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1.  Cyclic AMP Receptor Protein Regulates cspD, a Bacterial Toxin Gene, in Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  2014;196(8):1569-1577.
cspD, a member of cspA family of cold shock genes in Escherichia coli, is not induced during cold shock. Its expression is induced during stationary phase. CspD inhibits DNA replication, and a high level of the protein is toxic to cells. Recently, CspD was proposed to be associated with persister cell formation in E. coli. Here, we show that cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) upregulates cspD transcription. Sequence analysis of the cspD upstream region revealed two tandem CRP target sites, CRP site-I (the proximal site centered at −83.5 with respect to the transcription start) and CRP site-II (the distal site centered at −112.5). The results from electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that CRP indeed binds to these two target sites in PcspD. The promoter-proximal CRP target site was found to play a major role in PcspD activation by CRP, as studied by transcriptional fusions carrying mutations in the target sites. The results from in vitro transcription assays demonstrated that CRP activates PcspD transcription in the absence of additional factors other than RNA polymerase. The requirement for activating region 1 of CRP in PcspD activation, along with the involvement of the 287, 265, and 261 determinants of the α-CTD, suggest that CRP activates by a class I-type mechanism. However, only moderate activation in vitro was observed compared to high activation in vivo, suggesting there might be additional activators of PcspD. Overall, our findings show that CRP, a global metabolic regulator in E. coli, activates a gene potentially related to persistence.
PMCID: PMC3993361  PMID: 24509317
2.  Resveratrol induced inhibition of Escherichia coli proceeds via membrane oxidation and independent of diffusible reactive oxygen species generation 
Redox Biology  2014;2:865-872.
Resveratrol (5-[(E)-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethenyl]benzene-1,3-diol), a redox active phytoalexin with a large number of beneficial activities is also known for antibacterial property. However the mechanism of action of resveratrol against bacteria remains unknown. Due to its extensive redox property it was envisaged if reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by resveratrol could be a reason behind its antibacterial activity. Employing Escherichia coli as a model organism we have evaluated the role of diffusible reactive oxygen species in the events leading to inhibition of this organism by resveratrol. Evidence for the role of ROS in E. coli treated with resveratrol was investigated by direct quantification of ROS by flow cytometry, supplementation with ROS scavengers, depletion of intracellular glutathione, employing mutants devoid of enzymatic antioxidant defences, induction of adaptive response prior to resveratrol challenge and monitoring oxidative stress response elements oxyR, soxS and soxR upon resveratrol treatment. Resveratrol treatment did not result in scavengable ROS generation in E. coli cells. However, evidence towards membrane damage was obtained by potassium leakage (atomic absorption spectrometry) and propidium iodide uptake (flow cytometry and microscopy) as an early event. Based on the comprehensive evidences this study concludes for the first time the antibacterial property of resveratrol against E. coli does not progress via the diffusible ROS but is mediated by site-specific oxidative damage to the cell membrane as the primary event.
Graphical abstract
•Resveratrol possesses antibacterial property among a myriad of properties.•However the reasons behind its antibacterial property remains poorly understood.•We investigated the role of its redox property against the bacterium Escherichia coli.•We reveal the process is free of diffusible reactive oxygen species (ROS).•The initial event encompasses membrane damage.
PMCID: PMC4087184  PMID: 25009788
Antioxidants; Antibacterial; Antioxidant deficient mutants; Adaptive response
3.  Cyclic AMP Receptor Protein Regulates cspE, an Early Cold-Inducible Gene, in Escherichia coli▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2011;193(22):6142-6151.
cspE, a member of the cspA family of cold shock proteins in Escherichia coli, is an early cold-inducible protein. The nucleic acid melting ability and transcription antiterminator activity of CspE have been reported to be critical for growth at low temperature. Here, we show that the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP), a global regulator involved in sugar metabolism, upregulates cspE in E. coli. Sequence analysis of the cspE upstream region revealed a putative CRP target site centered at −61.5 relative to the transcription start. The binding of CRP to this target site was demonstrated using electrophoretic mobility shift assays. The presence of this site was shown to be essential for PcspE activation by CRP. Mutational analysis of the binding site indicated that the presence of an intact second core motif is more important than the first core motif for CRP-PcspE interaction. Based on the promoter architecture, we classified PcspE as a class I CRP-dependent promoter. This was further substantiated by our data demonstrating the involvement of the AR1 domain of CRP in PcspE transcription. Furthermore, the substitutions in the key residues of the RNA polymerase α-subunit C-terminal domain (α-CTD), which are important for class I CRP-dependent transcription, showed the involvement of 265 and 287 determinants in PcspE transcription. In addition, the deletion of crp led to a growth defect at low temperature, suggesting that CRP plays an important role in cold adaptation.
PMCID: PMC3209237  PMID: 21926233
4.  Assessment of hybridization among wild and cultivated Vigna unguiculata subspecies revealed by arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction analysis 
AoB Plants  2012;2012:pls012.
This paper show that inter-subspecies hybridization among certain Vigna unguiculata subspecies, occurred during the course of evolution. This has affected several regions of the genome and is interfering with the dependable assessment of sub-species relationships using single (rRNA regions) or multilocus markers.
Background and aims
Intra-species hybridization and incompletely homogenized ribosomal RNA repeat units have earlier been reported in 21 accessions of Vigna unguiculata from six subspecies using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and 5S intergenic spacer (IGS) analyses. However, the relationships among these accessions were not clear from these analyses. We therefore assessed intra-species hybridization in the same set of accessions.
Arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) analysis was carried out using 12 primers. The PCR products were resolved on agarose gels and the DNA fragments were scored manually. Genetic relationships were inferred by TREECON software using unweighted paired group method with arithmetic averages (UPGMA) cluster analysis evaluated by bootstrapping and compared with previous analyses based on ITS and 5S IGS.
Principal results
A total of 202 (86 %) fragments were found to be polymorphic and used for generating a genetic distance matrix. Twenty-one V. unguiculata accessions were grouped into three main clusters. The cultivated subspecies (var. unguiculata) and most of its wild progenitors (var. spontanea) were placed in cluster I along with ssp. pubescens and ssp. stenophylla. Whereas var. spontanea were grouped with ssp. alba and ssp. tenuis accessions in cluster II, ssp. alba and ssp. baoulensis were included in cluster III. Close affinities of ssp. unguiculata, ssp. alba and ssp. tenuis suggested inter-subspecies hybridization.
Multi-locus AP-PCR analysis reveals that intra-species hybridization is prevalent among V. unguiculata subspecies and suggests that grouping of accessions from two different subspecies is not solely due to the similarity in the ITS and 5S IGS regions but also due to other regions of the genome.
PMCID: PMC3357975  PMID: 22619698
6.  Effects of Glutathione and Ascorbic Acid on Streptomycin Sensitivity of Escherichia coli▿  
We examined the effects of antioxidants and the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the antibacterial action of aminoglycosides in Escherichia coli. We concluded that reduced streptomycin sensitivity in the presence of glutathione and ascorbic acid is not due to the antioxidant-mediated scavenging of ROS.
PMCID: PMC1803111  PMID: 17210778
7.  Loss of Expression of cspC, a Cold Shock Family Gene, Confers a Gain of Fitness in Escherichia coli K-12 Strains 
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(19):6780-6785.
The CspA family of cold shock genes in Escherichia coli K-12 includes nine paralogs, cspA to cspI. Some of them have been implicated in cold stress adaptation. Screening for mutations among common laboratory E. coli strains showed a high degree of genetic diversity in cspC but not in cspA and cspE. This diversity in cspC was due to a wide spectrum of variations including insertions of IS elements, deletion, and point mutation. Northern analysis of these mutants showed loss of cspC expression in all but one case. Further analysis of the loss-of-function cspC mutants showed that they have a fitness advantage in broth culture after 24 h over their isogenic wild-type derivatives. Conversely, introduction of mutated cspC alleles conferred a competitive fitness advantage to AB1157, a commonly used laboratory strain. This provides the evidence that loss of cspC expression is both necessary and sufficient to confer a gain of fitness as seen in broth culture over 24 h. Together, these results ascribe a novel role in cellular growth at 37°C for CspC, a member of the cold shock domain-containing protein family.
PMCID: PMC1595533  PMID: 16980479

Results 1-7 (7)