(1/17643) Optical mapping of Plasmodium falciparum chromosome 2.

Detailed restriction maps of microbial genomes are a valuable resource in genome sequencing studies but are toilsome to construct by contig construction of maps derived from cloned DNA. Analysis of genomic DNA enables large stretches of the genome to be mapped and circumvents library construction and associated cloning artifacts. We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis purified Plasmodium falciparum chromosome 2 DNA as the starting material for optical mapping, a system for making ordered restriction maps from ensembles of individual DNA molecules. DNA molecules were bound to derivatized glass surfaces, cleaved with NheI or BamHI, and imaged by digital fluorescence microscopy. Large pieces of the chromosome containing ordered DNA restriction fragments were mapped. Maps were assembled from 50 molecules producing an average contig depth of 15 molecules and high-resolution restriction maps covering the entire chromosome. Chromosome 2 was found to be 976 kb by optical mapping with NheI, and 946 kb with BamHI, which compares closely to the published size of 947 kb from large-scale sequencing. The maps were used to further verify assemblies from the plasmid library used for sequencing. Maps generated in silico from the sequence data were compared to the optical mapping data, and good correspondence was found. Such high-resolution restriction maps may become an indispensable resource for large-scale genome sequencing projects.  (+info)

(2/17643) 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)

(3/17643) Alternative splicing generates multiple mRNA forms of the acetylcholine receptor gamma-subunit in rat muscle.

The fetal type acetylcholine receptor, composed of the alphabeta gammadelta subunits, has shown a highly variable channel kinetics during postnatal development. We examine the hypothesis whether such a variability could result from multiple channel forms, differing in the N-terminus of the gamma-subunit. RT-PCR revealed, in addition to the full-length mRNA, three new forms lacking exon 4. One of them in addition lacks 19 nucleotides from exon 5, predicting a complete subunit, with a 43 residues shorter N-terminus. A third one lacking the complete exon 5 predicts a subunit without transmembrane segments. These forms, generated by alternative splicing, may account for the kinetic variability of the acetylcholine receptor channel.  (+info)

(4/17643) Cloning, expression, and enzymatic characterization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa topoisomerase IV.

The topoisomerase IV subunit A gene, parC homolog, has been cloned and sequenced from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, with cDNA encoding the N-terminal region of Escherichia coli parC used as a probe. The homolog and its upstream gene were presumed to be parC and parE through sequence homology with the parC and parE genes of other organisms. The deduced amino acid sequence of ParC and ParE showed 33 and 32% identity with that of the P. aeruginosa DNA gyrase subunits, GyrA and GyrB, respectively, and 69 and 75% identity with that of E. coli ParC and ParE, respectively. The putative ParC and ParE proteins were overexpressed and separately purified by use of a fusion system with a maltose-binding protein, and their enzymatic properties were examined. The reconstituted enzyme had ATP-dependent decatenation activity, which is the main catalytic activity of bacterial topoisomerase IV, and relaxing activities but had no supercoiling activity. So, the cloned genes were identified as P. aeruginosa topoisomerase IV genes. The inhibitory effects of quinolones on the activities of topoisomerase IV and DNA gyrase were compared. The 50% inhibitory concentrations of quinolones for the decatenation activity of topoisomerase IV were from five to eight times higher than those for the supercoiling activities of P. aeruginosa DNA gyrase. These results confirmed that topoisomerase IV is less sensitive to fluoroquinolones than is DNA gyrase and may be a secondary target of new quinolones in wild-type P. aeruginosa.  (+info)

(5/17643) Cloning and expression of the algL gene, encoding the Azotobacter chroococcum alginate lyase: purification and characterization of the enzyme.

The alginate lyase-encoding gene (algL) of Azotobacter chroococcum was localized to a 3.1-kb EcoRI DNA fragment that revealed an open reading frame of 1,116 bp. This open reading frame encodes a protein of 42.98 kDa, in agreement with the value previously reported by us for this protein. The deduced protein has a potential N-terminal signal peptide that is consistent with its proposed periplasmic location. The analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence indicated that the gene sequence has a high homology (90% identity) to the Azotobacter vinelandii gene sequence, which has very recently been deposited in the GenBank database, and that it has 64% identity to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa gene sequence but that it has rather low homology (15 to 22% identity) to the gene sequences encoding alginate lyase in other bacteria. The A. chroococcum AlgL protein was overproduced in Escherichia coli and purified to electrophoretic homogeneity in a two-step chromatography procedure on hydroxyapatite and phenyl-Sepharose. The kinetic and molecular parameters of the recombinant alginate lyase are similar to those found for the native enzyme.  (+info)

(6/17643) Ferritin mutants of Escherichia coli are iron deficient and growth impaired, and fur mutants are iron deficient.

Escherichia coli contains at least two iron storage proteins, a ferritin (FtnA) and a bacterioferritin (Bfr). To investigate their specific functions, the corresponding genes (ftnA and bfr) were inactivated by replacing the chromosomal ftnA and bfr genes with disrupted derivatives containing antibiotic resistance cassettes in place of internal segments of the corresponding coding regions. Single mutants (ftnA::spc and bfr::kan) and a double mutant (ftnA::spc bfr::kan) were generated and confirmed by Western and Southern blot analyses. The iron contents of the parental strain (W3110) and the bfr mutant increased by 1.5- to 2-fold during the transition from logarithmic to stationary phase in iron-rich media, whereas the iron contents of the ftnA and ftnA bfr mutants remained unchanged. The ftnA and ftnA bfr mutants were growth impaired in iron-deficient media, but this was apparent only after the mutant and parental strains had been precultured in iron-rich media. Surprisingly, ferric iron uptake regulation (fur) mutants also had very low iron contents (2.5-fold less iron than Fur+ strains) despite constitutive expression of the iron acquisition systems. The iron deficiencies of the ftnA and fur mutants were confirmed by Mossbauer spectroscopy, which further showed that the low iron contents of ftnA mutants are due to a lack of magnetically ordered ferric iron clusters likely to correspond to FtnA iron cores. In combination with the fur mutation, ftnA and bfr mutations produced an enhanced sensitivity to hydroperoxides, presumably due to an increase in production of "reactive ferrous iron." It is concluded that FtnA acts as an iron store accommodating up to 50% of the cellular iron during postexponential growth in iron-rich media and providing a source of iron that partially compensates for iron deficiency during iron-restricted growth. In addition to repressing the iron acquisition systems, Fur appears to regulate the demand for iron, probably by controlling the expression of iron-containing proteins. The role of Bfr remains unclear.  (+info)

(7/17643) Analysis of 4-phosphopantetheinylation of polyhydroxybutyrate synthase from Ralstonia eutropha: generation of beta-alanine auxotrophic Tn5 mutants and cloning of the panD gene region.

The postulated posttranslational modification of the polyhydroxybutyrate (PHA) synthase from Ralstonia eutropha by 4-phosphopantetheine was investigated. Four beta-alanine auxotrophic Tn5-induced mutants of R. eutropha HF39 were isolated, and two insertions were mapped in an open reading frame with strong similarity to the panD gene from Escherichia coli, encoding L-aspartate-1-decarboxylase (EC, whereas two other insertions were mapped in an open reading frame (ORF) with strong similarity to the NAD(P)+ transhydrogenase (EC alpha 1 subunit, encoded by the pntAA gene from Escherichia coli. The panD gene was cloned by complementation of the panD mutant of R. eutropha Q20. DNA sequencing of the panD gene region (3,312 bp) revealed an ORF of 365 bp, encoding a protein with 63 and 67% amino acid sequence similarity to PanD from E. coli and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. Subcloning of only this ORF into vectors pBBR1MCS-3 and pBluescript KS- led to complementation of the panD mutants of R. eutropha and E. coli SJ16, respectively. panD-encoded L-aspartate-1-decarboxylase was further confirmed by an enzymatic assay. Upstream of panD, an ORF with strong similarity to pntAA from E. coli, encoding NAD(P)+ transhydrogenase subunit alpha 1 was found; downstream of panD, two ORFs with strong similarity to pntAB and pntB, encoding subunits alpha 2 and beta of the NAD(P)+ transhydrogenase, respectively, were identified. Thus, a hitherto undetermined organization of pan and pnt genes was found in R. eutropha. Labeling experiments using one of the R. eutropha panD mutants and [2-14C]beta-alanine provided no evidence that R. eutropha PHA synthase is covalently modified by posttranslational attachment of 4-phosphopantetheine, nor did the E. coli panD mutant exhibit detectable labeling of functional PHA synthase from R. eutropha.  (+info)

(8/17643) A novel reduced flavin mononucleotide-dependent methanesulfonate sulfonatase encoded by the sulfur-regulated msu operon of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

When Pseudomonas aeruginosa is grown with organosulfur compounds as sulfur sources, it synthesizes a set of proteins whose synthesis is repressed in the presence of sulfate, cysteine, or thiocyanate (so-called sulfate starvation-induced proteins). The gene encoding one of these proteins, PA13, was isolated from a cosmid library of P. aeruginosa PAO1 and sequenced. It encoded a 381-amino-acid protein that was related to several reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH2)-dependent monooxygenases, and it was the second in an operon of three genes, which we have named msuEDC. The MsuD protein catalyzed the desulfonation of alkanesulfonates, requiring oxygen and FMNH2 for the reaction, and showed highest activity with methanesulfonate. MsuE was an NADH-dependent flavin mononucleotide (FMN) reductase, which provided reduced FMN for the MsuD enzyme. Expression of the msu operon was analyzed with a transcriptional msuD::xylE fusion and was found to be repressed in the presence of sulfate, sulfite, sulfide, or cysteine and derepressed during growth with methionine or alkanesulfonates. Growth with methanesulfonate required an intact cysB gene, and the msu operon is therefore part of the cys regulon, since sulfite utilization was found to be CysB independent in this species. Measurements of msuD::xylE expression in cysN and cysI genetic backgrounds showed that sulfate, sulfite, and sulfide or cysteine play independent roles in negatively regulating msu expression, and sulfonate utilization therefore appears to be tightly regulated.  (+info)