• Tumour-targeting bacteria-based cancer therapies for increased specificity and improved outcome.

      Felgner, Sebastian; Pawar, Vinay; Kocijancic, Dino; Erhardt, Marc; Weiss, Siegfried; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08-03)
    • Variability in bacterial flagella re-growth patterns after breakage.

      Paradis, Guillaume; Chevance, Fabienne F V; Liou, Willisa; Renault, Thibaud T; Hughes, Kelly T; Rainville, Simon; Erhardt, Marc; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-04-28)
      Many bacteria swim through liquids or crawl on surfaces by rotating long appendages called flagella. Flagellar filaments are assembled from thousands of subunits that are exported through a narrow secretion channel and polymerize beneath a capping scaffold at the tip of the growing filament. The assembly of a flagellum uses a significant proportion of the biosynthetic capacities of the cell with each filament constituting ~1% of the total cell protein. Here, we addressed a significant question whether a flagellar filament can form a new cap and resume growth after breakage. Re-growth of broken filaments was visualized using sequential 3-color fluorescent labeling of filaments after mechanical shearing. Differential electron microscopy revealed the formation of new cap structures on broken filaments that re-grew. Flagellar filaments are therefore able to re-grow if broken by mechanical shearing forces, which are expected to occur frequently in nature. In contrast, no re-growth was observed on filaments that had been broken using ultrashort laser pulses, a technique allowing for very local damage to individual filaments. We thus conclude that assembly of a new cap at the tip of a broken filament depends on how the filament was broken.
    • YopN and TyeA Hydrophobic Contacts Required for Regulating Ysc-Yop Type III Secretion Activity by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

      Amer, Ayad A A; Gurung, Jyoti M; Costa, Tiago R D; Ruuth, Kristina; Zavialov, Anton V; Forsberg, Åke; Francis, Matthew S; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      Yersinia bacteria target Yop effector toxins to the interior of host immune cells by the Ysc-Yop type III secretion system. A YopN-TyeA heterodimer is central to controlling Ysc-Yop targeting activity. A + 1 frameshift event in the 3-prime end of yopN can also produce a singular secreted YopN-TyeA polypeptide that retains some regulatory function even though the C-terminal coding sequence of this YopN differs greatly from wild type. Thus, this YopN C-terminal segment was analyzed for its role in type III secretion control. Bacteria producing YopN truncated after residue 278, or with altered sequence between residues 279 and 287, had lost type III secretion control and function. In contrast, YopN variants with manipulated sequence beyond residue 287 maintained full control and function. Scrutiny of the YopN-TyeA complex structure revealed that residue W279 functioned as a likely hydrophobic contact site with TyeA. Indeed, a YopN W279G mutant lost all ability to bind TyeA. The TyeA residue F8 was also critical for reciprocal YopN binding. Thus, we conclude that specific hydrophobic contacts between opposing YopN and TyeA termini establishes a complex needed for regulating Ysc-Yop activity.