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author:("Shi, wenchuan")
1.  Analyses of mrp Genes during Myxococcus xanthus Development 
Journal of Bacteriology  2001;183(23):6733-6739.
Myxococcus xanthus is a gram-negative soil bacterium that undergoes development under starvation conditions. Our previous study identified a new genetic locus, mrp, which is required for both fruiting body formation and sporulation. The locus encodes two transcripts: mrpAB, which consists of a histidine kinase and an NtrC-like response regulator, and mrpC, a cyclic AMP receptor protein family transcription activator. In this study, we used genetic and biochemical analyses to investigate the possible interactions between the mrp genes and other known developmental genes and events. These studies show that the mrp genes possibly function after A-signaling and (p)ppGpp but before C-signaling and that they regulate various early and late developmental genes and events.
PMCID: PMC95511  PMID: 11698359
2.  Motility and Chemotaxis in Tissue Penetration of Oral Epithelial Cell Layers by Treponema denticola 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(10):6276-6283.
The ability to penetrate tissue is an important virulence factor for pathogenic spirochetes. Previous studies have recognized the role of motility in allowing pathogenic spirochetes to invade tissues and migrate to sites favorable for bacterial proliferation. However, the nature of the movements, whether they are random or controlled by chemotaxis systems, has yet to be established. In this study, we addressed the role of motility and chemotaxis in tissue penetration by the periodontal disease-associated oral spirochete Treponema denticola using an oral epithelial cell line-based experimental approach. Wild-type T. denticola ATCC 35405 was found to penetrate the tissue layers effectively, whereas a nonmotile mutant was unable to overcome the tissue barrier. Interestingly, the chemotaxis mutants also showed impaired tissue penetration. A cheA mutant that is motile but lacks the central kinase of the chemotaxis pathway showed only about 2 to 3% of the wild-type penetration rate. The two known chemoreceptors of T. denticola, DmcA and DmcB, also appear to be involved in the invasion process. The dmc mutants were actively motile but exhibited reduced tissue penetration of about 30 and 10% of the wild-type behavior, respectively. These data suggest that not only motility but also chemotaxis is involved in the tissue penetration by T. denticola.
PMCID: PMC98762  PMID: 11553571
3.  Cariogenic Actinomyces Identified with a β-Glucosidase-Dependent Green Color Reaction to Gardenia jasminoides Extract 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(8):3009-3012.
The oral bacteria Actinomyces naeslundii and Actinomyces viscosus are known to contribute to the initiation and progression of human dental caries, especially root caries. We report that both A. naeslundii and A. viscosus react with a component in the Gardenia jasminoides extract to produce a distinct green product. This green color reaction was found to be dependent on the bacterial β-glucosidase. The reaction is specific for cariogenic actinomyces, and it can detect as few as 104 cells of A. naeslundii and A. viscosus per ml.
PMCID: PMC88283  PMID: 11474036
4.  Genetic Studies of mrp, a Locus Essential for Cellular Aggregation and Sporulation of Myxococcus xanthus 
Journal of Bacteriology  2001;183(16):4786-4795.
Under starvation conditions, Myxococcus xanthus undergoes a complex developmental process which includes cellular aggregation and sporulation. A transposon insertion mutant (the Tn5-Ω280 mutant) with defects in both aggregation and sporulation was analyzed in this study. The Tn5-Ω280 mutant was found to have a disrupted NtrC-like response regulator designated Myxococcus regulatory protein B (mrpB). Further sequencing analyses revealed a histidine kinase homolog (mrpA) immediately upstream of mrpB and a cyclic AMP receptor protein-like transcriptional regulator (mrpC) downstream of mrpB. In-frame deletion analyses revealed that both the mrpB and mrpC genes were required for cellular aggregation and sporulation but that only mrpA was required for sporulation only. Site-specific mutagenesis of the putative phosphorylation site of MrpB, D58, showed that a D58A mutation caused defects in both aggregation and sporulation but that a D58E mutation resulted in only a sporulation defect. Further genetic and molecular analyses with reporter genes and reverse transcription-PCR indicated that mrpA and mrpB are cotranscribed but that mrpC is transcribed independently and that all of these genes are developmentally regulated. In addition, MrpB is essential for transcription of mrpC and MrpC regulates its own transcription. These data indicate that Mrp proteins are important components required for M. xanthus development. The complicated interaction between Mrp proteins may play an important role in regulating developmental gene expression in M. xanthus.
PMCID: PMC99533  PMID: 11466282

Results 1-4 (4)