The VjbR protein induced antibody responses in both human and animal brucellosis, and the vjbR mutant 16MΔvjbR is an ideal vaccine candidate because of the feasibility of using the VjbR as diagnostic antigen. To further characterize this vaccine candidate and provide information for vaccine development, in the present study, a whole genome DNA microarray of 16M were used to compare the transcriptome of the vjbR mutant to that of the wild type strains. A total of 126 genes were greatly differentially expressed in the vjbR mutant. A great proportion of virB and flagellar genes were differentially expressed in the vjbR mutant, implying that the vjbR regulate expression of virulence genes by sensing intracellular environments. Interestingly, the virB genes are regulated by the vjbR in independent manners as shown by their different fold changes and transcription abundances. A number of genes involved in translation, stress response, amino acid transport and metabolism, cell wall/membrane biogenesis, energy production and conversion, translation were differentially expressed. The vjbR mutant showed increased sensitivity to stresses of nutrition limitation, oxidative stress and acidification, and decreased survival in macrophage and mice, being consistent with its transcription profiles. These results indicated that the quorum sensing regulator vjbR could sense intracellular environments and response to them by regulate expression of virulence genes and other intracellular survival related genes, and therefore contribute to Brucella survival in host cells. This also provided direct evidence for the rational vaccine design by using antigenic global regulator for future development of genetically marked vaccine for brucellosis.
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Brucella; vjbR; Transcriptome; Genetically marked live vaccine
Human brucellosis incidence in China was divided into 3 stages, high incidence (1950-1960s), decline (1970-1980s) and re-emergence (1990-2000s). Human brucellosis has been reported in all the 32 provinces, of which Inner Mongolia has the highest prevalence, accounting for over 40% of the cases in China. To investigate the etiology alteration of human brucellosis in Inner Mongolia, the species, biovars and genotypes of 60 Brucella isolates from this province were analyzed.
Species and biovars of the Brucella strains isolated from outbreaks were determined based on classical identification procedures. Strains were genotyped by multi locus sequence typing (MLST). Sequences of 9 housekeeping genes were obtained and sequence types were defined. The distribution of species, biovars and sequence types (STs) among the three incidence stages were analyzed and compared.
The three stages of high incidence, decline and re-emergence were predominated by B. melitensis biovar 2 and 3, B. abortus biovar 3, and B. melitensis biovar 1, respectively, implying changes in the predominant biovars. Genotyping by MLST revealed a total of 14 STs. Nine STs (from ST28 to ST36), accounting for 64.3% of all the STs, were newly defined and different from those observed in other countries. Different STs were distributed among the three stages. ST8 was the most common ST in 1950-1960s and 1990-2000s, while ST2 was the most common in 1970-1980s.
The prevalence of biovars and sequence types of Brucella strains from Inner Mongolia has changed over time in the three stages. Compared with those from other countries, new sequence types of Brucella strains exist in China.
Brucella; Genotype; Biovar; Multi locus sequence typing
Brucellosis is an important zoonotic disease of almost worldwide distribution. One significant immune phenomenon of this disease is the ability of the pathogen to hide and survive in the host, establishing long lasting chronic infections. Brucella was found to have the ability to actively modulate the host immune response in order to establish chronic infections, but the mechanism by which the pathogen achieves this remains largely unknown. In our screening for protective antigens of Brucella abortus, 3 proteins (BAB1_0597, BAB1_0917, and BAB2_0431) were found to induce significantly higher levels of gamma interferon (IFNγ) in splenocytes of PBS immunized mice than those immunized with S19. This finding strongly implied that these three proteins inhibit the production of IFNγ. Previous studies have shown that LPS, PrpA, and Btp1/TcpB are three important immunomodulatory molecules with the capacity to interfere with host immune response. They have been shown to have the ability to inhibit the secretion of IFNγ, or to increase the production of IL-10. Due to the role of these proteins in virulence and immunomodulation, they likely offer significant potential as live, attenuated Brucella vaccine candidates. Understanding the mechanisms by which these proteins modulate the host immune responses will deepen our knowledge of Brucella virulence and provide important information on the development of new vaccines against Brucellosis.
Brucella; chronic infection; immune response; live attenuated vaccine; virulence proteins
Obesity and β-cell dysfunction due to oxidative stress impact the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We co-cultured 3T3L1 adipocytes and islet cells in the presence or absence of the antioxidant α-lipoic acid (LA) and assayed the effects of the adipocytes and LA on the secretion of insulin by the islet cells and on the activities of factors involved in secretion and oxidative stress. At low glucose concentrations (2.8 mmol/l), the presence of adipocytes (co-culture) increased insulin secretion compared with islet cells cultured alone (control) and this increase was diminished by LA (co-culture plus LA). At high glucose concentrations (22 mmol/l), insulin secretion levels were similar for all islet groups, resulting in a restoration of the stimulation index in the presence of LA. The mRNA levels of the glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) genes glucokinase, glucose transporter 2 and Kir6.2 were downregulated under co-culture and co-culture plus LA conditions. Protein and tyrosine phosphorylation levels of insulin receptor-β and insulin receptor substrate-1 were decreased under co-culture conditions and were restored by LA treatment. Cellular malondialdehyde levels increased in the co-cultured islets and this increase was blocked by LA. The mRNA levels of superoxide dismutase and catalase were reduced under co-culture conditions and these reductions were eliminated by the addition of LA. In conclusion, 3T3L1 adipocytes disturb insulin secretion and induce islet dysfunction. The effects may be mediated by multiple pathways, which include downregulation of GSIS gene expression, suppression of islet cell insulin signaling and the induction of oxidative stress. LA may protect islet cells via activation of islet cell insulin signaling and the mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes.
α-lipoic acid; 3T3L1 adipocytes; islet cells; oxidative stress; co-culture
Brucella melitensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium that replicates within macrophages. The ability of brucellae to survive and multiply in the hostile environment of host macrophages is essential to its virulence. The RNA-binding protein Hfq is a global regulator that is involved in stress resistance and pathogenicity. Here we demonstrate that Hfq is essential for stress adaptation and intracellular survival in B. melitensis. A B. melitensis hfq deletion mutant exhibits reduced survival under environmental stresses and is attenuated in cultured macrophages and mice. Microarray-based transcriptome analyses revealed that 359 genes involved in numerous cellular processes were dysregulated in the hfq mutant. From these same samples the proteins were also prepared for proteomic analysis to directly identify Hfq-regulated proteins. Fifty-five proteins with significantly affected expression were identified in the hfq mutant. Our results demonstrate that Hfq regulates many genes and/or proteins involved in metabolism, virulence, and stress responses, including those potentially involved in the adaptation of Brucella to the oxidative, acid, heat stress, and antibacterial peptides encountered within the host. The dysregulation of such genes and/or proteins could contribute to the attenuated hfq mutant phenotype. These findings highlight the involvement of Hfq as a key regulator of Brucella gene expression and facilitate our understanding of the role of Hfq in environmental stress adaptation and intracellular survival of B. melitensis.
Multidrug-resistant Stenotrophomonas maltophilia has emerged as an important cause of nosocomial infections, which is attributable mainly to the production of diverse β-lactamases by S. maltophilia. The L2 β-lactamase mediated by the AmpR-L2 module is the most represented lactamase. Here, we announce the genome sequence of S028, an isolate harboring the AmpR-L2 module.
Brucella abortus is one of the common pathogens causing brucellosis in China. Here, we report the genome sequence of B. abortus strain 134, a strain isolated from a human patient and belonging to biovar 1, the most highly represented biovar among B. abortus strains in China.
Brucella canis infects several species of animals, and canine is the preferred host. Genome sequences of strains from different hosts are valuable for comparative analysis of host adaptation and microevolution. Here, we report the genome sequence of Brucella canis strain 118, a strain isolated from canine.
Brucella canis is considered a rare cause of human brucellosis because of difficulties in presumptive diagnosis and underestimation of the incidence. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of a Brucella canis isolate, BCB018, isolated from a human patient, providing precious resources for comparative genomics analysis of Brucella field strains.
Brucellosis is highly epidemic in China. Of the six classical species, Brucella melitensis and biovar 1 are the most represented species and biovar that cause human brucellosis in China. Here, we report the genome sequence of Brucella melitensis strain 133, a strain of biovar 1 of sequence type 32.
Brucella abortus is divided into eight biovars, of which biovars 1 to 3 are the most frequently represented biovars in strains isolated from humans. Here, we report the genome sequence of B. abortus strain BCB034, a strain isolated from a human patient and that belongs to biovar 2.
Brucella is a genus of relatively conservative pathogenic bacteria. Brucella suis is the most diversified Brucella species. Strains of B. suis belong to different sequence types. Here, we report the genome sequence of B. suis strain BCB025, one isolate of the sequence type 22 epidemic in China.
Brucella melitensis is the most common Brucella species causing human brucellosis. B. melitensis is divided into 3 biovars. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of B. melitensis strain 128, a strain of biovar 3 of sequence type 8, which is prevalent in China.
The increase of Acinetobacter baumannii resistance to carbapenems is of great concern. OXA23 is one of the most prevalent carbapenemases of A. baumannii that causes outbreaks. Here, we announce the genome sequence of an OXA23-producing A. baumannii strain assigned ST75, a newly emerged sequence type harboring carbapenemase.
Live attenuated vaccines play essential roles in the prevention of brucellosis. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of three vaccine strains, Brucella melitensis M5-10, B. suis S2-30, and B. abortus 104M. Primary genome sequence analysis identified mutations, deletions, and insertions which have implications for attenuation and signatures for differential diagnosis.
Brucella melitensis is the most-represented Brucella species causing human brucellosis in China. Here we report the complete genome sequence of B. melitensis strain S66, a representative strain of sequence type 8 (ST8), which is prevalent in China, making it possible to compare the genome sequences of isolates from different countries.
Brucella melitensis is an intracellular pathogen that induces chronic infection in humans. Here, we report the genome sequences of 16M and its two derivatives, 16M1w and 16M13w, which were allowed to adapt in vivo for 1 and 13 weeks, respectively. Our findings contribute to the investigation of adaptive mutations and mechanisms of chronic infection by B. melitensis.
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified common genetic variants at 5p15.33, 6p21–6p22 and 15q25.1 associated with lung cancer risk. Several other genetic regions including variants of CHEK2 (22q12), TP53BP1 (15q15) and RAD52 (12p13) have been demonstrated to influence lung cancer risk in candidate- or pathway-based analyses. To identify novel risk variants for lung cancer, we performed a meta-analysis of 16 GWASs, totaling 14 900 cases and 29 485 controls of European descent. Our data provided increased support for previously identified risk loci at 5p15 (P = 7.2 × 10−16), 6p21 (P = 2.3 × 10−14) and 15q25 (P = 2.2 × 10−63). Furthermore, we demonstrated histology-specific effects for 5p15, 6p21 and 12p13 loci but not for the 15q25 region. Subgroup analysis also identified a novel disease locus for squamous cell carcinoma at 9p21 (CDKN2A/p16INK4A/p14ARF/CDKN2B/p15INK4B/ANRIL; rs1333040, P = 3.0 × 10−7) which was replicated in a series of 5415 Han Chinese (P = 0.03; combined analysis, P = 2.3 × 10−8). This large analysis provides additional evidence for the role of inherited genetic susceptibility to lung cancer and insight into biological differences in the development of the different histological types of lung cancer.
While lung cancer is largely caused by tobacco smoking, inherited genetic factors play a role in its etiology. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Europeans have robustly demonstrated only three polymorphic variations influencing lung cancer risk. Tumor heterogeneity may have hampered the detection of association signal when all lung cancer subtypes were analyzed together. In a GWAS of 5,355 European smoking lung cancer cases and 4,344 smoking controls, we conducted a pathway-based analysis in lung cancer histologic subtypes with 19,082 SNPs mapping to 917 genes in the HuGE-defined “inflammation” pathway. We identified a susceptibility locus for squamous cell lung carcinoma (SQ) at 12p13.33 (RAD52, rs6489769), and replicated the association in three independent samples totaling 3,359 SQ cases and 9,100 controls (odds ratio=1.20, Pcombined=2.3×10−8).
The combination of pathway-based approaches and information on disease specific subtypes can improve the identification of cancer susceptibility loci in heterogeneous diseases.
Lung cancer; histology; squamous cell carcinoma; pathway analysis; RAD52
The AID/APOBEC family (activation induced deaminase/apolipoprotein B mRNA editing cytokine deaminase) in B cells play important roles in adaptive and innate immunity. Whereas APOBEC3G has been studied in CD4+ T cells and myeloid cells its functional potential in B cells has received little attention. AID combines two critical functions of antibodies, class switching and affinity maturation and may serve as a functional surrogate of protection. These functions were studied following systemic immunization of rhesus macaques with recombinant HLA constructs, linked with HIV and SIV antigens and HSP70 to dextran. The results showed significant upregulation of AID in CD20+ B cells, APOBEC 3G in CD27+ memory B cells and CD4+ effector memory T cells. After immunization the upregulated APOBEC 3G and AID were directly correlated in B cells (p<0.0001). Following challenge with SHIV SF162.P4 the viral load was inversely correlated with AID in B cells and APOBEC 3G in B and T cells, suggesting that both deaminases may have protective functions. Investigation of major interactions between DC, T cells and B cells showed significant increase in membrane associated IL-15 in DC and CD40L in CD4+ T cells. IL-15 binds the IL-15 receptor complex in CD4+ T and B cells, which may reactivate the DC, T and B cell interactions. The overall results are consistent with AID inhibiting pre-entry SHIV by eliciting IgG and IgA antibodies, whereas APOBEC 3G may contribute to the post-entry control of SHIV replication and cellular spread.
DNA repair genes are important for maintaining genomic stability and limiting carcinogenesis. We analyzed all single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of 125 DNA repair genes covered by the Illumina HumanHap300 (v1.1) BeadChips in a previously conducted genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 1,154 lung cancer cases and 1,137 controls and replicated the top-hits of XRCC4 SNPs in an independent set of 597 cases and 611 controls in Texas populations. We found that six of 20 XRCC4 SNPs were associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer with a P value of 0.01 or lower in the discovery dataset, of which the most significant SNP was rs10040363 (P for allelic test = 4.89 ×10−4). Moreover, the data in this region allowed us to impute a potentially functional SNP rs2075685 (imputed P for allelic test = 1.3 ×10−3). A luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that the rs2075685G>T change in the XRCC4 promoter increased expression of the gene. In the replication study of rs10040363, rs1478486, rs9293329, and rs2075685, however, only rs10040363 achieved a borderline association with a decreased risk of lung cancer in a dominant model (adjusted OR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.62–1.03, P = 0.079). In the final combined analysis of both the Texas GWAS discovery and replication datasets, the strength of the association was increased for rs10040363 (adjusted OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.66–0.89, Pdominant = 5×10−4 and P for trend = 5×10−4) and rs1478486 (adjusted OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.71 −0.94, Pdominant = 6×10−3 and P for trend = 3.5×10−3). Finally, we conducted a meta-analysis of these XRCC4 SNPs with available data from published GWA studies of lung cancer with a total of 12,312 cases and 47,921 controls, in which none of these XRCC4 SNPs was associated with lung cancer risk. It appeared that rs2075685, although associated with increased expression of a reporter gene and lung cancer risk in the Texas populations, did not have an effect on lung cancer risk in other populations. This study underscores the importance of replication using published data in larger populations.
XRCC4; variant; Genetic susceptibility; genome-wide association study; replication study
Published genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified few variants in the known biological pathways involved in lung cancer etiology. To mine the possibly hidden causal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we explored all SNPs in the extrinsic apoptosis pathway from our published GWAS dataset for 1154 lung cancer cases and 1137 cancer-free controls. In an initial association analysis of 611 tagSNPs in 41 apoptosis-related genes, we identified only 10 tagSNPs associated with lung cancer risk with a P value <10−2, including four tagSNPs in DAPK1 and three tagSNPs in TNFSF8. Unlike DAPK1 SNPs, TNFSF8 rs2181033 tagged other four predicted functional but untyped SNPs (rs776576, rs776577, rs31813148 and rs2075533) in the promoter region. Therefore, we further tested binding affinity of these four SNPs by performing the electrophoretic mobility shift assay. We found that only rs2075533T allele modified levels of nuclear proteins bound to DNA, leading to significantly decreased expression of luciferase reporter constructs by 5- to –10-fold in H1299, HeLa and HCT116 cell lines compared with the C allele. We also performed a replication study of the untyped rs2075533 in an independent Texas population but did not confirm the protective effect. We further performed a mini meta-analysis for SNPs of TNFSF8 obtained from other four published lung cancer GWASs with 12 214 cases and 47 721 controls, and we found that only rs3181366 (r2 = 0.69 with the untyped rs2075533) was associated to lung cancer risk (P = 0.008). Our findings suggest a possible role of novel TNFSF8 variants in susceptibility to lung cancer.
Due to drawbacks of live attenuated vaccines, much more attention has been focused on screening of Brucella protective antigens as subunit vaccine candidates. Brucella is a facultative intracellular bacterium and cell mediated immunity plays essential roles for protection against Brucella infection. Identification of Brucella antigens that present T-cell epitopes to the host could enable development of such vaccines. In this study, 45 proven or putative pathogenesis-associated factors of Brucella were selected according to currently available data. After expressed and purified, 35 proteins were qualified for analysis of their abilities to stimulate T-cell responses in vitro. Then, an in vitro gamma interferon (IFN-γ) assay was used to identify potential T-cell antigens from B. abortus. In total, 7 individual proteins that stimulated strong IFN-γ responses in splenocytes from mice immunized with B. abortus live vaccine S19 were identified. The protective efficiencies of these 7 recombinant proteins were further evaluated. Mice given BAB1_1316 (CobB) or BAB1_1688 (AsnC) plus adjuvant could provide protection against virulent B. abortus infection, similarly with the known protective antigen Cu-Zn SOD and the license vaccine S19. In addition, CobB and AsnC could induce strong antibodies responses in BALB/c mice. Altogether, the present study showed that CobB or AsnC protein could be useful antigen candidates for the development of subunit vaccines against brucellosis with adequate immunogenicity and protection efficacy.
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules expressed on the surface of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are potential targets for neutralizing antibodies. Since MHC molecules are polymorphic, nonself MHC can also be immunogenic. We have used combinations of novel recombinant HLA class I and II and HIV/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) antigens, all linked to dextran, to investigate whether they can elicit protective immunity against heterologous simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge in rhesus macaques. Three groups of animals were immunized with HLA (group 1, n = 8), trimeric YU2 HIV type 1 (HIV-1) gp140 and SIV p27 (HIV/SIV antigens; group 2, n = 8), or HLA plus HIV/SIV antigens (group 3, n = 8), all with Hsp70 and TiterMax Gold adjuvant. Another group (group 4, n = 6) received the same vaccine as group 3 without TiterMax Gold. Two of eight macaques in group 3 were completely protected against intravenous challenge with 18 50% animal infective doses (AID50) of SHIV-SF162P4/C grown in human cells expressing HLA class I and II lineages represented in the vaccine, while the remaining six macaques showed decreased viral loads compared to those in unimmunized animals. Complement-dependent neutralizing activity in serum and high levels of anti-HLA antibodies were elicited in groups 1 and 3, and both were inversely correlated with the plasma viral load at 2 weeks postchallenge. Antibody-mediated protection was strongly supported by the fact that transfer of pooled serum from the two challenged but uninfected animals protected two naïve animals against repeated low-dose challenge with the same SHIV stock. This study demonstrates that immunization with recombinant HLA in combination with HIV-1 antigens might be developed into an alternative strategy for a future AIDS vaccine.