April 21, 2020  |  

A New Species of the ?-Proteobacterium Francisella, F. adeliensis Sp. Nov., Endocytobiont in an Antarctic Marine Ciliate and Potential Evolutionary Forerunner of Pathogenic Species.

The study of the draft genome of an Antarctic marine ciliate, Euplotes petzi, revealed foreign sequences of bacterial origin belonging to the ?-proteobacterium Francisella that includes pathogenic and environmental species. TEM and FISH analyses confirmed the presence of a Francisella endocytobiont in E. petzi. This endocytobiont was isolated and found to be a new species, named F. adeliensis sp. nov.. F. adeliensis grows well at wide ranges of temperature, salinity, and carbon dioxide concentrations implying that it may colonize new organisms living in deeply diversified habitats. The F. adeliensis genome includes the igl and pdp gene sets (pdpC and pdpE excepted) of the Francisella pathogenicity island needed for intracellular growth. Consistently with an F. adeliensis ancient symbiotic lifestyle, it also contains a single insertion-sequence element. Instead, it lacks genes for the biosynthesis of essential amino acids such as cysteine, lysine, methionine, and tyrosine. In a genome-based phylogenetic tree, F. adeliensis forms a new early branching clade, basal to the evolution of pathogenic species. The correlations of this clade with the other clades raise doubts about a genuine free-living nature of the environmental Francisella species isolated from natural and man-made environments, and suggest to look at F. adeliensis as a pioneer in the Francisella colonization of eukaryotic organisms.

April 21, 2020  |  

NCF1 (p47phox)-deficient chronic granulomatous disease: comprehensive genetic and flow cytometric analysis.

Mutations in NCF1 (p47phox) cause autosomal recessive chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) with abnormal dihydrorhodamine (DHR) assay and absent p47phox protein. Genetic identification of NCF1 mutations is complicated by adjacent highly conserved (>98%) pseudogenes (NCF1B and NCF1C). NCF1 has GTGT at the start of exon 2, whereas the pseudogenes each delete 1 GT (?GT). In p47phox CGD, the most common mutation is ?GT in NCF1 (c.75_76delGT; p.Tyr26fsX26). Sequence homology between NCF1 and its pseudogenes precludes reliable use of standard Sanger sequencing for NCF1 mutations and for confirming carrier status. We first established by flow cytometry that neutrophils from p47phox CGD patients had negligible p47phox expression, whereas those from p47phox CGD carriers had ~60% of normal p47phox expression, independent of the specific mutation in NCF1 We developed a droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) with 2 distinct probes, recognizing either the wild-type GTGT sequence or the ?GT sequence. A second ddPCR established copy number by comparison with the single-copy telomerase reverse transcriptase gene, TERT We showed that 84% of p47phox CGD patients were homozygous for ?GT NCF1 The ddPCR assay also enabled determination of carrier status of relatives. Furthermore, only 79.2% of normal volunteers had 2 copies of GTGT per 6 total (NCF1/NCF1B/NCF1C) copies, designated 2/6; 14.7% had 3/6, and 1.6% had 4/6 GTGT copies. In summary, flow cytometry for p47phox expression quickly identifies patients and carriers of p47phox CGD, and genomic ddPCR identifies patients and carriers of ?GT NCF1, the most common mutation in p47phox CGD.

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