(1/128) New genus-specific primers for the PCR identification of members of the genera Pseudonocardia and Saccharopolyspora.

Members of the family Pseudonocardiaceae are difficult to identify on the basis of their micromorphology only. The biochemical characterization of each new isolate is a painstaking and time-consuming task which cannot always be undertaken when handling large numbers of strains as is the case in natural product screening programmes. In this study, two sets of genus-specific oligonucleotides were designed which allow rapid detection of members of the genera Pseudonocardia and Saccharopolyspora by means of PCR-specific amplification. The genus specificity of these primers was validated on a wide range of collection strains and the primers were subsequently used to study a group of 106 wild-type isolates that possessed morphological characteristics of the family. Out of this group, 51 strains could be identified as members of the genus Pseudonocardia and only nine isolates could be assigned to the genus Saccharopolyspora. The diversity indicated by whole-cell fatty acid profiles of both wild-type and reference strains was compared with that identified using the oligonucleotide primers. The partial 16S rDNA sequencing of representative wild-type strains was used to validate their genus assignment by PCR-specific amplification. This study shows the industrial usefulness of the application of these direct identification tools as well as the complementary use of two sources of data, PCR-specific amplification results and fatty acid composition, to assess the diversity of a microbial population.  (+info)

(2/128) Expression of heat shock protein 72 by alveolar macrophages in hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

The current study was done to look at a possible role of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). The specific aims were to determine whether there was a difference in the expression of HSP72 in alveolar macrophages (AMs) between mice challenged with HP antigen and saline-treated control mice and between AMs obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage from 18 patients with HP and 11 normal subjects. The expression of HSP72 was studied under basal conditions and under a mild heat shock. HSP72 expression by AMs in response to in vitro stimulation with Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula was lower in AMs of control mice than in those of HP animals. HSP72 was constitutively expressed in AMs of both normal and HP subjects. Densitometric ratios showed that AMs from normal subjects responded to heat shock with a 39 degrees C-to-37 degrees C ratio of 1.72 +/- 0.18 (mean +/- SE), and AMs from HP patients responded with a ratio of 1.16 +/- 0.16 (P = 0.0377). This decreased induction by additional stress of AMs could lead to an altered immunoregulatory activity and account for the inflammation seen in HP.  (+info)

(3/128) Viral infection modulates expression of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a granulomatous, inflammatory lung disease caused by inhalation of organic Ags, most commonly thermophilic actinomycetes that cause farmer's lung disease. The early response to Ag is an increase in neutrophils in the lung, whereas the late response is a typical Th1-type granulomatous disease. Many patients who develop disease report a recent viral respiratory infection. These studies were undertaken to determine whether viruses can augment the inflammatory responses in HP. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to the thermophilic bacteria Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula (SR) for 3 consecutive days per wk for 3 wk. Some mice were exposed to SR at 2 wk after infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whereas others were exposed to SR after exposure to saline alone or to heat-inactivated RSV. SR-treated mice developed a typical, early neutrophil response and a late granulomatous inflammatory response. Up-regulation of IFN-gamma and IL-2 gene expression was also found during the late response. These responses were augmented by recent RSV infection but not by heat-inactivated RSV. Mice with a previous RSV infection also had a greater early neutrophil response to SR, with increased macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2, murine equivalent of IL-8) release in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. These studies suggest that viral infection can augment both the early and late inflammatory responses in HP.  (+info)

(4/128) Knowledge-based design of bimodular and trimodular polyketide synthases based on domain and module swaps: a route to simple statin analogues.

BACKGROUND: Polyketides are structurally diverse natural products that have a range of medically useful activities. Nonaromatic bacterial polyketides are synthesised on modular polyketide synthase (PKS) multienzymes, in which each cycle of chain extension requires a different 'module' of enzymatic activities. Attempts to design and construct modular PKSs that synthesise specified novel polyketides provide a particularly stringent test of our understanding of PKS structure and function. RESULTS: We have constructed bimodular and trimodular PKSs based on DEBS1-TE, a derivative of the erythromycin PKS that contains only modules 1 and 2 and a thioesterase (TE), by substituting multiple domains with appropriate counterparts derived from the rapamycin PKS. Hybrid PKSs were obtained that synthesised the predicted target triketide lactones, which are simple analogues of cholesterol-lowering statins. In constructing intermodular fusions, whether between modules in the same or in different proteins, it was found advantageous to preserve intact the acyl carrier protein-ketosynthase (ACP-KS) didomain that spans the junction between successive modules. CONCLUSIONS: Relatively simple considerations govern the construction of functional hybrid PKSs. Fusion sites should be chosen either in the surface-accessible linker regions between enzymatic domains, as previously revealed, or just inside the conserved margins of domains. The interaction of an ACP domain with the adjacent KS domain, whether on the same polyketide or not, is of particular importance, both through conservation of appropriate protein-protein interactions, and through optimising molecular recognition of the altered polyketide chain in the key transfer of the acyl chain from the ACP of one module to the KS of the downstream module.  (+info)

(5/128) Transcriptional organization of the erythromycin biosynthetic gene cluster of Saccharopolyspora erythraea.

The transcriptional organization of the erythromycin biosynthetic gene (ery) cluster of Saccharopolyspora erythraea has been examined by a variety of methods, including S1 nuclease protection assays, Northern blotting, Western blotting, and bioconversion analysis of erythromycin intermediates. The analysis was facilitated by the construction of novel mutants containing a S. erythraea transcriptional terminator within the eryAI, eryAIII, eryBIII, eryBIV, eryBV, eryBVI, eryCIV, and eryCVI genes and additionally by an eryAI -10 promoter mutant. All mutant strains demonstrated polar effects on the transcription of downstream ery biosynthetic genes. Our results demonstrate that the ery gene cluster contains four major polycistronic transcriptional units, the largest one extending approximately 35 kb from eryAI to eryG. Two overlapping polycistronic transcripts extending from eryBIV to eryBVII were identified. In addition, seven ery cluster promoter transcription start sites, one each beginning at eryAI, eryBI, eryBIII, eryBVI, and eryK and two beginning at eryBIV, were determined.  (+info)

(6/128) Production of 6-deoxy-13-cyclopropyl-erythromycin B by Saccharopolyspora erythraea NRRL 18643.

Cyclopropane carboxylic acid was fed to Saccharopolyspora erythraea NRRL 18643 (6-deoxyerythromycin producer), resulting in the production of 6-deoxy-13-cyclopropyl-erythromycin B. These studies provide further evidence that deoxyerythronolide B synthase has a relaxed specificity for the starter unit.  (+info)

(7/128) NMR assignments, secondary structure, and global fold of calerythrin, an EF-hand calcium-binding protein from Saccharopolyspora erythraea.

Calerythrin is a 20 kDa calcium-binding protein isolated from gram-positive bacterium Saccharopolyspora erythraea. Based on amino acid sequence homology, it has been suggested that calerythrin belongs to the family of invertebrate sarcoplasmic EF-hand calcium-binding proteins (SCPs), and therefore it is expected to function as a calcium buffer. NMR spectroscopy was used to obtain structural information on the protein in solution. Backbone and side chain 1H, 13C, and 15N assignments were obtained from triple resonance experiments HNCACB, HN(CO)CACB, HNCO, CC(CO)NH, and [15N]-edited TOCSY, and HCCH-TOCSY. Secondary structure was determined by using secondary chemical shifts and characteristic NOEs. In addition, backbone N-H residual dipolar couplings were measured from a spin-state selective [1H, 15N] correlation spectrum acquired from a sample dissolved in a dilute liquid crystal. Four EF-hand motifs with characteristic helix-loop-helix patterns were observed. Three of these are typical calcium-binding EF-hands, whereas site 2 is an atypical nonbinding site. The global fold of calerythrin was assessed by dipolar couplings. Measured dipolar couplings were compared with values calculated from four crystal structures of proteins with sequence homology to calerythrin. These data allowed us to recognize an overall similarity between the folds of calerythrin and sarcoplasmic calcium-binding proteins from the sandworm Nereis diversicolor and the amphioxus Branchiostoma lanceolatum.  (+info)

(8/128) Efficient purification and kinetic characterization of a bimodular derivative of the erythromycin polyketide synthase.

Modular polyketide synthases (PKSs), such as the 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase (DEBS), are giant multienzymes that biosynthesize a number of clinically important natural products. The modular nature of PKSs suggests the possibility of a combinatorial approach to the synthesis of novel bioactive polyketides, but the efficacy of such a strategy depends critically on gaining fundamental insight into PKS structure and function, most directly through experiments with purified PKS proteins. Several recent investigations into important aspects of the activity of these enzymes have used only partially purified proteins (often 3-4% of total protein), reflecting how difficult it is to purify these multienzymes in amounts adequate for kinetic and structural analysis. We report here the steady-state kinetic analysis of a typical bimodular PKS, 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase 1-thioesterase (DEBS 1-TE), purified from recombinant Saccharopolyspora erythraea JCB101 by a new, high-yielding procedure consisting of three steps: ammonium sulfate precipitation, hydrophobic interaction chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. The method provides 13-fold purification with a recovery of 11% of the applied PKS activity. The essentially homogeneous synthase exhibits an intrinsic methylmalonyl-CoA hydrolase activity, which competes with polyketide chain extension. The most reliable value for the kcat for synthesis of (3S,5R)-dihydroxy-(2R,4R)-dimethyl-n-heptanoic acid-delta-lactone is 0.84 min-1, and the apparent Km for (2RS)-methylmalonyl-CoA is 17 microM. This kcat is approximately 10-fold lower than the value reported previously for a differently engineered version of the truncated PKS, DEBS 1+TE. The difference likely reflects the fact that the DEBS 1-TE contains a hybrid acyl carrier protein (ACP) domain in its second module, which lowers its catalytic efficiency.  (+info)