ABSTRACT A previously reported method for evaluating the intracellular growth of Rhodococcus equi using enhanced green fluorescent protein is unsuitable for the quantitative evaluation of the entire sample because the signal can be detected only in the excitation region. Therefore, we created an autobioluminescent R. equi using luciferase (luxABCDE). First, we connected luxABCDE to the functional promoter PaphII and introduced it into the chromosomes of ATCC33701 and ATCC33701_P-. Luminescence was detected in both transformants, and a correlation between the bacterial number and luminescence intensity in the logarithmic phase was observed, indicating that luxABCDE is functionally and quantitatively expressed in R. equi. The luminescence of ATCC33701 was significantly higher than that of ATCC33701_P- at 24 h after infection with J774A.1. Next, RNA-Seq analysis of ATCC33701 to search for endogenous high-expression promoters resulted in the upstream sequences of RS29370, RS41760, and vapA being selected as candidates. Luminescence was detected in each transformant expressing the luxABCDE using these upstream sequences. We examined the luminescence intensity by coexpressing the frp gene, an enhancer of the luciferase reaction, with luxABCDE. The luminescence intensity of the coexpressing transformant was significantly enhanced in J774A.1 compared with the non-coexpressing transformant. Finally, we examined the luminescence in vivo. The luminescence signals in the organs peaked on the third day following the administration of ATCC33701 derivatives in mice, but no luminescence signal was detected when the ATCC33701_P- derivative was administered. The autologous bioluminescent method described herein will enhance the in vitro and in vivo quantitative analysis of R. equi proliferation. IMPORTANCE We established an autologous bioluminescent strain of R. equi and a method to evaluate its proliferation in vitro and in vivo quantitatively. This method overcomes the weakness of the fluorescence detection system that only measures the site of excitation light irradiation. It is expected to be used as an in vitro and in vivo growth evaluation method with excellent quantitative properties. In addition, it was suggested that the selection of a promoter that expresses luxABCDE could produce a luminescence with high intensity. Although this method needs further improvement, such as creating transformants that can maintain high luminescence intensity regardless of environmental changes such as temperature fluctuations, it is possible to observe bacterial growth over time in mice without killing them. Therefore, this method can be used to not only evaluate the pathogenicity of various wild and gene-deficient strains but also to screen preventive and therapeutic methods such as vaccines.
International Journal of Medical Microbiology, Vol 311, Iss 6, Pp 151519- (2021)
Plasmid, Rhodococcus equi, Virulence-associated protein N, Whole-genome sequencing, Microbiology, QR1-502, Other systems of medicine, and RZ201-999
Rhodococcus equi is a saprophytic soil bacterium and intracellular pathogen that causes refractory suppurative pneumonia in foals and has emerged as a pathogenic cause of zoonotic disease. Several studies have reported human infections caused by R. equi harboring a recently described third type of virulence plasmid, the ruminant-associated pVAPN, which carries the vapN virulence determinant. Herein, we analyzed pathogenicity and genomic features of nine vapN-harboring R. equi isolated from human patients with and without HIV/AIDS. Four of these strains showed significant VapN production and proliferation in cultured macrophages. These strains were lethally pathogenic after inoculation with 1.0 × 108 CFU in mice and reproduced a necrotizing granulomatous inflammation in the liver and spleen similar to that observed in humans. Additionally, we determined entire genome sequences of all nine strains. Lengths of sequences were 5.0–5.3 Mbp, and GC contents were 68.7 %–68.8 %. All strains harbored a 120- or 125-kbp linear plasmid carrying vapN (Type I or Type II pVAPN) classified on the basis of differences in the distal sequences on the 3′ side. Interestingly, VapN production differed significantly among strains harboring nearly identical types of pVAPN with variation limited to several SNPs and short base pair indels. The pVAPN sequences possessed by the VapN-producing strains did not retain any common genetic characteristics, and more detailed analyses, including chromosomal genes, are needed to further elucidate the VapN expression mechanism.
Human protection, dosimetry, standardization, Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering, and TK1-9971
In international guidelines and standards for human protection from electromagnetic fields, mass-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR) is used as a metric to prevent excessive temperature rise at frequencies from 100 kHz up to 6 GHz. Above this transition frequency, including the frequency region assigned to fifth-generation (5G) wireless communication systems, area-averaged absorbed power density (APD) or epithelial power density is used as a physical quantity to specify restrictions on human exposure. In 5G wireless systems, frequencies above and below 6 GHz may be used simultaneously. The effect of the superposition of SAR and APD on temperature rise should be considered, especially regarding the prevention of excessive surface temperature. Herein, we considered simultaneous exposure from inverted-F antenna and patch antenna array operating at 2 and 28 GHz, respectively. Computational results showed that the effect of superposition was marginal. This result is attributable to the heat diffusion length in biological tissues ( $\sim 10$ mm). The effect of the superposition was higher than 15% only when the patch antenna array and inverted-F antenna were separated by less than 50 mm for the 5 mm antenna-body separation.
ABSTRACT The continuous emergence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) presents a great public health challenge. Mitigation of CPE spread in the environment is crucial, particularly from a One Health perspective. Here we describe the isolation of CPE strain SNI47 from influent water of a sewage treatment plant in Japan. SNI47 was identified as Klebsiella quasipneumoniae subsp. quasipneumoniae by phylogenetic analysis and was resistant to β-lactams, including carbapenems. Of four plasmids detected from SNI47, the 185,311-bp IncA/C2 plasmid (pTMSNI47-1), which carried 10 drug resistance genes, including genes for four β-lactamases (blaCTX-M-2, blaDHA-1, blaKHM-1, and blaOXA-10), was transferred to Escherichia coli J53 via conjugation. The MICs of all tested β-lactams for the transconjugant were higher than for the recipient. We constructed recombinant plasmids, into which each β-lactamase gene was inserted, and used them to transform E. coli DH5α cells, demonstrating that KHM-1 enhanced carbapenem resistance. In addition, these β-lactamases were responsible for a wide-spectrum β-lactam resistance acquisition with mutual compensation. KHM-1, recognized as a rare type of metallo-β-lactamase, was detected in a transferable plasmid, from a sewage treatment plant, involved in horizontal gene transfer. The detection of such plasmids raises a health risk alarm for CPE dissemination. IMPORTANCE In our investigation of urban wastewater in Japan, carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella quasipneumoniae subsp. quasipneumoniae was isolated that carried the pTMSNI47-1 plasmid, which carries four β-lactamase genes and has transferability among Enterobacteriaceae. pTMSNI47-1 was found to encode a rarely reported carbapenemase, KHM-1. Cooperative effects of β-lactamases encoded by pTMSNI47-1 appeared to have broad-spectrum resistance to β-lactams. The detection of the KHM-1 gene in urban wastewater suggests that such a rare antimicrobial resistance (AMR) gene can be pooled in the environment, potentially emerging as an AMR determinant in a pathogen. When the number of β-lactamase resistance genes is increased in one plasmid, the transfer of this plasmid can confer broad-spectrum resistance to β-lactams, even if the individual gene confers narrow-spectrum resistance. The present study adds important information about the potential risk of sewage treatment plants as reservoirs and environmental suppliers of AMR genes, contributing to the public health from a One Health perspective.
ABSTRACT We recently detected a novel variant of an IMP-type metallo-β-lactamase gene (blaIMP-68) from meropenem-resistant but imipenem-susceptible Klebsiella pneumoniae TA6363 isolated in Tokyo, Japan. blaIMP-68 encodes a Ser262Gly point mutant of IMP-11, and transformation experiments showed that blaIMP-68 increased the MIC of carbapenems in recipient strains, whereas the MIC of imipenem was not greatly increased relative to that of other carbapenems, including meropenem. Kinetics experiments showed that IMP-68 imipenem-hydrolyzing activity was lower than that for other carbapenems, suggesting that the antimicrobial susceptibility profile of TA6363 originated from IMP-68 substrate specificity. Whole-genome sequencing showed that blaIMP-68 is harbored by the class 1 integron located on the IncL/M plasmid pTMTA63632 (88,953 bp), which was transferable via conjugation. The presence of plasmid-borne blaIMP-68 is notable, because it conferred antimicrobial resistance to carbapenems, except for imipenem, on Enterobacteriaceae and will likely affect treatment plans using antibacterial agents in clinical settings. IMPORTANCE IMP-type metallo-β-lactamases comprise one group of the “Big 5” carbapenemases. Here, a novel blaIMP-68 gene encoding IMP-68 (harboring a Ser262Gly point mutant of IMP-11) was discovered from meropenem-resistant but imipenem-susceptible Klebsiella pneumoniae TA6363. The Ser262Gly substitution was previously identified as important for substrate specificity according to a study of other IMP variants, including IMP-6. We confirmed that IMP-68 exhibited weaker imipenem-hydrolyzing activity than that for other carbapenems, demonstrating that the antimicrobial susceptibility profile of TA6363 originated from IMP-68 substrate specificity, with this likely to affect treatment strategies using antibacterial agents in clinical settings. Notably, the carbapenem resistance conferred by IMP-68 was undetectable based on the MIC of imipenem as a carbapenem representative, which demonstrates a comparable antimicrobial susceptibility profile to IMP-6-producing Enterobacteriaceae that previously spread in Japan due to lack of awareness of its existence.
Kazunori Yamada, Masahiko Zuka, Kiyoaki Ito, Keishi Mizuguchi, Yasushi Kakuchi, Tamehito Onoe, Yasunori Suzuki, Masakazu Yamagishi, Shozo Izui, Marie Malissen, Bernard Malissen, and Mitsuhiro Kawano
PLoS ONE, Vol 13, Iss 6, p e0198417 (2018)
Medicine and Science
BACKGROUND:The adaptor protein Linker for activation of T cell (LAT) is a key signaling hub used by the T cell antigen receptor. Mutant mice expressing loss-of-function mutations affecting LAT and including a mutation in which tyrosine 136 is replaced by a phenylalanine (LatY136F) develop lymphoproliferative disorder involving T helper type 2 effector cells capable of triggering a massive polyclonal B cell activation that leads to hypergammaglobulinemia G1 and E and to non-resolving inflammation and autoimmunity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the phenotypes of LatY136F knock-in mice resemble the immunohistopathological features of immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD). METHODS:LatY136F knock-in mice were sacrificed at 4-20 weeks of age, and pancreas, kidney, salivary gland and lung were obtained. All organs were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and with Azan for estimation of collagen in fibrosis, and the severity scores of inflammation and fibrosis were evaluated. Immunostainings were performed to analyze the types of infiltrating cells. In addition, the effects of corticosteroid treatment on the development of tissue lesions and serum levels of IgG1 were assessed. RESULTS:Tissue lesions characterized by inflammatory mononuclear cell infiltration and fibrosis were detected in pancreas, kidney, and salivary gland starting from 6 weeks of age. Immunostainings showed pronounced infiltration of plasma cells, CD4-positive T cells, and macrophages. Infiltrating plasma cells predominantly expressed IgG1. The extent of inflammation in pancreas and salivary glands was markedly reduced by corticosteroid treatment. CONCLUSIONS:LatY136F knock-in mice displayed increased production of Th2-type IgG1 (a homologue of human IgG4) and developed multiple organ tissue lesions reminiscent of those seen in patients with IgG4-RD. Moreover, the development of these tissue lesions was highly sensitive to corticosteroid treatment like in IgG4-RD. For these reasons we consider the LatY136F knock-in mouse strain to represent a promising model for human IgG4-RD.
Hiroaki Taniguchi, Yasunori Suzuki, and Yukikazu Natori
Cancers, Vol 11, Iss 4, p 532 (2019)
cancer stemness, signaling cascades, in silico approach, cancer heterogeneity, oligonucleotide therapeutics, Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology. Including cancer and carcinogens, and RC254-282
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) with therapeutic resistance and plasticity can be found in various types of tumors and are recognized as attractive targets for treatments. As CSCs are derived from tissue stem or progenitor cells, and/or dedifferentiated mature cells, their signal transduction pathways are critical in the regulation of CSCs; chronic inflammation causes the accumulation of genetic mutations and aberrant epigenetic changes in these cells, potentially leading to the production of CSCs. However, the nature of CSCs appears to be stronger than the treatments of the past. To improve the treatments targeting CSCs, it is important to inhibit several molecules on the signaling cascades in CSCs simultaneously, and to overcome cancer heterogeneity caused by the plasticity. To select suitable target molecules for CSCs, we have to explore the landscape of CSCs from the perspective of cancer stemness and signaling systems, based on the curated databases of cancer-related genes. We have been studying the integration of a broad range of knowledge and experiences from cancer biology, and also from other interdisciplinary basic sciences. In this review, we have introduced the concept of developing novel strategies targeting CSCs.
Hisaya K. Ono, Nobuaki Hachiya, Yasunori Suzuki, Ikunori Naito, Shouhei Hirose, Krisana Asano, Katsuhiko Omoe, Akio Nakane, and Dong-Liang Hu
Toxins, Vol 10, Iss 11, p 458 (2018)
staphylococcal enterotoxin, immunoassay, ELISA, food poisoning, superantigenic activity, and Medicine
Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) are the cause of staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) outbreaks. Recently, many new types of SEs and SE-like toxins have been reported, but it has not been proved whether these new toxins cause food poisoning. To develop an immunoassay for detection of SE-like J (SElJ), a non-characterized toxin in SFP, a mutant SElJ with C-terminus deletion (SElJ∆C) was expressed and purified in an E. coli expression system. Anti-SElJ antibody was produced in rabbits immunized with the SElJ∆C. Western blotting and sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detection systems were established and showed that the antibody specifically recognizes SElJ without cross reaction to other SEs tested. The limit of detection for the sandwich ELISA was 0.078 ng/mL, showing high sensitivity. SElJ production in S. aureus was detected by using the sandwich ELISA and showed that selj-horboring isolates produced a large amount of SElJ in the culture supernatants, especially in that of the strain isolated from a food poisoning outbreak in Japan. These results demonstrate that the immunoassay for detection of SElJ is specific and sensitive and is useful for determining the native SElJ production in S. aureus isolated from food poisoning cases.