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Allelic variation of bile salt hydrolase genes in Lactobacillus salivarius does not determine bile resistance levels.Commensal lactobacilli frequently produce bile salt hydrolase (Bsh) enzymes whose roles in intestinal survival are unclear. Twenty-six Lactobacillus salivarius strains from different sources all harbored a bsh1 allele on their respective megaplasmids. This allele was related to the plasmid-borne bsh1 gene of the probiotic strain UCC118. A second locus (bsh2) was found in the chromosomes of two strains that had higher bile resistance levels. Four Bsh1-encoding allele groups were identified, defined by truncations or deletions involving a conserved residue. In vitro analyses showed that this allelic variation was correlated with widely varying bile deconjugation phenotypes. Despite very low activity of the UCC118 Bsh1 enzyme, a mutant lacking this protein had significantly lower bile resistance, both in vitro and during intestinal transit in mice. However, the overall bile resistance phenotype of this and other strains was independent of the bsh1 allele type. Analysis of the L. salivarius transcriptome upon exposure to bile and cholate identified a multiplicity of stress response proteins and putative efflux proteins that appear to broadly compensate for, or mask, the effects of allelic variation of bsh genes. Bsh enzymes with different bile-degrading kinetics, though apparently not the primary determinants of bile resistance in L. salivarius, may have additional biological importance because of varying effects upon bile as a signaling molecule in the host.
Carlow virus, a 2002 GII.4 variant Norovirus strain from Ireland.BACKGROUND: Noroviruses are the leading cause of infectious non-bacterial gastroenteritis in Ireland (population 4 million). Due to the number of outbreaks, its massive impact on the Irish health service and its seasonality, Norovirus has gained public notoriety as The Winter Vomiting Bug. The increase in cases in Ireland in the 2002-2003 season coincided with the emergence of two new Genogroup II genotype 4 variant clusters of Norovirus worldwide. RESULTS: Little research has been done on the epidemiology or molecular biology of Norovirus strains in Ireland. In an effort to combat this discrepancy, we cloned a full length human norovirus genome as a cDNA clone (J3) which can produce full length transcripts in vitro. A polymerase mutant cDNA clone (X1), in addition to a sub genomic cDNA clone (1A) were produced for use in future work. Carlow virus (Hu/NoV/GII/Carlow/2002/Ire) genome is 7559 nts in length, excluding the 3-end poly A tail and represents the first Norovirus strain from Ireland to be sequenced. CONCLUSION: Carlow virus is a member of the Farmington Hills variant cluster of Genogroup II genotype 4 noroviruses.
Lack of MEF2A Delta7aa mutation in Irish families with early onset ischaemic heart disease, a family based study.BACKGROUND: Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is a complex disease due to the combination of environmental and genetic factors. Mutations in the MEF2A gene have recently been reported in patients with IHD. In particular, a 21 base pair deletion (Delta7aa) in the MEF2A gene was identified in a family with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance of IHD. We investigated this region of the MEF2A gene using an Irish family-based study, where affected individuals had early-onset IHD. METHODS: A total of 1494 individuals from 580 families were included (800 discordant sib-pairs and 64 parent-child trios). The Delta7aa region of the MEF2A gene was investigated based on amplicon size. RESULTS: The Delta7aa mutation was not detected in any individual. Variation in the number of CAG (glutamate) and CCG (proline) residues was detected in a nearby region. However, this was not found to be associated with IHD. CONCLUSION: The Delta7aa mutation was not detected in any individual within the study population and is unlikely to play a significant role in the development of IHD in Ireland. Using family-based tests of association the number of tri-nucleotide repeats in a nearby region of the MEF2A gene was not associated with IHD in our study group.
α-1 Antitrypsin regulates human neutrophil chemotaxis induced by soluble immune complexes and IL-8.Hereditary deficiency of the protein α-1 antitrypsin (AAT) causes a chronic lung disease in humans that is characterized by excessive mobilization of neutrophils into the lung. However, the reason for the increased neutrophil burden has not been fully elucidated. In this study we have demonstrated using human neutrophils that serum AAT coordinates both CXCR1- and soluble immune complex (sIC) receptor-mediated chemotaxis by divergent pathways. We demonstrated that glycosylated AAT can bind to IL-8 (a ligand for CXCR1) and that AAT-IL-8 complex formation prevented IL-8 interaction with CXCR1. Second, AAT modulated neutrophil chemotaxis in response to sIC by controlling membrane expression of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored (GPI-anchored) Fc receptor FcγRIIIb. This process was mediated through inhibition of ADAM-17 enzymatic activity. Neutrophils isolated from clinically stable AAT-deficient patients were characterized by low membrane expression of FcγRIIIb and increased chemotaxis in response to IL-8 and sIC. Treatment of AAT-deficient individuals with AAT augmentation therapy resulted in increased AAT binding to IL-8, increased AAT binding to the neutrophil membrane, decreased FcγRIIIb release from the neutrophil membrane, and normalization of chemotaxis. These results provide new insight into the mechanism underlying the effect of AAT augmentation therapy in the pulmonary disease associated with AAT deficiency.