A new member of the Sin3 family of corepressors is essential for cell viability and required for retroelement propagation in fission yeast. (1/1495)

Tf1 is a long terminal repeat (LTR)-containing retrotransposon that propagates within the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. LTR-retrotransposons possess significant similarity to retroviruses and therefore serve as retrovirus models. To determine what features of the host cell are important for the proliferation of this class of retroelements, we screened for mutations in host genes that reduced the transposition activity of Tf1. We report here the isolation and characterization of pst1(+), a gene required for Tf1 transposition. The predicted amino acid sequence of Pst1p possessed high sequence homology with the Sin3 family of proteins, known for their interaction with histone deacetylases. However, unlike the SIN3 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, pst1(+) is essential for cell viability. Immunofluorescence microscopy indicated that Pst1p was localized in the nucleus. Consistent with the critical role previously reported for Sin3 proteins in the histone acetylation process, we found that the growth of the strain with the pst1-1 allele was supersensitive to the specific histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A. However, our analysis of strains with the pst1-1 mutation was unable to detect any changes in the acetylation of specific lysines of histones H3 and H4 as measured in bulk chromatin. Interestingly, the pst1-1 mutant strain produced wild-type levels of Tf1-encoded proteins and cDNA, indicating that the defect in transposition occurred after reverse transcription. The results of immunofluorescence microscopy showed that the nuclear localization of the Tf1 capsid protein was disrupted in the strain with the pst1-1 mutation, indicating an important role of pst1(+) in modulating the nuclear import of Tf1 virus-like particles.  (+info)

Role of antibodies against Bordetella pertussis virulence factors in adherence of Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis to human bronchial epithelial cells. (2/1495)

Immunization with whole-cell pertussis vaccines (WCV) containing heat-killed Bordetella pertussis cells and with acellular vaccines containing genetically or chemically detoxified pertussis toxin (PT) in combination with filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin (Prn), or fimbriae confers protection in humans and animals against B. pertussis infection. In an earlier study we demonstrated that FHA is involved in the adherence of these bacteria to human bronchial epithelial cells. In the present study we investigated whether mouse antibodies directed against B. pertussis FHA, PTg, Prn, and fimbriae, or against two other surface molecules, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the 40-kDa outer membrane porin protein (OMP), that are not involved in bacterial adherence, were able to block adherence of B. pertussis and B. parapertussis to human bronchial epithelial cells. All antibodies studied inhibited the adherence of B. pertussis to these epithelial cells and were equally effective in this respect. Only antibodies against LPS and 40-kDa OMP affected the adherence of B. parapertussis to epithelial cells. We conclude that antibodies which recognize surface structures on B. pertussis or on B. parapertussis can inhibit adherence of the bacteria to bronchial epithelial cells, irrespective whether these structures play a role in adherence of the bacteria to these cells.  (+info)

Role of Bordetella pertussis virulence factors in adherence to epithelial cell lines derived from the human respiratory tract. (3/1495)

During colonization of the respiratory tract by Bordetella pertussis, virulence factors contribute to adherence of the bacterium to the respiratory tract epithelium. In the present study, we examined the roles of the virulence factors filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), fimbriae, pertactin (Prn), and pertussis toxin (PT) in the adherence of B. pertussis to cells of the human bronchial epithelial cell line NCI-H292 and of the laryngeal epithelial cell line HEp-2. Using B. pertussis mutant strains and purified FHA, fimbriae, Prn, and PT, we demonstrated that both fimbriae and FHA are involved in the adhesion of B. pertussis to laryngeal epithelial cells, whereas only FHA is involved in the adherence to bronchial epithelial cells. For PT and Prn, no role as adhesion factor was found. However, purified PT bound to both bronchial and laryngeal cells and as such reduced the adherence of B. pertussis to these cells. These data may imply that fimbriae play a role in infection of only the laryngeal mucosa, while FHA is the major factor in colonization of the entire respiratory tract.  (+info)

Genetic characterization of a new type IV-A pilus gene cluster found in both classical and El Tor biotypes of Vibrio cholerae. (4/1495)

The Vibrio cholerae genome contains a 5.4-kb pil gene cluster that resembles the Aeromonas hydrophila tap gene cluster and other type IV-A pilus assembly operons. The region consists of five complete open reading frames designated pilABCD and yacE, based on the nomenclature of related genes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli K-12. This cluster is present in both classical and El Tor biotypes, and the pilA and pilD genes are 100% conserved. The pilA gene encodes a putative type IV pilus subunit. However, deletion of pilA had no effect on either colonization of infant mice or adherence to HEp-2 cells, demonstrating that pilA does not encode the primary subunit of a pilus essential for these processes. The pilD gene product is similar to other type IV prepilin peptidases, proteins that process type IV signal sequences. Mutational analysis of the pilD gene showed that pilD is essential for secretion of cholera toxin and hemagglutinin-protease, mannose-sensitive hemagglutination (MSHA), production of toxin-coregulated pili, and colonization of infant mice. Defects in these functions are likely due to the lack of processing of N termini of four Eps secretion proteins, four proteins of the MSHA cluster, and TcpB, all of which contain type IV-A leader sequences. Some pilD mutants also showed reduced adherence to HEp-2 cells, but this defect could not be complemented in trans, indicating that the defect may not be directly due to a loss of pilD. Taken together, these data demonstrate the effectiveness of the V. cholerae genome project for rapid identification and characterization of potential virulence factors.  (+info)

Conformational changes in the A3 domain of von Willebrand factor modulate the interaction of the A1 domain with platelet glycoprotein Ib. (5/1495)

Bitiscetin has recently been shown to induce von Willebrand factor (vWF)-dependent aggregation of fixed platelets (Hamako J, et al, Biochem Biophys Res Commun 226:273, 1996). We have purified bitiscetin from Bitis arietans venom and investigated the mechanism whereby it promotes a form of vWF that is reactive with platelets. In the presence of bitiscetin, vWF binds to platelets in a dose-dependent and saturable manner. The binding of vWF to platelets involves glycoprotein (GP) Ib because it was totally blocked by monoclonal antibody (MoAb) 6D1 directed towards the vWF-binding site of GPIb. The binding also involves the GPIb-binding site of vWF located on the A1 domain because it was inhibited by MoAb to vWF whose epitopes are within this domain and that block binding of vWF to platelets induced by ristocetin or botrocetin. However, in contrast to ristocetin or botrocetin, the binding site of bitiscetin does not reside within the A1 domain but within the A3 domain of vWF. Thus, among a series of vWF fragments, 125I-bitiscetin only binds to those that overlap the A3 domain, ie, SpIII (amino acid [aa] 1-1365), SpI (aa 911-1365), and rvWF-A3 domain (aa 920-1111). It does not bind to SpII corresponding to the C-terminal part of vWF subunit (aa 1366-2050) nor to the 39/34/kD dispase species (aa 480-718) or T116 (aa 449-728) overlapping the A1 domain. In addition, bitiscetin that does not bind to DeltaA3-rvWF (deleted between aa 910-1113) has no binding site ouside the A3 domain. The localization of the binding site of bitiscetin within the A3 domain was further supported by showing that MoAb to vWF, which are specific for this domain and block the interaction between vWF and collagen, are potent inhibitors of the binding of bitiscetin to vWF and consequently of the bitiscetin-induced binding of vWF to platelets. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that an interaction between the A1 and A3 domains exists that may play a role in the function of vWF by regulating the ability of the A1 domain to bind to platelet GPIb.  (+info)

Rapid evolution of H5N1 influenza viruses in chickens in Hong Kong. (6/1495)

The H5N1 avian influenza virus that killed 6 of 18 persons infected in Hong Kong in 1997 was transmitted directly from poultry to humans. Viral isolates from this outbreak may provide molecular clues to zoonotic transfer. Here we demonstrate that the H5N1 viruses circulating in poultry comprised two distinguishable phylogenetic lineages in all genes that were in very rapid evolution. When introduced into new hosts, influenza viruses usually undergo rapid alteration of their surface glycoproteins, especially in the hemagglutinin (HA). Surprisingly, these H5N1 isolates had a large proportion of amino acid changes in all gene products except in the HA. These viruses maybe reassortants each of whose HA gene is well adapted to domestic poultry while the rest of the genome arises from a different source. The consensus amino acid sequences of "internal" virion proteins reveal amino acids previously found in human strains. These human-specific amino acids may be important factors in zoonotic transmission.  (+info)

Effect of temperature on growth, hemagglutination, and protease activity of Porphyromonas gingivalis. (7/1495)

Bacteria persisting in periodontal pockets are exposed to elevated temperatures during periods of inflammation. Temperature is an environmental factor that can modulate gene expression. Consequently, in the present study we examined the effect of temperature on the expression of virulence determinants by the periodontopathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis. P. gingivalis W50 was grown in a complex medium under hemin excess at pH 7.0 and at a constant temperature of either 37, 39, or 41 degrees C; cultures were monitored for protease and hemagglutinin activity. P. gingivalis grew well at all three temperatures. An increase in growth temperature from 37 to 39 degrees C resulted in a 65% reduction in both total arginine- and lysine-specific activities (P < 0.01). A further rise in growth temperature to 41 degrees C led to even greater reductions in arginine-specific (82%; P < 0.001) and lysine-specific (73%; P < 0. 01) activities. These reductions were also associated with an altered distribution of individual arginine-specific enzyme isoforms. At 41 degrees C, there was a disproportionate reduction in the level of the heterodimeric RI protease, which also contains adhesin domains. The reduction also correlated with a markedly diminished hemagglutination activity of cells, especially in those grown at 41 degrees C, and a reduced immunoreactivity with a monoclonal antibody which recognizes gene products involved in hemagglutination. Thus, as the environmental temperature increased, P. gingivalis adopted a less aggressive phenotype, while retaining cell population levels. The coordinate down-regulation of virulence gene expression in response to an environmental cue linked to the intensity of the host inflammatory response is consistent with the clinically observed cyclical nature of disease progression in periodontal diseases.  (+info)

Enzymatic synthesis of natural and 13C enriched linear poly-N-acetyllactosamines as ligands for galectin-1. (8/1495)

As part of a study of protein-carbohydrate interactions, linear N-acetyl-polyllactosamines [Galbeta1,4GlcNAcbeta1,3]nwere synthesized at the 10-100 micromol scale using enzymatic methods. The methods described also provided specifically [1-13C]-galactose-labeled tetra- and hexasaccharides ([1-13C]-Galbeta1,4GlcNAcbeta1,3Galbeta1,4Glc and Galbeta1, 4GlcNAcbeta1,3[1-13C]Galbeta1,4GlcNAcbeta1,3Galbeta 1,4Glc) suitable for NMR studies. Two series of oligosaccharides were produced, with either glucose or N-acetlyglucosamine at the reducing end. In both cases, large amounts of starting primer were available from human milk oligosaccharides (trisaccharide primer GlcNAcbeta1,3Galbeta1, 4Glc) or via transglycosylation from N-acetyllactosamine. Partially purified and immobilized glycosyltransferases, such as bovine milk beta1,4 galactosyltransferase and human serum beta1,3 N- acetylglucosaminyltransferase, were used for the synthesis. All the oligo-saccharide products were characterized by1H and13C NMR spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The target molecules were then used to study their interactions with recombinant galectin-1, and initial1H NMR spectroscopic results are presented to illustrate this approach. These results indicate that, for oligomers containing up to eight sugars, the principal interaction of the binding site of galectin-1 is with the terminal N-acetyllactosamine residues.  (+info)