July 19, 2019  |  

Resistance determinants and mobile genetic elements of an NDM-1-encoding Klebsiella pneumoniae strain.

Multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are emerging as a serious infectious disease challenge. These strains can accumulate many antibiotic resistance genes though horizontal transfer of genetic elements, those for ß-lactamases being of particular concern. Some ß-lactamases are active on a broad spectrum of ß-lactams including the last-resort carbapenems. The gene for the broad-spectrum and carbapenem-active metallo-ß-lactamase NDM-1 is rapidly spreading. We present the complete genome of Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC BAA-2146, the first U.S. isolate found to encode NDM-1, and describe its repertoire of antibiotic-resistance genes and mutations, including genes for eight ß-lactamases and 15 additional antibiotic-resistance enzymes. To elucidate the evolution of this rich repertoire, the mobile elements of the genome were characterized, including four plasmids with varying degrees of conservation and mosaicism and eleven chromosomal genomic islands. One island was identified by a novel phylogenomic approach, that further indicated the cps-lps polysaccharide synthesis locus, where operon translocation and fusion was noted. Unique plasmid segments and mosaic junctions were identified. Plasmid-borne blaCTX-M-15 was transposed recently to the chromosome by ISEcp1. None of the eleven full copies of IS26, the most frequent IS element in the genome, had the expected 8-bp direct repeat of the integration target sequence, suggesting that each copy underwent homologous recombination subsequent to its last transposition event. Comparative analysis likewise indicates IS26 as a frequent recombinational junction between plasmid ancestors, and also indicates a resolvase site. In one novel use of high-throughput sequencing, homologously recombinant subpopulations of the bacterial culture were detected. In a second novel use, circular transposition intermediates were detected for the novel insertion sequence ISKpn21 of the ISNCY family, suggesting that it uses the two-step transposition mechanism of IS3. Robust genome-based phylogeny showed that a unified Klebsiella cluster contains Enterobacter aerogenes and Raoultella, suggesting the latter genus should be abandoned.


July 19, 2019  |  

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 the genome are differentially modified. We tested the reliability of qDNAmod with the SMRT sequencing data of Streptococcus pneumoniae strain ST556. qDNAmod detected extensive intercellular heterogeneity of DNA methylation (6-mA) in a clonal population of ST556. Subsequent biochemical analyses revealed that the recognition sequences of two type I restriction–modification (R-M) systems are responsible for the intercellular heterogeneity of DNA methylation initially identified by qDNAmod. qDNAmod thus represents a valuable tool for studying intercellular phenotypic heterogeneity from genome-wide DNA modification.


July 19, 2019  |  

BREX is a novel phage resistance system widespread in microbial genomes.

The perpetual arms race between bacteria and phage has resulted in the evolution of efficient resistance systems that protect bacteria from phage infection. Such systems, which include the CRISPR-Cas and restriction-modification systems, have proven to be invaluable in the biotechnology and dairy industries. Here, we report on a six-gene cassette in Bacillus cereus which, when integrated into the Bacillus subtilis genome, confers resistance to a broad range of phages, including both virulent and temperate ones. This cassette includes a putative Lon-like protease, an alkaline phosphatase domain protein, a putative RNA-binding protein, a DNA methylase, an ATPase-domain protein, and a protein of unknown function. We denote this novel defense system BREX (Bacteriophage Exclusion) and show that it allows phage adsorption but blocks phage DNA replication. Furthermore, our results suggest that methylation on non-palindromic TAGGAG motifs in the bacterial genome guides self/non-self discrimination and is essential for the defensive function of the BREX system. However, unlike restriction-modification systems, phage DNA does not appear to be cleaved or degraded by BREX, suggesting a novel mechanism of defense. Pan genomic analysis revealed that BREX and BREX-like systems, including the distantly related Pgl system described in Streptomyces coelicolor, are widely distributed in ~10% of all sequenced microbial genomes and can be divided into six coherent subtypes in which the gene composition and order is conserved. Finally, we detected a phage family that evades the BREX defense, implying that anti-BREX mechanisms may have evolved in some phages as part of their arms race with bacteria.© 2014 The Authors.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of Haloferax volcanii H26 and identification of DNA methyltransferase related PD-(D/E)XK nuclease family protein HVO_A0006.

Restriction-modification (RM) systems have evolved to protect the cell from invading DNAs and are composed of two enzymes: a DNA methyltransferase and a restriction endonuclease. Although RM systems are present in both archaeal and bacterial genomes, DNA methylation in archaea has not been well defined. In order to characterize the function of RM systems in archaeal species, we have made use of the model haloarchaeon Haloferax volcanii. A genomic DNA methylation analysis of H. volcanii strain H26 was performed using PacBio single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing. This analysis was also performed on a strain of H. volcanii in which an annotated DNA methyltransferase gene HVO_A0006 was deleted from the genome. Sequence analysis of H26 revealed two motifs which are modified in the genome: C(m4)TAG and GCA(m6)BN6VTGC. Analysis of the ?HVO_A0006 strain indicated that it exhibited reduced adenine methylation compared to the parental strain and altered the detected adenine motif. However, protein domain architecture analysis and amino acid alignments revealed that HVO_A0006 is homologous only to the N-terminal endonuclease region of Type IIG RM proteins and contains a PD-(D/E)XK nuclease motif, suggesting that HVO_A0006 is a PD-(D/E)XK nuclease family protein. Further bioinformatic analysis of the HVO_A0006 gene demonstrated that the gene is rare among the Halobacteria. It is surrounded by two transposition genes suggesting that HVO_A0006 is a fragment of a Type IIG RM gene, which has likely been acquired through gene transfer, and affects restriction-modification activity by interacting with another RM system component(s). Here, we present the first genome-wide characterization of DNA methylation in an archaeal species and examine the function of a DNA methyltransferase related gene HVO_A0006.


July 19, 2019  |  

Complete nucleotide sequences of bla(CTX-M)-harboring IncF plasmids from community-associated Escherichia coli strains in the United States.

Community-associated infections due to Escherichia coli producing CTX-M-type extended-spectrum ß-lactamases are increasingly recognized in the United States. The bla(CTX-M) genes are frequently carried on IncF group plasmids. In this study, bla(CTX-M-15)-harboring plasmids pCA14 (sequence type 131 [ST131]) and pCA28 (ST44) and bla(CTX-M-14)-harboring plasmid pCA08 (ST131) were sequenced and characterized. The three plasmids were closely related to other IncFII plasmids from continents outside the United States in the conserved backbone region and multiresistance regions (MRRs). Each of the bla(CTX-M-15)-carrying plasmids pCA14 and pCA28 belonged to F31:A4:B1 (FAB [FII, FIA, FIB] formula) and showed a high level of similarity (92% coverage of pCA14 and 99% to 100% nucleotide identity), suggesting a possible common origin. The blaC(TX-M-14)-carrying plasmid pCA08 belonged to F2:A2:B20 and was highly similar to pKF3-140 from China (88% coverage of pCA08 and 99% to 100% nucleotide identity). All three plasmids carried multiple antimicrobial resistance genes and modules associated with virulence and biochemical pathways, which likely confer selective advantages for their host strains. The bla(CTX-M)-carrying IncFII-IA-IB plasmids implicated in community-associated infections in the United States shared key structural features with those identified from other continents, underscoring the global nature of this plasmid epidemic. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Population structure of mitochondrial genomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Rigorous study of mitochondrial functions and cell biology in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has advanced our understanding of mitochondrial genetics. This yeast is now a powerful model for population genetics, owing to large genetic diversity and highly structured populations among wild isolates. Comparative mitochondrial genomic analyses between yeast species have revealed broad evolutionary changes in genome organization and architecture. A fine-scale view of recent evolutionary changes within S. cerevisiae has not been possible due to low numbers of complete mitochondrial sequences.To address challenges of sequencing AT-rich and repetitive mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs), we sequenced two divergent S. cerevisiae mtDNAs using a single-molecule sequencing platform (PacBio RS). Using de novo assemblies, we generated highly accurate complete mtDNA sequences. These mtDNA sequences were compared with 98 additional mtDNA sequences gathered from various published collections. Phylogenies based on mitochondrial coding sequences and intron profiles revealed that intraspecific diversity in mitochondrial genomes generally recapitulated the population structure of nuclear genomes. Analysis of intergenic sequence indicated a recent expansion of mobile elements in certain populations. Additionally, our analyses revealed that certain populations lacked introns previously believed conserved throughout the species, as well as the presence of introns never before reported in S. cerevisiae.Our results revealed that the extensive variation in S. cerevisiae mtDNAs is often population specific, thus offering a window into the recent evolutionary processes shaping these genomes. In addition, we offer an effective strategy for sequencing these challenging AT-rich mitochondrial genomes for small scale projects.


July 19, 2019  |  

DNA methylation assessed by SMRT Sequencing is linked to mutations in Neisseria meningitidis isolates.

The Gram-negative bacterium Neisseria meningitidis features extensive genetic variability. To present, proposed virulence genotypes are also detected in isolates from asymptomatic carriers, indicating more complex mechanisms underlying variable colonization modes of N. meningitidis. We applied the Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing method from Pacific Biosciences to assess the genome-wide DNA modification profiles of two genetically related N. meningitidis strains, both of serogroup A. The resulting DNA methylomes revealed clear divergences, represented by the detection of shared and of strain-specific DNA methylation target motifs. The positional distribution of these methylated target sites within the genomic sequences displayed clear biases, which suggest a functional role of DNA methylation related to the regulation of genes. DNA methylation in N. meningitidis has a likely underestimated potential for variability, as evidenced by a careful analysis of the ORF status of a panel of confirmed and predicted DNA methyltransferase genes in an extended collection of N. meningitidis strains of serogroup A. Based on high coverage short sequence reads, we find phase variability as a major contributor to the variability in DNA methylation. Taking into account the phase variable loci, the inferred functional status of DNA methyltransferase genes matched the observed methylation profiles. Towards an elucidation of presently incompletely characterized functional consequences of DNA methylation in N. meningitidis, we reveal a prominent colocalization of methylated bases with Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) detected within our genomic sequence collection. As a novel observation we report increased mutability also at 6mA methylated nucleotides, complementing mutational hotspots previously described at 5mC methylated nucleotides. These findings suggest a more diverse role of DNA methylation and Restriction-Modification (RM) systems in the evolution of prokaryotic genomes.


July 19, 2019  |  

High frequency of mitochondrial DNA mutations in HIV-infected treatment-experienced individuals.

We recently observed a decrease in deoxyribonucleotide (dNTP) pools in HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Alterations in dNTPs result in mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in cell culture and animal models. Therefore, we investigated whether ART is associated with mitochondrial genome sequence variation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of HIV-infected treatment-experienced individuals.In this substudy of a case-control study, 71 participants were included: 22 ‘cases’, who were HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients with mitochondrial toxicity, 25 HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients without mitochondrial toxicity, and 24 HIV-uninfected controls. Total DNA was extracted from PBMCs and purified polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products were subjected to third-generation sequencing using the PacBio Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing technology. The sequences were aligned against the revised Cambridge reference sequence for human mitochondrial DNA (NC_012920.1) for detection of variants.We identified a total of 123 novel variants, 39 of them in the coding region. HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients with and without toxicity had significantly higher average numbers of mitochondrial variants per participant than HIV-uninfected controls. We observed a higher burden of mtDNA large-scale deletions in HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients with toxicity compared with HIV-uninfected controls (P = 0.02). The frequency of mtDNA molecules containing a common deletion (mt.d4977) was higher in HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients with toxicity compared with HIV-uninfected controls (P = 0.06). There was no statistically significant difference in mtDNA variants between HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients with and without toxicity.The frequency of mtDNA variants (mutations and large-scale deletions) was higher in HIV-infected treatment-experienced patients with or without ART-induced toxicity than in uninfected controls.© 2016 The Authors. HIV Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British HIV Association.


July 19, 2019  |  

Editing out five Serpina1 paralogs to create a mouse model of genetic emphysema.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects 10% of the worldwide population, and the leading genetic cause is a-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. Due to the complexity of the murine locus, which includes up to six Serpina1 paralogs, no genetic animal model of the disease has been successfully generated until now. Here we create a quintuple Serpina1a-e knockout using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. The phenotype recapitulates the human disease phenotype, i.e., absence of hepatic and circulating AAT translates functionally to a reduced capacity to inhibit neutrophil elastase. With age, Serpina1 null mice develop emphysema spontaneously, which can be induced in younger mice by a lipopolysaccharide challenge. This mouse models not only AAT deficiency but also emphysema and is a relevant genetic model and not one based on developmental impairment of alveolarization or elastase administration. We anticipate that this unique model will be highly relevant not only to the preclinical development of therapeutics for AAT deficiency, but also to emphysema and smoking research. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.


July 7, 2019  |  

Gut symbionts from distinct hosts exhibit genotoxic activity via divergent colibactin biosynthetic pathways.

Secondary metabolites produced by nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) or polyketide synthase (PKS) pathways are chemical mediators of microbial interactions in diverse environments. However, little is known about their distribution, evolution, and functional roles in bacterial symbionts associated with animals. A prominent example is “colibactin”, a largely unknown family of secondary metabolites produced by Escherichia coli via a hybrid NRPS-PKS biosynthetic pathway, inflicting DNA damage upon eukaryotic cells and contributing to colorectal cancer and tumor formation in the mammalian gut. Thus far, homologs of this pathway have only been found in closely related Enterobacteriaceae, while a divergent variant of this gene cluster was recently discovered in a marine alphaproteobacterial Pseudovibrio strain. Herein, we sequenced the genome of Frischella perrara PEB0191, a bacterial gut symbiont of honey bees, and identified a homologous colibactin biosynthetic pathway related to those found in Enterobacteriaceae. We show that the colibactin genomic island (GI) has conserved gene synteny and biosynthetic module architecture across F. perrara, Enterobacteriaceae and the Pseudovibrio strain. Comparative metabolomics analyses of F. perrara and E. coli further reveal that these two bacteria produce related colibactin pathway-dependent metabolites. Finally, we demonstrate that F. perrara, like E. coli, causes DNA damage in eukaryotic cells in vitro in a colibactin pathway-dependent manner. Together, these results support that divergent variants of the colibactin biosynthetic pathway are widely distributed among bacterial symbionts, producing related secondary metabolites and likely endowing its producer with functional capabilities important for diverse symbiotic associations. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Human gene-centered transcription factor networks for enhancers and disease variants.

Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) comprising interactions between transcription factors (TFs) and regulatory loci control development and physiology. Numerous disease-associated mutations have been identified, the vast majority residing in non-coding regions of the genome. As current GRN mapping methods test one TF at a time and require the use of cells harboring the mutation(s) of interest, they are not suitable to identify TFs that bind to wild-type and mutant loci. Here, we use gene-centered yeast one-hybrid (eY1H) assays to interrogate binding of 1,086 human TFs to 246 enhancers, as well as to 109 non-coding disease mutations. We detect both loss and gain of TF interactions with mutant loci that are concordant with target gene expression changes. This work establishes eY1H assays as a powerful addition to the toolkit of mapping human GRNs and for the high-throughput characterization of genomic variants that are rapidly being identified by genome-wide association studies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequencing of a multidrug-resistant and human-invasive Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain of the emerging sequence type 213 genotype.

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium strain YU39 was isolated in 2005 in the state of Yucatán, Mexico, from a human systemic infection. The YU39 strain is representative of the multidrug-resistant emergent sequence type 213 (ST213) genotype. The YU39 complete genome is composed of a chromosome and seven plasmids. Copyright © 2015 Calva et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of a human-invasive Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium strain of the emerging sequence type 213 harboring a multidrug resistance IncA/C plasmid and a blaCMY-2-carrying IncF plasmid.

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium strain 33676 was isolated in Mexico City, Mexico, from a patient with a systemic infection, and its complete genome sequence was determined using PacBio single-molecule real-time technology. Strain 33676 harbors an IncF plasmid carrying the extended-spectrum cephalosporin gene blaCMY-2 and a multidrug resistance IncA/C plasmid. Copyright © 2015 Silva et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic epidemiology of an endoscope-associated outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing K. pneumoniae.

Increased incidence of infections due to Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC-Kp) was noted among patients undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) at a single hospital. An epidemiologic investigation identified KPC-Kp and non-KPC-producing, extended-spectrum ß-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Kp in cultures from 2 endoscopes. Genotyping was performed on patient and endoscope isolates to characterize the microbial genomics of the outbreak. Genetic similarity of 51 Kp isolates from 37 patients and 3 endoscopes was assessed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). Five patient and 2 endoscope isolates underwent whole genome sequencing (WGS). Two KPC-encoding plasmids were characterized by single molecule, real-time sequencing. Plasmid diversity was assessed by endonuclease digestion. Genomic and epidemiologic data were used in conjunction to investigate the outbreak source. Two clusters of Kp patient isolates were genetically related to endoscope isolates by PFGE. A subset of patient isolates were collected post-ERCP, suggesting ERCP endoscopes as a possible source. A phylogeny of 7 Kp genomes from patient and endoscope isolates supported ERCP as a potential source of transmission. Differences in gene content defined 5 ST258 subclades and identified 2 of the subclades as outbreak-associated. A novel KPC-encoding plasmid, pKp28 helped define and track one endoscope-associated ST258 subclade. WGS demonstrated high genetic relatedness of patient and ERCP endoscope isolates suggesting ERCP-associated transmission of ST258 KPC-Kp. Gene and plasmid content discriminated the outbreak from endemic ST258 populations and assisted with the molecular epidemiologic investigation of an extended KPC-Kp outbreak.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequencing of Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila ZAC14D2_NAIMI4_2, a multidrug-resistant strain isolated from sediments of a polluted river in Mexico, uncovers new antibiotic resistance genes and a novel class-II lasso peptide biosynthesis gene cluster.

Here, we report the first complete genome sequence of a Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila strain, generated with PacBio RS II single-molecule real-time technology, consisting of a single circular chromosome of 4.13 Mb. We annotated mobile genetic elements and natural product biosynthesis clusters, including a novel class-II lasso peptide with a 7-residue macrolactam ring. Copyright © 2015 Vinuesa and Ochoa-Sánchez.


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