Bacteria exist widely in a diversity of natural environments. In order to survive adverse conditions such as nutrient depletion, biochemical and biological disturbances, and high temperature, bacteria have developed a wide variety of coping mechanisms. Temperature is one of the most important factors that can enhance the expression of microbial proteins. This study was conducted to investigate how outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of the bacterium Shigella flexneri respond to stress, especially during fever when the host's body temperature is elevated.
The non-model microalga Messastrum gracile SE-MC4 is a potential species for biodiesel production. However, low biomass productivity hinders it from passing the life cycle assessment for biodiesel production. Therefore, the current study was aimed at uncovering the differences in the transcriptome profiles of the microalgae at early exponential and early stationary growth phases and dissecting the roles of specific differential expressed genes (DEGs) involved in cell division during M. gracile cultivation. The transcriptome analysis revealed that the photosynthetic integral membrane protein genes such as photosynthetic antenna protein were severely down-regulated during the stationary growth phase. In addition, the signaling pathways involving transcription, glyoxylate metabolism and carbon metabolism were also down-regulated during stationary growth phase. Current findings suggested that the coordination between photosynthetic integral membrane protein genes, signaling through transcription and carbon metabolism classified as prominent strategies during exponential growth stage. These findings can be applied in genetic improvement of M. gracile for biodiesel application.
[Formula: see text]-Helical transmembrane proteins are the most important drug targets in rational drug development. However, solving the experimental structures of these proteins remains difficult, therefore computational methods to accurately and efficiently predict the structures are in great demand. We present an improved structure prediction method TMDIM based on Park et al. (Proteins 57:577-585, 2004) for predicting bitopic transmembrane protein dimers. Three major algorithmic improvements are introduction of the packing type classification, the multiple-condition decoy filtering, and the cluster-based candidate selection. In a test of predicting nine known bitopic dimers, approximately 78% of our predictions achieved a successful fit (RMSD <2.0 Å) and 78% of the cases are better predicted than the two other methods compared. Our method provides an alternative for modeling TM bitopic dimers of unknown structures for further computational studies. TMDIM is freely available on the web at https://cbbio.cis.umac.mo/TMDIM . Website is implemented in PHP, MySQL and Apache, with all major browsers supported.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a family of evolutionary conserved proteins that work as molecular chaperones for cellular proteins essential for cell viability and growth as well as having numerous cyto-protective roles. They are sub-categorised based on their molecular weights; amongst which some of the most extensively studied are the HSP90 and HSP70 families. Important members of these two families; Heat shock proteins 70 and heat shock proteins 90 (Hsp70/90), are the glucose regulated proteins (GRP). These stress-inducible chaperones possess distinct roles from that of the other HSPs, residing mostly in the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, but they can also be translocated to other cellular locations. Their ability in adapting to stress conditions in the tumour microenvironment suggests novel functions in cancer. GRPs have been implicated in many crucial steps of carcinogenesis to include stabilization of oncogenic proteins, induction of tumour angiogenesis, inhibition of apoptosis and replicative senescence, and promotion of invasion and metastasis.
Amoebiasis, caused by Entamoeba histolytica, is one of the leading parasitic infections in the world. This study was aimed at profiling antigenic membrane proteins of a virulent variant of E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS. The membrane proteins were extracted using ProteoExtract® kit (Merck, Darmstadt, Germany) or conventional method, separated using OFFGEL 3100 fractionator (Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, California), followed by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis. Selected antigenic membrane proteins were identified using LC-ESI-MS/MS. Subsequently, the proteins were classified according to their biological processes and predictions were made on membrane and membrane-associated proteins. When the proteins were probed with pooled sera from amoebic liver abscess (ALA) patients, 10 and 15 antigenic proteins with molecular weights 25 to 200 kDa were identified using the ProteoExtract® kit and conventional method, respectively. LC-ESI-MS/MS identified 13 antigenic proteins, and both extraction methods predicted six of them as membrane and membrane-associated proteins. The topmost biological processes which comprised of six proteins were involved in cellular processes.. These antigenic membrane proteins merit further investigations as potential candidates for vaccine studies.
The Plasmodium knowlesi apical membrane antigen-1 (PkAMA-1) plays an important role in the invasion of the parasite into its host erythrocyte, and it has been regarded as a potential vaccine candidate against human knowlesi malaria. This study investigates genetic diversity and natural selection of the full length PkAMA-1 of P. knowlesi clinical isolates from Peninsular Malaysia. Blood samples were collected from P. knowlesi malaria patients from Peninsular Malaysia. The PkAMA-1 gene was amplified from DNA samples using PCR, cloned into a plasmid vector and sequenced. Results showed that nucleotide diversity of the full length PkAMA-1 from Peninsular Malaysia isolates (π: 0.006) was almost similar to that of Sarawak (π: 0.005) and Sabah (π: 0.004) isolates reported in other studies. Deeper analysis revealed Domain I (π: 0.007) in the PkAMA-1 had the highest diversity as compared to Domain II (π: 0.004) and Domain III (π: 0.003). Z-test indicated negative (purifying) selection of the gene. Combined alignment analysis at the amino acid level for the Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak PkAMA-1 sequences revealed 34 polymorphic sites. Thirty-one of these sites were dimorphic, and 3 were trimorphic. The amino acid sequences could be categorised into 31 haplotypes. In the haplotype network, PkAMA-1 from Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak were separated into two groups.
In our earlier study, an immunoblot analysis using sera from febrile patients revealed that a 50-kDa band from an outer membrane protein fraction of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi was specifically recognized only by typhoid sera and not sera from other febrile illnesses. Here, we investigated the identities of the proteins contained in the immunogenic 50-kDa band to pinpoint antigens responsible for its immunogenicity. We first used LC-MS/MS for protein identification, then used the online tool ANTIGENpro for antigenicity prediction and produced recombinant proteins of the lead antigens for validation in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We found that proteins TolC, GlpK and SucB were specific to typhoid sera but react to antibodies differently under native and denatured conditions. This difference suggests the presence of linear and conformational epitopes on these proteins.
Streptococcus pyogenes ST4547 is an opacity factor negative strain, which has been recently reported as a new emm type from Malaysia. Nucleotide sequencing of the mga regulon of this strain showed the existence of two emm-like genes. The emm gene located upstream of the scpA gene comprises 1305 nucleotides encoding the putative precursor M protein of 435 amino acids in length with an M(r) of 49 kDa. or a predicted mature protein of 394 amino acids with an M(r) of 44.8 kDa. Another gene mrpST4547 was located upstream of the emm gene and downstream of the mga gene. The sequence of this mrp gene comprises 1167 nucleotides encoding a predicted protein of 388 amino acids in length with an M(r) of 42.2 kDa. or a predicted mature protein of 347 amino acids with an M(r) of 37.9 kDa. The mga regulon of strain ST4547 has a mosaic structure comprising segments, which originated from different OF positive and OF negative strains. The sequences flanking the hyper-variable and C repeats of the emmST4547 gene showed high similarity to corresponding regions in the mga regulon of OF positive strains notably M15, M4, M22 and M50. In contrast, the sequence within the hyper-variable and C repeat regions of the emmST4547 gene revealed high similarity to equivalent regions in the OF negative strains. These data indicates that horizontal transfer of emm-like gene could have occurred between OF positive and OF negative strains resulting in architectural divergence in the mga regulon.
Entamoeba histolytica membrane proteins are important players toward the pathogenesis of amoebiasis, but the roles of most of the proteins are not fully understood. Since efficient protein extraction method is crucial for a successful MS analysis, three extractions methods are evaluated for the use in studying the membrane proteome of E. histolytica: Two commercial kits (ProteoExtract from Calbiochem and ProteoPrep from Sigma), and a conventional laboratory method. The results show that ProteoExtract and the conventional method gave higher protein yields compared to ProteoPrep. LC-ESI-MS/MS identifies 456, 482, and 551 membrane fraction proteins extracted using ProteoExtract, ProteoPrep, and a conventional method, respectively. In silico analysis predicts 108 (21%), 235 (45%), and 177 (34%) membrane proteins from the extracts of ProteoExtract, ProteoPrep, and the conventional method, respectively. Furthermore, analysis of the cytosolic and membrane fractions shows the highest selectivity of the membrane proteins using the ProteoPrep extraction kit. Overall, this study reports 828 E. histolytica membrane fraction proteins that include 249 predicted membrane proteins. The data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD010171.
Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacterial pathogen that chronically inhabits the human stomach. To survive and maintain advantage, it has evolved unique host-pathogen interactions mediated by Helicobacter-specific proteins in the bacterial outer membrane. These outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are anchored to the cell surface via a C-terminal β-barrel domain, which requires their assembly by the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM). Here we have assessed the complexity of the OMP C-terminal β-barrel domains employed by H. pylori, and characterized the H. pyloriBAM complex. Around 50 Helicobacter-specific OMPs were assessed with predictive structural algorithms. The data suggest that H. pylori utilizes a unique β-barrel architecture that might constitute H. pylori-specific Type V secretions system. The structural and functional diversity in these proteins is encompassed by their extramembrane domains. Bioinformatic and biochemical characterization suggests that the low β-barrel-complexity requires only minimalist assembly machinery. The H. pylori proteins BamA and BamD associate to form a BAM complex, with features of BamA enabling an oligomerization that might represent a mechanism by which a minimalist BAM complex forms a larger, sophisticated machinery capable of servicing the outer membrane proteome of H. pylori.
Nanopillared surfaces have emerged as a promising strategy to combat bacterial infections on medical devices. However, the mechanisms that underpin nanopillar-induced rupture of the bacterial cell membrane remain speculative. In this study, we have tested three medically relevant poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) nanopillared-surfaces with well-defined nanotopographies against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) and contact mechanics analysis were utilised to understand the nanobiophysical response of the bacterial cell envelope to a single nanopillar. Given their importance to bacterial adhesion, the contribution of bacterial surface proteins to nanotopography-mediated cell envelope damage was also investigated. We found that, whilst cell envelope deformation was affected by the nanopillar tip diameter, the nanopillar density affected bacterial metabolic activities. Moreover, three different types of bacterial cell envelope deformation were observed upon contact of bacteria with the nanopillared surfaces. These were attributed to bacterial responses to cell wall stresses resulting from the high intrinsic pressure caused by the engagement of nanopillars by bacterial surface proteins. Such influences of bacterial surface proteins on the antibacterial action of nanopillars have not been previously reported. Our findings will be valuable to the improved design and fabrication of effective antibacterial surfaces.
Prenylation of aromatic natural products by membrane-bound prenyltransferases (PTs) is an important biosynthesis step of many bioactive compounds. At present, only a few plant flavonoid-related PT genes have been functionally characterized, mainly due to the difficulties of expressing these membrane proteins. Rapid and effective methods to produce functional plant membrane proteins are thus indispensable. Here, we evaluated expression systems through cell-based and cell-free approaches to express Boesenbergia rotunda BrPT2 encoding a membrane-bound prenyltransferase. We attempted to express BrPT2 in Escherichia coli and tobacco plants but failed to detect this protein using the Western-blot technique, whereas an intact single band of 43 kDa was detected when BrPT2 was expressed using a cell-free protein synthesis system (PURE). Under in vitro enzymatic condition, the synthesized BrPT2 successfully catalyzed pinostrobin chalcone to pinostrobin. Molecular docking analysis showed that pinostrobin chalcone interacts with BrPT2 at two cavities: (1) the main binding site at the central cavity and (2) the allosteric binding site located away from the central cavity. Our findings suggest that cell-free protein synthesis could be an alternative for rapid production of valuable difficult-to-express membrane proteins.
In this work we assessed the suitability of two different lipid membranes for the simulation of a TolC protein from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. The TolC protein family is found in many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria including Vibrio cholera and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and acts as an outer membrane channel for expulsion of drug and toxin from the cell. In S. typhi, the causative agent for typhoid fever, the TolC outer membrane protein is an antigen for the pathogen. The lipid environment is an important modulator of membrane protein structure and function. We evaluated the conformation of the TolC protein in the presence of DMPE and POPE bilayers using molecular dynamics simulation. The S. typhi TolC protein exhibited similar conformational dynamics to TolC and its homologues. Conformational flexibility of the protein is seen in the C-terminal, extracellular loops, and α-helical region. Despite differences in the two lipids, significant similarities in the motion of the protein in POPE and DMPE were observed, including the rotational motion of the C-terminal residues and the partially open extracellular loops. However, analysis of the trajectories demonstrated effects of hydrophobic matching of the TolC protein in the membrane, particularly in the lengthening of the lipids and subtle movements of the protein's β-barrel towards the lower leaflet in DMPE. The study exhibited the use of molecular dynamics simulation in revealing the differential effect of membrane proteins and lipids on each other. In this study, POPE is potentially a more suitable model for future simulation of the S. typhi TolC protein.
While a group of oral commensals have been implicated in the aetiology of chronic periodontitis; the asaccharolytic Gram negative anaerobe Porphyromonas gingivalis is most commonly reported to be associated with severe forms of the disease. Although a variety of human tissues can produce a number of peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD), enzymes that convert peptide bound arginine residues to citrulline, P. gingivalis is one of the few prokaryotes known to express PAD. Protein and peptide citrullination are important in the development of rheumatoid arthritis and in recent years a number of authors have suggested a possible link between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Indeed, some have linked P. gingivalis directly to RA via the action of PAD. Accordingly, the prime purpose of this study was to further characterise PAD in P. gingivalis cells particular emphasis on substrate specificity, using arginine containing peptides and RA relevant proteins.
Rhoptry protein 2 (ROP2) of Toxoplasma gondii is a rhoptry-secreted protein that plays a critical role in parasitophorous vacuole membrane formation during invasion. In previous studies, ROP2 has been shown to be efficient in triggering humoral and cell-mediated responses. High immunogenicity of ROP2 makes it a potential candidate for diagnosis and vaccination against toxoplasmosis. In this study, the ROP2 gene was cloned into pPICZα A expression vector and extracellularly expressed in the yeast Pichia pastoris, which has numerous advantages over other expression systems for eukaryotic proteins expression. The effectiveness of the secreted recombinant ROP2 as a diagnosis agent was assessed by Western Blot with 200 human serum samples. Recombinant ROP2 reacted with toxoplasmosis-positive human serum samples and yielded an overall sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 95%. However, recombinant ROP2 is a better marker for detection of IgG (91.7%) rather than IgM (80%).
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. have gained increasing significance as opportunistic pathogens in hospitalized patients. Carbapenem resistance is often associated with the loss and/or decrease in outer membrane proteins (OMP) and overexpression of multidrug efflux systems. However, carbapenem-hydrolysing beta-lactamases of Ambler Class B (metallo-enzymes) and Ambler Class D (oxacillinases) have also been detected in Acinetobacter spp. In this study we have investigated the role of the iron regulated outer membrane protein (IROMPs) and the loss of a 29-kDa OMP in carbapenem resistance of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus.
We have investigated the expression of a strain-specific malarial antigen on the surface of erythrocytes infected with knobless (K-) variants of knob-positive (K+) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Aotus blood infected with K+ or K- parasites derived from two independent geographical isolates (Malayan camp and Santa Lucia) was surface iodinated by the lactoperoxidase method. Infected and uninfected erythrocytes were then separated by a new procedure involving equilibrium density sedimentation on a Percoll gradient containing sorbitol. Strain-specific antigens were readily identified on the surface of erythrocytes infected with either of the K+ strains by their characteristic size and detergent solubility. These proteins were not detected on the surface of erythrocytes infected with either of the K- variants nor on uninfected erythrocytes isolated from K+- or K- -infected blood. These results are consistent with a role for the strain-specific surface antigen in cytoadherence of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Our findings represent the second biochemical difference (with the knob-associated histidine-rich protein) between K+ and K- P. falciparum.
With the development of de novo binders for protein targets from non-related scaffolds, many possibilities for therapeutics and diagnostics have been created. In this study, we described the use of de novo design approach to create single-chain fragment variable (scFv) for Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhi TolC protein. Typhoid fever is a global health concern in developing and underdeveloped countries. Rapid typhoid diagnostics will improve disease management and therapy. In this work, molecular dynamics simulation was first performed on a homology model of TolC protein in POPE membrane bilayer to obtain the central structure that was subsequently used as the target for scFv design. Potential hotspot residues capable of anchoring the binders to the target were identified by docking "disembodied" amino acid residues against TolC surface. Next, scFv scaffolds were selected from Protein Data Bank to harbor the computed hotspot residues. The hotspot residues were then incorporated into the scFv scaffold complementarity determining regions. The designs recapitulated binding energy, shape complementarity, and interface surface area of natural protein-antibody interfaces. This approach has yielded 5 designs with high binding affinity against TolC that may be beneficial for the future development of antigen-based detection agents for typhoid diagnostics.
Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic disease caused by pathogenic Leptospira species (Leptospiraceae). LipL32 is an abundant lipoprotein from the outer membrane proteins (OMPs) group, highly conserved among pathogenic and intermediate Leptospira species. Several studies used LipL32 as a specific gene to identify the presence of leptospires. This research was aimed to study the characteristics of LipL32 protein gene code, to fill the knowledge gap concerning the most appropriate gene that can be used as antigen to detect the Leptospira. Here, we investigated the features of LipL32 in fourteen Leptospira pathogenic strains based on comparative analyses of their primary, secondary structures and 3D modeling using a bioinformatics approach. Furthermore, the physicochemical properties of LipL32 in different strains were studied, shedding light on the identity of signal peptides, as well as on the secondary and tertiary structure of the LipL32 protein, supported by 3D modelling assays. The results showed that the LipL32 gene was present in all the fourteen pathogenic Leptospira strains used in this study, with limited diversity in terms of sequence conservation, hydrophobic group, hydrophilic group and number of turns (random coil). Overall, these results add basic knowledge to the characteristics of LipL32 protein, contributing to the identification of potential antigen candidates in future research, in order to ensure prompt and reliable detection of pathogenic Leptospira species.