Matching Items (13)

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Identification of Transcriptomic Biomarkers for use in Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Description

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that afflicts more than 20% of the population in the United States. Symptoms include mild to severe abdominal discomfort accompanied by a change in stool character and form ranging from constipation

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that afflicts more than 20% of the population in the United States. Symptoms include mild to severe abdominal discomfort accompanied by a change in stool character and form ranging from constipation to diarrhea. Additionally, IBS is associated with secondary effects including depression, anxiety, poor quality of life, insomnia and sexual dysfunction. Despite the known association of secondary effects, patients are often tested for potential illnesses that share similar pathological symptoms. This process can be costly and protracted and yet not deliver a completely accurate diagnosis. The aim of this research is to identify gene expression-based biological signatures and unique biomarkers for the detection of IBS. Through the use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), comparison of pooled samples of non-IBS patient-derived RNA were used to identify differentially expressed genes in patients with IBS. Data obtained from preliminary DNA microarray analysis demonstrated a degree of success in differentiating between IBS and asymptomatic patients. Additional comprehensive DNA microarray analyses have led to the identification of a series of 858 differentially expressed genes, including genes associated with serotonin metabolism, which may characterize the IBS pathological state. The microarray results were screened using a combination of gene ontological analysis and qPCR. Real-time PCR revealed repressed levels of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH1), an enzyme involved in the rate- limiting step in serotonin biosynthesis, in IBS patients relative to controls. Lower concentrations of serum 25(OH)D were also observed among the IBS cohort relative to asymptomatic patients, especially among IBS-D subtype. Vitamin D was shown to modulate differentially expressed genes in IBS patients, suggesting that IBS pathophysiology may involve vitamin D insufficiency and/or an irregularity in serotonin metabolism. Additional qPCR analysis of 32 differentially expressed genes in IBS patients identified 7 putative genetic biomarkers proposed for a potential IBS diagnostic panel. Based on the quality of these results, we may be able to develop, test, and market a diagnostic kit for IBS.

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Date Created
2017-12

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Biomarker- and Similarity Coefficient-Based Approaches to Bacterial Mixture Characterization Using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)

Description

MALDI-TOF MS profiling has been shown to be a rapid and reliable method to characterize pure cultures of bacteria. Currently, there is keen interest in using this technique to identify bacteria in mixtures. Promising results have been reported with two-

MALDI-TOF MS profiling has been shown to be a rapid and reliable method to characterize pure cultures of bacteria. Currently, there is keen interest in using this technique to identify bacteria in mixtures. Promising results have been reported with two- or three-isolate model systems using biomarker-based approaches. In this work, we applied MALDI-TOF MS-based methods to a more complex model mixture containing six bacteria. We employed: 1) a biomarker-based approach that has previously been shown to be useful in identification of individual bacteria in pure cultures and simple mixtures and 2) a similarity coefficient-based approach that is routinely and nearly exclusively applied to identification of individual bacteria in pure cultures. Both strategies were developed and evaluated using blind-coded mixtures. With regard to the biomarker-based approach, results showed that most peaks in mixture spectra could be assigned to those found in spectra of each component bacterium; however, peaks shared by two isolates as well as peaks that could not be assigned to any individual component isolate were observed. For two-isolate blind-coded samples, bacteria were correctly identified using both similarity coefficient- and biomarker-based strategies, while for blind-coded samples containing more than two isolates, bacteria were more effectively identified using a biomarker-based strategy.

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Date Created
2015-11-05

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A Designed Experiments Approach to Optimization of Automated Data Acquisition During Characterization of Bacteria With MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry

Description

MALDI-TOF MS has been shown capable of rapidly and accurately characterizing bacteria. Highly reproducible spectra are required to ensure reliable characterization. Prior work has shown that spectra acquired manually can have higher reproducibility than those acquired automatically. For this reason,

MALDI-TOF MS has been shown capable of rapidly and accurately characterizing bacteria. Highly reproducible spectra are required to ensure reliable characterization. Prior work has shown that spectra acquired manually can have higher reproducibility than those acquired automatically. For this reason, the objective of this study was to optimize automated data acquisition to yield spectra with reproducibility comparable to those acquired manually. Fractional factorial design was used to design experiments for robust optimization of settings, in which values of five parameters (peak selection mass range, signal to noise ratio (S:N), base peak intensity, minimum resolution and number of shots summed) commonly used to facilitate automated data acquisition were varied. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was used as a model bacterium in the designed experiments, and spectra were acquired using an intact cell sample preparation method. Optimum automated data acquisition settings (i.e., those settings yielding the highest reproducibility of replicate mass spectra) were obtained based on statistical analysis of spectra of P. aeruginosa. Finally, spectrum quality and reproducibility obtained from non-optimized and optimized automated data acquisition settings were compared for P. aeruginosa, as well as for two other bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Serratia marcescens. Results indicated that reproducibility increased from 90% to 97% (p-value [~ over =] 0.002) for P. aeruginosa when more shots were summed and, interestingly, decreased from 95% to 92% (p-value [~ over =] 0.013) with increased threshold minimum resolution. With regard to spectrum quality, highly reproducible spectra were more likely to have high spectrum quality as measured by several quality metrics, except for base peak resolution. Interaction plots suggest that, in cases of low threshold minimum resolution, high reproducibility can be achieved with fewer shots. Optimization yielded more reproducible spectra than non-optimized settings for all three bacteria.

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Created

Date Created
2014-03-24

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Rapid Characterization of Microalgae and Microalgae Mixtures Using Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS)

Description

Current molecular methods to characterize microalgae are time-intensive and expensive. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) may represent a rapid and economical alternative approach. The objectives of this study were to determine whether MALDI-TOF MS can be

Current molecular methods to characterize microalgae are time-intensive and expensive. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) may represent a rapid and economical alternative approach. The objectives of this study were to determine whether MALDI-TOF MS can be used to: 1) differentiate microalgae at the species and strain levels and 2) characterize simple microalgal mixtures. A common protein extraction sample preparation method was used to facilitate rapid mass spectrometry-based analysis of 31 microalgae. Each yielded spectra containing between 6 and 56 peaks in the m/z 2,000 to 20,000 range. The taxonomic resolution of this approach appeared higher than that of 18S rDNA sequence analysis. For example, two strains of Scenedesmus acutus differed only by two 18S rDNA nucleotides, but yielded distinct MALDI-TOF mass spectra. Mixtures of two and three microalgae yielded relatively complex spectra that contained peaks associated with members of each mixture. Interestingly, though, mixture-specific peaks were observed at m/z 11,048 and 11,230. Our results suggest that MALDI-TOF MS affords rapid characterization of individual microalgae and simple microalgal mixtures.

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Date Created
2015-08-13

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A Designed Experiments Approach to Optimizing MALDI-TOF MS Spectrum Processing Parameters Enhances Detection of Antibiotic Resistance in Campylobacter Jejuni

Description

MALDI-TOF MS has been utilized as a reliable and rapid tool for microbial fingerprinting at the genus and species levels. Recently, there has been keen interest in using MALDI-TOF MS beyond the genus and species levels to rapidly identify antibiotic

MALDI-TOF MS has been utilized as a reliable and rapid tool for microbial fingerprinting at the genus and species levels. Recently, there has been keen interest in using MALDI-TOF MS beyond the genus and species levels to rapidly identify antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. The purpose of this study was to enhance strain level resolution for Campylobacter jejuni through the optimization of spectrum processing parameters using a series of designed experiments. A collection of 172 strains of C. jejuni were collected from Luxembourg, New Zealand, North America, and South Africa, consisting of four groups of antibiotic resistant isolates. The groups included: (1) 65 strains resistant to cefoperazone (2) 26 resistant to cefoperazone and beta-lactams (3) 5 strains resistant to cefoperazone, beta-lactams, and tetracycline, and (4) 76 strains resistant to cefoperazone, teicoplanin, amphotericin, B and cephalothin.

Initially, a model set of 16 strains (three biological replicates and three technical replicates per isolate, yielding a total of 144 spectra) of C. jejuni was subjected to each designed experiment to enhance detection of antibiotic resistance. The most optimal parameters were applied to the larger collection of 172 isolates (two biological replicates and three technical replicates per isolate, yielding a total of 1,031 spectra). We observed an increase in antibiotic resistance detection whenever either a curve based similarity coefficient (Pearson or ranked Pearson) was applied rather than a peak based (Dice) and/or the optimized preprocessing parameters were applied. Increases in antimicrobial resistance detection were scored using the jackknife maximum similarity technique following cluster analysis. From the first four groups of antibiotic resistant isolates, the optimized preprocessing parameters increased detection respective to the aforementioned groups by: (1) 5% (2) 9% (3) 10%, and (4) 2%. An additional second categorization was created from the collection consisting of 31 strains resistant to beta-lactams and 141 strains sensitive to beta-lactams. Applying optimal preprocessing parameters, beta-lactam resistance detection was increased by 34%. These results suggest that spectrum processing parameters, which are rarely optimized or adjusted, affect the performance of MALDI-TOF MS-based detection of antibiotic resistance and can be fine-tuned to enhance screening performance.

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Date Created
2016-05-31

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Identification of Mycobacterium smegmatis and antibiotic resistance through the utilization of high titer mycobacteriophage concentrations and MALDI-TOF MS

Description

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a generally non-pathogenic, comparatively fast growing microorganism to M. tuberculosis. These proof-of-concept studies established that after transduction of M. smegmatis cells with bacteriophages, MALDI-TOF MS could be used to detect increased amounts of phage proteins. Recording the growth of M. smegmatis over an 8-hour period, starting with very low OD600 measurements, simulated bacterial loads in clinical settings. For the purposes of MALDI-TOF MS, the procedure for the most effective lethal exposure for M. smegmatis was determined to be a 1-hour incubation in a 95°C water bath. Successful precipitation of the lytic mycobacteriophages D29 and Giles was performed using chloroform and methanol and overlaid with 1-2 μL of α-cyano-4-hydoxycinnaminic acid, which allowed for more distinct and repeatable MALDI-TOF MS spectra. Phage D29 was found to produce an m/z peak at 18.477 kDa, which may have indicated a 2+-charged ion of the 34.8 kDa minor tail protein. The Giles proteins that were identified with MALDI-TOF MS have not been directly compared to protein values reported in the scientific literature. However, the MALDI-TOF MS spectra suggested that distinct peaks existed between M. smegmatis mc2155 and mycobacteriophages, indicating that successful infection with lytic phage and replication thereafter may have occurred. The distinct peaks between M. smegmatis and the phage can be used as indicators of the presence of mycobacteria. At this point, the limits of detection of each phage must be elucidated in order for MALDI-TOF MS spectra to be successfully implemented as a mechanism to rapidly detect antibiotic-resistant mycobacteria.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Understanding the Role of the Repair Response during Localized Tissue Damage in D. melanogaster

Description

Proper developmental fidelity ensures uninterrupted progression towards sexual maturity and species longevity. However, early development, the time-frame spanning infancy through adolescence, is a fragile state since organisms have limited mobility and responsiveness towards their environment. Previous studies have shown that

Proper developmental fidelity ensures uninterrupted progression towards sexual maturity and species longevity. However, early development, the time-frame spanning infancy through adolescence, is a fragile state since organisms have limited mobility and responsiveness towards their environment. Previous studies have shown that damage during development leads to an onset of developmental delay which is proportional to the extent of damage accrued by the organism. In contrast, damage sustained in older organisms does not delay development in response to tissue damage. In the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, damage to wing precursor tissues is associated with developmental retardation if damage is sustained in young larvae. No developmental delay is observed when damage is inflicted closer to pupariation time. Here we use microarray analysis to characterize the genomic response to injury in Drosophila melanogaster in young and old larvae. We also begin to develop tools to examine in more detail, the role that the neurotransmitter dopamine might play in mediating injury-induced developmental delays.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Proteomic, genetic, and biochemical analyses of two-component regulatory systems in Porphyromonas gingivalis and Escherichia coli

Description

Pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria employ a variety of molecular mechanisms to combat host defenses. Two-component regulatory systems (TCR systems) are the most ubiquitous signal transduction systems which regulate many genes required for virulence and survival of bacteria. In this study, I

Pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria employ a variety of molecular mechanisms to combat host defenses. Two-component regulatory systems (TCR systems) are the most ubiquitous signal transduction systems which regulate many genes required for virulence and survival of bacteria. In this study, I analyzed different TCR systems in two clinically-relevant Gram-negative bacteria, i.e., oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis and enterobacterial Escherichia coli. P. gingivalis is a major causative agent of periodontal disease as well as systemic illnesses, like cardiovascular disease. A microarray study found that the putative PorY-PorX TCR system controls the secretion and maturation of virulence factors, as well as loci involved in the PorSS secretion system, which secretes proteinases, i.e., gingipains, responsible for periodontal disease. Proteomic analysis (SILAC) was used to improve the microarray data, reverse-transcription PCR to verify the proteomic data, and primer extension assay to determine the promoter regions of specific PorX regulated loci. I was able to characterize multiple genetic loci regulated by this TCR system, many of which play an essential role in hemagglutination and host-cell adhesion, and likely contribute to virulence in this bacterium. Enteric Gram-negative bacteria must withstand many host defenses such as digestive enzymes, low pH, and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). The CpxR-CpxA TCR system of E. coli has been extensively characterized and shown to be required for protection against AMPs. Most recently, this TCR system has been shown to up-regulate the rfe-rff operon which encodes genes involved in the production of enterobacterial common antigen (ECA), and confers protection against a variety of AMPs. In this study, I utilized primer extension and DNase I footprinting to determine how CpxR regulates the ECA operon. My findings suggest that CpxR modulates transcription by directly binding to the rfe promoter. Multiple genetic and biochemical approaches were used to demonstrate that specific TCR systems contribute to regulation of virulence factors and resistance to host defenses in P. gingivalis and E. coli, respectively. Understanding these genetic circuits provides insight into strategies for pathogenesis and resistance to host defenses in Gram negative bacterial pathogens. Finally, these data provide compelling potential molecular targets for therapeutics to treat P. gingivalis and E. coli infections.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes as Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A Pilot Gene Discovery Hypothesis Generating Study

Description

The diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is currently based on symptomatic criteria that exclude other conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, such as celiac disease, food allergies, and infections. The absence of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for IBS places

The diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is currently based on symptomatic criteria that exclude other conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, such as celiac disease, food allergies, and infections. The absence of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for IBS places a significant burden on the patient and the health care system due to direct and indirect costs of care. Limitations associated with the application of symptomatic criteria include inappropriate use and/or intrinsic limitations such as the population to which these criteria are applied. The lack of biomarkers specific for IBS, non-specific abdominal symptoms, and considerable variability in the disease course creates additional uncertainty during diagnosis. This project involved screening tissue samples from patients with verified IBS to identify gene expression-based biomarkers associated with IBS. Through validation of microarray gene chip data on the tissue samples using PCR, it was determined that a number of genes within the diseased IBS patient tissue samples were differentially expressed in comparison to the healthy subjects. These findings could potentially lead to the diagnosis of IBS on the basis of a genetic "fingerprint".

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Date Created
2013-12

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In vitro and In vivo assessment of the mechanism of action and efficacy of antibacterial clays for the treatment of cutaneous infections

Description

The prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens has increased since the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s. Insufficient development of novel antibacterial agents is leaving us with a failing arsenal of therapies to combat these pathogenic organisms. We have identified

The prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens has increased since the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s. Insufficient development of novel antibacterial agents is leaving us with a failing arsenal of therapies to combat these pathogenic organisms. We have identified a clay mineral mixture (designated CB) that exhibits in vitro antibacterial activity against a broad spectrum of bacterial pathogens, yet the antibacterial mechanism of action remains unknown. Antibacterial susceptibility testing of four different clay samples collected from the same source revealed that these natural clays had markedly different antibacterial activity. X-ray diffraction analyses of these minerals revealed minor mineralogical differences across the samples; however, ICP analyses demonstrated that the concentrations of many elements, Fe, Co, Cu, Ni, and Zn in particular, vary greatly across the four clay mixture leachates. Supplementation of a non-antibacterial leachate containing lower concentrations of Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn to final ion concentrations and a pH equivalent to that of the antibacterial leachate resulted in antibacterial activity against E. coli and MRSA, confirming the role of these ions in the in vitro antibacterial clay mixture leachates. The prevailing hypothesis is that metal ions participate in redox cycling and produce ROS, leading to oxidative damage to macromolecules and resulting in cellular death. However, E. coli cells showed no increase in DNA or protein oxidative lesions and a slight increase in lipid peroxidation following exposure to CB-L. Supplementation of CB-L with ROS scavengers eliminated oxidative damage in E. coli, but did not rescue the cells from killing, indicating that in vitro killing is due to direct metal toxicity and not to indirect oxidative damage. Finally, we ion-exchanged non-antibacterial clays with Fe, Co, Cu, and Zn and established antibacterial activity in these samples. Treatment of MRSA skin infections with both natural and ion-exchanged clays significantly decreased the bacterial load after 7 days of treatment. We conclude that 1) in vitro clay-mediated killing is due to toxicity associated directly with released metal ions and not to indirect oxidative damage and 2) that in vivo killing is due to the physical properties of the clays rather than metal ion toxicity.

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Date Created
2014