The requirement of an adherent cell substratum for the growth of developing plasmacytoma cells in vivo.
The intraperitoneal injection of pristane (2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane) produces an environment conductive to primary plasmacytoma growth in as few as 3 days. After pristane injection, the total free peritoneal cell population increases from a normal value of 1.55 X 10(6) to 5.28 X 10(6) and remains at this elevated level for at least 50 days. The adherent peritoneal cell population, composed of both mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear leukocytes, is the primary source of this increase. In the pristane-conditioned peritoneum, these cells rapidly form a chronic granuloma on the peritoneal connective tissues. Daily subcutaneous treatment of mice with 0.5 mg of hydrocortisone beginning simultaneously with pristane injection prevents the increase in the peritoneal cell population, granuloma formation, d the production of a conditoned environment. In mice treated with hydrocortisone beginning 3 days after pristane injection, however, neither the peritoneal cell increase nor the production of a conditioned environment is prevented. The intraperitoneal injection of thioglycolate medium at 4-day intervals produces an elevation of the free adherent peritoneal cell population similar to pristane, but does not produce a granuloma or a conditioned environment. The intraperitoneal transfer of thioglycolate-induced adherent peritonel cells to mice treated with pristane and hydrocortisone simultaneously restores the production of a conditioned environment. These findings indicate that the adherent peritoneal cell population is responsible for the conditioning effect, and that the establishment of a resident population of these cells is necessary to produce conditioning. (+info
The PalkBFGHJKL promoter is under carbon catabolite repression control in Pseudomonas oleovorans but not in Escherichia coli alk+ recombinants.
The alk genes are located on the OCT plasmid of Pseudomonas oleovorans and encode an inducible pathway for the utilization of n-alkanes as carbon and energy sources. We have investigated the influence of alternative carbon sources on the induction of this pathway in P. oleovorans and Escherichia coli alk+ recombinants. In doing so, we confirmed earlier reports that induction of alkane hydroxylase activity in pseudomonads is subject to carbon catabolite repression. Specifically, synthesis of the monooxygenase component AlkB is repressed at the transcriptional level. The alk genes have been cloned into plasmid pGEc47, which has a copy number of about 5 to 10 per cell in both E. coli and pseudomonads. Pseudomonas putida GPo12 is a P. oleovorans derivative cured of the OCT plasmid. Upon introduction of pGEc47 in this strain, carbon catabolite repression of alkane hydroxylase activity was reduced significantly. In cultures of recombinant E. coli HB101 and W3110 carrying pGEc47, induction of AlkB and transcription of the alkB gene were no longer subject to carbon catabolite repression. This suggests that carbon catabolite repression of alkane degradation is regulated differently in Pseudomonas and in E. coli strains. These results also indicate that PalkBFGHJKL, the Palk promoter, might be useful in attaining high expression levels of heterologous genes in E. coli grown on inexpensive carbon sources which normally trigger carbon catabolite repression of native expression systems in this host. (+info
Role of the alternative sigma factor sigmaS in expression of the AlkS regulator of the Pseudomonas oleovorans alkane degradation pathway.
The AlkS protein activates transcription from the PalkB promoter, allowing the expression of a number of genes required for the assimilation of alkanes in Pseudomonas oleovorans. We have identified the promoter from which the alkS gene is transcribed, PalkS, and analyzed its expression under different conditions and genetic backgrounds. Transcription from PalkS was very low during the exponential phase of growth and increased considerably when cells reached the stationary phase. The PalkS -10 region was similar to the consensus described for promoters recognized by Escherichia coli RNA polymerase bound to the alternative sigma factor sigmaS, which directs the expression of many stationary-phase genes. Reporter strains containing PalkS-lacZ transcriptional fusions showed that PalkS promoter is very weakly expressed in a Pseudomonas putida strain bearing an inactivated allele of the gene coding for sigmaS, rpoS. When PalkS was transferred to E. coli, transcription started at the same site and expression was higher in stationary phase only if sigmaS-RNA polymerase was present. The low levels of AlkS protein generated in the absence of sigmaS were enough to support a partial induction of the PalkB promoter. The -10 and -35 regions of PalkS promoter also show some similarity to the consensus recognized by sigmaD-RNA polymerase, the primary form of RNA polymerase. We propose that in exponential phase PalkS is probably recognized both by sigmaD-RNA polymerase (inefficiently) and by sigmaS-RNA polymerase (present at low levels), leading to low-level expression of the alkS gene. sigmaS-RNA polymerase would be responsible for the high level of activity of PalkS observed in stationary phase. (+info
Effects of surfactant mixtures, including Corexit 9527, on bacterial oxidation of acetate and alkanes in crude oil.
Mixtures of nonionic and anionic surfactants, including Corexit 9527, were tested to determine their effects on bacterial oxidation of acetate and alkanes in crude oil by cells pregrown on these substrates. Corexit 9527 inhibited oxidation of the alkanes in crude oil by Acinetobacter calcoaceticus ATCC 31012, while Span 80, a Corexit 9527 constituent, markedly increased the oil oxidation rate. Another Corexit 9527 constituent, the negatively charged dioctyl sulfosuccinate (AOT), strongly reduced the oxidation rate. The combination of Span 80 and AOT increased the rate, but not as much as Span 80 alone increased it, which tentatively explained the negative effect of Corexit 9527. The results of acetate uptake and oxidation experiments indicated that the nonionic surfactants interacted with the acetate uptake system while the anionic surfactant interacted with the oxidation system of the bacteria. The overall effect of Corexit 9527 on alkane oxidation by A. calcoaceticus ATCC 31012 thus seems to be the sum of the independent effects of the individual surfactants in the surfactant mixture. When Rhodococcus sp. strain 094 was used, the alkane oxidation rate decreased to almost zero in the presence of a mixture of Tergitol 15-S-7 and AOT even though the Tergitol 15-S-7 surfactant increased the alkane oxidation rate and AOT did not affect it. This indicated that there was synergism between the two surfactants rather than an additive effect like that observed for A. calcoaceticus ATCC 31012. (+info
A common pharmacophore for cytotoxic natural products that stabilize microtubules.
Taxol (paclitaxel), a complex diterpene obtained from the Pacific yew, Taxus brevifolia, is arguably the most important new drug in cancer chemotherapy. The mechanism of cytotoxic action for paclitaxel-i.e., the stabilization of microtubules leading to mitotic arrest-is now shared by four recently identified natural products, eleutherobin, epothilones A and B, and discodermolide. Their ability to competitively inhibit [3H]paclitaxel binding to microtubules strongly suggests the existence of a common binding site. Recently, we have developed nonaromatic analogues of paclitaxel that maintain high cytotoxicity and tubulin binding (e.g., nonataxel). We now propose a common pharmacophore that unites paclitaxel, nonataxel, the epothilones, eleutherobin, and discodermolide, and rationalizes the extensive structure-activity relationship data pertinent to these compounds. Insights from the common pharmacophore have enabled the development of a hybrid construct with demonstrated cytotoxic and tubulin-binding activity. (+info
Fundibacter jadensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a new slightly halophilic bacterium, isolated from intertidal sediment.
A moderately halophilic hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium was isolated from continuous cultures containing a suspension of intertidal sediment from the German North Sea coast with hexadecane as the sole carbon source. On the basis of phenotypic characteristics, fatty acid analysis and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, it was considered to be a new species belonging to a new genus. It is a Gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacterium, whose cell size varies. It grows at concentrations of 0.5-15% (w/v) NaCl and utilizes a restricted spectrum of carbon sources. The G + C content of the DNA is 63.6 mol%. Comparative 16S rDNA studies show a clear affiliation of this bacterium to the gamma subclass of the class Proteobacteria. Comparison of phylogenetic data indicate that it is most closely related to Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus (88.9% similarity in 16S rRNA gene sequence). Since it is impossible to find a sufficiently closely related species, we propose the name Fundibacter jadensis gen. nov., sp. nov. for the bacteria. The type strain is T9T (= DSM 12178T). (+info
Effect of organic solvents on the yield of solvent-tolerant Pseudomonas putida S12.
Solvent-tolerant microorganisms are useful in biotransformations with whole cells in two-phase solvent-water systems. The results presented here describe the effects that organic solvents have on the growth of these organisms. The maximal growth rate of Pseudomonas putida S12, 0.8 h-1, was not affected by toluene in batch cultures, but in chemostat cultures the solvent decreased the maximal growth rate by nearly 50%. Toluene, ethylbenzene, propylbenzene, xylene, hexane, and cyclohexane reduced the biomass yield, and this effect depended on the concentration of the solvent in the bacterial membrane and not on its chemical structure. The dose response to solvents in terms of yield was linear up to an approximately 200 mM concentration of solvent in the bacterial membrane, both in the wild type and in a mutant lacking an active efflux system for toluene. Above this critical concentration the yield of the wild type remained constant at 0.2 g of protein/g of glucose with increasing concentrations of toluene. The reduction of the yield in the presence of solvents is due to a maintenance higher by a factor of three or four as well as to a decrease of the maximum growth yield by 33%. Therefore, energy-consuming adaptation processes as well as the uncoupling effect of the solvents reduce the yield of the tolerant cells. (+info
Butane metabolism by butane-grown 'Pseudomonas butanovora'.
The pathway of butane metabolism by butane-grown 'Pseudomonas butanovora' was determined to be butane --> 1-butanol --> butyraldehyde butyrate. Butane was initially oxidized at the terminal carbon to produce 1-butanol. Up to 90% of the butane consumed was accounted for as 1-butanol when cells were incubated in the presence of 5 mM 1-propanol (to block subsequent metabolism of 1-butanol). No production of the subterminal oxidation product, 2-butanol, was detected, even in the presence of 5 mM 2-pentanol (an effective inhibitor of 2-butanol consumption). Ethane, propane and pentane, but not methane, were also oxidized. Butane-grown cells consumed 1-butanol and other terminal alcohols. Secondary alcohols, including 2-butanol, were oxidized to the corresponding ketones. Butyraldehyde was further oxidized to butyrate as demonstrated by blocking butyrate metabolism with 1 mM sodium valerate. Butyrate also accumulated from butane when cells were incubated with 1 mM sodium valerate. The pathway intermediates (butane, 1-butanol, butyraldehyde and butyrate) and 2-butanol stimulated O2 consumption by butane-grown cells. 1-Butanol, butyraldehyde and butyrate supported growth of 'P. butanovora', as did 2-butanol and lactate. (+info