100 research outputs found

    Non-mammalian model organisms in epigenetic research : an overview

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    Recent advances in sequencing technology and genome editing tools had an indisputably enormous impact on our understanding of complex biological pathways and their genetic and epigenetic regulation. Unlike genetics, a study of phenotype development as a result of genotypic diversity, epigenetics studies the emergence of (possibly heritable) phenotypic assortment from one DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications (i.e., DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, noncoding RNA interference, and many others) are diverse and can bring an additional layer of complexity to phenotype development and it's inheritance. Still, today, detailed mechanisms behind the development of epigenetic marks, their interaction, and their role in transgenerational inheritance of phenotypes are not fully understood. Therefore, chromatin biology and epigenetic research have a rich history of chasing discoveries in a variety of model organisms, including yeast, worms, flies, fish, and plants. Use of these models has opened numerous new avenues for investigation in the field. In the coming future, model organisms will continue to serve as an inseparable part of studies related to interpreting complex genomic and epigenomic data, gene–protein functional relationship, various diseases pathways, aging, and many others. Use of the model organism will provide insights not only into novel genetic players but also the profound impact of epigenetics on phenotype development. Here, we present a brief overview of the most commonly used nonmammalian model organism (i.e., fruit fly, nematode worm, zebrafish, and yeast) as potential experimental systems for epigenetic studies

    Structure-functional activity relationship of β-glucans from the perspective of immunomodulation : a mini-review

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    β-Glucans are a heterogeneous group of glucose polymers with a common structure comprising a main chain of β-(1,3) and/or β-(1,4)-glucopyranosyl units, along with side chains with various branches and lengths. β-Glucans initiate immune responses via immune cells, which become activated by the binding of the polymer to specific receptors. However, β-glucans from different sources also differ in their structure, conformation, physical properties, binding affinity to receptors, and thus biological functions. The mechanisms behind this are not fully understood. This mini-review provides a comprehensive and up-to-date commentary on the relationship between β-glucans' structure and function in relation to their use for immunomodulation

    Characterization of phenotype variations of luminescent and non-luminescent variants of Vibrio harveyi wild type and quorum sensing mutants

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    Vibrio harveyi, a luminescent Gram-negative motile marine bacterium, is an important pathogen responsible for causing severe diseases in shrimp, finfish and molluscs leading to severe economic losses. Non-luminescent V.harveyi obtained by culturing luminescent strains under static and dark condition were reported to alter the levels of virulence factors and metalloprotease gene and luxR expression when compared to their luminescent variants. Presently, we conducted an in vitro study aiming at the characterization of virulence-related phenotypic traits of the wild-type V.harveyi BB120 strain and its isogenic quorum sensing mutants before and after switching to the non-luminescent status. We measured the production of caseinase, haemolysin and elastase and examined swimming motility and biofilm formation. Our results showed that switching from the bioluminescent to the non-luminescent state changed the phenotypic physiology or behaviour of V.harveyi resulting in alterations in caseinase and haemolytic activities, swimming motility and biofilm formation. The switching capacity was to a large extent independent from the quorum sensing status, in that quorum sensing mutants were equally capable of making the phenotypic switch

    Sodium Ascorbate as a Quorum-Sensing Inhibitor Leads to Decreased Virulence in Vibrio campbellii

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    Vibrio campbelliiis one of the major bacterial pathogens for animals reared in aquaculture, affecting both vertebrates and invertebrates, and causes significant economic losses. It is now evident that the expressions of virulence factors in this pathogen are regulated by the density of the bacterial population. This type of regulation, termed quorum sensing (QS), is mediated by extracellular signal molecules called autoinducers. In this study, the impact of sodium ascorbate (NaAs) on the virulence ofV. campbelliiwas investigated under bothin vitroandin vivoconditions, to develop a natural anti-infective strategy to containV. campbelliiinfection in aquacultured animals. Results showed that NaAs significantly decreased swimming motility, biofilm production, and the production of virulence enzymes, such as lipase, caseinase, phospholipase, and hemolysin inV. campbellii. Consistent with this, pretreatment ofV. campbelliiwith NaAs before inoculation into the rearing water resulted in significantly increased survival of gnotobiotic brine shrimp larvae, when compared to larvae challenged with untreatedV. campbellii. Furthermore, NaAs could interfere with QS-regulated bioluminescence inV. campbellii, suggesting the QS-inhibitory activity largely determines the protective effect of NaAs toward the brine shrimp. In essence, due to the potent anti-virulence effects observed inin vitrostudies and the clinical brine shrimp-V. campbelliiinfection model, NaAs constitute a promising novel strategy for the control ofV. campbelliiinfections in aquaculture

    Structure-Functional Activity Relationship of beta-Glucans From the Perspective of Immunomodulation: A Mini-Review

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    beta-Glucans are a heterogeneous group of glucose polymers with a common structure comprising a main chain of beta-(1,3) and/or beta-(1,4)-glucopyranosyl units, along with side chains with various branches and lengths. beta-Glucans initiate immune responses via immune cells, which become activated by the binding of the polymer to specific receptors. However, beta-glucans from different sources also differ in their structure, conformation, physical properties, binding affinity to receptors, and thus biological functions. The mechanisms behind this are not fully understood. This mini-review provides a comprehensive and up-to-date commentary on the relationship between beta-glucans' structure and function in relation to their use for immunomodulation

    Determining the efficacy of ginger Zingiber officinale as a potential nutraceutical agent for boosting growth performance and health status of Labeo rohita reared in a semi-intensive culture system

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    A 120-day feeding trial was conducted in a pilot field setting to study the nutraceutical properties of ginger powder (GP), focusing on the growth performance and health status of Indian major carp L. rohita reared under a semi-intensive culture system. L. rohita fingerlings (average weight: 20.5 g) were divided into five groups and fed a diet with no GP supplementation (control), or a diet supplemented with GP at 5 g (GP5), 10 g (GP10), 15 g (GP15), and 20 g (GP20) per kg of feed. The study was carried out in outdoor tanks (20 m(2)) following a complete randomized design with three replicates for each experimental group. Dietary supplementation of GP at 15 g.kg(-1) (GP15) of feed caused a significant increase in the growth performances of the fish. Results also showed that feeding of GP15 diet led to a significant improvement in the health status of fish as indicated by a marked change in the tested haematological indices (i.e., higher RBC, WBC, Hb, and Ht values), oxidative status (increased SOD and decreased LPO levels), biochemical parameters (increased HDL, decreased cholesterol, and triglycerides levels), and activities of the liver enzymes (decreased AST and ALT). Overall results suggested that dietary supplementation of GP could positively influence the growth and health status of L. rohita fingerlings, and hence could be an important natural nutraceutical for sustainable farming of carp

    Probing the phenomenon of trained immunity in invertebrates during a transgenerational study, using brine shrimp Artemia as a model system

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    The invertebrate's innate immune system was reported to show some form of adaptive features, termed trained immunity. However, the memory characteristics of innate immune system and the mechanisms behind such phenomena remain unclear. Using the invertebrate model Artemia, we verified the possibility or impossibility of trained immunity, examining the presence or absence of enduring memory against homologous and heterologous antigens (Vibrio spp.) during a transgenerational study. We also determined the mechanisms behind such phenomenon. Our results showed the occurrence of memory and partial discrimination in Artemia's immune system, as manifested by increased resistance, for three successive generations, of the progenies of Vibrio-exposed ancestors towards a homologous bacterial strain, rather than to a heterologous strain. This increased resistance phenotype was associated with elevated levels of hsp70 and hmgb1 signaling molecules and alteration in the expression of key innate immunity-related genes. Our results also showed stochastic pattern in the acetylation and methylation levels of H4 and H3K4me3 histones, respectively, in the progenies whose ancestors were challenged. Overall results suggest that innate immune responses in invertebrates have the capacity to be trained, and epigenetic reprogramming of (selected) innate immune effectors is likely to have central place in the mechanisms leading to trained immunity

    Phloroglucinol-mediated Hsp70 production in crustaceans : protection against Vibrio parahaemolyticus in Artemia franciscana and Macrobrachium rosenbergii

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    The halophilic aquatic bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, is an important aquatic pathogen, also capable of causing acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) in shrimp resulting in significant economic losses. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop anti-infective strategies to control AHPND. The gnotobiotic Artemia model is used to establish whether a phenolic compound phloroglucinol is effective against the AHPND strain V. parahaemolyticus MO904. We found that pretreatment with phloroglucinol, at an optimum concentration (30 mu M), protects axenic brine shrimp larvae against V. parahaemolyticus infection and induced heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) production (twofolds or more) as compared with the control. We further demonstrated that the Vibrio-protective effect of phloroglucinol was caused by its prooxidant effect and is linked to the induction of Hsp70. In addition, RNA interference confirms that phloroglucinol-induced Hsp70 mediates the survival of brine shrimp larvae against V. parahaemolyticus infection. The study was validated in xenic Artemia model and in a Macrobrachium rosenbergii system. Pretreatment of xenic brine shrimp larvae (30 mu M) and Macrobrachium larvae (5 mu M) with phloroglucinol increases the survival of xenic brine shrimp and Macrobrachium larvae against subsequent V. parahaemolyticus challenge. Taken together, our study provides substantial evidence that the prooxidant activity of phloroglucinol induces Hsp70 production protecting brine shrimp, A. franciscana, and freshwater shrimp, M. rosenbergii, against the AHPND V. parahaemolyticus strain MO904. Probably, phloroglucinol treatment might become part of a holistic strategy to control AHPND in shrimp
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