Genomes of animals as different as sponges and humans show conservation of global architecture. Here we show that multiple genomic features including transposon diversity, developmental gene repertoire, physical gene order, and intron-exon organization are shattered in the tunicate Oikopleura, belonging to the sister group of vertebrates and retaining chordate morphology. Ancestral architecture of animal genomes can be deeply modified and may therefore be largely nonadaptive. This rapidly evolving animal lineage thus offers unique perspectives on the level of genome plasticity. It also illuminates issues as fundamental as the mechanisms of intron gain.
Delayed hatching is a form of dormancy evolved in some amphibian and fish embryos to cope with environmental conditions transiently hostile to the survival of hatchlings or larvae. While diapause and cryptobiosis have been extensively studied in several animals, very little is known concerning the molecular mechanisms involved in the sensing and response of fish embryos to environmental cues. Embryos of the euryhaline killifish Fundulus heteroclitus advance dvelopment when exposed to air but hatching is suspended until flooding with seawater. Here, we investigated how transcriptome regulation underpins this adaptive response by examining changes in gene expression profiles of aerially incubated killifish embryos at ∼100% relative humidity, compared to embryos continuously flooded in water. The results confirm that mid-gastrula embryos are able to stimulate development in response to aerial incubation, which is accompanied by the differential expression of at least 806 distinct genes during a 24 h period. Most of these genes (∼70%) appear to be differentially expressed within 3 h of aerial exposure, suggesting a broad and rapid transcriptomic response. This response seems to include an early sensing phase, which overlaps with a tissue remodeling and activation of embryonic development phase involving many regulatory and metabolic pathways. Interestingly, we found fast (0.5–1 h) transcriptional differences in representatives of classical “stress” proteins, such as some molecular chaperones, members of signalling pathways typically involved in the transduction of sensor signals to stress response genes, and oxidative stress-related proteins, similar to that described in other animals undergoing dormancy, diapause or desiccation. To our knowledge, these data represent the first transcriptional profiling of molecular processes associated with desiccation resistance during delayed hatching in non-mammalian vertebrates. The exceptional transcriptomic plasticity observed in killifish embryos provides an important insight as to how the embryos are able to rapidly adapt to non-lethal desiccation conditions.
Campylobacter jejuni is currently the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Comparison of multiple Campylobacter strains revealed a high genetic and phenotypic diversity. However, little is known about differences in transcriptome organization, gene expression, and small RNA (sRNA) repertoires. Here we present the first comparative primary transcriptome analysis based on the differential RNA–seq (dRNA–seq) of four C. jejuni isolates. Our approach includes a novel, generic method for the automated annotation of transcriptional start sites (TSS), which allowed us to provide genome-wide promoter maps in the analyzed strains. These global TSS maps are refined through the integration of a SuperGenome approach that allows for a comparative TSS annotation by mapping RNA–seq data of multiple strains into a common coordinate system derived from a whole-genome alignment. Considering the steadily increasing amount of RNA–seq studies, our automated TSS annotation will not only facilitate transcriptome annotation for a wider range of pro- and eukaryotes but can also be adapted for the analysis among different growth or stress conditions. Our comparative dRNA–seq analysis revealed conservation of most TSS, but also single-nucleotide-polymorphisms (SNP) in promoter regions, which lead to strain-specific transcriptional output. Furthermore, we identified strain-specific sRNA repertoires that could contribute to differential gene regulation among strains. In addition, we identified a novel minimal CRISPR-system in Campylobacter of the type-II CRISPR subtype, which relies on the host factor RNase III and a trans-encoded sRNA for maturation of crRNAs. This minimal system of Campylobacter, which seems active in only some strains, employs a unique maturation pathway, since the crRNAs are transcribed from individual promoters in the upstream repeats and thereby minimize the requirements for the maturation machinery. Overall, our study provides new insights into strain-specific transcriptome organization and sRNAs, and reveals genes that could modulate phenotypic variation among strains despite high conservation at the DNA level.
Many species have evolved into diverse strains with phenotypic and genotypic variations that facilitate adaptation to different ecological niches and, in the case of pathogens, to different hosts. Whereas comparison of genome sequences reveals differences and similarities among strains, the consequences of genomic variations can be tracked by studying the functional output from the genome. RNA sequencing has been revolutionizing transcriptome analyses of both pro- and eukaryotes. However, the bioinformatics-based analysis is still lagging behind, and transcriptome features are often manually annotated, which is laborious and time-consuming. This is even more compounded for the analyses of multiple strains. Here we compared the primary transcriptomes of four isolates of Campylobacter jejuni, the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans, and provide genome-wide transcriptional start site (TSS) maps using a novel automated annotation method. Our comparative RNA–seq showed that most TSS are conserved in multiple strains, but we also observed SNP–dependent promoter usage. Furthermore, we identified a novel minimal RNA–based CRISPR immune system as well as strain-specific small RNA repertoires. Our automated, comparative TSS annotation will facilitate and improve transcriptome annotation for a wider range of organisms and provides insights into the contribution of transcriptome differences to phenotypic variation among closely related species.
Methylocystis sp. strain SC2 is an aerobic type II methanotroph isolated from a highly polluted aquifer in Germany. A specific trait of the SC2 strain is the expression of two isozymes of particulate methane monooxygenase with different methane oxidation kinetics. Here we report the complete genome sequence of this methanotroph that contains not only a circular chromosome but also two large plasmids.
Desulfocapsa sulfexigens SB164P1 (DSM 10523) belongs to the deltaproteobacterial family Desulfobulbaceae and is one of two validly described members of its genus. This strain was selected for genome sequencing, because it is the first marine bacterium reported to thrive on the disproportionation of elemental sulfur, a process with a unresolved enzymatic pathway in which elemental sulfur serves both as electron donor and electron acceptor. Furthermore, in contrast to its phylogenetically closest relatives, which are dissimilatory sulfate-reducers, D. sulfexigens is unable to grow by sulfate reduction and appears metabolically specialized in growing by disproportionating elemental sulfur, sulfite or thiosulfate with CO2 as the sole carbon source. The genome of D. sulfexigens contains the set of genes that is required for nitrogen fixation. In an acetylene assay it could be shown that the strain reduces acetylene to ethylene, which is indicative for N-fixation. The circular chromosome of D. sulfexigens SB164P1 comprises 3,986,761 bp and harbors 3,551 protein-coding genes of which 78% have a predicted function based on auto-annotation. The chromosome furthermore encodes 46 tRNA genes and 3 rRNA operons.
Sulfur-cycle; thiosulfate; sulfite; sulfur disproportionation; marine; sediment
Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104:H4 caused one of the world's largest outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome in Germany in 2011. These strains have evolved from enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) by the acquisition of the Stx2 genes and have been designated enteroaggregative hemorrhagic E. coli. Nucleotide sequencing has shown that the Stx2 gene is carried by prophages integrated into the chromosome of STEC O104:H4. We studied the properties of Stx2-encoding bacteriophages which are responsible for the emergence of this new type of E. coli pathogen. For this, we analyzed Stx bacteriophages from STEC O104:H4 strains from Germany (in 2001 and 2011), Norway (2006), and the Republic of Georgia (2009). Viable Stx2-encoding bacteriophages could be isolated from all STEC strains except for the Norwegian strain. The Stx2 phages formed lysogens on E. coli K-12 by integration into the wrbA locus, resulting in Stx2 production. The nucleotide sequence of the Stx2 phage P13374 of a German STEC O104:H4 outbreak was determined. From the bioinformatic analyses of the prophage sequence of 60,894 bp, 79 open reading frames were inferred. Interestingly, the Stx2 phages from the German 2001 and 2011 outbreak strains were found to be identical and closely related to the Stx2 phages from the Georgian 2009 isolates. Major proteins of the virion particles were analyzed by mass spectrometry. Stx2 production in STEC O104:H4 strains was inducible by mitomycin C and was compared to Stx2 production of E. coli K-12 lysogens.
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is a large, cold-adapted teleost that sustains long-standing commercial fisheries and incipient aquaculture1,2. Here we present the genome sequence of Atlantic cod, showing evidence for complex thermal adaptations in its haemoglobin gene cluster and an unusual immune architecture compared to other sequenced vertebrates. The genome assembly was obtained exclusively by 454 sequencing of shotgun and paired-end libraries, and automated annotation identified 22,154 genes. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II is a conserved feature of the adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates3,4, but we show that Atlantic cod has lost the genes for MHCII, CD4 and Ii that are essential for the function of this pathway. Nevertheless, Atlantic cod is not exceptionally susceptible to disease under natural conditions5. We find a highly expanded number of MHCI genes and a unique composition of its Toll-like receptor (TLR) families. This suggests how the Atlantic cod immune system has evolved compensatory mechanisms within both adaptive and innate immunity in the absence of MHCII. These observations affect fundamental assumptions about the evolution of the adaptive immune system and its components in vertebrates.
Cilia are essential for fertilization, respiratory clearance, cerebrospinal fluid circulation, and to establish laterality1. Cilia motility defects cause Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, MIM 242650), a disorder affecting 1:15-30,000 births. Cilia motility requires the assembly of multisubunit dynein arms that drive cilia bending2. Despite progress in understanding the genetic basis of PCD, mutations remain to be identified for several PCD linked loci3. Here we show that the zebrafish cilia paralysis mutant schmalhanstn222 (smh) mutant encodes the coiled-coil domain containing 103 protein (Ccdc103), a foxj1a regulated gene. Screening 146 unrelated PCD families identified patients in six families with reduced outer dynein arms, carrying mutations in CCDC103. Dynein arm assembly in smh mutant zebrafish was rescued by wild-type but not mutant human CCDC103. Chlamydomonas Ccdc103 functions as a tightly bound, axoneme-associated protein. The results identify Ccdc103 as a novel dynein arm attachment factor that when mutated causes Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.
The complete nucleotide sequences of two large, low-copy-number plasmids of 229.6 kb (pBSC2-1) and 143.5 kb (pBSC2-2) were determined during assembly of the whole-genome shotgun sequences of the methane-oxidizing bacterium Methylocystis sp. strain SC2. The physical existence of the two plasmids in strain SC2 was confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis followed by Southern hybridization. Both plasmids have a conserved replication module of the repABC system and carry genes involved in their faithful maintenance and conjugation. In addition, they contain genes that might be involved in essential metabolic processes. These include several heavy metal resistance genes and copper transport genes in pBSC2-1 and a complete nitrous oxide reductase operon and a pmoC singleton in pBSC2-2, the latter encoding the PmoC subunit of particulate methane monooxygenase.
The immune system protects us from foreign substances or pathogens by generating specific antibodies. The variety of immunoglobulin (Ig) paratopes for antigen recognition is a result of the V(D)J rearrangement mechanism, while a fast and efficient immune response is mediated by specific immunoglobulin isotypes obtained through class switch recombination (CSR). To get a better understanding on how antibody-based immune protection works and how it changes with age, the interdependency between these two parameters need to be addressed. Here, we have performed an in depth analysis of antibody repertoires of 14 healthy donors representing different gender and age groups. For this task, we developed a unique pyrosequencing approach, which is able to monitor the expression levels of all immunoglobulin V(D)J recombinations of all isotypes including subtypes in an unbiased and quantitative manner. Our results show that donors have individual immunoglobulin repertoires and cannot be clustered according to V(D)J recombination patterns, neither by age nor gender. However, after incorporating isotype-specific analysis and considering CSR information into hierarchical clustering the situation changes. For the first time the donors cluster according to age and separate into young adults and elderly donors (>50). As a direct consequence, this clustering defines the onset of immune senescence at the age of fifty and beyond. The observed age-dependent reduction of CSR ability proposes a feasible explanation why reduced efficacy of vaccination is seen in the elderly and implies that novel vaccine strategies for the elderly should include the “Golden Agers”.
“Aromatoleum aromaticum” EbN1 was cultivated at different growth rates in benzoate-limited chemostats under nitrate-reducing conditions. Physiological characteristics, proteome dynamics, phospholipid-linked fatty acid (PLFA) composition, and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) content were analyzed in steady-state cells at low (μlow) (0.036 h−1), medium (μmed) (0.108 h−1), and high (μhigh) (0.180 h−1) growth rates. A positive correlation to growth rate was observed for cellular parameters (cell size, and DNA and protein contents). The free energy consumed for biomass formation steadily increased with growth rate. In contrast, the energy demand for maintenance increased only from μlow to μmed and then remained constant until μhigh. The most comprehensive proteomic changes were observed at μlow compared to μhigh. Uniformly decreased abundances of protein components of the anaerobic benzoyl coenzyme A (benzoyl-CoA) pathway, central carbon metabolism, and information processing agree with a general deceleration of benzoate metabolism and cellular processes in response to slow growth. In contrast, increased abundances were observed at μlow for diverse catabolic proteins and components of uptake systems in the absence of the respective substrate (aromatic or aliphatic compounds) and for proteins involved in stress responses. This potential catabolic versatility and stress defense during slow growth may be interpreted as preparation for future needs.
Two lineages of T cells, expressing either the αβ T cell receptor (TR) or the γδ TR, exist in Gnathostomes. The latter type of T cells account for 1–10 % of T cells in blood and up to 30 % in the small intestine. They may recognize unconventional antigens (phosphorylated microbial metabolites, lipid antigens) without the need of major histocompatibility class I (MH1) or class II (MH2) presentation. In this work we have described cloning and structural characterization of TR -chain (TRG) from the teleost Dicentrarchus labrax. Further, by means of quantitative PCR analysis, we analyzed TRG expression levels both in poly I:C stimulated leukocytes in vitro, and following infection with betanodavirus in vivo. Two full length cDNAs relative to TRG, with the highest peptide and nucleotide identity with Japanese flounder, were identified. A multiple alignment analysis showed the conservation of peptides fundamental for TRG biological functions, and of the FGXG motif in the FR4 region, typical of most TR and immunoglobulin light chains. A 3D structure consisting of two domains mainly folded as beta strands with a sandwich architecture for each domain was also reported. TRG CDR3 of 8–18 AA in length and diversity in the TRG rearrangements expressed in thymus and intestine for a given V/C combination were evidenced by junction length spectratyping. TRG mRNA expression levels were high in basal conditions both in thymus and intestine, while in kidney and gut leukocytes they were up-regulated after in vitro stimulation by poly I:C. Finally, in juveniles the TRG expression levels were up-regulated in the head kidney and down-regulated in intestine after in vivo infection with betanodavirus. Overall, in this study the involvement of TRG-bearing T cells during viral stimulation was described for the first time, leading to new insights for the identification of T cell subsets in fish.
Zygotic transcription in fish embryos initiates around the time of gastrulation, and all prior development is initiated and controlled by maternally derived messenger RNAs. Atlantic cod egg and embryo viability is variable, and it is hypothesized that the early development depends upon the feature of these maternal RNAs. Both the length and the presence of specific motifs in the 3’UTR of maternal RNAs are believed to regulate expression and stability of the maternal transcripts. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize the overall composition and 3’UTR structure of the most common maternal RNAs found in cod eggs and pre-zygotic embryos.
22229 Sanger-sequences were obtained from 3’-end sequenced cDNA libraries prepared from oocyte, 1-2 cell, blastula and gastrula stages. Quantitative PCR revealed that EST copy number below 9 did not reflect the gene expression profile. Consequently genes represented by less than 9 ESTs were excluded from downstream analyses, in addition to sequences with low-quality gene hits. This provided 12764 EST sequences, encoding 257 unique genes, for further analysis. Mitochondrial transcripts accounted for 45.9-50.6% of the transcripts isolated from the maternal stages, but only 12.2% of those present at the onset of zygotic transcription. 3’UTR length was predicted in nuclear sequences with poly-A tail, which identified 191 3’UTRs. Their characteristics indicated a more complex regulation of transcripts that are abundant prior to the onset of zygotic transcription. Maternal and stable transcripts had longer 3’UTR (mean 187.1 and 208.8 bp) and more 3’UTR isoforms (45.7 and 34.6%) compared to zygotic transcripts, where 15.4% had 3’UTR isoforms and the mean 3’UTR length was 76 bp. Also, diversity and the amount of putative polyadenylation motifs were higher in both maternal and stable transcripts.
We report on the most pronounced processes in the maternally transferred cod transcriptome. Maternal stages are characterized by a rich abundance of mitochondrial transcripts. Maternal and stable transcripts display longer 3'UTRs with more variation of both polyadenylation motifs and 3'UTR isoforms. These data suggest that cod eggs possess a complex array of maternal RNAs which likely act to tightly regulate early developmental processes in the newly fertilized egg.
3’UTR; Sequence/EST filtering; External spiking; Transcriptome; Teleost; Embryonic development
This study investigated the role of the prostaglandin (PG) pathway in locally-applied, simvastatin-induced oral bone growth. The possibility of enhancing long-term bone augmentation with an alendronate-based carrier was initiated.
Mandibles of 44 mature female rats were treated bilaterally with the following combinations: 2 mg simvastatin in ethanol (SIM-EtOH), EtOH, 2 mg simvastatin acid complexed with alendronate-beta-cyclodextrin conjugate (SIM/ALN-CD), ALN-CD, or ALN. Bone wash technology (injection of PBS and recollection by suction) was used to sample injection sites at baseline (day 0), and 3, 7, 14 and 21 days post-treatment. After 21-24 or 48 days, histomorphometric analysis was done. The amount of PGE2 in bone wash fluid was measured by ELISA, normalized by total protein, and compared between high and low bone growth groups (ANOVA) and correlated with subsequent bone histology at 21 days (Spearman). SIM-stimulated PGE2 synthase and EP4 receptor mRNA in murine osteoblast and fibroblast cell lines were evaluated with real-time PCR.
Single injections of 2 mg SIM-EtOH induced significantly more new bone than control side after 21 days. PGE2/protein ratios peaked at day 7 and were correlated with the subsequent 21-day new bone width. The correlations at day 14 between PGE2 and new bone width changed to a negative relationship in the test group. SIM-stimulated osteoblasts expressed increased mRNA levels of PGE receptor EP4, while SIM activated PGE synthesis in fibroblasts. SIM/ALN-CD tended to preserve bone long-term.
Findings suggest that PGE pathway activation and higher levels of PGE2 during the first week following SIM-induced bone growth are desirable, and alendronate-beta-cyclodextrin conjugates not only act as tissue-specific carriers, but preserve new bone.
PGE2; simvastatin; alendronate; cyclodextrin; bone growth
The complex genome of rapeseed (Brassica napus) is not well understood despite the economic importance of the species. Good knowledge of sequence variation is needed for genetics approaches and breeding purposes. We used a diversity set of B. napus representing eight different germplasm types to sequence genome-wide distributed restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) fragments for polymorphism detection and genotyping.
More than 113,000 RAD clusters with more than 20,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 125 insertions/deletions were detected and characterized. About one third of the RAD clusters and polymorphisms mapped to the Brassica rapa reference sequence. An even distribution of RAD clusters and polymorphisms was observed across the B. rapa chromosomes, which suggests that there might be an equal distribution over the Brassica oleracea chromosomes, too. The representation of Gene Ontology (GO) terms for unigenes with RAD clusters and polymorphisms revealed no signature of selection with respect to the distribution of polymorphisms within genes belonging to a specific GO category.
Considering the decreasing costs for next-generation sequencing, the results of our study suggest that RAD sequencing is not only a simple and cost-effective method for high-density polymorphism detection but also an alternative to SNP genotyping from transcriptome sequencing or SNP arrays, even for species with complex genomes such as B. napus.
Brassica napus; Restriction-site associated DNA; Next-generation sequencing; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Genotyping by sequencing; Genetic diversity
We recently reported that subantimicrobial dose doxycycline (SDD) significantly reduced serum bone-resorption biomarkers in subgroups of postmenopausal women. We hypothesize that changes in serum bone biomarkers are associated not only with systemic bone mineral density (BMD) changes, but also with alveolar bone changes over time. One hundred twenty-eight eligible postmenopausal women with periodontitis and systemic osteopenia were randomly assigned to receive SDD or placebo tablets twice daily for two years adjunctive to periodontal maintenance. Sera were analyzed for bone biomarkers. As expected, two-year changes in a serum bone biomarker were significantly associated with systemic BMD loss at the lumbar spine (osteocalcin, bone turnover biomarker, p=0.0002) and femoral neck (osteocalcin p=0.0025). Two year changes in serum osteocalcin and serum pyridinoline-crosslink fragment of type I collagen (ICTP; bone-resorption biomarker) were also significantly associated with alveolar bone density loss (p<0.0001) and alveolar bone height loss (p=0.0008), respectively. Thus, we have shown that serum bone biomarkers are associated with not only systemic BMD loss, but with alveolar bone loss as well.
subantimicrobial dose doxycycline; periodontitis; osteopenia; serum biomarkers; bone; postmenopausal
X-linked intellectual disability (XLID), also known as X-linked mental retardation, is a highly genetically heterogeneous condition for which mutations in >90 different genes have been identified. In this study, we used a custom-made sequencing array based on the Affymetrix 50k platform for mutation screening in 17 known XLID genes in patients from 135 families and found eight single-nucleotide changes that were absent in controls. For four mutations affecting ATRX (p.1761M>T), PQBP1 (p.155R>X) and SLC6A8 (p.390P>L and p.477S>L), we provide evidence for a functional involvement of these changes in the aetiology of intellectual disability.
X-linked intellectual disability; X-linked mental retardation; array-based resequencing; mutation analysis; automated PCR
Uncoupling proteins (UCP) are evolutionary conserved mitochondrial carriers that control energy metabolism and therefore play important roles in several physiological processes such as thermogenesis, regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), growth control, lipid metabolism and regulation of insulin secretion. Despite their importance in various physiological processes, their molecular function remains controversial. The evolution and phylogenetic distribution may assist to identify their general biological function and structure-function relationships. The exact number of uncoupling protein genes in the fish genome and their evolution is unresolved.
Here we report the first characterisation of UCP gene family members in sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, and then retrace the evolution of the protein family in vertebrates. Four UCP genes that are shared by five other fish species were identified in sea bass genome. Phylogenetic reconstitution among vertebrate species and synteny analysis revealed that UCP1, UCP2 and UCP3 evolved from duplication events that occurred in the common ancestor of vertebrates, whereas the novel fourth UCP originated specifically in the teleost lineage. Functional divergence analysis among teleost species revealed specific amino acid positions that have been subjected to altered functional constraints after duplications.
This work provides the first unambiguous evidence for the presence of a fourth UCP gene in teleost fish genome and brings new insights into the evolutionary history of the gene family. Our results suggest functional divergence among paralogues which might result from long-term and differential selective pressures, and therefore, provide the indication that UCP genes may have diverse physiological functions in teleost fishes. Further experimental analysis of the critical amino acids identified here may provide valuable information on the physiological functions of UCP genes.
Periodontitis has been reported to be associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). Research is needed to determine if therapies that improve periodontal health also reduce systemic measures of inflammation associated with both diseases.
128 postmenopausal women with chronic periodontitis were randomly assigned to twice-daily subantimicrobial dose doxycycline (SDD) or placebo tablets for two years adjunctive to periodontal maintenance therapy. Through a supplement to the main trial investigating alveolar bone and clinical periodontal changes, inflammatory mediators and lipid profiles were assayed in baseline, one- and two-year serum samples. Data were analyzed by generalized estimating equations.
In the intent-to-treat population over two years, SDD treatment reduced median high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) by 18% (primary outcome; p=0.02) and reduced serum matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9; 92 kilodalton gelatinase) (difference in mean scanning units: −28.44; p<0.0001), with no significant effect on serum lipids. However, in women more than five years postmenopausal, SDD elevated high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (difference in means [mg/dl]: 5.99; p=0.01).
A two-year SDD regimen in postmenopausal women significantly reduced the serum inflammatory biomarkers hs-CRP and MMP-9 and, among women more than five years postmenopausal, raised HDL cholesterol.
SDD significantly reduced the systemic inflammatory biomarkers, hs-CRP and MMP-9. More research is needed to determine whether SDD has a role in CAD risk management.
C-reactive protein; doxycycline; inflammation; HDL cholesterol; matrix metalloproteinases; periodontitis; serum inflammatory biomarkers
Cilia/flagella are highly conserved organelles that play diverse roles in cell motility and sensing extracellular signals. Motility defects in cilia/flagella often result in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). However, the mechanisms underlying cilia formation and function, and in particular the cytoplasmic assembly of dyneins that power ciliary motility, are only poorly understood. Here we report a novel gene, kintoun (ktu), involved in this cytoplasmic process. This gene was first identified in a medaka mutant, and found to be mutated in PCD patients from two affected families as well as in the pf13 mutant of Chlamydomonas. In the absence of Ktu/PF13, both outer and inner dynein arms are missing or defective in the axoneme, leading to a loss of motility. Biochemical and immunohistochemical studies show that Ktu/PF13 is one of the long-sought proteins involved in pre-assembly of dynein arm complexes in the cytoplasm before intraflagellar transport loads them for the ciliary compartment.
Several organisms display dormancy and developmental arrest at embryonic stages. Long-term survival in the dormant form is usually associated with desiccation, orthodox plant seeds and Artemia cysts being well documented examples. Several aquatic invertebrates display dormancy during embryonic development and survive for tens or even hundreds of years in a hydrated form, raising the question of whether survival in the non-desiccated form of embryonic development depends on pathways similar to those occurring in desiccation tolerant forms.
To address this question, Illumina short read sequencing was used to generate transcription profiles from the resting and amictic eggs of an aquatic invertebrate, the rotifer, Brachionus plicatilis. These two types of egg have very different life histories, with the dormant or diapausing resting eggs, the result of the sexual cycle and amictic eggs, the non-dormant products of the asexual cycle. Significant transcriptional differences were found between the two types of egg, with amictic eggs rich in genes involved in the morphological development into a juvenile rotifer. In contrast, representatives of classical “stress” proteins: a small heat shock protein, ferritin and Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins were identified in resting eggs. More importantly however, was the identification of transcripts for messenger ribonucleoprotein particles which stabilise RNA. These inhibit translation and provide a valuable source of useful RNAs which can be rapidly activated on the exit from dormancy. Apoptotic genes were also present. Although apoptosis is inconsistent with maintenance of prolonged dormancy, an altered apoptotic pathway has been proposed for Artemia, and this may be the case with the rotifer.
These data represent the first transcriptional profiling of molecular processes associated with dormancy in a non-desiccated form and indicate important similarities in the molecular pathways activated in resting eggs compared with desiccated dormant forms, specifically plant seeds and Artemia.
The purpose of the present study was to develop tooth-binding micelle formulations and evaluate their ability to both inhibit initial biofilm formation as well as decrease the viability of preformed biofilm using an in vitro dental biofilm model. Alendronate (ALN, a bisphosphonate) was covalently attached to the ends of different Pluronic copolymers to confer tooth-binding ability to the micelles, and triclosan was used as a model drug. Based on different micelle preparation methods, Pluronic copolymers and ALN-terminated Pluronic copolymers were used to prepare triclosan-loaded tooth-binding micelles. The formulation was optimized for triclosan solubility, particle size, hydroxyapatite (HA) binding capacity and kinetics, and in vitro drug release behavior. In vitro biofilm treatment studies demonstrated that the triclosan-loaded tooth-binding micelles were able to inhibit initial biofilm growth of Streptococcus mutans UA159 by 6-log CFU/HA disc compared to the untreated control. These tooth-binding micelles were also capable of reducing the viability of preformed biofilm by 4-log CFU/HA disc compared to untreated control biofilm. In summary, triclosan-loaded tooth-binding micelles have been successfully developed and optimized in this study. These micelles demonstrated promising anti-biofilm capabilities that have the potential for use in the future treatment and prevention of dental diseases.
Notophthalmus viridescens, a member of the salamander family is an excellent model organism to study regenerative processes due to its unique ability to replace lost appendages and to repair internal organs. Molecular insights into regenerative events have been severely hampered by the lack of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data, as well as an appropriate database to store such novel information. Here, we describe ‘Newt-omics’ (http://newt-omics.mpi-bn.mpg.de), a database, which enables researchers to locate, retrieve and store data sets dedicated to the molecular characterization of newts. Newt-omics is a transcript-centred database, based on an Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) data set from the newt, covering ∼50 000 Sanger sequenced transcripts and a set of high-density microarray data, generated from regenerating hearts. Newt-omics also contains a large set of peptides identified by mass spectrometry, which was used to validate 13 810 ESTs as true protein coding. Newt-omics is open to implement additional high-throughput data sets without changing the database structure. Via a user-friendly interface Newt-omics allows access to a huge set of molecular data without the need for prior bioinformatical expertise.
Gene function analysis of the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae is hampered by the facts that this organism is inaccessible to genetic manipulations and not cultivable outside the host. The genomes of several strains have been sequenced; however, very little information is available on the gene structure and transcriptome of C. pneumoniae.
Using a differential RNA-sequencing approach with specific enrichment of primary transcripts, we defined the transcriptome of purified elementary bodies and reticulate bodies of C. pneumoniae strain CWL-029; 565 transcriptional start sites of annotated genes and novel transcripts were mapped. Analysis of adjacent genes for co-transcription revealed 246 polycistronic transcripts. In total, a distinct transcription start site or an affiliation to an operon could be assigned to 862 out of 1,074 annotated protein coding genes. Semi-quantitative analysis of mapped cDNA reads revealed significant differences for 288 genes in the RNA levels of genes isolated from elementary bodies and reticulate bodies. We have identified and in part confirmed 75 novel putative non-coding RNAs. The detailed map of transcription start sites at single nucleotide resolution allowed for the first time a comprehensive and saturating analysis of promoter consensus sequences in Chlamydia.
The precise transcriptional landscape as a complement to the genome sequence will provide new insights into the organization, control and function of genes. Novel non-coding RNAs and identified common promoter motifs will help to understand gene regulation of this important human pathogen.
Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100 is an obligate predatory bacterium that attacks and invades Gram-negative bacteria. The predator requires living bacteria to survive as growth and replication take place inside the bacterial prey. It is possible to isolate mutants that grow and replicate outside prey bacteria. Such mutants are designated host or prey independent, and their nutritional requirements vary. Some mutants are saprophytic and require prey extracts for extracellular growth, whereas other mutants grow axenically, which denotes the formation of colonies on complete medium in the absence of any prey components. The initial events leading to prey-independent growth are still under debate, and several genes may be involved. We selected new mutants by three different methods: spontaneous mutation, transposon mutagenesis, and targeted gene knockout. By all approaches we isolated mutants of the hit (host interaction) locus. As the relevance of this locus for the development of prey independence has been questioned, we performed whole-genome sequencing of five prey-independent mutants. Three mutants were saprophytic, and two mutants could grow axenically. Whole-genome analysis revealed that the mutation of a small open reading frame of the hit locus is sufficient for the conversion from predatory to saprophytic growth. Complementation experiments were performed by introduction of a plasmid carrying the wild-type hit gene into saprophytic mutants, and predatory growth could be restored. Whole-genome sequencing of two axenic mutants demonstrated that in addition to the hit mutation the colony formation on complete medium was shown to be influenced by the mutations of two genes involved in RNA processing. Complementation experiments with a wild-type gene encoding an RNA helicase, RhlB, abolished the ability to form colonies on complete medium, indicating that stability of RNA influences axenic growth.