405 research outputs found

    Characterisation of the effects of salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds on type three secretion in Escherichia coli O157:H7

    Get PDF
    Recent work has highlighted a number of compounds that target bacterial virulence by affecting gene regulation. In this work, we show that small-molecule inhibitors affect the expression of the type III secretion system (T3SS) of <i>Escherichia coli</i> O157:H7 in liquid culture and when the bacteria are attached to bovine epithelial cells. The inhibition of T3SS expression resulted in a reduction in the capacity of the bacteria to form attaching and effacing lesions. Our results show a marked variation in the ability of four structurally-related compounds to inhibit the T3SS of a panel of isolates. Using transcriptomics, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the conserved- and inhibitor-specific transcriptional responses to the four compounds. These analyses of gene expression show that numerous virulence genes, located on horizontally-acquired DNA elements, are affected by the compounds but the number of genes significantly affected varied markedly between the compounds. Overall, we highlight the importance of assessing the effect of such "anti-virulence" agents on a range of isolates and discuss the possible mechanisms which may lead to the co-ordinate down-regulation of horizontally acquired virulence genes

    Turns in transmembrane helices – determination of the minimal length of a “helical hairpin” and derivation of a fine-grained turn propensity scale

    Get PDF
    We have recently reported a first experimental turn propensity scale for transmembrane helices. This scale was derived from measurements of how efficiently a given residue placed in the middle of a 40 residue poly(Leu) stretch induces the formation of a "helical hairpin" with two rather than one transmembrane segment. We have now extended these studies, and have determined the minimum length of a poly(Leu) stretch compatible with the formation of a helical hairpin. We have also derived a more fine-grained turn propensity scale by (i) introducing each of the 20 amino acid residues into the middle of the shortest poly(Leu) stretch compatible with helical hairpin formation, and (ii) introducing pairs of residues in the middle of the 40 residue poly(Leu) stretch. The new turn propensities are consistent with the amino acid frequencies found in short hairpin loops in membrane proteins of known 3D structure

    Red Fluorescent Chlamydia trachomatis Applied to Live Cell Imaging and Screening for Antibacterial Agents

    Get PDF
    In this study, we describe the application of a transformed Chlamydia trachomatis strain constitutively expressing the red fluorescent protein mCherry, to allow real-time monitoring of the infection cycle and screening for agents that block replication of C. trachomatis. The red fluorescent C. trachomatis strain was detected autonomously without antibody staining and was equally susceptible to doxycycline as the wild type strain. A high-throughput screening assay was developed using the transformed strain and automated fluorescence microscopy. The assay was used in a pilot screen of a 349 compound library containing natural products from Australian flora and fauna. Compounds with anti-chlamydial activity were tested for dose response and toxicity to host cells and two non-toxic compounds had 50% effective concentration (EC50) values in the low micromolar range. Natural products are valuable sources for drug discovery and the identified Chlamydia growth inhibition may be starting points for future drug development. Live cell imaging was used to visualize growth of the red fluorescent C. trachomatis strain over time. The screening assay reduced workload and reagents compared to an assay requiring immunostaining and could further be used to monitor the development of Chlamydia inclusions and anti-chlamydial effect in real time

    Improved predictions by Pcons.net using multiple templates

    Get PDF
    Summary: Multiple templates can often be used to build more accurate homology models than models built from a single template. Here we introduce PconsM, an automated protocol that uses multiple templates to build protein models. PconsM has been among the top-performing methods in the recent CASP experiments and consistently perform better than the single template models used in Pcons.net. In particular for the easier targets with many alternative templates with a high degree of sequence identity, quality is readily improved with a few percentages over the highest ranked model built on a single template. PconsM is available as an additional pipeline within the Pcons.net protein structure prediction server

    CRANKITE: a fast polypeptide backbone conformation sampler

    Get PDF
    Background: CRANKITE is a suite of programs for simulating backbone conformations of polypeptides and proteins. The core of the suite is an efficient Metropolis Monte Carlo sampler of backbone conformations in continuous three-dimensional space in atomic details. Methods: In contrast to other programs relying on local Metropolis moves in the space of dihedral angles, our sampler utilizes local crankshaft rotations of rigid peptide bonds in Cartesian space. Results: The sampler allows fast simulation and analysis of secondary structure formation and conformational changes for proteins of average length

    TOPCONS: consensus prediction of membrane protein topology

    Get PDF
    TOPCONS (http://topcons.net/) is a web server for consensus prediction of membrane protein topology. The underlying algorithm combines an arbitrary number of topology predictions into one consensus prediction and quantifies the reliability of the prediction based on the level of agreement between the underlying methods, both on the protein level and on the level of individual TM regions. Benchmarking the method shows that overall performance levels match the best available topology prediction methods, and for sequences with high reliability scores, performance is increased by ∼10 percentage points. The web interface allows for constraining parts of the sequence to a known inside/outside location, and detailed results are displayed both graphically and in text format

    Type III secretion inhibitors for the management of bacterial plant diseases

    Get PDF
    Altres ajuts: COST Action SUSTAIN (FA1208) from the European Union.The identification of chemical compounds that prevent and combat bacterial diseases is fundamental for crop production. Bacterial virulence inhibitors are a promising alternative to classical control treatments, because they have a low environmental impact and are less likely to generate bacterial resistance. The major virulence determinant of most animal and plant bacterial pathogens is the type III secretion system (T3SS). In this work, we screened nine plant extracts and 12 isolated compounds-including molecules effective against human pathogens-for their capacity to inhibit the T3SS of plant pathogens and for their applicability as virulence inhibitors for crop protection. The screen was performed using a luminescent reporter system developed in the model pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum. Five synthetic molecules, one natural product and two plant extracts were found to down-regulate T3SS transcription, most through the inhibition of the regulator hrpB. In addition, for three of the molecules, corresponding to salicylidene acylhydrazide derivatives, the inhibitory effect caused a dramatic decrease in the secretion capacity, which was translated into impaired plant responses. These candidate virulence inhibitors were then tested for their ability to protect plants. We demonstrated that salicylidene acylhydrazides can limit R. solanacearum multiplication in planta and protect tomato plants from bacterial speck caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Our work validates the efficiency of transcription reporters to discover compounds or natural product extracts that can be potentially applied to prevent bacterial plant disease

    Ranking models of transmembrane β-barrel proteins using Z-coordinate predictions

    Get PDF
    Motivation: Transmembrane β-barrels exist in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria as well as in chloroplast and mitochondria. They are often involved in transport processes and are promising antimicrobial drug targets. Structures of only a few β-barrel protein families are known. Therefore, a method that could automatically generate such models would be valuable. The symmetrical arrangement of the barrels suggests that an approach based on idealized geometries may be successful
    corecore