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  • 201.
    Forslund, Anna-Lena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Identification of new virulence factors in Francisella tularensis2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is a highly virulent bacterium with an infection dose of less than ten bacteria. The ability of a pathogen to cause infection relies on different virulence mechanisms, but in Francisella tularensis relatively few virulence factors are known. Two F. tularensis subspecies are virulent in humans; the highly virulent subspecies tularensis, also referred to as type A, and the less virulent subspecies holarctica, also called type B. The aim of this thesis has been to improve the knowledge regarding the ability of Francisella to cause disease, with the emphasis on surface located and membrane associated proteins and structures. In addition I have also investigated how virulence is regulated by studying the role of the small RNA chaperone, Hfq.

    The genome of Francisella appears to encode few regulatory genes. In my work I found that Hfq has an important role in regulation of virulence associated genes in Francisella. Similar to what has been found in other pathogens, Hfq functions in negative regulation, and this is the first time a negative regulation has been described for genes in the Francisella pathogenicity island. Another protein with a key role in virulence is a homologue to a disulphide oxidoreductase, DsbA, which was identified as an outer membrane lipoprotein in Francisella. A dsbA mutant was found to be severely attenuated for virulence and also induced protection against wild-type infections, thus making it a candidate for exploration as a new live vaccine. Additional genes with homology to known virulence determinants include a type IV pilin system. The pilin homologue, PilA, was identified to be required for full virulence in both type A and type B strains. In addition, genes involved in pili assembly and secretion, pilC and pilQ, were also found to be virulence associated in the type A strain.

    In summary, dsbA, hfq and type IV pili associated genes were indentified to be virulence determinants in F. tularensis. DsbA is a potential target for drug development and a dsbA mutant a candidate for a new live vaccine strain. Furthermore the identification of Hfq as a novel regulatory factor opens new insights into the virulence regulatory network in Francisella.

  • 202.
    Forslund, Anna-Lena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Forsberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Kuoppa, Kerstin
    FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency, Division of CBRN Defence and Security.
    Meibom, Karin L.
    Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades; INSERM, U570, Unit of Pathogenesis of Systemic Infections.
    Alkhuder, Khaled
    Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades; INSERM, U570, Unit of Pathogenesis of Systemic Infections.
    Dubail, Iharilalao
    Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades; INSERM, U570, Unit of Pathogenesis of Systemic Infections.
    Dupuis, Marion
    Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades; INSERM, U570, Unit of Pathogenesis of Systemic Infections.
    Charbit, Alain
    Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine Necker-Enfants Malades; INSERM, U570, Unit of Pathogenesis of Systemic Infections.
    Hfq, a novel pleiotropic regulator of virulence-associated genes in Francisella tularensis2009In: Infection and Immunity, ISSN 0019-9567, E-ISSN 1098-5522, Vol. 77, no 5, p. 1866-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious pathogen that infects animals and humans, causing tularemia. The ability to replicate within macrophages is central for virulence and relies on expression of genes located in the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI), as well as expression of other genes. Regulation of FPI-encoded virulence gene expression in F. tularensis involves at least four regulatory proteins and is not fully understood. Here we studied the RNA-binding protein Hfq in F. tularensis and particularly the role that it plays as a global regulator of gene expression in stress tolerance and pathogenesis. We demonstrate that Hfq promotes resistance to several cellular stresses (including osmotic and membrane stresses). Furthermore, we show that Hfq is important for the ability of the F. tularensis vaccine strain LVS to induce disease and persist in organs of infected mice. We also demonstrate that Hfq is important for stress tolerance and full virulence in a virulent clinical isolate of F. tularensis, FSC200. Finally, microarray analyses revealed that Hfq regulates expression of numerous genes, including genes located in the FPI. Strikingly, Hfq negatively regulates only one of two divergently expressed putative operons in the FPI, in contrast to the other known regulators, which regulate the entire FPI. Hfq thus appears to be a new pleiotropic regulator of virulence in F. tularensis, acting mostly as a repressor, in contrast to the other regulators identified so far. Moreover, the results obtained suggest a novel regulatory mechanism for a subset of FPI genes.

  • 203.
    Forslund, Anna-Lena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Kuoppa, Kerstin
    Svensson, Kerstin
    Salomonsson, Emelie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Johansson, Anders
    Byström, Mona
    Oyston, Petra C. F.
    Michell, Stephen L.
    Titball, Richard W.
    Noppa, Laila
    Frithz-Lindsten, Elisabet
    Forsman, Mats
    Forsberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Direct repeat-mediated deletion of a type IV pilin gene results in major virulence attenuation of Francisella tularensis2006In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 59, no 6, p. 1818-1830Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularaemia, is a highly infectious and virulent intracellular pathogen. There are two main human pathogenic subspecies, Francisella tularensis ssp. tularensis (type A), and Francisella tularensis ssp. holarctica (type B). So far, knowledge regarding key virulence determinants is limited but it is clear that intracellular survival and multiplication is one major virulence strategy of Francisella. In addition, genome sequencing has revealed the presence of genes encoding type IV pili (Tfp). One genomic region encoding three proteins with signatures typical for type IV pilins contained two 120 bp direct repeats. Here we establish that repeat-mediated loss of one of the putative pilin genes in a type B strain results in severe virulence attenuation in mice infected by subcutaneous route. Complementation of the mutant by introduction of the pilin gene in cis resulted in complete restoration of virulence. The level of attenuation was similar to that of the live vaccine strain and this strain was also found to lack the pilin gene as result of a similar deletion event mediated by the direct repeats. Presence of the pilin had no major effect on the ability to interact, survive and multiply inside macrophage-like cell lines. Importantly, the pilin-negative strain was impaired in its ability to spread from the initial site of infection to the spleen. Our findings indicate that this putative pilin is critical for Francisella infections that occur via peripheral routes.

  • 204.
    Forslund, Anna-Lena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Salomonsson, Emelie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Goloviov, Igor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Bacteriology.
    Kuoppa, Kerstin
    FOI, Umeå (Swedish Defence Research Agency).
    Michell, Stephen
    Titball, Richard
    Oyston, Petra
    Noppa, Laila
    FOI, Umeå (Swedish Defence Research Agency).
    Sjöstedt, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Bacteriology.
    Forsberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    The type IV pilin, PilA, is required for full virulence of Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensisManuscript (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Background: All four Francisella tularensis subspecies possess gene clusters with potential to express type IV pili (Tfp). These clusters include putative pilin genes, as well as pilB, pilC and pilQ, required for secretion and assembly of Tfp. A hallmark of Tfp is the ability to retract the pilus upon surface contact, a property mediated by the ATPase PilT. Interestingly, out of the two major human pathogenic subspecies only the highly virulent type A strains have a functional pilT gene.

    Results: In a previous study, we were able to show that one pilin gene, pilA, was essential for virulence of a type B strain in a mouse infection model. In this work we have examined the role of several pilin genes in the virulence of the pathogenic type A strain SCHU S4. pilA, pilC, pilQ, and pilT were mutated by in-frame deletion mutagenesis. Interestingly, when mice were infected with a mixture of each mutant strain and the wild-type strain, the pilA, pilC and pilQ mutants were out-competed, while the pilT mutant was equally competitive as the wild-type.

    Conclusions: This suggests that expression and surface localisation of PilA contribute to virulence in the highly virulent type A strain, while PilT was dispensable for virulence in the mouse infection model.

  • 205.
    Forslund, Anna-Lena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Salomonsson, Emelie Näslund
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Golovliov, Igor
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Bacteriology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Kuoppa, Kerstin
    Michell, Stephen
    Titball, Richard
    Oyston, Petra
    Noppa, Laila
    FOI.
    Sjöstedt, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Bacteriology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Forsberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    The type IV pilin, PilA, is required for full virulence of Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis2010In: BMC Microbiology, ISSN 1471-2180, E-ISSN 1471-2180, Vol. 10, p. 227-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This suggests that expression and surface localisation of PilA contribute to virulence in the highly virulent type A strain, while PilT was dispensable for virulence in the mouse infection model.

  • 206.
    Francis, Matthew
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Secretion systems and metabolism in the pathogenic Yersiniae2011In: Stress response in pathogenic bacteria / [ed] Stephen P. Kidd, United Kingdom: CAB International , 2011, 1, p. 185-220Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The genus Yersinia comprises 11 species, three of which have clear etiology for causing human disease (Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica). The obligate pathogen Y. pestis is the most infamous of these being the causal agent of plague, a bivalent disease that when left untreated is invariably fatal. The lifecycle of Y. pestis is complex, being dependent on two diverse hosts – the invertebrate flea Xenopsylla cheopis and a mammalian host (usually wild rodents). Although capable of catastrophic consequences, plague in humans is accidental – a consequence of being infected with Y. pestis via the bite of an infected flea that has been forced from its normal rodent host. In brief, the initial stage of disease presents as swollen lymph nodes (buboes) and is termed bubonic plague, whereas the second stage is a more vigorous systemic infection that results in bacterial colonization of multiple tissue organs including the lung. This form of disease is termed pneumonic plague; a highly contagious disease that enables bacteria to rapidly and effectively spread to new hosts via aerosol droplets. In light of this, global health organizations routinely list Y. pestis as a category A biowarfare agent. On the other hand, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica are essentially environmental bacteria that are capable of causing spasmodic enteric disease (known as yersiniosis) outbreaks linked to the ingestion of contaminated food or fluids. While these diseases cause gastrointestinal discomfort, they are usually self-limiting and rarely associated with systemic disease. In certain susceptible individuals however, chronic reactive arthritic sequelae can be attributed to these bacteria.

    On account of their ability to cause human disease, a prolific amount of information is available that describes these three human pathogens with respect to their ecology, epidemiology and the pathogenesis of disease. In contrast, very little information is available concerning the additional Yersinia species (Y. frederiksenii, Y. intermedia, Y. kristensenii, Y. bercovieri, Y. mollaretii, Y. rohdei, Y. ruckeri, Y. aleksiciae, Y. mexicana and Y. aldovae). However, they might still be clinically relevant given their propensity to harbour a moderate number of genes that encode for products known to be associated with pathogenicity by other non-Yersinia bacteria. It is at least well established that Y. ruckeri is the causative agent of yersiniosis in infected salmonid fish, although the pathogenic mechanisms are comparatively poorly understood.

    In the first part of this chapter, the presence of known and suggested protein secretion mechanisms in the Yersiniae are described. Where appropriate, these individual processes are briefly discussed in the context of their contribution to bacterial pathogenesis to help the reader gain an understanding of their physiological importance within the various unique environments of an infected host. As considerably more is known about the pathogenic mechanisms of human pathogenic Yersinia, these examples will dominate the discussion. Then, focus will turn to the consequences of adaptation of pathogenic Yersinia to their surrounding environment. Where possible, emphasis will be given to the crosstalk between metabolism and the temporal and spatial regulatory control of these important secretion systems. This connection ensures that Yersinia conserve their valuable energy reserves to maximize their survival in stressful environments and only synthesize energetically expensive virulence determinants, such as multi-component secretion systems, when they will have utmost benefit during host infections.

  • 207.
    Francis, Matthew
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    The pathogenic Yersiniae: advances in the understanding of physiology and virulence2013In: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, ISSN 2235-2988, Vol. 3, no 51, p. 2p. 1-2Article, review/survey (Refereed)
  • 208.
    Francis, Matthew
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Aili, Margareta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wiklund, Magda-Lena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    A study of the YopD-LcrH interaction from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals a role for hydrophobic residues within the amphipathic domain of YopD2000In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 38, no 1, p. 85-102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a model system used to study the molecular mechanisms by which Gram-negative pathogens translocate effector proteins into target eukaryotic cells by a common type III secretion machine. Of the numerous proteins produced by Y. pseudotuberculosis that act in concert to establish an infection, YopD (Yersiniaouter protein D) is a crucial component essential for yop regulation and Yop effector translocation. In this study, we describe the mechanisms by which YopD functions to control these processes. With the aid of the yeast two-hybrid system, we investigated the interaction between YopD and the cognate chaperone LcrH. We confirmed that non-secreted LcrH is necessary for YopD stabilization before secretion, presumably by forming a complex with YopD in the bacterial cytoplasm. At least in yeast, this complex depends upon the N-terminal domain and a C-terminal amphipathic α-helical domain of YopD. Introduction of amino acid substitutions within the hydrophobic side of the amphipathic α-helix abolished the YopD–LcrH interaction, indicating that hydrophobic, as opposed to electrostatic, forces of attraction are important for this process. Suppressor mutations isolated within LcrH could compensate for defects in the amphipathic domain of YopD to restore binding. Isolation of LcrH mutants unable to interact with wild-type YopD revealed no single domain responsible for YopD binding. The YopD and LcrH mutants generated in this study will be relevant tools for understanding YopD function during a Yersinia infection.

  • 209.
    Francis, Matthew S
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Type III secretion chaperones: a molecular toolkit for all occasions2010In: Handbook of molecular chaperones: roles, structures and mechanisms / [ed] Piero Durante and Leandro Colucci, New York: Nova Science Publishers , 2010, 1, p. 79-148Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Common to many bacteria is the ability to establish a symbiotic relationship or to evade innate immune responses of an animal, plant, fish or insect host. Most often this capacity is mediated by a type III secretion system (T3SS). The function of these complex molecular machines is likened to a syringe-needle injection device that is dedicated to the translocation of effector proteins directly into target eukaryotic cells. Each translocated effector tends to possess a distinct enzymatic activity that aids in subverting host cell signaling for the benefit of the bacterium. Their translocation requires another class of secreted protein – the translocator – which form pores in the target eukaryotic cell plasma membrane through which the effectors may transit to gain entry into the cell interior. Most often, each secreted substrate requires a dedicated small, non-secreted cytoplasmic chaperone for their efficient secretion. Unlike traditional molecular chaperones, these specialized type III chaperones do not assist in protein folding and are not energized by ATP. Controversy still surrounds their primary role; as bodyguards to prevent premature aggregation or as pilots to direct substrate secretion through the correct T3SS. The later is supported by recent evidence that these chaperones can dock directly to the cytoplasmic face of the T3S machinery, possibly serving as a recognition motif for substrate secretion. Added to this functional complexity is their important contribution to system regulation, which can ultimately confer temporal order to substrate secretion. Moreover, some chaperones display a bewildering propensity to interact with several additional T3S-associated proteins – the relevance of which remains uncertain. Structural data has now appeared for several important type III chaperones, either alone or in complex with their cognate substrate. This is proving a fillip in our attempts to understand the mercurial ways in which these versatile proteins operate in nature. It is hoped that this article will provide information on type III chaperone function, as well as highlighting key recent advances in the field. May it also be a testament to the value of continued intense effort in unravelling the mysteries of type III chaperone biology.

  • 210.
    Francis, Matthew S.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Aili, Margareta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wiklund, Magda-Lena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    A study of the YopD-LcrH interaction from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals a role for hydrophobic residues within the amphipathic domain of YopD2000In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 38, no 1, p. 85-102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a model system used to study the molecular mechanisms by which Gram-negative pathogens translocate effector proteins into target eukaryotic cells by a common type III secretion machine. Of the numerous proteins produced by Y. pseudotuberculosis that act in concert to establish an infection, YopD (Yersinia outer protein D) is a crucial component essential for yop regulation and Yop effector translocation. In this study, we describe the mechanisms by which YopD functions to control these processes. With the aid of the yeast two-hybrid system, we investigated the interaction between YopD and the cognate chaperone LcrH. We confirmed that non-secreted LcrH is necessary for YopD stabilization before secretion, presumably by forming a complex with YopD in the bacterial cytoplasm. At least in yeast, this complex depends upon the N-terminal domain and a C-terminal amphipathic alpha-helical domain of YopD. Introduction of amino acid substitutions within the hydrophobic side of the amphipathic alpha-helix abolished the YopD-LcrH interaction, indicating that hydrophobic, as opposed to electrostatic, forces of attraction are important for this process. Suppressor mutations isolated within LcrH could compensate for defects in the amphipathic domain of YopD to restore binding. Isolation of LcrH mutants unable to interact with wild-type YopD revealed no single domain responsible for YopD binding. The YopD and LcrH mutants generated in this study will be relevant tools for understanding YopD function during a Yersinia infection.

  • 211.
    Francis, Matthew S
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Amer, Ayad A A
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany.
    Milton, Debra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Troy University, Troy, AL, USA.
    Costa, Tiago R D
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University College London and Birkbeck, London, UK.
    Site-directed mutagenesis and its application in studying the interactions of T3S components2017In: Type 3 secretion systems: methods and protocols / [ed] Matthew L. Nilles and Danielle L. Jessen Condry, Humana Press, 2017, p. 11-31Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Type III secretion systems are a prolific virulence determinant among Gram-negative bacteria. They are used to paralyze the host cell, which enables bacterial pathogens to establish often fatal infections—unless an effective therapeutic intervention is available. However, as a result of a catastrophic rise in infectious bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotics, these bacteria are again a leading cause of worldwide mortality. Hence, this report describes a pDM4-based site-directed mutagenesis strategy that is assisting in our foremost objective to better understand the fundamental workings of the T3SS, using Yersinia as a model pathogenic bacterium. Examples are given that clearly document how pDM4-mediated site-directed mutagenesis has been used to establish clean point mutations and in-frame deletion mutations that have been instrumental in identifying and understanding the molecular interactions between components of the Yersinia type III secretion system.

  • 212.
    Francis, Matthew S
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Auerbuch, Victoria
    Department of Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, United States.
    Editorial: The Pathogenic Yersiniae–Advances in the Understanding of Physiology and Virulence, Second Edition2019In: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, E-ISSN 2235-2988, Vol. 9, p. 1-5, article id 119Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Of the 18 known Yersinia species, Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica are pathogenic to humans and animals and are widely characterized. The zoonotic obligate pathogen Y. pestis is the causal agent of plague, a systemic disease that is usually fatal if left untreated (Zietz and Dunkelberg, 2004; Zhou et al., 2006). Free-living Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis are the agents of yersiniosis, a rarely systemic gastrointestinal disease (Galindo et al., 2011). The remaining species are mostly harmless to humans, although Y. ruckeri is an enteric fish pathogen affecting mainly salmonids, while a few others display toxicity toward insects (Sulakvelidze, 2000; Tobback et al., 2007; Fuchs et al., 2008; Chen et al., 2010). At the forefront of Yersinia research are studies of classical microbiology, pathogenesis, protein secretion, niche adaptation, and regulation of gene expression. In pursuit of these endeavors, new frontiers are being forged on waves of methodological and technological innovation. In this second edition of the special research topic on the pathogenic Yersiniae is a compilation of reviews and research articles that summarize current knowledge and future research directions in the Yersinia pathophysiology field.

  • 213.
    Francis, Matthew S
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Lloyd, Scott A
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    The type III secretion chaperone LcrH co-operates with YopD to establish a negative, regulatory loop for control of Yop synthesis in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis2001In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 42, no 4, p. 1075-1093Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a model system used to study the molecular mechanisms by which Gram-negative pathogens secrete and subsequently translocate antihost effector proteins into target eukaryotic cells by a common type III secretion system (TTSS). In this process, YopD (Yersinia outer protein D) is essential to establish regulatory control of Yop synthesis and the ensuing translocation process. YopD function depends upon the non-secreted TTSS chaperone LcrH (low-calcium response H), which is required for presecretory stabilization of YopD. However, as a new role for TTSS chaperones in virulence gene regulation has been proposed recently, we undertook a detailed analysis of LcrH. A lcrH null mutant constitutively produced Yops, even when this strain was engineered to produce wild-type levels of YopD. Furthermore, the YopD-LcrH interaction was necessary to regain the negative regulation of virulence associated genes yops). This finding was used to investigate the biological significance of several LcrH mutants with varied YopD binding potential. Mutated LcrH alleles were introduced in trans into a lcrH null mutant to assess their impact on yop regulation and the subsequent translocation of YopE, a Rho-GTPase activating protein, across the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. Two mutants, LcrHK20E, E30G, I31V, M99V, D136G and LcrHE30G lost all regulatory control, even though YopD binding and secretion and the subsequent translocation of YopE was indistinguishable from wild type. Moreover, these regulatory deficient mutants showed a reduced ability to bind YscY in the two-hybrid assay. Collectively, these findings confirm that LcrH plays an active role in yop regulation that might be mediated via an interaction with the Ysc secretion apparatus. This chaperone-substrate interaction presents an innovative means to establish a regulatory hierarchy in Yersinia infections. It also raises the question as to whether or not LcrH is a true chaperone involved in stabilization and secretion of YopD or a regulatory protein responsible for co-ordinating synthesis of Yersinia virulence determinants. We suggest that LcrH can exhibit both of these activities.

  • 214.
    Francis, Matthew S
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Schesser, Kurt
    Forsberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Type III secretion systems in animal- and plant-interacting bacteria2004In: Cellular Microbiology, ASM Press, Washington, D.C. , 2004, p. 362-392Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 215.
    Francis, Matthew S
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    YopD of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is translocated into the cytosol of HeLa epithelial cells: evidence of a structural domain necessary for translocation.1998In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 799-813Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Yersinia pseudotuberculosis YopB and YopD proteins are essential for translocation of Yop effector proteins into the target cell cytosol. YopB is suggested to mediate pore formation in the target cell plasma membrane, allowing translocation of Yop effector proteins, although the function of YopD is unclear. To investigate the role in translocation for YopD, a mutant strain in Y. pseudotuberculosis was constructed containing an in frame deletion of essentially the entire yopD gene. As shown recently for the Y. pestis YopD protein, we found that the in vitro low calcium response controlling virulence gene expression was negatively regulated by YopD. This yopD null mutant (YPIII/pIB621) was also non-cytotoxic towards HeLa cell monolayers, supporting the role for YopD in the translocation process. Although other constituents of the Yersinia translocase apparatus (YopB, YopK and YopN) are not translocated into the host cell cytosol, fractionation of infected HeLa cells allowed us to identify the cytosolic localization of YopD by the wild-type strain (YPIII/pIB102), but not by strains defective in either YopD or YopB. YopD was also identified by immunofluorescence in the cytoplasm of HeLa cell monolayers infected with a multiple yop mutant strain (YPIII/pIB29MEKA). These results demonstrate a dual function for YopD in negative regulation of Yop production and Yop effector translocation, including the YopD protein itself. To investigate whether an amphipathic domain near the C-terminus of YopD is involved in the translocation process, a mutant strain (YPIII/pIB155deltaD278-292) was constructed that is devoid of this region. Phenotypically, this small in frame deltayopD278-292 deletion mutant was indistinguishable from the yopD null mutant. The truncated YopD protein and Yop effectors were not translocated into the cytosol of HeLa cell monolayers infected with this mutant. The comparable regulatory and translocation phenotypes displayed by the small in frame deltayopD278-292 deletion and deltayopD null mutants suggest that regulation of Yop synthesis and Yop translocation are intimately coupled. We present an intriguing scenario to the Yersinia infection process that highlights the need for polarized translocation of YopD to specifically establish translocation of Yop effectors. These observations are contrary to previous suggestions that members of the translocase apparatus were not translocated into the host cell cytosol.

  • 216.
    Francis, Matthew S
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Forsberg, Ake
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Regulation of type III secretion systems2002In: Current Opinion in Microbiology, ISSN 1369-5274, E-ISSN 1879-0364, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 166-172Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Type III secretion systems are utilised by numerous Gram-negative bacteria to efficiently interact with a host. Appropriate expression of type III genes is achieved through the integration of several regulatory pathways that ultimately co-ordinate the activity of a central transcriptional activator usually belonging to the AraC family. The complex regulatory cascades allow this virulence strategy to be utilised by different bacteria even if they occupy diverse niches that define a unique set of environmental cues. Simulating the appropriate combination of signals in vitro to allow a meaningful interpretation of the type III assembly and secretion regulatory cascade remains a common goal for researchers. Pieces of the puzzle slowly emerge to provide insightful views into the complex regulatory networks that allow bacteria to assemble and utilise type III secretion to efficiently colonise a host.

  • 217.
    Francis, Matthew
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Schesser, Kurt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Forsberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Type III secretion systems in animal- and plant-interacting bacteria2000In: Cellular Microbiology, Washington, DC: ASM Press , 2000, 1, p. 239-263Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 218. Friant, S
    et al.
    Heyman, T
    Byström, Anders S
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wilhelm, M
    Wilhelm, F X
    Interactions between Ty1 retrotransposon RNA and the T and D regions of the tRNA(iMet) primer are required for initiation of reverse transcription in vivo1998In: Molecular and Cellular Biology, ISSN 0270-7306, E-ISSN 1098-5549, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 799-806Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reverse transcription of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ty1 retrotransposon is primed by tRNA(iMet) base paired to the primer binding site (PBS) near the 5' end of Ty1 genomic RNA. The 10-nucleotide PBS is complementary to the last 10 nucleotides of the acceptor stem of tRNA(iMet). A structural probing study of the interactions between the Ty1 RNA template and the tRNA(iMet) primer showed that besides interactions between the PBS and the 3' end of tRNA(iMet), three short regions of Ty1 RNA, named boxes 0, 1, and 2.1, interact with the T and D stems and loops of tRNA(iMet). To determine if these sequences are important for the reverse transcription pathway of the Ty1 retrotransposon, mutant Ty1 elements and tRNA(iMet) were tested for the ability to support transposition. We show that the Ty1 boxes and the complementary sequences in the T and D stems and loops of tRNA(iMet) contain bases that are critical for Ty1 retrotransposition. Disruption of 1 or 2 bp between tRNA(iMet) and box 0, 1, or 2.1 dramatically decreases the level of transposition. Compensatory mutations which restore base pairing between the primer and the template restore transposition. Analysis of the reverse transcription intermediates generated inside Ty1 virus-like particles indicates that initiation of minus-strand strong-stop DNA synthesis is affected by mutations disrupting complementarity between Ty1 RNA and primer tRNA(iMet).

  • 219.
    Frisan, Teresa
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Department of Cell and Molecular Biology Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Nagy, Noemi
    Chioureas, Dimitrios
    Terol, Marie
    Grasso, Francesca
    Masucci, Maria G.
    A bacterial genotoxin causes virus reactivation and genomic instability in Epstein-Barr virus infected epithelial cells pointing to a role of co-infection in viral oncogenesis2019In: International Journal of Cancer, ISSN 0020-7136, E-ISSN 1097-0215, Vol. 144, no 1, p. 98-109Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have addressed the role of bacterial co-infection in viral oncogenesis using as model Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus that causes lymphoid malignancies and epithelial cancers. Infection of EBV carrying epithelial cells with the common oral pathogenic Gram-negative bacterium Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) triggered reactivation of the productive virus cycle. Using isogenic Aa strains that differ in the production of the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) and purified catalytically active or inactive toxin, we found that the CDT acts via induction of DNA double strand breaks and activation of the Ataxia Telangectasia Mutated (ATM) kinase. Exposure of EBV-negative epithelial cells to the virus in the presence of sub-lethal doses of CDT was accompanied by the accumulation of latently infected cells exhibiting multiple signs of genomic instability. These findings illustrate a scenario where co-infection with certain bacterial species may favor the establishment of a microenvironment conducive to the EBV-induced malignant transformation of epithelial cells.

  • 220.
    Frithz-Lindsten, Elisabet
    et al.
    Department of Microbiology, Defence Research Establishment, S-901 82, Umeå, Sweden.
    Holmström, Anna
    Department of Microbiology, Defence Research Establishment, S-901 82, Umeå, Sweden.
    Jacobsson, Lars
    Department of Microbiology, Defence Research Establishment, S-901 82, Umeå, Sweden.
    Soltani, Mehnam
    Department of Microbiology, Defence Research Establishment, S-901 82, Umeå, Sweden.
    Olsson, Jan
    Department of Microbiology, Defence Research Establishment, S-901 82, Umeå, Sweden.
    Rosqvist, Roland
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Forsberg, Åke
    Department of Microbiology, Defence Research Establishment, S-901 82, Umeå, Sweden.
    Functional conservation of the effector protein translocators PopB/YopB and PopD/YopD of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.1998In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 29, no 5, p. 1155-1165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Virulent Yersinia species cause systemic infections in rodents, and Y. pestis is highly pathogenic for humans. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, on the other hand, is an opportunistic pathogen, which normally infects only compromised individuals. Surprisingly, these pathogens both encode highly related contact-dependent secretion systems for the targeting of toxins into eukaryotic cells. In Yersinia, YopB and YopD direct the translocation of the secreted Yop effectors across the target cell membrane. In this study, we have analysed the function of the YopB and YopD homologues, PopB and PopD, encoded by P. aeruginosa. Expression of the pcrGVHpopBD operon in defined translocation-deficient mutants (yopB/yopD) of Yersinia resulted in complete complementation of the cell contact-dependent, YopE-induced cytotoxicity of Y. pseudotuberculosis on HeLa cells. We demonstrated that the complementation fully restored the ability of Y. pseudotuberculosis to translocate the effector molecules YopE and YopH into the HeLa cells. Similar to YopB, PopB induced a lytic effect on infected erythrocytes. The lytic activity induced by PopB could be prevented if the erythrocytes were infected in the presence of sugars larger than 3 nm in diameter, indicating that PopB induced a pore of similar size compared with that induced by YopB. Our findings show that the contact-dependent toxin-targeting mechanisms of Y. pseudotuberculosis and P. aeruginosa are conserved at the molecular level and that the translocator proteins are functionally interchangeable. Based on these similarities, we suggest that the translocation of toxins such as ExoS, ExoT and ExoU by P. aeruginosa across the eukaryotic cell membrane occurs via a pore induced by PopB.

  • 221.
    Frost, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Ho, Oanh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Login, Frédéric H
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Weise, Christoph F
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Wolf-Watz, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Autoproteolysis and Intramolecular Dissociation of Yersinia YscU Precedes Secretion of Its C-Terminal Polypeptide YscU CC2012In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 11, article id e49349Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Type III secretion system mediated secretion and translocation of Yop-effector proteins across the eukaryotic target cell membrane by pathogenic Yersinia is highly organized and is dependent on a switching event from secretion of early structural substrates to late effector substrates (Yops). Substrate switching can be mimicked in vitro by modulating the calcium levels in the growth medium. YscU that is essential for regulation of this switch undergoes autoproteolysis at a conserved N↑PTH motif, resulting in a 10 kDa C-terminal polypeptide fragment denoted YscUCC. Here we show that depletion of calcium induces intramolecular dissociation of YscUCC from YscU followed by secretion of the YscUCC polypeptide. Thus, YscUCC behaved in vivo as a Yop protein with respect to secretion properties. Further, destabilized yscU mutants displayed increased rates of dissociation of YscUCC in vitro resulting in enhanced Yop secretion in vivo at 30°C relative to the wild-type strain.These findings provide strong support to the relevance of YscUCC dissociation for Yop secretion. We propose that YscUCC orchestrates a block in the secretion channel that is eliminated by calcium depletion. Further, the striking homology between different members of the YscU/FlhB family suggests that this protein family possess regulatory functions also in other bacteria using comparable mechanisms.

  • 222.
    Fällman, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Persson, Cathrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Schesser, K.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Bidirectional signaling between Yersinia and its target cell1998In: Folia microbiologica (Prague), ISSN 0015-5632, E-ISSN 1874-9356, Vol. 43, no 3, p. 263-273Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Preventing the early host immune defense allows pathogenic Yersinia to proliferate in lymphatic tissue. This ability depends on signaling that occurs between the bacteria and the host cells. Following intimate contact with the target cell a signal is generated within the bacterium that results in increased expression of virulence-associated proteins that are subsequently delivered into the infected cell. These proteins, designated Yops, interfere with the host-cell signaling pathways that are normally activated to eliminate infectious agents.

  • 223.
    Fällman, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Persson, Cathrine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Yersinia proteins that target host cell signaling pathways1997In: Journal of Clinical Investigation, ISSN 0021-9738, E-ISSN 1558-8238, Vol. 99, no 6, p. 1153-1157Article, review/survey (Refereed)
  • 224. Gahan, CS
    et al.
    Sundkvist, JE
    Dopson, Mark
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Sandström, A
    Effect of chloride on ferrous iron oxidation by a leptospirillum ferriphilum-dominated chemostat culture2010In: Biotechnology and Bioengineering, ISSN 0006-3592, E-ISSN 1097-0290, Vol. 106, no 3, p. 422-431Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Biomining is the use of microorganisms to catalyze metal extraction from sulfide ores. However, the available water in some biomining environments has high chloride concentrations and therefore, chloride toxicity to ferrous oxidizing microorganisms has been investigated. Batch biooxidation of Fe2+ by a Leptospirillum ferriphilum dominated culture was completely inhibited by 12gL(-1) chloride. In addition, the effects of chloride on oxidation kinetics in a Fe2+ limited chemostat were studied. Results from the chemostat modeling suggest that the chloride toxicity was attributed to affects on the Fe2+ oxidation system, pH homeostasis, and lowering of the proton motive force. Modeling showed a decrease in the maximum specific growth rate (mu(max)) and an increase in the substrate constant (K-s) with increasing chloride concentrations, indicating an effect on the Fe2+ oxidation system. The model proposes a lowered maintenance activity when the media was fed with 2-3 g L-1 chloride with a concomitant drastic decrease in the true yield (Y-true). This model helps to understand the influence of chloride on Fe2+ biooxidation kinetics. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2010;106: 422-431. (C) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  • 225. Galán, Jorge E
    et al.
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Protein delivery into eukaryotic cells by type III secretion machines.2006In: Nature, ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 444, no 7119, p. 567-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bacteria that have sustained long-standing close associations with eukaryotic hosts have evolved specific adaptations to survive and replicate in this environment. Perhaps one of the most remarkable of those adaptations is the type III secretion system (T3SS)--a bacterial organelle that has specifically evolved to deliver bacterial proteins into eukaryotic cells. Although originally identified in a handful of pathogenic bacteria, T3SSs are encoded by a large number of bacterial species that are symbiotic or pathogenic for humans, other animals including insects or nematodes, and plants. The study of these systems is leading to unique insights into not only organelle assembly and protein secretion but also mechanisms of symbiosis and pathogenesis.

  • 226.
    Garbom, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    A strategy to identify novel antimicrobial compounds: a bioinformatics and HTS approach2006Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Bacterial infections are again becoming difficult to treat because the microbes are growing increasingly resistant to the antibiotics in use today. The need for novel antimicrobial compounds is urgent and to achieve this new targets are crucial. In this thesis we present a strategy for identification of such targets via a bioinformatics approach. In our first study we compared proteins with unknown and hypothetical function of the spirochete Treponema pallidum to five other pathogens also causing chronic or persistent infections in humans (Yersinia pestis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Helicobacter pylori, Borrelia burgdorferi and Streptococcus pneumoniae). T. pallidum was used as a starting point for the comparisons since this organism has a condensed genome (1.1 Mb). As we aimed at identifying conserved proteins important for in vivo survival or virulence of the pathogens we reasoned that T. pallidum would have deleted genes not important in the human host. This comparison yielded 17 ORFs conserved in all six pathogens, these were deleted in our model organism, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and the virulence of these mutant strains was evaluated in a mouse model of infection. Five genes were found to be essential for virulence and thus constitute possible antimicrobial drug targets.

    We have studied one of these virulence associated genes (vags), vagH, in more detail. Functional and phenotypic analysis revealed that VagH is an S-adenosyl-methionine dependent methyltransferase targeting Release factor 1 and 2 (RF1 and RF2). The analysis also showed that very few genes and proteins were differentially expressed in the vagH mutant compared to wild-type Yersinia. One major finding was that expression of the Type III secretion system effectors, the Yops, were down regulated in a vagH mutant. We dissected this phenotype further and found that the down regulation was due to lowered amounts of the positive regulator LcrF. This can be suppressed either by a deletion of yopD or by over expression of the Ribosomal Recycling Factor (RRF). These results indicate that YopD in addition to its role in translational regulation of the Yops also plays a part in the regulation of LcrF translation. We suggest also that the translation of LcrF is particularly sensitive to the amount of translation competent ribosomes and that one effect of a vagH mutation in Y. pseudotuberculosis is that the number of free ribosomes is reduced; this in turn reduces the amount of LcrF produced thereby causing a down regulation of the T3SS. This down regulation is likely the cause of the attenuated virulence of the vagH mutant.

    Finally, we set up a high throughput screening assay to screen a library of small molecules for compounds with inhibiting the VagH methyltransferase activity. Five such compounds were identified and two were found to inhibit VagH also in bacterial culture. Furthermore, analogues to one of the compounds showed improved inhibitory properties and inhibited the T3SS-dependent cytotoxic response induced by Y. pseudotuberculosis on HeLa cells.

    We have successfully identified five novel targets for antimicrobial compounds and in addition we have discovered a new class of molecules with antimicrobial properties.

  • 227.
    Garbom, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Forsberg, Ake
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Kihlberg, Britt-Marie
    Identification of novel virulence-associated genes via genome analysis of hypothetical genes.2004In: Infection and Immunity, ISSN 0019-9567, E-ISSN 1098-5522, Vol. 72, no 3, p. 1333-1340Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The sequencing of bacterial genomes has opened new perspectives for identification of targets for treatment of infectious diseases. We have identified a set of novel virulence-associated genes (vag genes) by comparing the genome sequences of six human pathogens that are known to cause persistent or chronic infections in humans: Yersinia pestis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Helicobacter pylori, Borrelia burgdorferi, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Treponema pallidum. This comparison was limited to genes annotated as hypothetical in the T. pallidum genome project. Seventeen genes with unknown functions were found to be conserved among these pathogens. Insertional inactivation of 14 of these genes generated nine mutants that were attenuated for virulence in a mouse infection model. Out of these nine genes, five were found to be specifically associated with virulence in mice as demonstrated by infection with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in-frame deletion mutants. In addition, these five vag genes were essential only in vivo, since all the mutants were able to grow in vitro. These genes are broadly conserved among bacteria. Therefore, we propose that the corresponding vag gene products may constitute novel targets for antimicrobial therapy and that some vag mutants could serve as carrier strains for live vaccines.

  • 228.
    Garbom, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Olofsson, Martina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Björnfot, Ann-Catrin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Srivastava, Manoj Kumar
    Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Umeå Plant Science Centre, S-90183 Umeå, Sweden.
    Robinson, Victoria L
    Biomedical Sciences, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ, UK.
    Oyston, Petra C F
    Biomedical Sciences, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ, UK.
    Titball, Richard W
    Biomedical Sciences, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ, UK.
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Phenotypic characterization of a virulence-associated protein, VagH, of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals a tight link between VagH and the type III secretion system.2007In: Microbiology, ISSN 1350-0872, E-ISSN 1465-2080, Vol. 153, no Pt 5, p. 1464-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, a number of attenuated mutants of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis have been identified using a bioinformatics approach. One of the target genes identified in that study was vagH, which the authors now characterized further. VagH shows homology to HemK of Escherichia coli, possessing methyltransferase activity similar to that of HemK, and targeting release factors 1 and 2. Microarray studies comparing the wild-type and the vagH mutant revealed that the mRNA levels of only a few genes were altered in the mutant. By proteome analysis, expression of the virulence determinant YopD was found to be increased, indicating a possible connection between VagH and the virulence plasmid-encoded type III secretion system (T3SS). Further analysis showed that Yop expression and secretion were repressed in a vagH mutant. This phenotype could be suppressed by trans-complementation with the wild-type vagH gene or by deletion of the negative regulator yopD. Also, in a similar manner to a T3SS-negative mutant, the avirulent vagH mutant was rapidly cleared from Peyer's patches and could not reach the spleen after oral infection of mice. In a manner analogous to that of T3SS mutants, the vagH mutant could not block phagocytosis by macrophages. However, a vagH mutant showed no defects in the T3SS-independent ability to proliferate intracellularly and replicated to levels similar to those of the wild-type in macrophages. In conclusion, the vagH mutant exhibits a virulence phenotype similar to that of a T3SS-negative mutant, indicating a tight link between VagH and type III secretion in Y. pseudotuberculosis.

  • 229.
    Garbom, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Olofsson, Martina
    Björnfot, Ann-Catrin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Srivastava, Manoj Kumar
    Robinson, Victoria
    Oyston, Petra
    Titbull, Richard
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Phenotypic characterization of a virulence associated protein, VagH, of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals a tight link between VagH and the T3SSManuscript (Other academic)
  • 230.
    Garbom, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Olofsson, Martina
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    Elofsson, Mikael
    Small molecule inhibitors of the methyltransferase VagH resuce cells from T3SS-dependent toxicityManuscript (Other academic)
  • 231.
    Garbom, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wolf-Watz, Hans
    The negative regulator YopD regulates LcrF expression on the translational level as studied by a vagH mutant of YersiniaManuscript (Other academic)
  • 232. Garrison, Sean P
    et al.
    Jeffers, John R
    Yang, Chunying
    Nilsson, Jonas A
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Hall, Mark A
    Rehg, Jerold E
    Yue, Wen
    Yu, Jian
    Zhang, Lin
    Onciu, Mihaela
    Sample, Jeffery T
    Cleveland, John L
    Zambetti, Gerard P
    Selection against PUMA gene expression in Myc-driven B-cell lymphomagenesis.2008In: Molecular and cellular biology, ISSN 1098-5549, Vol. 28, no 17, p. 5391-402Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The p53 tumor suppressor pathway limits oncogenesis by inducing cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. A key p53 target gene is PUMA, which encodes a BH3-only proapoptotic protein. Here we demonstrate that Puma deletion in the Emu-Myc mouse model of Burkitt lymphoma accelerates lymphomagenesis and that approximately 75% of Emu-Myc lymphomas naturally select against Puma protein expression. Furthermore, approximately 40% of primary human Burkitt lymphomas fail to express detectable levels of PUMA and in some tumors this is associated with DNA methylation. Burkitt lymphoma cell lines phenocopy the primary tumors with respect to DNA methylation and diminished PUMA expression, which can be reactivated following inhibition of DNA methyltransferases. These findings establish that PUMA is silenced in human malignancies, and they suggest PUMA as a target for the development of novel chemotherapeutics.

  • 233. Gaur, Rahul
    et al.
    Björk, Glenn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Tuck, Simon
    Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis (UCMP).
    Varshney, Umesh
    Diet-dependent depletion of queuosine in tRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans does not lead to a developmental block.2007In: J Biosci, ISSN 0250-5991, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 747-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Queuosine (Q), a hypermodified nucleoside,occurs at the wobble position of transfer RNAs (tRNAs)with GUN anticodons. In eubacteria, absence of Q affects messenger RNA (mRNA) translation and reduces the virulence of certain pathogenic strains. In animal cells,changes in the abundance of Q have been shown to correlate with diverse phenomena including stress tolerance, cell proliferation and tumour growth but the function of Q in animals is poorly understood. Animals are thought to obtain Q (or its analogues) as a micronutrient from dietary sources such as gut micro flora. However,the difficulty of maintaining animals under bacteria-free conditions on Q-deficient diets has severely hampered the study of Q metabolism and function in animals. In this study,we show that as in higher animals, tRNAs in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are modified by Q and its sugar derivatives. When the worms were fed on Q-deficient Escherichia coli, Q modification was absent from the worm tRNAs suggesting that C.elegans lacks a de novo pathway of Q biosynthesis. The inherent advantages of C.elegans as a model organism, and the simplicity of conferring a Q-deficient phenotype on it make it an ideal system to investigate the function of Q modification in tRNA.

  • 234.
    Gerpe, M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Kling, P.
    Berg, A. H.
    Olsson, P.-E.
    Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) metallothionein: cDNA sequence, expression, and tissue-specific inhibition of cadmium-mediated metallothionein induction by 17ß-estradiol, 4-OH-PCB 30, and PCB 1042000In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, ISSN 0730-7268, E-ISSN 1552-8618, Vol. 19, no 3, p. 638-645Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 235.
    Girma, Misgina Belachew
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Kifle, Demeke
    Univ Addis Ababa, Dept Biol, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Jebessa, Habte
    Univ Addis Ababa, Dept Biol, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Deep underwater seismic explosion experiments and their possible ecological impact: The case of Lake Arenguade-Central Ethiopian highlands2012In: Limnologica, ISSN 0075-9511, E-ISSN 1873-5851, Vol. 42, no 3, p. 212-219Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study was conducted in Lake Arenguade (Lake Haro Hadho) from 2008 to 2009 and results were compared with previous studies conducted by different authors since the 1960s. The study included the chemistry and chlorophyll-a biomass in micrograms per liter (mu g L-1). Results showed that chlorophylla biomass dramatically decreased since the 1960s. Previous studies indicated that the phytoplankton community of Lake Arenguade was dominated by a single cyanobacterium species, Arthrospira fusiforrnis (Voronichin) Komarek et Lund (syn. Spirulina fusiformis Voronichin) while the present study showed co-dominance of the lake's phytoplankton by another cyanobacterium species, Anabaenopsis elenkinii Miller. The trend shows that A. fusiformis is on the verge of disappearance from Lake Arenguade. While other factors can be responsible for such a change, the contribution of underwater seismological detonation experiments carried out repeatedly cannot be ruled out. Based on the results, recommendations were forwarded for possible full-fledged environmental impact assessment of explosion experiments in Lake Arenguade; and other lakes in which similar explosion experiments were carried out. (C) 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  • 236.
    Good, James A. D.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Kulén, Martina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Silver, Jim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Krishnan, K. Syam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Bahnan, Wael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Núñez-Otero, Carlos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology.
    Nilsson, Ingela
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Wede, Emma
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    de Groot, Esmee
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Gylfe, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology.
    Bergström, Sven
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Almqvist, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Thiazolino 2-pyridone amide isosteres as inhibitors of Chlamydia trachomatis infectivity2017In: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, ISSN 0022-2623, E-ISSN 1520-4804, Vol. 60, no 22, p. 9393-9399Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Chlamydia trachomatis is a global health burden due to its prevalence as a sexually transmitted disease and as the causative agent of the eye infection trachoma. We recently discovered 3-amido thiazolino 2-pyridones which attenuated C. trachomatis infectivity without affecting host cell or commensal bacteria viability. We present here the synthesis and evaluation of nonhydrolyzable amide isosteres based on this class, leading to highly potent 1,2,3-triazole based infectivity inhibitors (EC50 ≤ 20 nM).

  • 237. Gouzi, Jean Y.
    et al.
    Moressis, Anastasios
    Walker, James A.
    Apostolopoulou, Anthi A.
    Palmer, Ruth H.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Bernards, Andre
    Skoulakis, Efthimios M. C.
    The receptor tyrosine kinase alk controls neurofibromin functions in drosophila growth and learning2011In: PLoS Genetics, ISSN 1553-7390, Vol. 7, no 9, p. e1002281-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (Alk) is a Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK) activated in several cancers, but with largely unknown physiological functions. We report two unexpected roles for the Drosophila ortholog dAlk, in body size determination and associative learning. Remarkably, reducing neuronal dAlk activity increased body size and enhanced associative learning, suggesting that its activation is inhibitory in both processes. Consistently, dAlk activation reduced body size and caused learning deficits resembling phenotypes of null mutations in dNf1, the Ras GTPase Activating Protein-encoding conserved ortholog of the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) disease gene. We show that dAlk and dNf1 co-localize extensively and interact functionally in the nervous system. Importantly, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of dAlk rescued the reduced body size, adult learning deficits, and Extracellular-Regulated-Kinase (ERK) overactivation dNf1 mutant phenotypes. These results identify dAlk as an upstream activator of dNf1-regulated Ras signaling responsible for several dNf1 defects, and they implicate human Alk as a potential therapeutic target in NF1.

  • 238. Griese, Julia J
    et al.
    Kositzki, Ramona
    Schrapers, Peer
    Branca, Rui M M
    Nordström, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Lehtiö, Janne
    Haumann, Michael
    Högbom, Martin
    Structural Basis for Oxygen Activation at a Heterodinuclear Manganese/Iron Cofactor2015In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISSN 0021-9258, E-ISSN 1083-351X, Vol. 290, no 42, p. 25254-25272Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two recently discovered groups of prokaryotic di-metal carboxylate proteins harbor a heterodinuclear Mn/Fe cofactor. These are the class Ic ribonucleotide reductase R2 proteins and a group of oxidases that are found predominantly in pathogens and extremophiles, called R2-like ligand-binding oxidases (R2lox). We have recently shown that the Mn/Fe cofactor of R2lox self-assembles from Mn-II and Fe-II in vitro and catalyzes formation of a tyrosine-valine ether cross-link in the protein scaffold (Griese, J. J., Roos, K., Cox, N., Shafaat, H. S., Branca, R.M., Lehtio , J., Graslund, A., Lubitz, W., Siegbahn, P. E., and Hogbom, M. (2013) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110, 1718917194). Here, we present a detailed structural analysis of R2lox in the nonactivated, reduced, and oxidized resting Mn/Fe- and Fe/Fe-bound states, as well as the nonactivated Mn/Mn-bound state. X-ray crystallography and x-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrate that the active site ligand configuration of R2lox is essentially the same regardless of cofactor composition. Both the Mn/Fe and the diiron cofactor activate oxygen and catalyze formation of the ether cross-link, whereas the dimanganese cluster does not. The structures delineate likely routes for gated oxygen and substrate access to the active site that are controlled by the redox state of the cofactor. These results suggest that oxygen activation proceeds via similar mechanisms at the Mn/Fe and Fe/Fe center and that R2lox proteins might utilize either cofactor in vivo based on metal availability.

  • 239. Grosjean, Henri
    et al.
    Björk, Glenn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Enzymatic conversion of cytidine to lysidine in anticodon of bacterial isoleucyl-tRNA--an alternative way of RNA editing2004In: TIBS -Trends in Biochemical Sciences. Regular ed., ISSN 0968-0004, E-ISSN 1362-4326, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 165-168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In most organisms, the AUA triplet codes for isoleucine (Ile), whereas in a few organelles it codes for methionine (Met). In bacteria, this A-ending triplet is decoded by an unusual tRNA harboring a Met anticodon CAU, where cytidine at the wobble position 34 (C34) is posttranscriptionally modified to a 2-lysyl cytidine (lysidine), abbreviated as (k2C). Now, the bacterial gene tilS, which encodes the enzyme catalyzing the lysylation of C34 in the precursor tRNAIle(CAU), thereby leading to the formation of tRNAIle(k2CAU), has been identified. The formation of lysidine by this essential enzyme allows recognition of tRNAIle(k2CAU) by Ile-tRNA synthetase and switches the base pairing of the tRNA from AUG (Met) to AUA (Ile). This base change is reminiscent of C-to-U type of RNA editing of some mitochondrial tRNAs.

     

  • 240. Grosjean, Henri
    et al.
    de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie
    Björk, Glenn R
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Aminoacylation of the anticodon stem by a tRNA-synthetase paralog: relic of an ancient code?2004In: TIBS -Trends in Biochemical Sciences. Regular ed., ISSN 0968-0004, E-ISSN 1362-4326, Vol. 29, no 10, p. 519-522Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The activation and charging of amino acids onto the acceptor stems of their cognate tRNAs are the housekeeping functions of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. The availability of whole genome sequences has revealed the existence of synthetase-like proteins that have other functions linked to different aspects of cell metabolism and physiology. In eubacteria, a paralog of glutamyl tRNA synthetase, which lacks the tRNA-binding domain, was found to aminoacylate tRNA(Asp) not on the 3'-hydroxyl group of the acceptor stem but on a cyclopentene diol of the modified nucleoside queuosine present at the wobble position of anticodon loop. This modified nucleoside might be a relic of an ancient code.

  • 241.
    Gu, Weigang
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Neurology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Brännström, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology.
    Rosqvist, Roland
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Wester, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Cell division in the cerebral cortex of adult rats after photothrombotic ring stroke.2009In: Stem Cell Research, ISSN 1876-7753, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 68-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neurogenesis has been shown to occur in the cerebral cortex in adult rats after ischemic stroke. The origin of the newborn neurons is largely unknown. This study aimed to explore cell division in the poststroke penumbral cortex. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to photothrombotic ring stroke. After repeated delivery of the DNA duplication marker BrdU, the animals were sacrificed at various times poststroke. BrdU was detected by immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence labeling, as was the M-phase marker Phos H3 and the spindle components alpha-tubulin/gamma-tubulin. DNA damage was examined by TUNEL staining. Cell type was ascertained by double immunolabeling with the neuronal markers Map-2ab/beta-tubulin III and NeuN/Hu or the astrocyte marker GFAP. From 16h poststroke, BrdU-immunolabeled cells appeared in the penumbral cortex. From 24h, Phos H3 was colocalized with BrdU in the nuclei. Mitotic spindles immunolabeled by alpha-tubulin/gamma-tubulin appeared inside the cortical cells containing BrdU-immunopositive nuclei. Unexpectedly, the markers of neuronal differentiation, Map-2ab/beta-tubulin III/NeuN/Hu, were expressed in the Phos H3-immunolabeled cells, and NeuN was detected in some cells containing spindles. This study suggests that in response to a sublethal ischemic insult, endogenous cells with neuronal immunolabeling may duplicate their nuclear DNA and commit cell mitosis to generate daughter neurons in the penumbral cortex in adult rats.

  • 242. Guan, Jikui
    et al.
    Fransson, Susanne
    Siaw, Joachim Tetteh
    Treis, Diana
    Van den Eynden, Jimmy
    Chand, Damini
    Umapathy, Ganesh
    Ruuth, Kristina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Svenberg, Petter
    Wessman, Sandra
    Shamikh, Alia
    Jacobsson, Hans
    Gordon, Lena
    Stenman, Jakob
    Svensson, Pär-Johan
    Hansson, Magnus
    Larsson, Erik
    Martinsson, Tommy
    Palmer, Ruth H.
    Kogner, Per
    Hallberg, Bengt
    Clinical response of the novel activating ALK-I1171T mutation in neuroblastoma o the ALK inhibitor ceritinib2018In: Cold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies, ISSN 2373-2873, Vol. 4, no 4, article id a002550Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Tumors with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion rearrangements, including non-small-cell lung cancer and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, are highly sensitive to ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), underscoring the notion that such cancers are addicted to ALK activity. Although mutations in ALK are heavily implicated in childhood neuroblastoma, response to the ALK TKI crizotinib has been disappointing. Embryonal tumors in patients with DNA repair defects such as Fanconi anemia (FA) often have a poor prognosis, because of lack of therapeutic options. Here we report a child with underlying FA and ALK mutant high-risk neuroblastoma responding strongly to precision therapy with the ALK TKI ceritinib. Conventional chemotherapy treatment caused severe, life-threatening toxicity. Genomic analysis of the initial biopsy identified germline FANCA mutations as well as a novel ALK-I1171T variant. ALK-I1171T generates a potent gain-of-function mutant, as measured in PC12 cell neurite outgrowth and NIH3T3 transformation. Pharmacological inhibition profiling of ALK-I1171T in response to various ALK TKIs identified an 11-fold improved inhibition of ALK-I1171T with ceritinib when compared with crizotinib. Immunoaffinity-coupled LC-MS/MS phosphoproteomics analysis indicated a decrease in ALK signaling in response to ceritinib. Ceritinib was therefore selected for treatment in this child. Monotherapy with ceritinib was well tolerated and resulted in normalized catecholamine markers and tumor shrinkage. After 7.5 mo treatment, the residual primary tumor shrunk, was surgically removed, and exhibited hallmarks of differentiation together with reduced Ki67 levels. Clinical follow-up after 21 mo treatment revealed complete clinical remission including all metastatic sites. Therefore, ceritinib presents a viable therapeutic option for ALK-positive neuroblastoma.

  • 243. Gullberg, M
    et al.
    Noreus, K
    Brattsand, G
    Friedrich, B
    Shingler, V
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Purification and characterization of a 19-kilodalton intracellular protein. An activation-regulated putative protein kinase C substrate of T lymphocytes.1990In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISSN 0021-9258, E-ISSN 1083-351X, Vol. 265, no 29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Activation of protein kinase C in T cells results in rapid phosphorylation of a 19-kDa intracellular protein termed 19K. We report the purification of 19K from human peripheral T cells and an internal 20-amino acid sequence determined from this protein. It is shown that 19K is a novel cytoplasmatic protein which is phosphorylated in vitro by partially purified protein kinase C. 19K-specific antibodies, raised by immunizing rabbits with purified protein, were used to show that the 19K is expressed, and phosphorylated in response to protein kinase C activation, in several cellular systems. These antibodies were also used to precipitate 19K from both [35S]methionine and 32Pi-labeled T cells. The data showed that 15 min of phorbol ester treatment has no effect on the rate of 19K synthesis but results in induction of 19K phosphorylation. However, we demonstrate, by Western blot analysis, that expression of 19K in primary peripheral T cells increased at least 10-fold over a period of 4 days after activation. The increase in 19K expression correlates with initiation of DNA synthesis, and in proliferating T cells 19K comprises approximately 0.2% of total cytoplasmatic protein. Thus, 19K is a novel putative protein kinase C substrate which is subject to activation associated up-regulation in human T cells.

  • 244.
    Gunnarsson, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Reproductive toxicology of endocrine disruptors: effects of cadmium, phthalates and phytoestrogens on testicular steroidogenesis2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A number of investigations during the last two decades describe adverse trends in male reproductive health, which have been proposed to be caused by environmental factors with endocrine disrupting properties. In contrast to many other toxicants, endocrine disruptors often do not show linear dose-response relationships typical of those found in traditional toxicological studies. For many compounds, low-dose exposure causes effects opposite to the ones seen after high-dose exposure. In addition, the timing of exposure has been found to be critical. Hence, to correctly assess the impact of endocrine disruptors on reproductive health requires in-depth knowledge of their mechanisms of action.

    This thesis aimed at identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of cadmium (Cd), phthalates and phytoestrogens on testicular steroidogenesis. For this purpose, in vitro as well as in vivo models were used. Cd was found to inhibit testosterone synthesis in vivo by down-regulating LH receptor gene expression and reducing the testicular levels of cAMP and StAR protein. In addition, Cd caused a pronounced increase in testicular prostaglandin F (PGF), suggesting that Cd exerts its suppressive effect on steroidogenesis also by inducing the inhibitory PKC pathway. Pre-treatment with zinc (Zn) protected completely against Cd-induced effects on testosterone and PGF. Furthermore, we observed that Cd exposure increased glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) mRNA expression in the testis. GAPDH is a potent coactivator of androgen receptor-mediated transcription and the up-regulation found in our study is probably a compensatory response to reduced testosterone concentrations. This finding is interesting since GAPDH has been proposed to have an important role in the regulation of apoptosis as well as sperm motility. We discovered that mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), the active metabolite of the frequently used phthalate di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), stimulates Leydig cell steroidogenesis in vitro, by a cAMP- and StAR-independent mechanism. MEHP exposure caused a similar effect in granulosa cells. Gene expression analysis revealed that MEHP is likely to stimulate steroidogenesis by increasing the amount of cholesterol available for steroid synthesis. In the last investigation, we examined the effects of low-dose phytoestrogen exposure on testosterone synthesis during puberty in male goats. Isoflavones present in clover increased plasma concentrations of testosterone and free as well as total triiodothyronine (T3). T3 has previously been shown to induce testosterone synthesis and it is possible that an elevated T3 secretion underlies the increased plasma testosterone levels.

    Reduced fertility and reproductive tract malformations affect both the individual and the society. Hence, a sound knowledge of reproductive toxicants is of crucial importance. The findings presented in this thesis provide new insights into the reproductive toxicology of endocrine disruptors and may be valuable for risk assessment purposes.

  • 245.
    Gunnarsson, David
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Leffler, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, European CBRNE Center.
    Ekwurtzel, Emelie
    Martinsson, Gunilla
    Liu, Kui
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Biochemistry and Biophsyics.
    Selstam, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate stimulates basal steroidogenesis by a cAMP-independent mechanism in mouse gonadal cells of both sexes2008In: Reproduction, ISSN 1470-1626, E-ISSN 1476-3990, Vol. 135, no 5, p. 693-703Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Phthalates are widely used as plasticizers in a number of daily-life products. In this study, we investigated the influence of mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), the active metabolite of the frequently used plasticizer di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), on gonadal steroidogenesis in vitro. MEHP (25–100 µM) stimulated basal steroid synthesis in a concentration-dependent manner in immortalized mouse Leydig tumor cells (MLTC-1). The stimulatory effect was also detected in KK-1 granulosa tumor cells. MEHP exposure did not influence cAMP or StAR protein levels and induced a gene expression profile of key steroidogenic proteins different from the one induced by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Simultaneous treatment with MEHP and a p450scc inhibitor (aminoglutethimide) indicated that MEHP exerts its main stimulatory effect prior to pregnenolone formation. MEHP (10–100 µM) up-regulated hormone-sensitive lipase and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, suggesting that MEHP increases the amount of cholesterol available for steroidogenesis. Our data suggest that MEHP, besides its known inhibitory effect on hCG action, can directly stimulate gonadal steroidogenesis in both sexes through a cAMP- and StAR-independent mechanism. The anti-steroidogenic effect of DEHP has been proposed to cause developmental disorders such as hypospadias and cryptorchidism, whereas a stimulation of steroid synthesis may prematurely initiate the onset of puberty and theoretically affect the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis.

  • 246.
    Gunnarsson, David
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Nordberg, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Lundgren, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Clinical Sciences.
    Selstam, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Cadmium-induced decrement of the LH receptor expression and cAMP levels in the testis of rats2003In: Toxicology, ISSN 0300-483X, E-ISSN 1879-3185, Vol. 183, no (1-3), p. 57-63Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread environmental pollutant, characterized by its ability to affect various organs. Adverse effect of Cd on the testis including decreased testosterone production are well-known phenomena, but the cellular events explaining these effects have not yet been established. In the present study the initial steps of gonadotropin mediated testosterone biosynthesis were examined in vivo in rats, in relation to Cd dose and time after injection. In the dose–response experiment Male Sprague–Dawley rats received a single subcutaneous (sc) injection of CdCl2 (1, 5 or 10 μmol/kg body weight) and were sacrificed 48 h after injection. A statistically significant decrease in luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor mRNA level in the testicular tissue was demonstrated at the highest dose (10 μmol/kg). In the temporal–response experiment rats were given 10 μmol/kg of CdCl2 sc and sacrificed 0.48, 4.8, 48 or 144 h after injection. LH receptor mRNA levels as well as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels were found to be significantly lowered at 48 and 144 h. These observations of the mechanisms whereby Cd exerts its effect on the initial steps of testosterone biosynthesis are the first from in vivo experiments.

  • 247.
    Gunnarsson, David
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Nordberg, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Enviromental Medicine.
    Selstam, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Differential effects of cadmium on the gene expression of seven-transmembrane-spanning receptors and GAPDH in the rat testis.2007In: Toxicology Letters, ISSN 0378-4274, E-ISSN 1879-3169, Vol. 168, no 1, p. 51-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cadmium (Cd) is a widely spread toxicant with endocrine disrupting properties. Under experimental conditions it suppresses sex steroid synthesis in the male as well as the female. Testicular steroidogenesis is primarily regulated by gonadotropins, but is also influenced by catecholamines. We have previously shown that Cd exposure affects rat testosterone synthesis by down-regulating luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor mRNA expression. In this study, rats were given 10 micromol/kg Cd subcutaneously and sacrificed 0.48-144 h later. We investigated the effects of Cd on testicular gene expression of two adrenergic receptors. In addition, mRNA levels of the androgen-regulated house keeping gene glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) were measured. In contrast to the suppressive influence on LH receptor expression Cd lacked effect on the expression of alpha(1A)- and beta(2)-adrenergic receptors. GAPDH gene expression, on the other hand, was up-regulated 1.6-fold after exposure to 10 micromol/kg Cd. These data suggest that the influence of Cd on testicular gene expression involves a specific effect on the LH receptor and not a general effect on seven-transmembrane-spanning receptors. Also, data indicate that the increased expression of GAPDH may be secondary to Cd-induced testosterone deprivation, suggesting future studies of androgen-regulated genes in the toxicity of Cd.

  • 248.
    Gunnarsson, David
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Selstam, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Ridderstråle, Yvonne
    Holm, Lena
    Ekstedt, Elisabeth
    Madej, Andrzej
    Effects of dietary phytoestrogens on plasma testosterone and triiodothyronine (T3) levels in male goat kids2009In: Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, ISSN 1751-0147, E-ISSN 1751-0147, Vol. 51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Exposure to xenoestrogens in humans and animals has gained increasing attention due to the effects of these compounds on reproduction. The present study was undertaken to investigate the influence of low-dose dietary phytoestrogen exposure, i.e. a mixture of genistein, daidzein, biochanin A and formononetin, on the establishment of testosterone production during puberty in male goat kids. METHODS: Goat kids at the age of 3 months received either a standard diet or a diet supplemented with phytoestrogens (3-4 mg/kg/day) for approximately 3 months. Plasma testosterone and total and free triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations were determined weekly. Testicular levels of testosterone and cAMP were measured at the end of the experiment. Repeated measurement analysis of variance using the MIXED procedure on the generated averages, according to the Statistical Analysis System program package (Release 6.12, 1996, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA) was carried out. RESULTS: No significant difference in plasma testosterone concentration between the groups was detected during the first 7 weeks. However, at the age of 5 months (i.e. October 1, week 8) phytoestrogen-treated animals showed significantly higher testosterone concentrations than control animals (37.5 nmol/l vs 19.1 nmol/l). This elevation was preceded by a rise in plasma total T3 that occurred on September 17 (week 6). A slightly higher concentration of free T3 was detected in the phytoestrogen group at the same time point, but it was not until October 8 and 15 (week 9 and 10) that a significant difference was found between the groups. At the termination of the experiment, testicular cAMP levels were significantly lower in goats fed a phytoestrogen-supplemented diet. Phytoestrogen-fed animals also had lower plasma and testicular testosterone concentrations, but these differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that phytoestrogens can stimulate testosterone synthesis during puberty in male goats by increasing the secretion of T3; a hormone known to stimulate Leydig cell steroidogenesis. It is possible that feedback signalling underlies the tendency towards decreased steroid production at the end of the experiment.

  • 249.
    Gunnarsson, David
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Svensson, Mona
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Enviromental Medicine.
    Selstam, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Nordberg, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Enviromental Medicine.
    Pronounced induction of testicular PGF2alpha and suppression of testosterone by cadmium: prevention by zinc2004In: Toxicology, ISSN 0300-483X, E-ISSN 1879-3185, Vol. 200, no 1, p. 49-58Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to investigate the effects of cadmium (Cd) on testicular prostaglandin F(PGF) production, adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed to CdCl2 by subcutaneous injections. Dose–response as well as temporal–response experiments were performed, and PGF levels were determined by radioimmunoassay (RIA). The highest cadmium dose (10 μmol/kg) caused a dramatic elevation of testicular PGF, which was established to occur 48 h after exposure. At this point of time, cadmium-treated animals displayed PGF levels 16.7 times higher than saline-injected controls. No significant differences were found with the lower doses used (1 and 5 μmol/kg). In addition, the influence of pre-treatment with zinc (Zn) was assessed. The very strong stimulatory effect on PGF synthesis (22.3-fold) detected after exposure to 20 μmol/kg cadmium, was completely absent in the group given zinc (1 mmol/kg) prior to cadmium exposure. Plasma testosterone concentrations were determined in the three experiments, and all groups with strongly elevated PGF levels showed drastically lowered concentrations of testosterone. Zinc pre-treatment abolished not only the cadmium-induced rise in PGF but also the testosterone reduction. Additionally, cadmium was found to inhibit the expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), which is responsible for the rate-limiting step in steroidogenesis. The present findings establish that cadmium can cause a strong induction of testicular PGF production, which might help to explain the well-known antisteroidogenic effect of this heavy metal. Such an inhibitory effect could be due to reduced levels of StAR.

  • 250.
    Gurung, Jyoti M.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Amer, Ayad
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Francis, Monika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Costa, Tiago
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Chen, Shiyun
    Zavialov, Anton V.
    Francis, Matthew S.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Heterologous complementation studies with the YscX and YscY protein families reveals a specificity for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis type III secretion2018In: Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, E-ISSN 2235-2988, Vol. 8, article id 80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Type III secretion systems harbored by several Gram-negative bacteria are often used to deliver host-modulating effectors into infected eukaryotic cells. About 20 core proteins are needed for assembly of a secretion apparatus. Several of these proteins are genetically and functionally conserved in type III secretion systems of bacteria associated with invertebrate or vertebrate hosts. In the Ysc family of type III secretion systems are two poorly characterized protein families, the YscX family and the YscY family. In the plasmid-encoded Ysc-Yop type III secretion system of human pathogenic Yersinia species, YscX is a secreted substrate while YscY is its non-secreted cognate chaperone. Critically, neither an yscX nor yscY null mutant of Yersinia is capable of type III secretion. In this study, we show that the genetic equivalents of these proteins produced as components of other type III secretion systems of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PscX and PscY), Aeromonas species (AscX and AscY), Vibrio species (VscX and VscY), and Photorhabdus luminescens (SctX and SctY) all possess an ability to interact with its native cognate partner and also establish cross-reciprocal binding to non-cognate partners as judged by a yeast two-hybrid assay. Moreover, a yeast three-hybrid assay also revealed that these heterodimeric complexes could maintain an interaction with YscV family members, a core membrane component of all type III secretion systems. Despite maintaining these molecular interactions, only expression of the native yscX in the near full-length yscX deletion and native yscY in the near full-length yscY deletion were able to complement for their general substrate secretion defects. Hence, YscX and YscY must have co-evolved to confer an important function specifically critical for Yersinia type III secretion.

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