PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-19 (19)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
more »
Year of Publication
1.  Secretion of Protective Antigens by Tissue-Stage Nematode Larvae Revealed by Proteomic Analysis and Vaccination-Induced Sterile Immunity 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(8):e1003492.
Gastrointestinal nematode parasites infect over 1 billion humans, with little evidence for generation of sterilising immunity. These helminths are highly adapted to their mammalian host, following a developmental program through successive niches, while effectively down-modulating host immune responsiveness. Larvae of Heligmosomoides polygyrus, for example, encyst in the intestinal submucosa, before emerging as adult worms into the duodenal lumen. Adults release immunomodulatory excretory-secretory (ES) products, but mice immunised with adult H. polygyrus ES become fully immune to challenge infection. ES products of the intestinal wall 4th stage (L4) larvae are similarly important in host-parasite interactions, as they readily generate sterile immunity against infection, while released material from the egg stage is ineffective. Proteomic analyses of L4 ES identifies protective antigen targets as well as potential tissue-phase immunomodulatory molecules, using as comparators the adult ES proteome and a profile of H. polygyrus egg-released material. While 135 proteins are shared between L4 and adult ES, 72 are L4 ES-specific; L4-specific proteins correspond to those whose transcription is restricted to larval stages, while shared proteins are generally transcribed by all life cycle forms. Two protein families are more heavily represented in the L4 secretome, the Sushi domain, associated with complement regulation, and the ShK/SXC domain related to a toxin interfering with T cell signalling. Both adult and L4 ES contain extensive but distinct arrays of Venom allergen/Ancylostoma secreted protein-Like (VAL) members, with acetylcholinesterases (ACEs) and apyrase APY-3 particularly abundant in L4 ES. Serum antibodies from mice vaccinated with L4 and adult ES react strongly to the VAL-1 protein and to ACE-1, indicating that these two antigens represent major vaccine targets for this intestinal nematode. We have thus defined an extensive and novel repertoire of H. polygyrus proteins closely implicated in immune modulation and protective immunity.
Author Summary
Intestinal helminth parasites are highly prevalent in humans and animals, and survive for long periods by deviating the host immune system. No vaccines are currently available to control these infections. Many helminths invade through barrier surfaces (such as the skin or the digestive tract) and develop through tissue larval stages before reaching their final niche such as the intestinal lumen. We studied the tissue larval stage of a mouse parasite, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, to test whether proteins released by this stage could elicit protective immunity, and found that they indeed constitute very effective vaccine antigens. Proteomic analysis to identify the individual proteins released by the larvae demonstrated that while many products are shared between tissue-dwelling larvae and adults occupying the intestinal lumen, larvae express higher levels of two gene families linked to immunomodulation, namely the Sushi protein family and the ShK toxin family. Antibody analysis of serum from vaccinated mice identified two major antigens recognised by the protective immune response as VAL-1 and ACE-1, which are respectively members of the venom allergen and acetylcholinesterase families. This work establishes that tissue larvae are the source of protective antigens for future vaccines, and highlights their production of two potentially immunomodulatory gene families.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003492
PMCID: PMC3744408  PMID: 23966853
2.  Choice of Bacterial Growth Medium Alters the Transcriptome and Phenotype of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63912.
The type of bacterial culture medium is an important consideration during design of any experimental protocol. The aim of this study was to understand the impact of medium choice on bacterial gene expression and physiology by comparing the transcriptome of Salmonella enterica SL1344 after growth in the widely used LB broth or the rationally designed MOPS minimal medium. Transcriptomics showed that after growth in MOPS minimal media, compared to LB, there was increased expression of 42 genes involved in amino acid synthesis and 23 genes coding for ABC transporters. Seven flagellar genes had decreased expression after growth in MOPS minimal medium and this correlated with a decreased motility. In both MOPS minimal medium and MEM expression of genes from SPI-2 was increased and the adhesion of S. Typhimurium to intestinal epithelial cells was higher compared to the levels after growth in LB. However, SL1344 invasion was not significantly altered by growth in either MOPs minimal media or MEM. Expression of SPI-2 was also measured using chromosomal GFP reporter fusions followed by flow cytometry which showed, for the first time, that the reduction in SPI-2 transcript after growth in different media related to a reduction in the proportion of the bacterial population expressing SPI-2. These data highlight the profound differences in the global transcriptome after in vitro growth in different media and show that choice of medium should be considered carefully during experimental design, particularly when virulence related phenotypes are being measured.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063912
PMCID: PMC3660369  PMID: 23704954
4.  The Transcriptional Response of Caenorhabditis elegans to Ivermectin Exposure Identifies Novel Genes Involved in the Response to Reduced Food Intake 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31367.
We have examined the transcriptional response of Caenorhabditis elegans following exposure to the anthelmintic drug ivermectin (IVM) using whole genome microarrays and real-time QPCR. Our original aim was to identify candidate molecules involved in IVM metabolism and/or excretion. For this reason the IVM tolerant strain, DA1316, was used to minimise transcriptomic changes related to the phenotype of drug exposure. However, unlike equivalent work with benzimidazole drugs, very few of the induced genes were members of xenobiotic metabolising enzyme families. Instead, the transcriptional response was dominated by genes associated with fat mobilization and fatty acid metabolism including catalase, esterase, and fatty acid CoA synthetase genes. This is consistent with the reduction in pharyngeal pumping, and consequential reduction in food intake, upon exposure of DA1316 worms to IVM. Genes with the highest fold change in response to IVM exposure, cyp-37B1, mtl-1 and scl-2, were comparably up-regulated in response to short–term food withdrawal (4 hr) independent of IVM exposure, and GFP reporter constructs confirm their expression in tissues associated with fat storage (intestine and hypodermis). These experiments have serendipitously identified novel genes involved in an early response of C. elegans to reduced food intake and may provide insight into similar processes in higher organisms.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031367
PMCID: PMC3279368  PMID: 22348077
5.  RamA, a Member of the AraC/XylS Family, Influences Both Virulence and Efflux in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium ▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;192(6):1607-1616.
The transcriptomes of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium SL1344 lacking a functional ramA or ramR or with plasmid-mediated high-level overexpression of ramA were compared to those of the wild-type parental strain. Inactivation of ramA led to increased expression of 14 SPI-1 genes and decreased expression of three SPI-2 genes, and it altered expression of ribosomal biosynthetic genes and several amino acid biosynthetic pathways. Furthermore, disruption of ramA led to decreased survival within RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages and attenuation within the BALB/c ByJ mouse model. Highly overexpressed ramA led to increased expression of genes encoding multidrug resistance (MDR) efflux pumps, including acrAB, acrEF, and tolC. Decreased expression of 34 Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI) 1 and 2 genes, decreased SipC production, decreased adhesion to and survival within macrophages, and decreased colonization of Caenorhabditis elegans were also seen. Disruption of ramR led to the increased expression of ramA, acrAB, and tolC, but not to the same level as when ramA was overexpressed on a plasmid. Inactivation of ramR had a more limited effect on pathogenicity gene expression. In silico analysis of a suggested RamA-binding consensus sequence identified target genes, including ramR, acrA, tolC, sipABC, and ssrA. This study demonstrates that the regulation of a mechanism of MDR and expression of virulence genes show considerable overlap, and we postulate that such a mechanism is dependent on transcriptional activator concentration and promoter sensitivity. However, we have no evidence to support the hypothesis that increased MDR via RamA regulation of AcrAB-TolC gives rise to a hypervirulent strain.
doi:10.1128/JB.01517-09
PMCID: PMC2832520  PMID: 20081028
6.  The Global Consequence of Disruption of the AcrAB-TolC Efflux Pump in Salmonella enterica Includes Reduced Expression of SPI-1 and Other Attributes Required To Infect the Host▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(13):4276-4285.
The mechanisms by which RND pumps contribute to pathogenicity are currently not understood. Using the AcrAB-TolC system as a paradigm multidrug-resistant efflux pump and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium as a model pathogen, we have demonstrated that AcrA, AcrB, and TolC are each required for efficient adhesion to and invasion of epithelial cells and macrophages by Salmonella in vitro. In addition, AcrB and TolC are necessary for Salmonella to colonize poultry. Mutants lacking acrA, acrB, or tolC showed differential expression of major operons and proteins involved in pathogenesis. These included chemotaxis and motility genes, including cheWY and flgLMK and 14 Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI)-1-encoded type III secretion system genes, including sopE, and associated effector proteins. Reverse transcription-PCR confirmed these data for identical mutants in two other S. Typhimurium backgrounds. Western blotting showed reduced production of SipA, SipB, and SipC. The absence of AcrB or TolC also caused widespread repression of chemotaxis and motility genes in these mutants, and for acrB::aph, this was associated with decreased motility. For mutants lacking a functional acrA or acrB gene, the nap and nir operons were repressed, and both mutants grew poorly in anaerobic conditions. All phenotypes were restored to that of the wild type by trans-complementation with the wild-type allele of the respective inactivated gene. These data explain how mutants lacking a component of AcrAB-TolC are attenuated and that this phenotype is a result of decreased expression of numerous genes encoding proteins involved in pathogenicity. The link between antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity establishes the AcrAB-TolC system as fundamental to the biology of Salmonella.
doi:10.1128/JB.00363-09
PMCID: PMC2698494  PMID: 19411325
7.  A new environmentally resistant cell type from Dictyostelium 
Microbiology (Reading, England)  2007;153(Pt 2):619-630.
This paper describes the serendipitous discovery and first characterization of a new resistant cell type from Dictyostelium, for which the name aspidocyte (from aspis: Greek for shield) is proposed. These cells are induced from amoebae by a range of toxins including heavy metals and antibiotics, and were first detected by their striking resistance to detergent lysis. Aspidocytes are separate, rounded or irregular-shaped cells, which are immotile but remain fully viable; once the toxic stress is removed, they revert to amoeboid cells within an hour. Induction takes a few hours and is completely blocked by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. Aspidocytes lack a cell wall and their resistance to detergent lysis is active, requiring continued energy metabolism, and may be assisted by a complete cessation of endocytosis, as measured by uptake of the dye FM1-43. Microarray analysis shows that aspidocytes have a distinct pattern of gene expression, with a number of genes up-regulated that are predicted to be involved in lipid metabolism. Aspidocytes were initially detected in a hypersensitive mutant, in which the AMP deaminase gene is disrupted, suggesting that the inductive pathway involves AMP levels or metabolism. Since aspidocytes can also be induced from wild-type cells and are much more resistant than amoebae to a membrane-disrupting antibiotic, it is possible that they are an adaptation allowing Dictyostelium cells to survive a sudden onslaught of toxins in the wild.
doi:10.1099/mic.0.2006/000562-0
PMCID: PMC2786962  PMID: 17259634
8.  Genome-wide expression profiling of in vivo-derived bloodstream parasite stages and dynamic analysis of mRNA alterations during synchronous differentiation in Trypanosoma brucei 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:427.
Background
Trypanosomes undergo extensive developmental changes during their complex life cycle. Crucial among these is the transition between slender and stumpy bloodstream forms and, thereafter, the differentiation from stumpy to tsetse-midgut procyclic forms. These developmental events are highly regulated, temporally reproducible and accompanied by expression changes mediated almost exclusively at the post-transcriptional level.
Results
In this study we have examined, by whole-genome microarray analysis, the mRNA abundance of genes in slender and stumpy forms of T.brucei AnTat1.1 cells, and also during their synchronous differentiation to procyclic forms. In total, five biological replicates representing the differentiation of matched parasite populations derived from five individual mouse infections were assayed, with RNAs being derived at key biological time points during the time course of their synchronous differentiation to procyclic forms. Importantly, the biological context of these mRNA profiles was established by assaying the coincident cellular events in each population (surface antigen exchange, morphological restructuring, cell cycle re-entry), thereby linking the observed gene expression changes to the well-established framework of trypanosome differentiation.
Conclusion
Using stringent statistical analysis and validation of the derived profiles against experimentally-predicted gene expression and phenotypic changes, we have established the profile of regulated gene expression during these important life-cycle transitions. The highly synchronous nature of differentiation between stumpy and procyclic forms also means that these studies of mRNA profiles are directly relevant to the changes in mRNA abundance within individual cells during this well-characterised developmental transition.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-427
PMCID: PMC2753553  PMID: 19747379
9.  Analysis of ESTs from Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies and their contribution toward understanding the insect-parasite relationship* 
Genomics  2006;88(6):831-840.
An expressed sequence tag library has been generated from a sand fly vector of visceral leishmaniasis, Lutzomyia longipalpis. A normalized cDNA library was constructed from whole adults and 16,608 clones were sequenced from both ends and assembled into 10,203 contigs and singlets. Of these 58% showed significant similarity to known genes from other organisms, <4% were identical to described sand fly genes, and 42% had no match to any database sequence. Our analyses revealed putative proteins involved in the barrier function of the gut (peritrophins, microvillar proteins, glutamine synthase), digestive physiology (secreted and membrane-anchored hydrolytic enzymes), and the immune response (gram-negative binding proteins, thioester proteins, scavenger receptors, galectins, signaling pathway factors, caspases, serpins, and peroxidases). Sequence analysis of this transcriptome dataset has provided new insights into genes that might be associated with the response of the vector to the development of Leishmania.
doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2006.06.011
PMCID: PMC2675706  PMID: 16887324
Lutzomyia; Expressed sequence tag; Leishmania; Genomics; Immunity; Parasite; Midgut
10.  Detection of genome-wide polymorphisms in the AT-rich Plasmodium falciparum genome using a high-density microarray 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:398.
Background
Genetic mapping is a powerful method to identify mutations that cause drug resistance and other phenotypic changes in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. For efficient mapping of a target gene, it is often necessary to genotype a large number of polymorphic markers. Currently, a community effort is underway to collect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) from the parasite genome. Here we evaluate polymorphism detection accuracy of a high-density 'tiling' microarray with 2.56 million probes by comparing single feature polymorphisms (SFP) calls from the microarray with known SNP among parasite isolates.
Results
We found that probe GC content, SNP position in a probe, probe coverage, and signal ratio cutoff values were important factors for accurate detection of SFP in the parasite genome. We established a set of SFP calling parameters that could predict mSFP (SFP called by multiple overlapping probes) with high accuracy (≥ 94%) and identified 121,087 mSFP genome-wide from five parasite isolates including 40,354 unique mSFP (excluding those from multi-gene families) and ~18,000 new mSFP, producing a genetic map with an average of one unique mSFP per 570 bp. Genomic copy number variation (CNV) among the parasites was also cataloged and compared.
Conclusion
A large number of mSFP were discovered from the P. falciparum genome using a high-density microarray, most of which were in clusters of highly polymorphic genes at chromosome ends. Our method for accurate mSFP detection and the mSFP identified will greatly facilitate large-scale studies of genome variation in the P. falciparum parasite and provide useful resources for mapping important parasite traits.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-398
PMCID: PMC2543026  PMID: 18724869
11.  Fasciola hepatica expresses multiple α- and β-tubulin isotypes 
We have identified five α-tubulin and six β-tubulin isotypes that are expressed in adult Fasciola hepatica. Amino acid sequence identities ranged between 72 and 95% for fluke α-tubulin and between 65 and 97% for β-tubulin isotypes. Nucleotide sequence identity ranged between 68–77% and 62–80%, respectively, for their coding sequences. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that two of the α-tubulins and two of the β-tubulins were distinctly divergent from the other trematode and nematode tubulin sequences described in this study, whereas the other isotypes segregated within the trematode clades. With regard to the proposed benzimidazole binding site on β-tubulin, three of the fluke isotypes had tyrosine at position 200 of β-tubulin, two had phenylalanine and one had leucine. All had phenylalanine at position 167 and glutamic acid at position 198. When isotype RT-PCR fragment sequences were compared between six individual flukes from the susceptible Cullompton isolate and from seven individual flukes from the two resistant isolates, Sligo and Oberon, these residues were conserved.
doi:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2008.02.001
PMCID: PMC3820024  PMID: 18372053
Fasciola hepatica; Trematode; Tubulin; Drug resistance; Isotypes
12.  SrfB, a member of the Serum Response Factor family of transcription factors, regulates starvation response and early development in Dictyostelium 
Developmental Biology  2008;316(2):260-274.
The Serum Response Factor (SRF) is an important regulator of cell proliferation and differentiation. Dictyostelium discoideum srfB gene codes for an SRF homologue and is expressed in vegetative cells and during development under the control of three alternative promoters, which show different cell-type specific patterns of expression. The two more proximal promoters directed gene transcription in prestalk AB, stalk and lower-cup cells. The generation of a strain where the srfB gene has been interrupted (srfB−) has shown that this gene is required for regulation of actin–cytoskeleton-related functions, such as cytokinesis and macropinocytosis. The mutant failed to develop well in suspension, but could be rescued by cAMP pulsing, suggesting a defect in cAMP signaling. srfB− cells showed impaired chemotaxis to cAMP and defective lateral pseudopodium inhibition. Nevertheless, srfB− cells aggregated on agar plates and nitrocellulose filters 2 h earlier than wild type cells, and completed development, showing an increased tendency to form slug structures. Analysis of wild type and srfB− strains detected significant differences in the regulation of gene expression upon starvation. Genes coding for lysosomal and ribosomal proteins, developmentally-regulated genes, and some genes coding for proteins involved in cytoskeleton regulation were deregulated during the first stages of development.
doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.01.026
PMCID: PMC3819988  PMID: 18339368
Dictyostelium; SRF; Serum Response Factor; Transcription; Cytoskeleton; Actin; Differentiation; Development; cAMP; Aggregation
13.  Altered phenotype and gene transcription in endothelial cells, induced by Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells: Pathogenic or protective? 
Severe malaria is associated with sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells (PRBC) in the microvasculature and elevation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and TNF. In vitro co-culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), with either PRBC or uninfected RBC, required the presence of low level TNF (5 pg/ml) for significant up-regulation of ICAM-1, which may contribute to increased cytoadhesion in vivo. These effects were independent of P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1 (PfEMP-1)-mediated adhesion but critically dependent on cell–cell contact. Further changes included increases in IL8 release and soluble TNF receptor shedding. Microarray analysis of HUVEC transcriptome following co-culture, using a human Affymetrix microarray chip, showed significant differential regulation of genes which defined gene ontologies such as cell communication, cell adhesion, signal transduction and immune response. Our data demonstrate that endothelial cells have the ability to mobilise immune and pro-adhesive responses when exposed to both PRBC and TNF. In addition, there is also a previously un-described positive regulation by RBC and TNF and a concurrent negative regulation of a range of genes involved in inflammation and cell-death, by PRBC and TNF. We propose that the balance between positive and negative regulation demonstrated in our study will determine endothelial pathology during a malaria infection.
doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2007.02.006
PMCID: PMC1906861  PMID: 17383656
Severe malaria; Vascular endothelium; Co-culture; ICAM-1; Microarray; Tumour necrosis factor
14.  Proteomic and Microarray Analyses of the Dictyostelium Zak1-GSK-3 Signaling Pathway Reveal a Role in Early Development▿  
Eukaryotic Cell  2006;6(2):245-252.
GskA, the Dictyostelium GSK-3 orthologue, is modified and activated by the dual-specificity tyrosine kinase Zak1, and the two kinases form part of a signaling pathway that responds to extracellular cyclic AMP. We identify potential cellular effectors for the two kinases by analyzing the corresponding null mutants. There are proteins and mRNAs that are altered in abundance in only one or the other of the two mutants, indicating that each kinase has some unique functions. However, proteomic and microarray analyses identified a number of proteins and genes, respectively, that are similarly misregulated in both mutant strains. The positive correlation between the array data and the proteomic data is consistent with the Zak1-GskA signaling pathway's functioning by directly or indirectly regulating gene expression. The discoidin 1 genes are positively regulated by the pathway, while the abundance of the H5 protein is negatively regulated. Two of the targets, H5 and discoidin 1, are well-characterized markers for early development, indicating that the Zak1-GskA pathway plays a role in development earlier than previously observed.
doi:10.1128/EC.00204-06
PMCID: PMC1797958  PMID: 17085634
15.  A new environmentally resistant cell type from Dictyostelium 
Microbiology  2007;153(Pt 2):619-630.
This paper describes the serendipitous discovery and first characterization of a new resistant cell type from Dictyostelium, for which the name aspidocyte (from aspis: Greek for shield) is proposed. These cells are induced from amoebae by a range of toxins including heavy metals and antibiotics, and were first detected by their striking resistance to detergent lysis. Aspidocytes are separate, rounded or irregular-shaped cells, which are immotile but remain fully viable; once the toxic stress is removed, they revert to amoeboid cells within an hour. Induction takes a few hours and is completely blocked by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. Aspidocytes lack a cell wall and their resistance to detergent lysis is active, requiring continued energy metabolism, and may be assisted by a complete cessation of endocytosis, as measured by uptake of the dye FM1-43. Microarray analysis shows that aspidocytes have a distinct pattern of gene expression, with a number of genes up-regulated that are predicted to be involved in lipid metabolism. Aspidocytes were initially detected in a hypersensitive mutant, in which the AMP deaminase gene is disrupted, suggesting that the inductive pathway involves AMP levels or metabolism. Since aspidocytes can also be induced from wild-type cells and are much more resistant than amoebae to a membrane-disrupting antibiotic, it is possible that they are an adaptation allowing Dictyostelium cells to survive a sudden onslaught of toxins in the wild.
doi:10.1099/mic.0.2006/000562-0
PMCID: PMC2786962  PMID: 17259634
16.  Analysis of ESTs from Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies and their contribution toward understanding the insect–parasite relationship☆ 
Genomics  2006;88(6):831-840.
An expressed sequence tag library has been generated from a sand fly vector of visceral leishmaniasis, Lutzomyia longipalpis. A normalized cDNA library was constructed from whole adults and 16,608 clones were sequenced from both ends and assembled into 10,203 contigs and singlets. Of these 58% showed significant similarity to known genes from other organisms, < 4% were identical to described sand fly genes, and 42% had no match to any database sequence. Our analyses revealed putative proteins involved in the barrier function of the gut (peritrophins, microvillar proteins, glutamine synthase), digestive physiology (secreted and membrane-anchored hydrolytic enzymes), and the immune response (gram-negative binding proteins, thioester proteins, scavenger receptors, galectins, signaling pathway factors, caspases, serpins, and peroxidases). Sequence analysis of this transcriptome dataset has provided new insights into genes that might be associated with the response of the vector to the development of Leishmania.
doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2006.06.011
PMCID: PMC2675706  PMID: 16887324
GALE, galectin; AMP, antimicrobial peptide; GNBP, gram-negative binding protein; PAMP, pathogen-associated molecular pattern; PGRP, peptidoglycan recognition proteins; PRR, pattern recognition receptor; TEP, thioester-containing protein family; SCR, scavenger receptor.; Lutzomyia; Expressed sequence tag; Leishmania; Genomics; Immunity; Parasite; Midgut
17.  Identification of Core and Variable Components of the Salmonella enterica Subspecies I Genome by Microarray†  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(12):7894-7905.
We have performed microarray hybridization studies on 40 clinical isolates from 12 common serovars within Salmonella enterica subspecies I to identify the conserved chromosomal gene pool. We were able to separate the core invariant portion of the genome by a novel mathematical approach using a decision tree based on genes ranked by increasing variance. All genes within the core component were confirmed using available sequence and microarray information for S. enterica subspecies I strains. The majority of genes within the core component had conserved homologues in Escherichia coli K-12 strain MG1655. However, many genes present in the conserved set which were absent or highly divergent in K-12 had close homologues in pathogenic bacteria such as Shigella flexneri and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Genes within previously established virulence determinants such as SPI1 to SPI5 were conserved. In addition several genes within SPI6, all of SPI9, and three fimbrial operons (fim, bcf, and stb) were conserved within all S. enterica strains included in this study. Although many phage and insertion sequence elements were missing from the core component, approximately half the pseudogenes present in S. enterica serovar Typhi were conserved. Furthermore, approximately half the genes conserved in the core set encoded hypothetical proteins. Separation of the core and variant gene sets within S.enterica subspecies I has offered fundamental biological insight into the genetic basis of phenotypic similarity and diversity across S. enterica subspecies I and shown how the core genome of these pathogens differs from the closely related E. coli K-12 laboratory strain.
doi:10.1128/IAI.73.12.7894-7905.2005
PMCID: PMC1307019  PMID: 16299280
18.  Analysis of the Hypervariable Region of the Salmonella enterica Genome Associated with tRNAleuX†  
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(7):2469-2482.
The divergence of Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli is estimated to have occurred approximately 140 million years ago. Despite this evolutionary distance, the genomes of these two species still share extensive synteny and homology. However, there are significant differences between the two species in terms of genes putatively acquired via various horizontal transfer events. Here we report on the composition and distribution across the Salmonella genus of a chromosomal region designated SPI-10 in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and located adjacent to tRNAleuX. We find that across the Salmonella genus the tRNAleuX region is a hypervariable hot spot for horizontal gene transfer; different isolates from the same S. enterica serovar can exhibit significant variation in this region. Many P4 phage, plasmid, and transposable element-associated genes are found adjacent to tRNAleuX in both Salmonella and E. coli, suggesting that these mobile genetic elements have played a major role in driving the variability of this region.
doi:10.1128/JB.187.7.2469-2482.2005
PMCID: PMC1065210  PMID: 15774890
19.  tRNAs in Trypanosoma brucei: Genomic Organization, Expression, and Mitochondrial Import 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(11):3707-3716.
The mitochondrial genome of Trypanosoma brucei does not encode tRNAs. Consequently, all mitochondrial tRNAs are imported from the cytosol and originate from nucleus-encoded genes. Analysis of all currently available T. brucei sequences revealed that its genome carries 50 tRNA genes representing 40 different isoacceptors. The identified set is expected to be nearly complete since all but four codons are accounted for. The number of tRNA genes in T. brucei is very low for a eukaryote and lower than those of many prokaryotes. Using quantitative Northern analysis we have determined the absolute abundance in the cell and the mitochondrion of a group of 15 tRNAs specific for 12 amino acids. Except for the initiator type tRNAMet, which is cytosol specific, the cytosolic and the mitochondrial sets of tRNAs were qualitatively identical. However, the extent of mitochondrial localization was variable for the different tRNAs, ranging from 1 to 7.5% per cell. Finally, by using transgenic cell lines in combination with quantitative Northern analysis it was shown that import of tRNALeu(CAA) is independent of its 5′-genomic context, suggesting that the in vivo import substrate corresponds to the mature, fully processed tRNA.
doi:10.1128/MCB.22.11.3707-3716.2002
PMCID: PMC133840  PMID: 11997507

Results 1-19 (19)