• Comparative genomics and transcriptomics of lineages I, II, and III strains of Listeria monocytogenes

      Hain, Torsten; Ghai, Rohit; Billion, André; Kuenne, Carsten T; Steinweg, Christiane; Izar, Benjamin; Mohamed, Walid; Mraheil, Mobarak A; Domann, Eugen; Schaffrath, Silke; et al. (2012-04-24)
      Abstract Background Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne pathogen that causes infections with a high-mortality rate and has served as an invaluable model for intracellular parasitism. Here, we report complete genome sequences for two L. monocytogenes strains belonging to serotype 4a (L99) and 4b (CLIP80459), and transcriptomes of representative strains from lineages I, II, and III, thereby permitting in-depth comparison of genome- and transcriptome -based data from three lineages of L. monocytogenes. Lineage III, represented by the 4a L99 genome is known to contain strains less virulent for humans. Results The genome analysis of the weakly pathogenic L99 serotype 4a provides extensive evidence of virulence gene decay, including loss of several important surface proteins. The 4b CLIP80459 genome, unlike the previously sequenced 4b F2365 genome harbours an intact inlB invasion gene. These lineage I strains are characterized by the lack of prophage genes, as they share only a single prophage locus with other L. monocytogenes genomes 1/2a EGD-e and 4a L99. Comparative transcriptome analysis during intracellular growth uncovered adaptive expression level differences in lineages I, II and III of Listeria, notable amongst which was a strong intracellular induction of flagellar genes in strain 4a L99 compared to the other lineages. Furthermore, extensive differences between strains are manifest at levels of metabolic flux control and phosphorylated sugar uptake. Intriguingly, prophage gene expression was found to be a hallmark of intracellular gene expression. Deletion mutants in the single shared prophage locus of lineage II strain EGD-e 1/2a, the lma operon, revealed severe attenuation of virulence in a murine infection model. Conclusion Comparative genomics and transcriptome analysis of L. monocytogenes strains from three lineages implicate prophage genes in intracellular adaptation and indicate that gene loss and decay may have led to the emergence of attenuated lineages.
    • GeneReporter--sequence-based document retrieval and annotation.

      Bartsch, Annekathrin; Bunk, Boyke; Haddad, Isam; Klein, Johannes; Münch, Richard; Johl, Thorsten; Kärst, Uwe; Jänsch, Lothar; Jahn, Dieter; Retter, Ida; et al. (2011-04-01)
      GeneReporter is a web tool that reports functional information and relevant literature on a protein-coding sequence of interest. Its purpose is to support both manual genome annotation and document retrieval. PubMed references corresponding to a sequence are detected by the extraction of query words from UniProt entries of homologous sequences. Data on protein families, domains, potential cofactors, structure, function, cellular localization, metabolic contribution and corresponding DNA binding sites complement the information on a given gene product of interest.
    • Inactivation of Lgt allows systematic characterization of lipoproteins from Listeria monocytogenes.

      Baumgärtner, Maja; Kärst, Uwe; Gerstel, Birgit; Loessner, Martin; Wehland, Jürgen; Jänsch, Lothar; Department of Cell Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-01)
      Lipoprotein anchoring in bacteria is mediated by the prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase (Lgt), which catalyzes the transfer of a diacylglyceryl moiety to the prospective N-terminal cysteine of the mature lipoprotein. Deletion of the lgt gene in the gram-positive pathogen Listeria monocytogenes (i) impairs intracellular growth of the bacterium in different eukaryotic cell lines and (ii) leads to increased release of lipoproteins into the culture supernatant. Comparative extracellular proteome analyses of the EGDe wild-type strain and the Delta lgt mutant provided systematic insight into the relative expression of lipoproteins. Twenty-six of the 68 predicted lipoproteins were specifically released into the extracellular proteome of the Delta lgt strain, and this proved that deletion of lgt is an excellent approach for experimental verification of listerial lipoproteins. Consequently, we generated Delta lgt Delta prfA double mutants to detect lipoproteins belonging to the main virulence regulon that is controlled by PrfA. Overall, we identified three lipoproteins whose extracellular levels are regulated and one lipoprotein that is posttranslationally modified depending on PrfA. It is noteworthy that in contrast to previous studies of Escherichia coli, we unambiguously demonstrated that lipidation by Lgt is not a prerequisite for activity of the lipoprotein-specific signal peptidase II (Lsp) in Listeria.
    • Terahertz electromagnetic fields (0.106 THz) do not induce manifest genomic damage in vitro.

      Hintzsche, Henning; Jastrow, Christian; Kleine-Ostmann, Thomas; Kärst, Uwe; Schrader, Thorsten; Stopper, Helga; Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany. (2012)
      Terahertz electromagnetic fields are non-ionizing electromagnetic fields in the frequency range from 0.1 to 10 THz. Potential applications of these electromagnetic fields include the whole body scanners, which currently apply millimeter waves just below the terahertz range, but future scanners will use higher frequencies in the terahertz range. These and other applications will bring along human exposure to these fields. Up to now, only a limited number of investigations on biological effects of terahertz electromagnetic fields have been performed. Therefore, research is strongly needed to enable reliable risk assessment.Cells were exposed for 2 h, 8 h, and 24 h with different power intensities ranging from 0.04 mW/cm(2) to 2 mW/cm(2), representing levels below, at, and above current safety limits. Genomic damage on the chromosomal level was measured as micronucleus formation. DNA strand breaks and alkali-labile sites were quantified with the comet assay. No DNA strand breaks or alkali-labile sites were observed as a consequence of exposure to terahertz electromagnetic fields in the comet assay. The fields did not cause chromosomal damage in the form of micronucleus induction.