Institute For Molekulare Infektionsbiologie

Würzburg, Germany

Institute For Molekulare Infektionsbiologie

Würzburg, Germany
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Chlebowicz M.A.,University of Groningen | Nganou K.,University of Groningen | Kozytska S.,Institute For Molekulare Infektionsbiologie | Arends J.P.,University of Groningen | And 5 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2010

Various types of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) are known to confer methicillin resistance on the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Such cassettes are not always stably maintained. The present studies were aimed at identifying the mechanism underlying the in vivo conversion of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) to methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) derivatives as encountered in two patients suffering from pneumonia and an umbilicus infection, respectively. All MRSA and MSSA isolates identified belong to multilocus sequence type (MLST) 398, have spa type t034, and are Panton-Valentine leukocidin positive. Sequencing of 27,616 nucleotides from the chromosomal SCCmec insertion site in orfX to the hsdR gene for a restriction enzyme revealed a type V (5C2&5) SCCmec. Sequence comparisons show that parts of the cassette are highly similar to sequences within SCCmec elements from coagulase-negative staphylococci, indicating a possible common origin. The cassette investigated contains ccrC-carrying units on either side of its class C2b mec gene complex. In vivo loss of the mec gene complex was caused by recombination between the recombinase genes ccrC1 allele 8 and ccrC1 allele 10. In vitro, the SCCmec was very stable, and low-frequency MRSA-to-MSSA conversion was only observed when MRSA isolates were cultivated at 41° C for prolonged periods of time. In this case also, loss of the mec complex was due to ccrC gene recombination. Interestingly, the MRSA and MSSA isolates studied displayed no detectable differences in competitive growth and virulence, suggesting that the presence of the intact type V (5C2&5) SCCmec has no negative bearing on staphylococcal fitness under the conditions used. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Lioliou E.,University of Strasbourg | Sharma C.M.,Zentrum fur Infektionsforschung ZINF | Caldelari I.,University of Strasbourg | Helfer A.-C.,University of Strasbourg | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2012

RNA turnover plays an important role in both virulence and adaptation to stress in the Gram-positive human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. However, the molecular players and mechanisms involved in these processes are poorly understood. Here, we explored the functions of S. aureus endoribonuclease III (RNase III), a member of the ubiquitous family of double-strand-specific endoribonucleases. To define genomic transcripts that are bound and processed by RNase III, we performed deep sequencing on cDNA libraries generated from RNAs that were co-immunoprecipitated with wild-type RNase III or two different cleavage-defective mutant variants in vivo. Several newly identified RNase III targets were validated by independent experimental methods. We identified various classes of structured RNAs as RNase III substrates and demonstrated that this enzyme is involved in the maturation of rRNAs and tRNAs, regulates the turnover of mRNAs and non-coding RNAs, and autoregulates its synthesis by cleaving within the coding region of its own mRNA. Moreover, we identified a positive effect of RNase III on protein synthesis based on novel mechanisms. RNase III-mediated cleavage in the 5′ untranslated region (5′UTR) enhanced the stability and translation of cspA mRNA, which encodes the major cold-shock protein. Furthermore, RNase III cleaved overlapping 5′UTRs of divergently transcribed genes to generate leaderless mRNAs, which constitutes a novel way to co-regulate neighboring genes. In agreement with recent findings, low abundance antisense RNAs covering 44% of the annotated genes were captured by co-immunoprecipitation with RNase III mutant proteins. Thus, in addition to gene regulation, RNase III is associated with RNA quality control of pervasive transcription. Overall, this study illustrates the complexity of post-transcriptional regulation mediated by RNase III. © 2012 Lioliou et al.

Gowher A.,University of Strasbourg | Smirnov A.,University of Strasbourg | Smirnov A.,Institute For Molekulare Infektionsbiologie | Tarassov I.,University of Strasbourg | Entelis N.,University of Strasbourg
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

In human cell, a subset of small non-coding RNAs is imported into mitochondria from the cytosol. Analysis of the tRNA import pathway allowing targeting of the yeast tRNALys CUU into human mitochondria demonstrates a similarity between the RNA import mechanisms in yeast and human cells. We show that the cytosolic precursor of human mitochondrial lysyl-tRNA synthetase (preKARS2) interacts with the yeast tRNALys CUU and small artificial RNAs which contain the structural elements determining the tRNA mitochondrial import, and facilitates their internalization by isolated human mitochondria. The tRNA import efficiency increased upon addition of the glycolytic enzyme enolase, previously found to be an actor of the yeast RNA import machinery. Finally, the role of preKARS2 in the RNA mitochondrial import has been directly demonstrated in vivo, in cultured human cells transfected with the yeast tRNA and artificial importable RNA molecules, in combination with preKARS2 overexpression or downregulation by RNA interference. These findings suggest that the requirement of protein factors for the RNA mitochondrial targeting might be a conserved feature of the RNA import pathway in different organisms. © 2013 Gowher et al.

Comte C.,University of Strasbourg | Tonin Y.,University of Strasbourg | Heckel-Mager A.-M.,University of Strasbourg | Boucheham A.,University of Strasbourg | And 7 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

Mitochondrial mutations, an important cause of incurable human neuromuscular diseases, are mostly heteroplasmic: mutated mitochondrial DNA is present in cells simultaneously with wild-type genomes, the pathogenic threshold being generally >70% of mutant mtDNA. We studied whether heteroplasmy level could be decreased by specifically designed oligoribonucleotides, targeted into mitochondria by the pathway delivering RNA molecules in vivo. Using mitochondrially imported RNAs as vectors, we demonstrated that oligoribonucleotides complementary to mutant mtDNA region can specifically reduce the proportion of mtDNA bearing a large deletion associated with the Kearns Sayre Syndrome in cultured transmitochondrial cybrid cells. These findings may be relevant to developing of a new tool for therapy of mtDNA associated diseases. © 2012 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press.

Schunder E.,Robert Koch Institute | Adam P.,University of Würzburg | Higa F.,University of Ryukyus | Remer K.A.,Institute For Molekulare Infektionsbiologie | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Medical Microbiology | Year: 2010

We previously identified Legionella pneumophila PlaB as the major cell-associated phospholipase A/lysophospholipase A with contact-dependent hemolytic activity. In this study, we further characterized this protein and found it to be involved in the virulence of L. pneumophila. PlaB was mainly expressed and active during exponential growth. Active PlaB was outer membrane-associated and at least in parts surface-exposed. Transport to the outer membrane was not dependent on the type I (T1SS), II (T2SS), IVB (T4BSS) or Tat secretion pathways. Furthermore, PlaB activity was not dependent on the presence of the macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) or the major secreted zinc metalloproteinase A (MspA). Despite the fact that PlaB is not essential for replication in protozoa or macrophage cell lines, we found that plaB mutants were impaired for replication in the lungs and dissemination to the spleen in the guinea pig infection model. Histological sections monitored less inflammation and destruction of the lung tissue after infection with the plaB mutants compared to L. pneumophila wild type. Taken together, PlaB is the first phospholipase A/lysophospholipase A with a confirmed role in the establishment of Legionnaires' disease. © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Albert-Weissenberger C.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Albert-Weissenberger C.,Institute For Molekulare Infektionsbiologie | Sahr T.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Sismeiro O.,Genopole | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2010

The bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila responds to environmental changes by differentiation. At least two forms are well described: replicative bacteria are avirulent; in contrast, transmissive bacteria express virulence traits and flagella. Phenotypic analysis, Western blotting, and electron microscopy of mutants of the regulatory genes encoding RpoN, FleQ, FleR, and FliA demonstrated that flagellin expression is strongly repressed and that the mutants are nonflagellated in the transmissive phase. Transcriptome analyses elucidated that RpoN, together with FleQ, enhances transcription of 14 out of 31 flagellar class II genes, which code for the basal body, hook, and regulatory proteins. Unexpectedly, FleQ independent of RpoN enhances the transcription of fliA encoding sigma 28. Expression analysis of a fliA mutant showed that FliA activates three out of the five remaining flagellar class III genes and the flagellar class IV genes. Surprisingly, FleR does not induce but inhibits expression of at least 14 flagellar class III genes on the transcriptional level. Thus, we propose that flagellar class II genes are controlled by FleQ and RpoN, whereas the transcription of the class III gene fliA is controlled in a FleQ-dependent but RpoN-independent manner. However, RpoN and FleR might influence flagellin synthesis on a posttranscriptional level. In contrast to the commonly accepted view that enhancer-binding proteins such as FleQ always interact with RpoN to fullfill their regulatory functions, our results strongly indicate that FleQ regulates gene expression that is RpoN dependent and RpoN independent. Finally, FliA induces expression of flagellar class III and IV genes leading to the complete synthesis of the flagellum. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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