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November 1, 2018

Deep genome annotation of the opportunistic human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae D39.

A precise understanding of the genomic organization into transcriptional units and their regulation is essential for our comprehension of opportunistic human pathogens and how they cause disease. Using single-molecule real-time (PacBio) sequencing we unambiguously determined the genome sequence of Streptococcus pneumoniae strain D39 and revealed several inversions previously undetected by short-read sequencing. Significantly, a chromosomal inversion results in antigenic variation of PhtD, an important surface-exposed virulence factor. We generated a new genome annotation using automated tools, followed by manual curation, reflecting the current knowledge in the field. By combining sequence-driven terminator prediction, deep paired-end transcriptome sequencing and enrichment of primary…

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October 25, 2017

Gene acquisition by a distinct phyletic group within Streptococcus pneumoniae promotes adhesion to the ocular epithelium.

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) displays broad tissue tropism and infects multiple body sites in the human host. However, infections of the conjunctiva are limited to strains within a distinct phyletic group with multilocus sequence types ST448, ST344, ST1186, ST1270, and ST2315. In this study, we sequenced the genomes of six pneumococcal strains isolated from eye infections. The conjunctivitis isolates are grouped in a distinct phyletic group together with a subset of nasopharyngeal isolates. The keratitis (infection of the cornea) and endophthalmitis (infection of the vitreous body) isolates are grouped with the remainder of pneumococcal strains. Phenotypic characterization is consistent with morphological…

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September 1, 2017

Genome evolution to penicillin resistance in serotype 3 Streptococcus pneumoniae by capsular switching.

Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates of serotype 3 were collected from cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (n= 124) throughout Japan between April 2010 and March 2013. A penicillin-resistantS. pneumoniae(PRSP) isolate from an adult patient, strain KK0981 of serotype 3, was identified among these strains. Whole-genome analysis characterized this PRSP as a recombinant strain derived from PRSP of serotype 23F with thecpslocus (20.3 kb) replaced by that of a penicillin-susceptible strain of serotype 3. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

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February 16, 2017

Complete genome sequences of three multidrug-resistant clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 19A with different susceptibilities to the myxobacterial metabolite carolacton.

The full-genome sequences of three drug- and multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae clinical isolates of serotype 19A were determined by PacBio single-molecule real-time sequencing, in combination with Illumina MiSeq sequencing. A comparison to the genomes of other pneumococci indicates a high nucleotide sequence identity to strains Hungary19A-6 and TCH8431/19A. Copyright © 2017 Donner et al.

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October 25, 2016

Lysosomal Cathepsin A plays a significant role in the processing of endogenous bioactive peptides.

Lysosomal serine carboxypeptidase Cathepsin A (CTSA) is a multifunctional enzyme with distinct protective and catalytic function. CTSA present in the lysosomal multienzyme complex to facilitate the correct lysosomal routing, stability and activation of with beta-galactosidase and alpha-neuraminidase. Beside CTSA has role in inactivation of bioactive peptides including bradykinin, substances P, oxytocin, angiotensin I and endothelin-I by cleavage of 1 or 2 amino acid(s) from C-terminal ends. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the regulatory role of CTSA on bioactive peptides in knock-in mice model of CTSA(S190A) . We investigated the level of bradykinin, substances P, oxytocin, angiotensin I and…

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September 19, 2016

Neuraminidase A-exposed galactose promotes Streptococcus pneumoniae biofilm formation during colonization.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that colonizes the nasopharynx. Herein we show that carbon availability is distinct between the nasopharynx and bloodstream of adult humans: glucose is absent from the nasopharynx, whereas galactose is abundant. We demonstrate that pneumococcal neuraminidase A (NanA), which cleaves terminal sialic acid residues from host glycoproteins, exposed galactose on the surface of septal epithelial cells, thereby increasing its availability during colonization. We observed that S. pneumoniae mutants deficient in NanA and ß-galactosidase A (BgaA) failed to form biofilms in vivo despite normal biofilm-forming abilities in vitro Subsequently, we observed that glucose, sucrose, and fructose…

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September 1, 2016

Bacterial genetics: SMRT-seq reveals an epigenetic switch.

Streptococcus pneumoniae uses genetic diversification as a strategy to achieve phenotypic plasticity. For example, DNA inversion of the hsdS genes of type I restriction-modification (R-M) systems determines whether S. pneumoniae forms opaque or transparent colonies, which have different colonization and virulence characteristics. Zhang and colleagues now use single-molecule, real-time sequencing (SMRT-seq) to show the allelic variation of hsdS that results from site-specific recombination forms part of an epigenetic switch.

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June 16, 2015

Genetic stabilization of the drug-resistant PMEN1 Pneumococcus lineage by its distinctive DpnIII restriction-modification system.

The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) exhibits a high degree of genomic diversity and plasticity. Isolates with high genomic similarity are grouped into lineages that undergo homologous recombination at variable rates. PMEN1 is a pandemic, multidrug-resistant lineage. Heterologous gene exchange between PMEN1 and non-PMEN1 isolates is directional, with extensive gene transfer from PMEN1 strains and only modest transfer into PMEN1 strains. Restriction-modification (R-M) systems can restrict horizontal gene transfer, yet most pneumococcal strains code for either the DpnI or DpnII R-M system and neither limits homologous recombination. Our comparative genomic analysis revealed that PMEN1 isolates code for DpnIII, a third…

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June 1, 2015

Genetic stability of pneumococcal isolates during 35 days of human experimental carriage.

Pneumococcal carriage is a reservoir for transmission and a precursor to pneumococcal disease. The experimental human pneumococcal carriage model provides a useful tool to aid vaccine licensure through the measurement of vaccine efficacy against carriage (VEcol). Documentation of the genetic stability of the experimental human pneumococcal carriage model is important to further strengthen confidence in its safety and conclusions, enabling it to further facilitate vaccine licensure through providing evidence of VEcol.229 isolates were sequenced from 10 volunteers in whom experimental human pneumococcal carriage was established, sampled over a period of 35 days. Multiple isolates from within a single volunteer at…

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December 16, 2014

qDNAmod: a statistical model-based tool to reveal intercellular heterogeneity of DNA modification from SMRT sequencing data.

In an isogenic cell population, phenotypic heterogeneity among individual cells is common and critical for survival of the population under different environment conditions. DNA modification is an important epigenetic factor that can regulate phenotypic heterogeneity. The single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology provides a unique platform for detecting a wide range of DNA modifications, including N6-methyladenine (6-mA), N4-methylcytosine (4-mC) and 5-methylcytosine (5-mC). Here we present qDNAmod, a novel bioinformatic tool for genome-wide quantitative profiling of intercellular heterogeneity of DNA modification from SMRT sequencing data. It is capable of estimating proportion of isogenic haploid cells, in which the same loci of…

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November 1, 2014

Diversification of bacterial genome content through distinct mechanisms over different timescales.

Bacterial populations often consist of multiple co-circulating lineages. Determining how such population structures arise requires understanding what drives bacterial diversification. Using 616 systematically sampled genomes, we show that Streptococcus pneumoniae lineages are typically characterized by combinations of infrequently transferred stable genomic islands: those moving primarily through transformation, along with integrative and conjugative elements and phage-related chromosomal islands. The only lineage containing extensive unique sequence corresponds to a set of atypical unencapsulated isolates that may represent a distinct species. However, prophage content is highly variable even within lineages, suggesting frequent horizontal transmission that would necessitate rapidly diversifying anti-phage mechanisms to prevent…

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November 1, 2014

Global phylogenomic analysis of nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae reveals a deep-branching classic lineage that is distinct from multiple sporadic lineages.

The surrounding capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae has been identified as a major virulence factor and is targeted by pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV). However, nonencapsulated S. pneumoniae (non-Ec-Sp) have also been isolated globally, mainly in carriage studies. It is unknown if non-Ec-Sp evolve sporadically, if they have high antibiotic nonsusceptiblity rates and a unique, specific gene content. Here, whole-genome sequencing of 131 non-Ec-Sp isolates sourced from 17 different locations around the world was performed. Results revealed a deep-branching classic lineage that is distinct from multiple sporadic lineages. The sporadic lineages clustered with a previously sequenced, global collection of encapsulated S. pneumoniae…

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September 30, 2014

A random six-phase switch regulates pneumococcal virulence via global epigenetic changes.

Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is the world's foremost bacterial pathogen in both morbidity and mortality. Switching between phenotypic forms (or 'phases') that favour asymptomatic carriage or invasive disease was first reported in 1933. Here, we show that the underlying mechanism for such phase variation consists of genetic rearrangements in a Type I restriction-modification system (SpnD39III). The rearrangements generate six alternative specificities with distinct methylation patterns, as defined by single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) methylomics. The SpnD39III variants have distinct gene expression profiles. We demonstrate distinct virulence in experimental infection and in vivo selection for switching between SpnD39III variants. SpnD39III is ubiquitous in…

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