1, 2, 3 and 4 d after injection of HSVGM-CSF.
RESULTS: Injection of the recombinant mouse HSV encoding GM-CSF resulted in a significant reduction in tumor growth compared to the control group, and dose-dependent effects were observed: the relative tumor proliferation rates of the low dose, medium dose and high dose groups on 15 d after injection were 45.5%, 55.2% and 65.5%, respectively. The inhibition rates of the tumor weights of the low, middle, and high dose groups were 41.4%, 46.7% and 50.5%, respectively. Furthermore, the production of GM-CSF was significantly increased in the mice infected with HSVGM-CSF. The increase in the GM-CSF level was more pronounced in the high dose group compared to the other two dose groups.
CONCLUSION: Our study provides the first evidence that HSVGM-CSF could inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer. The enhanced GM-CSF expression might be responsible for the phenomenon.
Pancreatic carcinoma; Gene therapy; Animal test; Herpes-simplex-virus encoding granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor
Background & Objective
Diabetes mellitus (DM) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of vascular complications including arteriosclerosis and ischemic stroke. Whether DM impacts intracranial aneurysm (IA) formation has not been extensively investigated. In this study, we tested the underlying mechanism of type one DM (T1DM) induced IA formation in rats.
T1DM was induced by streptozotocin injection. Rats were euthanized at 0, 4 and 10 weeks after T1DM induction. To evaluate cerebral vascular perfusion, Fluorescein isothiocyanate - dye was injected at 5 min prior to euthanasia. Vascular perfusion was measured by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Trichrome, Elastica van Gieson, alpha-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA) and receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) immunostaining were performed. The IA formation was classified by 0–3 stages: 0: Normal; 1: Endothelial damage; 2: Moderate protrusion; and 3: Saccular aneurysm formation.
T1DM significantly increased IA formation identified by the classification of aneurysmal changes compared with non-DM rats (p<0.05). However, T1DM induced IA formations were classified as stage 1 and stage 2, but not stage 3. Cerebral vascular perfusion was significantly decreased in T1DM rats compared to non-DM rats (p<0.01). DM10W rats exhibited a significant decrease of cerebral vascular perfusion compared to DM4W rats (p<0.05). T1DM rats also significantly increased the internal carotid artery (ICA) intimae and media thickness, and decreased the internal carotid artery diameter compared to non-DM rats. RAGE, MMP9 and TLR4 expression were significantly increased in T1DM rats compared to non-DM rats. The increased RAGE, TLR4 and MMP9 significantly correlated with IA formation (p<0.05).
T1DM increases IA formation. The increased RAGE, MMP9 and TLR4 expressions might contribute to IA formation in T1DM rats.
Naturalized soil Escherichia coli populations need to resist common soil desiccation stress in order to inhabit soil environments. In this study, four representative soil E. coli strains and one lab strain, MG1655, were tested for desiccation resistance via die-off experiments in sterile quartz sand under a potassium acetate-induced desiccation condition. The desiccation stress caused significantly lower die-off rates of the four soil strains (0.17 to 0.40 day−1) than that of MG1655 (0.85 day−1). Cellular responses, including extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) production, exogenous glycine betaine (GB) uptake, and intracellular compatible organic solute synthesis, were quantified and compared under the desiccation and hydrated control conditions. GB uptake appeared not to be a specific desiccation response, while EPS production showed considerable variability among the E. coli strains. All E. coli strains produced more intracellular trehalose, proline, and glutamine under the desiccation condition than the hydrated control, and only the trehalose concentration exhibited a significant correlation with the desiccation-contributed die-off coefficients (Spearman's ρ = −1.0; P = 0.02). De novo trehalose synthesis was further determined for 15 E. coli strains from both soil and nonsoil sources to determine its prevalence as a specific desiccation response. Most E. coli strains (14/15) synthesized significantly more trehalose under the desiccation condition, and the soil E. coli strains produced more trehalose (106.5 ± 44.9 μmol/mg of protein [mean ± standard deviation]) than the nonsoil reference strains (32.5 ± 10.5 μmol/mg of protein).
Background and objective
We investigated axonal plasticity in the bilateral motor cortices and the long term therapeutic effect of Niaspan on axonal remodeling after stroke in type-1 diabetic (T1DM) rats.
T1DM was induced in young adult male Wistar rats via injection of streptozotocin. T1DM rats were subjected to 2 h transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) and were treated with 40 mg/kg Niaspan or saline starting 24 h after MCAo and daily for 28 days. Anterograde tracing using biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) injected into the contralateral motor cortex was performed to assess axonal sprouting in the ipsilateral motor cortex area. Functional outcome, SMI-31 (a pan-axonal microfilament marker), Bielschowsky silver and synaptophysin expression were measured. In vitro studies using primary cortical neuron (PCN) cultures and in vivo BDA injection into the brain to anterogradely label axons and terminals were employed.
Niaspan treatment of stroke in T1DM–MCAo rats significantly improved functional outcome after stroke and increased SMI-31, Bielschowsky silver and synaptophysin expression in the ischemic brain compared to saline treated T1DM–MCAo rats (p<0.05). Using BDA to anterograde label axons and terminals, Niaspan treatment significantly increased axonal density in ipsilateral motor cortex in T1DM–MCAo rats (p<0.05, n=7/group). Niacin treatment of PCN significantly increased Ang1 expression under high glucose condition. Niacin and Ang1 significantly increased neurite outgrowth, and anti-Ang1 antibody marginally attenuated Niacin induced neurite outgrowth (p=0.06, n=6/group) in cultured PCN under high glucose condition.
Niaspan treatment increased ischemic brain Ang1 expression and promoted axonal remodeling in the ischemic brain as well as improved functional outcome after stroke. Ang1 may partially contribute to Niaspan-induced axonal remodeling after stroke in T1DM-rats.
Type-one diabetes rats; Stroke; Angiopoietin; Axonal remodeling; Niaspan
Background and Purpose
Cell therapy with bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) improves functional recovery after stroke in nondiabetic rats. However, its effect on diabetics with stroke is unknown. This study investigated the effect of BMSCs on stroke outcome in Type 1 diabetic (T1DM) rats.
T1DM was induced in adult male Wistar rats by injecting streptozotocin. Nondiabetic and T1DM rats were subjected to 2 hours of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), treated with or without BMSCs (3×106) at 24 hours after MCAO, and monitored for 14 days.
Functional benefit was not detected in T1DM-MCAO treated with BMSC rats compared with corresponding T1DM-MCAO controls. BMSC treatment in T1DM-MCAO rats had increased mortality, blood–brain barrier leakage, brain hemorrhage, and angiogenesis. Internal carotid artery neointimal formation and cerebral arteriole narrowing/occlusion were also observed in T1DM-MCAO+BMSCs rats compared with T1DM-MCAO controls (P<0.05), but not in nondiabetic stroke rats. We further studied the underlying mechanisms responsible for BMSC-induced blood–brain barrier leakage and accelerated vascular damage in T1DM-MCAO rats. We found that the expression of angiogenin (an angiogenic factor) and ED1 (a marker for macrophages) was significantly increased in the T1DM-MCAO+BMSC rats in the ischemic brain and internal carotid artery compared with nontreated T1DM-MCAO rats, but not in nondiabetic stroke rats.
BMSC therapy in T1DM-MCAO rats does not improve functional outcome. On the contrary, it increases blood–brain barrier leakage and cerebral artery neointimal formation, and arteriosclerosis, which possibly is due to increased expression of angiogenin. Thus, BMSC treatment starting 24 hours after MCAO may not be beneficial for diabetic subjects with stroke.
angiogenin; arteriosclerosis; bone marrow stromal cell; stroke; Type 1 diabetic
We investigated the changes and the molecular mechanisms of cerebral vascular damage and tested the therapeutic effects of Niaspan in type-1 streptozotocin induced diabetic (T1DM) rats after stroke. T1DM-rats were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) and treated without or with Niaspan. Non-streptozotocin rats (WT) were also subjected to MCAo. Functional outcome, blood–brain-barrier (BBB) leakage, brain hemorrhage, immunostaining, and rat brain microvascular endothelial cell (RBEC) culture were performed. Compared to WT-MCAo-rats, T1DM-MCAo-rats did not show an increase lesion volume, but exhibited significantly increased brain hemorrhage, BBB leakage and vascular damage as well as decreased functional outcome after stroke. Niaspan treatment of stroke in T1DM-MCAo-rats significantly attenuated BBB damage, promoted vascular remodeling and improved functional outcome after stroke. T1DM-MCAo-rats exhibited significantly increased Angiopoietin 2 (Ang2) expression, but decreased Ang1 expression in the ischemic brain compared to WT-MCAo-rats. Niaspan treatment attenuated Ang2, but increased Ang1 expression in the ischemic brain in T1DM-MCAo-rats. In vitro data show that the capillary-like tube formation in the WT-RBECs marginally increased compared to T1DM-RBEC. Niaspan and Ang1 treatment significantly increased tube formation compared to non-treatment control. Inhibition of Ang1 attenuated Niacin-induced tube formation in T1DM-RBECs. Niaspan treatment of stroke in T1DM-rats promotes vascular remodeling and improves functional outcome. The Ang1/Ang2 pathway may contribute to Niaspan induced brain plasticity. Niaspan warrants further investigation as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of stroke in diabetics.
Type-one diabetes rats; Stroke; Angiopoietin; Vascular remodeling; Niaspan
Expression of neuronal elements has been identified in various glial tumors, and glioblastomas (GBMs) with neuronal differentiation patterns have reportedly been associated with longer survival. However, the neuronal class III β-tubulin has been linked to increasing malignancy in astrocytomas. Thus, the significance of neuronal markers in gliomas is not established.
The expressions of class III β-tubulin, neurofilament protein (NFP), microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) were investigated in five GBM cell lines and two GBM biopsies with immunocytochemistry and Western blot. Moreover, the expression levels were quantified by real-time qPCR under different culture conditions. Following NSE siRNA treatment we used Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) to monitor cell growth and migration and MTS assays to study viability after irradiation and temozolomide treatment. Finally, we quantitated NSE expression in a series of human glioma biopsies with immunohistochemistry using a morphometry software, and collected survival data for the corresponding patients. The biopsies were then grouped according to expression in two halves which were compared by survival analysis.
Immunocytochemistry and Western blotting showed that all markers except NFP were expressed both in GBM cell lines and biopsies. Notably, qPCR demonstrated that NSE was upregulated in cellular stress conditions, such as serum-starvation and hypoxia, while we found no uniform pattern for the other markers. NSE knockdown reduced the migration of glioma cells, sensitized them to hypoxia, radio- and chemotherapy. Furthermore, we found that GBM patients in the group with the highest NSE expression lived significantly shorter than patients in the low-expression group.
Neuronal markers are aberrantly expressed in human GBMs, and NSE is consistently upregulated in different cellular stress conditions. Knockdown of NSE reduces the migration of GBM cells and sensitizes them to hypoxia, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition, GBM patients with high NSE expression had significantly shorter survival than patients with low NSE expression. Collectively, these data suggest a role for NSE in the adaption to cellular stress, such as during treatment.
High levels of Escherichia coli were frequently detected in tropical soils in Hawaii, which present important environmental sources of E. coli to water bodies. This study systematically examined E. coli isolates from water and soil of several watersheds in Hawaii and observed high overall genotypic diversity (35.5% unique genotypes). In the Manoa watershed, fewer than 9.3% of the observed E. coli genotypes in water and 6.6% in soil were shared between different sampling sites, suggesting the lack of dominant fecal sources in the watershed. High temporal variability of E. coli genotypes in soil was also observed, which suggests a dynamic E. coli population corresponding with the frequently observed high concentrations in tropical soils. When E. coli genotypes detected from the same sampling events were compared, limited sharing between the soil and water samples was observed in the majority of comparisons (73.5%). However, several comparisons reported up to 33.3% overlap of E. coli genotypes between soil and water, illustrating the potential for soil-water interactions under favorable environmental conditions. In addition, genotype accumulation curves for E. coli from water and soil indicated that the sampling efforts in the Manoa watershed could not exhaust the overall genotypic diversity. Comparisons of E. coli genotypes from other watersheds on Oahu, Hawaii, identified no apparent grouping according to sampling locations. The results of the present study demonstrate the complexity of using E. coli as a fecal indicator bacterium in tropical watersheds and highlight the need to differentiate environmental sources of E. coli from fecal sources in water quality monitoring.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide, however, genetic-environmental interactions and mechanisms associated with the development of HCC remains largely unclear. Our recent work described novel inactivating mutations of ARID2 (AT-rich interactive domain 2) in four major subtypes of HCC through exomic sequencing of ten HCV-associated HCCs and subsequent evaluation of the tumors from additional affected individuals. Here, we summarize the current knowledge about the relevance of ARID2 in HCC and the implication in future patient care.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma; Hepatitis C Virus; ARID2; Tumor Suppressor; Interferon
Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been widely used to detect Y-chromosome microdeletions, which is one of the major causes of male infertility. Both the European Academy of Andrology (EAA) and the European Molecular Genetics Quality Network (EMQN) have recommended the use of sY84 and sY86 markers for the detection of azoospermia factor a (AZFa) microdeletion during DNA testing for male infertility. In this study, a large-scale analysis of AZF microdeletion in a total of 630 Chinese males, including healthy semen donors (n=200), infertile males with normal sperm count (n=226) and patients with either nonobstructive azoospermia or severe oligozoospermia (n=204), was performed. A series of nine sequence-tagged site (STS) markers from the AZF region of the Y chromosome was used to detect microdeletions. All primers were designed based on the recommendations of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. An unusually high incidence (73/630, 11.6%) of sY84-absent but sY86-present genotypes was observed in the AZFa microdeletion screening. Sequencing the sY84-flanking region revealed a total of 73 patients with sY84-absent but sY86-present genotypes have a T-to-G transversion at the fifth base from the 5′ end of the reverse sY84 primer. These prevalent false positives, which were not only observed in infertile men, but also observed in donors, resulted from a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) named rs72609647 in the targeting sequence of the reverse sY84 primer. Our study suggests that a pre-screening of existence of rs72609647 polymorphism can prevent the frequent false positive results of AZFa microdeletions detection in the infertile Chinese males. Given the SNP rs72609647 was recently found in a deep sequencing of a Chinese individual, the current EAA and EMQN standards may need to be scrutinized among different populations to avoid the potential genetic variations in the primer binding sequences.
male infertility; multiplex polymerase chain reaction; rs72609647; single-nucleotide polymorphism; sY84; Y-chromosome microdeletion
Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) are regarded as important regulators in prokaryotes and play essential roles in diverse cellular processes. Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae (Xoo) is an important plant pathogenic bacterium which causes serious bacterial blight of rice. However, little is known about the number, genomic distribution and biological functions of sRNAs in Xoo.
Here, we performed a systematic screen to identify sRNAs in the Xoo strain PXO99. A total of 850 putative non-coding RNA sequences originated from intergenic and gene antisense regions were identified by cloning, of which 63 were also identified as sRNA candidates by computational prediction, thus were considered as Xoo sRNA candidates. Northern blot hybridization confirmed the size and expression of 6 sRNA candidates and other 2 cloned small RNA sequences, which were then added to the sRNA candidate list. We further examined the expression profiles of the eight sRNAs in an hfq deletion mutant and found that two of them showed drastically decreased expression levels, and another exhibited an Hfq-dependent transcript processing pattern. Deletion mutants were obtained for seven of the Northern confirmed sRNAs, but none of them exhibited obvious phenotypes. Comparison of the proteomic differences between three of the ΔsRNA mutants and the wild-type strain by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis showed that these sRNAs are involved in multiple physiological and biochemical processes.
We experimentally verified eight sRNAs in a genome-wide screen and uncovered three Hfq-dependent sRNAs in Xoo. Proteomics analysis revealed Xoo sRNAs may take part in various metabolic processes. Taken together, this work represents the first comprehensive screen and functional analysis of sRNAs in rice pathogenic bacteria and facilitates future studies on sRNA-mediated regulatory networks in this important phytopathogen.
To investigate the genotype and phenotype of juvenile-onset open angle glaucoma (JOAG) in a Chinese family (PN pedigree).
Each family member was comprehensively examined by an experienced ophthalmologist. The clinical characteristics of the family patients with JOAG were documented. Blood samples were obtained from 22 available participants from the PN pedigree. Linkage analysis was performed to identify the possible chromosome loci. The presence of gene mutation was ascertained by polymerase chain reaction amplification and subsequent direct sequencing.
The affected members in the PN pedigree are characterized by early age of onset (mean age at diagnosis is 17 years old), severe clinical presentations, high intraocular pressure (mean IOP of 34.18±2.97 mmHg), and poor response to pharmacological treatment (87.5% of the patients required filtering surgery). The region on chromosome 1 between D1S3464 and D1S1619 was identified in this pedigree by linkage analysis. A Pro370Leu myocilin mutation resulting from a heterozygous C→T transition at the 1,109th nucleotide in exon 3 was detected by gene sequencing. The Pro370Leu mutation co-segregated among all affected individuals of PN pedigree.
The GLC1A Pro370Leu mutation is firmly correlated with a severe POAG phenotype. These data provide clues for the severe disease-causing nature of the Pro370Leu allele. Gene screening may be a useful method for pre-symptom diagnosis and a forewarning to detect the at-risk individuals in familial open-angle glaucoma patients, especially in pedigrees of early-onset.
MLH1 is a key DNA mismatch repair (MMR) protein involved in maintaining genomic stability by participating in the repair of endogenous and exogenous mispairs in the daughter strands during S-phase. Exogenous mispairs can result following treatment with several classes of chemotherapeutic drugs as well as with ionizing radiation (IR). In this study, we investigated the role of the MLH1 protein in determining the cellular and molecular responses to prolonged low dose rate (LDR) IR, which is similar to the clinical use of cancer brachytherapy.
An isogenic pair of MMR+ (MLH1+) and MMR− (MLH1−) human colorectal cancer HCT116 cells were exposed to prolonged LDR-IR (1.3–17cGy/h × 24–96 h). The clonogenic survival and gene mutation rates were examined. Cell cycle distribution was analyzed with flow cytometry. Changes in selected DNA damage repair proteins, DNA damage response proteins and cell death marker proteins were examined with Western blotting.
MLH1+ HCT116 cells showed greater radiosensitivity with enhanced expression of apoptotic and autophagic markers; a reduced HPRT gene mutation rate; and more pronounced cell cycle alterations (increased late S population and a G2/M arrest) following LDR-IR compared to MLH1− HCT116 cells. Importantly, a progressive increase in MLH1 protein levels was found in MLH1+ cells during prolonged LDR-IR, which was temporally correlated with a progressive decrease in Rad51 protein (involved in homologous recombination, HR) levels.
MLH1 status significantly affects cellular responses to prolonged LDR-IR. MLH1 may enhance cell radiosensitivity to prolonged LDR-IR through inhibition of HR (via inhibition of Rad51).
mismatch repair; low dose rate IR; MLH1; Rad51; late S phase
The title compound, [PbCl2(C17H9NO3)]n, was synthesized by the hydrothermal reaction of PbCl2 and liriodenine. The lead(II) atom has a distorted octahedral environment made up of the O and N atoms of the liriodenine ligand [Pb—O 2.666 (4) Å, Pb—N 2.587 (5) Å, O—Pb—N 61.78 (14)°] and four bridging chloro ligands, which link the complex molecules into infinite chains along the a axis. Both crystallographically independent chloro-bridges are asymmetric, so that the Pb atom participates in two short [2.6872 (18) and 2.7952 (18) Å] and two noticeably longer Pb—Cl bonds [2.9626 (18) and 3.031 (2) Å].
PCB-dechlorinating cultures with complimentary activities, previously derived from estuarine Baltimore Harbor (B), marine Palos Verdes (P) and riverine Hudson River (H) sediments, were mixed and then inoculated into sterile sediments from the same sources. In the treatments containing sterile B sediment, the different inocula had limited impact on the bacterial community development and on dechlorination patterns, all of which were similar. In treatments containing sterile P or H sediment, however, different inocula resulted in significantly different PCB dechlorination patterns and bacterial communities. The B sediment appeared to support not only the most extensive and rapid dechlorination of the three sediments, but also supported a more diverse bacterial community. This was thought to be a result of nutritional richness, as it was high in organic carbon and micronutrients such as zinc and cobalt. Although mixing three PCB-dechlorinating cultures was able to produce a culture capable of enhanced PCB-dechlorinating activity as compared to single cultures, some activities were lost upon culture transfer. This indicates that care must be taken to establish robust PCB-dechlorinating cultures capable of extensive dechlorination prior to pursuing bioaugmentation. In addition, our results indicate that the concentration and availability of macro- and micro-nutrients could have a significant impact on the microbial community structure, and thus a thorough characterization of the sediment at contaminated sites is essential for implementing bioaugmentation for PCB bioremediation.
Dechlorination; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Bioaugmentation; Anaerobic; Microbial community
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Most of the cases are primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG is a genetically heterogenous disease; autosomal dominance is the most frequent type of monogenic inheritance. In this study, we identified the genotype of a MYOC mutation and investigated the phenotype of a Chinese juvenile-onset open angle glaucoma (JOAG) pedigree (GZ.1 pedigree).
Blood samples were obtained from 24 participants. We performed sequence and gene linkage analysis in the GZ.1 pedigree retrospectively. Comprehensive ophthalmologic examinations were performed for each family member. Pharmacological treatment or filtering surgery was performed as needed according to the intraocular pressure (IOP) of each individual.
A Pro370Leu myocilin mutation located in exon 3 of MYOC was identified in 24 members of the GZ.1 pedigree. Sixteen patients had juvenile-onset primary open-angle glaucoma (JOAG), and the others participating in the project had no such genotype. Analysis of polymorphic microsatellite markers indicated that the disease in GZ.1 is autosomal dominant inheritance. The patients in GZ.1 are characterized by early age of onset (before 35 years of age), severe clinical presentations, and high intraocular pressure unresponsive to pharmacological treatment; requiring 89.5% of the patients to undergo filtering surgery. Fortunately, the success rate of surgery was high. None of the patients required further medical treatment and only one demonstrated low IOP fundus changes.
This is the first evidence of a founder effect for a Pro370Leu myocilin mutation in a Chinese POAG pedigree. The family with the Pro370Leu myocilin mutation presents with juvenile-onset glaucoma. After 10 years of follow-up, it is evident that the mutation is closely associated with the phenotype of the patients. Analysis of MYOC in JOAG patients may enable the identification of at-risk individuals and help prevent disease progression toward the degeneration of the optic nerve, and may also contribute to genetic counseling.
Anaerobic cultures capable of reductively dechlorinating 2,3,4,5-tetrachlorobiphenyl (CB) were enriched from three different sediments, one estuarine, one marine and one riverine. Two different electron donors were used in enrichments with the estuarine sediment (elemental iron or a mixture of fatty acids). The removal of doubly flanked meta and para chlorines to form 2,3,5-CB and 2,4,5-CB was observed in all cultures. Bacterial community analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments revealed different communities in these cultures, with the exception of one common population that showed a high phylogentic relatedness to Dehalococcoides species. No Dehalococcoides-like populations were ever detected in control cultures to which no PCBs were added. In addition, the dynamics of this Dehalococcoides-like population were strongly correlated with dechlorination. Subcultures of the estuarine sediment culture demonstrated that the Dehalococcoides-like population disappeared when dechlorination was inhibited with 2-bromoethanesulfonate or when 2,3,4,5-CB had been consumed. These results provide evidence that Dehalococcoides-like populations were involved in the removal of doubly flanked chlorines from 2,3,4,5-CB. Furthermore, the successful enrichment of these populations from geographically distant and geochemically distinct environments indicates the widespread presence of these PCB-dechlorinating, Dehalococcoides-like organisms.
reductive dechlorination; polychlorinated biphenyls; Dehalococcoides
The addition of different concentrations of sodium bicarbonate had a profound effect on 2,3,4,5-chlorobiphenyl (2,3,4,5-CB) dechlorination in Hudson River sediment cultures. The most extensive dechlorination was observed in cultures to which 100 mg l−1 bicarbonate was added. Cultures amended with 1000 mg l−1 bicarbonate had the least extensive dechlorination, with 2,4-CB and 2,5-CB as predominant end-products. A significant loss of total chlorinated biphenyl mass was observed in cultures to which ≤500 mg l−1 bicarbonate was added, suggesting that degradation beyond chlorinated biphenyls occurred. The dynamics of acetate formation were different among the treatments, with high acetate concentrations detected throughout the 303-day experiment in cultures to which 1000 mg l−1 bicarbonate had been added. Sodium bicarbonate addition also had a significant impact on bacterial community structure as detected by polymerase chain reaction-denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments. Three putative polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) dechlorinators were identified; one Dehalococcoides-like population was detected in all enrichment cultures, whereas two Dehalobacter-like populations were only detected in the enrichment cultures with the most extensive dechlorination. These results suggest that the availability of bicarbonate, and potentially sodium, may affect PCB dechlorination in Hudson River sediment and thus need to be taken into consideration when assessing the fate of PCBs or implementing bioremediation.
Escherichia coli is currently used as an indicator of fecal pollution and to assess water quality. While several genotypic techniques have been used to determine potential sources of fecal bacteria impacting waterways and beaches, they do not allow for the rapid analysis of a large number of samples in a relatively short period of time. Here we report that gene probes identified by Hamilton and colleagues (M. J. Hamilton, T. Yan, and M. J. Sadowsky, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72:4012-4019, 2006) were useful for the development of a high-throughput and quantitative macroarray hybridization system to determine numbers of E. coli bacteria originating from geese/ducks. The procedure we developed, using a QBot robot for picking and arraying of colonies, allowed us to simultaneously analyze up to 20,736 E. coli colonies from water samples, with minimal time and human input. Statistically significant results were obtained by analyzing 700 E. coli colonies per water sample, allowing for the analysis of approximately 30 sites per macroarray. Macroarray hybridization studies done on E. coli collected from water samples obtained from two urban Minnesota lakes and one rural South Carolina lake indicated that geese/ducks contributed up to 51% of the fecal bacteria in the urban lake water samples, and the level was below the detection limit in the rural lake water sample. This technique, coupled with the use of other host source-specific gene probes, holds great promise as a new quantitative microbial source tracking tool to rapidly determine the origins of E. coli in waterways and on beaches.
Cladophora glomerata, a macrophytic green alga, is commonly found in the Great Lakes, and significant accumulations occur along shorelines during the summer months. Recently, Cladophora has been shown to harbor high densities of the fecal indicator bacteria Escherichia coli and enterococci. Cladophora may also harbor human pathogens; however, until now, no studies to address this question have been performed. In the present study, we determined whether attached Cladophora, obtained from the Lake Michigan and Burns Ditch (Little Calumet River, Indiana) sides of a breakwater during the summers of 2004 and 2005, harbored the bacterial pathogens Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter. The presence of potential pathogens and numbers of organisms were determined by using cultural methods and by using conventional PCR, most-probable-number PCR (MPN-PCR), and quantitative PCR (QPCR) performed with genus- and toxin-specific primers and probes. While Shigella and STEC were detected in 100% and 25%, respectively, of the algal samples obtained near Burns Ditch in 2004, the same pathogens were not detected in samples collected in 2005. MPN-PCR and QPCR allowed enumeration of Salmonella in 40 to 80% of the ditch- and lakeside samples, respectively, and the densities were up to 1.6 × 103 cells per g Cladophora. Similarly, these PCR methods allowed enumeration of up to 5.4 × 102 Campylobacter cells/g Cladophora in 60 to 100% of lake- and ditchside samples. The Campylobacter densities were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the lakeside Cladophora samples than in the ditchside Cladophora samples. DNA fingerprint analyses indicated that genotypically identical Salmonella isolates were associated with geographically and temporally distinct Cladophora samples. However, Campylobacter isolates were genetically diverse. Since animal hosts are thought to be the primary habitat for Campylobacter and Salmonella species, our results suggest that Cladophora is a likely secondary habitat for pathogenic bacteria in Lake Michigan and that the association of these bacteria with Cladophora warrants additional studies to assess the potential health impact on beach users.
The contamination of waterways with fecal material is a persistent threat to public health. Identification of the sources of fecal contamination is a vital component for abatement strategies and for determination of total maximum daily loads. While phenotypic and genotypic techniques have been used to determine potential sources of fecal bacteria in surface waters, most methods require construction of large known-source libraries, and they often fail to adequately differentiate among environmental isolates originating from different animal sources. In this study, we used pooled genomic tester and driver DNAs in suppression subtractive hybridizations to enrich for host source-specific DNA markers for Escherichia coli originating from locally isolated geese. Seven markers were identified. When used as probes in colony hybridization studies, the combined marker DNAs identified 76% of the goose isolates tested and cross-hybridized, on average, with 5% of the human E. coli strains and with less than 10% of the strains obtained from other animal hosts. In addition, the combined probes identified 73% of the duck isolates examined, suggesting that they may be useful for determining the contribution of waterfowl to fecal contamination. However, the hybridization probes reacted mainly with E. coli isolates obtained from geese in the upper midwestern United States, indicating that there is regional specificity of the markers identified. Coupled with high-throughput, automated macro- and microarray screening, these markers may provide a quantitative, cost-effective, and accurate library-independent method for determining the sources of genetically diverse E. coli strains for use in source-tracking studies. However, future efforts to generate DNA markers specific for E. coli must include isolates obtained from geographically diverse animal hosts.