Recent Submissions

  • New Peptaibiotics and a Cyclodepsipeptide from : Isolation, Identification, Cytotoxic and Nematicidal Activities.

    Moussa, Ashaimaa Y; Lambert, Christopher; Stradal, Theresia E B; Ashrafi, Samad; Maier, Wolfgang; Stadler, Marc; Helaly, Soleiman E; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-03-22)
    Fungal associations with nematodes have attracted scientific attention because of the need to develop new biocontrol agents. In this context, Ijuhya vitellina, an antagonistic fungus previously isolated from the plant parasitic cyst nematode Heterodera filipjevi, was selected to carry out an in-depth metabolomic study for its active metabolites. Herein, three new nonapeptide peptaibols with leucinostatin based sequences were isolated and identified by 1, 2D NMR, and HR-ESI-MS-MS. The absolute configuration was assigned based on Marfay's analysis and Mosher ester formation. The new leucinostatins manifested moderate nematicidal effect against the plant pathogenic nematode Pratylenchus penetrans with LD90 values ranging from 5 to 7 µg/mL. Furthermore, a cyclodepsipeptide, named arthrichitin D, with five amino acid residues attached to a 3-hydroxy-2,4-dimethylhexadeca-4,6-dienoic fatty acid chain was discovered and showed weak nematicidal effect against Caenorhabditis elegans. Chaetoglobosin B and its 19-O-acetyl derivative were also obtained as minor metabolites, and the activity of chaetoglobosin B on the actin cytoskeleton of mammalian cells was assessed.
  • Adenosine Triphosphate Neutralizes Pneumolysin-induced Neutrophil Activation.

    Cuypers, Fabian; Klabunde, Björn; Gesell Salazar, Manuela; Surabhi, Surabhi; Skorka, Sebastian B; Burchhardt, Gerhard; Michalik, Stephan; Thiele, Thomas; Rohde, Manfred; Völker, Uwe; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2020-05-23)
    Background: In tissue infections, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is released into extracellular space and contributes to purinergic chemotaxis. Neutrophils are important players in bacterial clearance and recruited to the site of tissue infections. Pneumococcal infections can lead to uncontrolled hyper-inflammation of the tissue along with substantial tissue damage through excessive neutrophil activation and uncontrolled granule release. We aimed to investigate the role of ATP in neutrophil response to pneumococcal infections. Methods: Primary human neutrophils were exposed to the pneumococcal strain TIGR4 and its pneumolysin deficient mutant or directly to different concentrations of recombinant pneumolysin. Neutrophil activation was assessed by measurement of secreted azurophilic granule protein resistin and profiling of the secretome, using mass spectrometry. Results: Pneumococci are potent inducers of neutrophil degranulation. Pneumolysin was identified as a major trigger of neutrophil activation. This process is partially lysis independent and inhibited by ATP. Pneumolysin and ATP interact with each other in the extracellular space leading to reduced neutrophil activation. Proteome analyses of the neutrophil secretome confirmed that ATP inhibits pneumolysin-dependent neutrophil activation. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that despite its cytolytic activity, pneumolysin serves as a potent neutrophil activating factor. Extracellular ATP mitigates pneumolysin induced neutrophil activation.
  • Description of Polystyrenella longa gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from polystyrene particles incubated in the Baltic Sea.

    Peeters, Stijn H; Wiegand, Sandra; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Boedeker, Christian; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian; HZI,Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7 , 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer, 2020-04-01)
    Planctomycetes occur in almost all aquatic ecosystems on earth. They have a remarkable cell biology, and members of the orders Planctomycetales and Pirellulales feature cell division by polar budding, perform a lifestyle switch from sessile to motile cells and have an enlarged periplasmic space. Here, we characterise a novel planctomycetal strain, Pla110T, isolated from the surface of polystyrene particles incubated in the Baltic Sea. After phylogenetic analysis, the strain could be placed in the family Planctomycetaceae. Strain Pla110T performs cell division by budding, has crateriform structures and grows in aggregates or rosettes. The strain is a chemoheterotroph, grows under mesophilic and neutrophilic conditions, and exhibited a doubling time of 21 h. Based on our phylogenetic and morphological characterisation, strain Pla110T (DSM 103387T = LMG 29693T) is concluded to represent a novel species belonging to a novel genus, for which we propose the name Polystyrenella longa gen. nov., sp. nov.
  • Lignipirellula cremea gen. nov., sp. nov., a planctomycete isolated from wood particles in a brackish river estuary.

    Peeters, Stijn H; Wiegand, Sandra; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Boedeker, Christian; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian; HZI,Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer, 2020-04-01)
    A novel planctomycetal strain, designated Pla85_3_4T, was isolated from the surface of wood incubated at the discharge of a wastewater treatment plant in the Warnow river near Rostock, Germany. Cells of the novel strain have a cell envelope architecture resembling that of Gram-negative bacteria, are round to pear-shaped (length: 2.2 ± 0.4 µm, width: 1.2 ± 0.3 µm), form aggregates and divide by polar budding. Colonies have a cream colour. Strain Pla85_3_4T grows at ranges of 10-30 °C (optimum 26 °C) and at pH 6.5-10.0 (optimum 7.5), and has a doubling time of 26 h. Phylogenetically, strain Pla85_3_4T (DSM 103796T = LMG 29741T) is concluded to represent a novel species of a novel genus within the family Pirellulaceae, for which we propose the name Lignipirellula cremea gen. nov., sp. nov.
  • Aureliella helgolandensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel Planctomycete isolated from a jellyfish at the shore of the island Helgoland.

    Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Wiegand, Sandra; Boedeker, Christian; Peeters, Stijn H; Jogler, Mareike; Rast, Patrick; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian; et al. (Springer, 2020-03-27)
    A novel planctomycetal strain, designated Q31aT, was isolated from a jellyfish at the shore of the island Helgoland in the North Sea. The strain forms lucid white colonies on solid medium and displays typical characteristics of planctomycetal strains, such as division by budding, formation of rosettes, presence of crateriform structures, extracellular matrix or fibre and a holdfast structure. Q31aT is mesophilic (temperature optimum 27 °C), neutrophilic (pH optimum 7.5), aerobic and heterotrophic. A maximal growth rate of 0.017 h- 1 (generation time of 41 h) was observed. Q31aT has a genome size of 8.44 Mb and a G + C content of 55.3%. Phylogenetically, the strain represents a novel genus and species in the recently introduced family Pirellulaceae, order Pirellulales, class Planctomycetia. We propose the name Aureliella helgolandensis gen. nov., sp. nov. for the novel species, represented by Q31aT (= DSM 103537T = LMG 29700T) as the type strain.
  • Capsule and fimbriae modulate the invasion of Haemophilus influenzae in a human blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier model.

    Häuser, Svenja; Wegele, Christian; Stump-Guthier, Carolin; Borkowski, Julia; Weiss, Christel; Rohde, Manfred; Ishikawa, Hiroshi; Schroten, Horst; Schwerk, Christian; Adam, Rüdiger; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-07-17)
    The Gram-negative bacterium Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) can commensally colonize the upper respiratory tract, but also cause life threatening disease including epiglottitis, sepsis and meningitis. The H. influenzae capsule protects the bacteria against both phagocytosis and opsonization. Encapsulated H. influenzae strains are classified into serotypes ranging from a to f dependent on their distinct polysaccharide capsule. Due to the implementation of vaccination the incidence of invasive H. influenzae type b (Hib) infections has strongly decreased and infections with other capsulated types, including H. influenzae type f (Hif), are emerging. The pathogenesis of H. influenzae meningitis is not clarified. To enter the central nervous system (CNS) the bacteria generally have to cross either the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BSCFB). Using a cell culture model of the BCSFB based on human choroid plexus papilloma (HIBCPP) cells and different H. influenzae strains we investigated whether Hib and Hif invade the cells, and if invasion differs between encapsulated vs. capsular-deficient and fimbriated vs. non-fimbriated variants. We find that Hib can adhere to and invade into HIBCPP cells. Invasion occurs in a strongly polar fashion, since the bacteria enter the cells preferentially from the basolateral "blood "side. Fimbriae and capsule attenuate invasion into choroid plexus (CP) epithelial cells, and capsulation can influence the bacterial distribution pattern. Finally, analysis of clinical Hib and Hif isolates confirms the detected invasive properties of H. influenzae. Our data point to roles of capsule and fimbriae during invasion of CP epithelial cells.
  • Metabolic Rearrangements Causing Elevated Proline and Polyhydroxybutyrate Accumulation During the Osmotic Adaptation Response of .

    Godard, Thibault; Zühlke, Daniela; Richter, Georg; Wall, Melanie; Rohde, Manfred; Riedel, Katharina; Poblete-Castro, Ignacio; Krull, Rainer; Biedendieck, Rebekka; HZI,Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Frontiers, 2020-02-21)
    For many years now, Bacillus megaterium serves as a microbial workhorse for the high-level production of recombinant proteins in the g/L-scale. However, efficient and stable production processes require the knowledge of the molecular adaptation strategies of the host organism to establish optimal environmental conditions. Here, we interrogated the osmotic stress response of B. megaterium using transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and fluxome analyses. An initial transient adaptation consisted of potassium import and glutamate counterion synthesis. The massive synthesis of the compatible solute proline constituted the second longterm adaptation process. Several stress response enzymes involved in iron scavenging and reactive oxygen species (ROS) fighting proteins showed higher levels under prolonged osmotic stress induced by 1.8 M NaCl. At the same time, the downregulation of the expression of genes of the upper part of glycolysis resulted in the activation of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), generating an oversupply of NADPH. The increased production of lactate accompanied by the reduction of acetate secretion partially compensate for the unbalanced (NADH/NAD+) ratio. Besides, the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) mainly supplies the produced NADH, as indicated by the higher mRNA and protein levels of involved enzymes, and further confirmed by 13C flux analyses. As a consequence of the metabolic flux toward acetyl-CoA and the generation of an excess of NADPH, B. megaterium redirected the produced acetyl-CoA toward the polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) biosynthetic pathway accumulating around 30% of the cell dry weight (CDW) as PHB. This direct relation between osmotic stress and intracellular PHB content has been evidenced for the first time, thus opening new avenues for synthesizing this valuable biopolymer using varying salt concentrations under non-limiting nutrient conditions.
  • One Step Ahead: Herpesviruses Light the Way to Understanding Interferon-Stimulated Genes (ISGs).

    Gonzalez-Perez, A Cristina; Stempel, Markus; Chan, Baca; Brinkmann, Melanie M; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Frontiers, 2020-02-07)
    The host immune system is engaged in a constant battle with microorganisms, with the immediate detection of pathogenic invasion and subsequent signalling acting as crucial deterrents against the establishment of a successful infection. For this purpose, cells are equipped with a variety of sensors called pattern recognition receptors (PRR), which rapidly detect intruders leading to the expression of antiviral type I interferons (IFN). Type I IFN are crucial cytokines which exert their biological effects through the induction of hundreds of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). The expression profile of these ISGs varies depending on the virus. For a small subset of ISGs, their anti- or even proviral effects have been revealed, however, the vast majority are uncharacterised. The spotlight is now on herpesviruses, with their large coding capacity and long co-evolution with their hosts, as a key to understanding the impact of ISGs during viral infection. Studies are emerging which have identified multiple herpesviral antagonists specifically targeting ISGs, hinting at the significant role these proteins must play in host defence against viral infection, with the promise of more to come. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge of the complex interplay between ISGs and human herpesviruses: the antiviral role of selected ISGs during herpesviral infections, how herpesviruses antagonise these ISGs and, in some cases, even exploit them to benefit viral infection.
  • Proteomic Investigation Uncovers Potential Targets and Target Sites of Pneumococcal Serine-Threonine Kinase StkP and Phosphatase PhpP.

    Hirschfeld, Claudia; Gómez-Mejia, Alejandro; Bartel, Jürgen; Hentschker, Christian; Rohde, Manfred; Maaß, Sandra; Hammerschmidt, Sven; Becher, Dörte; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Frontiers, 2020-02-04)
    Like eukaryotes, different bacterial species express one or more Ser/Thr kinases and phosphatases that operate in various signaling networks by catalyzing phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of proteins that can immediately regulate biochemical pathways by altering protein function. The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae encodes a single Ser/Thr kinase-phosphatase couple known as StkP-PhpP, which has shown to be crucial in the regulation of cell wall synthesis and cell division. In this study, we applied proteomics to further understand the physiological role of pneumococcal PhpP and StkP with an emphasis on phosphorylation events on Ser and Thr residues. Therefore, the proteome of the non-encapsulated D39 strain (WT), a kinase (ΔstkP), and phosphatase mutant (ΔphpP) were compared in a mass spectrometry based label-free quantification experiment. Results show that a loss of function of PhpP causes an increased abundance of proteins in the phosphate uptake system Pst. Quantitative proteomic data demonstrated an effect of StkP and PhpP on the two-component systems ComDE, LiaRS, CiaRH, and VicRK. To obtain further information on the function, targets and target sites of PhpP and StkP we combined the advantages of phosphopeptide enrichment using titanium dioxide and spectral library based data evaluation for sensitive detection of changes in the phosphoproteome of the wild type and the mutant strains. According to the role of StkP in cell division we identified several proteins involved in cell wall synthesis and cell division that are apparently phosphorylated by StkP. Unlike StkP, the physiological function of the co-expressed PhpP is poorly understood. For the first time we were able to provide a list of previously unknown putative targets of PhpP. Under these new putative targets of PhpP are, among others, five proteins with direct involvement in cell division (DivIVA, GpsB) and peptidoglycan biosynthesis (MltG, MreC, MacP).
  • Lamellipodin tunes cell migration by stabilizing protrusions and promoting adhesion formation.

    Dimchev, Georgi; Amiri, Behnam; Humphries, Ashley C; Schaks, Matthias; Dimchev, Vanessa; Stradal, Theresia E B; Faix, Jan; Krause, Matthias; Way, Michael; Falcke, Martin; et al. (The company of biologists, 2020-02-24)
    Efficient migration on adhesive surfaces involves the protrusion of lamellipodial actin networks and their subsequent stabilization by nascent adhesions. The actin binding protein lamellipodin (Lpd) is thought to play a critical role in lamellipodium protrusion, by delivering Ena/VASP proteins onto the growing plus ends of actin filaments and by interacting with the WAVE regulatory complex (WRC), an activator of the Arp2/3 complex, at the leading edge. Using B16-F1 melanoma cell lines, we demonstrate that genetic ablation of Lpd compromises protrusion efficiency and coincident cell migration without altering essential parameters of lamellipodia, including their maximal rate of forward advancement and actin polymerization. We also confirmed lamellipodia and migration phenotypes with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Lpd knockout Rat2 fibroblasts, excluding cell type-specific effects. Moreover, computer-aided analysis of cell edge morphodynamics on B16-F1 cell lamellipodia revealed that loss of Lpd correlates with reduced temporal protrusion maintenance as a prerequisite of nascent adhesion formation. We conclude that Lpd optimizes protrusion and nascent adhesion formation by counteracting frequent, chaotic retraction and membrane ruffling.
  • Discovery of Paenibacillus larvae ERIC V: Phenotypic and genomic comparison to genotypes ERIC I-IV reveal different inventories of virulence factors which correlate with epidemiological prevalences of American Foulbrood.

    Beims, Hannes; Bunk, Boyke; Erler, Silvio; Mohr, Kathrin I; Spröer, Cathrin; Pradella, Silke; Günther, Gabi; Rohde, Manfred; von der Ohe, Werner; Steinert, Michael; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-02-01)
    Paenibacillus larvae is the etiological agent of American Foulbrood (AFB), a highly contagious brood disease of honey bees (Apis mellifera). AFB requires mandatory reporting to the veterinary authority in many countries and until now four genotypes, P. larvae ERIC I-IV, have been identified. We isolated a new genotype, ERIC V, from a Spanish honey sample. After a detailed phenotypic comparison with the reference strains of the ERIC I-IV genotypes, including spore morphology, non-ribosomal peptide (NRP) profiling, and in vivo infections of A. mellifera larvae, we established a genomic DNA Macrorestriction Fragment Pattern Analysis (MRFPA) scheme for future epidemiologic discrimination. Whole genome comparison of the reference strains and the new ERIC V genotype (DSM 106052) revealed that the respective virulence gene inventories of the five genotypes corresponded with the time needed to kill 100 % of the infected bee larvae (LT100) in in vivo infection assays. The rarely isolated P. larvae genotypes ERIC II I-V with a fast-killing phenotype (LT100 3 days) harbor genes with high homology to virulence factors of other insect pathogens. These virulence genes are absent in the epidemiologically prevalent genotypes ERIC I (LT100 12 days) and ERIC II (LT100 7 days), which exhibit slower killing phenotypes. Since killing-retardation is known to reduce the success of hygienic cleaning by nurse bees, the identified absence of virulence factors might explain the epidemiological prevalences of ERIC genotypes. The discovery of the P. larvae ERIC V isolate suggests that more unknown ERIC genotypes exist in bee colonies. Since inactivation or loss of a few genes can transform a fast-killing phenotype into a more dangerous slow-killing phenotype, these rarely isolated genotypes may represent a hidden reservoir for future AFB outbreaks.
  • Hypericibacter terrae gen. nov., sp. nov. and sp. nov., two new members of the family isolated from the rhizosphere of Hypericum perforatum.

    Noviana, Zahra; Vieira, Selma; Pascual, Javier; Fobofou, Serge Alain Tanemossu; Rohde, Manfred; Spröer, Cathrin; Bunk, Boyke; Overmann, Jorg; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Inhoffenstraße 7B, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Microbiology Society, 2020-01-20)
    Two strains of the family Rhodospirillaceae were isolated from the rhizosphere of the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum. Cells of both strains were Gram-stain-negative, motile by means of a single polar flagellum, non-spore-forming, non-capsulated, short rods that divided by binary fission. Colonies were small and white. Strains R5913T and R5959T were oxidase-positive, mesophilic, neutrophilic and grew optimally without NaCl. Both grew under aerobic and microaerophilic conditions and on a limited range of substrates with best results on yeast extract. Major fatty acids were C19 : 0 cyclo ω8c and C16 : 0; in addition, C18 : 1ω7c was also found as a predominant fatty acid in strain R5913T. The major respiratory quinone was ubiquinone 10 (Q-10). The DNA G+C contents of strains R5913T and R5959T were 66.0 and 67.4 mol%, respectively. 16S rRNA gene sequence comparison revealed that the closest relatives (<92 % similarity) of the strains are Oceanibaculum pacificum MCCC 1A02656T, Dongia mobilis CGMCC 1.7660T, Dongia soli D78T and Dongia rigui 04SU4-PT. The two novel strains shared 98.6 % sequence similarity and represent different species on the basis of low average nucleotide identity of their genomes (83.8 %). Based on the combined phenotypic, genomic and phylogenetic investigations, the two strains represent two novel species of a new genus in the family Rhodospirillaceae, for which the name Hypericibacter gen. nov. is proposed, comprising the type species Hypericibacter terrae sp. nov. (type strain R5913T=DSM 109816T=CECT 9472T) and Hypericibacter adhaerens sp. nov. (type strain R5959T=DSM 109817T=CECT 9620T).
  • Actin-binding protein cortactin promotes pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by supporting leukocyte infiltration into the central nervous system.

    Samus, Maryna; Li, Yu-Tung; Sorokin, Lydia; Rottner, Klemens; Vestweber, Dietmar; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Society for Neuroscience, 2020-01-06)
    Leukocyte entry into the central nervous system (CNS) is essential for immune surveillance, but is also the basis for the development of pathologic inflammatory conditions within the CNS such as multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The actin-binding protein, cortactin, in endothelial cells is an important player in regulating the interaction of immune cells with the vascular endothelium. Cortactin has been shown to control the integrity of the endothelial barrier and to support neutrophil transendothelial migration in vitro and in vivo in the skin. Here we employ cortactin gene inactivated (cortactin--/--) male and female mice to study the role of this protein in EAE. Inducing EAE by immunization with a myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide (MOG35-55) revealed an ameliorated disease course in cortactin--/-- female mice compared to WT mice. However, proliferation capacity and expression of IL-17A and IFNγ by cortactin-deficient and wildtype splenocytes did not differ, suggesting that the lack of cortactin does not affect induction of the immune response. Rather, cortactin deficiency caused decreased vascular permeability and reduced leukocyte infiltration into the brains and spinal cords of EAE mice. Accordingly, cortactin gene-deficient mice had smaller numbers of proinflammatory cuffs, less extensive demyelination and reduced expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines within the neural tissue compared to wildtype littermates. Thus, cortactin contributes to the development of neural inflammation by supporting leukocyte transmigration through the blood-brain barrier and, therefore, represents a potential candidate for targeting CNS autoimmunity.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTMultiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune neuroinflammatory disorder, based on the entry of inflammatory leukocytes into the central nervous system (CNS) where these cells cause demyelination and neurodegeneration. Here, we use a mouse model for MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), and show that gene inactivation of cortactin, an actin binding protein that modulates actin dynamics and branching, protects against neuroinflammation in EAE. Leukocyte infiltration into the CNS was inhibited in cortactin deficient mice and lack of cortactin in cultured primary brain endothelial cells inhibited leukocyte transmigration. Expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the CNS and induction of vascular permeability were reduced. We conclude that cortactin represents a novel potential target for the treatment of MS.
  • The immunogenic potential of bacterial flagella for Salmonella-mediated tumor therapy.

    Felgner, Sebastian; Spöring, Imke; Pawar, Vinay; Kocijancic, Dino; Preusse, Matthias; Falk, Christine; Rohde, Manfred; Häussler, Susanne; Weiss, Siegfried; Erhardt, Marc; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-11-21)
    Genetically engineered Salmonella Typhimurium are potent vectors for prophylactic and therapeutic measures against pathogens as well as cancer. This is based on the potent adjuvanticity that supports strong immune responses. The physiology of Salmonella is well understood. It simplifies engineering of both enhanced immune‐stimulatory properties as well as safety features, thus, resulting in an appropriate balance between attenuation and efficacy for clinical applications. A major virulence factor of Salmonella is the flagellum. It is also a strong pathogen‐associated molecular pattern recognized by extra‐ and intracellular receptors of immune cells of the host. At the same time, it represents a serious metabolic burden. Accordingly, the bacteria evolved tight regulatory mechanisms that control flagella synthesis in vivo. Here, we systematically investigated the immunogenicity and adjuvant properties of various flagella mutants of Salmonella in vitro and in a mouse cancer model in vivo. We found that mutants lacking the flagellum‐specific ATPase FliHIJ or the inner membrane ring FliF displayed the greatest stimulatory capacity and strongest anti‐tumor effects, while remaining safe in vivo. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of outer membrane vesicles in the ΔfliF and ΔfliHIJ mutants. Finally, the combination of the ΔfliF and ΔfliHIJ mutations with our previously described attenuated and immunogenic background strain SF102 displayed strong efficacy against the highly resistant cancer cell line RenCa. We thus conclude that manipulating flagella biosynthesis has great potential for the construction of highly efficacious and versatile Salmonella vector strains.
  • Prothrombotic and Proinflammatory Activities of the β-Hemolytic Group B Streptococcal Pigment.

    Siemens, Nikolai; Oehmcke-Hecht, Sonja; Hoßmann, Jörn; Skorka, Sebastian B; Nijhuis, Roel H T; Ruppen, Corinne; Skrede, Steinar; Rohde, Manfred; Schultz, Daniel; Lalk, Michael; et al. (Karger, 2019-11-19)
    A prominent feature of severe streptococcal infections is the profound inflammatory response that contributes to systemic toxicity. In sepsis the dysregulated host response involves both immunological and nonimmunological pathways. Here, we report a fatal case of an immunocompetent healthy female presenting with toxic shock and purpura fulminans caused by group B streptococcus (GBS; serotype III, CC19). The strain (LUMC16) was pigmented and hyperhemolytic. Stimulation of human primary cells with hyperhemolytic LUMC16 and STSS/NF-HH strains and pigment toxin resulted in a release of proinflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6. In addition, LUMC16 induced blood clotting and showed factor XII activity on its surface, which was linked to the presence of the pigment. The expression of pigment was not linked to a mutation within the CovR/S region. In conclusion, our study shows that the hemolytic lipid toxin contributes to the ability of GBS to cause systemic hyperinflammation and interferes with the coagulation system.
  • Rubinisphaera italica sp. nov. isolated from a hydrothermal area in the Tyrrhenian Sea close to the volcanic island Panarea.

    Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Wiegand, Sandra; Peeters, Stijn H; Heuer, Anja; Boedeker, Christian; Jetten, Mike S M; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian (Springer, 2019-11-26)
    Planctomycetes is a fascinating phylum of mostly aquatic bacteria, not only due to the environmental importance in global carbon and nitrogen cycles, but also because of a unique cell biology. Their lifestyle and metabolic capabilities are not well explored, which motivated us to study the role of Planctomycetes in biofilms on marine biotic surfaces. Here, we describe the novel strain Pan54T which was isolated from algae in a hydrothermal area close to the volcanic island Panarea in the Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily in Italy. The strain grew best at pH 9.0 and 26 °C and showed typical characteristics of planctomycetal bacteria, e.g. division by polar budding, formation of aggregates and presence of stalks and crateriform structures. Phylogenetically, the strain belongs to the genus Rubinisphaera. Our analysis suggests that Pan54T represents a novel species of this genus, for which we propose the name Rubinisphaera italica sp. nov. We suggest Pan54T (= DSM 29369 = LMG 29789) as the type strain of the novel species.
  • Non-Invasive Approach for Evaluation of Pulmonary Hypertension Using Extracellular Vesicle-Associated Small Non-Coding RNA.

    Lipps, Christoph; Northe, Philipp; Figueiredo, Ricardo; Rohde, Manfred; Brahmer, Alexandra; Krämer-Albers, Eva-Maria; Liebetrau, Christoph; Wiedenroth, Christoph B; Mayer, Eckhard; Kriechbaum, Steffen D; et al. (MDPI, 2019-10-29)
    Extracellular vesicles are released by numerous cell types of the human body under physiological but also under pathophysiological conditions. They are important for cell-cell communication and carry specific signatures of peptides and RNAs. In this study, we aimed to determine whether extracellular vesicles isolated from patients with pulmonary hypertension show a disease specific signature of small non-coding RNAs and thus have the potential to serve as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Extracellular vesicles were isolated from the serum of 23 patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and 23 controls using two individual methods: a column-based method or by precipitation. Extracellular vesicle- associated RNAs were analyzed by next-generation sequencing applying molecular barcoding, and differentially expressed small non-coding RNAs were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We identified 18 microRNAs and 21 P-element induced wimpy testis (PIWI)-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) or piRNA clusters that were differentially expressed in CTEPH patients compared with controls. Bioinformatic analysis predicted a contribution of these piRNAs to the progression of cardiac and vascular remodeling. Expression levels of DQ593039 correlated with clinically meaningful parameters such as mean pulmonary arterial pressure, pulmonary vascular resistance, right ventricular systolic pressure, and levels of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. Thus, we identified the extracellular vesicle- derived piRNA, DQ593039, as a potential biomarker for pulmonary hypertension and right heart disease.
  • N-WASP Guides Cancer Cells toward LPA.

    Rottner, Klemens; Schaks, Matthias; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2019-11-18)
    The actin remodeling factor N-WASP is best known as an Arp2/3 complex activator in processes like endocytosis, extracellular matrix degradation, and host-pathogen interaction. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Juin et al. establish a novel trafficking function for N-WASP in driving lysophosphatidic acid-dependent chemotaxis and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells.
  • R18C is a new viable P2-like bacteriophage of rabbit origin infecting Citrobacter rodentium and Shigella sonnei strains.

    Sváb, Domonkos; Horváth, Balázs; Rohde, Manfred; Maróti, Gergely; Tóth, István; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer-Nature, 2019-10-23)
    Here, we report a novel virulent P2-like bacteriophage, R18C, isolated from rabbit faeces, which, in addition to Escherichia coli K-12 strains, was able to be propagated on Citrobacter rodentium strain ICC169 and a range of Shigella sonnei strains with high efficiency of plating (EOP). It represents the first lytic bacteriophage originating from rabbit and the first infectious P2-like phage of animal origin. In the three characteristic moron-containing regions of P2-like phages, R18C contains genes with unknown function that have so far only been found in cryptic P2-like prophages.
  • EPLIN-α and -β Isoforms Modulate Endothelial Cell Dynamics through a Spatiotemporally Differentiated Interaction with Actin.

    Taha, Muna; Aldirawi, Mohammed; März, Sigrid; Seebach, Jochen; Odenthal-Schnittler, Maria; Bondareva, Olga; Bojovic, Vesna; Schmandra, Thomas; Wirth, Benedikt; Mietkowska, Magdalena; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-10-22)
    Actin-binding proteins are essential for linear and branched actin filament dynamics that control shape change, cell migration, and cell junction remodeling in vascular endothelium (endothelial cells [ECs]). The epithelial protein lost in neoplasm (EPLIN) is an actin-binding protein, expressed as EPLIN-α and EPLIN-β by alternative promoters; however, the isoform-specific functions are not yet understood. Aortic compared to cava vein ECs and shear stress-exposed cultured ECs express increased EPLIN-β levels that stabilize stress fibers. In contrast, EPLIN-α expression is increased in growing and migrating ECs, is targeted to membrane protrusions, and terminates their growth via interaction with the Arp2/3 complex. The data indicate that EPLIN-α controls protrusion dynamics while EPLIN-β has an actin filament stabilizing role, which is consistent with FRAP analyses demonstrating a lower EPLIN-β turnover rate compared to EPLIN-α. Together, EPLIN isoforms differentially control actin dynamics in ECs, essential in shear stress responses, cell migration, and barrier function.

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