This is the institutional Repository of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig/Germany (HZI), the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrücken/Germany, the TWINCORE Zentrum für Exprerimentelle und Klinische Infektionsforschung, Hannover/Germany,Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung (HIRI), Braunschweig Integrated Centre for Systems biology (BRICS), Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) and the Study Centre Hannover, Hannover/Germany.


  • Iron Regulation in Clostridioides difficile.

    Berges, Mareike; Michel, Annika-Marisa; Lassek, Christian; Nuss, Aaron M; Beckstette, Michael; Dersch, Petra; Riedel, Katharina; Sievers, Susanne; Becher, Dörte; Otto, Andreas; Maaß, Sandra; Rohde, Manfred; Eckweiler, Denitsa; Borrero-de Acuña, Jose M; Jahn, Martina; Neumann-Schaal, Meina; Jahn, Dieter; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-01-01)
    The response to iron limitation of several bacteria is regulated by the ferric uptake regulator (Fur). The Fur-regulated transcriptional, translational and metabolic networks of the Gram-positive, pathogen Clostridioides difficile were investigated by a combined RNA sequencing, proteomic, metabolomic and electron microscopy approach. At high iron conditions (15 μM) the C. difficile fur mutant displayed a growth deficiency compared to wild type C. difficile cells. Several iron and siderophore transporter genes were induced by Fur during low iron (0.2 μM) conditions. The major adaptation to low iron conditions was observed for the central energy metabolism. Most ferredoxin-dependent amino acid fermentations were significantly down regulated (had, etf, acd, grd, trx, bdc, hbd). The substrates of these pathways phenylalanine, leucine, glycine and some intermediates (phenylpyruvate, 2-oxo-isocaproate, 3-hydroxy-butyryl-CoA, crotonyl-CoA) accumulated, while end products like isocaproate and butyrate were found reduced. Flavodoxin (fldX) formation and riboflavin biosynthesis (rib) were enhanced, most likely to replace the missing ferredoxins. Proline reductase (prd), the corresponding ion pumping RNF complex (rnf) and the reaction product 5-aminovalerate were significantly enhanced. An ATP forming ATPase (atpCDGAHFEB) of the F0F1-type was induced while the formation of a ATP-consuming, proton-pumping V-type ATPase (atpDBAFCEKI) was decreased. The [Fe-S] enzyme-dependent pyruvate formate lyase (pfl), formate dehydrogenase (fdh) and hydrogenase (hyd) branch of glucose utilization and glycogen biosynthesis (glg) were significantly reduced, leading to an accumulation of glucose and pyruvate. The formation of [Fe-S] enzyme carbon monoxide dehydrogenase (coo) was inhibited. The fur mutant showed an increased sensitivity to vancomycin and polymyxin B. An intensive remodeling of the cell wall was observed, Polyamine biosynthesis (spe) was induced leading to an accumulation of spermine, spermidine, and putrescine. The fur mutant lost most of its flagella and motility. Finally, the CRISPR/Cas and a prophage encoding operon were downregulated. Fur binding sites were found upstream of around 20 of the regulated genes. Overall, adaptation to low iron conditions in C. difficile focused on an increase of iron import, a significant replacement of iron requiring metabolic pathways and the restructuring of the cell surface for protection during the complex adaptation phase and was only partly directly regulated by Fur.
  • Virulence factor-dependent basolateral invasion of choroid plexus epithelial cells by pathogenic Escherichia coli in vitro.

    Rose, Rebekah; Häuser, Svenja; Stump-Guthier, Carolin; Weiss, Christel; Rohde, Manfred; Kim, Kwang Sik; Ishikawa, Hiroshi; Schroten, Horst; Schwerk, Christian; Adam, Rüdiger; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Oxford Academic Press, 2018-11-21)
    Escherichia coli is the most common Gram-negative causative agent of neonatal meningitis and E. coli meningitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Previous research has been carried out with regard to the blood-brain barrier and thereby unveiled an assortment of virulence factors involved in E. coli meningitis. Little, however, is known about the role of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier (BCSFB), in spite of several studies suggesting that the choroid plexus (CP) is a possible entry point for E. coli into the CSF spaces. Here, we used a human CP papilloma (HIBCPP) cell line that was previously established as valid model for the study of the BCSFB. We show that E. coli invades HIBCPP cells in a polar fashion preferentially from the physiologically relevant basolateral side. Moreover, we demonstrate that deletion of outer membrane protein A, ibeA or neuDB genes results in decreased cell infection, while absence of fimH enhances invasion, although causing reduced adhesion to the apical side of HIBCPP cells. Our findings suggest that the BCSFB might constitute an entry point for E. coli into the central nervous system, and HIBCPP cells are a valuable tool for investigating E. coli entry of the BCSFB.
  • Conformational Flexibility in the Immunoglobulin-Like Domain of the Hepatitis C Virus Glycoprotein E2.

    Vasiliauskaite, Ieva; Owsianka, Ania; England, Patrick; Khan, Abdul Ghafoor; Cole, Sarah; Bankwitz, Dorothea; Foung, Steven K H; Pietschmann, Thomas; Marcotrigiano, Joseph; Rey, Felix A; Patel, Arvind H; Krey, Thomas; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (ASM, 2017-05-16)
    The hepatitis C virus (HCV) glycoprotein E2 is the major target of neutralizing antibodies and is therefore highly relevant for vaccine design. Its structure features a central immunoglobulin (Ig)-like β-sandwich that contributes to the binding site for the cellular receptor CD81. We show that a synthetic peptide corresponding to a β-strand of this Ig-like domain forms an α-helix in complex with the anti-E2 antibody DAO5, demonstrating an inside-out flip of hydrophobic residues and a secondary structure change in the composite CD81 binding site. A detailed interaction analysis of DAO5 and cross-competing neutralizing antibodies with soluble E2 revealed that the Ig-like domain is trapped by different antibodies in at least two distinct conformations. DAO5 specifically captures retrovirus particles bearing HCV glycoproteins (HCVpp) and infectious cell culture-derived HCV particles (HCVcc). Infection of cells by DAO5-captured HCVpp can be blocked by a cross-competing neutralizing antibody, indicating that a single virus particle simultaneously displays E2 molecules in more than one conformation on its surface. Such conformational plasticity of the HCV E2 receptor binding site has important implications for immunogen design.
  • Tris(acetylacetonato) Iron(III): Recent Developments and Synthetic Applications

    Lübken, Dennis; Saxarra, Marius; Kalesse, Markus; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Thieme, 2018-11-27)
    Tris(acetylacetonato) iron(III) [Fe(acac)3] is an indispensable reagent in synthetic chemistry. Its applications range from hydrogen atom transfer to cross-coupling reactions and to use as a Lewis acid. Consequently, the exceptional utility of Fe(acac)3 has been demonstrated in several total syntheses. This short review summarizes the applications of Fe(acac)3 in methodology and catalysis and highlights its use for the synthesis of medicinally relevant structures and in natural product syntheses.
  • The Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Cpx envelope stress system contributes to transcriptional activation of rovM.

    Thanikkal, Edvin J; Gahlot, Dharmender K; Liu, Junfa; Fredriksson Sundbom, Marcus; Gurung, Jyoti M; Ruuth, Kristina; Francis, Monika K; Obi, Ikenna R; Thompson, Karl M; Chen, Shiyun; Dersch, Petra; Francis, Matthew S; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-12-06)
    The Gram-negative enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis possesses a number of regulatory systems that detect cell envelope damage caused by noxious extracytoplasmic stresses. The CpxA sensor kinase and CpxR response regulator two-component regulatory system is one such pathway. Active Cpx signalling upregulates various factors designed to repair and restore cell envelope integrity. Concomitantly, this pathway also down-regulates key determinants of virulence. In Yersinia, cpxA deletion accumulates high levels of phosphorylated CpxR (CpxR~P). Accumulated CpxR~P directly repressed rovA expression and this limited expression of virulence-associated processes. A second transcriptional regulator, RovM, also negatively regulates rovA expression in response to nutrient stress. Hence, this study aimed to determine if CpxR~P can influence rovA expression through control of RovM levels. We determined that the active CpxR~P isoform bound to the promoter of rovM and directly induced its expression, which naturally associated with a concurrent reduction in rovA expression. Site-directed mutagenesis of the CpxR~P binding sequence in the rovM promoter region desensitised rovM expression to CpxR~P. These data suggest that accumulated CpxR~P inversely manipulates the levels of two global transcriptional regulators, RovA and RovM, and this would be expected to have considerable influence on Yersinia pathophysiology and metabolism.

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