The complete degradation of the cellulose requires the synergistic action of endo-β-glucanase, exo-β-glucanase, and β-glucosidase. But endo-β-glucanase and exo-β-glucanase can be recovered by solid–liquid separation in cellulose hydrolysis by their cellulose binding domain (CBD), however, the β-glucosidases cannot be recovered because of most β-glucosidases without the CBD, so additional β-glucosidases are necessary for the next cellulose degradation. This will increase the cost of cellulose degradation.
The glucose-tolerant β-glucosidase (BGL) from Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum DSM 571 was fused with cellulose binding domain (CBD) of Clostridium cellulovorans cellulosome anchoring protein by a peptide linker. The fusion enzyme (BGL-CBD) gene was overexpressed in Escherichia coli with the maximum β-glucosidase activity of 17 U/mL. Recombinant BGL-CBD was purified by heat treatment and following by Ni-NTA affinity. The enzymatic characteristics of the BGL-CBD showed optimal activities at pH 6.0 and 65°C. The fusion of CBD structure enhanced the hydrolytic efficiency of the BGL-CBD against cellobiose, which displayed a 6-fold increase in V
in comparison with the BGL. A gram of cellulose was found to absorb 643 U of the fusion enzyme (BGL-CBD) in pH 6.0 at 50°C for 25 min with a high immobilization efficiency of 90%. Using the BGL-CBD as the catalyst, the yield of glucose reached a maximum of 90% from 100 g/L cellobiose and the BGL-CBD could retain over 85% activity after five batches with the yield of glucose all above 70%. The performance of the BGL-CBD on microcrystalline cellulose was also studied. The yield of the glucose was increased from 47% to 58% by adding the BGL-CBD to the cellulase, instead of adding the Novozyme 188.
The hydrolytic activity of BGL-CBD is greater than that of the Novozyme 188 in cellulose degradation. The article provides a prospect to decrease significantly the operational cost of the hydrolysis process.
Glucose-tolerant β-glucosidase; Cellulose binding domain (CBD); Fusion protein; Immobilization
The starting material for RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) studies is usually total RNA or polyA+ RNA. Both forms of RNA represent heterogeneous pools of RNA molecules at different levels of maturation and processing. Such heterogeneity, in addition to the biases associated with polyA+ purification steps, may influence the analysis, sensitivity and the interpretation of RNA-seq data. We hypothesize that subcellular fractions of RNA may provide a more accurate picture of gene expression.
We present results for sequencing of cytoplasmic and nuclear RNA after cellular fractionation of tissue samples. In comparison with conventional polyA+ RNA, the cytoplasmic RNA contains a significantly higher fraction of exonic sequence, providing increased sensitivity in expression analysis and splice junction detection, and in improved de novo assembly of RNA-seq data. Conversely, the nuclear fraction shows an enrichment of unprocessed RNA compared with total RNA-seq, making it suitable for analysis of nascent transcripts and RNA processing dynamics.
Our results show that cellular fractionation is a more rapid and cost effective approach than conventional polyA+ enrichment when studying mature RNAs. Thus, RNA-seq of separated cytosolic and nuclear RNA can significantly improve the analysis of complex transcriptomes from mammalian tissues.
RNA sequencing; Transcriptomics; RNA splicing; RNA purification; PolyA+ selection; Cytoplasmic RNA; Nuclear RNA; Nascent transcripts; De novo assembly; Transcription profiling
Lentiviral vectors have emerged as efficient vehicles for transgene delivery in both dividing and non-dividing cells. A number of different modifications in vector design have increased biosafety and transgene expression. However, despite these advances, the transduction of primary human T cells is still challenging and methods to achieve efficient gene transfer are often expensive and time-consuming.
Here we present a simple optimised protocol for the generation and transduction of lentivirus in primary human CD45RA+ T cells. We show that generation of high-titre lentivirus with improved primary T cell transduction is dependent upon optimised ultracentrifuge speed during viral concentration. Moreover, we demonstrate that transduction efficiency can be increased with simple modifications to the culturing conditions. Overall, a transduction efficiency of up to 89% in primary human CD45RA+ cells is achievable when these modifications are used in conjunction.
The optimised protocol described here is easy to implement and should facilitate the production of high-titre lentivirus with superior transduction efficiency in primary human T cells without the need for further purification methods.
Titre; Primary lymphocytes; CD45RA+; Ultracentrifugation
Cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) have roles in relaying external signals and modifying gene expression within cells in all phyla. Currently there are no reporter systems suitable for bacteria and plant cells that measure alterations in downstream gene expression following changes in intracellular levels of cyclic nucleotides. As the plant protein OLIGOPEPTIDE TRANSPORTER X (OPTX) is upregulated by cGMP, we fused the OPTX promoter to a luciferase reporter gene (OPTX:LUC) to develop a plant cell reporter of cGMP-induced gene expression. We prepared a second construct augmented with three mammalian cGMP response elements (OPTXcGMPRE:LUC) and a third construct containing five gibberellic acid response elements (OPTXGARE:LUC). All three constructs were tested in bacteria and isolated plant protoplasts.
Membrane permeable cGMP enhanced luciferase activity of OPTX:LUC and OPTXGARE:LUC in protoplasts. Treatment with the plant hormone gibberellic acid which acts via cGMP also generated downstream luciferase activity. However, membrane permeable cAMP induced similar responses to cGMP in protoplasts. Significantly increased luciferase activity occurred in bacteria transformed with either OPTXcGMPRE:LUC or OPTXGARE:LUC in response to membrane permeable cAMP and cGMP. Bacteria co-transformed with OPTXcGMPRE:LUC or OPTXGARE:LUC and the soluble cytoplasmic domain of phytosulfokine receptor1 (PSKR1; a novel guanylate cyclase) had enhanced luciferase activity following induction of PSKR1 expression.
We have developed promoter reporter systems based on the plant OPTX promoter that can be employed in bacteria and isolated plant cells. We have shown that it can be used in bacteria to screen recombinant proteins for guanylate cyclase activity as increases in intracellular cGMP levels result in altered gene transcription and luciferase activity.
Cyclic GMP; Cyclic AMP; Luciferase reporter; OPTX promoter
Clostridial co-culture containing cellulolytic and solventogenic species is a potential consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) approach for producing biochemicals and biofuels from cellulosic biomass. It has been demonstrated that the rate of cellulose utilization in the co-culture of Clostridium acetobutylicum and Clostridium cellulolyticum is improved compared to the mono-culture of C. cellulolyticum (BL 5:119-124, 1983). However, the metabolic interactions in this co-culture are not well understood. To investigate the metabolic interactions in this co-culture we dynamically characterized the physiology and microbial composition using qPCR.
The qPCR data suggested a higher growth rate of C. cellulolyticum in the co-culture compared to its mono-culture. Our results also showed that in contrast to the mono-culture of C. cellulolyticum, which did not show any cellulolytic activity under conditions similar to those of co-culture, the co-culture did show cellulolytic activity even superior to the C. cellulolyticum mono-culture at its optimal pH of 7.2. Moreover, experiments indicated that the co-culture cellulolytic activity depends on the concentration of C. acetobutylicum in the co-culture, as no cellulolytic activity was observed at low concentration of C. acetobutylicum, and thus confirming the essential role of C. acetobutylicum in improving C. cellulolyticum growth in the co-culture. Furthermore, butanol concentration of 350 mg/L was detected in the co-culture batch experiments.
These results suggest the presence of synergism between these two species, while C. acetobutylicum metabolic activity significantly improves the cellulolytic activity in the co-culture, and allows C. cellulolyticum to survive under harsh co-culture conditions, which do not allow C. cellulolyticum to grow and metabolize cellulose independently. It is likely that C. acetobutylicum improves the cellulolytic activity of C. cellulolyticum in the co-culture through exchange of metabolites such as pyruvate, enabling it to grow and metabolize cellulose under harsh co-culture conditions.
Consolidated bioprocessing; Clostridial co-culture; qPCR analysis; Clostridium acetobutylicum; Clostridium cellulolyticum
There is an imperative necessity for alternative sources of energy able to reduce the world dependence of fossil oil. One of the most successful options is ethanol obtained mainly from sugarcane and corn fermentation. The foremost residue from sugarcane industry is the bagasse, a rich lignocellulosic raw material uses for the production of ethanol second generation (2G). New cellulolytic and hemicellulytic enzymes are needed, in order to optimize the degradation of bagasse and production of ethanol 2G.
The ability to produce hemicellulases and related enzymes, suitable for lignocellulosic biomass deconstruction, was explored using 110 endophytic fungi and 9 fungi isolated from spoiled books in Brazil. Two initial selections were performed, one employing the esculin gel diffusion assay, and the other by culturing on agar plate media with beechwood xylan and liquor from the hydrothermal pretreatment of sugar cane bagasse. A total of 56 isolates were then grown at 29°C on steam-exploded delignified sugar cane bagasse (DEB) plus soybean bran (SB) (3:1), with measurement of the xylanase, pectinase, β-glucosidase, CMCase, and FPase activities. Twelve strains were selected, and their enzyme extracts were assessed using different substrates. Finally, the best six strains were grown under xylan and pectin, and several glycohydrolases activities were also assessed. These strains were identified morphologically and by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and the partial β-tubulin gene (BT2). The best six strains were identified as Aspergillus niger DR02, Trichoderma atroviride DR17 and DR19, Alternaria sp. DR45, Annulohypoxylon stigyum DR47 and Talaromyces wortmannii DR49. These strains produced glycohydrolases with different profiles, and production was highly influenced by the carbon sources in the media.
The selected endophytic fungi Aspergillus niger DR02, Trichoderma atroviride DR17 and DR19, Alternaria sp. DR45, Annulohypoxylon stigyum DR47 and Talaromyces wortmannii DR49 are excellent producers of hydrolytic enzymes to be used as part of blends to decompose sugarcane biomass at industrial level.
Endophytic fungi; Xylanase; Hemicellulases; Accessory enzymes
Genome scale metabolic reconstructions are developed to efficiently engineer biocatalysts and bioprocesses based on a rational approach. However, in most reconstructions, due to the lack of appropriate measurements, experimentally determined growth parameters are simply taken from literature including other organisms, which reduces the usefulness and suitability of these models. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is an outstanding biocatalyst given its versatile metabolism, its ability to generate sufficient energy and turnover of NADH and NAD. To apply this strain optimally in industrial production, a previously developed genome-scale metabolic model (iJP815) was experimentally assessed and streamlined to enable accurate predictions of the outcome of metabolic engineering approaches.
To substantially improve the accuracy of the genome scale model (iJP815), continuous bioreactor cultures on a mineral medium with glucose as a sole carbon source were carried out at different dilution rates, which covered pulling analysis of the macromolecular composition of the biomass. Besides, the maximum biomass yield (on substrate) of 0.397 gDCW · gglc-1, the maintenance coefficient of 0.037 gglc · gDCW-1 · h-1 and the maximum specific growth rate of 0.59 h-1 were determined. Only the DNA fraction increased with the specific growth rate. This resulted in reliable estimation for the Growth-Associated Maintenance (GAM) of 85 mmolATP · gDCW-1 and the Non Growth-Associated Maintenance (NGAM) of 3.96 mmolATP · gDCW-1 · h-1. Both values were found significantly different from previous assignment as a consequence of a lower yield and higher maintenance coefficient than originally assumed. Contrasting already published 13C flux measurements and the improved model allowed for constraining the solution space, by eliminating futile cycles. Furthermore, the model predictions were compared with transcriptomic data at overall good consistency, which helped to identify missing links.
By careful interpretation of growth stoichiometry and kinetics when grown in the presence of glucose, this work reports on an accurate genome scale metabolic model of Pseudomonas putida, providing a solid basis for its use in designing superior strains for biocatalysis. By consideration of substrate specific variation in stoichiometry and kinetics, it can be extended to other substrates and new mutants.
Continuous cultivation; P. putida KT2440; Glucose; Metabolic modeling; Biomass composition; Transcriptomics
Various DNA manipulation methods have been developed to prepare mutant genes for protein engineering. However, development of more efficient and convenient method is still demanded. Homologous DNA assembly methods, which do not depend on restriction enzymes, have been used as convenient tools for cloning and have been applied to site-directed mutagenesis recently. This study describes an optimized homologous DNA assembly method, termed as multiple patch cloning (MUPAC), for multiple site-directed and saturation mutagenesis.
To demonstrate MUPAC, we introduced five back mutations to a mutant green fluorescent protein (GFPuv) with five deleterious mutations at specific sites and transformed Escherichia coli (E. coli) with the plasmids obtained. We observed that the over 90% of resulting colonies possessed the plasmids containing the reverted GFPuv gene and exhibited fluorescence. We extended the test to introduce up to nine mutations in Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus reverse transcriptase (M-MLV RT) by assembling 11 DNA fragments using MUPAC. Analysis of the cloned plasmid by electrophoresis and DNA sequencing revealed that approximately 30% of colonies had the objective mutant M-MLV RT gene. Furthermore, we also utilized this method to prepare a library of mutant GFPuv genes containing saturation mutations at five specific sites, and we found that MUPAC successfully introduced NNK codons at all five sites, whereas other site remained intact.
MUPAC could efficiently introduce various mutations at multiple specific sites within a gene. Furthermore, it could facilitate the preparation of experimental gene materials important to molecular and synthetic biology research.
Antibiotic/ herbicide resistant marker genes have been proven to be very useful in plant transformation for the initial selection of desired transgenic events. However, presence of these genes in the genetically modified crops may render the crop less acceptable to the consumers. Among several different approaches, the effectiveness of Cre/lox mediated recombination strategy for selectable marker gene (SMG) elimination has previously been demonstrated by different groups in several plants including Brassica. In the present study exploiting Cre/lox mediated recombination strategy, attempt has been made for selectable marker gene elimination from Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (ASAL) expressing Brassica plants with hemipteran insect resistant phenotype.
Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (ASAL) linked with lox flanked hygromycin resistant (hpt) gene was introduced in mustard. Cre recombinase gene cassette was also integrated in separate event. A Cre/lox mediated recombination using crossing strategy was adopted to remove the hpt gene from the subsequent generation of selected hybrid events. Reciprocal crosses were made between T1ASAL-lox-hpt-lox and cre-bar plants. Marker gene elimination was confirmed in the resulting F1 hybrid progenies by PCR analysis, using hpt, cre and ASAL specific primers followed by Southern hybridization. In marker free plants, expression of ASAL was also confirmed by western blotting and ELISA analysis. Retention of functionality of expressed ASAL was investigated by agglutination assay using rabbit erythrocytes. Expressed ASAL was also found to be thermo-sensitive. In planta insect bioassay on F1 hybrid progenies exhibited detrimental effect on the performance of devastating target pest, Lipaphis erysimi. The F1 hybrid hpt negative, ASAL positive plants were allowed to self- fertilize to obtain F2 progeny plants. In some of these plants cre gene was found to be segregated out of the ASAL gene by genetic segregation yielding completely marker free plants.
The present study establishes the efficient expression of the newly introduced insect resistant ASAL gene even after Cre/lox mediated recombination resulting in elimination of selectable marker gene.
Agglutination; Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (ASAL); Cre/lox recombination; Lipaphis erysimi; Selectable marker gene (SMG)
Normal development and the response to injury both require cell growth, migration and morphological remodeling, guided by a complex local landscape of permissive and inhibitory cues. A standard approach for studying by such cues is to culture cells on uniform substrates containing known concentrations of these molecules, however this method fails to represent the molecular complexity of the natural growth environment.
To mimic the local complexity of environmental conditions in vitro, we used a contact micropatterning technique to examine cell growth and differentiation on patterned substrates printed with the commonly studied growth permissive and inhibitory substrates, poly-L-lysine (PLL) and myelin, respectively. We show that micropatterning of PLL can be used to direct adherence and axonal outgrowth of hippocampal and cortical neurons as well as other cells with diverse morphologies like Oli-neu oligodendrocyte progenitor cell lines and fibroblast-like COS7 cells in culture. Surprisingly, COS7 cells exhibited a preference for low concentration (1 pg/mL) PLL zones over adjacent zones printed with high concentrations (1 mg/mL). We demonstrate that micropatterning is also useful for studying factors that inhibit growth as it can direct cells to grow along straight lines that are easy to quantify. Furthermore, we provide the first demonstration of microcontact printing of myelin-associated proteins and show that they impair process outgrowth from Oli-neu oligodendrocyte precursor cells.
We conclude that microcontact printing is an efficient and reproducible method for patterning proteins and brain-derived myelin on glass surfaces in order to study the effects of the microenvironment on cell growth and morphogenesis.
Microcontact printing; Polylysine; Myelin; Adhesion; Oli-neu; COS7; Primary culture
The isothermal amplification of RNA in vitro has been used for the study of in vitro evolution of RNA. Although Qβ replicase has been traditionally used as an enzyme for this purpose, we planned to use norovirus replicase (NV3Dpol) due to its structural simplicity in the scope of in vitro autonomous evolution of the protein. Characteristics of the enzyme NV3Dpolin vitro were re-evaluated in this context.
NV3Dpol, synthesized by using a cell-free translation system, represented the activities which were reported in the previous several studies and the reports were not fully consistent each other. The efficiency of the initiation of replication was dependent on the 3’-terminal structure of single-stranded RNA template, and especially, NV3Dpol preferred a self-priming small stem-loop. In the non-self-priming and primer-independent replication reaction, the presence of -CCC residues at the 3’-terminus increased the initiation efficiency and we demonstrated the one-pot isothermal RNA (even dsRNA) amplification by 16-fold. NV3Dpol also showed a weak activity of elongation-reaction from a long primer. Based on these results, we present a scheme of the primer-independent isothermal amplification of RNA with NV3Dpolin vitro.
NV3Dpol can be used as an RNA replicase in in vitro RNA + protein evolution with the RNA of special terminal sequences.
RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; RNA replication; Isothermal RNA amplification; in vitro evolution
Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous is a basidiomycetous yeast that is relevant to biotechnology, as it can synthesize the carotenoid astaxanthin. However, the astaxanthin levels produced by wild-type strains are low. Although different approaches for promoting increased astaxanthin production have been attempted, no commercially competitive results have been obtained thus far. A promising alternative to facilitate the production of carotenoids in this yeast involves the use of genetic modification. However, a major limitation is the few available molecular tools to manipulate X. dendrorhous.
In this work, the DNA assembler methodology that was previously described in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was successfully applied to assemble DNA fragments in vivo and integrate these fragments into the genome of X. dendrorhous by homologous recombination in only one transformation event. Using this method, the gene encoding astaxanthin synthase (crtS) was overexpressed in X. dendrorhous and a higher level of astaxanthin was produced.
This methodology could be used to easily and rapidly overexpress individual genes or combinations of genes simultaneously in X. dendrorhous, eliminating numerous steps involved in conventional cloning methods.
Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous; Astaxanthin synthase; DNA assembler
Mannan is one of the primary polysaccharides in hemicellulose and is widely distributed in plants. β-Mannosidase is an important constituent of the mannan-degrading enzyme system and it plays an important role in many industrial applications, such as food, feed and pulp/paper industries as well as the production of second generation bio-fuel. Therefore, the mannose-tolerant β-mannosidase with high catalytic efficiency for bioconversion of mannan has a great potential in the fields as above.
A β-mannosidase gene (Tth man5) of 1,827 bp was cloned from the extremely thermophilic bacterium Thermotoga thermarum DSM 5069 that encodes a protein containing 608 amino acid residues, and was over-expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3). The results of phylogenetic analysis, amino acid alignment and biochemical properties indicate that the Tth Man5 is a novel β-mannosidase of glycoside hydrolase family 5. The optimal activity of the Tth Man5 β-mannosidase was obtained at pH 5.5 and 85°C and was stable over a pH range of 5.0 to 8.5 and exhibited 2 h half-life at 90°C. The kinetic parameters Km and Vmax values for p-nitrophenyl-β-D-mannopyranoside and 1,4-β-D-mannan were 4.36±0.5 mM and 227.27±1.59 μmol min-1 mg-1, 58.34±1.75 mg mL-1 and 285.71±10.86 μmol min-1 mg-1, respectively. The kcat/Km values for p-nitrophenyl-β-D-mannopyranoside and 1,4-β-D-mannan were 441.35±0.04 mM-1 s-1 and 41.47±1.58 s-1 mg-1 mL, respectively. It displayed high tolerance to mannose, with a Ki value of approximately 900 mM.
This work provides a novel and useful β-mannosidase with high mannose tolerance, thermostability and catalytic efficiency, and these characteristics constitute a powerful tool for improving the enzymatic conversion of mannan through synergetic action with other mannan-degrading enzymes.
Thermotoga thermarum; β-mannosidase; Mannose-tolerant; Mannan; Thermostability; Mannooligosaccharides
Interleukin-10 homologues encoded by Herpes viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) hold interesting structural and biological characteristics compared to human interleukin-10 (hIL-10) that render these proteins promising candidates for therapeutic application in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Intestinal delivery of cytokines using bacterial carriers as chassis represents a novel approach for treatment of IBD patients. For proof of concept, a Sec-dependent transporter construct was designed for secretory expression of recombinant viral IL-10 proteins in the periplasm of Escherichia coli laboratory strain BL21 (DE3), which might serve as part of a prospective lysis based delivery and containment system.
The signal peptide of E. coli outer membrane protein F fused to the mature form of the viral IL-10 proteins enabled successful transport into the periplasm, a compartment which seems crucial for proper assembly of the dimeric configuration of the cytokines. Cytokine concentrations in different bacterial compartments were determined by ELISA and achieved yields of 67.8 ng/ml ± 24.9 ng/ml for HCMV IL-10 and 1.5 μg/ml ± 841.4 ng/ml for EBV IL-10 in the periplasm. Immunoblot analysis was used to confirm the correct size of the E. coli-derived recombinant cytokines. Phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) as part of the signal transduction cascade after IL-10 receptor interaction, as well as suppression of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) release of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated mouse macrophages were used as read-out assays for proving in vitro biological activity of the E. coli derived, recombinant viral IL-10 counterparts.
In this study, proof of principle is provided that E. coli cells are a suitable chassis for secretory expression of viral IL-10 cytokines encoded by codon-optimized synthetic genes fused to the E. coli ompF signal sequence. In vitro biological activity evidenced by activation of transcription factor STAT3 and suppression of TNF-α in mammalian cell lines was shown to be strictly dependent on export of viral IL-10 proteins into the periplasmic compartment. E. coli might serve as carrier system for in situ delivery of therapeutic molecules in the gut, thus representing a further step in the development of novel approaches for treatment of IBD.
Escherichia coli; Interleukin-10; Outer membrane protein F; Inflammatory bowel disease; Bacterial transport system
DNA fragments carrying internal recognition sites for the restriction endonucleases intended for cloning into a target plasmid pose a challenge for conventional cloning.
A method for directional insertion of DNA fragments into plasmid vectors has been developed. The target sequence is amplified from a template DNA sample by PCR using two oligonucleotides each containing a single deoxyinosine base at the third position from the 5′ end. Treatment of such PCR products with endonuclease V generates 3′ protruding ends suitable for ligation with vector fragments created by conventional restriction endonuclease reactions.
The developed approach generates terminal cohesive ends without the use of Type II restriction endonucleases, and is thus independent from the DNA sequence. Due to PCR amplification, minimal amounts of template DNA are required. Using the robust Taq enzyme or a proofreading Pfu DNA polymerase mutant, the method is applicable to a broad range of insert sequences. Appropriate primer design enables direct incorporation of terminal DNA sequence modifications such as tag addition, insertions, deletions and mutations into the cloning strategy. Further, the restriction sites of the target plasmid can be either retained or removed.
Cohesive ends; DNA cleavage; Genetic vectors; Modified primers; Molecular methods; Polymerase chain reaction; Recombinant Escherichia coli; Restriction enzymes
Gene transcripts specifically expressed in a particular cell type (cell-type specific gene markers) are useful for its detection and isolation from a tissue or other cell mixtures. However, finding informative marker genes can be problematic when working with a poorly characterized cell type, as markers can only be unequivocally determined once the cell type has been isolated. We propose a method that could identify marker genes of an uncharacterized cell type within a mixed cell population, provided that the proportion of the cell type of interest in the mixture can be estimated by some indirect method, such as a functional assay.
We show that cell-type specific gene markers can be identified from the global gene expression of several cell mixtures that contain the cell type of interest in a known proportion by their high correlation to the concentration of the corresponding cell type across the mixtures.
Genes detected using this high-throughput strategy would be candidate markers that may be useful in detecting or purifying a cell type from a particular biological context. We present an experimental proof-of-concept of this method using cell mixtures of various well-characterized hematopoietic cell types, and we evaluate the performance of the method in a benchmark that explores the requirements and range of validity of the approach.
Cell markers; High-throughput gene expression; Cell isolation; Proof-of concept
Consistent progress in the development of bacteriophage lambda display platform as an alternative to filamentous phage display system was achieved in the recent years. The lambda phage has been engineered to display efficiently multiple copies of peptides or even large protein domains providing a powerful tool for screening libraries of peptides, proteins and cDNA.
In the present work we describe an original method for dual display of large proteins on the surface of lambda particles. An anti-CEA single-chain antibody fragment and green fluorescent protein or alkaline phosphatase were simultaneously displayed by engineering both gpD and gpV lambda proteins.
Here we show that such modified phage particles can be used for the detection of target molecules in vitro and in vivo. Dual expression of functional moieties on the surface of the lambda phage might open the way to generation of a new class of diagnostic and therapeutic targeted nanoparticles.
Lambda display; Nanoparticles; Tumor targeting; CEA
Phytic acid and phytates can interact with biomolecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates, and are anti-nutritional factors found in food and feed. Therefore, it is necessary to remove these compounds in food and feed processing. Phytase can hydrolyze phytic acid and phytates to release a series of lower phosphate esters of myoinositol and orthophosphate. Thus, the purification and characterization of novel phytases that can be used in food and feed processing is of particular interest to the food and feed industries.
A novel neutral and heat-tolerant phytase from a newly isolated strain Bacillus nealsonii ZJ0702 was purified to homogeneity with a yield of 5.7% and a purification fold of 44. The molecular weight of the purified phytase obtained by SDS-PAGE was 43 kDa. The homology analysis based on N-terminal amino acid and DNA sequencing indicated that the purified phytase was different from other known phytases. The optimal thermal and pH activity of the phytase was observed at 55°C and 7.5, respectively. Seventy-three percent of the original activity of the phytase was maintained following incubation at 90°C for 10 min. The phytase was stable within a pH range of 6.0 − 8.0 and showed high substrate specificity for sodium phytate. Cu2+, Co2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, Ba2+ and Ni2+ ions were found to inhibit the activity of the phytase.
A novel phytase purified from B. nealsonii ZJ0702 was identified. The phytase was found to be thermally stable over a wide temperature range at neutral pH. These properties suggest that this phytase is a suitable alternative to fungal phytases for the hydrolysis of phytic acid and phytates in food and feed processing industries.
Phytase; Purification and characterization; Heat-tolerant; Homology analysis; Bacillus nealsonii
The development of early and personalized diagnostic protocols is considered the most promising avenue to decrease mortality from cancer and improve outcome. The emerging microfluidic-based analyzing platforms hold high promises to fulfill high-throughput and high-precision screening with reduced equipment cost and low analysis time, as compared to traditional bulky counterparts in bench-top laboratories. This article overviewed the potential applications of microfluidic technologies for detection and monitoring of cancer through nucleic acid and protein biomarker analysis. The implications of the technologies in cancer cytology that can provide functional personalized diagnosis were highlighted. Finally, the future niches for using microfluidic-based systems in tumor screening were briefly discussed.
Microfluidics; Diagnosis; Oncology; Gene; Cancer biomarker
Tumor angiogenesis is critical for tumor growth, infiltration and metastasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic factor and targeting it is important in reducing angiogenesis. Bevacizumab (Avastin), a monoclonal antibody that reacts directly against VEGF, has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for various cancers such as rectal cancer, colon carcinoma, and non-small cell lung cancer, etc.
In the current study, we used the phage display technique to generate mimotopes that complemented the screening Avastin antibody (Ab). The candidate mimotopes of VEGF were isolated from a 12-mer peptide library. The phage displaying peptide DHTLYTPYHTHP (designated as 12P) exhibited high affinity to Avastin. The chemically synthesized 12P was conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) by glutaraldehyde (GA) to form vaccine KLH-12 peptide (KLH-12P). This epitope vaccine significantly induced humoral immunity in mice. The blood serum from KLH-12P-immunized mice associated with VEGF and blocked its binding to VEGFR, thus inhibiting vascular endothelial cell proliferation and migration.
Our data indicate that the isolated mimotope 12P reported here could potentially elicit specific antibodies against VEGF and result in the induction of anti-angiogenesis responses.
Avastin; VEGF; Cancer immunotherapy; Mimotope; Phage display library
Up to now, the different uptake pathways and the subsequent intracellular trafficking of plasmid DNA have been largely explored. By contrast, the mode of internalization and the intracellular routing of an exogenous mRNA in transfected cells are poorly investigated and remain to be elucidated. The bioavailability of internalized mRNA depends on its intracellular routing and its potential accumulation in dynamic sorting sites for storage: stress granules and processing bodies. This question is of particular significance when a secure transposon-based system able to integrate a therapeutic transgene into the genome is used. Transposon vectors usually require two components: a plasmid DNA, carrying the gene of interest, and a source of transposase allowing the integration of the transgene. The principal drawback is the lasting presence of the transposase, which could remobilize the transgene once it has been inserted. Our study focused on the pharmacokinetics of the transposition process mediated by the piggyBac transposase mRNA transfection. Exogenous mRNA internalization and trafficking were investigated towards a better apprehension and fine control of the piggyBac transposase bioavailability.
The mRNA prototype designed in this study provides a very narrow expression window of transposase, which allows high efficiency transposition with no cytotoxicity. Our data reveal that exogenous transposase mRNA enters cells by clathrin and caveolae-mediated endocytosis, before finishing in late endosomes 3 h after transfection. At this point, the mRNA is dissociated from its carrier and localized in stress granules, but not in cytoplasmic processing bodies. Some weaker signals have been observed in stress granules at 18 h and 48 h without causing prolonged production of the transposase. So, we designed an mRNA that is efficiently translated with a peak of transposase production 18 h post-transfection without additional release of the molecule. This confines the integration of the transgene in a very small time window.
Our results shed light on processes of exogenous mRNA trafficking, which are crucial to estimate the mRNA bioavailability, and increase the biosafety of transgene integration mediated by transposition. This approach provides a new way for limiting the transgene copy in the genome and their remobilization by mRNA engineering and trafficking.
mRNA trafficking; Gene delivery; PiggyBac; Transposition; Bioavailability
The glutamine synthetase-based protein expression system is widely used in industry and academia for producing recombinant proteins but relies on the cloning of transfected cells, necessitating substantial investments in time and handling. We streamlined the production of protein-producing cultures of Chinese hamster ovary cells using this system by co-expressing green fluorescent protein from an internal ribosomal entry site and selecting for high green fluorescent protein-expressing cells using fluorescence-activated cell sorting.
Whereas other expression systems utilizing green fluorescent protein and fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based selection have relied on two or more sorting steps, we obtained stable expression of a test protein at levels >50% of that of an “average” clone and ~40% that of the “best” clone following a single sorting step. Versus clone-based selection, the principal savings are in the number of handling steps (reduced by a third), handling time (reduced by 70%), and the time needed to produce protein-expressing cultures (reduced by ~3 weeks). Coupling the glutamine synthetase-based expression system with product-independent selection in this way also facilitated the production of a hard-to-assay protein.
Utilizing just a single fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based selection step, the new streamlined implementation of the glutamine synthetase-based protein expression system offers protein yields sufficient for most research purposes, where <10 mg/L of protein expression is often required but relatively large numbers of constructs frequently need to be trialed.
Protein expression; Glutamine synthetase; Chinese hamster ovary cells; IRES; HEK 293S
Anthrax is a zoonotic disease recognized to affect herbivores since Biblical times and has the widest range of susceptible host species of any known pathogen. The ease with which the bacterium can be weaponized and its recent deliberate use as an agent of terror, have highlighted the importance of gaining a deeper understanding and effective countermeasures for this important pathogen. High quality sequence data has opened the possibility of systematic dissection of how genes distributed on both the bacterial chromosome and associated plasmids have made it such a successful pathogen. However, low transformation efficiency and relatively few genetic tools for chromosomal manipulation have hampered full interrogation of its genome.
Group II introns have been developed into an efficient tool for site-specific gene inactivation in several organisms. We have adapted group II intron targeting technology for application in Bacillus anthracis and generated vectors that permit gene inactivation through group II intron insertion. The vectors developed permit screening for the desired insertion through PCR or direct selection of intron insertions using a selection scheme that activates a kanamycin resistance marker upon successful intron insertion.
The design and vector construction described here provides a useful tool for high throughput experimental interrogation of the Bacillus anthracis genome and will benefit efforts to develop improved vaccines and therapeutics.
As a strong fermentator, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has the potential to be an excellent host for ethanol production by consolidated bioprocessing. For this purpose, it is necessary to transform cellulose genes into the yeast genome because it contains no cellulose genes. However, heterologous protein expression in S. cerevisiae often suffers from hyper-glycosylation and/or poor secretion. Thus, there is a need to genetically engineer the yeast to reduce its glycosylation strength and to increase its secretion ability.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene-knockout strains were screened for improved extracellular activity of a recombinant exocellulase (PCX) from the cellulose digesting fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Knockout mutants of 47 glycosylation-related genes and 10 protein-trafficking-related genes were transformed with a PCX expression construct and screened for extracellular cellulase activity. Twelve of the screened mutants were found to have a more than 2-fold increase in extracellular PCX activity in comparison with the wild type. The extracellular PCX activities in the glycosylation-related mnn10 and pmt5 null mutants were, respectively, 6 and 4 times higher than that of the wild type; and the extracellular PCX activities in 9 protein-trafficking-related mutants, especially in the chc1, clc1 and vps21 null mutants, were at least 1.5 times higher than the parental strains. Site-directed mutagenesis studies further revealed that the degree of N-glycosylation also plays an important role in heterologous cellulase activity in S. cerevisiae.
Systematic screening of knockout mutants of glycosylation- and protein trafficking-associated genes in S. cerevisiae revealed that: (1) blocking Golgi-to-endosome transport may force S. cerevisiae to export cellulases; and (2) both over- and under-glycosylation may alter the enzyme activity of cellulases. This systematic gene-knockout screening approach may serve as a convenient means for increasing the extracellular activities of recombinant proteins expressed in S. cerevisiae.
Cellulase production; Glycosylation; Protein secretion
Escherichia coli is most widely used prokaryotic expression system for the production of recombinant proteins. Several strategies have been employed for expressing recombinant proteins in E.coli. This includes the development of novel host systems, expression vectors and cost effective media. In this study, we exploit tender coconut water (TCW) as a natural and cheaper growth medium for E.coli and Pichia pastoris.
E.coli and P.pastoris were cultivated in TCW and the growth rate was monitored by measuring optical density at 600 nm (OD600nm), where 1.55 for E.coli and 8.7 for P.pastoris was obtained after 12 and 60 hours, respectively. However, variation in growth rate was observed among TCW when collected from different localities (0.15-2.5 at OD600nm), which is attributed to the varying chemical profile among samples. In this regard, we attempted the supplementation of TCW with different carbon and nitrogen sources to attain consistency in growth rate. Here, supplementation of TCW with 25 mM ammonium sulphate (TCW-S) was noted efficient for the normalization of inconsistency, which further increased the biomass of E.coli by 2 to 10 folds, and 1.5 to 2 fold in P.pastoris. These results indicate that nitrogen source is the major limiting factor for growth. This was supported by total nitrogen and carbon estimation where, nitrogen varies from 20 to 60 mg/100 ml while carbohydrates showed no considerable variation (2.32 to 3.96 g/100 ml). In this study, we also employed TCW as an expression media for recombinant proteins by demonstrating successful expression of maltose binding protein (MBP), MBP-TEV protease fusion and a photo switchable fluorescent protein (mEos2) using TCW and the expression level was found to be equivalent to Luria Broth (LB).
This study highlights the possible application of TCW-S as a media for cultivation of a variety of microorganisms and recombinant protein expression.
Coconut water; Growth media; E.coli; Pichia pastoris; Protein expression; Natural media