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#28933779   2017/09/21 Save this To Up

Genetically encoded releasable photo-cross-linking strategies for studying protein-protein interactions in living cells.

Although protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have crucial roles in virtually all cellular processes, the identification of more transient interactions in their biological context remains challenging. Conventional photo-cross-linking strategies can be used to identify transient interactions, but these approaches often suffer from high background due to the cross-linked bait proteins. To solve the problem, we have developed membrane-permeable releasable photo-cross-linkers that allow for prey-bait separation after protein complex isolation and can be installed in proteins of interest (POIs) as unnatural amino acids. Here we describe the procedures for using two releasable photo-cross-linkers, DiZSeK and DiZHSeC, in both living Escherichia coli and mammalian cells. A cleavage after protein photo-cross-linking (CAPP ) strategy based on the photo-cross-linker DiZSeK is described, in which the prey protein pool is released from a POI after affinity purification. Prey proteins are analyzed using mass spectrometry or 2D gel electrophoresis for global comparison of interactomes from different experimental conditions. An in situ cleavage and mass spectrometry (MS)-label transfer after protein photo-cross-linking (IMAPP) strategy based on the photo-cross-linker DiZHSeC is also described. This strategy can be used for the identification of cross-linking sites to allow detailed characterization of PPI interfaces. The procedures for photo-cross-linker incorporation, photo-cross-linking of interaction partners and affinity purification of cross-linked complexes are similar for the two photo-cross-linkers. The final section of the protocol describes prey-bait separation (for CAPP) and MS-label transfer and identification (for IMAPP). After plasmid construction, the CAPP and IMAPP strategies can be completed within 6 and 7 d, respectively.

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#28932624   2017/09/21 Save this To Up

Staphylococci on ICE: Overlooked agents of horizontal gene transfer.

Horizontal gene transfer plays a significant role in spreading antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes throughout the genus Staphylococcus, which includes species of clinical relevance to humans and animals. While phages and plasmids are the most well-studied agents of horizontal gene transfer in staphylococci, the contribution of integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) has been mostly overlooked. Experimental work demonstrating the activity of ICEs in staphylococci remained frozen for years after initial work in the 1980s that showed Tn916 was capable of transfer from Enterococcus to Staphylococcus. However, recent work has begun to thaw this field. To date, 2 families of ICEs have been identified among staphylococci - Tn916 that includes the Tn5801 subfamily, and ICE6013 that includes at least 7 subfamilies. Both Tn5801 and ICE6013 commonly occur in clinical strains of S. aureus. Tn5801 is the most studied of the Tn916 family elements in staphylococci and encodes tetracycline resistance and a protein that, when expressed in Escherichia coli, inhibits restriction barriers to incoming DNA. ICE6013 is among the shortest known ICEs, but it still includes many uncharacterized open reading frames. This element uses an IS30-like transposase as its recombinase, providing some versatility in integration sites. ICE6013 also conjugatively transfers among receptive S. aureus strains at relatively higher frequency than Tn5801. Continued study of these mobile genetic elements may reveal the full extent to which ICEs impact horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of staphylococci.

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#28929967   2017/09/20 Save this To Up

[Results of a multicenter study investigating plasmid mediated colistin resistance genes (mcr-1 and mcr-2) in clinical Enterobacteriaceae ısolates from Turkey].

Colistin is a polymyxin antibiotic which is considered as one of the last line agents against infections due to multidrug resistant or carbapenem resistant gram-negative pathogens. Colistin resistance is associated with chromosomal alterations which can usually cause mutations in genes coding specific two component regulator systems. The first plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene, mcr-1 was described in Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates in December 2015 and followed by another plasmid-mediated colistin resistance gene mcr-2 in 2016. The rapid and interspecies dissemination of plasmid-mediated resistance mechanisms through horizontal gene transfer, have made these genes considerably threatening. After the first reports, although mcr-1/mcr-2 producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates have been reported from many countries, there have been no reports from Turkey. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the presence of mcr-1/mcr-2 in clinical Enterobacteriaceae isolates from different parts of our country. A total of 329 Enterobacteriaceae isolates from 22 laboratories were collected which were isolated between March, 2015 and February, 2016. mcr-1/mcr-2 were investigated by polymerase chain reaction during February-March, 2016. Two hundred and seventeen of Klebsiella pneumoniae (66%), 75 of Salmonella spp. (22.8%), 31 of Esherichia coli (9.4%), 3 of Enterobacter cloacae (0.9%), 2 of Klebsiella oxytoca (0.6%) and 1 of Enterobacter aerogenes (0.3%) isolates were included to the study. Agarose gel electrophoresis results of PCR studies have shown expected band sizes for positive control isolates as 309 bp for mcr-1 and 567 bp for mcr-2. However, the presence of mcr-1/mcr-2 genes was not detected among the tested study isolates of Enterobacteriaceae. Although mcr-1/mcr-2 were not detected in our study isolates, it is highly important to understand the mechanism of resistance dissemination and determine the resistant isolates by considering that colistin is a last-line antibiotic against infections of multidrug or carbapenem resistant gram-negative bacteria. Thus, it is suggested that these mechanisms should be followed-up in both clinical and non-clinical (e.g. isolates from food animals, raw meats and environment) isolates of special populations.

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#28922869   2017/09/19 Save this To Up

Genome Organization of Sphingobium indicum B90A: An Archetypal Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) Degrading Genotype.

Among sphingomonads, Sphingobium indicum B90A is widely investigated for its ability to degrade a manmade pesticide, γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) and its isomers (α-, β-, δ-, and ε-HCH). In this study, complete genome of strain B90A was constructed using Single Molecule Real Time Sequencing (SMRT) and Illumina platform. The complete genome revealed that strain B90A harbors four replicons: one chromosome (3,654,322 bp) and three plasmids designated as pSRL1 (139,218 bp), pSRL2 (108,430 bp) and pSRL3 (43,761 bp). The study determined the precise location of lin genes (genes associated with the degradation of HCH isomers), for example, linA2, linB, linDER, linF, linGHIJ, and linKLMN on the chromosome; linA1, linC, and linF on pSRL1 and linDEbR on pSRL3. Strain B90A contained 26 copies of IS6100 element and most of them (15 copies) was found to be associated with lin genes. Duplication of several lin genes including linA, linDER, linGHIJ, and linF along with two variants of linE, that is, linEa (hydroquinone 1,2-dioxygenase) and linEb (chlorohydroquinone/hydroquinone 1,2-dioxygenase) were identified. This suggests that strain B90A not only possess efficient machinery for upper and lower HCH degradation pathways but it can also act on both hydroquinone and chlorohydroquinone metabolites produced during γ-HCH degradation. Synteny analysis revealed the duplication and transposition of linA gene (HCH dehydrochlorinase) between the chromosome and pSRL1, possibly through homologous recombination between adjacent IS6100 elements. Further, in silico analysis and laboratory experiments revealed that incomplete tyrosine metabolism was responsible for the production of extracellular brown pigment which distinguished strain B90A from other HCH degrading sphingomonads. The precise localization of lin genes, and transposable elements (IS6100) on different replicons now opens up several experimental avenues to elucidate the functions and regulatory mechanism of lin genes acquisition and transfer that were not completely known among the bacterial population inhabiting the HCH contaminated environment.

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#28922058   2017/09/18 Save this To Up

Evolution of Regions Containing Antibiotic Resistance Genes in FII-2-FIB-1 ColV-Colla Virulence Plasmids.

Three ColV virulence plasmids carrying antibiotic resistance genes were assembled from draft genome sequences of commensal ST95, ST131, and ST2705 Escherichia coli isolates from healthy Australians. Plasmids pCERC4, pCERC5, and pCERC9 include almost identical backbones containing FII-2 and FIB-1 replicons and the conserved ColV virulence region with an additional ColIa determinant. Only pCERC5 includes a complete, uninterrupted F-like transfer region and was able to conjugate. pCERC5 and pCERC9 contain Tn1721, carrying the tet(A) tetracycline resistance determinant in the same location, with Tn2 (blaTEM; ampicillin resistance) interrupting the Tn1721 in pCERC5. pCERC4 has a Tn1721/Tn21 hybrid transposon carrying dfrA5 (trimethoprim resistance) and sul1 (sulfamethoxazole resistance) in a class 1 integron. Four FII-2:FIB-1 ColV-ColIa plasmids in the GenBank nucleotide database have a related transposon in the same position, but an IS26 has reshaped the resistance gene region, deleting 2,069 bp of the integron 3'-CS, including sul1, and serving as a target for IS26 translocatable units containing blaTEM, sul2 and strAB (streptomycin resistance), or aphA1 (kanamycin/neomycin resistance). Another ColV-ColIa plasmid containing a related resistance gene region has lost the FII replicon and acquired a unique transfer region via recombination within the resistance region and at oriT. Eighteen further complete ColV plasmid sequences in GenBank contained FIB-1, but the FII replicons were of three types, FII-24, FII-18, and a variant of FII-36.

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#28918058   2017/09/17 Save this To Up

Reducible PEG-POD/DNA Nanoparticles for Gene Transfer In Vitro and In Vivo: Application in a Mouse Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Non-viral gene delivery systems are being developed to address limitations of viral gene delivery. Many of these non-viral systems are modeled on the properties of viruses including cell surface binding, endocytosis, endosomal escape, and nuclear targeting. Most non-viral gene transfer systems exhibit little correlation between in vitro and in vivo efficiency, hampering a systematic approach to their development. Previously, we have described a 3.5 kDa peptide (peptide for ocular delivery [POD]) that targets cell surface sialic acid. When functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) via a sulfhydryl group on the N-terminal cysteine of POD, PEG-POD could compact plasmid DNA, forming 120- to 180-nm homogeneous nanoparticles. PEG-POD enabled modest gene transfer and rescue of retinal degeneration in vivo. Systematic investigation of different stages of gene transfer by PEG-POD nanoparticles was hampered by their inability to deliver genes in vitro. Herein, we describe functionalization of POD with PEG using a reducible orthopyridyl disulfide bond. These reducible nanoparticles enabled gene transfer in vitro while retaining their in vivo gene transfer properties. These reducible PEG-POD nanoparticles were utilized to deliver human FLT1 to the retina in vivo, achieving a 50% reduction in choroidal neovascularization in a murine model of age-related macular degeneration.

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#28911112   2017/09/15 Save this To Up

Integrative and conjugative elements and their hosts: composition, distribution and organization.

Conjugation of single-stranded DNA drives horizontal gene transfer between bacteria and was widely studied in conjugative plasmids. The organization and function of integrative and conjugative elements (ICE), even if they are more abundant, was only studied in a few model systems. Comparative genomics of ICE has been precluded by the difficulty in finding and delimiting these elements. Here, we present the results of a method that circumvents these problems by requiring only the identification of the conjugation genes and the species' pan-genome. We delimited 200 ICEs and this allowed the first large-scale characterization of these elements. We quantified the presence in ICEs of a wide set of functions associated with the biology of mobile genetic elements, including some that are typically associated with plasmids, such as partition and replication. Protein sequence similarity networks and phylogenetic analyses revealed that ICEs are structured in functional modules. Integrases and conjugation systems have different evolutionary histories, even if the gene repertoires of ICEs can be grouped in function of conjugation types. Our characterization of the composition and organization of ICEs paves the way for future functional and evolutionary analyses of their cargo genes, composed of a majority of unknown function genes.

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#28899926   2017/09/13 Save this To Up

Peptides mediating DNA Transport on microtubules and their impact on non-viral gene transfer efficiency.

Synthetic vectors such as cationic polymers and cationic lipids remain attractive tools for non-viral gene transfer which is a complex process whose effectiveness relies on the ability to deliver a plasmid DNA (pDNA) into the nucleus of non-dividing cells. Once in the cytosol, the transport of pDNAs towards the nuclear envelop is strongly impaired by their very low cytosolic mobility due to their large size. To promote their movement towards the cell nucleus, few strategies have been implemented to exploit dynein, the microtubule's motor protein, for propagation of cytosolic pDNA along the microtubules (MTs) towards the cell nucleus. In the first part of this review, an overview on MTs, dynein, dynein/virus interaction feature is presented followed by a summary of the results obtained by exploitation of LC8 and TCTEL1 dynein light chain association sequence (DLC-AS) for non-viral transfection. The second part dedicated to the adenoviral protein E3-14.7K, reports the transfection efficiency of polyplexes and lipoplexes containing the E3-14.7K-derived P79-98 peptide linked to pDNA. Here, several lines of evidence are given showing that dynein can be targeted to improve cytosolic pDNA mobility and accumulate pDNA near nuclear envelop in order to facilitate its transport through the nuclear pores. The linkage of various DLC-AS to pDNA carriers led to modest transfection improvements and their direct interaction with MTs was not demonstrated. In contrast, pDNA linked to the P79-98 peptide interacting with TCTEL1 via a cytosolic protein (FIP-1), interaction with MTs is evidenced in cellulo and transfection efficiency improved.

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#28895845   2017/09/12 Save this To Up

Nonintegrating Gene Therapy Vectors.

Gene delivery vectors that do not rely on host cell genome integration offer several advantages for gene transfer, chiefly the avoidance of insertional mutagenesis and position effect variegation. However, unless engineered for replication and segregation, nonintegrating vectors will dilute progressively in proliferating cells, and are not exempt of epigenetic effects. This article provides an overview of the main nonintegrating viral (adenoviral, adeno-associated viral, integration-deficient retro-lentiviral, poxviral), and nonviral (plasmid vectors, artificial chromosomes) vectors used for preclinical and clinical cell and gene therapy applications. Particular emphasis is placed on their use in hematologic disease.

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#28893775   2017/09/12 Save this To Up

A Nosocomial Outbreak of Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates Containing blaOXA-237 Encoded on a Plasmid.

Carbapenem antibiotics are among the mainstay for treating infections caused by Acinetobacter baumannii, especially in the Northwest United States where carbapenem resistant A. baumannii remain relatively rare. However, between June 2012 and October 2014, an outbreak of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii occurred in 16 patients from 5 healthcare facilities in the state of Oregon. All isolates were defined as extensively-drug resistant (XDR). MLST revealed that the isolates belonged to sequence type 2 (international clone 2, IC2), and were greater than 95% similar by rep-PCR analysis. Multiplex PCR revealed the presence of a blaOXA carbapenemase gene, later identified as blaOXA-237 Whole genome sequencing of all isolates revealed a well-supported separate branch within a global A. baumannii phylogeny. Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) SMRT sequencing was also performed on one isolate to gain insight into the genetic location of the carbapenem resistance gene. We discovered that blaOXA-237, flanked on either side by ISAba1 elements in opposite orientations, was carried by a 15,198 bp plasmid designated pORAB01-3, and was present in all 16 isolates. The plasmid also contained genes encoding for: a TonB-dependent receptor, septicolysin, a type IV secretory system conjugative DNA transfer family protein, an integrase, a RepB family plasmid DNA replication initiator protein, an α/β hydrolase, and a BrnT/BrnA type II toxin-antitoxin system. This is the first reported outbreak associated with this specific carbapenemase. Particularly worrisome is that blaOXA-237 was plasmid encoded and found in the most prominent worldwide clonal group IC2, potentially giving pORAB01-3 great capacity for future widespread dissemination.

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