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author:("Taha, nodal")
1.  Investigating the Cellular Distribution and Interactions of HIV-1 Nucleocapsid Protein by Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0116921.
The nucleocapsid protein (NCp7) of the Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a small basic protein containing two zinc fingers. About 2000 NCp7 molecules coat the genomic RNA in the HIV-1 virion. After infection of a target cell, the viral core enters into the cytoplasm, where NCp7 chaperones the reverse transcription of the genomic RNA into the proviral DNA. As a consequence of their much lower affinity for double-stranded DNA as compared to single-stranded RNAs, NCp7 molecules are thought to be released in the cytoplasm and the nucleus of infected cells in the late steps of reverse transcription. Yet, little is known on the cellular distribution of the released NCp7 molecules and on their possible interactions with cell components. Hence, the aim of this study was to identify potential cellular partners of NCp7 and to monitor its intracellular distribution and dynamics by means of confocal fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, fluorescence correlation and cross-correlation spectroscopy, and raster imaging correlation spectroscopy. HeLa cells transfected with eGFP-labeled NCp7 were used as a model system. We found that NCp7-eGFP localizes mainly in the cytoplasm and the nucleoli, where it binds to cellular RNAs, and notably to ribosomal RNAs which are the most abundant. The binding of NCp7 to ribosomes was further substantiated by the intracellular co-diffusion of NCp7 with the ribosomal protein 26, a component of the large ribosomal subunit. Finally, gradient centrifugation experiments demonstrate a direct association of NCp7 with purified 80S ribosomes. Thus, our data suggest that NCp7 molecules released in newly infected cells may primarily bind to ribosomes, where they may exert a new potential role in HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC4344342  PMID: 25723396
2.  Genotypes and serotype distribution of macrolide resistant invasive and non- invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from Lebanon 
This study determined macrolide resistance genotypes in clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae from multiple medical centers in Lebanon and assessed the serotype distribution in relation to these mechanism(s) of resistance and the source of isolate recovery.
Forty four macrolide resistant and 21 macrolide susceptible S. pneumoniae clinical isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility according to CLSI guidelines (2008) and underwent molecular characterization. Serotyping of these isolates was performed by Multiplex PCR-based serotype deduction using CDC protocols. PCR amplification of macrolide resistant erm (encoding methylase) and mef (encoding macrolide efflux pump protein) genes was carried out.
Among 44 isolates resistant to erythromycin, 35 were resistant to penicillin and 18 to ceftriaxone. Examination of 44 macrolide resistant isolates by PCR showed that 16 isolates harbored the erm(B) gene, 8 isolates harbored the mef gene, and 14 isolates harbored both the erm(B) and mef genes. There was no amplification by PCR of the erm(B) or mef genes in 6 isolates. Seven different capsular serotypes 2, 9V/9A,12F, 14,19A, 19F, and 23, were detected by multiplex PCR serotype deduction in 35 of 44 macrolide resistant isolates, with 19F being the most prevalent serotype. With the exception of serotype 2, all serotypes were invasive. Isolates belonging to the invasive serotypes 14 and 19F harbored both erm(B) and mef genes. Nine of the 44 macrolide resistant isolates were non-serotypable by our protocols.
Macrolide resistance in S. pneumoniae in Lebanon is mainly through target site modification but is also mediated through efflux pumps, with serotype 19F having dual resistance and being the most prevalent and invasive.
PMCID: PMC3371826  PMID: 22248318
Antimicrobials; Macrolides; Resistance; Genes; Serotyping

Results 1-2 (2)