Project description:A leading challenge in drinking water treatment is to remove small-sized viruses from the water in a simple and efficient manner. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) are new generation adsorbents with previously demonstrated potential as filter media to improve virus removal. This study therefore aimed to evaluate the field applicability of MWCNT-filters for virus removal in water containing natural organic matter (NOM) as co-solute to viruses, using batch equilibrium experiments. Contrary to previous studies, our results showed with MS2 bacteriophages single-solute systems that the affinity of MWCNT for MS2 was low, since after 3 h of equilibration only 4 log10 reduction value (LRV) of MS2 (20 mL at an initial concentration of 106 PFU MS2/mL) were reached. Single solute experiments with Suwannee river NOM (SRNOM) performed with environmentally-relevant concentrations showed MWCNT surface saturation at initial SRNOM concentrations between 10 and 15 mgC/L, for water pH between 5.2 and 8.7. These results suggested that at NOM:virus ratios found in natural waters, the NOM would competitively suppress virus adsorption onto MWCNT, even at low NOM concentrations. We confirmed this expectation with SRNOM-MS2 co-solute experiments, which showed an exponential decrease of the MS2 LRV by MWCNT with an increase in the initial SRNOM concentration. More interestingly, we showed that pre-equilibrating MWCNT with a SRNOM solution at a concentration as low as 0.4 mgC/L resulted in a LRV decrease of 3 for MS2, due to the formation of a negatively charged SRNOM adlayer on the MWCNT surface. Complementary batch experiments with natural NOM-containing waters and competition experiments with SRNOM in the presence of CaCl2 confirmed that the presence of NOM in waters challenges virus removal by MWCNT-filters, irrespective of the concentration and type of NOM and also in the presence of Ca2+. We therefore conclude that MWCNT-filters produced with commercially available pristine MWCNT cannot be considered as a viable technology for drinking water virus removal.
Project description:The L protein of the single-stranded RNA phage MS2 causes lysis of Escherichia coli without inducing bacteriolytic activity or inhibiting net peptidoglycan (PG) synthesis. To find host genes required for L-mediated lysis, spontaneous Ill (insensitivity to Llysis) mutants were selected as survivors of L expression and shown to have a missense change of the highly conserved proline (P330Q) in the C-terminal domain of DnaJ. In the dnaJP330Q mutant host, L-mediated lysis is completely blocked at 30°C without affecting the intracellular levels of L. At higher temperatures (37°C and 42°C), both lysis and L accumulation are delayed. The lysis block at 30°C in the dnaJP330Q mutant was recessive and could be suppressed by Lovercomes dnaJ (Lodj ) alleles selected for restoration of lysis. All three Lodj alleles lack the highly basic N-terminal half of the lysis protein and cause lysis ?20 min earlier than full-length L. DnaJ was found to form a complex with full-length L. This complex was abrogated by the P330Q mutation and was absent with the Lodj truncations. These results suggest that, in the absence of interaction with DnaJ, the N-terminal domain of L interferes with its ability to bind to its unknown target. The lysis retardation and DnaJ chaperone dependency conferred by the nonessential, highly basic N-terminal domain of L resembles the SlyD chaperone dependency conferred by the highly basic C-terminal domain of the E lysis protein of ?X174, suggesting a common theme where single-gene lysis can be modulated by host factors influenced by physiological conditions.IMPORTANCE Small single-stranded nucleic acid lytic phages (Microviridae and Leviviridae) lyse their host by expressing a single "protein antibiotic." The protein antibiotics from two out of three prototypic small lytic viruses have been shown to inhibit two different steps in the conserved PG biosynthesis pathway. However, the molecular basis of lysis caused by L, the lysis protein of the third prototypic virus, MS2, is unknown. The significance of our research lies in the identification of DnaJ as a chaperone in the MS2 L lysis pathway and the identification of the minimal lytic domain of MS2 L. Additionally, our research highlights the importance of the highly conserved P330 residue in the C-terminal domain of DnaJ for specific protein interactions.
Project description:Diagnostic systems based on reverse transcription (RT)-PCR are widely used for the detection of viral genomes in different human specimens. The application of internal controls (IC) to monitor each step of nucleic acid amplification is necessary to prevent false-negative results due to inhibition or human error. In this study, we designed various real-time RT-PCRs utilizing the coliphage MS2 replicase gene, which differ in detection format, amplicon size, and efficiency of amplification. These noncompetitive IC assays, using TaqMan, hybridization probe, or duplex scorpion probe techniques, were tested on the LightCycler and Rotorgene systems. In our approach, clinical specimens were spiked with the control virus to monitor the efficiency of extraction, reverse transcription, and amplification steps. The MS2 RT-PCR assays were applied for internal control when using a second target hepatitis C virus RNA in duplex PCR in blood donor screening. The 95% detection limit was calculated by probit analysis to 44.9 copies per PCR (range, 38.4 to 73.4). As demonstrated routinely, application of MS2 IC assays exhibits low variability and can be applied in various RT-PCR assays. MS2 phage lysates were obtained under standard laboratory conditions. The quantification of phage and template RNA was performed by plating assays to determine PFU or via real-time RT-PCR. High stability of the MS2 phage preparations stored at -20 degrees C, 4 degrees C, and room temperature was demonstrated.
Project description:Fate and transport of carbon nanomaterials can be strongly dependent on the interaction with secondary particulates in the aquatic systems. Bio-particulates in water, e.g., viruses with charged and hydrophobic surface moieties, may profoundly influence the interfacial behavior and hence the environmental fate of nanomaterials (and vice versa). This study systematically evaluates the interfacial interaction of acid-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) with MS2 bacteriophages, or heteroaggregation behavior of these particulates, under mono- and di-valent cations and with Suwannee River humic acid (SRHA). Results indicate that the highest concentration of MS2 (i.e., MWNT:MS2 of 100:1) renders exceptional stability of MWNTs, even in high salinity conditions. However, at lower MS2 concentrations (i.e., MWNT:MS2 of 1000:1 and 10,000:1), the suppression of MWNT heteroaggregation rate is not as significant. The observed enhanced stability is likely caused by the preferential attachment of the MS2 capsids onto MWNT surfaces, which is mediated by electrostatic attraction (between negatively charged oxygen-containing moieties on MWNTs and positively charged amino acid residues on MS2 surfaces) and/or by MS2 capsids with positive hydropathy index (indicating strong hydrophobicity). Presence of SRHA also shows stability enhancement; however, at lower MS2 concentrations, SRHA dominated the heteroaggregation behavior. These results implicate that preferential interaction between virus capsids (i.e., MS2 and may be other waterborne viruses) and carbonaceous nanomaterials may influence environmental transport of both in aquatic environments.
Project description:The Myc/Max heterodimer has crucial roles in normal cellular processes such as cell proliferation, metabolism, apoptosis, and differentiation, but its activity is often deregulated in a majority of human cancers. In an effort to explore alternative modes of Myc perturbation, we identified KI-MS2-008 as a small molecule that binds Max and modulates Myc-driven transcription, and in some cellular contexts, KI-MS2-008 treatment leads to a decrease in c-Myc protein levels. As the Myc/Max heterodimer controls many cellular processes, we expected that treatment with this small molecule would cause changes in the transcriptome. We found that treatment with 10 µM KI-MS2-008 resulted in global alterations in the transcriptome, mimicking direct Myc inactivation with doxycycline in P493-6, a B cell line with a Tet-Off system for c-Myc expression. We also discovered enrichment of various Myc target gene sets in the genes downregulated in response to KI-MS2-008 treatment in P493-6 cells. This trend was also observed in ST486 cells, but not in P3HR1 cells, which were chosen as non-engineered B cell lines that were sensitive and insensitive, respectively, toward KI-MS2-008 in cell viability assays. Overall design: RNA-seq characterizing three B cell lines: P493-6 (an engineered, KI-MS2-008 sensitive cell line), ST486 (a non-engineered, KI-MS2-008 sensitive cell line), and P3HR1 (a non-engineered, KI-MS2-008 insensitive cell line). P493-6 cells were treated with 0.1 µg/mL doxycycline, 1 µM KI-MS2-008, 10 µM KI-MS2-008, or 0.4% DMSO for 45 minutes or 8 hours. ST486 cells were treated with 1 µM KI-MS2-008, 10 µM KI-MS2-008 or 0.4% DMSO for 45 minutes or 8 hours. P3HR1 cells were treated with 10 µM KI-MS2-008 or 0.4% DMSO for 8 hours. 4 replicates were performed for each condition.
Project description:The secondary structure of encapsidated MS2 genomic RNA poses an interesting RNA folding challenge. Cryoelectron microscopy has demonstrated that encapsidated MS2 RNA is well-ordered. Models of MS2 assembly suggest that the RNA hairpin-protein interactions and the appropriate placement of hairpins in the MS2 RNA secondary structure can guide the formation of the correct icosahedral particle. The RNA hairpin motif that is recognized by the MS2 capsid protein dimers, however, is energetically unfavorable, and thus free energy predictions are biased against this motif. Computer programs called Crumple, Sliding Windows, and Assembly provide useful tools for prediction of viral RNA secondary structures when the traditional assumptions of RNA structure prediction by free energy minimization may not apply. These methods allow incorporation of global features of the RNA fold and motifs that are difficult to include directly in minimum free energy predictions. For example, with MS2 RNA the experimental data from SELEX experiments, crystallography, and theoretical calculations of the path for the series of hairpins can be incorporated in the RNA structure prediction, and thus the influence of free energy considerations can be modulated. This approach thoroughly explores conformational space and generates an ensemble of secondary structures. The predictions from this new approach can test hypotheses and models of viral assembly and guide construction of complete three-dimensional models of virus particles.
Project description:RNA replicases catalyse transcription and replication of viral RNA genomes. Of particular interest for in vitro studies are phage replicases due to their small number of host factors required for activity and their ability to initiate replication in the absence of any primers. However, the requirements for template recognition by most phage replicases are still only poorly understood. Here, we show that the active replicase of the archetypical RNA phage MS2 can be produced in a recombinant cell-free expression system. We find that the 3' terminal fusion of antisense RNAs with a domain derived from the reverse complement of the wild type MS2 genome generates efficient templates for transcription by the MS2 replicase. The new system enables DNA-independent gene expression both in batch reactions and in microcompartments. Finally, we demonstrate that MS2-based RNA-dependent transcription-translation reactions can be used to control DNA-dependent gene expression by encoding a viral DNA-dependent RNA polymerase on a MS2 RNA template. Our study sheds light on the template requirements of the MS2 replicase and paves the way for new in vitro applications including the design of genetic circuits combining both DNA- and RNA-encoded systems.
Project description:The all-atom model of an MS2 bacteriophage particle without its genome (the capsid) was built using high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy (EM) measurements for initial conformation. The structural characteristics of the capsid and the dynamics of the surrounding solution were examined using molecular dynamics simulation. The model demonstrates the overall preservation of the cryo-EM structure of the capsid at physiological conditions (room temperature and ions composition). The formation of a dense anion layer near the inner surface and a diffuse cation layer near the outer surface of the capsid was detected. The flow of water molecules and ions across the capsid through its pores were quantified, which was considerable for water and substantial for ions.
Project description:The male-sterile ms2 mutant has been known for 40 years and has become extremely important in the commercial production of wheat. However, the gene responsible for this phenotype has remained unknown. Here we report the map-based cloning of the Ms2 gene. The Ms2 locus is remarkable in several ways that have implications in basic biology. Beyond having no functional annotation, barely detectable transcription in fertile wild-type wheat plants, and accumulated destructive mutations in Ms2 orthologs, the Ms2 allele in the ms2 mutant has acquired a terminal-repeat retrotransposon in miniature (TRIM) element in its promoter. This TRIM element is responsible for the anther-specific Ms2 activation that confers male sterility. The identification of Ms2 not only unravels the genetic basis of a historically important breeding trait, but also shows an example of how a TRIM element insertion near a gene can contribute to genetic novelty and phenotypic plasticity.
Project description:Heterostructures receive intensive attentions due to their excellent intrinsic properties and wide applications. Here, we investigate the natural physical properties and performances of strain BN-MS2 (M = Mo, W) heterostructure by density functional theory. Different to compressive monolayer MS2, corresponding BN-MS2 heterostructures keep direct band-gap characters because effects of charge transfer on anti-bonding dz2 orbitals are stronger than those of Poisson effect. Mexican-hat-like bands without magnetic moments are observed at strain BN-MS2 heterostructures when the compression is enough. Consequently, electron mobilities of strain BN-MS2 heterostructures are slightly reduced at first and then enlarged with increasing compressive strain. Note that, strain BN-MS2 heterostructures reduce the band edges of MS2 layers and extend their application in photocatalytic water splitting. But just the n-type and p-type Schottky barriers of devices with strain BN-MS2 heterostructures are reduced and even vanished with the increasing tensile and compressive, respectively. Besides, electron mobilities of strain BN-MoS2 and BN-WS2 heterostructures can be enhanced to 1290 and 1926 cm2 V -1 s-1, respectively, with increasing tensile strain. Interestingly, the exciton binding energies of strain BN-MS2 heterostructures exhibit oscillation variations, different to those of strain monolayer MS2.