48 research outputs found

    Probing host pathogen cross-talk by transcriptional profiling of both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and infected human dendritic cells and macrophages

    Get PDF
    This study provides the proof of principle that probing the host and the microbe transcriptomes simultaneously is a valuable means to accessing unique information on host pathogen interactions. Our results also underline the extraordinary plasticity of host cell and pathogen responses to infection, and provide a solid framework to further understand the complex mechanisms involved in immunity to M. tuberculosis and in mycobacterial adaptation to different intracellular environments

    Direct Heme Transfer Reactions in the Group A Streptococcus Heme Acquisition Pathway

    Get PDF
    The heme acquisition machinery in Group A Streptococcus (GAS) consists of the surface proteins Shr and Shp and ATP-binding cassette transporter HtsABC. Shp cannot directly acquire heme from methemoglobin (metHb) but directly transfers its heme to HtsA. It has not been previously determined whether Shr directly relays heme from metHb to Shp. Thus, the complete pathway for heme acquisition from metHb by the GAS heme acquisition machinery has remained unclear. In this study, the metHb-to-Shr and Shr-to-Shp heme transfer reactions were characterized by spectroscopy, kinetics and protein-protein interaction analyses. Heme is efficiently transferred from the β and α subunits of metHb to Shr with rates that are 7 and 60 times greater than those of the passive heme release from metHb, indicating that Shr directly acquires heme from metHb. The rapid heme transfer from Shr to Shp involves an initial heme donor/acceptor complex and a spectrally and kinetically detectable transfer intermediate, implying that heme is directly channeled from Shr to Shp. The present results show that Shr speeds up heme transfer from metHb to Shp, whereas Shp speeds up heme transfer from Shr to HtsA. Furthermore, the findings demonstrate that Shr can interact with metHb and Shp but not HtsA. Taken together with our published results on the Shp/HtsA reaction, these findings establish a model of the heme acquisition pathway in GAS in which Shr directly extracts heme from metHb and Shp relays it from Shr to HtsA

    Priming with recombinant auxotrophic BCG expressing HIV-1 Gag, RT and Gp120 and boosting with recombinant MVA induces a robust T cell response in mice

    Get PDF
    In previous studies we have shown that a pantothenate auxotroph of Myocbacterium bovis BCG (BCGΔ panCD ) expressing HIV-1 subtype C Gag induced Gag-specific immune responses in mice and Chacma baboons after prime-boost immunization in combination with matched rMVA and VLP vaccines respectively. In this study recombinant BCG (rBCG) expressing HIV-1 subtype C reverse transcriptase and a truncated envelope were constructed using both the wild type BCG Pasteur strain as a vector and the pantothenate auxotroph. Mice were primed with rBCG expressing Gag and RT and boosted with a recombinant MVA, expressing a polyprotein of Gag, RT, Tat and Nef (SAAVI MVA-C). Priming with rBCGΔ panCD expressing Gag or RT rather than the wild type rBCG expressing Gag or RT resulted in higher frequencies of total HIV-specific CD8 + T cells and increased numbers of T cells specific to the subdominant Gag and RT epitopes. Increasing the dose of rBCG from 10 5 cfu to 10 7 cfu also led to an increase in the frequency of responses to subdominant HIV epitopes. A mix of the individual rBCGΔ panCD vaccines expressing either Gag, RT or the truncated Env primed the immune system for a boost with SAAVI MVA-C and generated five-fold higher numbers of HIV-specific IFN-γ-spot forming cells than mice primed with rBCGΔ panCD containing an empty vector control. Priming with the individual rBCGΔ panCD vaccines or the mix and boosting with SAAVI MVA-C also resulted in the generation of HIV-specific CD4 + and CD8 + T cells producing IFN-γ and TNF-α and CD4 + cells producing IL-2. The rBCG vaccines tested in this study were able to prime the immune system for a boost with rMVA expressing matching antigens, inducing robust, HIV-specific T cell responses to both dominant and subdominant epitopes in the individual proteins when used as individual vaccines or in a mix

    Priming with a Recombinant Pantothenate Auxotroph of Mycobacterium bovis BCG and Boosting with MVA Elicits HIV-1 Gag Specific CD8+ T Cells

    Get PDF
    A safe and effective HIV vaccine is required to significantly reduce the number of people becoming infected with HIV each year. In this study wild type Mycobacterium bovis BCG Pasteur and an attenuated pantothenate auxotroph strain (BCGΔpanCD) that is safe in SCID mice, have been compared as vaccine vectors for HIV-1 subtype C Gag. Genetically stable vaccines BCG[pHS400] (BCG-Gag) and BCGΔpanCD[pHS400] (BCGpan-Gag) were generated using the Pasteur strain of BCG, and a panothenate auxotroph of Pasteur respectively. Stability was achieved by the use of a codon optimised gag gene and deletion of the hsp60-lysA promoter-gene cassette from the episomal vector pCB119. In this vector expression of gag is driven by the mtrA promoter and the Gag protein is fused to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis 19 kDa signal sequence. Both BCG-Gag and BCGpan-Gag primed the immune system of BALB/c mice for a boost with a recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing Gag (MVA-Gag). After the boost high frequencies of predominantly Gag-specific CD8+ T cells were detected when BCGpan-Gag was the prime in contrast to induction of predominantly Gag-specific CD4+ T cells when priming with BCG-Gag. The differing Gag-specific T-cell phenotype elicited by the prime-boost regimens may be related to the reduced inflammation observed with the pantothenate auxotroph strain compared to the parent strain. These features make BCGpan-Gag a more desirable HIV vaccine candidate than BCG-Gag. Although no Gag-specific cells could be detected after vaccination of BALB/c mice with either recombinant BCG vaccine alone, BCGpan-Gag protected mice against a surrogate vaccinia virus challenge

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis Exploits Asparagine to Assimilate Nitrogen and Resist Acid Stress during Infection

    Get PDF
    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an intracellular pathogen. Within macrophages, M. tuberculosis thrives in a specialized membrane-bound vacuole, the phagosome, whose pH is slightly acidic, and where access to nutrients is limited. Understanding how the bacillus extracts and incorporates nutrients from its host may help develop novel strategies to combat tuberculosis. Here we show that M. tuberculosis employs the asparagine transporter AnsP2 and the secreted asparaginase AnsA to assimilate nitrogen and resist acid stress through asparagine hydrolysis and ammonia release. While the role of AnsP2 is partially spared by yet to be identified transporter(s), that of AnsA is crucial in both phagosome acidification arrest and intracellular replication, as an M. tuberculosis mutant lacking this asparaginase is ultimately attenuated in macrophages and in mice. Our study provides yet another example of the intimate link between physiology and virulence in the tubercle bacillus, and identifies a novel pathway to be targeted for therapeutic purposes. © 2014 Gouzy et al

    Genomic Characterization of Haemophilus parasuis SH0165, a Highly Virulent Strain of Serovar 5 Prevalent in China

    Get PDF
    Haemophilus parasuis can be either a commensal bacterium of the porcine respiratory tract or an opportunistic pathogen causing Glässer's disease, a severe systemic disease that has led to significant economical losses in the pig industry worldwide. We determined the complete genomic sequence of H. parasuis SH0165, a highly virulent strain of serovar 5, which was isolated from a hog pen in North China. The single circular chromosome was 2,269,156 base pairs in length and contained 2,031 protein-coding genes. Together with the full spectrum of genes detected by the analysis of metabolic pathways, we confirmed that H. parasuis generates ATP via both fermentation and respiration, and possesses an intact TCA cycle for anabolism. In addition to possessing the complete pathway essential for the biosynthesis of heme, this pathogen was also found to be well-equipped with different iron acquisition systems, such as the TonB system and ABC-type transport complexes, to overcome iron limitation during infection and persistence. We identified a number of genes encoding potential virulence factors, such as type IV fimbriae and surface polysaccharides. Analysis of the genome confirmed that H. parasuis is naturally competent, as genes related to DNA uptake are present. A nine-mer DNA uptake signal sequence (ACAAGCGGT), identical to that found in Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Mannheimia haemolytica, followed by similar downstream motifs, was identified in the SH0165 genome. Genomic and phylogenetic comparisons with other Pasteurellaceae species further indicated that H. parasuis was closely related to another swine pathogenic bacteria A. pleuropneumoniae. The comprehensive genetic analysis presented here provides a foundation for future research on the metabolism, natural competence and virulence of H. parasuis

    Differential Function of Lip Residues in the Mechanism and Biology of an Anthrax Hemophore

    Get PDF
    To replicate in mammalian hosts, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron. The majority of iron is coordinated to the protoporphyrin ring of heme, which is further bound to hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria utilize secreted hemophores to acquire heme from heme sources such as hemoglobin. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, secretes two hemophores, IsdX1 and IsdX2, to acquire heme from host hemoglobin and enhance bacterial replication in iron-starved environments. Both proteins contain NEAr-iron Transporter (NEAT) domains, a conserved protein module that functions in heme acquisition in Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we report the structure of IsdX1, the first of a Gram-positive hemophore, with and without bound heme. Overall, IsdX1 forms an immunoglobin-like fold that contains, similar to other NEAT proteins, a 310-helix near the heme-binding site. Because the mechanistic function of this helix in NEAT proteins is not yet defined, we focused on the contribution of this region to hemophore and NEAT protein activity, both biochemically and biologically in cultured cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and adjacent to the helix identified residues important for heme and hemoglobin association, with some mutations affecting both properties and other mutations affecting only heme stabilization. IsdX1 with mutations that reduced the ability to associate with hemoglobin and bind heme failed to restore the growth of a hemophore-deficient strain of B. anthracis on hemoglobin as the sole iron source. These data indicate that not only is the 310-helix important for NEAT protein biology, but also that the processes of hemoglobin and heme binding can be both separate as well as coupled, the latter function being necessary for maximal heme-scavenging activity. These studies enhance our understanding of NEAT domain and hemophore function and set the stage for structure-based inhibitor design to block NEAT domain interaction with upstream ligands

    Vaccines against Tuberculosis: Where Are We and Where Do We Need to Go?

    Get PDF
    In this review we discuss recent progress in the development, testing, and clinical evaluation of new vaccines against tuberculosis (TB). Over the last 20 years, tremendous progress has been made in TB vaccine research and development: from a pipeline virtually empty of new TB candidate vaccines in the early 1990s, to an era in which a dozen novel TB vaccine candidates have been and are being evaluated in human clinical trials. In addition, innovative approaches are being pursued to further improve existing vaccines, as well as discover new ones. Thus, there is good reason for optimism in the field of TB vaccines that it will be possible to develop better vaccines than BCG, which is still the only vaccine available against TB

    Host-Adaptation of Francisella tularensis Alters the Bacterium's Surface-Carbohydrates to Hinder Effectors of Innate and Adaptive Immunity

    Get PDF
    The gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis survives in arthropods, fresh water amoeba, and mammals with both intracellular and extracellular phases and could reasonably be expected to express distinct phenotypes in these environments. The presence of a capsule on this bacterium has been controversial with some groups finding such a structure while other groups report that no capsule could be identified. Previously we reported in vitro culture conditions for this bacterium which, in contrast to typical methods, yielded a bacterial phenotype that mimics that of the bacterium's mammalian, extracellular phase.SDS-PAGE and carbohydrate analysis of differentially-cultivated F. tularensis LVS revealed that bacteria displaying the host-adapted phenotype produce both longer polymers of LPS O-antigen (OAg) and additional HMW carbohydrates/glycoproteins that are reduced/absent in non-host-adapted bacteria. Analysis of wildtype and OAg-mutant bacteria indicated that the induced changes in surface carbohydrates involved both OAg and non-OAg species. To assess the impact of these HMW carbohydrates on the access of outer membrane constituents to antibody we used differentially-cultivated bacteria in vitro to immunoprecipitate antibodies directed against outer membrane moieties. We observed that the surface-carbohydrates induced during host-adaptation shield many outer membrane antigens from binding by antibody. Similar assays with normal mouse serum indicate that the induced HMW carbohydrates also impede complement deposition. Using an in vitro macrophage infection assay, we find that the bacterial HMW carbohydrate impedes TLR2-dependent, pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages. Lastly we show that upon host-adaptation, the human-virulent strain, F. tularensis SchuS4 also induces capsule production with the effect of reducing macrophage-activation and accelerating tularemia pathogenesis in mice.F. tularensis undergoes host-adaptation which includes production of multiple capsular materials. These capsules impede recognition of bacterial outer membrane constituents by antibody, complement, and Toll-Like Receptor 2. These changes in the host-pathogen interface have profound implications for pathogenesis and vaccine development

    New approaches in the diagnosis and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection

    Get PDF
    With nearly 9 million new active disease cases and 2 million deaths occurring worldwide every year, tuberculosis continues to remain a major public health problem. Exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis leads to active disease in only ~10% people. An effective immune response in remaining individuals stops M. tuberculosis multiplication. However, the pathogen is completely eradicated in ~10% people while others only succeed in containment of infection as some bacilli escape killing and remain in non-replicating (dormant) state (latent tuberculosis infection) in old lesions. The dormant bacilli can resuscitate and cause active disease if a disruption of immune response occurs. Nearly one-third of world population is latently infected with M. tuberculosis and 5%-10% of infected individuals will develop active disease during their life time. However, the risk of developing active disease is greatly increased (5%-15% every year and ~50% over lifetime) by human immunodeficiency virus-coinfection. While active transmission is a significant contributor of active disease cases in high tuberculosis burden countries, most active disease cases in low tuberculosis incidence countries arise from this pool of latently infected individuals. A positive tuberculin skin test or a more recent and specific interferon-gamma release assay in a person without overt signs of active disease indicates latent tuberculosis infection. Two commercial interferon-gamma release assays, QFT-G-IT and T-SPOT.TB have been developed. The standard treatment for latent tuberculosis infection is daily therapy with isoniazid for nine months. Other options include therapy with rifampicin for 4 months or isoniazid + rifampicin for 3 months or rifampicin + pyrazinamide for 2 months or isoniazid + rifapentine for 3 months. Identification of latently infected individuals and their treatment has lowered tuberculosis incidence in rich, advanced countries. Similar approaches also hold great promise for other countries with low-intermediate rates of tuberculosis incidence
    corecore