The fungal cell possesses an essential carbohydrate cell wall. The outer layer, mannan, is formed by mannoproteins carrying highly mannosylated O- and N-linked glycans. Yeast mannan biosynthesis is initiated by a Golgi-located complex (M-Pol I) of two GT-62 mannosyltransferases, Mnn9p and Van1p, that are conserved in fungal pathogens. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans mnn9 knockouts show an aberrant cell wall and increased antibiotic sensitivity, suggesting the enzyme is a potential drug target. Here, we present the structure of ScMnn9 in complex with GDP and Mn2+, defining the fold and catalytic machinery of the GT-62 family. Compared with distantly related GT-78/GT-15 enzymes, ScMnn9 carries an unusual extension. Using a novel enzyme assay and site-directed mutagenesis, we identify conserved amino acids essential for ScMnn9 ‘priming’ α-1,6-mannosyltransferase activity. Strikingly, both the presence of the ScMnn9 protein and its product, but not ScMnn9 catalytic activity, are required to activate subsequent ScVan1 processive α-1,6-mannosyltransferase activity in the M-Pol I complex. These results reveal the molecular basis of mannan synthesis and will aid development of inhibitors targeting this process.
cell wall; glycobiology; glycosyltransferase; mannan; M-Pol I; protein crystallography
People with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in the UK and elsewhere are increasingly surviving into adulthood, yet there is little research on the employment consequences of having CF. We investigated, for the first time in a UK-wide cohort, longitudinal employment status, and its association with deprivation, disease severity, and time in hospital.
We did a longitudinal registry study of adults with CF in the UK aged 20 to 40 (3458 people with 15,572 observations between 1996 and 2010), using mixed effects models.
Around 50% of adults with CF were in employment. Male sex, higher lung function and body mass index, and less time in hospital were associated with improved employment chances. All other things being equal, being in the most deprived quintile was associated with a reduction of employment prevalence of 17.6 percentage points compared to the prevalence in the least deprived quintile. Having poor lung function was associated with a reduced employment prevalence of 7.2 percentage points compared to the prevalence for people with relatively good lung function. Acting synergistically, deprivation modifies the effect of lung function on employment chances – poor lung function in the least deprived group was associated with a 3 percentage point reduction in employment chances, while poor lung function in the most deprived quintile was associated with a 7.7 point reduction in employment chances.
Greater deprivation, disease severity, and time in hospital are all associated with employment chances in adults with CF. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that deprivation amplifies the harmful association of disease severity on employment. Future studies should focus on understanding and mitigating the barriers to employment faced by people with CF.
actinomycetes; rare actinomycetes; Streptomyces; non-streptomycetes; antibiotics
p24 proteins are a family of type I membrane proteins localized to compartments of the early secretory pathway and to coat protein I (COPI)- and COPII-coated vesicles. They can be classified, by sequence homology, into four subfamilies, named p24α, p24β, p24γ, and p24δ. In contrast to animals and fungi, plants contain only members of the p24β and p24δ subfamilies, the latter probably including two different subclasses. It has previously been shown that transiently expressed red fluorescent protein (RFP)–p24δ5 (p24δ1 subclass) localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) at steady state as a consequence of highly efficient COPI-based recycling from the Golgi apparatus. It is now shown that transiently expressed RFP–p24δ9 (p24δ2 subclass) also localizes to the ER. In contrast, transiently expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP)–p24β3 mainly localizes to the Golgi apparatus (as p24β2) and exits the ER in a COPII-dependent manner. Immunogold electron microscopy in Arabidopsis root tip cells using specific antibodies shows that endogenous p24δ9 localizes mainly to the ER but also partially to the cis-Golgi. In contrast, endogenous p24β3 mainly localizes to the Golgi apparatus. By a combination of experiments using transient expression, knock-out mutants, and co-immunoprecipitation, it is proposed that Arabidopsis p24 proteins form different heteromeric complexes (including members of the β and δ subfamilies) which are important for their stability and their coupled trafficking at the ER–Golgi interface. Evidence is also provided for a role for p24δ5 in retrograde Golgi–ER transport of the KDEL-receptor ERD2.
Arabidopsis; coat protein I (COPI); coat protein II (COPII); ER–Golgi transport; p24 proteins; secretory pathway.
Inland solar salterns established in the vicinity of Sambhar Lake are extreme saline environments with high salinity and alkalinity. In view of the fact that microbes inhabiting such extreme saline environments flourish the contemporary bioprospecting, it was aimed to selectively isolate slow growing and rare actinomycetes from the unexplored solar salterns. A total of 14 slow growing actinomycetes were selectively isolated from three composite soil samples of inland solar salterns. Among the isolates, four groups were formed according to similarity of the banding patterns obtained by amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA). A subset of representative isolates for each ARDRA group was identified using 16S rDNA sequence based phylogenetic analysis and subsequently the entire isolates were assigned under three different genera; Streptomyces, Pseudonocardia, and Actinoalloteichus. The genus Streptomyces was found to be the dominant among the isolates. Furthermore, rare actinomycete genus Actinoalloteichus was isolated for the first time from solar saltern. Determination of salt-tolerance revealed that certain level of salt-tolerance and moderate halophilism occurs among the actinomycetes isolated from the inland salterns. In addition, all the acinomycetes were screened in two levels to unravel their ability to produce antimicrobial compounds. Significant antimicrobial activity was found among the actinomycetes against a range of bacteria and fungi to worth further characterization of these persuasive actinomycetes and their antimicrobial secondary metabolites. In a nutshell, this study offered a first interesting insight on occurrence of antagonistic rare actinomycetes and streptomycetes in inland solar salterns associated with Sambhar salt Lake.
solar saltern; rare actinomycetes; ARDRA; phylogeny
Membrane anchorage was tested as a strategy to accumulate recombinant proteins in transgenic plants. Transmembrane domains of different lengths and topology were fused to the cytosolic HIV antigen p24, to promote endoplasmic reticulum (ER) residence or traffic to distal compartments of the secretory pathway in transgenic tobacco. Fusions to a domain of the maize seed storage protein γ-zein were also expressed, as a reference strategy that leads to very high stability via the formation of large polymers in the ER lumen. Although all the membrane anchored constructs were less stable compared to the zein fusions, residence at the ER membrane either as a type I fusion (where the p24 sequence is luminal) or a tail-anchored fusion (where the p24 sequence is cytosolic) resulted in much higher stability than delivery to the plasma membrane or intermediate traffic compartments. Delivery to the tonoplast was never observed. The inclusion of a thrombin cleavage site allowed for the quantitative in vitro recovery of p24 from all constructs. These results point to the ER as suitable compartment for the accumulation of membrane-anchored recombinant proteins in plants.
HIV p24; transgenic plants; membrane proteins; endomembrane system; protein targeting; thrombin cleavage
Internal iliac artery (IIA) aneurysms, while rare, carry a significant risk of mortality if they rupture. Endovascular intervention is now the preferred method of treatment for IIAs; however, due to technical considerations, this is not always feasible. We report a case of a patient who developed an enlarging IIA aneurysm in association with a type 2 endoleak supplied by multiple feeding arteries where conventional endovascular treatment was not possible. A novel method of effectively treating the IIA aneurysm with a posterior approach via image-guided puncture of the superior gluteal artery was employed. Five arteries supplying the superior gluteal from the contralateral internal iliac artery were selectively catheterised and coiled before the aneurysmal sac was embolised. The patient made an uneventful recovery, and follow-up imaging demonstrated resolution of the endoleak and decompression of the aneurysmal sac. This case demonstrates that the posterior approach is a safe and viable method of treating internal iliac artery aneurysm when traditional endovascular approaches are technically possible.
Protein O-GlcNAcylation is an essential post-translational modification on hundreds of intracellular proteins in metazoa, catalyzed by O-GlcNAc transferase using unknown mechanisms of transfer and substrate recognition. Through crystallographic snapshots and mechanism-inspired chemical probes, we define how human O-GlcNAc transferase recognizes the sugar donor and acceptor peptide and employs a novel catalytic mechanism of glycosyl transfer, involving the sugar donor α-phosphate as the catalytic base, as well as an essential lysine. This mechanism appears to be a unique evolutionary solution to the spatial constraints imposed by a bulky protein acceptor substrate, and explains the unexpected specificity of a recently reported metabolic O-GlcNAc transferase inhibitor.
A 3-dose (0, 1, and 6 months) intramuscular (3-IM) priming series of a human dose (HuAVA) and dilutions of up to 1:10 of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) provided statistically significant levels of protection (60 to 100%) against inhalation anthrax for up to 4 years in rhesus macaques. Serum anti-protective antigen (anti-PA) IgG and lethal toxin neutralization activity (TNA) were detectable following a single injection of HuAVA or 1:5 AVA or following two injections of diluted vaccine (1:10, 1:20, or 1:40 AVA). Anti-PA and TNA were highly correlated (overall r2 = 0.89 for log10-transformed data). Peak responses were seen at 6.5 months. In general, with the exception of animals receiving 1:40 AVA, serum anti-PA and TNA responses remained significantly above control levels at 28.5 months (the last time point measured for 1:20 AVA), and through 50.5 months for the HuAVA and 1:5 and 1:10 AVA groups (P < 0.05). PA-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) CD4+ cell frequencies and T cell stimulation indices were sustained through 50.5 months (the last time point measured). PA-specific memory B cell frequencies were highly variable but, in general, were detectable in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by 2 months, were significantly above control levels by 7 months, and remained detectable in the HuAVA and 1:5 and 1:20 AVA groups through 42 months (the last time point measured). HuAVA and diluted AVA elicited a combined Th1/Th2 response and robust immunological priming, with sustained production of high-avidity PA-specific functional antibody, long-term immune cell competence, and immunological memory (30 months for 1:20 AVA and 52 months for 1:10 AVA). Vaccinated animals surviving inhalation anthrax developed high-magnitude anamnestic anti-PA IgG and TNA responses.
Whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are known to aggregate to feed in a small number of locations in tropical and subtropical waters. Here we document a newly discovered major aggregation site for whale sharks within the Al Shaheen oil field, 90 km off the coast of Qatar in the Arabian Gulf. Whale sharks were observed between April and September, with peak numbers observed between May and August. Density estimates of up to 100 sharks within an area of 1 km2 were recorded. Sharks ranged between four and eight metres’ estimated total length (mean 6.92±1.53 m). Most animals observed were actively feeding on surface zooplankton, consisting primarily of mackerel tuna, Euthynnus affinis, eggs.
Significant restriction in the ability to participate in home, work and community life results from pain, fatigue, joint damage, stiffness and reduced joint range of motion and muscle strength in people with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis of the hand. With modest evidence on the therapeutic effectiveness of conventional hand exercises, a task-oriented training program via real life object manipulations has been developed for people with arthritis. An innovative, computer-based gaming platform that allows a broad range of common objects to be seamlessly transformed into therapeutic input devices through instrumentation with a motion-sense mouse has also been designed. Personalized objects are selected to target specific training goals such as graded finger mobility, strength, endurance or fine/gross dexterous functions. The movements and object manipulation tasks that replicate common situations in everyday living will then be used to control and play any computer game, making practice challenging and engaging.
The ongoing study is a 6-week, single-center, parallel-group, equally allocated and assessor-blinded pilot randomized controlled trial. Thirty people with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis affecting the hand will be randomized to receive either conventional hand exercises or the task-oriented training. The purpose is to determine a preliminary estimation of therapeutic effectiveness and feasibility of the task-oriented training program. Performance based and self-reported hand function, and exercise compliance are the study outcomes. Changes in outcomes (pre to post intervention) within each group will be assessed by paired Student t test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test and between groups (control versus experimental) post intervention using unpaired Student t test or Mann–Whitney U test.
The study findings will inform decisions on the feasibility, safety and completion rate and will also provide preliminary data on the treatment effects of the task-oriented training compared with conventional hand exercises in people with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis of the hand.
Arthritis; Hand function; Objects of daily life; Task-oriented training; Computer games
This study investigated the subcellular location of mung bean (Vigna radiata) 8S globulin in transient expression systems as well as in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 cells and different tissues from a transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) line stably expressing this storage globulin. When transiently expressed in protoplasts from both BY-2 cells and Arabidopsis suspension cultured cells, the 8S globulin located to structures that were neither Golgi nor pre-vacuolar compartments (PVCs). Immunogold electron microscopy of the transgenics reveals the 8S globulin-positive structures to be small, spherical, ribosome-covered endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived bodies. In BY-2 cells and all vegetative cells, the 8S globulin was present as a pro-form. However, in Arabidopsis embryos, with the onset of endogenous storage protein synthesis, the 8S globulin exited the ER and passed through the PVC to the protein storage vacuole where it was processed to its smaller mature form. These results clearly demonstrated that, when taken out of context and expressed in vegetative cells, the mung bean 8S storage globulin cannot exit the ER, and indicate that natural targeting of storage proteins to the vacuole should be better studied in the maturing seed.
8S globulin; ER body; pre-vacuolar compartment; storage protein.
The main obstacle to elucidating the role of CD4+ T cells in allergen-specific immunotherapy has been the absence of an adequately sensitive approach to directly characterize rare allergen-specific T cells without introducing substantial phenotypic modifications by in vitro amplification.
To monitor in physiological conditions, the allergen-specific CD4+ T cells generated during natural pollen exposure and during allergy vaccine.
Alder pollen allergy was used as a model for studying seasonal allergies. Allergen-specific CD4+ T cells were tracked and characterized in twelve alder pollen-allergic, six non-allergic and nine allergy vaccine-treated individuals using peptide-MHC class II tetramers.
Allergen-specific CD4+ T cells were detected in all of the alder pollen-allergic and non-allergic subjects tested. Pathogenic responses (CRTH2 expression and TH2-cytokine production) are specifically associated with terminally differentiated (CD27−) allergen-specific CD4+ T cells, which dominate in allergic individuals but are absent in non-allergic individuals. In contrast, CD27 expressing allergen-specific CD4+ T cells are present at low frequencies in both allergic and non-allergic individuals and reflect classical features of the protective immune response with high expression of IL-10 and IFN-γ. Restoration of a protective response during allergen-specific immunotherapy appears to be due to the preferential deletion of pathogenic (CD27−) allergen-specific CD4+ T cells accompanied by IL-10 induction in surviving CD27+ allergen-specific CD4+ T cells.
Differentiation stage divides allergen-specific CD4+ T cells into two distinct subpopulations with unique functional properties and different fates during allergen-specific immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy; allergy; pollen; T cells; CD4; peptide-MHC class II tetramer; peripheral tolerance; differentiation stage; ex vivo
PDMP (d-l-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoyl amino-3-morpholino-1-propanol) is a well-known inhibitor of glucosylceramide synthase (GCS), a key enzyme in sphingolipid biosynthesis. Through the resultant increase in ceramides which interact with mTOR and Beclin1 (Atg6), this drug is also known to induce macroautophagy in mammalian cells. This study investigated the response of Arabidopsis root cells to PDMP, and what are probably numerous tightly packed small vacuoles in the control cells appear to fuse to form a single globular-shaped vacuole. However, during this fusion process, cytoplasm channels between the individual vacuoles become trapped in deep invaginations of the tonoplast. In both optical sections in the confocal laser scanning microscope and in ultrathin sections in the electron microscope, these invaginations have the appearance of cytoplasmic inclusions in the vacuole lumen. These changes in vacuole morphology are rapid (occurring within minutes after application of PDMP) and are independent of ongoing protein synthesis. The tonoplast invaginations remain visible for hours, but after 24h almost all disappear. Experiments designed to examine whether ceramide levels might be the cause of the PDMP effect have not proved conclusive. On the other hand, this study has been able to rule out the release of Ca2+ ions from intracellular stores as a contributing factor.
Arabidopsis roots; Autophagy; calcium measurements; PDMP; tonoplast invaginations; vacuole morphology.
Snow cover plays a major role in the climate, hydrological and ecological systems of the Arctic and other regions through its influence on the surface energy balance (e.g. reflectivity), water balance (e.g. water storage and release), thermal regimes (e.g. insulation), vegetation and trace gas fluxes. Feedbacks to the climate system have global consequences. The livelihoods and well-being of Arctic residents and many services for the wider population depend on snow conditions so changes have important consequences. Already, changing snow conditions, particularly reduced summer soil moisture, winter thaw events and rain-on-snow conditions have negatively affected commercial forestry, reindeer herding, some wild animal populations and vegetation. Reductions in snow cover are also adversely impacting indigenous peoples’ access to traditional foods with negative impacts on human health and well-being. However, there are likely to be some benefits from a changing Arctic snow regime such as more even run-off from melting snow that favours hydropower operations.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13280-011-0213-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Snow; Arctic; Climate; Albedo; Hydrology; Ecology; Biogeochemical cycling; Geochemical processes; Forestry; Infrastructure; Tourism; Indigenous cultures; Human health
Analysis of in situ and satellite data shows evidence of different regional snow cover responses to the widespread warming and increasing winter precipitation that has characterized the Arctic climate for the past 40–50 years. The largest and most rapid decreases in snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow cover duration (SCD) are observed over maritime regions of the Arctic with the highest precipitation amounts. There is also evidence of marked differences in the response of snow cover between the North American and Eurasian sectors of the Arctic, with the North American sector exhibiting decreases in snow cover and snow depth over the entire period of available in situ observations from around 1950, while widespread decreases in snow cover are not apparent over Eurasia until after around 1980. However, snow depths are increasing in many regions of Eurasia. Warming and more frequent winter thaws are contributing to changes in snow pack structure with important implications for land use and provision of ecosystem services. Projected changes in snow cover from Global Climate Models for the 2050 period indicate increases in maximum SWE of up to 15% over much of the Arctic, with the largest increases (15–30%) over the Siberian sector. In contrast, SCD is projected to decrease by about 10–20% over much of the Arctic, with the smallest decreases over Siberia (<10%) and the largest decreases over Alaska and northern Scandinavia (30–40%) by 2050. These projected changes will have far-reaching consequences for the climate system, human activities, hydrology, and ecology.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13280-011-0212-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Snow depth; Snow water equivalent; Snow cover duration; Snow cover extent
In yeast and mammals, many plasma membrane (PM) proteins destined for degradation are tagged with ubiquitin. These ubiquitinated proteins are internalized into clathrin-coated vesicles and are transported to early endosomal compartments. There, ubiquitinated proteins are sorted by the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery into the intraluminal vesicles of multivesicular endosomes. Degradation of these proteins occurs after endosomes fuse with lysosomes/lytic vacuoles to release their content into the lumen. In plants, some PM proteins, which cycle between the PM and endosomal compartments, have been found to be ubiquitinated, but it is unclear whether ubiquitin is sufficient to mediate internalization and thus acts as a primary sorting signal for the endocytic pathway. To test whether plants use ubiquitin as a signal for the degradation of membrane proteins, we have translationally fused ubiquitin to different fluorescent reporters for the plasma membrane and analyzed their transport.
Ubiquitin-tagged PM reporters localized to endosomes and to the lumen of the lytic vacuole in tobacco mesophyll protoplasts and in tobacco epidermal cells. The internalization of these reporters was significantly reduced if clathrin-mediated endocytosis was inhibited by the coexpression of a mutant of the clathrin heavy chain, the clathrin hub. Surprisingly, a ubiquitin-tagged reporter for the Golgi was also transported into the lumen of the vacuole. Vacuolar delivery of the reporters was abolished upon inhibition of the ESCRT machinery, indicating that the vacuolar delivery of these reporters occurs via the endocytic transport route.
Ubiquitin acts as a sorting signal at different compartments in the endomembrane system to target membrane proteins into the vacuolar degradation pathway: If displayed at the PM, ubiquitin triggers internalization of PM reporters into the endocytic transport route, but it also mediates vacuolar delivery if displayed at the Golgi. In both cases, ubiquitin-tagged proteins travel via early endosomes and multivesicular bodies to the lytic vacuole. This suggests that vacuolar degradation of ubiquitinated proteins is not restricted to PM proteins but might also facilitate the turnover of membrane proteins in the early secretory pathway.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) provides an unprecedented opportunity to assess genetic variation underlying human disease. Here, we compared two NGS approaches for diagnostic sequencing in inherited arrhythmia syndromes. We compared PCR-based target enrichment and long-read sequencing (PCR-LR) with in-solution hybridization-based enrichment and short-read sequencing (Hyb-SR). The PCR-LR assay comprehensively assessed five long-QT genes routinely sequenced in diagnostic laboratories and “hot spots” in RYR2. The Hyb-SR assay targeted 49 genes, including those in the PCR-LR assay. The sensitivity for detection of control variants did not differ between approaches. In both assays, the major limitation was upstream target capture, particular in regions of extreme GC content. These initial experiences with NGS cardiovascular diagnostics achieved up to 89 % sensitivity at a fraction of current costs. In the next iteration of these assays we anticipate sensitivity above 97 % for all LQT genes. NGS assays will soon replace conventional sequencing for LQT diagnostics and molecular pathology.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12265-012-9401-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Inherited cardiac conditions; Next-generation sequencing; Molecular diagnosis; Genetics; Ion channels; Long QT syndrome
Hypersaline solar salterns are extreme environments in many tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. In India, there are several coastal solar salterns along with the coastal line of the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea and inland solar salterns around Sambhar saltlake, from which sodium chloride is obtained for human consumption and industrial needs. Studies on characterization of such coastal and inland solar salterns are scarce and both the bacterial and archaeal diversity of these extreme saline environment remains poorly understood. Moreover, there are no reports on exclusive diversity of actinomycetes inhabiting Indian solar salterns.
Soil sediments were collected from both concentrator and crystallizer ponds of solar salterns and subjected to detailed physico-chemical analysis. Actinomycetes were selectively isolated by employing selective processing methods and agar media. A total of 12 representatives were selected from the 69 actinomycete isolates obtained from the saltern soil samples, using Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis. Sequencing and analysis of 16S rDNA from chosen representative isolates displayed the presence of members affiliated to actinobacterial genera: Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Nocardia, Nocardiopsis, Saccharopolyspora and Nonomuraea. The genus Streptomyces was found to be the dominant among the isolates. Furthermore, rare actinomycete genus Nonomuraea was isolated for the first time from Indian solar salterns.
To the best of our knowledge, this study constitutes the first characterization of actinomycete diversity centred on solar salterns located in the eastern coastal region of India. Furthermore, this is the very first report of isolation of Nonomuraea species from solar salterns and also from India. As actinomycetes encompass recurrently foremost sources of biotechnologically important member of the microbial communities, the actinomycetes retrieved from the Indian saltern soil samples laid the platform to search for novel biotechnologically significant bioactive substances.
Solar saltern; Actinomycete; ARDRA; Phylogeny; 16S rDNA; Nonomuraea
The interactions of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) with proteins underlie a wide range of important biological processes. However, the study of such binding reactions has been hampered by the lack of a simple frontline analysis technique. Previously, we have reported that cold plasma polymerization can be used to coat microtiter plate surfaces with allyl amine to which GAGs (e.g. heparin) can be non-covalently immobilized retaining their ability to interact with proteins. Here we have assessed the capabilities of surface coats derived from different ratios of allyl amine and octadiene (100:0 to 0:100) to support the binding of diverse GAGs (e.g. chondroitin-4-sulfate, dermatan sulfate, heparin preparations and hyaluronan) in a functionally active state. The Link module from TSG-6 was used as a probe to determine the level of functional binding because of its broad (and unique) specificity for both sulfated and non-sulfated GAGs. All of the GAGs tested could bind this domain following their immobilization, although there were clear differences in their protein-binding activities depending on the surface chemistry to which they were adsorbed. On the basis of these experiments 100% allyl amine was chosen for the generation of a microtiter plate-based “sugar array”; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that similar relative amounts of chondroitin-4-sulfate, dermatan sulfate and heparin (including two selectively de-sulfated derivatives) were immobilized onto this surface. Analysis of four unrelated proteins (i.e. TSG-6, complement factor H, fibrillin-1 and versican) illustrated the utility of this array to determine the GAG-binding profile and specificity for a particular target protein.
glycosaminoglycans; sugar array; glycosaminoglycan-protein interactions; microtiter plate-based assay
Insertion sequences (ISs) are simple transposable elements present in most bacterial and archaeal genomes and play an important role in genomic evolution. The recent expansion of sequenced genomes offers the opportunity to study ISs comprehensively, but this requires efficient and accurate tools for IS annotation. We have developed an open-source program called OASIS, or Optimized Annotation System for Insertion Sequences, which automatically annotates ISs within sequenced genomes. OASIS annotations of 1737 bacterial and archaeal genomes offered an unprecedented opportunity to examine IS evolution. At a broad scale, we found that most IS families are quite widespread; however, they are not present randomly across taxa. This may indicate differential loss, barriers to exchange and/or insufficient time to equilibrate across clades. The number of ISs increases with genome length, but there is both tremendous variation and no increase in IS density for genomes >2 Mb. At the finer scale of recently diverged genomes, the proportion of shared IS content falls sharply, suggesting loss and/or emergence of barriers to successful cross-infection occurs rapidly. Surprisingly, even after controlling for 16S rRNA sequence divergence, the same ISs were more likely to be shared between genomes labeled as the same species rather than as different species.
Summary: The history, replication, genetics, characteristics (both biological and physical), and factors involved in the pathogenesis of Mycoplasma genitalium are presented. The latter factors include adhesion, the influence of hormones, motility, possible toxin production, and immunological responses. The preferred site of colonization, together with current detection procedures, mainly by PCR technology, is discussed. The relationships between M. genitalium and various diseases are highlighted. These diseases include acute and chronic nongonococcal urethritis, balanoposthitis, chronic prostatitis, and acute epididymitis in men and urethritis, bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and reproductive disease in women. A causative relationship, or otherwise strong association, between several of these diseases and M. genitalium is apparent, and the extent of this, on a subjective basis, is presented; also provided is a comparison between M. genitalium and two other genital tract-orientated mollicutes, namely, Mycoplasma hominis, the first mycoplasma of human origin to be discovered, and Ureaplasma species. Also discussed is the relationship between M. genitalium and infertility and also arthritis in both men and women, as is infection in homosexual and immunodeficient patients. Decreased immunity, as in HIV infections, may enhance mycoplasmal detection and increase disease severity. Finally, aspects of the antimicrobial susceptibility and resistance of M. genitalium, together with the treatment and possible prevention of mycoplasmal disease, are discussed.
p24 proteins are a family of type I membrane proteins localized to compartments of the early secretory pathway and to coat protein I (COPI)- and COPII-coated vesicles. They can be classified, by sequence homology, into four subfamilies, named p24α, p24β, p24γ, and p24δ. In contrast to animals and fungi, plants contain only members of the p24β and p24δ subfamilies. It has previously been shown that transiently expressed red fluorescent protein (RFP)–p24δ5 localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as a consequence of highly efficient COPI-based recycling from the Golgi apparatus. Using specific antibodies, endogenous p24δ5 has now been localized to the ER and p24β2 to the Golgi apparatus in Arabidopsis root tip cells by immunogold electron microscopy. The relative contributions of the cytosolic tail and the luminal domains to p24δ5 trafficking have also been characterized. It is demonstrated that whereas the dilysine motif in the cytoplasmic tail determines the location of p24δ5 in the early secretory pathway, the luminal domain may contribute to its distribution downstream of the Golgi apparatus. By using knock-out mutants and co-immunoprecipitation experiments, it is shown that p24δ5 and p24β2 interact with each other. Finally, it is shown that p24δ5 and p24β2 exhibit coupled trafficking at the ER–Golgi interface. It is proposed that p24δ5 and p24β2 interact with each other at ER export sites for ER exit and coupled transport to the Golgi apparatus. Once in the Golgi, p24δ5 interacts very efficiently with the COPI machinery for retrograde transport back to the ER.
Arabidopsis; coat protein (COP) I; coat protein (COP) II; ER–Golgi transport; p24 proteins; secretory pathway
Effective immunotherapy for peanut allergy is hampered by a lack of understanding of peanut-reactive CD4+ T cells
To identify, characterize and track Ara h 1-reactive cells in peanut allergic subjects using Ara h 1-specific class II tetramers.
Tetramer Guided Epitope Mapping (TGEM) was used to identify the antigenic peptides within the peanut allergen Ara h 1. Subsequently, HLA class II/Ara h 1-specific tetramers were used to determine the frequency and phenotype of Ara h 1-reactive T cells in peanut-allergic subjects. Cytokine profiles of Ara h 1-reactive T cells were also determined.
Multiple Ara h 1 epitopes with defined HLA restriction were identified. Ara h 1-specific CD4+ T cells were detected in all of the peanut-allergic subjects tested. Ara h 1-reactive T cells in allergic subjects expressed CCR4 but did not express CRTH2. The percentage of Ara h1-reactive cells that expressed the β7 integrin was low compared to total CD4+ T cells. Ara h 1- reactive cells that secreted IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10 and IL-17 were detected.
In peanut-allergic individuals, Ara h 1-reactive T cells occurred at moderate frequencies, were predominantly CCR4+ memory cells and produced IL-4. Class II tetramers can be readily used to detect Ara h 1-reactive T cells in the peripheral blood of peanut allergic subjects without in vitro expansion and would be effective for tracking peanut-reactive CD4+ T cells during immunotherapy.
Food allergy; Peanut; Ara h 1; T cells; Class II tetramers
Recently a fluorination enzyme was identified and isolated from Streptomyces cattleya, as the first committed step on the metabolic pathway to the fluorinated metabolites, fluoroacetate and 4-fluorothreonine. This enzyme, 5′-fluoro-5′-deoxy adenosine synthetase (FDAS), has been shown to catalyze C-F bond formation by nucleophilic attack of fluoride ion to S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) with the concomitant displacement of L-methionine to generate 5′-fluoro-5′-deoxy adenosine (5′-FDA). Although the structures of FDAS bound to both SAM and products have been solved, the molecular mechanism remained to be elucidated. We now report site directed mutagenesis studies, structural analyses and isothermal calorimetry (ITC) experiments. The data establish the key residues required for catalysis and the order of substrate binding. Fluoride ion is not readily distinguished from water by protein X-ray crystallography, however using chloride ion (also a substrate) with mutants of low activity has enabled the halide ion to be located in non-productive co-complexes with SAH and SAM. The kinetic data suggest the positively charged sulfur of SAM is a key requirement in stabilizing the transition state. We propose a molecular mechanism for FDAS in which fluoride weakly associates with the enzyme exchanging two water molecules for protein ligation. The binding of SAM expels remaining water associated with fluoride ion and traps the ion in a pocket positioned to react with SAM, generating L-methionine and 5′-FDA. L-SAM then dissociates from the enzyme followed by 5′-FDA.