• Bacillus megaterium--from simple soil bacterium to industrial protein production host.

      Vary, Patricia S; Biedendieck, Rebekka; Fuerch, Tobias; Meinhardt, Friedhelm; Rohde, Manfred; Deckwer, Wolf-Dieter; Jahn, Dieter; Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA. (2007-10)
      Bacillus megaterium has been industrially employed for more than 50 years, as it possesses some very useful and unusual enzymes and a high capacity for the production of exoenzymes. It is also a desirable cloning host for the production of intact proteins, as it does not possess external alkaline proteases and can stably maintain a variety of plasmid vectors. Genetic tools for this species include transducing phages and several hundred mutants covering the processes of biosynthesis, catabolism, division, sporulation, germination, antibiotic resistance, and recombination. The seven plasmids of B. megaterium strain QM B1551 contain several unusual metabolic genes that may be useful in bioremediation. Recently, several recombinant shuttle vectors carrying different strong inducible promoters and various combinations of affinity tags for simple protein purification have been constructed. Leader sequences-mediated export of affinity-tagged proteins into the growth medium was made possible. These plasmids are commercially available. For a broader application of B. megaterium in industry, sporulation and protease-deficient as well as UV-sensitive mutants were constructed. The genome sequence of two different strains, plasmidless DSM319 and QM B1551 carrying seven natural plasmids, is now available. These sequences allow for a systems biotechnology optimization of the production host B. megaterium. Altogether, a "toolbox" of hundreds of genetically characterized strains, genetic methods, vectors, hosts, and genomic sequences make B. megaterium an ideal organism for industrial, environmental, and experimental applications.
    • DnaK from Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis is a surface-exposed human plasminogen receptor upregulated in response to bile salts.

      Candela, Marco; Centanni, Manuela; Fiori, Jessica; Biagi, Elena; Turroni, Silvia; Orrico, Catia; Bergmann, Simone; Hammerschmidt, Sven; Brigidi, Patrizia; Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy. (2010-06)
      Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis lives in the gastrointestinal tract of most mammals, including humans. Recently, for the probiotic strain B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07, a dose-dependent plasminogen-binding activity was demonstrated and five putative plasminogen-binding proteins were identified. Here we investigated the role of surface DnaK as a B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07 plasminogen receptor. DnaK was visualized on the bacterial cell surface by transmission electron microscopy. The His-tagged recombinant DnaK protein showed a high affinity for human plasminogen, with an equilibrium dissociation constant in the nanomolar range. The capability to tolerate physiological concentrations of bile salts is a crucial feature for an intestinal symbiont micro-organism. By proteome analysis we demonstrated that the long-term exposure of B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07 to bile salts results in the upregulation of important surface plasminogen receptors such as DnaK and enolase. Moreover, adaptation of B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07 to physiological concentrations of bile salts significantly increased its capacity to interact with the host plasminogen system. By enhancing the bacterial capacity to interact with the host plasminogen, the gut bile environment may facilitate the colonization of the human host by B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07.
    • M protein-mediated plasminogen binding is essential for the virulence of an invasive Streptococcus pyogenes isolate.

      Dinkla, K; Cole, J N; Cork, A J; Maamary, P G; McArthur, J D; Chhatwal, G S; Walker, M J; School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, 2522, Australia. (2008-08)
      The human protease plasmin plays a crucial role in the capacity of the group A streptococcus (GAS; Streptococcus pyogenes) to initiate invasive disease. The GAS strain NS88.2 was isolated from a case of bacteremia from the Northern Territory of Australia, a region with high rates of GAS invasive disease. Mutagenesis of the NS88.2 plasminogen binding M protein Prp was undertaken to examine the contribution of plasminogen binding and cell surface plasmin acquisition to virulence. The isogenic mutant NS88.2prp was engineered whereby four amino acid residues critical for plasminogen binding were converted to alanine codons in the GAS genome sequence. The mutated residues were reverse complemented to the wild-type sequence to construct GAS strain NS88.2prpRC. In comparison to NS88.2 and NS88.2prpRC, the NS88.2prp mutant exhibited significantly reduced ability to bind human plasminogen and accumulate cell surface plasmin activity during growth in human plasma. Utilizing a humanized plasminogen mouse model of invasive infection, we demonstrate that the capacity to bind plasminogen and accumulate surface plasmin activity plays an essential role in GAS virulence.
    • Region specific and worldwide distribution of collagen-binding M proteins with PARF motifs among human pathogenic streptococcal isolates.

      Reissmann, Silvana; Gillen, Christine M; Fulde, Marcus; Bergmann, René; Nerlich, Andreas; Rajkumari, Reena; Brahmadathan, Kootallur N; Chhatwal, Gursharan S; Nitsche-Schmitz, D Patric; Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2012)
      Some of the variety of Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus dysgalactiae ssp. equisimilis (SDSE) M proteins act as collagen-binding adhesins that facilitate acute infection. Moreover, their potential to trigger collagen autoimmunity has been implicated in the pathogenesis of acute rheumatic fever and attributed to a collagen-binding motif called PARF (peptide associated with rheumatic fever). For the first time we determine the rate of clinical isolates with collagen-binding M proteins that use a PARF motif (A/T/E)XYLXX(L/F)N in a defined geographic region, Vellore in South India. In this region both, incidence of streptococcal infections and prevalence of acute rheumatic fever are high. M proteins with PARF motif conferred collagen-binding activity to 3.9% of 153 S. pyogenes and 10.6% of 255 SDSE clinical isolates from Vellore. The PARF motif occurred in three S. pyogenes and 22 SDSE M protein types. In one of the S. pyogenes and five of the SDSE M proteins that contained the motif, collagen-binding was impaired, due to influences of other parts of the M protein molecule. The accumulated data on the collagen binding activity of certain M protein types allowed a reanalysis of published worldwide emm-typing data with the aim to estimate the rates of isolates that bind collagen via PARF. The results indicate that M proteins, which bind collagen via a PARF motif, are epidemiologically relevant in human infections, not only in Vellore. It is imperative to include the most relevant collagen-binding M types in vaccines. But when designing M protein based vaccines it should be considered that collagen binding motifs within the vaccine antigen remain potential risk factors.