Marbling score (MS) is the major quantitative trait that affects carcass quality in beef cattle. In this study, we examined the association between genetic polymorphisms of the micromolar calcium-activated neutral protease gene (micro-calpain, CAPN1) and carcass traits in Korean cattle (also known as Hanwoo).
By direct DNA sequencing in 24 unrelated Korean cattle, we identified 39 sequence variants within exons and their flanking regions in CAPN1. Among them, 12 common polymorphic sites were selected for genotyping in the beef cattle (n = 421). Statistical analysis revealed that a polymorphism in the 3'UTR (c.2151*479C>T) showed significant association with MS (Pcor. = 0.02).
Our findings suggest that polymorphisms in CAPN1 might be one of the important genetic factors involved in carcass quality in beef cattle, although it could be false positive association.
Cold carcass weight (CW) and longissimus muscle area (EMA) are the major quantitative traits in beef cattle. In this study, we found several polymorphisms of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) gene and examined the association of polymorphisms with carcass traits (CW and EMA) in Korean native cattle (Hanwoo).
By direct DNA sequencing in 24 unrelated Korean cattle, we identified 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms within the 9 kb full gene region, including the 1.5 kb promoter region. Among them, six polymorphic sites were selected for genotyping in our beef cattle (n = 428) and five marker haplotypes (frequency > 0.1) were identified. Statistical analysis revealed that -4241A>T showed significant associations with CW and EMA.
Our findings suggest that polymorphisms in GHRH might be one of the important genetic factors that influence carcass yield in beef cattle. Sequence variation/haplotype information identified in this study would provide valuable information for the production of a commercial line of beef cattle.
Nematode sterol-binding protein 1 (NSBP-1) is a homolog of nucleosome assembly protein 1 in mammals that is expressed widely in Caenorhabditis elegans. NSBP-1 mutants are biologically lethal, demonstrating the significance of the gene in growth and development. We investigated how cholesterol influences the insulin signaling pathway through this novel sterol-binding protein in C. elegans. Here we report that NSBP-1 influences many biological processes mediated by insulin signaling, such as longevity, dauer formation, fat storage, and resistance to oxidative stress. We found that NSBP-1 is phosphorylated by AKT-1 downstream of insulin signaling. In the absence of insulin signaling, NSBP-1 is translocated to the nucleus and binds to DAF-16, a FOXO transcription factor, in a cholesterol-dependent manner. Moreover, NSBP-1 and DAF-16 regulate a common set of genes that can directly modulate fat storage, longevity, and resistance to stress. Together, our results present a new steroid-binding molecule that can connect sterol signaling to insulin signaling through direct interaction with FOXO.
Cholesterol; Cholesterol-binding protein; C. elegans; D2096.8; middot; Insulin/IGF-1 signaling; DAF-16
The ubiquitin-like modifier (UBL) domain of ubiquitin-like domain proteins (UDPs) interacts specifically with subunits of the 26 S proteasome. A novel UDP, ubiquitin-like domain-containing C-terminal domain phosphatase (UBLCP1), has been identified as an interacting partner of the 26 S proteasome. We determined the high-resolution solution structure of the UBL domain of human UBLCP1 by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The UBL domain of hUBLCP1 has a unique β-strand (β3) and β3-α2 loop, instead of the canonical β4 observed in other UBL domains. The molecular topology and secondary structures are different from those of known UBL domains including that of fly UBLCP1. Data from backbone dynamics shows that the β3-α2 loop is relatively rigid although it might have intrinsic dynamic profile. The positively charged residues of the β3-α2 loop are involved in interacting with the C-terminal leucine-rich repeat-like domain of Rpn1.
In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) is an important commensal microorganism. The purpose of this study was to determine the epidemiological relation between NTS isolates from livestock and NTS isolates from human by analyzing antimicrobial susceptibilities and performing molecular typing. We determined the serotypes of 36 human clinical isolates and 64 livestock isolates, performed antimicrobial susceptibility testing against 8 antibiotics, and determined the molecular types of isolated NTS spp. by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In human isolates, S. enteritidis was the most common serotype (17 isolates; 47.2%) and S. typhimurium the second most (8 isolates; 22.2%). In livestock isolates, S. typhimurium was the most common serotype (15 isolates; 23.44%), and S. enteritidis was the second most (14 isolates; 21.88%). Ampicillin and tetracycline resistance were 50% (32/64 isolates) each among broiler-chicken NTS isolates. No human or livestock NTS isolates showed resistance to ciprofloxacin, TMP-SMX, or ceftriaxone. However, 19.4% (7/36) and 46.8% (30/64) of the human and livestock NTS isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid (MIC ≥16 mg/mL), respectively. The presence of the three identical PFGE molecular types from human and broiler-chicken NTS isolates suggests the possibility of transmission from livestock to humans.
Salmonella Infections; Salmonella Enteritidis; Salmonella Typhimurium; Epidemiology
Disseminated mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) occurs mainly in immunocompromised hosts, which is associated with abnormal cellular immunity.
A 26-year-old pregnant woman presented with fever and general weakness. Miliary lung nodules were noted on chest X-ray. Under the impression of miliary tuberculosis, anti-tuberculosis medication was administered. However, the patient was not improved. Further work-up demonstrated MAC in the sputum and placenta. The patient was treated successfully with clarithromycin-based combination regimen.
This appears to be the first case of disseminated MAC in an otherwise healthy pregnant woman. Clinicians should be alert for the diagnosis of MAC infection in diverse clinical conditions.
Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is an ascitic fluid infection as a complication of end stage liver disease. The outcome is related to the severity of hepatorenal function, gastrointestinal bleeding, and many others; however it is not well known whether the infection acquisition sites have an effect on the prognosis of SBP. In order to identify the prognostic significance of the acquisition sites, we studied 106 patients who were diagnosed as culture positive SBP between October 1998 and August 2003. Thirty-two episodes were nosocomial and 74 were community acquired. Gram-negative bacilli such as Escherichia coli were dominant in both of the nosocomial and community-acquired SBPs. Despite significantly higher resistance to cefotaxime in nosocomial isolates compared to community-acquired isolates (77.8% vs. 13.6%, p=0.001), no difference was found regarding short or long term prognosis. Infection acquisition sites were not related to short or long term prognosis either. Shock, gastrointestinal bleeding and renal dysfunction were related to short term prognosis. Only Child-Pugh class C was identified as an independent prognostic factor of long-term survival.
Liver Cirrhosis; Peritonitis; Cross Infection; Community-Acquired Infections
Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of RNA and its complexes is important for understanding the molecular mechanism of RNA recognition by proteins or ligands. Enzymatic synthesis using T7 bacteriophage RNA polymerase is used to prepare samples for NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. However, this run-off transcription method results in heterogeneity at the RNA 3-terminus. For structural studies, RNA purification requires a single nucleotide resolution. Usually PAGE purification is used, but it is tedious, time-consuming and cost ineffective. To overcome these problems in high-throughput RNA synthesis, we devised a method of RNA preparation that uses trans-acting DNAzyme and sequence-specific affinity column chromatography. A tag sequence is added at the 3′ end of RNA, and the tagged RNA is picked out using an affinity column that contains the complementary DNA sequence. The 3′ end tag is then removed by sequence-specific cleavage using trans-acting DNAzyme, the arm lengths of which are optimized for turnover number. This purification method is simpler and faster than the conventional method.
The influenza A virus promoter is recognized by the influenza A virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and directs both transcription and replication of the viral RNA genome. Within the sequence of this promoter, flu strains exhibit a natural, unique variation, either a U or a C, at the fourth position from the 3′ end. Promoters that contain a C residue (C4 promoter), which are invariably found in genome segments that encode the three RNA polymerase subunits (PB1, PB2 and PA), down-regulate transcription but activate genome replication. Here, we have determined the structure of the C4 promoter by NMR spectroscopy and compared it with the structure of the U4 promoter, which was determined previously. The structure of the internal loop in the C4 promoter is similar to that of the U4 promoter. However, the terminal stem of the C4 promoter is strikingly different from that of the U4 promoter. These structural data suggest that the internal loop is important for polymerase binding to the promoter, and the terminal stem is crucial for differential regulation of transcription and replication.
The structure of a 34 nucleotide RNA molecule in solution, which contains the conserved panhandle sequences, was determined by NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling. The partially double-strandedpanhandle structure of the influenza virus RNA serves to regulate initiation and termination of viral transcription as well as polyadenylation. The panhandle RNA consists of internal loop flanked by short helices. The nucleotides at or near the internal loop are crucial for polymerase binding and transcriptional activity. They show more flexible conformational character than the Watson-Crick base-paired region, especially for the backbone torsion angles of alpha, gamma and delta. Although residues A10 and A12 are stacked in the helix, the phosphodiester backbones are distorted. Residues A12, A13 and G25 show dynamic sugar conformations and the backbone conformations of these nucleotides are flexible. This backbone conformation and its associated flexibility may be important for protein-RNA interactions as well as base-specific interactions.
The double-stranded panhandle structure of the influenza virus RNA is important for replication, transcription and packaging into the virion of the virion RNA. The solution structure of a 34 nt RNA which contains the conserved panhandle sequences has been investigated by one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. The partially complementary 5'- and 3'-ends of the RNA form a double helical structure which is, on average, close to A-form. The stem contains bulges at nucleotides A10, A12 and C26. In between these bulges, C11 and G25 form a Watson-Crick base pair. The structural features of the panhandle provide a framework for the explanation of mutational analysis and for a better understanding of RNA-polymerase interactions.
PRESENTATION of CASE
A 24-y-old woman was admitted to the emergency department having had a generalized seizure (acute loss of consciousness, convulsive movements of her arms and legs, and confusion on regaining consciousness). She was on the sixth day of treatment with 300 mg daily of slow-release bupropion (Zyban SR) as an aid to smoking cessation. She had a past medical history of tonsillectomy and hay fever, for which she was taking budesonide nasal drops (two drops daily, each drop 200 mcg). She was on no other medication. There was no history of head trauma, liver disease, or alcohol withdrawal. Clinical examination, including neurological examination, was normal. The patient's weight was 48 kg. Her blood pressure was 130/80 mm Hg. Electrocardiogram showed a sinus tachycardia at 102 beats per minute. Radiography of the skull and a computed tomography scan of the brain without contrast were both normal. The patient's blood glucose, urea, electrolytes, and liver function tests were all normal. Her serum calcium was 2.01 mmol/l (normal range, 2.0–2.6 mmol/l) and her hemoglobin was 116 g/l (normal range, 120–140 g/l). The bupropion was discontinued, and the patient recovered without any further seizures or other neurological sequelae.
Bupropion recently came onto the Mauritian market as an aid to smoking cessation. This case report is a useful reminder to clinicians of the risks of taking the drug
To evaluate the efficiency and feasibility of intermolecular multiple quantum coherence (iMQC) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for single cell detection, we obtained intermolecular double quantum coherence (iDQC) and conventional gradient echo (GE) images of macrophage cells labeled by contrast agents in gel. The iDQC images obtained with echo-planar readout visualized the labeled cells effectively and with a higher contrast than seen in conventional GE images, especially at low planar resolutions and with thick slices. This implies that iDQC imaging with contrast agents could be a good alternative to conventional MR imaging for detecting labeled single cells or cell tracking under favorable conditions.
Extremely preterm (EP) survivors have smaller brains, lower IQ, and worse educational achievement than their term-born peers. The contribution of smaller brain size to the IQ and educational disadvantages of EP is unknown. This study aimed (i) to compare brain volumes from multiple brain tissues and structures between EP-born (<28weeks) and term-born (≥37weeks) control adolescents, (ii) to explore the relationships of brain tissue volumes with IQ and basic educational skills and whether this differed by group, and (iii) to explore how much total brain tissue volume explains the underperformance of EP adolescents compared with controls.
Longitudinal cohort study of 148 EP and 132 term controls born in Victoria, Australia in 1991-92. At age 18, magnetic resonance imaging-determined brain volumes of multiple tissues and structures were calculated. IQ and educational skills were measured using the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and the Wide Range Achievement Test(WRAT-4), respectively.
Brain volumes were smaller in EP adolescents compared with controls (mean difference [95% confidence interval] of -5.9% [-8.0, -3.7%] for total brain tissue volume). The largest relative differences were noted in the thalamus and hippocampus. The EP group had lower IQs(-11.9 [-15.4, -8.5]), spelling(-8.0 [-11.5, -4.6]), math computation(-10.3 [-13.7, -6.9]) and word reading(-5.6 [-8.8, -2.4]) scores than controls; all p-values<0.001. Volumes of total brain tissue and other brain tissues and structures correlated positively with IQ and educational skills, a relationship that was similar for both the EP and controls. Total brain tissue volume explained between 20-40% of the IQ and educational outcome differences between EP and controls.
EP adolescents had smaller brain volumes, lower IQs and poorer educational performance than controls. Brain volumes of multiple tissues and structures are related to IQ and educational outcomes. Smaller total brain tissue volume is an important contributor to the cognitive and educational underperformance of adolescents born EP.
Microbial eukaryotes may extinguish much of their nuclear phylogenetic history due to endosymbiotic/horizontal gene transfer (E/HGT). We studied E/HGT in 32,110 contigs of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense (Dinophyceae) using a conservative phylogenomic approach. The vast majority of predicted proteins (86.4%) in this alga are novel or dinoflagellate-specific. We searched for putative homologs of these predicted proteins against a taxonomically broadly sampled protein database that includes all currently available data from algae and protists and reconstructed a phylogeny from each of the putative homologous protein sets. Of the 2,523 resulting phylogenies, 14-17% are potentially impacted by E/HGT involving both prokaryote and eukaryote lineages, with 2-4% showing clear evidence of reticulate evolution. The complex evolutionary histories of the remaining proteins, many of which may also have been affected by E/HGT, cannot be interpreted using our approach with currently available gene data. We present empirical evidence of reticulate genome evolution that combined with inadequate or highly complex phylogenetic signal in many proteins may impede genome-wide approaches to infer the tree of microbial eukaryotes.
dinoflagellates; endosymbiosis; eukaryote evolution; horizontal gene transfer; phylogenomics
Health care workers (HCWs) are at great risk of influenza infection and transmission. Vaccination for seasonal influenza is routinely recommended, but this strategy should be reconsidered in a pandemic situation. Between October 2009 and September 2010, a multicenter study was conducted to assess the long-term immunogenicity of the A/H1N1 2009 monovalent influenza vaccine among HCWs compared to non-health care workers (NHCWs). The influence of prior seasonal influenza vaccination was also assessed with respect to the immunogenicity of pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine. Serum hemagglutinin inhibition titers were determined prevaccination and then at 1, 6, and 10 months after vaccination. Of the 360 enrolled HCW subjects, 289 participated in the study up to 10 months after H1N1 monovalent influenza vaccination, while 60 of 65 NHCW subjects were followed up. Seroprotection rates, seroconversion rates, and geometric mean titer (GMT) ratios fulfilled the European Union's licensure criteria for influenza A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) at 1 month after vaccination in both the HCWs and NHCWs, without any significant difference. At 6 months after vaccination, the seroprotection rate was more significantly lowered among the NHCWs than among the HCWs (P < 0.01). Overall, postvaccination (1, 6, and 10 months after vaccination) GMTs for A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) were significantly lower among the seasonal influenza vaccine recipients than among the nonrecipients (P < 0.05). In conclusion, HCWs should be encouraged to receive an annual influenza vaccination, considering the risk of repeated exposure. However, prior reception of seasonal influenza vaccine showed a negative influence on immunogenicity for the pandemic A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine.
Periodontal disease is a potential predictor of stroke and cognitive impairment. However, this association is unclear in adults aged 50 yr and above without a history of stroke or dementia. We evaluated the association between the number of teeth lost, indicating periodontal disease, and cognitive impairment in community-dwelling adults without any history of dementia or stroke. Dental examinations were performed on 438 adults older than 50 yr (315 females, mean age 63±7.8 yr; 123 males, mean age 61.5±8.5 yr) between January 2009 and December 2010. In the unadjusted analysis, odds ratios (OR) of cognitive impairment based on MMSE score were 2.46 (95% CI, 1.38-4.39) and 2.7 (95% CI, 1.57-4.64) for subjects who had lost 6-10 teeth and those who had lost more than 10 teeth, respectively, when compared with subjects who had lost 0-5 teeth. After adjusting for age, education level, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and smoking, the relationship remained significant (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.08-3.69, P=0.027 for those with 6-10 teeth lost; OR, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.27-4.02, P=0.006 for those with more than 10 teeth lost). The number of teeth lost is correlated with cognitive impairment among community-dwelling adults aged 50 and above without any medical history of stroke or dementia.
Oral Health; Tooth Loss; Cognitive Impairment; Dementia
We aimed to assess the burden of disease (BOD) of the residents living in contaminated coastal area with oil spill and also analysed the BOD attributable to the oil spill by disease, age, sex and subregion.
Health impact assessment by measuring years lived with disability (YLD) due to an oil spill.
A whole population of a community affected by an anthropogenic environmental disaster and secondary health outcome data.
Based on the health outcome survey including 10 171 individuals (male 4354; female 5817), BOD of 66 473 populations (male 33 441; female 33 032) was measured.
None. Observational study on the effect of a specific environmental health hazard.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Using disability adjusted life year (DALY) method, BOD including physical and mental diseases was measured. For the BOD measurement, excess incidences of illnesses related to oil spill were estimated from the comparison of prevalence of the health outcomes between contaminated areas and reference area without contamination.
YLD attributable to the oil spill were estimated to be 14 724 DALYs (male 7425 DALYs; female 7299 DALYs) for the year 2008. The YLD of mental diseases including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression for men were higher than that for women. The YLD for women was higher in asthma and allergies (rhinitis, dermatitis, conjunctivitis) than that for men. The effects of asthma and allergies were the greatest for people in their 40s, with the burden of mental illness being the greatest for those in their 20s. Proximity to the spill site was associated with increased BOD.
An oil spill near a coastline can cause substantial adverse health effects. As the health effects of hazardous pollutants from oil spills are long-lasting, close follow-up studies are required to identify chronic health effects.
EPIDEMIOLOGY; HEALTH ECONOMICS; MENTAL HEALTH; TOXICOLOGY
Agonists of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) and glucokinase activators (GKA) act as antidiabetic agents by their ability protect beta cells, and stimulate insulin secretion. Oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stresses aggravate type 2 diabetes by causing beta cell loss. It was shown that GLP-1R agonists protect beta cells from oxidative and ER stresses. On the other hand, little is known regarding how GKAs protect beta cells. We hypothesized that GKAs protect beta cells by mechanisms distinct from those underlying GLP-1R agonist and tested our hypothesis by comparing the molecular effects of exenatide, a GLP-1R agonist, and piragliatin, a GKA, on INS-1 cells under oxidative and ER-induced stresses.
Beta cells were treated with streptozotocin (STZ) to induce oxidative stress and with palmitate or thapsigargin (Tg) to induce ER stress respectively, and the effects of exenatide and piragliatin on these cells were investigated by: a) characterizing the kinases involved employing specific kinase inhibitors, and b) by identifying the differentially regulated proteins in response to stresses with proteomic analysis.
Exenatide protected INS-1 cells from both ER and STZ-induced death. In contrast, piragliatin rescued the cells only from STZ-induced stress. Akt activation by exenatide appeared to contribute to its protective effects of beta cells while enhanced glucose utilization was the contributing factor in the case of piragliatin. Also, exenatide, not piragliatin, blocked changes in proteins 14-3-3β, ε and θ, and preserved the 14-3-3θ levels under the ER stress. Isoform-specific modifications of 14-3-3, and the reduction of 14-3-3θ, commonly associated with beta cell death were assessed.
Exenatide and piragliatin exert distinct effects on beta cell survival and thus on type 2 diabetes. This study which confirmed our hypothesis is also the first to observe specific modulation of 14-3-3 isoform in stress-induced beta cell death associated with progressive deterioration of type 2 diabetes.
This study investigated the reversible effects of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) treatment at 42°C on the ultrastructural and biological changes in nerve and collagen fibers in the progression of neuropathic pain after rat sciatic nerve injury. Assessments of morphological changes in the extracellular matrices by atomic force microscopy and hematoxylin-eosin, Masson’s trichrome and picrosirius-red staining as well as the expressions of two fibril-forming collagens, types-I and -III, and two inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-6, were evaluated on day 30 after RF exposure. There were four groups for different RF thermal treatments: no treatment, no current, PRF, and continuous RF (CRF). An RF procedure similar to that used in human clinical trials was used in this study. The CRF treatment at 82°C led to neural and collagen damage by the permanent blockage of sensory nociceptors. The PRF treatment led to excellent performance and high expandability compared to CRF, with effects including slight damage and swelling of myelinated axons, a slightly decreased amount of collagen fibers, swelling of collagen fibril diameters, decreased immunoreactivity of collagen types-I and -III, presence of newly synthesized collagen, and recovery of inflammatory protein immunoreactivity. These evidence-based findings suggest that PRF-based pain relief is responsible for the temporary blockage of nerve signals as well as the preferential destruction of pain-related principal sensory fibers like the Aδ and C fibers. This suggestion can be supported by the interaction between the PRF-induced electromagnetic field and cell membranes; therefore, PRF treatment provides pain relief while allowing retention of some tactile sensation.
The mechanisms producing strong coupling between electric and magnetic order in multiferroics are not always well understood, since their microscopic origins can be quite different. Hence, gaining a deeper understanding of magnetoelectric coupling in these materials is the key to their rational design. Here, we use ultrafast optical spectroscopy to show that the influence of magnetic ordering on quantum charge fluctuations via the double-exchange mechanism can govern the interplay between electric polarization and magnetism in the charge-ordered multiferroic LuFe2O4.
Physical stability during storage and against processing such as dehyration/rehydration are the cornerstone in designing delivery vehicles. In this work, mono-, di- and tri-saccharides were enzymatically conjugated to phosphatidyl group through a facile approach namely phospholipase D (PLD) mediated transphosphatidylation in a biphasic reaction system. The purified products were structurally identified and the connectivities of carbohydrate to phosphatidyl moiety precisely mapped by 1H, 31P, 13C NMR pulse sequences and LC-ESI-FTMS. The synthetic phosphatidyl saccharides were employed as the sole biomimetic component for preparation of nanoliposomes. It was found that the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of phosphatidyl saccharides increases as more bulky sugar moiety (mono- to tri-) is introduced. Phosphatidyl di-saccharide had the largest membrane curvature. In comparison to the zwitterionic phosphatidylcholine liposome, all phosphatidyl saccharides liposomes are anionic and demonstrated significantly enhanced stability during storage. According to the confocal laser scan microscopy (CLSM) and atom force microscopy (AFM) analyses, the nanoliposomes formed by the synthetic phosphatidyl saccharides also show excellent stability against dehydration/rehydration process in which most of the liposomal structures remained intact. The abundance hydroxyl groups in the saccharide moieties might provide sufficient H-bondings for stabilization. This work demonstrated the synthesized phosphatidyl saccharides are capable of functioning as enzymatically liable materials which can form stable nanoliposomes without addition of stabilizing excipients.
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) cause diarrhea-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome (D+ HUS) worldwide, but no systematic study of EHEC as the causative agents of HUS was performed in the Czech Republic. We analyzed stools of all patients with D+ HUS in the Czech Republic between 1998 and 2012 for evidence of EHEC infection. We determined virulence profiles, phenotypes, antimicrobial susceptibilities and phylogeny of the EHEC isolates.
Virulence loci were identified using PCR, phenotypes and antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined using standard procedures, and phylogeny was assessed using multilocus sequence typing. During the 15-year period, EHEC were isolated from stools of 39 (69.4%) of 56 patients. The strains belonged to serotypes [fliC types] O157:H7/NM[fliCH7] (50% of which were sorbitol-fermenting; SF), O26:H11/NM[fliCH11], O55:NM[fliCH7], O111:NM[fliCH8], O145:H28[fliCH28], O172:NM[fliCH25], and Orough:NM[fliCH25]. O26:H11/NM[fliCH11] was the most common serotype associated with HUS (41% isolates). Five stx genotypes were identified, the most frequent being stx2a (71.1% isolates). Most strains contained EHEC-hlyA encoding EHEC hemolysin, and a subset (all SF O157:NM and one O157:H7) harbored cdt-V encoding cytolethal distending toxin. espPα encoding serine protease EspPα was found in EHEC O157:H7, O26:H11/NM, and O145:H28, whereas O172:NM and Orough:NM strains contained espPγ. All isolates contained eae encoding adhesin intimin, which belonged to subtypes β (O26), γ (O55, O145, O157), γ2/θ (O111), and ε (O172, Orough). Loci encoding other adhesins (efa1, lpfAO26, lpfAO157OI-141, lpfAO157OI-154, iha) were usually associated with particular serotypes. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated nine sequence types (STs) which correlated with serotypes. Of these, two STs (ST660 and ST1595) were not found in HUS-associated EHEC before.
EHEC strains, including O157:H7 and non-O157:H7, are frequent causes of D+ HUS in the Czech Republic. Identification of unusual EHEC serotypes/STs causing HUS calls for establishment of an European collection of HUS-associated EHEC, enabling to study properties and evolution of these important pathogens.
Xanthomonasoryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is spread systemically through the xylem tissue and causes bacterial blight in rice. We evaluated the roles of Xanthomonas outer proteins (Xop) in the Xoo strain KXO85 in a Japonica-type rice cultivar, Dongjin. Five xop gene knockout mutants (xopQKXO85, xopXKXO85, xopP1KXO85, xopP2KXO85, and xopNKXO85) were generated by EZ-Tn5 mutagenesis, and their virulence was assessed in 3-month-old rice leaves. Among these mutants, the xopNKXO85 mutant appeared to be less virulent than the wild-type KXO85; however, the difference was not statistically significant. In contrast, the xopNKXO85 mutant exhibited significantly less virulence in flag leaves after flowering than the wild-type KXO85. These observations indicate that the roles of Xop in Xoo virulence are dependent on leaf stage. We chose the xopN gene for further characterization because the xopNKXO85 mutant showed the greatest influence on virulence. We confirmed that XopNKXO85 is translocated into rice cells, and its gene expression is positively regulated by HrpX. Two rice proteins, OsVOZ2 and a putative thiamine synthase (OsXNP), were identified as targets of XopNKXO85 by yeast two-hybrid screening. Interactions between XopNKXO85 and OsVOZ2 and OsXNP were further confirmed in planta by bimolecular fluorescence complementation and in vivo pull-down assays. To investigate the roles of OsVOZ2 in interactions between rice and Xoo, we evaluated the virulence of the wild-type KXO85 and xopNKXO85 mutant in the OsVOZ2 mutant line PFG_3A-07565 of Dongjin. The wild-type KXO85 and xopNKXO85 mutant were significantly less virulent in the mutant rice line. These results indicate that XopNKXO85 and OsVOZ2 play important roles both individually and together for Xoo virulence in rice.