238 research outputs found

    The rotation of Io predicted by the Poincar\'e-Hough model

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    This note tackles the problem of the rotation of Io with the 4-degrees of freedom Poincar\'e-Hough model. Io is modeled as a 2-layer body, i.e. a triaxial fluid core and a rigid outer layer. We show that the longitudinal librations should have an amplitude of about 30 arcseconds, independent of the composition of the core. We also estimate the tidal instability of the core, and show that should be slowly unstable.Comment: arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1111.301

    Genetic analysis of the capsule polysaccharide (K antigen) and exopolysaccharide genes in pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Pandemic <it>Vibrio parahaemolyticus </it>has undergone rapid changes in both K- and O-antigens, making detection of outbreaks more difficult. In order to understand these rapid changes, the genetic regions encoding these antigens must be examined. In <it>Vibrio cholerae </it>and <it>Vibrio vulnificus</it>, both O-antigen and capsular polysaccharides are encoded in a single region on the large chromosome; a similar arrangement in pandemic <it>V. parahaemolyticus </it>would help explain the rapid serotype changes. However, previous reports on "capsule" genes are controversial. Therefore, we set out to clarify and characterize these regions in pandemic <it>V. parahaemolyticus </it>O3:K6 by gene deletion using a chitin based transformation strategy.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We generated different deletion mutants of putative polysaccharide genes and examined the mutants by immuno-blots with O and K specific antisera. Our results showed that O- and K-antigen genes are separated in <it>V. parahaemolyticus </it>O3:K6; the region encoding both O-antigen and capsule biosynthesis in other vibrios, i.e. genes between <it>gmhD </it>and <it>rjg</it>, determines the K6-antigen but not the O3-antigen in <it>V. parahaemolyticus</it>. The previously identified "capsule genes" on the smaller chromosome were related to exopolysaccharide synthesis, not K-antigen.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Understanding of the genetic basis of O- and K-antigens is critical to understanding the rapid changes in these polysaccharides seen in pandemic <it>V. parahaemolyticus. </it>This report confirms the genetic location of K-antigen synthesis in <it>V. parahaemolyticus </it>O3:K6 allowing us to focus future studies of the evolution of serotypes to this region.</p

    A Novel Fibronectin Binding Motif in MSCRAMMs Targets F3 Modules

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    BBK32 is a surface expressed lipoprotein and fibronectin (Fn)-binding microbial surface component recognizing adhesive matrix molecule (MSCRAMM) of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Previous studies from our group showed that BBK32 is a virulence factor in experimental Lyme disease and located the Fn-binding region to residues 21-205 of the lipoprotein.Studies aimed at identifying interacting sites between BBK32 and Fn revealed an interaction between the MSCRAMM and the Fn F3 modules. Further analysis of this interaction showed that BBK32 can cause the aggregation of human plasma Fn in a similar concentration-dependent manner to that of anastellin, the superfibronectin (sFn) inducing agent. The resulting Fn aggregates are conformationally distinct from plasma Fn as indicated by a change in available thermolysin cleavage sites. Recombinant BBK32 and anastellin affect the structure of Fn matrices formed by cultured fibroblasts and inhibit endothelial cell proliferation similarly. Within BBK32, we have located the sFn-forming activity to a region between residues 160 and 175 which contains two sequence motifs that are also found in anastellin. Synthetic peptides mimicking these motifs induce Fn aggregation, whereas a peptide with a scrambled sequence motif was inactive, suggesting that these motifs represent the sFn-inducing sequence.We conclude that BBK32 induces the formation of Fn aggregates that are indistinguishable from those formed by anastellin. The results of this study provide evidence for how bacteria can target host proteins to manipulate host cell activities

    Real-Time High Resolution 3D Imaging of the Lyme Disease Spirochete Adhering to and Escaping from the Vasculature of a Living Host

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    Pathogenic spirochetes are bacteria that cause a number of emerging and re-emerging diseases worldwide, including syphilis, leptospirosis, relapsing fever, and Lyme borreliosis. They navigate efficiently through dense extracellular matrix and cross the blood–brain barrier by unknown mechanisms. Due to their slender morphology, spirochetes are difficult to visualize by standard light microscopy, impeding studies of their behavior in situ. We engineered a fluorescent infectious strain of Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme disease pathogen, which expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP). Real-time 3D and 4D quantitative analysis of fluorescent spirochete dissemination from the microvasculature of living mice at high resolution revealed that dissemination was a multi-stage process that included transient tethering-type associations, short-term dragging interactions, and stationary adhesion. Stationary adhesions and extravasating spirochetes were most commonly observed at endothelial junctions, and translational motility of spirochetes appeared to play an integral role in transendothelial migration. To our knowledge, this is the first report of high resolution 3D and 4D visualization of dissemination of a bacterial pathogen in a living mammalian host, and provides the first direct insight into spirochete dissemination in vivo

    Interaction of Variable Bacterial Outer Membrane Lipoproteins with Brain Endothelium

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    Previously we reported that the variable outer membrane lipoprotein Vsp1 from the relapsing fever spirochete Borrelia turicatae disseminates from blood to brain better than the closely related Vsp2 [1]. Here we studied the interaction between Vsp1 and Vsp2 with brain endothelium in more detail.We compared Vsp1 to Vsp2 using human brain microvascular endothelial cell (HBMEC) association assays with aminoacid radiolabeled Vsp-expressing clones of recombinant Borrelia burgdorferi and lanthanide-labeled purified lipidated Vsp1 (LVsp1) and Vsp2 (LVsp2) and inoculations of the lanthanide-labeled proteins into mice. The results showed that heterologous expression of LVsp1 or LVsp2 in B. burgdorferi increased its association with HBMEC to a similar degree. Purified lanthanide-labeled lipidated Vsp1 (LVsp1) and LVsp2 by themselves were capable of associating with HBMEC. The association of LVsp1 with brain endothelium was time-dependent, saturable, and required the lipidation. The association of Vsp1 with HBMEC was inhibited by incubation at lower temperature or with excess unlabeled LVsp1 or LVsp2 but not with excess rVsp1 or mouse albumin or an anti Vsp1 monoclonal antibody. The association of LVsp2 with HBMEC and its movement from blood to brain parenchyma significantly increased in the presence of LVsp1.Variable bacterial outer membrane lipoproteins interact with brain endothelium differently; the lipidation and variable features at the protein dome region are key modulators of this interaction

    Proteomic identification, cDNA cloning and enzymatic activity of glutathione S-transferases from the generalist marine gastropod, Cyphoma gibbosum

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    Author Posting. © Elsevier B.V., 2008. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 478 (2008): 7-17, doi:10.1016/j.abb.2008.07.007.Glutathione S-transferases (GST) were characterized from the digestive gland of Cyphoma gibbosum (Mollusca; Gastropoda), to investigate the possible role of these detoxification enzymes in conferring resistance to allelochemicals present in its gorgonian coral diet. We identified the collection of expressed cytosolic Cyphoma GST classes using a proteomic approach involving affinity chromatography, HPLC and nanospray liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Two major GST subunits were identified as putative mu-class GSTs; while one minor GST subunit was identified as a putative theta-class GST, apparently the first theta-class GST identified from a mollusc. Two Cyphoma GST cDNAs (CgGSTM1 and CgGSTM2) were isolated by RT-PCR using primers derived from peptide sequences. Phylogenetic analyses established both cDNAs as mu-class GSTs and revealed a mollusc-specific subclass of the GST-mu clade. These results provide new insights into metazoan GST diversity and the biochemical mechanisms used by marine organisms to cope with their chemically defended prey.Support was provided by the WHOI-Cole Ocean Ventures Fund (KEW), the WHOI Ocean Life Institute (KEW and MEH), a grant from Walter A. and Hope Noyes Smith (MEH), the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (KEW), and by the National Institutes of Health (P42-ES007381 and R01-ES015912 to JVG)

    Cytokine Gene Polymorphisms across Tuberculosis Clinical Spectrum in Pakistani Patients

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    BACKGROUND: Pakistan ranks 7(th) globally in terms of tuberculosis (TB) disease burden (incidence 181/100000 pop./yr; prevalence of 329/pop./yr). Reports from different populations show variable associations of TB susceptibility and severity with cytokine gene polymorphisms. Tuberculosis clinical severity is multi-factorial and cytokines play a pivotal role in the modulation of disease severity. We have recently reported that the ratio of two key cytokines (IFNgamma and IL10) show significant correlation with the severity spectrum of tuberculosis. The objective of the current study was to analyze the frequency of cytokine gene polymorphisms linked to high and low responder phenotypes (IFNgamma +874 T(hi)-->A(lo) and IL10 -1082 G(lo)-->A(hi)) in tuberculosis patients. METHODS AND FINDINGS: STUDY GROUPS WERE STRATIFIED ACCORDING TO DISEASE SITE AS WELL AS DISEASE SEVERITY: Pulmonary N = 111 (Minimal, PMN = 19; Moderate, PMD = 63; Advance, PAD = 29); Extra-pulmonary N = 67 (Disseminated DTB = 20, Localized LTB = 47) and compared with healthy controls (TBNA = 188). Genotype analyses were carried out using amplification refractory mutation system-PCR (ARMS-PCR) and stimulated whole blood (WB) culture assay was used for assessing cytokine profiles. Our results suggest that the IFNgamma +874 TT genotype and T allele was overrepresented in PMN (p = 0.01) and PMD (p = 0.02). IFNgamma +874 TT in combination with IL10 GG(lo) genotypes showed the highest association (chi(2) = 6.66, OR = 6.06, 95% CI = 1.31-28.07, p = 0.01). IFNgamma AA(lo) on the other hand in combination with IL10 GG(lo) increased the risk of PAD (OR = 5.26; p = 0.005) and DTB (OR = 3.59; p = 0.045). CONCLUSION: These findings are consistent with the role of IL10 in reducing collateral tissue damage and the protective role of IFNgamma in limiting disease in the lung

    The capsule polysaccharide structure and biogenesis for non-O1 Vibrio cholerae NRT36S: genes are embedded in the LPS region

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    BACKGROUND: In V. cholerae, the biogenesis of capsule polysaccharide is poorly understood. The elucidation of capsule structure and biogenesis is critical to understanding the evolution of surface polysaccharide and the internal relationship between the capsule and LPS in this species. V. cholerae serogroup O31 NRT36S, a human pathogen that produces a heat-stable enterotoxin (NAG-ST), is encapsulated. Here, we report the covalent structure and studies of the biogenesis of the capsule in V. cholerae NRT36S. RESULTS: The structure of the capsular (CPS) polysaccharide was determined by high resolution NMR spectroscopy and shown to be a complex structure with four residues in the repeating subunit. The gene cluster of capsule biogenesis was identified by transposon mutagenesis combined with whole genome sequencing data (GenBank accession DQ915177). The capsule gene cluster shared the same genetic locus as that of the O-antigen of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biogenesis gene cluster. Other than V. cholerae O139, this is the first V. cholerae CPS for which a structure has been fully elucidated and the genetic locus responsible for biosynthesis identified. CONCLUSION: The co-location of CPS and LPS biosynthesis genes was unexpected, and would provide a mechanism for simultaneous emergence of new O and K antigens in a single strain. This, in turn, may be a key element for V. cholerae to evolve new strains that can escape immunologic detection by host populations

    Reducing the Activity and Secretion of Microbial Antioxidants Enhances the Immunogenicity of BCG

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    BACKGROUND:In early clinical studies, the live tuberculosis vaccine Mycobacterium bovis BCG exhibited 80% protective efficacy against pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Although BCG still exhibits reliable protection against TB meningitis and miliary TB in early childhood it has become less reliable in protecting against pulmonary TB. During decades of in vitro cultivation BCG not only lost some genes due to deletions of regions of the chromosome but also underwent gene duplication and other mutations resulting in increased antioxidant production. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:To determine whether microbial antioxidants influence vaccine immunogenicity, we eliminated duplicated alleles encoding the oxidative stress sigma factor SigH in BCG Tice and reduced the activity and secretion of iron co-factored superoxide dismutase. We then used assays of gene expression and flow cytometry with intracellular cytokine staining to compare BCG-specific immune responses in mice after vaccination with BCG Tice or the modified BCG vaccine. Compared to BCG, the modified vaccine induced greater IL-12p40, RANTES, and IL-21 mRNA in the spleens of mice at three days post-immunization, more cytokine-producing CD8+ lymphocytes at the peak of the primary immune response, and more IL-2-producing CD4+ lymphocytes during the memory phase. The modified vaccine also induced stronger secondary CD4+ lymphocyte responses and greater clearance of challenge bacilli. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:We conclude that antioxidants produced by BCG suppress host immune responses. These findings challenge the hypothesis that the failure of extensively cultivated BCG vaccines to prevent pulmonary tuberculosis is due to over-attenuation and suggest instead a new model in which BCG evolved to produce more immunity-suppressing antioxidants. By targeting these antioxidants it may be possible to restore BCG's ability to protect against pulmonary TB
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