(1/7401) The structlre of pili (fimbriae) of Moraxella bovis.

Cells from rough and smooth colonies of Moraxella bovis were examined by electron microscopy utilizing both shadowing and thin sectioning techniques. Pili were found on the surfaces of cells from rough but not smooth colonies. Pili had a peritrichoud distribution and appeared as delicate (6.5-8.5 nm in diameter), elongated unbranched filaments. When bacteria were sectioned pili did not contain central pores and appeared to originate from opacities on the surface of the cell wall.  (+info)

(2/7401) SWM1, a developmentally regulated gene, is required for spore wall assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Meiosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is followed by encapsulation of haploid nuclei within multilayered spore walls. Formation of this spore-specific wall requires the coordinated activity of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of its components. Completion of late events in the sporulation program, leading to spore wall formation, requires the SWM1 gene. SWM1 is expressed at low levels during vegetative growth but its transcription is strongly induced under sporulating conditions, with kinetics similar to those of middle sporulation-specific genes. Homozygous swm1Delta diploids proceed normally through both meiotic divisions but fail to produce mature asci. Consistent with this finding, swm1Delta mutant asci display enhanced sensitivity to enzymatic digestion and heat shock. Deletion of SWM1 specifically affects the expression of mid-late and late sporulation-specific genes. All of the phenotypes observed are similar to those found for the deletion of SPS1 or SMK1, two putative components of a sporulation-specific MAP kinase cascade. However, epistasis analyses indicate that Swm1p does not form part of the Sps1p-Smk1p-MAP kinase pathway. We propose that Swm1p, a nuclear protein, would participate in a different signal transduction pathway that is also required for the coordination of the biochemical and morphological events occurring during the last phase of the sporulation program.  (+info)

(3/7401) Effect of desiccation on the ultrastructural appearances of Acinetobacter baumannii and Acinetobacter lwoffii.

An Acinetobacter baumannii isolate survived desiccation beyond 30 days and an Acinetobacter lwoffii isolate up to 21 days. For both species, desiccation resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of round cells (A baumannii, 40% to 80%; A lwoffii, 51% to 63%) and a significant decrease in rod shaped cells (A baumannii, 58% to 13%; A lwoffii, 46% to 34%). Electronmicroscopic examination showed that there was also a corresponding significant increase in the cell wall thickness (A baumannii, up to 53%; A lwoffii, up to 26%). Desiccated A baumannii cells became more electron-dense and had significantly thicker cell walls (x1.3) than those of A lwoffii. Cell wall structures of A baumannii strains with different abilities to resist desiccation deserve further study.  (+info)

(4/7401) The staphylococcal transferrin-binding protein is a cell wall glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis possess a 42-kDa cell wall transferrin-binding protein (Tpn) which is involved in the acquisition of transferrin-bound iron. To characterize this protein further, cell wall fractions were subjected to two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis blotted, and the N-terminus of Tpn was sequenced. Comparison of the first 20 amino acid residues of Tpn with the protein databases revealed a high degree of homology to the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Analysis of staphylococcal cell wall fractions for GAPDH activity confirmed the presence of a functional enzyme which, like Tpn, is regulated by the availability of iron in the growth medium. To determine whether Tpn is responsible for this GAPDH activity, it was affinity purified with NAD+ agarose. Both S. epidermidis and S. aureus Tpn catalyzed the conversion of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate to 1,3-diphosphoglycerate. In contrast, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, which lacks a Tpn, has no cell wall-associated GAPDH activity. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the affinity-purified Tpn revealed that it was present in the cell wall as a tetramer, consistent with the structures of all known cytoplasmic GAPDHs. Furthermore, the affinity-purified Tpn retained its ability to bind human transferrin both in its native tetrameric and SDS-denatured monomeric forms. Apart from interacting with human transferrin, Tpn, in common with the group A streptococcal cell wall GAPDH, binds human plasmin. Tpn-bound plasmin is enzymatically active and therefore may contribute to the ability of staphylococci to penetrate tissues during infections. These studies demonstrate that the staphylococcal transferrin receptor protein, Tpn, is a multifunctional cell wall GAPDH.  (+info)

(5/7401) The preprophase band: possible involvement in the formation of the cell wall.

Numerous vesicles were observed among the microtubules of the "preprophase" band in prophase cells from root tips of Allium cepa. The content of these vesicles looks similar to the matrix of adjacent cell walls, and these vesicles often appear to be involved in exocytosis. In addition, the cell walls perpendicular to the plane of (beneath) the preprophase band are often differentially thickened compared to the walls lying parallel to the plane of the band. Our interpretation of these observations is that the preprophase band may direct or channel vesicles containing precursors of the cell wall to localized regions of wall synthesis. The incorporation of constituents of the cell wall into a narrow region defined by the position of the preprophase band may be a mechanism that ensures unidirecitonal growth of meristematic cells.  (+info)

(6/7401) Electron microscopy studies of cell-wall-anchored cellulose (Avicel)-binding protein (AbpS) from Streptomyces reticuli.

Streptomyces reticuli produces a 35-kDa cellulose (Avicel)-binding protein (AbpS) which interacts strongly with crystalline cellulose but not with soluble types of cellulose. Antibodies that were highly specific for the NH2-terminal part of AbpS were isolated by using truncated AbpS proteins that differed in the length of the NH2 terminus. Using these antibodies for immunolabelling and investigations in which fluorescence, transmission electron, or immunofield scanning electron microscopy was used showed that the NH2 terminus of AbpS protrudes from the murein layer of S. reticuli. Additionally, inspection of ultrathin sections of the cell wall, as well as biochemical experiments performed with isolated murein, revealed that AbpS is tightly and very likely covalently linked to the polyglucane layer. As AbpS has also been found to be associated with protoplasts, we predicted that a COOH-terminal stretch consisting of 17 hydrophobic amino acids anchors the protein to the membrane. Different amounts of AbpS homologues of several Streptomyces strains were synthesized.  (+info)

(7/7401) Role of the Trichoderma harzianum endochitinase gene, ech42, in mycoparasitism.

The role of the Trichoderma harzianum endochitinase (Ech42) in mycoparasitism was studied by genetically manipulating the gene that encodes Ech42, ech42. We constructed several transgenic T. harzianum strains carrying multiple copies of ech42 and the corresponding gene disruptants. The level of extracellular endochitinase activity when T. harzianum was grown under inducing conditions increased up to 42-fold in multicopy strains as compared with the wild type, whereas gene disruptants exhibited practically no activity. The densities of chitin labeling of Rhizoctonia solani cell walls, after interactions with gene disruptants were not statistically significantly different than the density of chitin labeling after interactions with the wild type. Finally, no major differences in the efficacies of the strains generated as biocontrol agents against R. solani or Sclerotium rolfsii were observed in greenhouse experiments.  (+info)

(8/7401) Cell-wall determinants of the bactericidal action of group IIA phospholipase A2 against Gram-positive bacteria.

We have shown previously that a group IIA phospholipase A2 (PLA2) is responsible for the potent bactericidal activity of inflammatory fluids against many Gram-positive bacteria. To exert its antibacterial activity, this PLA2 must first bind and traverse the bacterial cell wall to produce the extensive degradation of membrane phospholipids (PL) required for bacterial killing. In this study, we have examined the properties of the cell-wall that may determine the potency of group IIA PLA2 action. Inhibition of bacterial growth by nutrient deprivation or a bacteriostatic antibiotic reversibly increased bacterial resistance to PLA2-triggered PL degradation and killing. Conversely, pretreatment of Staphylococcus aureus or Enterococcus faecium with subinhibitory doses of beta-lactam antibiotics increased the rate and extent of PL degradation and/or bacterial killing after addition of PLA2. Isogenic wild-type (lyt+) and autolysis-deficient (lyt-) strains of S. aureus were equally sensitive to the phospholipolytic action of PLA2, but killing and lysis was much greater in the lyt+ strain. Thus, changes in cell-wall cross-linking and/or autolytic activity can modulate PLA2 action either by affecting enzyme access to membrane PL or by the coupling of massive PL degradation to autolysin-dependent killing and bacterial lysis or both. Taken together, these findings suggest that the bacterial envelope sites engaged in cell growth may represent preferential sites for the action and cytotoxic consequences of group IIA PLA2 attack against Gram-positive bacteria.  (+info)