Cloning and characterization of bacteriophage-like DNA from Haemophilus somnus homologous to phages P2 and HP1.
ABSTRACT: In an attempt to identify and characterize components of a heme uptake system of Haemophilus somnus, an Escherichia coli cosmid library of H. somnus genomic DNA was screened for the ability to bind hemin (Hmb+). The Hmb+ phenotype was associated with a 7,814-bp HindIII fragment of H. somnus DNA that was subcloned and sequenced. Thirteen open reading frames (orfs) were identified, all transcribed in one direction, and transposon mutagenesis identified orf7 as the gene associated with the Hmb+ phenotype. Orf7 (178 amino acids) has extensive homology with the lysozymes of bacteriophages P-A2, P21, P22, PZA, phi-29, phi-vML3, T4, or HP1. The orf7 gene complemented the lytic function of the K gene of phage P2 and the R gene of phage lambda. A lysozyme assay using supernatants from whole-cell lysates of E. coli cultures harboring plasmid pRAP501 or pGCH2 (both of which express the orf7 gene product) exhibited significant levels of lysozyme activity. The orf6 gene upstream of orf7 has the dual start motif common to the holins encoded by lambdoid S genes, and the orf6 gene product has significant homology to the holins of phages HP1 and P21. When expressed from a tac promoter, the orf6 gene product caused immediate cell death without lysis, while cultures expressing the orf7 gene product grew at normal rates but lysed immediately after the addition of chloroform. Based on this data, we concluded that the Hmb+ phenotype was an artifact resulting from the expression of cloned lysis genes which were detrimental to the E. coli host. The DNA flanking the cloned lysis genes contains orfs that are similar to structural and DNA packaging genes of phage P2. Polyclonal antiserum against Orf2, which is homologous to the major capsid precursor protein (gpN) of phage P2, detected a 40,000-M(r) protein expressed from pRAP401 but did not detect Orf2 in H. somnus, lysates. The phage-like DNA was detected in the serum-susceptible preputial strains HS-124P and HS-127P but was absent from the serum-resistant preputial strains HS-20P and HS-22P. Elucidation of a potential role for this cryptic prophage in the H. somnus life cycle requires more study.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Holins are a group of phage-encoded membrane proteins that control access of phage-encoded endolysins to the peptidoglycan, and thereby trigger the lysis process at a precise time point as the 'lysis clock'. SMP is an isolated and characterized Streptococcus suis lytic phage. The aims of this study were to determine the holin gene, HolSMP, in the genome of SMP, and characterized the function of holin, HolSMP, in phage infection. RESULTS: HolSMP was predicted to encode a small membrane protein with three hydrophobic transmembrane helices. During SMP infections, HolSMP was transcribed as a late gene and HolSMP accumulated harmlessly in the cell membrane before host cell lysis. Expression of HolSMP in Escherichia coli induced an increase in cytoplasmic membrane permeability, an inhibition of host cell growth and significant cell lysis in the presence of LySMP, the endolysin of phage SMP. HolSMP was prematurely triggered by the addition of energy poison to the medium. HolSMP complemented the defective ? S allele in a non-suppressing Escherichia coli strain to produce phage plaques. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that HolSMP is the holin protein of phage SMP and a two-step lysis system exists in SMP.
Project description:Most bacteriophages (phages) release their progeny through the action of holins that form lesions in the cytoplasmic membrane and lysins that degrade the bacterial peptidoglycan. Although the function of each protein is well established in phages infecting Streptococcus pneumoniae, the role--if any--of the powerful bacterial autolysin LytA in virion release is currently unknown. In this study, deletions of the bacterial and phage lysins were done in lysogenic S. pneumoniae strains, allowing the evaluation of the contribution of each lytic enzyme to phage release through the monitoring of bacterial-culture lysis and phage plaque assays. In addition, we assessed membrane integrity during phage-mediated lysis using flow cytometry to evaluate the regulatory role of holins over the lytic activities. Our data show that LytA is activated at the end of the lytic cycle and that its triggering results from holin-induced membrane permeabilization. In the absence of phage lysin, LytA is able to mediate bacterial lysis and phage release, although exclusive dependence on the autolysin results in reduced virion egress and altered kinetics that may impair phage fitness. Under normal conditions, activation of bacterial LytA, together with the phage lysin, leads to greater phage progeny release. Our findings demonstrate that S. pneumoniae phages use the ubiquitous host autolysin to accomplish an optimal phage exiting strategy.
Project description:Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) has a high degree of genetic and antigenic variability. The purpose of this study was to determine if porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection increases genetic variability of PRRSV during serial passages in pigs and to determine if there is a difference in the PRRSV mutation rate between pigs concurrently infected with PCV2a or PCV2b. After 8 consecutive passages of PRRSV alone (group 1), PRRSV with PCV2a (group 2), or PCV2b (group 3) in pigs, the sequences of PRRSV structural genes for open reading frame (ORF) 5, ORF6, ORF7 and the partial non-structural protein gene (Nsp) 2 were determined. The total number of identified amino acid mutations in ORF5, ORF6, ORF7 and Nsp2 sequences was 30 for PRRSV infection only, 63 for PRRSV/PCV2a concurrent infection, and 77 for PRRSV/PCV2b concurrent infection when compared with the original VR2385 virus used to infect the passage 1 pigs. Compared to what occurred in pigs infected with PRRSV only, the mutation rates in ORF5 and ORF6 were significantly higher for concurrent PRRSV/PCV2b infected pigs. The PRRSV/PCV2a pigs had a significantly higher mutation rate in ORF7. The results from this study indicated that, besides ORF5 and Nsp2, the PRRSV structural genes ORF6 and ORF7 were shown to mutate at various degrees when the PRRSV was passaged over time in vivo. Furthermore, a significantly higher mutation rate of PRRSV was observed when pigs were co-infected with PCV2 highlighting the importance of concurrent infections on PRRSV evolution and control.
Project description:The lysis genes of the Lactobacillus gasseri bacteriophage phi adh were isolated by complementation of a lambda Sam mutation in Escherichia coli. Nucleotide sequencing of a 1,735-bp DNA fragment revealed two adjacent coding regions of 342 bp (hol) and 951 bp (lys) in the same reading frame which appear to belong to a common transcriptional unit. Proteins corresponding to the predicted gene products, holin (12.9 kDa) and lysin (34.7 kDa), were identified by in vitro and in vivo expression of the cloned genes. The phi adh holin is a membrane-bound protein with structural similarity to lysis proteins of other phage, known to be required for the transit of murein hydrolases through the cytoplasmic membrane. The phi adh lysin shows homology with mureinolytic enzymes encoded by the Lactobacillus bulgaricus phage mv4, the Streptococcus pneumoniae phage Cp-1, Cp-7, and Cp-9, and the Lactococcus lactis phage phi LC3. Significant homology with the N termini of known muramidases suggests that phi adh lysin acts by a similar catalytic mechanism. In E. coli, the phi adh lysin seems to be associated with the total membrane fraction, from which it can be extracted with lauryl sarcosinate. Either one of the phi adh lysis proteins provoked lysis of E. coli when expressed along with holins or lysins of phage lambda or Bacillus subtilis phage phi 29. Concomitant expression of the combined holin and lysin functions of phi adh in E. coli, however, did not result in efficient cell lysis.
Project description:Haemophilus somnus can be either a commensal of bovine mucosal surfaces or an opportunistic pathogen. Pathogenic strains of H. somnus are a significant cause of systemic disease in cattle. We report the genome sequence of H. somnus 129Pt, a nonpathogenic commensal preputial isolate, and the results of a genome-wide comparative analysis of H. somnus 129Pt, Haemophilus influenzae Rd, and Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP. We found unique genes in H. somnus 129Pt involved in lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis, carbohydrate uptake and metabolism, cation transport, amino acid metabolism, ubiquinone and menaquinone biosynthesis, cell surface adhesion, biosynthesis of cofactors, energy metabolism, and electron transport. There were also many genes in common among the three organisms. Our comparative analyses of H. somnus 129Pt, H. influenzae Rd, and H. ducreyi 35000HP revealed similarities and differences in the numbers and compositions of genes involved in metabolism, host colonization, and persistence. These results lay a foundation for research on the host specificities and niche preferences of these organisms. Future comparisons between H. somnus 129Pt and virulent strains will aid in the development of protective strategies and vaccines to protect cattle against H. somnus disease.
Project description:Bacteriophage Siskin is a member of the ?-like siphovirus phage cluster that infects Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain LT2. Here, we report the complete 58,476-bp sequence of the Siskin genome, provide confirmation of its genomic termini, and describe a potentially new class of holins and endolysins found in the lysis cassette.
Project description:Holins are small "hole-forming" transmembrane proteins that mediate bacterial cell lysis during programmed cell death or following phage infection. We have identified fifty two families of established or putative holins and have included representative members of these proteins in the Transporter Classification Database (TCDB; www.tcdb.org). We have identified the organismal sources of members of these families, calculated their average protein sizes, estimated their topologies and determined their relative family sizes. Topological analyses suggest that these proteins can have 1, 2, 3 or 4 transmembrane ?-helical segments (TMSs), and members of a single family are frequently, but not always, of a single topology. In one case, proteins of a family proved to have either 2 or 4 TMSs, and the latter arose by intragenic duplication of a primordial 2 TMS protein-encoding gene resembling the former. Using established statistical approaches, some of these families have been shown to be related by common descent. Seven superfamilies, including 21 of the 52 recognized families were identified. Conserved motif and Pfam analyses confirmed most superfamily assignments. These results serve to expand upon the scope of channel-forming bacterial holins.
Project description:Recent metagenomic sequencing studies of uncultured viral populations have provided novel insights into the ecology of environmental bacteriophage. At the same time, viral metagenomes could also represent a potential source of recombinant proteins with biotechnological value. In order to identify such proteins, a novel two-step screening technique was devised for cloning phage lytic enzymes from uncultured viral DNA. This plasmid-based approach first involves a primary screen in which transformed Escherichia coli clones that demonstrate colony lysis following exposure to inducing agent are identified. This effect, which can be due to the expression of membrane-permeabilizing phage holins, is discerned by the development a hemolytic effect in surrounding blood agar. In a secondary step, the clones identified in the primary screen are overlaid with autoclaved Gram-negative bacteria (specifically Pseudomonas aeruginosa) to assay directly for recombinant expression of lytic enzymes, which are often encoded proximally to holins in phage genomes. As proof-of-principle, the method was applied to a viral metagenomic library constructed from mixed animal feces, and 26 actively expressed lytic enzymes were cloned. These proteins include both Gram-positive-like and Gram-negative-like enzymes, as well as several atypical lysins whose predicted structures are less common among known phage. Overall, this study represents one of the first functional screens of a viral metagenomic population, and it provides a general approach for characterizing lysins from uncultured phage.
Project description:Transgene expression after the administration of recombinant adenovirus with E1 deleted is constantly transient. It is admitted that E1A-substituting activities of cellular or viral origin allow viral antigen synthesis and trigger cytotoxic lymphocyte-mediated clearance of the recipient cells. Our approach to solving this problem relies on the additional deletion of the E4 region from the vector backbone as this region upregulates viral gene expression at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. As a prerequisite to the construction of E1 E4 doubly defective adenoviruses, we investigated the possibility of transcomplementing both functions within a single cell. In particular, the distal ORF6+ORF7 segment from the E4 locus of adenovirus type 5 was cloned under the control of the dexamethasone-inducible mouse mammary tumor virus long terminal repeat. Following transfection into 293 cells, clone IGRP2 was retained and characterized as it can rescue the growth defect of all E1+ E4- adenoviral deletants tested. DNA and RNA analysis experiments verified that the mouse mammary tumor virus promoter drives the expression of the ORF6+ORF7 unit and permits its bona fide alternative splicing, generating ORF6/7 mRNA in addition to the ORF6-expressing primary transcript. Importantly, IGRP2 cells sustain cell confluence for a period longer than that of 293 parental cells and allow the plaque purification of E1- or E4- defective viruses. The dual expression of E1 and E4 regulatory genes within IGRP2 cells is demonstrated by the construction, plaque purification, and helper-free propagation of recombinant lacZ-encoding doubly defective adenoviruses harboring different E4 deletions. In addition, the emergence, if any, of replicative particles during viral propagation in this novel packaging cell line will be drastically impaired as only a limited segment of E4 has been integrated.
Project description:The Paenibacillus larvae infecting phage API480 (vB_PlaP_API480) is the first reported podovirus for this bacterial species, with an 58?nm icosahedral capsid and a 12?×?8?nm short, non-contractile tail. API480 encodes 77 coding sequences (CDSs) on its 45,026?bp dsDNA genome, of which 47 were confirmed using mass spectrometry. This phage has got very limited genomic and proteomic similarity to any other known ones registered in public databases, including P. larvae phages. Comparative genomics indicates API480 is a new species as it's a singleton with 28 unique proteins. Interestingly, the lysis module is highly conserved among P. larvae phages, containing a predicted endolysin and two putative holins. The well kept overall genomic organisation (from the structural and morphogenetic modules to the host lysis, DNA replication and metabolism related proteins) confirms a common evolutionary ancestor among P. larvae infecting phages. API480 is able to infect 69% of the 61 field strains with an ERIC I genotype, as well as ERIC II strains. Furthermore, this phage is very stable when exposed to high glucose concentrations and to larval gastrointestinal conditions. This highly-specific phage, with its broad lytic activity and stability in hive conditions, might potentially be used in the biocontrol of American Foulbrood (AFB).