X-ray crystal structure of ornithine acetyltransferase from the clavulanic acid biosynthesis gene cluster. (1/280)

The orf6 gene from the clavulanic acid biosynthesis gene cluster encodes an OAT (ornithine acetyltransferase). Similar to other OATs the enzyme has been shown to catalyse the reversible transfer of an acetyl group from N-acetylornithine to glutamate. OATs are Ntn (N-terminal nucleophile) enzymes, but are distinct from the better-characterized Ntn hydrolase enzymes as they catalyse acetyl transfer rather than a hydrolysis reaction. In the present study, we describe the X-ray crystal structure of the OAT, corresponding to the orf6 gene product, to 2.8 A (1 A=0.1 nm) resolution. The larger domain of the structure consists of an alphabetabetaalpha sandwich as in the structures of Ntn hydrolase enzymes. However, differences in the connectivity reveal that OATs belong to a structural family different from that of other structurally characterized Ntn enzymes, with one exception: unexpectedly, the alphabetabetaalpha sandwich of ORF6 (where ORF stands for open reading frame) displays the same fold as an DmpA (L-aminopeptidase D-ala-esterase/amidase from Ochrobactrum anthropi), and so the OATs and DmpA form a new structural subfamily of Ntn enzymes. The structure reveals an alpha2beta2-heterotetrameric oligomerization state in which the intermolecular interface partly defines the active site. Models of the enzyme-substrate complexes suggest a probable oxyanion stabilization mechanism as well as providing insight into how the enzyme binds its two differently charged substrates.  (+info)

Probiotic prophylaxis in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis (PROPATRIA): design and rationale of a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised multicenter trial [ISRCTN38327949]. (2/280)

BACKGROUND: Infectious complications are the major cause of death in acute pancreatitis. Small bowel bacterial overgrowth and subsequent bacterial translocation are held responsible for the vast majority of these infections. Goal of this study is to determine whether selected probiotics are capable of preventing infectious complications without the disadvantages of antibiotic prophylaxis; antibiotic resistance and fungal overgrowth. METHODS/DESIGN: PROPATRIA is a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised multicenter trial in which 200 patients will be randomly allocated to a multispecies probiotic preparation (Ecologic 641) or placebo. The study is performed in all 8 Dutch University Hospitals and 7 non-University hospitals. The study-product is administered twice daily through a nasojejunal tube for 28 days or until discharge. Patients eligible for randomisation are adult patients with a first onset of predicted severe acute pancreatitis: Imrie criteria 3 or more, CRP 150 mg/L or more, APACHE II score 8 or more. Exclusion criteria are post-ERCP pancreatitis, malignancy, infection/sepsis caused by a second disease, intra-operative diagnosis of pancreatitis and use of probiotics during the study. Administration of the study product is started within 72 hours after onset of abdominal pain. The primary endpoint is the total number of infectious complications. Secondary endpoints are mortality, necrosectomy, antibiotic resistance, hospital stay and adverse events. To demonstrate that probiotic prophylaxis reduces the proportion of patients with infectious complications from 50% to 30%, with alpha 0,05 and power 80%, a total sample size of 200 patients was calculated. CONCLUSION: The PROPATRIA study is aimed to show a reduction in infectious complications due to early enteral use of multispecies probiotics in severe acute pancreatitis.  (+info)

Optimization of bacteriocin production by Lactobacillus plantarum ST13BR, a strain isolated from barley beer. (3/280)

The cell-free supernatant containing bacteriocin ST13BR, produced by Lactobacillus plantarum ST13BR, inhibits the growth of L. casei, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. Based on tricine-SDS-PAGE, bacteriocin ST13BR is 10 kDa in size. Complete inactivation or significant reduction in bacteriocin activity was observed after treatment with Proteinase K, trypsin and pronase, but not with catalase or alpha-amylase. Low bacteriocin activity (200 AU/ml) was recorded in BHI medium, M17 broth, 10% (w/v) soy milk, and 2% and 10% (w/v) molasses, despite good growth. Maximal bacteriocin activity (6,400 AU/ml) was recorded after 23 h in MRS broth, but only at 30 degrees C. Tween 80 in MRS broth increased bacteriocin production by more than 50%. Meat extract or yeast extract as sole nitrogen source, or a combination of the two (1 : 1) in MRS broth, stimulated bacteriocin production (6,400 AU/ml). Only 50% activity (3,200 AU/ml) was recorded with tryptone as sole nitrogen source, whereas a combination of tryptone, meat extract and yeast extract yielded 6,400 AU/ml. Bacteriocin production was not stimulated by the addition of glucose at 2.0% w/v (3,200 AU/ml), nor 2% (w/v) fructose, sucrose, lactose or mannose, respectively (800 AU/ml). Activity levels less than 200 AU/ml were recorded in the presence of 0.05% to 0.5% (w/v) maltose. Maximal bacteriocin production (6,400 AU/ml) was recorded in the presence of 2% (w/v) maltose. Maltose at 4.0% (w/v) led to a 50% reduction of bacteriocin activity. The presence of 1.0% (w/v) and higher KH(2)PO(4), or glycerol at 0.2% (w/v) suppressed bacteriocin production.  (+info)

The complete genomes of Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus johnsonii reveal extensive differences in chromosome organization and gene content. (4/280)

The first comprehensive comparative analysis of lactobacilli was done by comparing the genomes of Lactobacillus plantarum (3.3 Mb) and Lactobacillus johnsonii (2.0 Mb). L. johnsonii is predominantly found in the gastrointestinal tract, while L. plantarum is also found on plants and plant-derived material, and is used in a variety of industrial fermentations. The L. plantarum and L. johnsonii chromosomes have only 28 regions with conservation of gene order, totalling about 0.75 Mb; these regions are not co-linear, indicating major chromosomal rearrangements. Metabolic reconstruction indicates many differences between L. johnsonii and L. plantarum: numerous enzymes involved in sugar metabolism and in biosynthesis of amino acids, nucleotides, fatty acids and cofactors are lacking in L. johnsonii. Major differences were seen in the number and types of putative extracellular proteins, which are of interest because of their possible role in host-microbe interactions. The differences between L. plantarum and L. johnsonii, both in genome organization and gene content, are exceptionally large for two bacteria of the same genus, emphasizing the difficulty in taxonomic classification of lactobacilli.  (+info)

Genetic characterization of the bile salt response in Lactobacillus plantarum and analysis of responsive promoters in vitro and in situ in the gastrointestinal tract. (5/280)

In this paper we describe the growth, morphological, and genetic responses of Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 to bile. Growth experiments revealed that a stepwise increase in the porcine bile concentration led to a gradual decrease in the maximal growth rate. Moreover, the final density reached by an L. plantarum culture growing in MRS containing 0.1% bile was approximately threefold lower than that in MRS lacking bile. The morphology of the cells grown in MRS containing 0.1% bile was investigated by scanning electron microscopy, which revealed that cells clumped together and had rough surfaces and that some of the cells had a shrunken and empty appearance, which clearly contrasted with the characteristic rod-shaped, smooth-surface morphology of L. plantarum cells grown in MRS without bile. An alr complementation-based genome-wide promoter screening analysis was performed with L. plantarum, which led to identification of 31 genes whose expression was potentially induced by 0.1% porcine bile. Remarkably, 11 membrane- and cell wall-associated functions appeared to be induced by bile, as were five functions involved in redox reactions and five regulatory factors. Moreover, the lp_0237 and lp_0775 genes, identified here as genes that are inducible by bile in vitro, were previously identified in our laboratory as important for L. plantarum in vivo during passage in the mouse gastrointestinal tract (P. A. Bron, C. Grangette, A. Mercenier, W. M. de Vos, and M. Kleerebezem, J. Bacteriol. 186:5721-5729, 2004). A quantitative reverse transcription-PCR approach focusing on these two genes confirmed that the expression level of lp_0237 and lp_0775 was significantly higher in cells grown in the presence of bile and cells isolated from the mouse duodenum than in cells grown on laboratory medium without bile.  (+info)

The possible role of natural idiotopes in immune memory. (6/280)

In this paper we report on the generation of Abs possessing specificities similar to those of Abs used in immunization, and on the generation of Id and anti-Id specificities in the sera of mice immunized with commensal bacterial antigens. The human monoclonal antibody IgM DJ (VH3/VL2) expresses natural antibody properties, natural idiotope (Y7), and specificity towards Lactic acid bacteria (LAB). When used in immunization it generates LAB-specific antibodies. Immunization with LAB, as detected in the presence of biotin-labelled mouse monoclonal anti-idiotopic antibodies Y7 and IgM DJ generates Abs1 and Abs2, respectively. These findings may imply that the recognition of bacterial motifs accords with the rules of idiotypic network theory. This theory, first proposed by Jerne in 1974 and often overlooked since, has been subject to change during the course of immunological research. Recent experiments concerning the recognition of bacterial motifs and natural memory in the immune system have inspired us in our attempt at explaining the possible role of natural Id in immune memory.  (+info)

Reduction of non-digestible oligosaccharides in soymilk: application of engineered lactic acid bacteria that produce alpha-galactosidase. (7/280)

Human consumption of soy-derived products has been limited by the presence of non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDO), such as the alpha-galactooligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose. Most mammals, including man, lack pancreatic alpha-galactosidase (alpha-Gal), which is necessary for the hydrolysis of these sugars. However, such NDO can be fermented by gas-producing microorganisms present in the cecum and large intestine, which in turn can induce flatulence and other gastrointestinal disorders in sensitive individuals. The use of microorganisms expressing alpha-Gal is a promising solution to the elimination of NDO before they reach the large intestine. In the present study, lactic acid bacteria engineered to degrade NDO have been constructed and are being used as a tool to evaluate this solution. The alpha-Gal structural genes from Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC8014 (previously characterized in our laboratory) and from guar have been cloned and expressed in Lactococcus lactis. The gene products were directed to different bacterial compartments to optimize their possible applications. The alpha-Gal-producing strains are being evaluated for their efficiency in degrading raffinose and stachyose: i) in soymilk fermentation when used as starters and ii) in situ in the upper gastrointestinal tract when administered to animals orally, as probiotic preparations. The expected outcomes and possible complications of this project are discussed.  (+info)

Starch-binding domain affects catalysis in two Lactobacillus alpha-amylases. (8/280)

A new starch-binding domain (SBD) was recently described in alpha-amylases from three lactobacilli (Lactobacillus amylovorus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus manihotivorans). Usually, the SBD is formed by 100 amino acids, but the SBD sequences of the mentioned lactobacillus alpha-amylases consist of almost 500 amino acids that are organized in tandem repeats. The three lactobacillus amylase genes share more than 98% sequence identity. In spite of this identity, the SBD structures seem to be quite different. To investigate whether the observed differences in the SBDs have an effect on the hydrolytic capability of the enzymes, a kinetic study of L. amylovorus and L. plantarum amylases was developed, with both enzymes acting on several starch sources in granular and gelatinized forms. Results showed that the amylolytic capacities of these enzymes are quite different; the L. amylovorus alpha-amylase is, on average, 10 times more efficient than the L. plantarum enzyme in hydrolyzing all the tested polymeric starches, with only a minor difference in the adsorption capacities.  (+info)