Matching Items (5)

157426-Thumbnail Image.png

Genetic and Biochemical Insights into the Mycobacterial PrrAB System as a Regulator of Respiration and Central Metabolism

Description

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is the 10th leading cause of death, worldwide. The prevalence of drug-resistant clinical isolates and the paucity of newly-approved antituberculosis drugs impedes

Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is the 10th leading cause of death, worldwide. The prevalence of drug-resistant clinical isolates and the paucity of newly-approved antituberculosis drugs impedes the successful eradication of Mtb. Bacteria commonly use two-component systems (TCS) to sense their environment and genetically modulate adaptive responses. The prrAB TCS is essential in Mtb, thus representing an auspicious drug target; however, the inability to generate an Mtb ΔprrAB mutant complicates investigating how this TCS contributes to pathogenesis. Mycobacterium smegmatis, a commonly used M. tuberculosis genetic surrogate was used here. This work shows that prrAB is not essential in M. smegmatis. During ammonium stress, the ΔprrAB mutant excessively accumulates triacylglycerol lipids, a phenotype associated with M. tuberculosis dormancy and chronic infection. Additionally, triacylglycerol biosynthetic genes were induced in the ΔprrAB mutant relative to the wild-type and complementation strains during ammonium stress. Next, RNA-seq was used to define the M. smegmatis PrrAB regulon. PrrAB regulates genes participating in respiration, metabolism, redox balance, and oxidative phosphorylation. The M. smegmatis ΔprrAB mutant is compromised for growth under hypoxia, is hypersensitive to cyanide, and fails to induce high-affinity respiratory genes during hypoxia. Furthermore, PrrAB positively regulates the hypoxia-responsive dosR TCS response regulator, potentially explaining the hypoxia-mediated growth defects in the ΔprrAB mutant. Despite inducing genes encoding the F1F0 ATP synthase, the ΔprrAB mutant accumulates significantly less ATP during aerobic, exponential growth compared to the wild-type and complementation strains. Finally, the M. smegmatis ΔprrAB mutant exhibited growth impairment in media containing gluconeogenic carbon sources. M. tuberculosis mutants unable to utilize these substrates fail to establish chronic infection, suggesting that PrrAB may regulate Mtb central carbon metabolism in response to chronic infection. In conclusion, 1) prrAB is not universally essential in mycobacteria; 2) M. smegmatis PrrAB regulates genetic responsiveness to nutrient and oxygen stress; and 3) PrrAB may provide feed-forward control of the DosRS TCS and dormancy phenotypes. The data generated in these studies provide insight into the mycobacterial PrrAB TCS transcriptional regulon, PrrAB essentiality in Mtb, and how PrrAB may mediate stresses encountered by Mtb during the transition to chronic infection.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

157820-Thumbnail Image.png

Enhanced Microbial Respiration of Photodegraded Leaf Litter at High Relative Humidity is Explained by Relative Water Content Rather Than Vapor Uptake Rate or Carbon Quality

Description

There is a growing consensus that photodegradation accelerates litter decomposition in drylands, but the mechanisms are not well understood. In a previous field study examining how exposure to solar radiation

There is a growing consensus that photodegradation accelerates litter decomposition in drylands, but the mechanisms are not well understood. In a previous field study examining how exposure to solar radiation affects decomposition of 12 leaf litter types over 34 months in the Sonoran Desert, litter exposed to UV/blue wavebands of solar radiation decayed faster. The concentration of water-soluble compounds was higher in decayed litter than in new (recently senesced) litter, and higher in decayed litter exposed to solar radiation than other decayed litter. Microbial respiration of litter incubated in high relative humidity for 1 day was greater in decayed litter than new litter and greatest in decayed litter exposed to solar radiation. Respiration rates were strongly correlated with decay rates and water-soluble concentrations of litter. The objective of the current study was to determine why respiration rates were higher in decayed litter and why this effect was magnified in litter exposed to solar radiation. First, I evaluated whether photodegradation enhanced the quantity of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in litter by comparing DOC concentrations of photodegraded litter to new litter. Second, I evaluated whether photodegradation increased the quality of DOC for microbial utilization by measuring respiration of leachates with equal DOC concentrations after applying them to a soil inoculum. I hypothesized that water vapor sorption may explain differences in respiration among litter age or sunlight exposure treatments. Therefore, I assessed water vapor sorption of litter over an 8-day incubation in high relative humidity. Water vapor sorption rates over 1 and 8 days were slower in decayed than new litter and not faster in photodegraded than other decayed litter. However, I found that 49-78% of the variation in respiration could be explained by the relative amount of water litter absorbed over 1 day compared to 8 days, a measure referred to as relative water content. Decayed and photodegraded litter had higher relative water content after 1 day because it had a lower water-holding capacity. Higher respiration rates of decayed and photodegraded litter were attributed to faster microbial activation due to greater relative water content of that litter.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

149433-Thumbnail Image.png

Relative phase dynamics in motor-respiratory coordination

Description

Motor-respiratory coordination is the synchronization of movement and breathing during exercise. The relation between movement and breathing can be described using relative phase, a measure of the location in the

Motor-respiratory coordination is the synchronization of movement and breathing during exercise. The relation between movement and breathing can be described using relative phase, a measure of the location in the movement cycle relative to the location in the breathing cycle. Stability in that relative phase relation has been identified as important for aerobic efficiency. However, performance can be overly attracted to stable relative phases, preventing the performance or learning of more complex patterns. Little research exists on relative phase dynamics in motor-respiratory coordination, although those observations underscore the importance of learning more. In contrast, there is an extensive literature on relative phase dynamics in interlimb coordination. The accuracy and stability of different relative phases, transitions between patterns, and asymmetries between components are well understood. Theoretically, motor-respiratory and interlimb coordination may share dynamical properties that operate in their different physiological substrates. An existing model of relative phase dynamics in interlimb coordination, the Haken, Kelso, Bunz model, was used to gain an understanding of relative phase dynamics in the less-researched motor-respiratory coordination. Experiments 1 and 2 were designed to examine the interaction of frequency asymmetries between movement and breathing with relative phase and frequency, respectively. In Experiment 3, relative phase stability and transitions in motor-respiratory coordination were explored. Perceptual constraints on differences in stability were investigated in Experiment 4. Across experiments, contributions relevant to questions of coordinative variability were made using a dynamical method called cross recurrence quantification analysis. Results showed much consistency with predictions from an asymmetric extension of the Haken, Kelso, Bunz model and theoretical interpretation in the interlimb coordination literature, including phase wandering, intermittency, and an interdependence of perception and action. There were, however, notable exceptions that indicated stability can decrease with more natural frequency asymmetries and the connection of cross recurrence measures to categories of variability needs further clarification. The complex relative phase dynamics displayed in this study suggest that movement and breathing are softly-assembled by functional constraints and indicate that motor-respiratory coordination is a self-organized system.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010

152146-Thumbnail Image.png

Portable sensors for breath analysis

Description

Human breath is a concoction of thousands of compounds having in it a breath-print of physiological processes in the body. Though breath provides a non-invasive and easy to handle biological

Human breath is a concoction of thousands of compounds having in it a breath-print of physiological processes in the body. Though breath provides a non-invasive and easy to handle biological fluid, its analysis for clinical diagnosis is not very common. Partly the reason for this absence is unavailability of cost effective and convenient tools for such analysis. Scientific literature is full of novel sensor ideas but it is challenging to develop a working device, which are few. These challenges include trace level detection, presence of hundreds of interfering compounds, excessive humidity, different sampling regulations and personal variability. To meet these challenges as well as deliver a low cost solution, optical sensors based on specific colorimetric chemical reactions on mesoporous membranes have been developed. Sensor hardware utilizing cost effective and ubiquitously available light source (LED) and detector (webcam/photo diodes) has been developed and optimized for sensitive detection. Sample conditioning mouthpiece suitable for portable sensors is developed and integrated. The sensors are capable of communication with mobile phones realizing the idea of m-health for easy personal health monitoring in free living conditions. Nitric oxide and Acetone are chosen as analytes of interest. Nitric oxide levels in the breath correlate with lung inflammation which makes it useful for asthma management. Acetone levels increase during ketosis resulting from fat metabolism in the body. Monitoring breath acetone thus provides useful information to people with type1 diabetes, epileptic children on ketogenic diets and people following fitness plans for weight loss.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

149679-Thumbnail Image.png

Intra-offspring tradeoffs of python egg-brooding behavior

Description

Though it is a widespread adaptation in humans and many other animals, parental care comes in a variety of forms and its subtle physiological costs, benefits, and tradeoffs related to

Though it is a widespread adaptation in humans and many other animals, parental care comes in a variety of forms and its subtle physiological costs, benefits, and tradeoffs related to offspring are often unknown. Thus, I studied the hydric, respiratory, thermal, and fitness dynamics of maternal egg-brooding behavior in Children's pythons (Antaresia childreni). I demonstrated that tight coiling detrimentally creates a hypoxic developmental environment that is alleviated by periodic postural adjustments. Alternatively, maternal postural adjustments detrimentally elevate rates of egg water loss relative to tight coiling. Despite ventilating postural adjustments, the developmental environment becomes increasingly hypoxic near the end of incubation, which reduces embryonic metabolism. I further demonstrated that brooding-induced hypoxia detrimentally affects offspring size, performance, locomotion, and behavior. Thus, parental care in A. childreni comes at a cost to offspring due to intra-offspring tradeoffs (i.e., those that reflect competing offspring needs, such as water balance and respiration). Next, I showed that, despite being unable to intrinsically produce body heat, A. childreni adjust egg-brooding behavior in response to shifts in nest temperature, which enhances egg temperature (e.g., reduced tight coiling during nest warming facilitated beneficial heat transfer to eggs). Last, I demonstrated that A. childreni adaptively adjust their egg-brooding behaviors due to an interaction between nest temperature and humidity. Specifically, females' behavioral response to nest warming was eliminated during low nest humidity. In combination with other studies, these results show that female pythons sense environmental temperature and humidity and utilize this information at multiple time points (i.e., during gravidity [egg bearing], at oviposition [egg laying], and during egg brooding) to enhance the developmental environment of their offspring. This research demonstrates that maternal behaviors that are simple and subtle, yet easily quantifiable, can balance several critical developmental variables (i.e., thermoregulation, water balance, and respiration).

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011