July 19, 2019  |  

Genome-wide mapping of methylated adenine residues in pathogenic Escherichia coli using single-molecule real-time sequencing.

Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) DNA sequencing allows the systematic detection of chemical modifications such as methylation but has not previously been applied on a genome-wide scale. We used this approach to detect 49,311 putative 6-methyladenine (m6A) residues and 1,407 putative 5-methylcytosine (m5C) residues in the genome of a pathogenic Escherichia coli strain. We obtained strand-specific information for methylation sites and a quantitative assessment of the frequency of methylation at each modified position. We deduced the sequence motifs recognized by the methyltransferase enzymes present in this strain without prior knowledge of their specificity. Furthermore, we found that deletion of a phage-encoded methyltransferase-endonuclease (restriction-modification; RM) system induced global transcriptional changes and led to gene amplification, suggesting that the role of RM systems extends beyond protecting host genomes from foreign DNA.


July 19, 2019  |  

Going beyond five bases in DNA sequencing.

DNA sequencing has provided a wealth of information about biological systems, but thus far has focused on the four canonical bases, and 5-methylcytosine through comparison of the genomic DNA sequence to a transformed four-base sequence obtained after treatment with bisulfite. However, numerous other chemical modifications to the nucleotides are known to control fundamental life functions, influence virulence of pathogens, and are associated with many diseases. These modifications cannot be accessed with traditional sequencing methods. In this opinion, we highlight several emerging single-molecule sequencing techniques that have the potential to directly detect many types of DNA modifications as an integral part of the sequencing protocol. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Exploring bacterial epigenomics in the next-generation sequencing era: a new approach for an emerging frontier.

Epigenetics has an important role for the success of foodborne pathogen persistence in diverse host niches. Substantial challenges exist in determining DNA methylation to situation-specific phenotypic traits. DNA modification, mediated by restriction-modification systems, functions as an immune response against antagonistic external DNA, and bacteriophage-acquired methyltransferases (MTase) and orphan MTases – those lacking the cognate restriction endonuclease – facilitate evolution of new phenotypes via gene expression modulation via DNA and RNA modifications, including methylation and phosphorothioation. Recent establishment of large-scale genome sequencing projects will result in a significant increase in genome availability that will lead to new demands for data analysis including new predictive bioinformatics approaches that can be verified with traditional scientific rigor. Sequencing technologies that detect modification coupled with mass spectrometry to discover new adducts is a powerful tactic to study bacterial epigenetics, which is poised to make novel and far-reaching discoveries that link biological significance and the bacterial epigenome. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Sequence data for Clostridium autoethanogenum using three generations of sequencing technologies.

During the past decade, DNA sequencing output has been mostly dominated by the second generation sequencing platforms which are characterized by low cost, high throughput and shorter read lengths for example, Illumina. The emergence and development of so called third generation sequencing platforms such as PacBio has permitted exceptionally long reads (over 20?kb) to be generated. Due to read length increases, algorithm improvements and hybrid assembly approaches, the concept of one chromosome, one contig and automated finishing of microbial genomes is now a realistic and achievable task for many microbial laboratories. In this paper, we describe high quality sequence datasets which span three generations of sequencing technologies, containing six types of data from four NGS platforms and originating from a single microorganism, Clostridium autoethanogenum. The dataset reported here will be useful for the scientific community to evaluate upcoming NGS platforms, enabling comparison of existing and novel bioinformatics approaches and will encourage interest in the development of innovative experimental and computational methods for NGS data.


July 19, 2019  |  

DNA methylation on N6-adenine in C. elegans.

In mammalian cells, DNA methylation on the fifth position of cytosine (5mC) plays an important role as an epigenetic mark. However, DNA methylation was considered to be absent in C. elegans because of the lack of detectable 5mC, as well as homologs of the cytosine DNA methyltransferases. Here, using multiple approaches, we demonstrate the presence of adenine N(6)-methylation (6mA) in C. elegans DNA. We further demonstrate that this modification increases trans-generationally in a paradigm of epigenetic inheritance. Importantly, we identify a DNA demethylase, NMAD-1, and a potential DNA methyltransferase, DAMT-1, which regulate 6mA levels and crosstalk between methylations of histone H3K4 and adenines and control the epigenetic inheritance of phenotypes associated with the loss of the H3K4me2 demethylase spr-5. Together, these data identify a DNA modification in C. elegans and raise the exciting possibility that 6mA may be a carrier of heritable epigenetic information in eukaryotes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome modification in Enterococcus faecalis OG1RF assessed by bisulfite sequencing and Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing.

Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive bacterium that natively colonizes the human gastrointestinal tract and opportunistically causes life-threatening infections. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. faecalis strains have emerged, reducing treatment options for these infections. MDR E. faecalis strains have large genomes containing mobile genetic elements (MGEs) that harbor genes for antibiotic resistance and virulence determinants. Bacteria commonly possess genome defense mechanisms to block MGE acquisition, and we hypothesize that these mechanisms have been compromised in MDR E. faecalis. In restriction-modification (R-M) defense, the bacterial genome is methylated at cytosine (C) or adenine (A) residues by a methyltransferase (MTase), such that nonself DNA can be distinguished from self DNA. A cognate restriction endonuclease digests improperly modified nonself DNA. Little is known about R-M in E. faecalis. Here, we use genome resequencing to identify DNA modifications occurring in the oral isolate OG1RF. OG1RF has one of the smallest E. faecalis genomes sequenced to date and possesses few MGEs. Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) and bisulfite sequencing revealed that OG1RF has global 5-methylcytosine (m5C) methylation at 5′-GCWGC-3′ motifs. A type II R-M system confers the m5C modification, and disruption of this system impacts OG1RF electrotransformability and conjugative transfer of an antibiotic resistance plasmid. A second DNA MTase was poorly expressed under laboratory conditions but conferred global N(4)-methylcytosine (m4C) methylation at 5′-CCGG-3′ motifs when expressed in Escherichia coli. Based on our results, we conclude that R-M can act as a barrier to MGE acquisition and likely influences antibiotic resistance gene dissemination in the E. faecalis species.The horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria is a critical public health concern. Enterococcus faecalis is an opportunistic pathogen that causes life-threatening infections in humans. Multidrug resistance acquired by horizontal gene transfer limits treatment options for these infections. In this study, we used innovative DNA sequencing methodologies to investigate how a model strain of E. faecalis discriminates its own DNA from foreign DNA, i.e., self versus nonself discrimination. We also assess the role of an E. faecalis genome modification system in modulating conjugative transfer of an antibiotic resistance plasmid. These results are significant because they demonstrate that differential genome modification impacts horizontal gene transfer frequencies in E. faecalis. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Short communication: Single molecule, real-time sequencing technology revealed species- and strain-specific methylation patterns of 2 Lactobacillus strains.

Pacific Biosciences’ (Menlo Park, CA) single molecule, real-time sequencing technology was reported to have some advantages in generating finished genomes and characterizing the epigenome of bacteria. In the present study, this technology was used to sequence 2 Lactobacillus strains, Lactobacillus casei Zhang and Lactobacillus plantarum P-8. Previously, the former bacterium was sequenced by an Applied Biosystems 3730 DNA analyzer (Grand Island, NY), whereas the latter one was analyzed with Roche 454 (Indianapolis, IN) and Illumina sequencing technologies (San Diego, CA). The results showed that single molecule, real-time sequencing resulted in high-quality, finished genomes for both strains. Interestingly, epigenome analysis indicates the presence of 1 active N(6)-methyladenine methyltransferase in L. casei Zhang, but none in L. plantarum P-8. Our study revealed for the first time a completely different methylation pattern in 2 Lactobacillus strains. Copyright © 2015 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Biochemical characterization of a Naegleria TET-like oxygenase and its application in single molecule sequencing of 5-methylcytosine.

Modified DNA bases in mammalian genomes, such as 5-methylcytosine ((5m)C) and its oxidized forms, are implicated in important epigenetic regulation processes. In human or mouse, successive enzymatic conversion of (5m)C to its oxidized forms is carried out by the ten-eleven translocation (TET) proteins. Previously we reported the structure of a TET-like (5m)C oxygenase (NgTET1) from Naegleria gruberi, a single-celled protist evolutionarily distant from vertebrates. Here we show that NgTET1 is a 5-methylpyrimidine oxygenase, with activity on both (5m)C (major activity) and thymidine (T) (minor activity) in all DNA forms tested, and provide unprecedented evidence for the formation of 5-formyluridine ((5f)U) and 5-carboxyuridine ((5ca)U) in vitro. Mutagenesis studies reveal a delicate balance between choice of (5m)C or T as the preferred substrate. Furthermore, our results suggest substrate preference by NgTET1 to (5m)CpG and TpG dinucleotide sites in DNA. Intriguingly, NgTET1 displays higher T-oxidation activity in vitro than mammalian TET1, supporting a closer evolutionary relationship between NgTET1 and the base J-binding proteins from trypanosomes. Finally, we demonstrate that NgTET1 can be readily used as a tool in (5m)C sequencing technologies such as single molecule, real-time sequencing to map (5m)C in bacterial genomes at base resolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

The genomic landscape of the verrucomicrobial methanotroph Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV.

Aerobic methanotrophs can grow in hostile volcanic environments and use methane as their sole source of energy. The discovery of three verrucomicrobial Methylacidiphilum strains has revealed diverse metabolic pathways used by these methanotrophs, including mechanisms through which methane is oxidized. The basis of a complete understanding of these processes and of how these bacteria evolved and are able to thrive in such extreme environments partially resides in the complete characterization of their genome and its architecture.In this study, we present the complete genome sequence of Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV, obtained using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology. The genome assembles to a single 2.5 Mbp chromosome with an average GC content of 41.5%. The genome contains 2,741 annotated genes and 314 functional subsystems including all key metabolic pathways that are associated with Methylacidiphilum strains, including the CBB pathway for CO2 fixation. However, it does not encode the serine cycle and ribulose monophosphate pathways for carbon fixation. Phylogenetic analysis of the particulate methane mono-oxygenase operon separates the Methylacidiphilum strains from other verrucomicrobial methanotrophs. RNA-Seq analysis of cell cultures growing in three different conditions revealed the deregulation of two out of three pmoCAB operons. In addition, genes involved in nitrogen fixation were upregulated in cell cultures growing in nitrogen fixing conditions, indicating the presence of active nitrogenase. Characterization of the global methylation state of M. fumariolicum SolV revealed methylation of adenines and cytosines mainly in the coding regions of the genome. Methylation of adenines was predominantly associated with 5′-m6ACN4GT-3′ and 5′-CCm6AN5CTC-3′ methyltransferase recognition motifs whereas methylated cytosines were not associated with any specific motif.Our findings provide novel insights into the global methylation state of verrucomicrobial methanotroph M. fumariolicum SolV. However, partial conservation of methyltransferases between M. fumariolicum SolV and M. infernorum V4 indicates potential differences in the global methylation state of Methylacidiphilum strains. Unravelling the M. fumariolicum SolV genome and its epigenetic regulation allow for robust characterization of biological processes that are involved in oxidizing methane. In turn, they offer a better understanding of the evolution, the underlying physiological and ecological properties of SolV and other Methylacidiphilum strains.


July 7, 2019  |  

Enhanced 5-methylcytosine detection in single-molecule, real-time sequencing via Tet1 oxidation.

DNA methylation serves as an important epigenetic mark in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. In eukaryotes, the most common epigenetic mark is 5-methylcytosine, whereas prokaryotes can have 6-methyladenine, 4-methylcytosine, or 5-methylcytosine. Single-molecule, real-time sequencing is capable of directly detecting all three types of modified bases. However, the kinetic signature of 5-methylcytosine is subtle, which presents a challenge for detection. We investigated whether conversion of 5-methylcytosine to 5-carboxylcytosine using the enzyme Tet1 would enhance the kinetic signature, thereby improving detection.We characterized the kinetic signatures of various cytosine modifications, demonstrating that 5-carboxylcytosine has a larger impact on the local polymerase rate than 5-methylcytosine. Using Tet1-mediated conversion, we show improved detection of 5-methylcytosine using in vitro methylated templates and apply the method to the characterization of 5-methylcytosine sites in the genomes of Escherichia coli MG1655 and Bacillus halodurans C-125.We have developed a method for the enhancement of directly detecting 5-methylcytosine during single-molecule, real-time sequencing. Using Tet1 to convert 5-methylcytosine to 5-carboxylcytosine improves the detection rate of this important epigenetic marker, thereby complementing the set of readily detectable microbial base modifications, and enhancing the ability to interrogate eukaryotic epigenetic markers.


July 7, 2019  |  

MethSMRT: an integrative database for DNA N6-methyladenine and N4-methylcytosine generated by single-molecular real-time sequencing

DNA methylation is an important type of epigenetic modifications, where 5- methylcytosine (5mC), 6-methyadenine (6mA) and 4-methylcytosine (4mC) are the most common types. Previous efforts have been largely focused on 5mC, providing invaluable insights into epigenetic regulation through DNA methylation. Recently developed single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology provides a unique opportunity to detect the less studied DNA 6mA and 4mC modifications at single-nucleotide resolution. With a rapidly increased amount of SMRT sequencing data generated, there is an emerging demand to systematically explore DNA 6mA and 4mC modifications from these data sets. MethSMRT is the first resource hosting DNA 6mA and 4mC methylomes. All the data sets were processed using the same analysis pipeline with the same quality control. The current version of the database provides a platform to store, browse, search and download epigenome-wide methylation profiles of 156 species, including seven eukaryotes such as Arabidopsis, C. elegans, Drosophila, mouse and yeast, as well as 149 prokaryotes. It also offers a genome browser to visualize the methylation sites and related information such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and genomic annotation. Furthermore, the database provides a quick summary of statistics of methylome of 6mA and 4mC and predicted methylation motifs for each species. MethSMRT is publicly available at http://sysbio.sysu.edu.cn/methsmrt/ without use restriction.


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