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1.  Complete genome sequence, lifestyle, and multi-drug resistance of the human pathogen Corynebacterium resistens DSM 45100 isolated from blood samples of a leukemia patient 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:141.
Background
Corynebacterium resistens was initially recovered from human infections and recognized as a new coryneform species that is highly resistant to antimicrobial agents. Bacteremia associated with this organism in immunocompromised patients was rapidly fatal as standard minocycline therapies failed. C. resistens DSM 45100 was isolated from a blood culture of samples taken from a patient with acute myelocytic leukemia. The complete genome sequence of C. resistens DSM 45100 was determined by pyrosequencing to identify genes contributing to multi-drug resistance, virulence, and the lipophilic lifestyle of this newly described human pathogen.
Results
The genome of C. resistens DSM 45100 consists of a circular chromosome of 2,601,311 bp in size and the 28,312-bp plasmid pJA144188. Metabolic analysis showed that the genome of C. resistens DSM 45100 lacks genes for typical sugar uptake systems, anaplerotic functions, and a fatty acid synthase, explaining the strict lipophilic lifestyle of this species. The genome encodes a broad spectrum of enzymes ensuring the availability of exogenous fatty acids for growth, including predicted virulence factors that probably contribute to fatty acid metabolism by damaging host tissue. C. resistens DSM 45100 is able to use external L-histidine as a combined carbon and nitrogen source, presumably as a result of adaptation to the hitherto unknown habitat on the human skin. Plasmid pJA144188 harbors several genes contributing to antibiotic resistance of C. resistens DSM 45100, including a tetracycline resistance region of the Tet W type known from Lactobacillus reuteri and Streptococcus suis. The tet(W) gene of pJA144188 was cloned in Corynebacterium glutamicum and was shown to confer high levels of resistance to tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline in vitro.
Conclusions
The detected gene repertoire of C. resistens DSM 45100 provides insights into the lipophilic lifestyle and virulence functions of this newly recognized pathogen. Plasmid pJA144188 revealed a modular architecture of gene regions that contribute to the multi-drug resistance of C. resistens DSM 45100. The tet(W) gene encoding a ribosomal protection protein is reported here for the first time in corynebacteria. Cloning of the tet(W) gene mediated resistance to second generation tetracyclines in C. glutamicum, indicating that it might be responsible for the failure of minocycline therapies in patients with C. resistens bacteremia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-141
PMCID: PMC3350403  PMID: 22524407
2.  Complete genome sequence of Corynebacterium variabile DSM 44702 isolated from the surface of smear-ripened cheeses and insights into cheese ripening and flavor generation 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:545.
Background
Corynebacterium variabile is part of the complex microflora on the surface of smear-ripened cheeses and contributes to the development of flavor and textural properties during cheese ripening. Still little is known about the metabolic processes and microbial interactions during the production of smear-ripened cheeses. Therefore, the gene repertoire contributing to the lifestyle of the cheese isolate C. variabile DSM 44702 was deduced from the complete genome sequence to get a better understanding of this industrial process.
Results
The chromosome of C. variabile DSM 44702 is composed of 3, 433, 007 bp and contains 3, 071 protein-coding regions. A comparative analysis of this gene repertoire with that of other corynebacteria detected 1, 534 predicted genes to be specific for the cheese isolate. These genes might contribute to distinct metabolic capabilities of C. variabile, as several of them are associated with metabolic functions in cheese habitats by playing roles in the utilization of alternative carbon and sulphur sources, in amino acid metabolism, and fatty acid degradation. Relevant C. variabile genes confer the capability to catabolize gluconate, lactate, propionate, taurine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid and to utilize external caseins. In addition, C. variabile is equipped with several siderophore biosynthesis gene clusters for iron acquisition and an exceptional repertoire of AraC-regulated iron uptake systems. Moreover, C. variabile can produce acetoin, butanediol, and methanethiol, which are important flavor compounds in smear-ripened cheeses.
Conclusions
The genome sequence of C. variabile provides detailed insights into the distinct metabolic features of this bacterium, implying a strong adaption to the iron-depleted cheese surface habitat. By combining in silico data obtained from the genome annotation with previous experimental knowledge, occasional observations on genes that are involved in the complex metabolic capacity of C. variabile were integrated into a global view on the lifestyle of this species.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-545
PMCID: PMC3219685  PMID: 22053731
3.  Comparative analysis of two complete Corynebacterium ulcerans genomes and detection of candidate virulence factors 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:383.
Background
Corynebacterium ulcerans has been detected as a commensal in domestic and wild animals that may serve as reservoirs for zoonotic infections. During the last decade, the frequency and severity of human infections associated with C. ulcerans appear to be increasing in various countries. As the knowledge of genes contributing to the virulence of this bacterium was very limited, the complete genome sequences of two C. ulcerans strains detected in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro were determined and characterized by comparative genomics: C. ulcerans 809 was initially isolated from an elderly woman with fatal pulmonary infection and C. ulcerans BR-AD22 was recovered from a nasal sample of an asymptomatic dog.
Results
The circular chromosome of C. ulcerans 809 has a total size of 2,502,095 bp and encodes 2,182 predicted proteins, whereas the genome of C. ulcerans BR-AD22 is 104,279 bp larger and comprises 2,338 protein-coding regions. The minor difference in size of the two genomes is mainly caused by additional prophage-like elements in the C. ulcerans BR-AD22 chromosome. Both genomes show a highly similar order of orthologous coding regions; and both strains share a common set of 2,076 genes, demonstrating their very close relationship. A screening for prominent virulence factors revealed the presence of phospholipase D (Pld), neuraminidase H (NanH), endoglycosidase E (EndoE), and subunits of adhesive pili of the SpaDEF type that are encoded in both C. ulcerans genomes. The rbp gene coding for a putative ribosome-binding protein with striking structural similarity to Shiga-like toxins was additionally detected in the genome of the human isolate C. ulcerans 809.
Conclusions
The molecular data deduced from the complete genome sequences provides considerable knowledge of virulence factors in C. ulcerans that is increasingly recognized as an emerging pathogen. This bacterium is apparently equipped with a broad and varying set of virulence factors, including a novel type of a ribosome-binding protein. Whether the respective protein contributes to the severity of human infections (and a fatal outcome) remains to be elucidated by genetic experiments with defined bacterial mutants and host model systems.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-383
PMCID: PMC3164646  PMID: 21801446
4.  The complete genome sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis FRC41 isolated from a 12-year-old girl with necrotizing lymphadenitis reveals insights into gene-regulatory networks contributing to virulence 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:728.
Background
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is generally regarded as an important animal pathogen that rarely infects humans. Clinical strains are occasionally recovered from human cases of lymphadenitis, such as C. pseudotuberculosis FRC41 that was isolated from the inguinal lymph node of a 12-year-old girl with necrotizing lymphadenitis. To detect potential virulence factors and corresponding gene-regulatory networks in this human isolate, the genome sequence of C. pseudotuberculosis FCR41 was determined by pyrosequencing and functionally annotated.
Results
Sequencing and assembly of the C. pseudotuberculosis FRC41 genome yielded a circular chromosome with a size of 2,337,913 bp and a mean G+C content of 52.2%. Specific gene sets associated with iron and zinc homeostasis were detected among the 2,110 predicted protein-coding regions and integrated into a gene-regulatory network that is linked with both the central metabolism and the oxidative stress response of FRC41. Two gene clusters encode proteins involved in the sortase-mediated polymerization of adhesive pili that can probably mediate the adherence to host tissue to facilitate additional ligand-receptor interactions and the delivery of virulence factors. The prominent virulence factors phospholipase D (Pld) and corynebacterial protease CP40 are encoded in the genome of this human isolate. The genome annotation revealed additional serine proteases, neuraminidase H, nitric oxide reductase, an invasion-associated protein, and acyl-CoA carboxylase subunits involved in mycolic acid biosynthesis as potential virulence factors. The cAMP-sensing transcription regulator GlxR plays a key role in controlling the expression of several genes contributing to virulence.
Conclusion
The functional data deduced from the genome sequencing and the extended knowledge of virulence factors indicate that the human isolate C. pseudotuberculosis FRC41 is equipped with a distinct gene set promoting its survival under unfavorable environmental conditions encountered in the mammalian host.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-728
PMCID: PMC3022926  PMID: 21192786
5.  Complete genome sequence and lifestyle of black-pigmented Corynebacterium aurimucosum ATCC 700975 (formerly C. nigricans CN-1) isolated from a vaginal swab of a woman with spontaneous abortion 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:91.
Background
Corynebacterium aurimucosum is a slightly yellowish, non-lipophilic, facultative anaerobic member of the genus Corynebacterium and predominantly isolated from human clinical specimens. Unusual black-pigmented variants of C. aurimucosum (originally named as C. nigricans) continue to be recovered from the female urogenital tract and they are associated with complications during pregnancy. C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975 (C. nigricans CN-1) was originally isolated from a vaginal swab of a 34-year-old woman who experienced a spontaneous abortion during month six of pregnancy. For a better understanding of the physiology and lifestyle of this potential urogenital pathogen, the complete genome sequence of C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975 was determined.
Results
Sequencing and assembly of the C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975 genome yielded a circular chromosome of 2,790,189 bp in size and the 29,037-bp plasmid pET44827. Specific gene sets associated with the central metabolism of C. aurimucosum apparently provide enhanced metabolic flexibility and adaptability in aerobic, anaerobic and low-pH environments, including gene clusters for the uptake and degradation of aromatic amines, L-histidine and L-tartrate as well as a gene region for the formation of selenocysteine and its incorporation into formate dehydrogenase. Plasmid pET44827 codes for a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase that plays the pivotal role in the synthesis of the characteristic black pigment of C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975.
Conclusions
The data obtained by the genome project suggest that C. aurimucosum could be both a resident of the human gut and possibly a pathogen in the female genital tract causing complications during pregnancy. Since hitherto all black-pigmented C. aurimucosum strains have been recovered from female genital source, biosynthesis of the pigment is apparently required for colonization by protecting the bacterial cells against the high hydrogen peroxide concentration in the vaginal environment. The location of the corresponding genes on plasmid pET44827 explains why black-pigmented (formerly C. nigricans) and non-pigmented C. aurimucosum strains were isolated from clinical specimens.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-91
PMCID: PMC2830990  PMID: 20137072
6.  The Zur regulon of Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 13032 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:12.
Background
Zinc is considered as an essential element for all living organisms, but it can be toxic at large concentrations. Bacteria therefore tightly regulate zinc metabolism. The Cg2502 protein of Corynebacterium glutamicum was a candidate to control zinc metabolism in this species, since it was classified as metalloregulator of the zinc uptake regulator (Zur) subgroup of the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) family of DNA-binding transcription regulators.
Results
The cg2502 (zur) gene was deleted in the chromosome of C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 by an allelic exchange procedure to generate the zur-deficient mutant C. glutamicum JS2502. Whole-genome DNA microarray hybridizations and real-time RT-PCR assays comparing the gene expression in C. glutamicum JS2502 with that of the wild-type strain detected 18 genes with enhanced expression in the zur mutant. The expression data were combined with results from cross-genome comparisons of shared regulatory sites, revealing the presence of candidate Zur-binding sites in the mapped promoter regions of five transcription units encoding components of potential zinc ABC-type transporters (cg0041-cg0042/cg0043; cg2911-cg2912-cg2913), a putative secreted protein (cg0040), a putative oxidoreductase (cg0795), and a putative P-loop GTPase of the COG0523 protein family (cg0794). Enhanced transcript levels of the respective genes in C. glutamicum JS2502 were verified by real-time RT-PCR, and complementation of the mutant with a wild-type zur gene reversed the effect of differential gene expression. The zinc-dependent expression of the putative cg0042 and cg2911 operons was detected in vivo with a gfp reporter system. Moreover, the zinc-dependent binding of purified Zur protein to double-stranded 40-mer oligonucleotides containing candidate Zur-binding sites was demonstrated in vitro by DNA band shift assays.
Conclusion
Whole-genome expression profiling and DNA band shift assays demonstrated that Zur directly represses in a zinc-dependent manner the expression of nine genes organized in five transcription units. Accordingly, the Zur (Cg2502) protein is the key transcription regulator for genes involved in zinc homeostasis in C. glutamicum.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-12
PMCID: PMC2823685  PMID: 20055984
7.  The alternative sigma factor SigB of Corynebacterium glutamicum modulates global gene expression during transition from exponential growth to stationary phase 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:4.
Background
Corynebacterium glutamicum is a gram-positive soil bacterium widely used for the industrial production of amino acids. There is great interest in the examination of the molecular mechanism of transcription control. One of these control mechanisms are sigma factors. C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 has seven putative sigma factor-encoding genes, including sigA and sigB. The sigA gene encodes the essential primary sigma factor of C. glutamicum and is responsible for promoter recognition of house-keeping genes. The sigB gene codes for the non-essential sigma factor SigB that has a proposed role in stress reponse.
Results
The sigB gene expression was highest at transition between exponential growth and stationary phase, when the amount of sigA mRNA was already decreasing. Genome-wide transcription profiles of the wild-type and the sigB mutant were recorded by comparative DNA microarray hybridizations. The data indicated that the mRNA levels of 111 genes are significantly changed in the sigB-proficient strain during the transition phase, whereas the expression profile of the sigB-deficient strain showed only minor changes (26 genes). The genes that are higher expressed during transition phase only in the sigB-proficient strain mainly belong to the functional categories amino acid metabolism, carbon metabolism, stress defense, membrane processes, and phosphorus metabolism. The transcription start points of six of these genes were determined and the deduced promoter sequences turned out to be indistinguishable from that of the consensus promoter recognized by SigA. Real-time reverse transcription PCR assays revealed that the expression profiles of these genes during growth were similar to that of the sigB gene itself. In the sigB mutant, however, the transcription profiles resembled that of the sigA gene encoding the house-keeping sigma factor.
Conclusion
During transition phase, the sigB gene showed an enhanced expression, while simultaneously the sigA mRNA decreased in abundance. This might cause a replacement of SigA by SigB at the RNA polymerase core enzyme and in turn results in increased expression of genes relevant for the transition and the stationary phase, either to cope with nutrient limitation or with the accompanying oxidative stress. The increased expression of genes encoding anti-oxidative or protection functions also prepares the cell for upcoming limitations and environmental stresses.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-4
PMCID: PMC1779776  PMID: 17204139
8.  Random mutagenesis in Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 13032 using an IS6100-based transposon vector identified the last unknown gene in the histidine biosynthesis pathway 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:205.
Background
Corynebacterium glutamicum, a Gram-positive bacterium of the class Actinobacteria, is an industrially relevant producer of amino acids. Several methods for the targeted genetic manipulation of this organism and rational strain improvement have been developed. An efficient transposon mutagenesis system for the completely sequenced type strain ATCC 13032 would significantly advance functional genome analysis in this bacterium.
Results
A comprehensive transposon mutant library comprising 10,080 independent clones was constructed by electrotransformation of the restriction-deficient derivative of strain ATCC 13032, C. glutamicum RES167, with an IS6100-containing non-replicative plasmid. Transposon mutants had stable cointegrates between the transposon vector and the chromosome. Altogether 172 transposon integration sites have been determined by sequencing of the chromosomal inserts, revealing that each integration occurred at a different locus. Statistical target site analyses revealed an apparent absence of a target site preference. From the library, auxotrophic mutants were obtained with a frequency of 2.9%. By auxanography analyses nearly two thirds of the auxotrophs were further characterized, including mutants with single, double and alternative nutritional requirements. In most cases the nutritional requirement observed could be correlated to the annotation of the mutated gene involved in the biosynthesis of an amino acid, a nucleotide or a vitamin. One notable exception was a clone mutagenized by transposition into the gene cg0910, which exhibited an auxotrophy for histidine. The protein sequence deduced from cg0910 showed high sequence similarities to inositol-1(or 4)-monophosphatases (EC 3.1.3.25). Subsequent genetic deletion of cg0910 delivered the same histidine-auxotrophic phenotype. Genetic complementation of the mutants as well as supplementation by histidinol suggests that cg0910 encodes the hitherto unknown essential L-histidinol-phosphate phosphatase (EC 3.1.3.15) in C. glutamicum. The cg0910 gene, renamed hisN, and its encoded enzyme have putative orthologs in almost all Actinobacteria, including mycobacteria and streptomycetes.
Conclusion
The absence of regional and sequence preferences of IS6100-transposition demonstrate that the established system is suitable for efficient genome-scale random mutagenesis in the sequenced type strain C.glutamicum ATCC 13032. The identification of the hisN gene encoding histidinol-phosphate phosphatase in C. glutamicum closed the last gap in histidine synthesis in the Actinobacteria. The system might be a valuable genetic tool also in other bacteria due to the broad host-spectrum of IS6100.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-205
PMCID: PMC1590026  PMID: 16901339
9.  CoryneRegNet: An ontology-based data warehouse of corynebacterial transcription factors and regulatory networks 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:24.
Background
The application of DNA microarray technology in post-genomic analysis of bacterial genome sequences has allowed the generation of huge amounts of data related to regulatory networks. This data along with literature-derived knowledge on regulation of gene expression has opened the way for genome-wide reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks. These large-scale reconstructions can be converted into in silico models of bacterial cells that allow a systematic analysis of network behavior in response to changing environmental conditions.
Description
CoryneRegNet was designed to facilitate the genome-wide reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks of corynebacteria relevant in biotechnology and human medicine. During the import and integration process of data derived from experimental studies or literature knowledge CoryneRegNet generates links to genome annotations, to identified transcription factors and to the corresponding cis-regulatory elements. CoryneRegNet is based on a multi-layered, hierarchical and modular concept of transcriptional regulation and was implemented by using the relational database management system MySQL and an ontology-based data structure. Reconstructed regulatory networks can be visualized by using the yFiles JAVA graph library. As an application example of CoryneRegNet, we have reconstructed the global transcriptional regulation of a cellular module involved in SOS and stress response of corynebacteria.
Conclusion
CoryneRegNet is an ontology-based data warehouse that allows a pertinent data management of regulatory interactions along with the genome-scale reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks. These models can further be combined with metabolic networks to build integrated models of cellular function including both metabolism and its transcriptional regulation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-24
PMCID: PMC1382212  PMID: 16478536
10.  The DtxR protein acting as dual transcriptional regulator directs a global regulatory network involved in iron metabolism of Corynebacterium glutamicum 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:21.
Background
The knowledge about complete bacterial genome sequences opens the way to reconstruct the qualitative topology and global connectivity of transcriptional regulatory networks. Since iron is essential for a variety of cellular processes but also poses problems in biological systems due to its high toxicity, bacteria have evolved complex transcriptional regulatory networks to achieve an effective iron homeostasis. Here, we apply a combination of transcriptomics, bioinformatics, in vitro assays, and comparative genomics to decipher the regulatory network of the iron-dependent transcriptional regulator DtxR of Corynebacterium glutamicum.
Results
A deletion of the dtxR gene of C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 led to the mutant strain C. glutamicum IB2103 that was able to grow in minimal medium only under low-iron conditions. By performing genome-wide DNA microarray hybridizations, differentially expressed genes involved in iron metabolism of C. glutamicum were detected in the dtxR mutant. Bioinformatics analysis of the genome sequence identified a common 19-bp motif within the upstream region of 31 genes, whose differential expression in C. glutamicum IB2103 was verified by real-time reverse transcription PCR. Binding of a His-tagged DtxR protein to oligonucleotides containing the 19-bp motifs was demonstrated in vitro by DNA band shift assays. At least 64 genes encoding a variety of physiological functions in iron transport and utilization, in central carbohydrate metabolism and in transcriptional regulation are controlled directly by the DtxR protein. A comparison with the bioinformatically predicted networks of C. efficiens, C. diphtheriae and C. jeikeium identified evolutionary conserved elements of the DtxR network.
Conclusion
This work adds considerably to our currrent understanding of the transcriptional regulatory network of C. glutamicum genes that are controlled by DtxR. The DtxR protein has a major role in controlling the expression of genes involved in iron metabolism and exerts a dual regulatory function as repressor of genes participating in iron uptake and utilization and as activator of genes responsible for iron storage and DNA protection. The data suggest that the DtxR protein acts as global regulator by controlling the expression of other regulatory proteins that might take care of an iron-dependent regulation of a broader transcriptional network of C. glutamicum genes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-21
PMCID: PMC1382209  PMID: 16469103
11.  The individual and common repertoire of DNA-binding transcriptional regulators of Corynebacterium glutamicum, Corynebacterium efficiens, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Corynebacterium jeikeium deduced from the complete genome sequences 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:86.
Background
The genus Corynebacterium includes Gram-positive microorganisms of great biotechnologically importance, such as Corynebacterium glutamicum and Corynebacterium efficiens, as well as serious human pathogens, such as Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Corynebacterium jeikeium. Although genome sequences of the respective species have been determined recently, the knowledge about the repertoire of transcriptional regulators and the architecture of global regulatory networks is scarce. Here, we apply a combination of bioinformatic tools and a comparative genomic approach to identify and characterize a set of conserved DNA-binding transcriptional regulators in the four corynebacterial genomes.
Results
A collection of 127 DNA-binding transcriptional regulators was identified in the C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 genome, whereas 103 regulators were detected in C. efficiens YS-314, 63 in C. diphtheriae NCTC 13129 and 55 in C. jeikeium K411. According to amino acid sequence similarities and protein structure predictions, the DNA-binding transcriptional regulators were grouped into 25 regulatory protein families. The common set of DNA-binding transcriptional regulators present in the four corynebacterial genomes consists of 28 proteins that are apparently involved in the regulation of cell division and septation, SOS and stress response, carbohydrate metabolism and macroelement and metal homeostasis.
Conclusion
This work describes characteristic features of a set of conserved DNA-binding transcriptional regulators present within the corynebacterial core genome. The knowledge on the physiological function of these proteins should not only contribute to our understanding of the regulation of gene expression but will also provide the basis for comprehensive modeling of transcriptional regulatory networks of these species.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-6-86
PMCID: PMC1180825  PMID: 15938759

Results 1-11 (11)