Comparison of flagellin genes from clinical and environmental Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an important opportunistic pathogen, was isolated from environmental samples and compared to clinically derived strains. While P. aeruginosa was isolated readily from an experimental mushroom-growing unit, it was found only rarely in other environmental samples. A flagellin gene PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the isolates revealed that environmental and clinical P. aeruginosa strains are not readily distinguishable. The variation in the central regions of the flagellin genes of seven of the isolates was investigated further. The strains used included two strains with type a genes (998 bp), four strains with type b genes (1,258 bp), and one strain, K979, with a novel flagellin gene (2,199 bp). The route by which flagellin gene variation has occurred in P. aeruginosa is discussed. (+info)
Transcription initiation at the flagellin promoter by RNA polymerase carrying sigma28 from Salmonella typhimurium.
The sigma subunit of RNA polymerase is a critical factor in positive control of transcription initiation. Primary sigma factors are essential proteins required for vegetative growth, whereas alternative sigma factors mediate transcription in response to various stimuli. Late gene expression during flagellum biosynthesis in Salmonella typhimurium is dependent upon an alternative sigma factor, sigma28, the product of the fliA gene. We have characterized the intermediate complexes formed by sigma28 holoenzyme on the pathway to open complex formation. Interactions with the promoter for the flagellin gene fliC were analyzed using DNase I and KMnO4 footprinting over a range of temperatures. We propose a model in which closed complexes are established in the upstream region of the promoter, including the -35 element, but with little significant contact in the -10 element or downstream regions of the promoter. An isomerization event extends the DNA contacts into the -10 element and the start site, with loss of the most distal upstream contacts accompanied by DNA melting to form open complexes. Melting occurs efficiently even at 16 degrees C. Once open complexes have formed, they are unstable to heparin challenge even in the presence of nucleoside triphosphates, which have been observed to stabilize open complexes at rRNA promoters. (+info)
The Yersinia enterocolitica motility master regulatory operon, flhDC, is required for flagellin production, swimming motility, and swarming motility.
The ability to move over and colonize surface substrata has been linked to the formation of biofilms and to the virulence of some bacterial pathogens. Results from this study show that the gastrointestinal pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica can migrate over and colonize surfaces by swarming motility, a form of cooperative multicellular behavior. Immunoblot analysis and electron microscopy indicated that swarming motility is dependent on the same flagellum organelle that is required for swimming motility, which occurs in fluid environments. Furthermore, motility genes such as flgEF, flgMN, flhBA, and fliA, known to be required for the production of flagella, are essential for swarming motility. To begin to investigate how environmental signals are processed and integrated by Y. enterocolitica to stimulate the production of flagella and regulate these two forms of cell migration, the motility master regulatory operon, flhDC, was cloned. Mutations within flhDC completely abolished swimming motility, swarming motility, and flagellin production. DNA sequence analysis revealed that this locus is similar to motility master regulatory operons of other gram-negative bacteria. Genetic complementation and functional analysis of flhDC indicated that it is required for the production of flagella. When flhDC was expressed from an inducible ptac promoter, flagellin production was shown to be dependent on levels of flhDC expression. Phenotypically, induction of the ptac-flhDC fusion also corresponded to increased levels of both swimming and swarming motility. (+info)
Synthesis of the sigmaD protein is not sufficient to trigger expression of motility functions in Bacillus subtilis.
The gene encoding sigmaD, sigD, is transcribed from two promoter regions, the fla/che promoter region in front of the fla/che operon and PsigD directly in front of sigD. If sigmaD is translated from transcripts originating from PsigD, the cell is unable to express motility functions but synthesizes autolysins. Therefore, one function of the additional promoter is to allow the cell to express autolysins without expressing motility functions as well. (+info)
Quantitative detection of Borrelia burgdorferi by real-time PCR.
Currently, no easy and reliable methods allowing for the quantification of Borrelia burgdorferi in tissues of infected humans or animals are available. Due to the lack of suitable assays to detect B. burgdorferi CFU and the qualitative nature of the currently performed PCR assays, we decided to exploit the recently developed real-time PCR. This technology measures the release of fluorescent oligonucleotides during the PCR. Flagellin of B. burgdorferi was chosen as the target sequence. A linear quantitative detection range of 5 logs with a calculated detection limit of one to three spirochetes per assay reaction mixture was observed. The fact that no signals were obtained with closely related organisms such as Borrelia hermsii argues for a high specificity of this newly developed method. A similar method was developed to quantify mouse actin genomic sequences to allow for the standardization of spirochete load. The specificity and sensitivity of the B. burgdorferi and the actin real-time PCR were not altered when samples were spiked with mouse cells or spirochetes, respectively. To evaluate the applicability of the real-time PCR, we used the mouse model of Lyme disease. The fate of B. burgdorferi was monitored in different tissues from inbred mice and from mice treated with antibiotics. Susceptible C3H/HeJ mice had markedly higher burdens of bacterial DNA than resistant BALB/c mice, and penicillin G treatment significantly reduced the numbers of spirochetes. Since these results show a close correlation between clinical symptoms and bacterial burden of tissues, we are currently analyzing human biopsy specimens to evaluate the real-time PCR in a diagnostic setting. (+info)
One-step reverse transcriptase PCR method for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi mRNA in mouse Lyme arthritis tissue samples.
A one-step reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) method for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi mRNA in infected C3H mice is described. This simple procedure, less prone to nucleic acid cross-contamination than the standard method, was found to be 10-fold more sensitive than a classical two-step RT-PCR assay. By using one-step RT-PCR, flagellin mRNAs were detected in synovial and heart tissues from all seven infected mice tested. (+info)
Population genetics and phylogenetic analysis of Colorado Borrelia burgdorferi.
Borrelia burgdorferi is transmitted in an enzootic cycle in Colorado between the tick Ixodes spinipalpis and the woodrat Neotoma mexicana. The genetic relationship of Colorado isolates to other B. burgdorferi isolates is unknown nor have relationships among various Colorado isolates been determined. Portions of the flagellin (fla), 66-kD protein, and outer surface protein A (ospA) genes were amplified from 71 Colorado isolates, screened for genetic variability using single strand conformation polymorphism analysis, and unique alleles were sequenced. Colorado isolates were most similar to tick isolates from California and New York isolate 25015. Genetic distances among Colorado ospA sequences were the same or higher than distances among other isolates whereas distances among fla sequences tended to be the same or lower. The index of association (I(A)) was calculated among all loci as a measure of clonality. The I(A) among Colorado isolates was similar to I(A) previously estimated among other United States isolates. (+info)
Interaction of FliI, a component of the flagellar export apparatus, with flagellin and hook protein.
FliI is a key component of the flagellar export apparatus in Salmonella typhimurium. It catalyzes the hydrolysis of ATP which is necessary for flagellar assembly. Affinity blotting experiments showed that purified flagellin and hook protein, two flagellar axial proteins, interact specifically with FliI. The interaction of either of the two proteins with FliI, increases the intrinsic ATPase activity. The presence of either flagellin or hook protein stimulates ATPase activity in a specific and reversible manner. A Vmax of 0.12 nmol Pi min-1 microgram-1 and a Km for MgATP of 0.35 mM was determined for the unstimulated FliI; the presence of flagellin increased the Vmax to 0.35 nmol Pi min-1 microgram-1 and the Km for MgATP to 1.1 mM. The stimulation induced by the axial proteins was fully reversible suggesting a direct link between the catalytic activity of FliI and the export process. (+info)