12,333 research outputs found

    Expression systems for industrial Gram-positive bacteria with low guanine and cytosine content

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    Recent years have seen an increase in the development of gene expression systems for industrial Gram-positive bacteria with low guanine and cytosine content that belong to the genera Bacillus, Clostridium, Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. In particular, considerable advances have been made in the construction of inducible gene expression systems based on the capacity of these bacteria to utilize specific sugars or to secrete autoinducing peptides that are involved in quorum sensing. These controlled expression systems allow for present and future exploitation of these bacteria as cell factories in medical, agricultural, and food biotechnology.

    Controlled overproduction of proteins by lactic acid bacteria

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    Lactic acid bacteria are widely used in industrial food fermentations, contributing to flavour, texture and preservation of the fermented products. Here we describe recent advances in the development of controlled gene expression systems, which allow the regulated overproduction of any desirable protein by lactic acid bacteria. Some systems benefit from the fact that the expression vectors, marker genes and inducing factors can be used directly in food applications since they are all derived from food-grade lactic acid bacteria. These systems have also been employed for the development of autolytic bacteria, suitable for various industrial applications.

    On two subgroups of U(n), useful for quantum computing

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    As two basic building blocks for any quantum circuit, we consider the 1-qubit PHASOR circuit Phi(theta) and the 1-qubit NEGATOR circuit N(theta). Both are roots of the IDENTITY circuit. Indeed: both (NO) and N(0) equal the 2 x 2 unit matrix. Additionally, the NEGATOR is a root of the classical NOT gate. Quantum circuits (acting on w qubits) consisting of controlled PHASORs are represented by matrices from ZU(2(w)); quantum circuits consisting of controlled NEGATORs are represented by matrices from XU(2(w)). Here, ZU(n) and XU(n) are subgroups of the unitary group U(n): the group XU(n) consists of all n x n unitary matrices with all 2n line sums (i.e. all n row sums and all n column sums) equal to 1 and the group ZU(n) consists of all n x n unitary diagonal matrices with first entry equal to 1. Any U(n) matrix can be decomposed into four parts: U = exp(i alpha) Z(1)XZ(2), where both Z(1) and Z(2) are ZU(n) matrices and X is an XU(n) matrix. We give an algorithm to find the decomposition. For n = 2(w) it leads to a four-block synthesis of an arbitrary quantum computer

    Maternal monocytes in pregnancy and preeclampsia in humans and in rats

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    AbstractMonocytes are short-lived cells, arising from the bone marrow and maturing in the circulation. They play an important role in immune responses and are thought to be important for healthy pregnancy. In humans, 3 subpopulations of monocytes have been identified: classical, intermediate and non-classical monocytes. These subpopulations have different functions and phenotypical characteristics. Healthy pregnancy is characterized by a pro-inflammatory condition, with increased numbers of monocytes and monocyte activation as well as with increased numbers of intermediate monocytes and decreased numbers of classical monocytes. This may suggest monocyte maturation. Preeclampsia is an important pregnancy complication characterized by hypertension and proteinuria developing in the second half of pregnancy. The pathophysiology of preeclampsia is associated with further activation of the inflammatory response, further activation of monocytes and further monocyte maturation. In the present review we focus on the role of monocyte activation and maturation in healthy and preeclamptic pregnancy

    Mitochondrial function in immune cells in health and disease

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    One of the main functions of mitochondria is production of ATP for cellular energy needs, however, it becomes more recognized that mitochondria are involved in differentiation and activation processes of immune cells. Upon activation, immune cells have a high need for energy. Immune cells have different strategies to generate this energy. In pro-inflammatory cells, such as activated monocytes and activated T and B cells, the energy is generated by increasing glycolysis, while in regulatory cells, such as regulatory T cells or M2 macrophages, energy is generated by increasing mitochondrial function and beta-oxidation. Except for being important for energy supply during activation, mitochondria also induce immune responses. During an infection, they release mitochondrial danger associated molecules (DAMPs) that resemble structures of bacterial derived pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Such mitochondrial DAMPS are for instance mitochondrial DNA with hypomethylated CpG motifs or a specific lipid that is only present in prokaryotic bacteria and mitochondria, i.e. cardiolipin. Via release of such DAMPs, mitochondria guide the immune response towards an inflammatory response against pathogens. This is an important mechanism in early detection of an infection and in stimulating and sustaining immune responses to fight infections. However, mitochondrial DAMPs may also have a negative impact. If mitochondrial DAMPs are released by damaged cells, without the presence of an infection, such as after a trauma, mitochondrial DAMPs may induce an undesired inflammatory response, resulting in tissue damage and organ dysfunction. Thus, immune cells have developed mechanisms to prevent such undesired immune activation by mitochondrial components. In the present narrative review, we will describe the current view of mitochondria in regulation of immune responses. We will also discuss the current knowledge on disturbed mitochondrial function in immune cells in various immunological diseases

    Structure, Organization, and Expression of the lct Gene for Lacticin 481, a Novel Lantibiotic Produced by Lactococcus lactis

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    The structural gene for the lactococcal lantibiotic lacticin 481 (lct) has been identified and cloned using a degenerated 20-mer DNA oligonucleotide based on the amino-terminal 7 amino acid residues of the purified protein. The transcription of the lct gene was analyzed, and its promoter was mapped. DNA sequence analysis of the lct gene revealed an open reading frame encoding a peptide of 51 amino acids. Comparison of its deduced amino acid sequence with the amino-terminal sequence and the amino acid composition of lacticin 481 indicates that the 61-residue peptide is prelacticin 481, containing a 27-residue carboxyl-terminal propeptide and a 24-residue amino-terminal leader peptide which lacks the properties of a typical signal sequence and which is significantly different from the leaders of other lantibiotics. The predicted amino acid sequence of prolacticin 481 contains 3 cysteines, 2 serines, and 2 threonines which were not detectable in amino acid analyses of mature lacticin 481. Based on these results and on characterization by two-dimensional NMR techniques, a structural model is proposed in which 2 cysteine residues are involved in lanthionine and one in ő≤-methyllanthionine formation, and a 4th threonine residue is dehydrated. This model predicts a molecular mass for lacticin 481 of 2,901, which is in excellent agreement with that obtained from mass spectrometry.
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