• Dual function of tropodithietic acid as antibiotic and signaling molecule in global gene regulation of the probiotic bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens.

      Beyersmann, Paul G; Tomasch, Jürgen; Son, Kwangmin; Stocker, Roman; Göker, Markus; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Simon, Meinhard; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-04-07)
      Antibiotics are typically regarded as microbial weapons, but whereas their function at concentrations lethal for bacteria is often well characterized, the role of antibiotics at much lower concentrations as possibly found under natural conditions remains poorly understood. By using whole-transcriptome analyses and phenotypic screenings of the marine bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens we found that the broad-spectrum antibiotic tropodithietic acid (TDA) causes the same regulatory effects in quorum sensing (QS) as the common signaling molecule N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) at concentrations 100-fold lower than the minimal inhibitory concentration against bacteria. Our results show that TDA has a significant impact on the expression of ~10% of the total genes of P. inhibens, in the same manner as the AHL. Furthermore, TDA needs the AHL associated LuxR-type transcriptional regulator, just as the AHL molecule. Low concentrations of antibiotics can obviously have a strong influence on the global gene expression of the bacterium that produces it and drastically change the metabolism and behaviour of the bacterium. For P. inhibens this includes motility, biofilm formation and antibiotic production, all important for settlement on new host-associated surfaces. Our results demonstrate that bacteria can produce antibiotics not only to antagonise other bacteria, but also to mediate QS like endogenous AHL molecules.
    • Dysbiosis in chronic periodontitis: Key microbial players and interactions with the human host.

      Deng, Zhi-Luo; Szafrański, Szymon P; Jarek, Michael; Bhuju, Sabin; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7., 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-06-16)
      Periodontitis is an extremely prevalent disease worldwide and is driven by complex dysbiotic microbiota. Here we analyzed the transcriptional activity of the periodontal pocket microbiota from all domains of life as well as the human host in health and chronic periodontitis. Bacteria showed strong enrichment of 18 KEGG functional modules in chronic periodontitis, including bacterial chemotaxis, flagellar assembly, type III secretion system, type III CRISPR-Cas system, and two component system proteins. Upregulation of these functions was driven by the red-complex pathogens and candidate pathogens, e.g. Filifactor alocis, Prevotella intermedia, Fretibacterium fastidiosum and Selenomonas sputigena. Nine virulence factors were strongly up-regulated, among them the arginine deiminase arcA from Porphyromonas gingivalis and Mycoplasma arginini. Viruses and archaea accounted for about 0.1% and 0.22% of total putative mRNA reads, respectively, and a protozoan, Entamoeba gingivalis, was highly enriched in periodontitis. Fourteen human transcripts were enriched in periodontitis, including a gene for a ferric iron binding protein, indicating competition with the microbiota for iron, and genes associated with cancer, namely nucleolar phosphoprotein B23, ankyrin-repeat domain 30B-like protein and beta-enolase. The data provide evidence on the level of gene expression in vivo for the potentially severe impact of the dysbiotic microbiota on human health.
    • Ectopic expression of homeobox gene NKX2-1 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is mediated by aberrant chromatin modifications.

      Nagel, Stefan; Ehrentraut, Stefan; Tomasch, Jürgen; Quentmeier, Hilmar; Meyer, Corinna; Kaufmann, Maren; Drexler, Hans G; MacLeod, Roderick A F; Department of Human and Animal Cell Lines, Leibniz-Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures, Braunschweig, Germany. sna@dsmz.de (2013)
      Homeobox genes encode transcription factors ubiquitously involved in basic developmental processes, deregulation of which promotes cell transformation in multiple cancers including hematopoietic malignancies. In particular, NKL-family homeobox genes TLX1, TLX3 and NKX2-5 are ectopically activated by chromosomal rearrangements in T-cell neoplasias. Here, using transcriptional microarray profiling and RQ-PCR we identified ectopic expression of NKL-family member NKX2-1, in a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cell line SU-DHL-5. Moreover, in silico analysis demonstrated NKX2-1 overexpression in 5% of examined DLBCL patient samples. NKX2-1 is physiologically expressed in lung and thyroid tissues where it regulates differentiation. Chromosomal and genomic analyses excluded rearrangements at the NKX2-1 locus in SU-DHL-5, implying alternative activation. Comparative expression profiling implicated several candidate genes in NKX2-1 regulation, variously encoding transcription factors, chromatin modifiers and signaling components. Accordingly, siRNA-mediated knockdown and overexpression studies confirmed involvement of transcription factor HEY1, histone methyltransferase MLL and ubiquitinated histone H2B in NKX2-1 deregulation. Chromosomal aberrations targeting MLL at 11q23 and the histone gene cluster HIST1 at 6p22 which we observed in SU-DHL-5 may, therefore, represent fundamental mutations mediating an aberrant chromatin structure at NKX2-1. Taken together, we identified ectopic expression of NKX2-1 in DLBCL cells, representing the central player in an oncogenic regulative network compromising B-cell differentiation. Thus, our data extend the paradigm of NKL homeobox gene deregulation in lymphoid malignancies.
    • Environmental biology of the marine Roseobacter lineage.

      Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Biebl, Hanno; National Research Institute for Biotechnology (GBF), Department for Cell Biology, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. iwd@gbf.de (2006)
      The Roseobacter lineage is a phylogenetically coherent, physiologically heterogeneous group of alpha-Proteobacteria comprising up to 25% of marine microbial communities, especially in coastal and polar oceans, and it is the only lineage in which cultivated bacteria are closely related to environmental clones. Currently 41 subclusters are described, covering all major marine ecological niches (seawater, algal blooms, microbial mats, sediments, sea ice, marine invertebrates). Members of the Roseobacter lineage play an important role for the global carbon and sulfur cycle and the climate, since they have the trait of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis, oxidize the greenhouse gas carbon monoxide, and produce the climate-relevant gas dimethylsulfide through the degradation of algal osmolytes. Production of bioactive metabolites and quorum-sensing-regulated control of gene expression mediate their success in complex communities. Studies of representative isolates in culture, whole-genome sequencing, e.g., of Silicibacter pomeroyi, and the analysis of marine metagenome libraries have started to reveal the environmental biology of this important marine group.
    • Functional biomarkers for chronic periodontitis and insights into the roles of Prevotella nigrescens and Fusobacterium nucleatum; a metatranscriptome analysis

      Szafrański, Szymon P; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Jarek, Michael; Bhuju, Sabin; Meisinger, Christa; Kühnisch, Jan; Sztajer, Helena; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-09-23)
    • Functioning of the mercury resistance operon at extremely high Hg(II) loads in a chemostat: a proteome analysis.

      Leonhäuser, Johannes; Wang, Wei; Deckwer, Wolf-Dieter; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Technical University Braunschweig/HZI-Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, Biochemical Engineering, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-12-01)
      The transformation of extremely high concentrations of ionic mercury (up to 500 mg L(-1)) was investigated in a chemostat for two mercury-resistant Pseudomonas putida strains, the sediment isolate Spi3 carrying a regulated mercury resistance (mer) operon, and the genetically engineered strain KT2442Colon, two colonsmer73 expressing the mer operon constitutively. Both strains reduced Hg(II) with an efficiency of 99.9% even at the maximum load, but the concentration of particle bound mercury in the chemostat increased strongly. A proteome analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry (2-DE/MS) showed constant expression of the MerA and MerB proteins in KT2442Colon, two colonsmer73 as expected, while in Spi3 expression of both proteins was strongly dependent on the Hg(II) concentration. The total cellular proteome of the two strains showed very little changes at high Hg(II) load. However, certain cellular responses of the two strains were identified, especially in membrane-related transport proteins. In Spi3, an up to 45-fold strong induction of a cation efflux transporter was observed, accompanied by a drastic downregulation (106-fold) of an outer membrane porin. In such a way, the cell complemented the highly specific mercury resistance mechanism with a general detoxification response. No indication of a higher demand on energy metabolism could be found for both strains.
    • Gene Flow Across Genus Barriers - Conjugation of Dinoroseobacter shibae's 191-kb Killer Plasmid into Phaeobacter inhibens and AHL-mediated Expression of Type IV Secretion Systems.

      Patzelt, Diana; Michael, Victoria; Päuker, Orsola; Ebert, Matthias; Tielen, Petra; Jahn, Dieter; Tomasch, Jürgen; Petersen, Jörn; Wagner-Döbler, Irene (2016)
      Rhodobacteraceae harbor a conspicuous wealth of extrachromosomal replicons (ECRs) and therefore the exchange of genetic material via horizontal transfer has been supposed to be a major evolutionary driving force. Many plasmids in this group encode type IV secretion systems (T4SS) that are expected to mediate transfer of proteins and/or DNA into host cells, but no experimental evidence of either has yet been provided. Dinoroseobacter shibae, a species of the Roseobacter group within the Rhodobacteraceae family, contains five ECRs that are crucial for anaerobic growth, survival under starvation and the pathogenicity of this model organism. Here we tagged two syntenous but compatible RepABC-type plasmids of 191 and 126-kb size, each encoding a T4SS, with antibiotic resistance genes and demonstrated their conjugational transfer into a distantly related Roseobacter species, namely Phaeobacter inhibens. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis showed transfer of those replicons into the recipient both individually but also together documenting the efficiency of conjugation. We then studied the influence of externally added quorum sensing (QS) signals on the expression of the T4SS located on the sister plasmids. A QS deficient D. shibae null mutant (ΔluxI1 ) lacking synthesis of N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) was cultivated with a wide spectrum of chemically diverse long-chain AHLs. All AHLs with lengths of the acid side-chain ≥14 reverted the ΔluxI1 phenotype to wild-type. Expression of the T4SS was induced up to log2 ∼3fold above wild-type level. We hypothesize that conjugation in roseobacters is QS-controlled and that the QS system may detect a wide array of long-chain AHLs at the cell surface.
    • Genetic tools for the investigation of Roseobacter clade bacteria.

      Piekarski, Tanja; Buchholz, Ina; Drepper, Thomas; Schobert, Max; Wagner-Doebler, Irene; Tielen, Petra; Jahn, Dieter (2009)
      The Roseobacter clade represents one of the most abundant, metabolically versatile and ecologically important bacterial groups found in marine habitats. A detailed molecular investigation of the regulatory and metabolic networks of these organisms is currently limited for many strains by missing suitable genetic tools.
    • Genetic variability of mutans streptococci revealed by wide whole-genome sequencing.

      Song, Lifu; Wang, Wei; Conrads, Georg; Rheinberg, Anke; Sztajer, Helena; Reck, Michael; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Zeng, An-Ping; Institute of Bioprocess and Biosystems, Technical University Hamburg Harburg, Hamburg Harburg, Germany. (2013)
      Mutans streptococci are a group of bacteria significantly contributing to tooth decay. Their genetic variability is however still not well understood.
    • Genome of the marine alphaproteobacterium Hoeflea phototrophica type strain (DFL-43T)

      Fiebig, Anne; Pradella, Silke; Petersen, Jörn; Michael, Victoria; Päuker, Orsola; Rohde, Manfred; Göker, Markus; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Wagner-Döbler, Irene (2013)
    • Genome of the R-body producing marine alphaproteobacterium Labrenzia alexandrii type strain (DFL-11(T)).

      Fiebig, Anne; Pradella, Silke; Petersen, Jörn; Päuker, Orsola; Michael, Victoria; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Göker, Markus; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Wagner-Döbler, Irene (2013)
      Labrenzia alexandrii Biebl et al. 2007 is a marine member of the family Rhodobacteraceae in the order Rhodobacterales, which has thus far only partially been characterized at the genome level. The bacterium is of interest because it lives in close association with the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium lusitanicum. Ultrastructural analysis reveals R-bodies within the bacterial cells, which are primarily known from obligate endosymbionts that trigger "killing traits" in ciliates (Paramecium spp.). Genomic traits of L. alexandrii DFL-11(T) are in accordance with these findings, as they include the reb genes putatively involved in R-body synthesis. Analysis of the two extrachromosomal elements suggests a role in heavy-metal resistance and exopolysaccharide formation, respectively. The 5,461,856 bp long genome with its 5,071 protein-coding and 73 RNA genes consists of one chromosome and two plasmids, and has been sequenced in the context of the Marine Microbial Initiative.
    • Genome Organization and Localization of the pufLM Genes of the Photosynthesis Reaction Center in Phylogenetically Diverse Marine Alphaproteobacteria

      Pradella, Silke; Allgaier, Martin; Hoch, Christa; Päuker, Orsola; Stackebrandt, Erko; Wagner-Döbler, Irene (American Society for Microbiology, 2004-06)
    • Genome sequence of the reddish-pigmented Rubellimicrobium thermophilum type strain (DSM 16684T), a member of the Roseobacter clade

      Fiebig, Anne; Riedel, Thomas; Gronow, Sabine; Petersen, Jörn; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Göker, Markus; reseach group microbial communication, Helmholtz Centre for infection research, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany (2014-05-15)
    • A genome-wide study of two-component signal transduction systems in eight newly sequenced mutans streptococci strains

      Song, Lifu; Sudhakar, Padhmanand; Wang, Wei; Conrads, Georg; Brock, Anke; Sun, Jibin; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Zeng, An-Ping (2012-04-04)
      Abstract Background Mutans streptococci are a group of gram-positive bacteria including the primary cariogenic dental pathogen Streptococcus mutans and closely related species. Two component systems (TCSs) composed of a signal sensing histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator (RR) play key roles in pathogenicity, but have not been comparatively studied for these oral bacterial pathogens. Results HKs and RRs of 8 newly sequenced mutans streptococci strains, including S. sobrinus DSM20742, S. ratti DSM20564 and six S. mutans strains, were identified and compared to the TCSs of S. mutans UA159 and NN2025, two previously genome sequenced S. mutans strains. Ortholog analysis revealed 18 TCS clusters (HK-RR pairs), 2 orphan HKs and 2 orphan RRs, of which 8 TCS clusters were common to all 10 strains, 6 were absent in one or more strains, and the other 4 were exclusive to individual strains. Further classification of the predicted HKs and RRs revealed interesting aspects of their putative functions. While TCS complements were comparable within the six S. mutans strains, S. sobrinus DSM20742 lacked TCSs possibly involved in acid tolerance and fructan catabolism, and S. ratti DSM20564 possessed 3 unique TCSs but lacked the quorum-sensing related TCS (ComDE). Selected computational predictions were verified by PCR experiments. Conclusions Differences in the TCS repertoires of mutans streptococci strains, especially those of S. sobrinus and S. ratti in comparison to S. mutans, imply differences in their response mechanisms for survival in the dynamic oral environment. This genomic level study of TCSs should help in understanding the pathogenicity of these mutans streptococci strains.
    • A genome-wide study of two-component signal transduction systems in eight newly sequenced mutans streptococci strains.

      Song, Lifu; Sudhakar, Padhmanand; Wang, Wei; Conrads, Georg; Brock, Anke; Sun, Jibin; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Zeng, An-Ping; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012)
      Mutans streptococci are a group of gram-positive bacteria including the primary cariogenic dental pathogen Streptococcus mutans and closely related species. Two component systems (TCSs) composed of a signal sensing histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator (RR) play key roles in pathogenicity, but have not been comparatively studied for these oral bacterial pathogens.
    • Genomic Analysis of the Evolution of Phototrophy among Haloalkaliphilic Rhodobacterales.

      Kopejtka, Karel; Tomasch, Jürgen; Zeng, Yonghui; Tichý, Martin; Sorokin, Dimitry Y; Koblížek, Michal; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr.7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-07-01)
      A characteristic feature of the order Rhodobacterales is the presence of a large number of photoautotrophic and photoheterotrophic species containing bacteriochlorophyll. Interestingly, these phototrophic species are phylogenetically mixed with chemotrophs. To better understand the origin of such variability, we sequenced the genomes of three closely related haloalkaliphilic species, differing in their phototrophic capacity and oxygen preference: the photoheterotrophic and facultatively anaerobic bacterium Rhodobaca barguzinensis, aerobic photoheterotroph Roseinatronobacter thiooxidans, and aerobic heterotrophic bacterium Natronohydrobacter thiooxidans. These three haloalcaliphilic species are phylogenetically related and share many common characteristics with the Rhodobacter species, forming together the Rhodobacter-Rhodobaca (RR) group. A comparative genomic analysis showed close homology of photosynthetic proteins and similarity in photosynthesis gene organization among the investigated phototrophic RR species. On the other hand, Rhodobaca barguzinensis and Roseinatronobacter thiooxidans lack an inorganic carbon fixation pathway and outer light-harvesting genes. This documents the reduction of their photosynthetic machinery towards a mostly photoheterotrophic lifestyle. Moreover, both phototrophic species contain 5-aminolevulinate synthase (encoded by the hemA gene) incorporated into their photosynthesis gene clusters, which seems to be a common feature of all aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic Alphaproteobacteria. Interestingly, the chrR-rpoE (sigma24) operon, which is part of singlet oxygen defense in phototrophic species, was found in the heterotrophic strain Natronohydrobacter thiooxidans. This suggests that this organism evolved from a photoheterotrophic ancestor through the loss of its photosynthesis genes. The overall evolution of phototrophy among the haloalkaliphilic members of the RR group is discussed.
    • Genomics and physiology of a marine flavobacterium encoding a proteorhodopsin and a xanthorhodopsin-like protein.

      Riedel, Thomas; Gómez-Consarnau, Laura; Tomasch, Jürgen; Martin, Madeleine; Jarek, Michael; González, José M; Spring, Stefan; Rohlfs, Meike; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Cypionka, Heribert; et al. (2013)
      Proteorhodopsin (PR) photoheterotrophy in the marine flavobacterium Dokdonia sp. PRO95 has previously been investigated, showing no growth stimulation in the light at intermediate carbon concentrations. Here we report the genome sequence of strain PRO95 and compare it to two other PR encoding Dokdonia genomes: that of strain 4H-3-7-5 which shows the most similar genome, and that of strain MED134 which grows better in the light under oligotrophic conditions. Our genome analysis revealed that the PRO95 genome as well as the 4H-3-7-5 genome encode a protein related to xanthorhodopsins. The genomic environment and phylogenetic distribution of this gene suggest that it may have frequently been recruited by lateral gene transfer. Expression analyses by RT-PCR and direct mRNA-sequencing showed that both rhodopsins and the complete β-carotene pathway necessary for retinal production are transcribed in PRO95. Proton translocation measurements showed enhanced proton pump activity in response to light, supporting that one or both rhodopsins are functional. Genomic information and carbon source respiration data were used to develop a defined cultivation medium for PRO95, but reproducible growth always required small amounts of yeast extract. Although PRO95 contains and expresses two rhodopsin genes, light did not stimulate its growth as determined by cell numbers in a nutrient poor seawater medium that mimics its natural environment, confirming previous experiments at intermediate carbon concentrations. Starvation or stress conditions might be needed to observe the physiological effect of light induced energy acquisition.
    • The global impact of the delta subunit RpoE of the RNA polymerase on the proteome of Streptococcus mutans.

      Xue, Xiaoli; Li, Jinshan; Wang, Wei; Sztajer, Helena; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Research Group Microbial Communication, Division of Cell Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. Xiaoli.Xue@helmholtz-hzi.de (2012-01)
      Transcriptional specificity in low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria is maintained by RpoE, the delta subunit of the RNA polymerase. Here, we studied the effect of RpoE at the proteome level in the human dental pathogen Streptococcus mutans by comparing the ΔrpoE mutant with the wild-type under five conditions: (0) exponential growth, (1) early stationary phase, (2) acid stress, (3) oxidative stress, and (4) combined acid and oxidative stress. A total of 280 cellular protein spots were reproducibly detected, of which 97 differentially expressed protein spots were identified by MALDI-TOF MS. Lack of RpoE caused downregulation of proteins for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, including phosphoglucomutase (PGM), the phosphopentomutase DeoB and the pyruvate formate-lyase Pfl. The ΔrpoE mutant had extensive changes in the abundance of proteins involved in acid and oxidative tolerance and protein turnover, and of chaperones, at exponential phase in the absence of stress, suggesting a potential internal stress. In addition, the mutant had reduced amounts of proteins for adaptation responses, e.g. the multiple sugar transport and metabolism enzymes required for entering early stationary phase, and the proteins for stress-defence mechanisms and glycolysis under oxidative stress. Comparison of the proteome data with the corresponding transcriptome data suggested that the effects were the result of altered transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. The data are consistent with the reduced transcriptional specificity of the RNA polymerase in the ΔrpoE mutant, and suggest a general impact, but not a specific regulatory role, of RpoE in stress adaptation.