Stabilization of poly-L-lysine/DNA polyplexes for in vivo gene delivery to the liver.
We are developing a self-assembling non-viral in vivo gene delivery vehicle based on poly-l-lysine and plasmid DNA. We have characterized poly-l-lysines of different chain lengths for DNA condensation and strength of DNA binding. Poly-l-lysine chains >20 residues bound DNA efficiently in physiological saline, while shorter chains did not. Attachment of asialoorosomucoid to PLL increased the PLL chain length required for efficient DNA binding in saline and for efficient DNA condensation. By electron microscopy, poly-l-lysine/DNA polyplexes appeared as toroids 25-50 nm in diameter or rods 40-80 nm long; conjugation of asialoorosomucoid to the polylysine component increased the size of resulting polyplexes to 50-90 nm. In water, poly-l-lysine and asialoorosomucoid-PLL polyplexes have effective diameters of 46 and 87.6 nm, respectively. Polyplexes containing only poly-l-lysine and DNA aggregated in physiological saline at all charge ratios and aggregated at neutral charge ratios in water. Attachment of asialoorosomucoid lessened, but did not eliminate, the aggregation of PLL polyplexes, and did not result in efficient delivery of polyplexes to hepatocytes. Conjugation of polyethylene glycol to poly-l-lysine sterically stabilized resulting polyplexes at neutral charge ratios by shielding the surfaces. For efficient in vivo gene delivery, polyplexes will need to be sterically stabilized to prevent aggregation and interaction with serum components. (+info)
Cloning and characterisation of a novel ompB operon from Vibrio cholerae 569B.
The ompB operon of Vibrio cholerae 569B has been cloned and fully sequenced. The operon encodes two proteins, OmpR and EnvZ, which share sequence identity with the OmpR and EnvZ proteins of a variety of other bacteria. Although the order of the ompR and envZ genes of V. cholerae is similar to that of the ompB operon of E. coli, S. typhimurium and X. nematophilus, the Vibrio operon exhibits a number of novel features. The structural organisation and features of the V. cholerae ompB operon are described. (+info)
Co-expression of glutathione S-transferase with methionine aminopeptidase: a system of producing enriched N-terminal processed proteins in Escherichia coli.
We describe here an Escherichia coli expression system that produces recombinant proteins enriched in the N-terminal processed form, by using glutathione S-transferase cGSTM1-1 and rGSTT1-1 as models, where c and r refer to chick and rat respectively. Approximately 90% of the cGSTM1-1 or rGSTT1-1 overexpressed in E. coli under the control of a phoA promoter retained the initiator methionine residue that was absent from the mature isoenzymes isolated from tissues. The amount of initiator methionine was decreased to 40% of the expressed cGSTM1-1 when the isoenzyme was co-expressed with an exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene under the control of a separate phoA promoter. The recombinant proteins expressed were mainly methionine aminopeptidase. The yield of cGSTM1-1 was decreased to 10% of that expressed in the absence of the exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene. By replacing the phoA with its natural promoter, the expression of methionine aminopeptidase decreased drastically. The yield of the co-expressed cGSTM1-1 was approx. 60% of that in the absence of the exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene; approx. 65% of the initiator methionine residues were removed from the enzyme. Under similar conditions, N-terminal processing was observed in approx. 70% of the recombinant rGSTT1-1 expressed. By increasing the concentration of phosphate in the growth medium, the amount of initiator methionine on cGSTM1-1 was decreased to 14% of the overexpressed isoenzymes, whereas no further improvement could be observed for rGSTT1-1. The initiator methionine residue does not affect the enzymic activities of either cGSTM1-1 or rGSTT1-1. However, the epoxidase activity and the 4-nitrobenzyl chloride-conjugating activity of the purified recombinant rGSTT1-1 are markedly higher that those reported recently for the same isoenzyme isolated from rat livers. (+info)
Expression of the plague plasminogen activator in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Escherichia coli.
Enteropathogenic yersiniae (Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica) typically cause chronic disease as opposed to the closely related Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague. It is established that this difference reflects, in part, carriage by Y. pestis of a unique 9.6-kb pesticin or Pst plasmid (pPCP) encoding plasminogen activator (Pla) rather than distinctions between shared approximately 70-kb low-calcium-response, or Lcr, plasmids (pCD in Y. pestis and pYV in enteropathogenic yersiniae) encoding cytotoxic Yops and anti-inflammatory V antigen. Pla is known to exist as a combination of 32.6-kDa (alpha-Pla) and slightly smaller (beta-Pla) outer membrane proteins, of which at least one promotes bacterial dissemination in vivo and degradation of Yops in vitro. We show here that only alpha-Pla accumulates in Escherichia coli LE392/pPCP1 cultivated in enriched medium and that either autolysis or extraction of this isolate with 1.0 M NaCl results in release of soluble alpha and beta forms possessing biological activity. This process also converted cell-bound alpha-Pla to beta-Pla and smaller forms in Y. pestis KIM/pPCP1 and Y. pseudotuberculosis PB1/+/pPCP1 but did not promote solubilization. Pla-mediated posttranslational hydrolysis of pulse-labeled Yops in Y. pseudotuberculosis PB1/+/pPCP1 occurred more slowly than that in Y. pestis but was otherwise similar except for accumulation of stable degradation products of YadA, a pYV-mediated fibrillar adhesin not encoded in frame by pCD. Carriage of pPCP by Y. pseudotuberculosis did not significantly influence virulence in mice. (+info)
The virulence plasmid-encoded impCAB operon enhances survival and induced mutagenesis in Shigella flexneri after exposure to UV radiation.
Upon exposure to UV radiation, Shigella flexneri SA100 displayed survival and mutation frequencies comparable to those of Escherichia coli AB1157, which contains a functional UmuDC error-prone DNA repair system. Survival of SA100 after UV irradiation was associated with the presence of the 220-kb virulence plasmid, pVP. This plasmid encodes homologues of ImpA and ImpB, which comprise an error-prone DNA repair system encoded on plasmid TP110 that was initially identified in Salmonella typhimurium, and ImpC, encoded upstream of ImpA and ImpB. Although the impB gene was present in representatives of all four species of Shigella, not all isolates tested contained the gene. Shigella isolates that lacked impB were more sensitive to UV radiation than isolates that contained impB. The nucleotide sequence of a 2.4-kb DNA fragment containing the imp operon from S. flexneri SA100 pVP was 96% identical to the imp operon from the plasmid TP110. An SA100 derivative with a mutation in the impB gene had reduced survival following UV irradiation and less UV-induced mutagenesis relative to the parental strain. We also found that S. flexneri contained a chromosomally encoded umuDC operon; however, the umuDC promoter was not induced by exposure to UV radiation. This suggests that the imp operon but not the umuDC operon contributes to survival and induced mutagenesis in S. flexneri following exposure to UV radiation. (+info)
Molecular and evolutionary analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi 297 circular plasmid-encoded lipoproteins with OspE- and OspF-like leader peptides.
We previously described two OspE and three OspF homologs in Borrelia burgdorferi 297 (D. R. Akins, S. F. Porcella, T. G. Popova, D. Shevchenko, S. I. Baker, M. Li, M. V. Norgard, and J. D. Radolf, Mol. Microbiol. 18:507-520, 1995; D. R. Akins, K. W. Bourell, M. J. Caimano, M. V. Norgard, and J. D. Radolf, J. Clin. Investig. 101:2240-2250, 1998). In this study, we characterized four additional lipoproteins with OspE/F-like leader peptides (Elps) and demonstrated that all are encoded on plasmids homologous to cp32 and cp18 from the B31 and N40 strains, respectively. Statistical analysis of sequence similarities using the binary comparison algorithm revealed that the nine lipoproteins from strain 297, as well as the OspE, OspF, and Erp proteins from the N40 and B31 strains, fall into three distinct families. Based upon the observation that these lipoproteins all contain highly conserved leader peptides, we now propose that the ancestors of each of the three families arose from gene fusion events which joined a common N terminus to unrelated proteins. Additionally, further sequence analysis of the strain 297 circular plasmids revealed that rearrangements appear to have played an important role in generating sequence diversity among the members of these three families and that recombinational events in the downstream flanking regions appear to have occurred independently of those within the lipoprotein-encoding genes. The association of hypervariable regions with genes which are differentially expressed and/or subject to immunological pressures suggests that the Lyme disease spirochete has exploited recombinatorial processes to foster its parasitic strategy and enhance its immunoevasiveness. (+info)
Reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction for detecting p40 RNA of Borna disease virus, without risk of plasmid contamination.
Several methods for the detection of Borna disease virus (BDV) RNA have been reported, one being the reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nested PCR) method. However, due to the possibility of contamination of the cloned DNA in a reaction tube, false-positive results might be obtained by RT-nested PCR. To detect only BDV RNA without anxiety of contamination, we developed an RT-nested PCR system using "mRNA selective PCR kit". Using this system, cDNA of BDV p40 in the plasmid (up to 5 x 10(7) molecules) was not amplified. BDV specific sequence was amplified from total RNA (more than 50 pg) of MDCK/BDV cells, which were persistently infected with BDV. These results indicate that this mRNA selective RT-nested PCR system can specifically amplify target RNA as distinguished from plasmid contaminated. (+info)
Diversity of rhizobia associated with Amorpha fruticosa isolated from Chinese soils and description of Mesorhizobium amorphae sp. nov.
Fifty-five Chinese isolates from nodules of Amorpha fruticosa were characterized and compared with the type strains of the species and genera of bacteria which form nitrogen-fixing symbioses with leguminous host plants. A polyphasic approach, which included RFLP of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE), DNA-DNA hybridization, 16S rRNA gene sequencing, electrophoretic plasmid profiles, cross-nodulation and a phenotypic study, was used in the comparative analysis. The isolates originated from several different sites in China and they varied in their phenotypic and genetic characteristics. The majority of the isolates had moderate to slow growth rates, produced acid on YMA and harboured a 930 kb symbiotic plasmid (pSym). Five different RFLP patterns were identified among the 16S rRNA genes of all the isolates. Isolates grouped by PCR-RFLP of the 16S rRNA genes were also separated into groups by variation in MLEE profiles and by DNA-DNA hybridization. A representative isolate from each of these DNA homology groups had a separate position in a phylogenetic tree as determined from sequencing analysis of the 16S rRNA genes. A new species, Mesorhizobium amorphae, is proposed for the majority of the isolates, which belonged to a moderately slow- to slow-growing, acid-producing group based upon their distinct phylogenetic position, their unique electrophoretic type, their low DNA homology with reference strains representing the species within the genus Mesorhizobium and their distinct phenotypic features. Strain ACCC 19665 was chosen as the type strain for M. amorphae sp. nov. (+info)