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1.  Hsp65-producing Lactococcus lactis prevents experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice by inducing CD4+LAP+ regulatory T cells 
Journal of autoimmunity  2012;40:45-57.
Heat shock proteins (Hsps) participate in the cellular response to stress and they are hiperexpressed in inflammatory conditions. They are also known to play a major role in immune modulation, controlling, for instance, autoimmune responses. In this study, we showed that oral administration of a recombinant Lactococcus lactis strain that produces and releases LPS-free Hsp65 prevented the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in C57BL/6 mice. This was confirmed by the reduced inflammatory cell infiltrate and absence of injury signs in the spinal cord. The effect was associated with reduced IL-17 and increased IL-10 production in mesenteric lymph node and spleen cell cultures. Hsp65-producing-L. lactis-fed mice had a remarkable increase in the number of natural and inducible CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells and CD4+LAP+ (Latency-associated peptide) Tregs - which express the membrane-bound TGF-β - in spleen, inguinal and mesenteric lymph nodes as well as in spinal cord. Moreover, many Tregs co-expressed Foxp3 and LAP. In vivo depletion of LAP+ cells abrogated the effect of Hsp65-producing L. lactis in EAE prevention and worsened disease in medium-fed mice. Thus, Hsp65-L.lactis seems to boost this critical regulatory circuit involved in controlling EAE development in mice.
doi:10.1016/j.jaut.2012.07.012
PMCID: PMC3623677  PMID: 22939403
Heat shock protein 65; Lactococcus lactis; Regulatory T cells; Experimental autoimmune; encephalomyelitis
2.  Immune Response Elicited by DNA Vaccination Using Lactococcus lactis Is Modified by the Production of Surface Exposed Pathogenic Protein 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84509.
In this study, we compared immune responses elicited by DNA immunization using Lactococcus lactis or L. lactis expressing the Staphylococcus aureus invasin Fibronectin Binding Protein A (FnBPA) at its surface. Both strains carried pValac:BLG, a plasmid containing the cDNA of Beta-Lactoglobulin (BLG), and were designated LL-BLG and LL-FnBPA+ BLG respectively. A TH2 immune response characterized by the secretion of IL-4 and IL-5 in medium of BLG reactivated splenocytes was detected after either oral or intranasal administration of LL-FnBPA+ BLG. In contrast, intranasal administration of LL-BLG elicited a TH1 immune response. After BLG sensitization, mice previously intranasally administered with LL-BLG showed a significantly lower concentration of BLG-specific IgE than the mice non-administered. Altenatively administration of LL-FnBPA+ BLG didn't modify the BLG-specific IgE concentration obtained after sensitization, thus confirming the TH2 orientation of the immune response. To determine if the TH2-skewed immune response obtained with LL-FnBpA+ BLG was FnBPA-specific or not, mice received another L. lactis strain producing a mutated form of the Listeria monocytogenes invasin Internalin A intranasally, allowing thus the binding to murine E-cadherin, and containing pValac:BLG (LL-mInlA+ BLG). As with LL-FnBPA+ BLG, LL-mInlA+ BLG was not able to elicit a TH1 immune response. Furthermore, we observed that these difference were not due to the peptidoglycan composition of the cell wall as LL-FnBPA+ BLG, LL-mInlA+ BLG and LL-BLG strains shared a similar composition. DNA vaccination using LL-BLG elicited a pro-inflammatory TH1 immune response while using LL-FnBPA+ BLG or LL-mInlA+ BLG elicited an anti-inflammatory TH2 immune response.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084509
PMCID: PMC3897362  PMID: 24465412
3.  Local and Systemic Immune Mechanisms Underlying the Anti-Colitis Effects of the Dairy Bacterium Lactobacillus delbrueckii 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85923.
Several probiotic bacteria have been proposed for treatment or prevention of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), showing a protective effect in animal models of experimental colitis and for some of them also in human clinical trials. While most of these probiotic bacteria are isolated from the digestive tract, we recently reported that a Lactobacillus strain isolated from cheese, L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis CNRZ327 (Lb CNRZ327), also possesses anti-inflammatory effects in vitro and in vivo, demonstrating that common dairy bacteria may be useful in the treatment or prevention of IBD. Here, we studied the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of Lb CNRZ327 in vivo, in a mouse dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) colitis model. During colitis, Lb CNRZ327 modulated the production of TGF-β, IL-6, and IL-12 in colonic tissue and of TGF-β and IL-6 in the spleen, and caused an expansion of CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in the cecal lymph nodes. Moreover, a strong tendency to CD4+Foxp3+ expansion was also observed in the spleen. The results of this study for the first time show that orally administered dairy lactobacilli can not only modulate mucosal but also systemic immune responses and constitute an effective treatment of IBD.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085923
PMCID: PMC3897545  PMID: 24465791
4.  Differential transcriptional profile of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis in response to abiotic stresses 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:14.
Background
The completion of whole-genome sequencing for Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strain 1002 has contributed to major advances in research aimed at understanding the biology of this microorganism. This bacterium causes significant loss to goat and sheep farmers because it is the causal agent of the infectious disease caseous lymphadenitis, which may lead to outcomes ranging from skin injury to animal death. In the current study, we simulated the conditions experienced by the bacteria during host infection. By sequencing transcripts using the SOLiDTM 3 Plus platform, we identified new targets expected to potentiate the survival and replication of the pathogen in adverse environments. These results may also identify possible candidates useful for the development of vaccines, diagnostic kits or therapies aimed at the reduction of losses in agribusiness.
Results
Under the 3 simulated conditions (acid, osmotic and thermal shock stresses), 474 differentially expressed genes exhibiting at least a 2-fold change in expression levels were identified. Important genes to the infection process were induced, such as those involved in virulence, defence against oxidative stress, adhesion and regulation, and many genes encoded hypothetical proteins, indicating that further investigation of the bacterium is necessary. The data will contribute to a better understanding of the biology of C. pseudotuberculosis and to studies investigating strategies to control the disease.
Conclusions
Despite the veterinary importance of C. pseudotuberculosis, the bacterium is poorly characterised; therefore, effective treatments for caseous lymphadenitis have been difficult to establish. Through the use of RNAseq, these results provide a better biological understanding of this bacterium, shed light on the most likely survival mechanisms used by this microorganism in adverse environments and identify candidates that may help reduce or even eradicate the problems caused by this disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-14
PMCID: PMC3890534  PMID: 24405787
Differential gene expression; Transcripts; RNAseq; SOLID™; Stress; C. pseudotuberculosis
5.  A novel in silico reverse-transcriptomics-based identification and blood-based validation of a panel of sub-type specific biomarkers in lung cancer 
BMC Genomics  2013;14(Suppl 6):S5.
Lung cancer accounts for the highest number of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Early diagnosis significantly increases the disease-free survival rate and a large amount of effort has been expended in screening trials and the development of early molecular diagnostics. However, a gold standard diagnostic strategy is not yet available. Here, based on miRNA expression profile in lung cancer and using a novel in silico reverse-transcriptomics approach, followed by analysis of the interactome; we have identified potential transcription factor (TF) markers that would facilitate diagnosis of subtype specific lung cancer. A subset of seven TF markers has been used in a microarray screen and was then validated by blood-based qPCR using stage-II and IV non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC). Our results suggest that overexpression of HMGA1, E2F6, IRF1, and TFDP1 and downregulation or no expression of SUV39H1, RBL1, and HNRPD in blood is suitable for diagnosis of lung adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma sub-types of NSCLC. Here, E2F6 was, for the first time, found to be upregulated in NSCLC blood samples. The miRNA-TF-miRNA interaction based molecular mechanisms of these seven markers in NSCLC revealed that HMGA1 and TFDP1 play vital roles in lung cancer tumorigenesis. The strategy developed in this work is applicable to any other cancer or disease and can assist in the identification of potential biomarkers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-S6-S5
PMCID: PMC3908344  PMID: 24564251
6.  Mature Epitope Density - A strategy for target selection based on immunoinformatics and exported prokaryotic proteins 
BMC Genomics  2013;14(Suppl 6):S4.
Background
Current immunological bioinformatic approaches focus on the prediction of allele-specific epitopes capable of triggering immunogenic activity. The prediction of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I epitopes is well studied, and various software solutions exist for this purpose. However, currently available tools do not account for the concentration of epitope products in the mature protein product and its relation to the reliability of target selection.
Results
We developed a computational strategy based on measuring the epitope's concentration in the mature protein, called Mature Epitope Density (MED). Our method, though simple, is capable of identifying promising vaccine targets. Our online software implementation provides a computationally light and reliable analysis of bacterial exoproteins and their potential for vaccines or diagnosis projects against pathogenic organisms. We evaluated our computational approach by using the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) H37Rv exoproteome as a gold standard model. A literature search was carried out on 60 out of 553 Mtb's predicted exoproteins, looking for previous experimental evidence concerning their possible antigenicity. Half of the 60 proteins were classified as highest scored by the MED statistic, while the other half were classified as lowest scored. Among the lowest scored proteins, ~13% were confirmed as not related to antigenicity or not contributing to the bacterial pathogenicity, and 70% of the highest scored proteins were confirmed as related. There was no experimental evidence of antigenic or pathogenic contributions for three of the highest MED-scored Mtb proteins. Hence, these three proteins could represent novel putative vaccine and drug targets for Mtb. A web version of MED is publicly available online at http://med.mmci.uni-saarland.de/.
Conclusions
The software presented here offers a practical and accurate method to identify potential vaccine and diagnosis candidates against pathogenic bacteria by "reading" results from well-established reverse vaccinology software in a novel way, considering the epitope's concentration in the mature portion of the protein.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-S6-S4
PMCID: PMC3908659  PMID: 24564223
7.  Progression of ‘OMICS’ methodologies for understanding the pathogenicity of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis: the Brazilian experience 
Since the first successful attempt at sequencing the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis genome, large amounts of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data have been generated. C. pseudotuberculosis is an interesting bacterium due to its great zoonotic potential and because it causes considerable economic losses worldwide. Furthermore, different strains of C. pseudotuberculosis are capable of causing various diseases in different hosts. Currently, we seek information about the phylogenetic relationships between different strains of C. pseudotuberculosis isolates from different hosts across the world and to employ these data to develop tools to diagnose and eradicate the diseases these strains cause. In this review, we present the latest findings on C. pseudotuberculosis that have been obtained with the most advanced techniques for sequencing and genomic organization. We also discuss the development of in silico tools for processing these data to prompt a better understanding of this pathogen.
doi:10.5936/csbj.201303013
PMCID: PMC3962224
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis; SOLiD next generation sequencing; Ion Torrent next generation sequencing; SDS-PAGE; mass spectrometry; RNA-seq
8.  Complete Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Cp31, Isolated from an Egyptian Buffalo 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(23):6663-6664.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is of major veterinary importance because it affects many animal species, causing economically significant livestock diseases and losses. Therefore, the genomic sequencing of various lines of this organism, isolated from different hosts, will aid in the development of diagnostic methods and new prevention and treatment strategies and improve our knowledge of the biology of this microorganism. In this study, we present the genome of C. pseudotuberculosis Cp31, isolated from a buffalo in Egypt.
doi:10.1128/JB.01782-12
PMCID: PMC3497519  PMID: 23144408
9.  Genome Sequence of the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Cp316 Strain, Isolated from the Abscess of a Californian Horse 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(23):6620-6621.
The bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is of major veterinary importance because it affects livestock, particularly sheep, goats, and horses, in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, the United States, and Canada, resulting in significant economic losses. In the present study, we describe the complete genome of the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Cp316 strain, biovar equi, isolated from the abscess of a North American horse.
doi:10.1128/JB.01616-12
PMCID: PMC3497548  PMID: 23144380
10.  Complete genome sequence of Streptococcus agalactiae strain SA20-06, a fish pathogen associated to meningoencephalitis outbreaks 
Standards in Genomic Sciences  2013;8(2):188-197.
Streptococcus agalactiae (Lancefield group B; GBS) is the causative agent of meningoencephalitis in fish, mastitis in cows, and neonatal sepsis in humans. Meningoencephalitis is a major health problem for tilapia farming and is responsible for high economic losses worldwide. Despite its importance, the genomic characteristics and the main molecular mechanisms involved in virulence of S. agalactiae isolated from fish are still poorly understood. Here, we present the genomic features of the 1,820,886 bp long complete genome sequence of S. agalactiae SA20-06 isolated from a meningoencephalitis outbreak in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from Brazil, and its annotation, consisting of 1,710 protein-coding genes (excluding pseudogenes), 7 rRNA operons, 79 tRNA genes and 62 pseudogenes.
doi:10.4056/sigs.3687314
PMCID: PMC3746423  PMID: 23991251
Streptococcus agalactiae; fish pathogen; genome sequencing
11.  Staphylococcus aureus-Induced G2/M Phase Transition Delay in Host Epithelial Cells Increases Bacterial Infective Efficiency 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63279.
Staphylococcus aureus is a highly versatile, opportunistic pathogen and the etiological agent of a wide range of infections in humans and warm-blooded animals. The epithelial surface is its principal site of colonization and infection. In this work, we investigated the cytopathic effect of S. aureus strains from human and animal origins and their ability to affect the host cell cycle in human HeLa and bovine MAC-T epithelial cell lines. S. aureus invasion slowed down cell proliferation and induced a cytopathic effect, resulting in the enlargement of host cells. A dramatic decrease in the number of mitotic cells was observed in the infected cultures. Flow cytometry analysis revealed an S. aureus-induced delay in the G2/M phase transition in synchronous HeLa cells. This delay required the presence of live S. aureus since the addition of the heat-killed bacteria did not alter the cell cycle. The results of Western blot experiments showed that the G2/M transition delay was associated with the accumulation of inactive cyclin-dependent kinase Cdk1, a key inducer of mitosis entry, and with the accumulation of unphosphorylated histone H3, which was correlated with a reduction of the mitotic cell number. Analysis of S. aureus proliferation in asynchronous, G1- and G2-phase-enriched HeLa cells showed that the G2 phase was preferential for bacterial infective efficiency, suggesting that the G2 phase delay may be used by S. aureus for propagation within the host. Taken together, our results divulge the potential of S. aureus in the subversion of key cellular processes such as cell cycle progression, and shed light on the biological significance of S. aureus-induced host cell cycle alteration.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063279
PMCID: PMC3662696  PMID: 23717407
12.  Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus aureus Newbould 305, a Strain Associated with Mild Bovine Mastitis 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(22):6292-6293.
Staphylococcus aureus is a major etiological agent of mastitis in ruminants. We report here the genome sequence of bovine strain Newbould 305, isolated in the 1950s in a case of bovine mastitis and now used as a model strain able to reproducibly induce chronic mastitis in cows.
doi:10.1128/JB.01188-12
PMCID: PMC3486374  PMID: 23105046
13.  Oral immunization with Lactococcus lactis secreting attenuated recombinant staphylococcal enterotoxin B induces a protective immune response in a murine model 
Background
Staphylococcus aureus is unrestrictedly found in humans and in animal species that maintain thermal homeostasis. Inadequate cleaning of processing equipment or inappropriate handling can contaminate processed food and cause severe food poisoning. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), a potent superantigenic exotoxin, is produced by 50% of clinical isolates of S. aureus and is associated with massive food poisoning and with the induction of toxic shock syndrome.
Results
A gene sequence encoding a recombinant SEB (rSEB), devoid of superantigenic activity, was successfully cloned and expressed in a cytoplasmic or a secreted form in the food-grade lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis. The recombinant protein detected in the cytoplasm or in the culture medium exhibited the expected molecular mass and was recognized by a SEB-polyclonal antibody. Oral immunization with the recombinant L. lactis strains induced a protective immune response in a murine model of S. aureus infection. Immunized mice survived intraperitoneal challenge with an S. aureus SEB-producer strain. Counts of S. aureus in the spleen of rSEB-immunized mice were significantly reduced. The rSEB-immunized mice showed significant titers of anti-SEB IgA and IgG in stools and serum, respectively. Both recombinant L. lactis strains were able to elicit cellular or systemic immune responses in mice, with no significant difference if rSEB was produced in its cytoplasmic or secreted form. However, recombinant L. lactis expressing the cytoplasmic rSEB increased the survival rate of the challenged mice by 43%.
Conclusions
These findings show the vaccine efficacy of L. lactis carrying an attenuated SEB, in a murine model, following lethal S. aureus challenge.
doi:10.1186/1475-2859-12-32
PMCID: PMC3623888  PMID: 23561053
Recombinant enterotoxin B (rSEB); Staphylococcus aureus; Oral mice immunization; Lactococcus lactis; Intestinal IgA antibodies; Serum IgG antibodies; Live vaccine
14.  Whole-Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Strain Cp162, Isolated from Camel 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(20):5718-5719.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is a pathogen of great veterinary and economic importance, since it affects livestock, mainly sheep and goats, worldwide, together with reports of its presence in camels in several Arabic, Asiatic, and East and West African countries, as well as Australia. In this article, we report the genome sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strain Cp162, collected from the external neck abscess of a camel in the United Kingdom.
doi:10.1128/JB.01373-12
PMCID: PMC3458653  PMID: 23012291
15.  Complete Genome Sequences of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Strains 3/99-5 and 42/02-A, Isolated from Sheep in Scotland and Australia, Respectively 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(17):4736-4737.
Here, we report the whole-genome sequences of two ovine-pathogenic Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis isolates: strain 3/99-5, which represents the first C. pseudotuberculosis genome originating from the United Kingdom, and 42/02-A, the second from Australia. These genome sequences will contribute to the objective of determining the global pan-genome of this bacterium.
doi:10.1128/JB.00918-12
PMCID: PMC3415504  PMID: 22887652
16.  Ion Torrent-based transcriptional assessment of a Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis equi strain reveals denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography a promising rRNA depletion method 
Microbial Biotechnology  2013;6(2):168-177.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis equi is a Gram-positive pathogenic bacterium which affects a variety of hosts. Besides the great economic losses it causes to horse-breeders, this organism is also known to be an important infectious agent to cattle and buffaloes. As an outcome of the efforts in characterizing the molecular basis of its virulence, several complete genome sequences were made available in recent years, enabling the large-scale assessment of genes throughout distinct isolates. Meanwhile, the RNA-seq stood out as the technology of choice for comprehensive transcriptome studies, which may bring valuable information regarding active genomic regions, despite of the still impeditive associated costs. In an attempt to increase the use of generated reads per instrument run, by effectively eliminating unwanted rRNAs from total RNA samples without relying on any commercially available kits, we applied denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) as an alternative method to assess the transcriptional profile of C. pseudotuberculosis. We have found that the DHPLC depletion method, allied to Ion Torrent sequencing, allows mapping of transcripts in a comprehensive way and identifying novel transcripts when a de novo approach is used. These data encourage us to use DHPLC in future transcriptional evaluations in C. pseudotuberculosis.
doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12020
PMCID: PMC3917459  PMID: 23316806
17.  Complete Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Strain 1/06-A, Isolated from a Horse in North America 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(16):4476.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis causes disease in several animal species, although distinct biovars exist that appear to be restricted to specific hosts. In order to facilitate a better understanding of the differences between biovars, we report here the complete genome sequence of the equine pathogen Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strain 1/06-A.
doi:10.1128/JB.00922-12
PMCID: PMC3416248  PMID: 22843601
18.  Exoproteome and Secretome Derived Broad Spectrum Novel Drug and Vaccine Candidates in Vibrio cholerae Targeted by Piper betel Derived Compounds 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e52773.
Vibrio cholerae is the causal organism of the cholera epidemic, which is mostly prevalent in developing and underdeveloped countries. However, incidences of cholera in developed countries are also alarming. Because of the emergence of new drug-resistant strains, even though several generic drugs and vaccines have been developed over time, Vibrio infections remain a global health problem that appeals for the development of novel drugs and vaccines against the pathogen. Here, applying comparative proteomic and reverse vaccinology approaches to the exoproteome and secretome of the pathogen, we have identified three candidate targets (ompU, uppP and yajC) for most of the pathogenic Vibrio strains. Two targets (uppP and yajC) are novel to Vibrio, and two targets (uppP and ompU) can be used to develop both drugs and vaccines (dual targets) against broad spectrum Vibrio serotypes. Using our novel computational approach, we have identified three peptide vaccine candidates that have high potential to induce both B- and T-cell-mediated immune responses from our identified two dual targets. These two targets were modeled and subjected to virtual screening against natural compounds derived from Piper betel. Seven compounds were identified first time from Piper betel to be highly effective to render the function of these targets to identify them as emerging potential drugs against Vibrio. Our preliminary validation suggests that these identified peptide vaccines and betel compounds are highly effective against Vibrio cholerae. Currently we are exhaustively validating these targets, candidate peptide vaccines, and betel derived lead compounds against a number of Vibrio species.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052773
PMCID: PMC3559646  PMID: 23382822
19.  The Pan-Genome of the Animal Pathogen Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Reveals Differences in Genome Plasticity between the Biovar ovis and equi Strains 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53818.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is a facultative intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of several infectious and contagious chronic diseases, including caseous lymphadenitis, ulcerative lymphangitis, mastitis, and edematous skin disease, in a broad spectrum of hosts. In addition, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infections pose a rising worldwide economic problem in ruminants. The complete genome sequences of 15 C. pseudotuberculosis strains isolated from different hosts and countries were comparatively analyzed using a pan-genomic strategy. Phylogenomic, pan-genomic, core genomic, and singleton analyses revealed close relationships among pathogenic corynebacteria, the clonal-like behavior of C. pseudotuberculosis and slow increases in the sizes of pan-genomes. According to extrapolations based on the pan-genomes, core genomes and singletons, the C. pseudotuberculosis biovar ovis shows a more clonal-like behavior than the C. pseudotuberculosis biovar equi. Most of the variable genes of the biovar ovis strains were acquired in a block through horizontal gene transfer and are highly conserved, whereas the biovar equi strains contain great variability, both intra- and inter-biovar, in the 16 detected pathogenicity islands (PAIs). With respect to the gene content of the PAIs, the most interesting finding is the high similarity of the pilus genes in the biovar ovis strains compared with the great variability of these genes in the biovar equi strains. Concluding, the polymerization of complete pilus structures in biovar ovis could be responsible for a remarkable ability of these strains to spread throughout host tissues and penetrate cells to live intracellularly, in contrast with the biovar equi, which rarely attacks visceral organs. Intracellularly, the biovar ovis strains are expected to have less contact with other organisms than the biovar equi strains, thereby explaining the significant clonal-like behavior of the biovar ovis strains.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053818
PMCID: PMC3544762  PMID: 23342011
20.  Complete Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Strain Cp267, Isolated from a Llama 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(13):3567-3568.
In this work we report the genome of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strain 267, isolated from a llama. This pathogen is of great veterinary and economic importance, as it is the cause of caseous lymphadenitis in several livestock species around the world and causes significant losses due to the high cost of treatment.
doi:10.1128/JB.00461-12
PMCID: PMC3434722  PMID: 22689248
21.  In vitro and in vivo characterization of DNA delivery using recombinant Lactococcus lactis expressing a mutated form of L. monocytogenes Internalin A 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:299.
Background
The use of food-grade Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) as DNA delivery vehicles represents an attractive strategy to deliver DNA vaccines at the mucosal surfaces as they are generally regarded as safe (GRAS). We previously showed that either native Lactococcus lactis (LL) or recombinant invasive LL expressing Fibronectin Binding Protein A of Staphylococcus aureus (LL-FnBPA+) or Internalin A of Listeria monocytogenes (LL-InlA+), were able to deliver and trigger DNA expression by epithelial cells, either in vitro or in vivo. InlA does not bind to its receptor, the murine E-cadherin, thus limiting the use of LL-InlA+ in in vivo murine models. Moreover, FnBPA binds to its receptors, integrins, via fibronectin introducing another limiting factor. In order to avoid the limitations of LL-InlA+ and LL-FnBPA+, a new L. lactis strain was engineered to produce a previously described mutated form of InlA (LL-mInlA+) allowing the binding of mInlA on murine E-cadherin.
Results
After showing the expression of mInLA at the surface of LL-mInlA+ strain, in vitro gentamycin survival assay in Caco-2 cells showed that LL-mInlA+ is 1000 times more invasive than LL. LL-mInlA+ invasivity was also validated by fluorescence microscopy. LL and LL-mInlA+ were transformed with pValacBLG, a plasmid containing the cDNA of bovine β-Lactoglobulin (BLG), resulting in strains LL-BLG and LL-mInlA+BLG. The plasmid transfer in vitro using LL-mInlA+BLG was increased 10 times compared to LL-BLG. Moreover, the number of mice producing BLG in isolated enterocytes after oral administration of LL-mInlA+BLG in vivo was slightly higher than after oral administration of LL-BLG.
Conclusions
We confirmed in this study that the production of mInlA at the surface of L. lactis is a promising strategy for plasmid transfer in vitro and in vivo.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-299
PMCID: PMC3541092  PMID: 23253484
Lactococcus lactis; Listeria monocytogenes; Mutated internalin A; Internalization; DNA delivery
22.  Complete genome sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis biovar ovis strain P54B96 isolated from antelope in South Africa obtained by rapid next generation sequencing technology 
Standards in Genomic Sciences  2012;7(2):189-199.
The Actinobacteria, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strain P54B96, a nonmotile, non-sporulating and a mesophile bacterium, was isolated from liver, lung and mediastinal lymph node lesions in an antelope from South Africa. This strain is interesting in the sense that it has been found together with non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTMs) which could nevertheless play a role in the lesion formation. In this work, we describe a set of features of C. pseudotuberculosis P54B96, together with the details of the complete genome sequence and annotation. The genome comprises of 2.34 Mbp long, single circular genome with 2,084 protein-coding genes, 12 rRNA, 49 tRNA and 62 pseudogenes and a G+C content of 52.19%. The analysis of the genome sequence provides means to better understanding the molecular and genetic basis of virulence of this bacterium, enabling a detailed investigation of its pathogenesis.
doi:10.4056/sigs.3066455
PMCID: PMC3569390  PMID: 23408795
s: biovar ovis; Gram-positive pathogen; caseous lymphadenitis/cheesy gland disease; liver lesion; Antelope; genome sequencing; Ion Torrent
23.  Pangenomic Study of Corynebacterium diphtheriae That Provides Insights into the Genomic Diversity of Pathogenic Isolates from Cases of Classical Diphtheria, Endocarditis, and Pneumonia 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(12):3199-3215.
Corynebacterium diphtheriae is one of the most prominent human pathogens and the causative agent of the communicable disease diphtheria. The genomes of 12 strains isolated from patients with classical diphtheria, endocarditis, and pneumonia were completely sequenced and annotated. Including the genome of C. diphtheriae NCTC 13129, we herewith present a comprehensive comparative analysis of 13 strains and the first characterization of the pangenome of the species C. diphtheriae. Comparative genomics showed extensive synteny and revealed a core genome consisting of 1,632 conserved genes. The pangenome currently comprises 4,786 protein-coding regions and increases at an average of 65 unique genes per newly sequenced strain. Analysis of prophages carrying the diphtheria toxin gene tox revealed that the toxoid vaccine producer C. diphtheriae Park-Williams no. 8 has been lysogenized by two copies of the ωtox+ phage, whereas C. diphtheriae 31A harbors a hitherto-unknown tox+ corynephage. DNA binding sites of the tox-controlling regulator DtxR were detected by genome-wide motif searches. Comparative content analysis showed that the DtxR regulons exhibit marked differences due to gene gain, gene loss, partial gene deletion, and DtxR binding site depletion. Most predicted pathogenicity islands of C. diphtheriae revealed characteristics of horizontal gene transfer. The majority of these islands encode subunits of adhesive pili, which can play important roles in adhesion of C. diphtheriae to different host tissues. All sequenced isolates contain at least two pilus gene clusters. It appears that variation in the distributed genome is a common strategy of C. diphtheriae to establish differences in host-pathogen interactions.
doi:10.1128/JB.00183-12
PMCID: PMC3370855  PMID: 22505676
24.  The Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis in silico predicted pan-exoproteome 
BMC Genomics  2012;13(Suppl 5):S6.
Background
Pan-genomic studies aim, for instance, at defining the core, dispensable and unique genes within a species. A pan-genomics study for vaccine design tries to assess the best candidates for a vaccine against a specific pathogen. In this context, rather than studying genes predicted to be exported in a single genome, with pan-genomics it is possible to study genes present in different strains within the same species, such as virulence factors. The target organism of this pan-genomic work here presented is Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, the etiologic agent of caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) in goat and sheep, which causes significant economic losses in those herds around the world. Currently, only a few antigens against CLA are known as being the basis of commercial and still ineffective vaccines. In this regard, the here presented work analyses, in silico, five C. pseudotuberculosis genomes and gathers data to predict common exported proteins in all five genomes. These candidates were also compared to two recent C. pseudotuberculosis in vitro exoproteome results.
Results
The complete genome of five C. pseudotuberculosis strains (1002, C231, I19, FRC41 and PAT10) were submitted to pan-genomics analysis, yielding 306, 59 and 12 gene sets, respectively, representing the core, dispensable and unique in silico predicted exported pan-genomes. These sets bear 150 genes classified as secreted (SEC) and 227 as potentially surface exposed (PSE). Our findings suggest that the main C. pseudotuberculosis in vitro exoproteome could be greater, appended by a fraction of the 35 proteins formerly predicted as making part of the variant in vitro exoproteome. These genomes were manually curated for correct methionine initiation and redeposited with a total of 1885 homogenized genes.
Conclusions
The in silico prediction of exported proteins has allowed to define a list of putative vaccine candidate genes present in all five complete C. pseudotuberculosis genomes. Moreover, it has also been possible to define the in silico predicted dispensable and unique C. pseudotuberculosis exported proteins. These results provide in silico evidence to further guide experiments in the areas of vaccines, diagnosis and drugs. The work here presented is the first whole C. pseudotuberculosis in silico predicted pan-exoproteome completed till today.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-S5-S6
PMCID: PMC3476999  PMID: 23095951
25.  Production of Fibronectin Binding Protein A at the Surface of Lactococcus lactis Increases Plasmid Transfer In Vitro and In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44892.
Lactococci are noninvasive lactic acid bacteria frequently used as protein delivery vectors and, more recently, as DNA delivery vehicles. We previously showed that Lactococcus lactis (LL) expressing the Fibronectin-Binding Protein A of Staphylococcus aureus (LL-FnBPA+) showed higher internalization rates in vitro in Caco-2 cells than the native (wt) lactococci and were able to deliver a eukaryotic Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) expression plasmid in 1% of human Caco-2 cells. Here, using the bovine beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), one of the major cow's milk allergen, and GFP we characterized the potential of LL-FnBPA+ as an in vivo DNA vaccine delivery vehicle. We first showed that the invasive strain LL-FnBPA+ carrying the plasmid pValac:BLG (LL-FnBPA+ BLG) was more invasive than LL-BLG and showed the same invasivity as LL-FnBPA+. Then we demonstrated that the Caco-2 cells, co-incubated with LL-FnBPA+ BLG produced up to 30 times more BLG than the Caco-2 cells co-incubated with the non invasive LL-BLG. Using two different gene reporters, BLG and GFP, and two different methods of detection, EIA and fluorescence microscopy, we showed in vivo that: i) in order to be effective, LL-FnBPA+ required a pre-coating with Fetal Calf Serum before oral administration; ii) plasmid transfer occurred in enterocytes without regard to the strains used (invasive or not); iii) the use of LL-FnBPA+ increased the number of mice producing BLG, but not the level of BLG produced. We thus confirmed the good potential of invasive recombinant lactic acid bacteria as DNA delivery vector in vivo.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044892
PMCID: PMC3459934  PMID: 23028664

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