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Ames, IA, United States

Cheville N.F.,Iowa State University | Stasko J.,National Animal Disease Center
Veterinary Pathology | Year: 2014

Technical improvements in electron microscopy, both instrumental and preparative, permit increasingly accurate analyses. Digital images for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) can be processed by software programs that automate tasks and create custom tools that allow for image enhancement for brightness, contrast and coloration; for creation of rectangular, ellipsoidal or irregular area selections; and for measurement of mean area and standard deviation. Sample preparation remains a source of error since organelles and spatial arrangements of macromolecules rapidly change after anoxia. Guidelines for maintaining consistency in preparation, examination and interpretation are presented for different electron microscopy (EM) modalities. © The Author(s) 2013. Source


Allen H.K.,National Animal Disease Center | An R.,University of Kentucky | Handelsman J.,Yale University | Moe L.A.,University of Kentucky
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Functional metagenomic analysis of soil metagenomes is a method for uncovering as-yet unidentified mechanisms for antibiotic resistance. Here we report an unconventional mode by which a response regulator derived from a soil metagenome confers resistance to the β-lactam antibiotic carbenicillin in Escherichia coli. A recombinant clone (βlr16) harboring a 5,169 bp DNA insert was selected from a metagenomic library previously constructed from a remote Alaskan soil. The βlr16 clone conferred specific resistance to carbenicillin, with limited increases in resistance to other tested antibiotics, including other β-lactams (penicillins and cephalosporins), rifampin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid, fusidic acid, and gentamicin. Resistance was more pronounced at 24°C than at 37°C. Zone-of-inhibition assays suggested that the mechanism of carbenicillin resistance was not due to antibiotic inactivation. The DNA insert did not encode any genes known to confer antibiotic resistance, but did have two putative open reading frames (ORFs) that were annotated as a metallopeptidase and a two-component response regulator. Transposon mutagenesis and subcloning of the two ORFs followed by phenotypic assays showed that the response regulator gene was necessary and sufficient to confer the resistance phenotype. Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR showed that the response regulator suppressed expression of the ompF porin gene, independently of the small RNA regulator micF, and enhanced expression of the acrD, mdtA, and mdtB efflux pump genes. This work demonstrates that antibiotic resistance can be achieved by the modulation of gene regulation by heterologous DNA. Functional analyses such as these can be important for making discoveries in antibiotic resistance gene biology and ecology. Source


Cross B.M.,Johns Hopkins University | Hack A.,Johns Hopkins University | Reinhardt T.A.,National Animal Disease Center | Rao R.,Johns Hopkins University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

An unconventional interaction between SPCA2, an isoform of the Golgi secretory pathway Ca2+-ATPase, and the Ca2+ influx channel Orai1, has previously been shown to contribute to elevated Ca2+ influx in breast cancer derived cells. In order to investigate the physiological role of this interaction, we examined expression and localization of SPCA2 and Orai1 in mouse lactating mammary glands. We observed co-induction and co-immunoprecipitation of both proteins, and isoform-specific differences in the localization of SPCA1 and SPCA2. Three-dimensional cultures of normal mouse mammary epithelial cells were established using lactogenic hormones and basement membrane. The mammospheres displayed elevated Ca2+ influx by store independent mechanisms, consistent with upregulation of both SPCA2 and Orai1. Knockdown of either SPCA2 or Orai1 severely depleted Ca2+ influx and interfered with mammosphere differentiation. We show that SPCA2 is required for plasma membrane trafficking of Orai1 in mouse mammary epithelial cells and that this function can be replaced, at least in part, by a membrane-anchored C-terminal domain of SPCA2. These findings clearly show that SPCA2 and Orai1 function together to regulate Store-independent Ca2+ entry (SICE), which mediates the massive basolateral Ca2+ influx into mammary epithelia to support the large calcium transport requirements for milk secretion. © 2013 Cross et al. Source


Hester S.E.,Pennsylvania State University | Lui M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Nicholson T.,National Animal Disease Center | Nowacki D.,Pennsylvania State University | Harvill E.T.,Pennsylvania State University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Sensing the environment allows pathogenic bacteria to coordinately regulate gene expression to maximize survival within or outside of a host. Here we show that Bordetella species regulate virulence factor expression in response to carbon dioxide levels that mimic in vivo conditions within the respiratory tract. We found strains of Bordetella bronchiseptica that did not produce adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT) when grown in liquid or solid media with ambient air aeration, but produced ACT and additional antigens when grown in air supplemented to 5% CO2. Transcriptome analysis and quantitative real time-PCR analysis revealed that strain 761, as well as strain RB50, increased transcription of genes encoding ACT, filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin, fimbriae and the type III secretion system in 5% CO2 conditions, relative to ambient air. Furthermore, transcription of cyaA and fhaB in response to 5% CO2 was increased even in the absence of BvgS. In vitro analysis also revealed increases in cytotoxicity and adherence when strains were grown in 5% CO2. The human pathogens B. pertussis and B. parapertussis also increased transcription of several virulence factors when grown in 5% CO2, indicating that this response is conserved among the classical bordetellae. Together, our data indicate that Bordetella species can sense and respond to physiologically relevant changes in CO2 concentrations by regulating virulence factors important for colonization, persistence and evasion of the host immune response. Source


Cross B.M.,Johns Hopkins University | Breitwieser G.E.,Weis Center for Research | Reinhardt T.A.,National Animal Disease Center | Rao R.,Johns Hopkins University
American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology | Year: 2014

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in women, estimated at nearly 40,000 deaths and more than 230,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone. One of the defining characteristics of breast cancer is the radiographic presence of microcalcifications. These palpable mineral precipitates are commonly found in the breast after formation of a tumor. Since free Ca2+ plays a crucial role as a second messenger inside cells, we hypothesize that these chelated precipitates may be a result of dysregulated Ca2+ secretion associated with tumorigenesis. Transient and sustained elevations of intracellular Ca2+ regulate cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell migration, and offer numerous therapeutic possibilities in controlling tumor growth and metastasis. During lactation, a developmentally determined program of gene expression controls the massive transcellular mobilization of Ca2+from the blood into milk by the coordinated action of calcium transporters, including pumps, channels, sensors and buffers, in a functional module that we term CALTRANS. Here we assess the evidence implicating genes that regulate free and buffered Ca2+in normal breast epithelium and cancer cells and discuss mechanisms that are likely to contribute to the pathological characteristics of breast cancer. © 2014 the American Physiological Society. Source

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