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Bacillus subtilis RecO and SsbA are crucial for RecA-mediated recombinational DNA repair

Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jul 13;43(12):5984-97. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv545

Carrasco B., Yadav T., Serrano E., and Alonso J.C.

Genetic data have revealed that the absence of Bacillus subtilis RecO and one of the end-processing avenues (AddAB or RecJ) renders cells as sensitive to DNA damaging agents as the null recA, suggesting that both end-resection pathways require RecO for recombination. RecA, in the rATP·Mg(2+) bound form (RecA·ATP), is inactive to catalyze DNA recombination between linear double-stranded (ds) DNA and naked complementary circular single-stranded (ss) DNA. We showed that RecA·ATP could not nucleate and/or polymerize on SsbA·ssDNA or SsbB·ssDNA complexes. RecA·ATP nucleates and polymerizes on RecO·ssDNA·SsbA complexes more efficiently than on RecO·ssDNA·SsbB complexes. Limiting SsbA concentrations were sufficient to stimulate RecA·ATP assembly on the RecO·ssDNA·SsbB complexes. RecO and SsbA are necessary and sufficient to 'activate' RecA·ATP to catalyze DNA strand exchange, whereas the AddAB complex, RecO alone or in concert with SsbB was not sufficient. In presence of AddAB, RecO and SsbA are still necessary for efficient RecA·ATP-mediated three-strand exchange recombination. Based on genetic and biochemical data, we proposed that SsbA and RecO (or SsbA, RecO and RecR in vivo) are crucial for RecA activation for both, AddAB and RecJ-RecQ (RecS) recombinational repair pathways.

T Cell Migration in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Front Immunol. 2015 Jul 27;6:384. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00384

Mellado M., Martínez-Muñoz L., Cascio G., Lucas P., Pablos J.L., and Rodríguez-Frade J.M.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation in joints, associated with synovial hyperplasia and with bone and cartilage destruction. Although the primacy of T cell-related events early in the disease continues to be debated, there is strong evidence that autoantigen recognition by specific T cells is crucial to the pathophysiology of rheumatoid synovitis. In addition, T cells are key components of the immune cell infiltrate detected in the joints of RA patients. Initial analysis of the cytokines released into the synovial membrane showed an imbalance, with a predominance of proinflammatory mediators, indicating a deleterious effect of Th1 T cells. There is nonetheless evidence that Th17 cells also play an important role in RA. T cells migrate from the bloodstream to the synovial tissue via their interactions with the endothelial cells that line synovial postcapillary venules. At this stage, selectins, integrins, and chemokines have a central role in blood cell invasion of synovial tissue, and therefore in the intensity of the inflammatory response. In this review, we will focus on the mechanisms involved in T cell attraction to the joint, the proteins involved in their extravasation from blood vessels, and the signaling pathways activated. Knowledge of these processes will lead to a better understanding of the mechanism by which the systemic immune response causes local joint disorders and will help to provide a molecular basis for therapeutic strategies.

The interaction of ω2 with the RNA polymerase β’ subunit functions as an activation to repression switch

Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Aug 3. pii: gkv788

Volante A., Carrasco B., Tabone M. and Alonso J. C.

The ω gene is encoded in broad-host range and low-copy plasmids. It is genetically linked to antibiotic resistance genes of the major human pathogens of phylum Firmicutes. The homodimeric forms of ω (ω2) coordinate the plasmid copy number control, faithful partition (ω2 and δ2) and better-than-random segregation (ζϵ2ζ) systems. The promoter (P) of the ωϵζ operon (Pω) transiently interacts with ω2. Adding δ2 facilitates the formation of stable ω2·Pω complexes. Here we show that limiting ω2 interacts with the N-terminal domain of the β' subunit of the Bacillus subtilis RNA polymerase (RNAP-σA) vegetative holoenzyme. In this way ω2 recruits RNAP-σA onto Pω DNA. Partial Pω occupancy by ω2 increases the rate at which RNAP-σA complex shifts from its closed (RPC) to open (RPO) form. This shift increases transcription activation. Adding δ2 further increases the rate of Pω transcription initiation, perhaps by stabilizing the ω2·Pω complex. In contrast, full operator occupancy by ω2 facilitates RPC formation, but it blocks RPO isomerization and represses Pω utilization. The stimulation and inhibition of RPO formation is the mechanism whereby ω2 mediates copy number fluctuation and stable plasmid segregation. By this mechanism, ω2 also indirectly influences the acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes.

New Rimocidin/CE-108 Derivatives Obtained by a Crotonyl-CoA Carboxylase/Reductase Gene Disruption in Streptomyces diastaticus var. 108: Substrates for the Polyene Carboxamide Synthase Pcs

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 18;10(8):e0135891. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135891

Escudero L., Al-Refai M, Nieto C., Laatsch H., Malpartida F. and Seco E.M.

The rimJ gene, which codes for a crotonyl-CoA carboxylase/reductase, lies within the biosynthetic gene cluster for two polyketides belonging to the polyene macrolide group (CE-108 and rimocidin) produced by Streptomyces diastaticus var. 108. Disruption of rimJ by insertional inactivation gave rise to a recombinant strain overproducing new polyene derivatives besides the parental CE-108 (2a) and rimocidin (4a). The structure elucidation of one of them, CE-108D (3a), confirmed the incorporation of an alternative extender unit for elongation step 13. Other compounds were also overproduced in the fermentation broth of rimJ disruptant. The new compounds are in vivo substrates for the previously described polyene carboxamide synthase PcsA. The rimJ disruptant strain, constitutively expressing the pcsA gene, allowed the overproduction of CE-108E (3b), the corresponding carboxamide derivative of CE-108D (3a), with improved pharmacological properties.

NK Cell and Ig Interplay in Defense against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1: Epistatic Interaction of CD16A and IgG1 Allotypes of Variable Affinities Modulates Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity and Susceptibility to Clinical Reactivation

J Immunol. 2015 Aug 15;195(4):1676-84. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1500872.

Moraru M., Black L.E., Muntasell A., Portero F., López-Botet M., Reyburn H.T., Pandey J.P., Vilches C.

HSV-1 latently infects most humans, causing a variable clinical picture that depends, in part, on host genetic factors. Both IgG and its cellular FcRs, CD16A and CD32A-C (encoded by FCGR3A and FCGR2A-C, respectively, on chromosome 1), display polymorphisms that could affect their defensive function. Of potential relevance are a FCGR3A dimorphism resulting in CD16A-valine/phenylalanine-158 allotypes with different IgG affinity, variations conditioning NK cell expression of CD32B or CD32C, and IgG1 H chain (IGHG1) and kappa-chain (IGKC) polymorphisms determining allotypes designated G1m and Km. In this study, we assessed the contribution of Ig genetic variations and their interaction with FcR polymorphism to HSV-1 susceptibility, as well as their impact on NK cell-mediated Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Our results show an epistatic interaction between IGHG1 and FCGR3A such that the higher affinity CD16A-158V/V genotype associates with an asymptomatic course of HSV-1 infection only in homozygotes for G1m3. Furthermore, CD16A-158V and G1m3 allotypes enhanced ADCC against opsonized HSV-1-infected fibroblasts. Conversely, Km allotypes and CD32B or CD32C expression on NK cells did not significantly influence HSV-1 susceptibility or ADCC. NK cells degranulating against immune serum-opsonized HSV-1-infected fibroblasts had heterogeneous phenotypes. Yet, enhanced ADCC was observed among NK cells showing a differentiated, memory-like phenotype (NKG2C(bright)NKG2A(-)CD57(+)FcRγ(-)), which expand in response to human CMV. These results extend our knowledge on the importance of immunogenetic polymorphisms and NK cell-Ab interplay in the host response against HSV-1 and point to the relevance of interactions between immune responses elicited during chronic coinfection by multiple herpesviruses.