2,159 research outputs found

    Insight into CAZymes of Alicyclobacillus mali FL18: Characterization of a New Multifunctional GH9 Enzyme

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    In the bio-based era, cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic enzymes are biocatalysts used in many industrial processes, playing a key role in the conversion of recalcitrant lignocellulosic waste biomasses. In this context, many thermophilic microorganisms are considered as convenient sources of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). In this work, a functional genomic annotation of Alicyclobacillus mali FL18, a recently discovered thermo-acidophilic microorganism, showed a wide reservoir of putative CAZymes. Among them, a novel enzyme belonging to the family 9 of glycosyl hydrolases (GHs), named AmCel9, was identified; in-depth in silico analyses highlighted that AmCel9 shares general features with other GH9 members. The synthetic gene was expressed in Escherichia coli and the recombinant protein was purified and characterized. The monomeric enzyme has an optimal catalytic activity at pH 6.0 and has comparable activity at temperatures ranging from 40 °C to 70 °C. It also has a broad substrate specificity, a typical behavior of multifunctional cellulases; the best activity is displayed on β-1,4 linked glucans. Very interestingly, AmCel9 also hydrolyses filter paper and microcrystalline cellulose. This work gives new insights into the properties of a new thermophilic multifunctional GH9 enzyme, that looks a promising biocatalyst for the deconstruction of lignocellulose

    Bioprospecting of Extremophilic Microorganisms to Address Environmental Pollution

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    Geothermal springs are rich in various metal ions due to the interaction between rock and water that takes place in the deep aquifer. Moreover, due to seasonality variation in pH and temperature, fluctuation in element composition is periodically observed within these extreme environments, influencing the environmental microbial communities. Extremophilic microorganisms that thrive in volcanic thermal vents have developed resistance mechanisms to handle several metal ions present in the environment, thus taking part to complex metal biogeochemical cycles. Moreover, extremophiles and their products have found an extensive foothold in the market, and this holds true especially for their enzymes. In this context, their characterization is functional to the development of biosystems and bioprocesses for environmental monitoring and bioremediation. To date, the isolation and cultivation under laboratory conditions of extremophilic microorganisms still represent a bottleneck for fully exploiting their biotechnological potential. This work describes a streamlined protocol for the isolation of thermophilic microorganisms from hot springs as well as their genotypical and phenotypical identification through the following steps: (1) Sampling of microorganisms from geothermal sites ("Pisciarelli", a volcanic area of Campi Flegrei in Naples, Italy); (2) Isolation of heavy metal resistant microorganisms; (3) Identification of microbial isolates; (4) Phenotypical characterization of the isolates. The methodologies described in this work might be generally applied also for the isolation of microorganisms from other extreme environments

    The Emerging Role of Microbial Biofilm in Lyme Neuroborreliosis

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    Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common tick-borne disease caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi in North America and Borrelia afzelii or Borrelia garinii in Europe and Asia, respectively. The infection affects multiple organ systems, including the skin, joints, and the nervous system. Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) is the most dangerous manifestation of Lyme disease, occurring in 10-15% of infected individuals. During the course of the infection, bacteria migrate through the host tissues altering the coagulation and fibrinolysis pathways and the immune response, reaching the central nervous system (CNS) within 2 weeks after the bite of an infected tick. The early treatment with oral antimicrobials is effective in the majority of patients with LNB. Nevertheless, persistent forms of LNB are relatively common, despite targeted antibiotic therapy. It has been observed that the antibiotic resistance and the reoccurrence of Lyme disease are associated with biofilm-like aggregates in B. burgdorferi, B. afzelii, and B. garinii, both in vitro and in vivo, allowing Borrelia spp. to resist to adverse environmental conditions. Indeed, the increased tolerance to antibiotics described in the persisting forms of Borrelia spp., is strongly reminiscent of biofilm growing bacteria, suggesting a possible role of biofilm aggregates in the development of the different manifestations of Lyme disease including LNB

    Genomic Insight of Alicyclobacillus mali FL18 Isolated From an Arsenic-Rich Hot Spring

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    Extreme environments are excellent places to find microorganisms capable of tolerating extreme temperature, pH, salinity pressure, and elevated concentration of heavy metals and other toxic compounds. In the last decades, extremophilic microorganisms have been extensively studied since they can be applied in several fields of biotechnology along with their enzymes. In this context, the characterization of heavy metal resistance determinants in thermophilic microorganisms is the starting point for the development of new biosystems and bioprocesses for environmental monitoring and remediation. This work focuses on the isolation and the genomic exploration of a new arsenic-tolerant microorganism, classified as Alicyclobacillus mali FL18. The bacterium was isolated from a hot mud pool of the solfataric terrains in Pisciarelli, a well-known hydrothermally active zone of the Campi Flegrei volcano near Naples in Italy. A. mali FL18 showed a good tolerance to arsenite (MIC value of 41 mM), as well as to other metals such as nickel (MIC 30 mM), cobalt, and mercury (MIC 3 mM and 17 μM, respectively). Signatures of arsenic resistance genes (one arsenate reductase, one arsenite methyltransferase, and several arsenite exporters) were found interspersed in the genome as well as several multidrug resistance efflux transporters that could be involved in the export of drugs and heavy metal ions. Moreover, the strain showed a high resistance to bacitracin and ciprofloxacin, suggesting that the extreme environment has positively selected multiple resistances to different toxic compounds. This work provides, for the first time, insights into the heavy metal tolerance and antibiotic susceptibility of an Alicyclobacillus strain and highlights its putative molecular determinants

    Biofilm is a major virulence determinant in bacterial colonization of chronic skin ulcers independently from the multidrug resistant phenotype

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    Bacterial biofilm is a major factor in delayed wound healing and high levels of biofilm production have been repeatedly described in multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs). Nevertheless, a quantitative correlation between biofilm production and the profile of antimicrobial drug resistance in delayed wound healing remains to be determined. Microbial identification, antibiotic susceptibility and biofilm production were assessed in 135 clinical isolates from 87 patients. Gram-negative bacteria were the most represented microorganisms (60.8%) with MDROs accounting for 31.8% of the total isolates. Assessment of biofilm production revealed that 80% of the strains were able to form biofilm. A comparable level of biofilm production was found with both MDRO and not-MDRO with no significant differences between groups. All the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and 80% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa MDR strains were found as moderate/high biofilm producers. Conversely, less than 17% of Klebsiella pneumoniae extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), Escherichia coli-ESBL and Acinetobacter baumannii were moderate/high biofilm producers. Notably, those strains classified as non-biofilm producers, were always associated with biofilm producer bacteria in polymicrobial colonization. This study shows that biofilm producers were present in all chronic skin ulcers, suggesting that biofilm represents a key virulence determinant in promoting bacterial persistence and chronicity of ulcerative lesions independently from the MDRO phenotype

    Iron (II) citrate complex as a food supplement: Synthesis, characterization and complex stability

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    Iron deficiency represents a widespread problem for a large part of the population, especially for women, and has received increasing attention in food/supplement research. The contraindications of the iron supplements commercially available (e.g., imbalances in the levels of other essential nutrients, low bioavailability, etc.) led us to search for a possible alternative. In the present work, a rapid and easy method to synthetize a solid iron (II) citrate complex from iron filings and citric acid was developed to serve, eventually, as a food supplement or additive. In order to state its atomic composition and purity, an assortment of analytical techniques was employed (e.g., combustion analysis, thermogravimetry, X-ray diffractometry, UV/Vis spectrophotometry, etc.). Results demonstrate that the synthesized crystalline solid corresponds to the formula FeC6H6O7∙H2O and, by consequence, contains exclusively iron (II), which is an advantage with respect to existing commercial products, because iron (II) is better absorbed than iron (III) (high bioavailability of iron)

    Neutrophil and Natural Killer Cell Interactions in Cancers: Dangerous Liaisons Instructing Immunosuppression and Angiogenesis

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    The tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) has largely been reported to cooperate on tumor onset and progression, as a consequence of the phenotype/functional plasticity and adaptation capabilities of tumor-infiltrating and tumor-associated immune cells. Immune cells within the tumor micro (tissue-local) and macro (peripheral blood) environment closely interact by cell-to-cell contact and/or via soluble factors, also generating a tumor-permissive soil. These dangerous liaisons have been investigated for pillars of tumor immunology, such as tumor associated macrophages and T cell subsets. Here, we reviewed and discussed the contribution of selected innate immunity effector cells, namely neutrophils and natural killer cells, as \u201csoloists\u201d or by their \u201cdangerous liaisons\u201d, in favoring tumor progression by dissecting the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved
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