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Pseudomonas fluorescens MFE01 uses 1-undecene as aerial communication molecule

Bacterial communication is a fundamental process used to synchronize gene expression and collective behavior among the bacterial population. The most studied bacterial communication system is quorum sensing, a cell density system, in which the concentration of inductors increases to a threshold level allowing detection by specific receptors. As a result, bacteria can change their behavior in a coordinated way. While in Pseudomonas quorum sensing based on the synthesis of N-acyl homoserine lactone molecules is well studied, volatile organic compounds, although considered to be communication signals in the rhizosphere, are understudied. The Pseudomonas fluorescens MFE01 strain has a very active type six secretion system that can kill some competitive bacteria. Furthermore, MFE01 emits numerous volatile organic compounds, including 1-undecene, which contributes to the aerial inhibition of Legionella pneumophila growth. Finally, MFE01 appears to be deprived of N-acyl homoserine lactone synthase. The main objective of this study was to explore the role of 1-undecene in the communication of MFE01. We constructed a mutant affected in undA gene encoding the enzyme responsible for 1-undecene synthesis to provide further insight into the role of 1-undecene in MFE01. First, we studied the impacts of this mutation both on volatile organic compounds emission, using headspace solid-phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and on L. pneumophila long-range inhibition. Then, we analyzed influence of 1-undecene on MFE01 coordinated phenotypes, including type six secretion system activity and biofilm formation. Next, to test the ability of MFE01 to synthesize N-acyl homoserine lactones in our conditions, we investigated in silico the presence of corresponding genes across the MFE01 genome and we exposed its biofilms to an N-acyl homoserine lactone-degrading enzyme. Finally, we examined the effects of 1-undecene emission on MFE01 biofilm maturation and aerial communication using an original experimental set-up. This study demonstrated that the ΔundA mutant is impaired in biofilm maturation. An exposure of the ΔundA mutant to the volatile compounds emitted by MFE01 during the biofilm development restored the biofilm maturation process. These findings indicate that P. fluorescens MFE01 uses 1-undecene emission for aerial communication, reporting for the first time this volatile organic compound as bacterial intraspecific communication signal.

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Increasing taxonomic and functional characterization of host-microbiome interactions by DIA-PASEF metaproteomics

IntroductionMetaproteomics is a rapidly advancing field that offers unique insights into the taxonomic composition and the functional activity of microbial communities, and their effects on host physiology. Classically, data-dependent acquisition (DDA) mass spectrometry (MS) has been applied for peptide identification and quantification in metaproteomics. However, DDA-MS exhibits well-known limitations in terms of depth, sensitivity, and reproducibility. Consequently, methodological improvements are required to better characterize the protein landscape of microbiomes and their interactions with the host.MethodsWe present an optimized proteomic workflow that utilizes the information captured by Parallel Accumulation-Serial Fragmentation (PASEF) MS for comprehensive metaproteomic studies in complex fecal samples of mice.Results and discussionWe show that implementing PASEF using a DDA acquisition scheme (DDA-PASEF) increased peptide quantification up to 5 times and reached higher accuracy and reproducibility compared to previously published classical DDA and data-independent acquisition (DIA) methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the combination of DIA, PASEF, and neuronal-network-based data analysis, was superior to DDA-PASEF in all mentioned parameters. Importantly, DIA-PASEF expanded the dynamic range towards low-abundant proteins and it doubled the quantification of proteins with unknown or uncharacterized functions. Compared to previous classical DDA metaproteomic studies, DIA-PASEF resulted in the quantification of up to 4 times more taxonomic units using 16 times less injected peptides and 4 times shorter chromatography gradients. Moreover, 131 additional functional pathways distributed across more and even uniquely identified taxa were profiled as revealed by a peptide-centric taxonomic-functional analysis. We tested our workflow on a validated preclinical mouse model of neuropathic pain to assess longitudinal changes in host-gut microbiome interactions associated with pain - an unexplored topic for metaproteomics. We uncovered the significant enrichment of two bacterial classes upon pain, and, in addition, the upregulation of metabolic activities previously linked to chronic pain as well as various hitherto unknown ones. Furthermore, our data revealed pain-associated dynamics of proteome complexes implicated in the crosstalk between the host immune system and the gut microbiome. In conclusion, the DIA-PASEF metaproteomic workflow presented here provides a stepping stone towards a deeper understanding of microbial ecosystems across the breadth of biomedical and biotechnological fields.

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Antiviral activity of zinc against hepatitis viruses: current status and future prospects

Viral hepatitis is a major public health concern globally. World health organization aims at eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Among the hepatitis causing viruses, hepatitis B and C are primarily transmitted via contaminated blood. Hepatitis A and E, which gets transmitted primarily via the feco-oral route, are the leading cause of acute viral hepatitis. Although vaccines are available against some of these viruses, new cases continue to be reported. There is an urgent need to devise a potent yet economical antiviral strategy against the hepatitis-causing viruses (denoted as hepatitis viruses) for achieving global elimination of viral hepatitis. Although zinc was known to mankind for a long time (since before Christ era), it was identified as an element in 1746 and its importance for human health was discovered in 1963 by the pioneering work of Dr. Ananda S. Prasad. A series of follow up studies involving zinc supplementation as a therapy demonstrated zinc as an essential element for humans, leading to establishment of a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 15 milligram zinc [United States RDA for zinc]. Being an essential component of many cellular enzymes and transcription factors, zinc is vital for growth and homeostasis of most living organisms, including human. Importantly, several studies indicate potent antiviral activity of zinc. Multiple studies have demonstrated antiviral activity of zinc against viruses that cause hepatitis. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the findings on antiviral activity of zinc against hepatitis viruses, discusses the mechanisms underlying the antiviral properties of zinc and summarizes the prospects of harnessing the therapeutic benefit of zinc supplementation therapy in reducing the disease burden due to viral hepatitis.

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Puerarin alleviates inflammation and pathological damage in colitis mice by regulating metabolism and gut microbiota

Dysbiosis of gut microbiota and metabolic pathway disorders are closely related to the ulcerative colitis. Through network pharmacology, we found that puerarin is a potential ingredient that can improve the crypt deformation and inflammatory infiltration in mice, and decrease the levels of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α significantly. Listeria, Alistipes and P. copri gradually became dominant bacteria in UC mice, which were positively correlated with inflammatory factors. Puerarin effectively improved dysbiosis by reducing the abundance of Alistipes, P. copri and Veillonella, and increasing the level of Desulfovibrionacea. Correlation network and metabolic function prediction analysis of the microbiota showed that they formed a tightly connected network and were widely involved in carbohydrate metabolism and amino acid metabolism. Specifically, we observed significant changes in the tryptophan metabolism pathway in DSS mice, with an increase in the abundance of Bacteroidetes and Enterobacteriaceae involved in tryptophan metabolism. However, this metabolic disorder was alleviated after puerarin treatment, including the reversal of 3-HAA levels and an increase in the abundance of Rhodobacteraceae and Halomonadaceae involved in kynurenine metabolism, as well as a significant increase in the purine metabolite guanosine. In conclusion, our study suggests that puerarin has a good therapeutic effect on UC, which is partially achieved by restoring the composition and abundance of gut microbiota and their metabolism.

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Microbiota as key factors in inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is characterized by prolonged inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which is thought to occur due to dysregulation of the immune system allowing the host’s cells to attack the GI tract and cause chronic inflammation. IBD can be caused by numerous factors such as genetics, gut microbiota, and environmental influences. In recent years, emphasis on commensal bacteria as a critical player in IBD has been at the forefront of new research. Each individual harbors a unique bacterial community that is influenced by diet, environment, and sanitary conditions. Importantly, it has been shown that there is a complex relationship among the microbiome, activation of the immune system, and autoimmune disorders. Studies have shown that not only does the microbiome possess pathogenic roles in the progression of IBD, but it can also play a protective role in mediating tissue damage. Therefore, to improve current IBD treatments, understanding not only the role of harmful bacteria but also the beneficial bacteria could lead to attractive new drug targets. Due to the considerable diversity of the microbiome, it has been challenging to characterize how particular microorganisms interact with the host and other microbiota. Fortunately, with the emergence of next-generation sequencing and the increased prevalence of germ-free animal models there has been significant advancement in microbiome studies. By utilizing human IBD studies and IBD mouse models focused on intraepithelial lymphocytes and innate lymphoid cells, this review will explore the multifaceted roles the microbiota plays in influencing the immune system in IBD.

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Unraveling the rate-limiting step in microorganisms' mediation of denitrification and phosphorus absorption/transport processes in a highly regulated river-lake system

River–lake ecosystems are indispensable hubs for water transfers and flow regulation engineering, which have frequent and complex artificial hydrological regulation processes, and the water quality is often unstable. Microorganisms usually affect these systems by driving the nutrient cycling process. Thus, understanding the key biochemical rate-limiting steps under highly regulated conditions was critical for the water quality stability of river–lake ecosystems. This study investigated how the key microorganisms and genes involving nitrogen and phosphorus cycling contributed to the stability of water by combining 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing using the Dongping river–lake system as the case study. The results showed that nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were significantly lower in lake zones than in river inflow and outflow zones (p < 0.05). Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and Microbacterium were the key microorganisms associated with nitrate and phosphate removal. These microorganisms contributed to key genes that promote denitrification (nirB/narG/narH/nasA) and phosphorus absorption and transport (pstA/pstB/pstC/pstS). Partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) revealed that environmental factors (especially flow velocity and COD concentration) have a significant negative effect on the key microbial abundance (p < 0.001). Our study provides theoretical support for the effective management and protection of water transfer and the regulation function of the river–lake system.

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Teicoplanin associated gene tcaA inactivation increases persister cell formation in Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is part of normal human flora and is widely associated with hospital-acquired bacteremia. S. aureus has shown a diverse array of resistance to environmental stresses and antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is on the high priority list of new antibiotics discovery and glycopeptides are considered the last drug of choice against MRSA. S. aureus has developed resistance against glycopeptides and the emergence of vancomycin-intermediate-resistant, vancomycin-resistant, and teicoplanin-resistant strains is globally reported. Teicoplanin-associated genes tcaR-tcaA-tcaB (tcaRAB) is known as the S. aureus glycopeptide resistance operon that is associated with glycopeptide resistance. Here, for the first time, the role of tcaRAB in S. aureus persister cells formation, and ΔtcaA dependent persisters’ ability to resuscitate the bacterial population was explored. We recovered a clinical strain of MRSA from a COVID-19 patient which showed a high level of resistance to teicoplanin, vancomycin, and methicillin. Whole genome RNA sequencing revealed that the tcaRAB operon expression was altered followed by high expression of glyS and sgtB. The RNA-seq data revealed a significant decrease in tcaA (p = 0.008) and tcaB (p = 0.04) expression while tcaR was not significantly altered. We knocked down tcaA, tcaB, and tcaR using CRISPR-dCas9 and the results showed that when tcaA was suppressed by dCas9, a significant increase was witnessed in persister cells while tcaB suppression did not induce persistence. The results were further evaluated by creating a tcaA mutant that showed ΔtcaA formed a significant increase in persisters in comparison to the wild type. Based on our findings, we concluded that tcaA is the gene that increases persister cells and glycopeptide resistance and could be a potential therapeutic target in S. aureus.

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