July 7, 2019  |  

Whole genome sequencing analysis of the cutaneous pathogenic yeast Malassezia restricta and identification of the major lipase expressed on the scalp of patients with dandruff.

Malassezia species are opportunistic pathogenic fungi that are frequently associated with seborrhoeic dermatitis, including dandruff. Most Malassezia species are lipid dependent, a property that is compensated by breaking down host sebum into fatty acids by lipases. In this study, we aimed to sequence and analyse the whole genome of Malassezia restricta KCTC 27527, a clinical isolate from a Korean patient with severe dandruff, to search for lipase orthologues and identify the lipase that is the most frequently expressed on the scalp of patients with dandruff. The genome of M. restricta KCTC 27527 was sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq and PacBio platforms. Lipase orthologues were identified by comparison with known lipase genes in the genomes of Malassezia globosa and Malassezia sympodialis. The expression of the identified lipase genes was directly evaluated in swab samples from the scalps of 56 patients with dandruff. We found that, among the identified lipase-encoding genes, the gene encoding lipase homolog MRES_03670, named LIP5 in this study, was the most frequently expressed lipase in the swab samples. Our study provides an overview of the genome of a clinical isolate of M. restricta and fundamental information for elucidating the role of lipases during fungus-host interaction.© 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


July 7, 2019  |  

Accelerated dysbiosis of gut microbiota during aggravation of DSS-induced colitis by a butyrate-producing bacterium.

Butyrate-producing bacteria (BPB) are potential probiotic candidates for inflammatory bowel diseases as they are often depleted in the diseased gut microbiota. However, here we found that augmentation of a human-derived butyrate-producing strain, Anaerostipes hadrus BPB5, significantly aggravated colitis in dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-treated mice while exerted no detrimental effect in healthy mice. We explored how the interaction between BPB5 and gut microbiota may contribute to this differential impact on the hosts. Butyrate production and severity of colitis were assessed in both healthy and DSS-treated mice, and gut microbiota structural changes were analysed using high-throughput sequencing. BPB5-inoculated healthy mice showed no signs of colitis, but increased butyrate content in the gut. In DSS-treated mice, BPB5 augmentation did not increase butyrate content, but induced significantly more severe disease activity index and much higher mortality. BPB5 didn’t induce significant changes of gut microbiota in healthy hosts, but expedited the structural shifts 3 days earlier toward the disease phase in BPB5-augmented than DSS-treated animals. The differential response of gut microbiota in healthy and DSS-treated mice to the same potentially beneficial bacterium with drastically different health consequences suggest that animals with dysbiotic gut microbiota should also be employed for the safety assessment of probiotic candidates.


July 7, 2019  |  

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG outcompetes Enterococcus faecium by mucus-binding pili – Evidence for a novel probiotic mechanism on a distance.

Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) have become a major nosocomial threat. Enterococcus faecium is of special concern, as it can easily acquire new antibiotic resistances and is an excellent colonizer of the human intestinal tract. Several clinical studies have explored the potential use of beneficial bacteria to weed out opportunistic pathogens. Specifically, the widely studied Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG has been applied successfully in the context of VRE infections. Here, we provide new insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of this model probiotic on VRE decolonization. Both clinical VRE isolates and L. rhamnosus GG express pili on their cell walls, which are the key modulators of their highly efficient colonization of the intestinal mucosa. We found that one of the VRE pilus clusters shares considerable sequence similarity with the SpaCBA-SrtC1 pilus cluster of L. rhamnosus GG. Remarkable immunological and functional similarities were discovered between the mucus-binding pili of L. rhamnosus GG and those of the clinical E. faecium strain E1165, which was characterized at the genome level. Moreover, E. faecium strain E1165 bound efficiently to mucus, which may be prevented by the presence of the mucus-binding SpaC protein or antibodies against L. rhamnosus GG or SpaC. These results present experimental support for a novel probiotic mechanism, in which the mucus-binding pili of L. rhamnosus GG prevent the binding of a potential pathogen to the host. Hence, we provide a molecular basis for the further exploitation of L. rhamnosus GG and its pilins for prophylaxis and treatment of VRE infections. IMPORTANCE Concern about vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium causing nosocomial infections is rising globally. The arsenal of antibiotic strategies to treat these infections is nearly exhausted, and hence, new treatment strategies are urgently needed. Here, we provide molecular evidence to underpin reports of the successful clinical application of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in VRE decolonization strategies. Our results provide support for a new molecular mechanism, in which probiotics can perform competitive exclusion and possibly immune interaction. Moreover, we spur further exploration of the potential of intact L. rhamnosus GG and purified SpaC pilin as prophylactic and curative agents of the VRE carrier state.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative evaluation of the genomes of three common Drosophila-associated bacteria.

Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model to explore the molecular exchanges that occur between an animal intestine and associated microbes. Previous studies in Drosophila uncovered a sophisticated web of host responses to intestinal bacteria. The outcomes of these responses define critical events in the host, such as the establishment of immune responses, access to nutrients, and the rate of larval development. Despite our steady march towards illuminating the host machinery that responds to bacterial presence in the gut, there are significant gaps in our understanding of the microbial products that influence bacterial association with a fly host. We sequenced and characterized the genomes of three common Drosophila-associated microbes: Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis and Acetobacter pasteurianus For each species, we compared the genomes of Drosophila-associated strains to the genomes of strains isolated from alternative sources. We found that environmental Lactobacillus strains readily associated with adult Drosophila and were similar to fly isolates in terms of genome organization. In contrast, we identified a strain of A. pasteurianus that apparently fails to associate with adult Drosophila due to an inability to grow on fly nutrient food. Comparisons between association competent and incompetent A. pasteurianus strains identified a short list of candidate genes that may contribute to survival on fly medium. Many of the gene products unique to fly-associated strains have established roles in the stabilization of host-microbe interactions. These data add to a growing body of literature that examines the microbial perspective of host-microbe relationships. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Susan Celniker: Foundational resources to study a dynamic genome.

The Genetics Society of America’s George W. Beadle Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community of genetics researchers and who exemplify the qualities of its namesake. The 2016 recipient, Susan E. Celniker, played a key role in the sequencing, annotation, and characterization of the Drosophila genome. She participated in early sequencing efforts at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and led the modENCODE Fly Transcriptome Consortium. Her efforts were critical to ensuring that the Drosophila genome was well-annotated, making it one of the best curated animal genomes available. As the Principal Investigator for the BDGP, Celniker has enabled the study of proteomes by creating a collection of over 13,000 clones that match annotated genes for protein expression in cells or transgenic flies, and she has established the most comprehensive spatial gene expression atlas in any organism, with in situ imaging of more than 80% of the Drosophila protein-coding transcriptome through embryogenesis. In addition to providing the research community with these invaluable resources and reagents, she continues to develop new tools and datasets for genetics researchers to explore the spatial and temporal control of gene expression.


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