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1.  Proteomic Biomarkers Associated with Streptococcus agalactiae Invasive Genogroups 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54393.
Group B streptococcus (GBS, Streptococcus agalactiae) is a leading cause of meningitis and sepsis in newborns and an etiological agent of meningitis, endocarditis, osteoarticular and soft tissue infections in adults. GBS isolates are routinely clustered in serotypes and in genotypes. At present one GBS sequence type (i.e. ST17) is considered to be closely associated with bacterial invasiveness and novel proteomic biomarkers could make a valuable contribution to currently available GBS typing data. For that purpose we analyzed the protein profiles of 170 genotyped GBS isolates by Surface-Enhanced Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (SELDI). Univariate statistical analysis of the SELDI profiles identified four protein biomarkers significantly discriminating ST17 isolates from those of the other sequence types. Two of these biomarkers (MW of 7878 Da and 12200 Da) were overexpressed and the other two (MW of 6258 Da and 10463 Da) were underexpressed in ST17. The four proteins were isolated by mass spectrometry-assisted purification and their tryptic peptides analyzed by LC-MS/MS. They were thereby identified as the small subunit of exodeoxyribonuclease VII, the 50S ribosomal protein L7/L12, a CsbD-like protein and thioredoxin, respectively. In conclusion, we identified four candidate biomarkers of ST17 by SELDI for high-throughput screening. These markers may serve as a basis for further studies on the pathophysiology of GBS infection, and for the development of novel vaccines.
PMCID: PMC3553121  PMID: 23372719
2.  (Not) Keeping the stem straight: a proteomic analysis of maritime pine seedlings undergoing phototropism and gravitropism 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:217.
Plants are subjected to continuous stimuli from the environment and have evolved an ability to respond through various growth and development processes. Phototropism and gravitropism responses enable the plant to reorient with regard to light and gravity.
We quantified the speed of maritime pine seedlings to reorient with regard to light and gravity over 22 days. Seedlings were inclined at 15, 30 and 45 degrees with vertical plants as controls. A lateral light source illuminated the plants and stem movement over time was recorded. Depending on the initial angle of stem lean, the apical response to the lateral light source differed. In control and 15° inclined plants, the apex turned directly towards the light source after only 2 h. In plants inclined at 30° and 45°, the apex first reoriented in the vertical plane after 2 h, then turned towards the light source after 24 h. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry was then used to describe the molecular response of stem bending involved in photo- and gravi-tropism after 22 hr and 8 days of treatment. A total of 486 spots were quantitatively analyzed using image analysis software. Significant changes were determined in the protein accumulation of 68 protein spots. Early response gravitropic associated proteins were identified, which are known to function in energy related and primary metabolism. A group of thirty eight proteins were found to be involved in primary metabolism and energy related metabolic pathways. Degradation of Rubisco was implicated in some protein shifts.
Our study demonstrates a rapid gravitropic response in apices of maritime pine seedlings inclined >30°. Little or no response was observed at the stem bases of the same plants. The primary gravitropic response is concomitant with a modification of the proteome, consisting of an over accumulation of energy and metabolism associated proteins, which may allow the stem to reorient rapidly after bending.
PMCID: PMC3017815  PMID: 20925929
3.  Comparative genomic and proteomic analyses of two Mycoplasma agalactiae strains: clues to the macro- and micro-events that are shaping mycoplasma diversity 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:86.
While the genomic era is accumulating a tremendous amount of data, the question of how genomics can describe a bacterial species remains to be fully addressed. The recent sequencing of the genome of the Mycoplasma agalactiae type strain has challenged our general view on mycoplasmas by suggesting that these simple bacteria are able to exchange significant amount of genetic material via horizontal gene transfer. Yet, events that are shaping mycoplasma genomes and that are underlining diversity within this species have to be fully evaluated. For this purpose, we compared two strains that are representative of the genetic spectrum encountered in this species: the type strain PG2 which genome is already available and a field strain, 5632, which was fully sequenced and annotated in this study.
The two genomes differ by ca. 130 kbp with that of 5632 being the largest (1006 kbp). The make up of this additional genetic material mainly corresponds (i) to mobile genetic elements and (ii) to expanded repertoire of gene families that encode putative surface proteins and display features of highly-variable systems. More specifically, three entire copies of a previously described integrative conjugative element are found in 5632 that accounts for ca. 80 kbp. Other mobile genetic elements, found in 5632 but not in PG2, are the more classical insertion sequences which are related to those found in two other ruminant pathogens, M. bovis and M. mycoides subsp. mycoides SC. In 5632, repertoires of gene families encoding surface proteins are larger due to gene duplication. Comparative proteomic analyses of the two strains indicate that the additional coding capacity of 5632 affects the overall architecture of the surface and suggests the occurrence of new phase variable systems based on single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Overall, comparative analyses of two M. agalactiae strains revealed a very dynamic genome which structure has been shaped by gene flow among ruminant mycoplasmas and expansion-reduction of gene repertoires encoding surface proteins, the expression of which is driven by localized genetic micro-events.
PMCID: PMC2824730  PMID: 20122262
4.  Occurrence, Plasticity, and Evolution of the vpma Gene Family, a Genetic System Devoted to High-Frequency Surface Variation in Mycoplasma agalactiae▿ † 
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(13):4111-4121.
Mycoplasma agalactiae, an important pathogen of small ruminants, exhibits a very versatile surface architecture by switching multiple, related lipoproteins (Vpmas) on and off. In the type strain, PG2, Vpma phase variation is generated by a cluster of six vpma genes that undergo frequent DNA rearrangements via site-specific recombination. To further comprehend the degree of diversity that can be generated at the M. agalactiae surface, the vpma gene repertoire of a field strain, 5632, was analyzed and shown to contain an extended repertoire of 23 vpma genes distributed between two loci located 250 kbp apart. Loci I and II include 16 and 7 vpma genes, respectively, with all vpma genes of locus II being duplicated at locus I. Several Vpmas displayed a chimeric structure suggestive of homologous recombination, and a global proteomic analysis further indicated that at least 13 of the 16 Vpmas can be expressed by the 5632 strain. Because a single promoter is present in each vpma locus, concomitant Vpma expression can occur in a strain with duplicated loci. Consequently, the number of possible surface combinations is much higher for strain 5632 than for the type strain. Finally, our data suggested that insertion sequences are likely to be involved in 5632 vpma locus duplication at a remote chromosomal position. The role of such mobile genetic elements in chromosomal shuffling of genes encoding major surface components may have important evolutionary and epidemiological consequences for pathogens, such as mycoplasmas, that have a reduced genome and no cell wall.
PMCID: PMC2698505  PMID: 19376859
5.  A Protective Immune Response Is Generated in Rainbow Trout by an OmpH-Like Surface Antigen (P18) of Flavobacterium psychrophilum 
Investigations of the surface characteristics of Flavobacterium psychrophilum, an important pathogen of fish, assisted us in identifying a surface protein termed P18. In the current study, we developed a simple and efficient procedure for the purification of this protein by a two-step method. First, P18 was selectively released from flavobacteria by a heat-HEPES treatment of the cells and then subjected to anion-exchange high-performance liquid chromatography. De novo sequencing was used to generate a fragmented peptide spectrum from purified P18. Comparison of two obtained peptide sequences with a partial genome sequence of F. psychrophilum (INRA, Jouy-en-Josas, France) identified one gene encoding a 166-amino-acid OmpH-like protein that mostly likely undergoes N-terminal cleavage of the 23-residue signal peptide. The susceptibility of the OmpH-like protein to proteinase K treatment and the bacteriostatic/bactericidal activities of anti-OmpH-like protein antibodies indicated that this protein is actually exposed on the surface of F. psychrophilum. Vaccination trials showed that the OmpH-like protein can induce a high titer of anti-OmpH-like protein antibodies which are protective. Taken together, these results suggest that this surface protein produced by F. psychrophilum could be used in future vaccine development as a promising candidate antigen.
PMCID: PMC1489331  PMID: 16820479
6.  The Production of a New MAGE-3 Peptide Presented to Cytolytic T Lymphocytes by HLA-B40 Requires the Immunoproteasome 
By stimulating human CD8+ T lymphocytes with autologous dendritic cells infected with an adenovirus encoding MAGE-3, we obtained a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clone that recognized a new MAGE-3 antigenic peptide, AELVHFLLL, which is presented by HLA-B40. This peptide is also encoded by MAGE-12. The CTL clone recognized MAGE-3–expressing tumor cells only when they were first treated with IFN-γ. Since this treatment is known to induce the exchange of the three catalytic subunits of the proteasome to form the immunoproteasome, this result suggested that the processing of this MAGE-3 peptide required the immunoproteasome. Transfection experiments showed that the substitution of β5i (LMP7) for β5 is necessary and sufficient for producing the peptide, whereas a mutated form of β5i (LMP7) lacking the catalytically active site was ineffective. Mass spectrometric analyses of in vitro digestions of a long precursor peptide with either proteasome type showed that the immunoproteasome produced the antigenic peptide more efficiently, whereas the standard proteasome more efficiently introduced cleavages destroying the antigenic peptide. This is the first example of a tumor-specific antigen exclusively presented by tumor cells expressing the immunoproteasome.
PMCID: PMC2193621  PMID: 11854353
β5i; proteasome; mass spectrometry; tumor; HLA-B40

Results 1-6 (6)