Recent Submissions

  • Insights into Brevibacillus borstelensis AK1 through Whole Genome Sequencing: A Thermophilic Bacterium Isolated from a Hot Spring in Saudi Arabia

    Khalil, Amjad B.; Neelamegam, Sivakumar; Arslan, Muhammad; Saleem, Hamna; Alqarawi, Sami (Hindawi Limited, 2018-05-24)
    Brevibacillus borstelensis AK1 is a thermophile which grows between the temperatures of 45°C and 70°C. The present study is an extended genome report of B. borstelensis AK1 along with the morphological characterization. The strain is isolated from a hot spring in Saudi Arabia (southeast of the city Gazan). It is observed that the strain AK1 is rod-shaped, motile, and strictly aerobic bacterium. The whole genome sequence resulted in 29 contigs with a total length of 5,155,092 bp. In total, 3,946 protein-coding genes and 139 RNA genes were identified. Comparison with the previously submitted strains of B. borstelensis strains illustrates that strain AK1 has a small genome size but high GC content. The strain possesses putative genes for degradation of a wide range of substrates including polyethylene (plastic) and long-chain hydrocarbons. These genomic features may be useful for future environmental/biotechnological applications.
  • WhiB6 is required for the secretion-dependent regulation of ESX-1 substrates in pathogenic mycobacteria.

    Abdallah, Abdallah; Weerdenburg, Eveline; Guan, Qingtian; Ummels, Roy; Borggreve, S; Adroub, Sabir; Malas, Tareq; Naeem, Raeece; Zhang, Huoming; Otto, Thomas; Bitter, Wilbert; Pain, Arnab (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2018-04-09)
    The mycobacterial type VII secretion system ESX-1 is responsible for the secretion of a number of proteins that play important roles during host infection. The regulation of the expression of secreted proteins is often essential to establish successful infection. Using transcriptome sequencing, we found that the abrogation of ESX-1 function in Mycobacterium marinum leads to a pronounced increase in gene expression levels of the espA operon during the infection of macrophages, suggesting an important role in ESX-1-mediated virulence during the early phase of infection. In addition, the disruption of ESX-1-mediated protein secretion also leads to a specific down-regulation of the ESX-1 substrates, but not of the structural components of this system, during growth in culture medium. This effect is observed in both M. marinum and M. tuberculosis. We established that down-regulation of ESX-1 substrates is the result of a regulatory process that is influenced by the putative transcriptional regulator whib6, which is located adjacent to the esx-1 locus. In addition, the overexpression of the ESX-1-associated PE35/PPE68 protein pair resulted in a significantly increased secretion of the ESX-1 substrate EsxA, demonstrating a functional link between these proteins. Taken together, these data show that WhiB6 is required for the secretion-dependent regulation of ESX-1 substrates and that ESX-1 substrates are regulated independently from the structural components, both during infection and as a result of active secretion.
  • Genome-wide analysis of multi- and extensively drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Coll, Francesc; Phelan, Jody; Hill-Cawthorne, Grant A.; Nair, Mridul; Mallard, Kim; Ali, Shahjahan; Abdallah, Abdallah; Alghamdi, Saad; Alsomali, Mona; Ahmed, Abdallah O.; Portelli, Stephanie; Oppong, Yaa; Alves, Adriana; Bessa, Theolis Barbosa; Campino, Susana; Caws, Maxine; Chatterjee, Anirvan; Crampin, Amelia C.; Dheda, Keertan; Furnham, Nicholas; Glynn, Judith R.; Grandjean, Louis; Minh Ha, Dang; Hasan, Rumina; Hasan, Zahra; Hibberd, Martin L.; Joloba, Moses; Jones-López, Edward C.; Matsumoto, Tomoshige; Miranda, Anabela; Moore, David J.; Mocillo, Nora; Panaiotov, Stefan; Parkhill, Julian; Penha, Carlos; Perdigão, João; Portugal, Isabel; Rchiad, ‍Zineb; Robledo, Jaime; Sheen, Patricia; Shesha, Nashwa Talaat; Sirgel, Frik A.; Sola, Christophe; Oliveira Sousa, Erivelton; Streicher, Elizabeth M.; Helden, Paul Van; Viveiros, Miguel; Warren, Robert M.; McNerney, Ruth; Pain, Arnab; Clark, Taane G. (Springer Nature, 2018-01-16)
    To characterize the genetic determinants of resistance to antituberculosis drugs, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 6,465 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from more than 30 countries. A GWAS approach within a mixed-regression framework was followed by a phylogenetics-based test for independent mutations. In addition to mutations in established and recently described resistance-associated genes, novel mutations were discovered for resistance to cycloserine, ethionamide and para-aminosalicylic acid. The capacity to detect mutations associated with resistance to ethionamide, pyrazinamide, capreomycin, cycloserine and para-aminosalicylic acid was enhanced by inclusion of insertions and deletions. Odds ratios for mutations within candidate genes were found to reflect levels of resistance. New epistatic relationships between candidate drug-resistance-associated genes were identified. Findings also suggest the involvement of efflux pumps (drrA and Rv2688c) in the emergence of resistance. This study will inform the design of new diagnostic tests and expedite the investigation of resistance and compensatory epistatic mechanisms.
  • Evidence for miRNA-mediated modulation of the host transcriptome in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis

    Baumgarten, Sebastian; Cziesielski, Maha J.; Thomas, Ludivine; Michell, Craig; Esherick, Lisl Y.; Pringle, John R.; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017-12-08)
    Reef-building corals and other cnidarians living in symbiotic relationships with intracellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium undergo transcriptomic changes during infection with the algae and maintenance of the endosymbiont population. However, the precise regulatory mechanisms modulating the host transcriptome are unknown. Here we report apparent post-transcriptional gene regulation by miRNAs in the sea anemone Aiptasia, a model system for cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis. Aiptasia encodes mainly species-specific miRNAs, and there appears to have been recent differentiation within the Aiptasia genome of miRNAs that are commonly conserved among anthozoan cnidarians. Analysis of miRNA expression showed that both conserved and species-specific miRNAs are differentially expressed in response to endosymbiont infection. Using cross-linking immunoprecipitation of Argonaute, the central protein of the miRNA-induced silencing complex, we identified miRNA binding sites on a transcriptome-wide scale and found that the targets of the miRNAs regulated in response to symbiosis include genes previously implicated in biological processes related to Symbiodinium infection. Our study shows that cnidarian miRNAs recognize their mRNA targets via high-complementarity target binding and suggests that miRNA-mediated modulations of genes and pathways are important during the onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate endosymbiosis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Evolution and Strain Variation in BCG

    Abdallah, Abdallah; Behr, Marcel A. (Springer International Publishing, 2017-11-07)
    BCG vaccines were derived by in vitro passage, during the years 1908–1921, at the Pasteur Institute of Lille. Following the distribution of stocks of BCG to vaccine production laboratories around the world, it was only a few decades before different BCG producers recognized that there were variants of BCG, likely due to different passaging conditions in the different laboratories. This ultimately led to the lyophilization of stable BCG products in the 1950s and 1960s, but not before considerable evolution of the different BCG strains had taken place. The application of contemporary research methodologies has now revealed genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic differences between BCG strains. These molecular differences in part account for phenotypic differences in vitro between BCG strains, such as their variable secretion of antigenic proteins. Yet, the relevance of BCG variability for immunization policy remains elusive. In this chapter we present an overview of what is known about BCG evolution and its resulting strain variability, and provide some speculation as to the potential relevance for a vaccine given to over 100 million newborns each year.
  • Comparative proteomics and codon substitution analysis reveal mechanisms of differential resistance to hypoxia in congeneric snails

    Mu, Huawei; Sun, Jin; Cheung, Siu Gin; Fang, Ling; Zhou, Haiyun; Luan, Tiangang; Zhang, Huoming; Wong, Chris K.C.; Qiu, Jian-Wen (Elsevier BV, 2017-11-06)
    Although high-throughput proteomics has been widely applied to study mechanisms of environmental adaptation, the conclusions from studies that are based on one species can be confounded by phylogeny. We compare the freshwater snail Pomacea canaliculata (a notorious invasive species) and its congener Pomacea diffusa (a non-invasive species) to understand the molecular mechanisms of their differential resistance to hypoxia. A 72-h acute exposure experiment showed that P. canaliculata is more tolerant to hypoxia than P. diffusa. The two species were then exposed to three levels of dissolved oxygen (6.7, 2.0 and 1.0mgL−1) for 8h, and their gill proteins were analyzed using iTRAQ-coupled LC-MS/MS. The two species showed striking differences in protein expression profiles, with the more hypoxia tolerant P. canaliculata having more up-regulated proteins in signal transduction and down-regulated proteins in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Evolutionary analysis revealed five orthologous genes encoding differentially expressed proteins having clear signal of positive selection, indicating selection has acted on some of the hypoxia responsive genes. Our case study has highlighted the potential of integrated proteomics and comparative evolutionary analysis for understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to global environmental change in non-model species. SignificanceRapid globalization in recent decades has greatly facilitated species introduction around the world. Successfully established introduced species, so-called invasive species, have threatened the invaded ecosystems. There has been substantial interest in studying how invasive species respond to extreme environmental conditions because the results can help not only predict their range of expansion and manage their impact, but also may reveal the adaptive mechanisms underlying their invasiveness. Our study has adopted a comparative approach to study the differential physiological and proteomic responses of two congeneric snails to various hypoxic conditions, as well as codon substitution analysis at transcriptomic level to detect signals of positive selection in hypoxia-responsive genes. The integrated physiological, proteomic and transcriptomic approach can be applied in other non-model species to understand the molecular mechanisms of adaptation to global environmental change.
  • Comparative proteome analysis between C . briggsae embryos and larvae reveals a role of chromatin modification proteins in embryonic cell division

    An, Xiaomeng; Shao, Jiaofang; Zhang, Huoming; Ren, Xiaoliang; Ho, Vincy Wing Sze; Li, Runsheng; Wong, Ming-Kin; Zhao, Zhongying (Springer Nature, 2017-06-21)
    Caenorhabditis briggsae has emerged as a model for comparative biology against model organism C. elegans. Most of its cell fate specifications are completed during embryogenesis whereas its cell growth is achieved mainly in larval stages. The molecular mechanism underlying the drastic developmental changes is poorly understood. To gain insights into the molecular changes between the two stages, we compared the proteomes between the two stages using iTRAQ. We identified a total of 2,791 proteins in the C. briggsae embryos and larvae, 247 of which undergo up- or down-regulation between the two stages. The proteins that are upregulated in the larval stages are enriched in the Gene Ontology categories of energy production, protein translation, and cytoskeleton; whereas those upregulated in the embryonic stage are enriched in the categories of chromatin dynamics and posttranslational modification, suggesting a more active chromatin modification in the embryos than in the larva. Perturbation of a subset of chromatin modifiers followed by cell lineage analysis suggests their roles in controlling cell division pace. Taken together, we demonstrate a general molecular switch from chromatin modification to metabolism during the transition from C. briggsae embryonic to its larval stages using iTRAQ approach. The switch might be conserved across metazoans.
  • Novel Anoxybacillus flavithermus AK1: A Thermophile Isolated from a Hot Spring in Saudi Arabia

    Khalil, Amjad; Neelamegam, Sivakumar; Arslan, Muhammad; Alqarawi, Sami (Springer Nature, 2017-06-14)
    Anoxybacillus flavithermus AK1 is a thermophilic bacterium that is able to survive at temperatures ranging from 55 to 60∘C. The AK1 strain was isolated from the hot spring “Al-Ain Alhara” located at a distance of 50 km southeast of the city of Gazan, Saudi Arabia. This study presents the morphological characterization of A. flavithermus AK1, including a detailed description of its complete genome sequence. A total of 50 contigs were used to produce a genome sequence of 2,630,664 bp that includes 2724 protein-coding genes and 75 RNA genes, 18 of which are rRNA genes. A comparison of this genome sequence with those of Anoxybacillus flavithermus strains that were previously submitted to NCBI revealed that the AK1 strain has the smallest genome size with the highest GC content. The strain can therefore be exploited for several biotechnological applications based on its high thermophilic potential.
  • Role of G3BP1 in glucocorticoid receptor-mediated microRNA-15b and microRNA-23a biogenesis in endothelial cells

    Kwok, Hoi-Hin; Poon, Po-Ying; Mak, Kylie Hin-Man; Zhang, Lin-Yao; Liu, Pei; Zhang, Huoming; Mak, Nai-Ki; Yue, Patrick Ying-Kit; Wong, Ricky Ngok-Shun (Springer Nature, 2017-05-18)
    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of non-coding RNAs that play crucial roles in regulating various normal cellular responses. Recent studies revealed that the canonical miRNA biogenesis pathway is subject to sophisticated regulation. Hormonal control of miRNA biogenesis by androgen and estrogen has been demonstrated, but the direct effects of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) on miRNA biogenesis are unknown. This study revealed the role of GR in miRNA maturation. We showed that two GR agonists, dexamethasone and ginsenoside-Rg1 rapidly suppressed the expression of mature miR-15b, miR-23a, and miR-214 in human endothelial cells. RNA pulldown coupled with proteomic analysis identified GTPase-activating protein (SH3 domain) binding protein 1 (G3BP1) as one of the RNA-binding proteins mediating GR-regulated miRNA maturation. Activated GR induced phosphorylation of v-AKT Murine Thymoma Viral Oncogene Homologue (AKT) kinase, which in turn phosphorylated and promoted nuclear translocation of G3BP1. The nuclear G3BP1 bound to the G3BP1 consensus sequence located on primary miR-15b~16-2 and miR-23a~27a~24-2 to inhibit their maturation. The findings from this study have advanced our understanding of the non-genomic effects of GR in the vascular system.
  • Characterization of Recombinant Thermococcus kodakaraensis (KOD) DNA Polymerases Produced Using Silkworm-Baculovirus Expression Vector System

    Yamashita, Mami; Xu, Jian; Morokuma, Daisuke; Hirata, Kazuma; Hino, Masato; Mon, Hiroaki; Takahashi, Masateru; Hamdan, Samir; Sakashita, Kosuke; Iiyama, Kazuhiro; Banno, Yutaka; Kusakabe, Takahiro; Lee, Jae Man (Springer Nature, 2017-05-08)
    The KOD DNA polymerase from Thermococcus kodakarensis (Tkod-Pol) has been preferred for PCR due to its rapid elongation rate, extreme thermostability and outstanding fidelity. Here in this study, we utilized silkworm-baculovirus expression vector system (silkworm-BEVS) to express the recombinant Tkod-Pol (rKOD) with N-terminal (rKOD-N) or C-terminal (rKOD-C) tandem fusion tags. By using BEVS, we produced functional rKODs with satisfactory yields, about 1.1 mg/larva for rKOD-N and 0.25 mg/larva for rKOD-C, respectively. Interestingly, we found that rKOD-C shows higher thermostability at 95 °C than that of rKOD-N, while that rKOD-N is significantly unstable after exposing to long period of heat-shock. We also assessed the polymerase activity as well as the fidelity of purified rKODs under various conditions. Compared with commercially available rKOD, which is expressed in E. coli expression system, rKOD-C exhibited almost the same PCR performance as the commercial rKOD did, while rKOD-N did lower performance. Taken together, our results suggested that silkworm-BEVS can be used to express and purify efficient rKOD in a commercial way.
  • Comparative metatranscriptomics reveals decline of a neustonic planktonic population

    Mojib, Nazia; Thimma, Manjula; Kumaran, M.; Sougrat, Rachid; Irigoien, Xabier (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016-10-20)
    The neuston layer in tropical seas provides a good model to study the effects of increased levels of different stressors (e.g., temperature, ultraviolet radiation and Trichodesmium blooms). Here, we use a comparative in situ metatranscriptomics approach to reveal the functional genomic composition of metabolically active neustonic mesozooplankton community in response to the summer conditions in the Red Sea. The neustonic population exhibited changes in composition and abundance with a significant decline in copepods and appendicularia in July, when Trichodesmium cells were more abundant along with high temperatures and UV-B radiation. Nearly 23,000 genes were differentially expressed at the community level when the metatranscriptomes of the neustonic zooplankton were compared in April, July, and October. On a wider Phylum level, the genes related to oxidative phosphorylation, carbon, nucleotides, amino acids, and lipids were significantly overrepresented in both arthropods and chordates in April and October. On organism level for copepods, expression of genes responsive to oxidative stress, defense against bacteria, immune response, and virus reproduction were increased along with the observed increased appearance of copepod carcasses in the samples collected during July. The differences in expression correspond either to secondary effects of the Trichodesmium bloom or more likely to the increased UV-B radiation in July. Given the dearth of information on the zooplankton gene expression in response to environmental stimuli, our study provides the first transcriptome landscape of the mesozooplankton community during a period of increased mortality of the copepod and appendicularia population.
  • Transcriptome and Proteome Studies Reveal Candidate Attachment Genes during the Development of the Barnacle Amphibalanus Amphitrite

    Al-Aqeel, Sarah; Ryu, Tae Woo; Zhang, Huoming; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ravasi, Timothy (Frontiers Media SA, 2016-09-21)
    The acorn barnacle, Balanus amphitrite, is the main biofouling organism in marine environments. In the present study we profiled the transcriptome and proteome of B. amphitrite at different life stages (nauplius II, nauplius VI, and cyprid) from the Red Sea, where the average water surface temperature is 34°C and the salinity reaches 41%. We identified 65,784 expressed contigs, and a total of 1387 expressed proteins measured by quantitative proteomics. We found that osmotic stress, salt stress, hyperosmotic response and the Wnt signaling pathway were strongly up-regulated during the planktonic stage, while the MAPK pathway, lipid metabolism, and cuticle development genes were down-regulated. In the transition stage between the nauplius VI and the cyprid, genes that are involved in blood coagulation, cuticle development and eggshell formation were highly up-regulated, while the nitric oxide pathway, which stimulates the swimming and feeding response in marine invertebrates, was down-regulated. We are able to report for the first time that sound sensory system proteins are highly abundant in the nauplius VI stage, implying that these proteins are good targets for the development of new antifouling compounds. The results presented here together with the new genome-wide datasets for a non-model specie represent an important resource for the study of biofouling and development. Proteomics data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD004679.
  • Gelsolin-Cu/ZnSOD interaction alters intracellular reactive oxygen species levels to promote cancer cell invasion

    Tochhawng, Lalchhandami; Deng, Shuo; Ganesan, Pugalenthi; Kumar, Alan Prem; Lim, Kiat Hon; Yang, Henry; Hooi, Shing Chuan; Goh, Yaw Chong; Maciver, Sutherland K.; Pervaiz, Shazib; Yap, Celestial T. (Impact Journals, LLC, 2016-07-07)
    The actin-binding protein, gelsolin, is a well known regulator of cancer cell invasion. However, the mechanisms by which gelsolin promotes invasion are not well established. As reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to promote cancer cell invasion, we investigated on the hypothesis that gelsolin-induced changes in ROS levels may mediate the invasive capacity of colon cancer cells. Herein, we show that increased gelsolin enhances the invasive capacity of colon cancer cells, and this is mediated via gelsolin's effects in elevating intracellular superoxide (O2 .-) levels. We also provide evidence for a novel physical interaction between gelsolin and Cu/ZnSOD, that inhibits the enzymatic activity of Cu/ZnSOD, thereby resulting in a sustained elevation of intracellular O2 .-. Using microarray data of human colorectal cancer tissues from Gene Omnibus, we found that gelsolin gene expression positively correlates with urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), an important matrix-degrading protease invovled in cancer invasion. Consistent with the in vivo evidence, we show that increased levels of O2 .- induced by gelsolin overexpression triggers the secretion of uPA. We further observed reduction in invasion and intracellular O2 .- levels in colon cancer cells, as a consequence of gelsolin knockdown using two different siRNAs. In these cells, concurrent repression of Cu/ ZnSOD restored intracellular O2 .- levels and rescued invasive capacity. Our study therefore identified gelsolin as a novel regulator of intracellular O2 .- in cancer cells via interacting with Cu/ZnSOD and inhibiting its enzymatic activity. Taken together, these findings provide insight into a novel function of gelsolin in promoting tumor invasion by directly impacting the cellular redox milieu.
  • Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors, supplement to: Dineshram, R; Chandramouli, K; Ko, W K Ginger; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen (2016): Quantitative analysis of oyster larval proteome provides new insights into the effects of multiple climate change stressors. Global Change Biology, 22(6), 2054-2068

    Dineshram, R; Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Ko, W K Ginger; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen (PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science, 2016)
    The metamorphosis of planktonic larvae of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) underpins their complex life-history strategy by switching on the molecular machinery required for sessile life and building calcite shells. Metamorphosis becomes a survival bottleneck, which will be pressured by different anthropogenically induced climate change-related variables. Therefore, it is important to understand how metamorphosing larvae interact with emerging climate change stressors. To predict how larvae might be affected in a future ocean, we examined changes in the proteome of metamorphosing larvae under multiple stressors: decreased pH (pH 7.4), increased temperature (30 °C), and reduced salinity (15 psu). Quantitative protein expression profiling using iTRAQ-LC-MS/MS identified more than 1300 proteins. Decreased pH had a negative effect on metamorphosis by down-regulating several proteins involved in energy production, metabolism, and protein synthesis. However, warming switched on these down-regulated pathways at pH 7.4. Under multiple stressors, cell signaling, energy production, growth, and developmental pathways were up-regulated, although metamorphosis was still reduced. Despite the lack of lethal effects, significant physiological responses to both individual and interacting climate change related stressors were observed at proteome level. The metamorphosing larvae of the C. gigas population in the Yellow Sea appear to have adequate phenotypic plasticity at the proteome level to survive in future coastal oceans, but with developmental and physiological costs.
  • Transcriptome and proteome dynamics in larvae of the barnacle Balanus Amphitrite from the Red Sea

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Al-Aqeel, Sarah; Ryu, Tae Woo; Zhang, Huoming; Seridi, Loqmane; Ghosheh, Yanal; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy (Springer Science + Business Media, 2015-12-15)
    Background The barnacle Balanus amphitrite is widely distributed in marine shallow and tidal waters, and has significant economic and ecological importance. Nauplii, the first larval stage of most crustaceans, are extremely abundant in the marine zooplankton. However, a lack of genome information has hindered elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of development, settlement and survival strategies in extreme marine environments. We sequenced and constructed the genome dataset for nauplii to obtain comprehensive larval genetic information. We also investigated iTRAQ-based protein expression patterns to reveal the molecular basis of nauplii development, and to gain information on larval survival strategies in the Red Sea marine environment. Results A nauplii larval transcript dataset, containing 92,117 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), was constructed and used as a reference for the proteome analysis. Genes related to translation, oxidative phosphorylation and cytoskeletal development were highly abundant. We observed remarkable plasticity in the proteome of Red Sea larvae. The proteins associated with development, stress responses and osmoregulation showed the most significant differences between the two larval populations studied. The synergistic overexpression of heat shock and osmoregulatory proteins may facilitate larval survival in intertidal habitats or in extreme environments. Conclusions We presented, for the first time, comprehensive transcriptome and proteome datasets for Red Sea nauplii. The datasets provide a foundation for future investigations focused on the survival mechanisms of other crustaceans in extreme marine environments.
  • A Quantitative Phosphoproteome Analysis of cGMP-dependent Cellular Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Marondedze, Claudius; Groen, Arnoud J.; Thomas, Ludivine; Lilley, Kathryn S.; Gehring, Christoph A (Elsevier BV, 2015-11-30)
  • Genomic expression catalogue of a global collection of BCG vaccine strains show evidence for highly diverged metabolic and cell-wall adaptations

    Abdallah, Abdallah; Hill-Cawthorne, Grant A.; Otto, Thomas D.; Coll, Francesc; Guerra-Assunção, José Afonso; Gao, Ge; Naeem, Raeece; Ansari, Hifzur Rahman; Malas, Tareq Majed Yasin; Adroub, Sabir; Verboom, Theo; Ummels, Roy; Zhang, Huoming; Panigrahi, Aswini Kumar; McNerney, Ruth; Brosch, Roland; Clark, Taane G.; Behr, Marcel A.; Bitter, Wilbert; Pain, Arnab (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-10-21)
    Although Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccines against tuberculosis have been available for more than 90 years, their effectiveness has been hindered by variable protective efficacy and a lack of lasting memory responses. One factor contributing to this variability may be the diversity of the BCG strains that are used around the world, in part from genomic changes accumulated during vaccine production and their resulting differences in gene expression. We have compared the genomes and transcriptomes of a global collection of fourteen of the most widely used BCG strains at single base-pair resolution. We have also used quantitative proteomics to identify key differences in expression of proteins across five representative BCG strains of the four tandem duplication (DU) groups. We provide a comprehensive map of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), copy number variation and insertions and deletions (indels) across fourteen BCG strains. Genome-wide SNP characterization allowed the construction of a new and robust phylogenic genealogy of BCG strains. Transcriptional and proteomic profiling revealed a metabolic remodeling in BCG strains that may be reflected by altered immunogenicity and possibly vaccine efficacy. Together, these integrated-omic data represent the most comprehensive catalogue of genetic variation across a global collection of BCG strains.
  • NMR and MALDI-TOF MS based characterization of exopolysaccharides in anaerobic microbial aggregates from full-scale reactors

    Gonzalez-Gil, Graciela; Thomas, Ludivine; Emwas, Abdul-Hamid M.; Lens, Piet N. L.; Saikaly, Pascal (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-09-22)
    Anaerobic granular sludge is composed of multispecies microbial aggregates embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Here we characterized the chemical fingerprint of the polysaccharide fraction of EPS in anaerobic granules obtained from full-scale reactors treating different types of wastewater. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals of the polysaccharide region from the granules were very complex, likely as a result of the diverse microbial population in the granules. Using nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), the 1H NMR signals of reference polysaccharides (gellan, xanthan, alginate) and those of the anaerobic granules revealed that there were similarities between the polysaccharides extracted from granules and the reference polysaccharide alginate. Further analysis of the exopolysaccharides from anaerobic granules, and reference polysaccharides using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) revealed that exopolysaccharides from two of the anaerobic granular sludges studied exhibited spectra similar to that of alginate. The presence of sequences related to the synthesis of alginate was confirmed in the metagenomes of the granules. Collectively these results suggest that alginate-like exopolysaccharides are constituents of the EPS matrix in anaerobic granular sludge treating different industrial wastewater. This finding expands the engineered environments where alginate has been found as EPS constituent of microbial aggregates.
  • Proteomic Changes Associated with Successive Reproductive Periods in Male Polychaetous Neanthes arenaceodentata

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Reish, Donald; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-09-04)
    The polychaetous annelid Neanthes acuminata complex has a widespread distribution, with the California population referred to as N. arenaceodentata. The reproductive pattern in this complex is unique, in that the female reproduces once and then dies, whereas the male can reproduce up to nine times. The male incubates the embryos until the larvae leave the male’s tube 21–28 days later and commences feeding. Reproductive success and protein expression patterns were measured over the nine reproductive periods. The percent success of the male in producing juveniles increased during the first three reproductive periods and then decreased, but the number of juveniles produced was similar through all nine periods. iTRAQ based quantitative proteomics were used to analyze the dynamics of protein expression patterns. The expression patterns of several proteins were found to be altered. The abundant expression of muscular and contractile proteins may have affected body weight and reproductive success. Sperm have never been observed; fertilization occurs within the parent’s tube. Proteins associated with sperm maturation and fertilization were identified, including ATPase, clathrin, peroxiredoxins and enolase, which may provide clues to the molecular mechanisms enabling males to reproduce multiple times.
  • Selective phosphorylation during early macrophage differentiation

    Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015-08-26)
    The differentiation of macrophages from monocytes is a tightly controlled and complex biological process. Although numerous studies have been conducted using biochemical approaches or global gene/gene profiling, the mechanisms of the early stages of differentiation remain unclear. Here we used SILAC-based quantitative proteomics approach to perform temporal phosphoproteome profiling of early macrophage differentiation. We identified a large set of phosphoproteins and grouped them as PMA-regulated and non-regulated phosphoproteins in the early stages of differentiation. Further analysis of the PMA-regulated phosphoproteins revealed that transcriptional suppression, cytoskeletal reorganization and cell adhesion were among the most significantly activated pathways. Some key involved regulators of these pathways are mTOR, MYB, STAT1 and CTNNB. Moreover, we were able to classify the roles and activities of several transcriptional factors during different differentiation stages and found that E2F is likely to be an important regulator during the relatively late stages of differentiation. This study provides the first comprehensive picture of the dynamic phosphoproteome during myeloid cells differentiation, and identifies potential molecular targets in leukemic cells.

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