(1/1464) Evolutionary relationships of pathogenic clones of Vibrio cholerae by sequence analysis of four housekeeping genes.

Studies of the Vibrio cholerae population, using molecular typing techniques, have shown the existence of several pathogenic clones, mainly sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones. However, the relationship of the pathogenic clones to environmental V. cholerae isolates remains unclear. A previous study to determine the phylogeny of V. cholerae by sequencing the asd (aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase) gene of V. cholerae showed that the sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones had very different asd sequences which fell into separate lineages in the V. cholerae population. As gene trees drawn from a single gene may not reflect the true topology of the population, we sequenced the mdh (malate dehydrogenase) and hlyA (hemolysin A) genes from representatives of environmental and clinical isolates of V. cholerae and found that the mdh and hlyA sequences from the three pathogenic clones were identical, except for the previously reported 11-bp deletion in hlyA in the sixth-pandemic clone. Identical sequences were obtained, despite average nucleotide differences in the mdh and hlyA genes of 1.52 and 3.25%, respectively, among all the isolates, suggesting that the three pathogenic clones are closely related. To extend these observations, segments of the recA and dnaE genes were sequenced from a selection of the pathogenic isolates, where the sequences were either identical or substantially different between the clones. The results show that the three pathogenic clones are very closely related and that there has been a high level of recombination in their evolution.  (+info)

(2/1464) Characterization of a Caenorhabditis elegans recA-like gene Ce-rdh-1 involved in meiotic recombination.

A recA-like gene was identified in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome project database. The putative product of the gene, termed Ce-rdh-1 (C. elegans RAD51 and DMC1/LIM15 homolog 1), consists of 357 amino acid residues. The predicted amino acid sequence of Ce-rdh-1 showed 46-60% identity to both RAD51 type and DMC1/LIM15 type genes in several eukaryote species. The results of RNAi (RNA-mediated interference) indicated that repression of Ce-rdh-1 blocked chromosome condensation of six bivalents and dissociation of chiasmata in oocytes of F1 progeny. Oogenesis did not proceed to the diakinesis stage. Accordingly, all the eggs produced (F2) died in early stages. These results suggest that Ce-rdh-1 participates in meiotic recombination.  (+info)

(3/1464) RecA-Mediated gene conversion and aminoglycoside resistance in strains heterozygous for rRNA.

Clinical resistance to aminoglycosides in general is due to enzymatic drug modification. Mutational alterations of the small ribosomal subunit rRNA have recently been found to mediate acquired resistance in bacterial pathogens in vivo. In this study we investigated the effect of 16S rRNA heterozygosity (wild-type [wt] and mutant [mut] operons at position 1408 [1408wt/1408mut]) on aminoglycoside resistance. Using an integrative vector, we introduced a single copy of a mutated rRNA operon (1408 A-->G) into Mycobacterium smegmatis, which carries two chromosomal wild-type rRNA operons; the resultant transformants exhibited an aminoglycoside-sensitive phenotype. In contrast, introduction of the mutated rRNA operon into an M. smegmatis rrnB knockout strain carrying a single functional chromosomal wild-type rRNA operon resulted in aminoglycoside-resistant transformants. Subsequent analysis by DNA sequencing and RNase protection assays unexpectedly demonstrated a homozygous mutant genotype, rRNAmut/rRNAmut, in the resistant transformants. To investigate whether RecA-mediated gene conversion was responsible for the aminoglycoside-resistant phenotype in the rRNAwt/rRNAmut strains, recA mutant strains were generated by allelic exchange techniques. Transformation of the recA rrnB M. smegmatis mutant strains with an integrative vector expressing a mutated rRNA operon (Escherichia coli position 1408 A-->G) resulted in transformants with an aminoglycoside-sensitive phenotype. Subsequent analysis showed stable heterozygosity at 16S rRNA position 1408 with a single wild-type allele and a single resistant allele. These results demonstrate that rRNA-mediated mutational resistance to aminoglycosides is recessive.  (+info)

(4/1464) A unique DNase activity shares the active site with ATPase activity of the RecA/Rad51 homologue (Pk-REC) from a hyperthermophilic archaeon.

A RecA/Rad51 homologue from Pyrococcus kodakaraensis KOD1 (Pk-REC) is the smallest protein among various RecA/Rad51 homologues. Nevertheless, Pk-Rec is a super multifunctional protein and shows a deoxyribonuclease activity. This deoxyribonuclease activity was inhibited by 3 mM or more ATP, suggesting that the catalytic centers of the ATPase and deoxyribonuclease activities are overlapped. To examine whether these two enzymatic activities share the same active site, a number of site-directed mutations were introduced into Pk-REC and the ATPase and deoxyribonuclease activities of the mutant proteins were determined. The mutant enzyme in which double mutations Lys-33 to Ala and Thr-34 to Ala were introduced, fully lost both of these activities, indicating that Lys-33 and/or Thr-34 are important for both ATPase and deoxyribonuclease activities. The mutation of Asp-112 to Ala slightly and almost equally reduced both ATPase and deoxyribonuclease activities. In addition, the mutation of Glu-54 to Gln did not seriously affect the ATPase, deoxyribonuclease, and UV tolerant activities. These results strongly suggest that the active sites of the ATPase and deoxyribonuclease activities of Pk-REC are common. It is noted that unlike Glu-96 in Escherichia coli RecA, which has been proposed to be a catalytic residue for the ATPase activity, the corresponding residual Glu-54 in Pk-REC is not involved in the catalytic function of the protein.  (+info)

(5/1464) Rapid and sensitive quantification of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected mouse tissues by continuous fluorescent monitoring of PCR.

The quantity of Borrelia burgdorferi organisms in tissue samples is an important determinant for infection studies in the mouse model of Lyme disease. This report presents the development of a rapid and sensitive external-standard-based PCR assay for the absolute quantification of B. burgdorferi in mouse tissue samples. The assay uses a double-stranded DNA dye to continuously monitor product formation and in less than an hour was able to quantify samples ranging up to 6 log units in concentration. The PCR efficiencies of the sample and the standard were matched by using a standard composed of purified B. burgdorferi chromosome mixed with tissue-matched mouse genome lacking bacterial DNA. Normalization of B. burgdorferi quantities to the mouse nidogen gene allowed comparison of B. burgdorferi numbers in samples isolated from different tissues and strains. PCR analysis of the chromosomal gene recA in cultured B. burgdorferi was consistent with a single recA per bacterium. The parameters defined in this assay should be applicable to quantification of other organisms, even infectious agents for which no ready source of DNA standard is available. In summary, this report presents a rapid external-standard-based PCR method for the quantification of B. burgdorferi in mouse DNA samples.  (+info)

(6/1464) The Mycobacterium tuberculosis recA intein can be used in an ORFTRAP to select for open reading frames.

The DNA repair protein RecA of Mycobacterium tuberculosis contains an intein, a self-splicing protein element. We have employed this Mtu recA intein to create a selection system for successful intein splicing by inserting it into a kanamycin-resistance gene so that functional antibiotic resistance can only be restored upon protein splicing. We then proceeded to develop an ORFTRAP, i.e., a selection system for the cloning of open reading frames (ORFs). The ORFTRAP exploits the self-splicing properties of inteins (which depend on full-length in-frame translation of a precursor protein) by allowing protein splicing to occur when DNA fragments encoding ORFs are inserted into the Mtu recA intein, whereas DNA fragments containing non-ORFs are selected against. Regions of the Mtu recA intein that tolerate the insertion of additional amino acids were identified by Bgl II linker scanning mutagenesis, and a respective construct was chosen as the ORFTRAP. To test the maximum insert size that could be cloned into ORFTRAP, DNA fragments of increasing length from the Listeria monocytogenes hly gene as well as a genomic library of Haemophilus influenzae were inserted and it was found that the longest permissive inserts were 425 bp and 251 bp, respectively. The H. influenzae ORFTRAP library also demonstrated the strength (strong selection power) and weakness (insertion of very small fragments) of the system. Further modifications should make the ORFTRAP useful for protein expression, epitope mapping, and antigen screening.  (+info)

(7/1464) Characterization of thermostable RecA protein and analysis of its interaction with single-stranded DNA.

Thermostable RecA protein (ttRecA) from Thermus thermophilus HB8 showed strand exchange activity at 65 degrees C but not at 37 degrees C, although nucleoprotein complex was observed at both temperatures. ttRecA showed single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-dependent ATPase activity, and its activity was maximal at 65 degrees C. The kinetic parameters, K(m) and kcat, for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis with poly(dT) were 1.4 mM and 0.60 s-1 at 65 degrees C, and 0.34 mM and 0.28 s-1 at 37 degrees C, respectively. Substrate cooperativity was observed at both temperatures, and the Hill coefficient was about 2. At 65 degrees C, all tested ssDNAs were able to stimulate the ATPase activity. The order of ATPase stimulation was: poly(dC) > poly(dT) > M13 ssDNA > poly(dA). Double-stranded DNAs (dsDNA), poly(dT).poly(dA) and M13 dsDNA, were unable to activate the enzyme at 65 degrees C. At 37 degrees C, however, not only dsDNAs but also poly(dA) and M13 ssDNA showed poor stimulating ability. At 25 degrees C, poly(dA) and M13 ssDNA gave circular dichroism (CD) peaks at around 192 nm, which reflect a particular structure of DNA. The conformation was changed by an upshift of temperature or binding to Escherichia coli RecA protein (ecRecA), but not to ttRecA. The dissociation constant between ecRecA and poly(dA) was estimated to be 44 microM at 25 degrees C by the change in the CD. These observations suggest that the capability to modify the conformation of ssDNA may be different between ttRecA and ecRecA. The specific structure of ssDNA was altered by heat or binding of ecRecA. After this alteration, ttRecA and ecRecA can express their activities at each physiological temperature.  (+info)

(8/1464) Induction of prophages of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 with norfloxacin.

Norfloxacin (NFLX) caused induction of prophages VT1 and VT2 of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 at subinhibitory concentrations. In time course experiments, we observed the following sequential events: upon induction, the phage genomes underwent multiplication; the amount of stx genes increased; and subsequently, large quantities of toxins VT1 and VT2 were produced. Further studies showed that the molecular mechanism of prophage induction is closely related to the RecA system since the prophage VT2 was not induced with NFLX in a recA mutant strain.  (+info)