Publications by authors named "Don G Ennis"

15 Publications

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Author Correction: Extensive genomic diversity among Mycobacterium marinum strains revealed by whole genome sequencing.

Sci Rep 2020 Mar 18;10(1):5246. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Box 596, Biomedical Centre, SE-751 24, Uppsala, Sweden.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61218-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078255PMC
March 2020

Extended insight into the Mycobacterium chelonae-abscessus complex through whole genome sequencing of Mycobacterium salmoniphilum outbreak and Mycobacterium salmoniphilum-like strains.

Sci Rep 2019 03 14;9(1):4603. Epub 2019 Mar 14.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Box 596, Biomedical Centre, SE-751 24, Uppsala, Sweden.

Members of the Mycobacterium chelonae-abscessus complex (MCAC) are close to the mycobacterial ancestor and includes both human, animal and fish pathogens. We present the genomes of 14 members of this complex: the complete genomes of Mycobacterium salmoniphilum and Mycobacterium chelonae type strains, seven M. salmoniphilum isolates, and five M. salmoniphilum-like strains including strains isolated during an outbreak in an animal facility at Uppsala University. Average nucleotide identity (ANI) analysis and core gene phylogeny revealed that the M. salmoniphilum-like strains are variants of the human pathogen Mycobacterium franklinii and phylogenetically close to Mycobacterium abscessus. Our data further suggested that M. salmoniphilum separates into three branches named group I, II and III with the M. salmoniphilum type strain belonging to group II. Among predicted virulence factors, the presence of phospholipase C (plcC), which is a major virulence factor that makes M. abscessus highly cytotoxic to mouse macrophages, and that M. franklinii originally was isolated from infected humans make it plausible that the outbreak in the animal facility was caused by a M. salmoniphilum-like strain. Interestingly, M. salmoniphilum-like was isolated from tap water suggesting that it can be present in the environment. Moreover, we predicted the presence of mutational hotspots in the M. salmoniphilum isolates and 26% of these hotspots overlap with genes categorized as having roles in virulence, disease and defense. We also provide data about key genes involved in transcription and translation such as sigma factor, ribosomal protein and tRNA genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40922-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6418233PMC
March 2019

Extensive genomic diversity among Mycobacterium marinum strains revealed by whole genome sequencing.

Sci Rep 2018 08 13;8(1):12040. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Box 596, Biomedical Centre, SE-751 24, Uppsala, Sweden.

Mycobacterium marinum is the causative agent for the tuberculosis-like disease mycobacteriosis in fish and skin lesions in humans. Ubiquitous in its geographical distribution, M. marinum is known to occupy diverse fish as hosts. However, information about its genomic diversity is limited. Here, we provide the genome sequences for 15 M. marinum strains isolated from infected humans and fish. Comparative genomic analysis of these and four available genomes of the M. marinum strains M, E11, MB2 and Europe reveal high genomic diversity among the strains, leading to the conclusion that M. marinum should be divided into two different clusters, the "M"- and the "Aronson"-type. We suggest that these two clusters should be considered to represent two M. marinum subspecies. Our data also show that the M. marinum pan-genome for both groups is open and expanding and we provide data showing high number of mutational hotspots in M. marinum relative to other mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This high genomic diversity might be related to the ability of M. marinum to occupy different ecological niches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-30152-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089878PMC
August 2018

Exposure of to low-shear modeled microgravity: effect on growth, the transcriptome and survival under stress.

NPJ Microgravity 2016 1;2:16038. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA, USA.

Waterborne pathogenic mycobacteria can form biofilms, and certain species can cause hard-to-treat human lung infections. Astronaut health could therefore be compromised if the spacecraft environment or water becomes contaminated with pathogenic mycobacteria. This work uses to determine the physiological changes in a pathogenic mycobacteria grown under low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG). were grown in high aspect ratio vessels (HARVs) using a rotary cell culture system subjected to LSMMG or the control orientation (normal gravity, NG) and the cultures used to determine bacterial growth, bacterium size, transcriptome changes, and resistance to stress. Two exposure times to LSMMG and NG were examined: bacteria were grown for ~40 h (short), or 4 days followed by re-dilution and growth for ~35 h (long). exposed to LSMMG transitioned from exponential phase earlier than the NG culture. They were more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide but showed no change in resistance to gamma radiation or pH 3.5. RNA-Seq detected significantly altered transcript levels for 562 and 328 genes under LSMMG after short and long exposure times, respectively. Results suggest that LSMMG induced a reduction in translation, a downregulation of metabolism, an increase in lipid degradation, and increased chaperone and mycobactin expression. Sigma factor H () was the only sigma factor transcript induced by LSMMG after both short and long exposure times. In summary, transcriptome studies suggest that LSMMG may simulate a nutrient-deprived environment similar to that found within macrophage during infection. SigH is also implicated in the LSMMG transcriptome response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npjmgrav.2016.38DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5515531PMC
December 2016

Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium marinum non-homologous end-joining proteins can function together to join DNA ends in Escherichia coli.

Mutagenesis 2017 03;32(2):245-256

Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis express a Ku protein and a DNA ligase D and are able to repair DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). This pathway protects against DNA damage when bacteria are in stationary phase. Mycobacterium marinum is a member of this mycobacterium family and like M. tuberculosis is pathogenic. M. marinum lives in water, forms biofilms and infects fish and frogs. M. marinum is a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) organism as it can infect humans, although infections are limited to the skin. M. marinum is accepted as a model to study mycobacterial pathogenesis, as M. marinum and M. tuberculosis are genetically closely related and have similar mechanisms of survival and persistence inside macrophage. The aim of this study was to determine whether M. marinum could be used as a model to understand M. tuberculosis NHEJ repair. We identified and cloned the M. marinum genes encoding NHEJ proteins and generated E. coli strains that express the M. marinum Ku (Mm-Ku) and ligase D (Mm-Lig) individually or together (LHmKumLig strain) from expression vectors integrated at phage attachment sites in the genome. We demonstrated that Mm-Ku and Mm-Lig are both required to re-circularize Cla I-linearized plasmid DNA in E. coli. We compared repair of strain LHmKumLig with that of an E. coli strain (BWKuLig#2) expressing the M. tuberculosis Ku (Mt-Ku) and ligase D (Mt-Lig), and found that LHmKumLig performed 3.5 times more repair and repair was more accurate than BWKuLig#2. By expressing the Mm-Ku with the Mt-Lig, or the Mt-Ku with the Mm-Lig in E. coli, we have shown that the NHEJ proteins from M. marinum and M. tuberculosis can function together to join DNA DSBs. NHEJ repair is therefore conserved between the two species. Consequently, M. marinum is a good model to study NHEJ repair during mycobacterial pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gew042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5989629PMC
March 2017

Comparative Sigma Factor-mRNA Levels in Mycobacterium marinum under Stress Conditions and during Host Infection.

PLoS One 2015 7;10(10):e0139823. Epub 2015 Oct 7.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University Biomedical Centre, Uppsala, Sweden.

We have used RNASeq and qRT-PCR to study mRNA levels for all σ-factors in different Mycobacterium marinum strains under various growth and stress conditions. We also studied their levels in M. marinum from infected fish and mosquito larvae. The annotated σ-factors were expressed and transcripts varied in relation to growth and stress conditions. Some were highly abundant such as sigA, sigB, sigC, sigD, sigE and sigH while others were not. The σ-factor mRNA profiles were similar after heat stress, during infection of fish and mosquito larvae. The similarity also applies to some of the known heat shock genes such as the α-crystallin gene. Therefore, it seems probable that the physiological state of M. marinum is similar when exposed to these different conditions. Moreover, the mosquito larvae data suggest that this is the state that the fish encounter when infected, at least with respect to σ-factor mRNA levels. Comparative genomic analysis of σ-factor gene localizations in three M. marinum strains and Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv revealed chromosomal rearrangements that changed the localization of especially sigA, sigB, sigD, sigE, sigF and sigJ after the divergence of these two species. This may explain the variation in species-specific expression upon exposure to different growth conditions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0139823PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4596819PMC
June 2016

Paramecium caudatum enhances transmission and infectivity of Mycobacterium marinum and M. chelonae in zebrafish Danio rerio.

Dis Aquat Organ 2013 Nov;106(3):229-39

Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.

Mycobacterial infections in laboratory zebrafish Danio rerio are common and widespread in research colonies. Mycobacteria within free-living amoebae have been shown to be transmission vectors for mycobacteriosis. Paramecium caudatum are commonly used as a first food for zebrafish, and we investigated this ciliate's potential to serve as a vector of Mycobacterium marinum and M. chelonae. The ability of live P. caudatum to transmit these mycobacteria to larval, juvenile and adult zebrafish was evaluated. Infections were defined by histologic observation of granulomas containing acid-fast bacteria in extraintestinal locations. In both experiments, fish fed paramecia containing mycobacteria became infected at a higher incidence than controls. Larvae (exposed at 4 d post hatch) fed paramecia with M. marinum exhibited an incidence of 30% (24/80) and juveniles (exposed at 21 d post hatch) showed 31% incidence (14/45). Adult fish fed a gelatin food matrix containing mycobacteria within paramecia or mycobacteria alone for 2 wk resulted in infections when examined 8 wk after exposure as follows: M. marinum OSU 214 47% (21/45), M. marinum CH 47% (9/19), and M. chelonae 38% (5/13). In contrast, fish feed mycobacteria alone in this diet did not become infected, except for 2 fish (5%) in the M. marinum OSU 214 low-dose group. These results demonstrate that P. caudatum can act as a vector for mycobacteria. This provides a useful animal model for evaluation of natural mycobacterial infections and demonstrates the possibility of mycobacterial transmission in zebrafish facilities via contaminated paramecia cultures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/dao02649DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4155924PMC
November 2013

Mycobacterium ulcerans causes minimal pathogenesis and colonization in medaka (Oryzias latipes): an experimental fish model of disease transmission.

Microbes Infect 2012 Aug 14;14(9):719-29. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.

Mycobacterium ulcerans causes Buruli ulcer in humans, a progressive ulcerative epidermal lesion due to the mycolactone toxin produced by the bacterium. Molecular analysis of M. ulcerans reveals it is closely related to Mycobacterium marinum, a pathogen of both fish and man. Molecular evidence from diagnostic PCR assays for the insertion sequence IS2404 suggests an association of M. ulcerans with fish. However, fish infections by M. ulcerans have not been well documented and IS2404 has been found in other mycobacteria. We have thus, employed two experimental approaches to test for M. ulcerans in fish. We show here for the first time that M. ulcerans with or without the toxin does not mount acute or chronic infections in Japanese Medaka "Oryzias latipes" even at high doses. Moreover, M. ulcerans-infected medaka do not exhibit any visible signs of infection nor disease and the bacteria do not appear to replicate over time. In contrast, similar high doses of the wild-type M. marinum or a mycolactone-producing M. marinum "DL" strain are able to mount an acute disease with mortality in medaka. Although these results would suggest that M. ulcerans does not mount infections in fish we have evidence that CLC macrophages from goldfish are susceptible to mycolactones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2012.02.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3389220PMC
August 2012

The challenges of implementing pathogen control strategies for fishes used in biomedical research.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2012 Jan 25;155(1):160-6. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Aquatic Resources Program, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Over the past several decades, a number of fish species, including the zebrafish, medaka, and platyfish/swordtail, have become important models for human health and disease. Despite the increasing prevalence of these and other fish species in research, methods for health maintenance and the management of diseases in laboratory populations of these animals are underdeveloped. There is a growing realization that this trend must change, especially as the use of these species expands beyond developmental biology and more towards experimental applications where the presence of underlying disease may affect the physiology animals used in experiments and potentially compromise research results. Therefore, there is a critical need to develop, improve, and implement strategies for managing health and disease in aquatic research facilities. The purpose of this review is to report the proceedings of a workshop entitled "Animal Health and Disease Management in Research Animals" that was recently held at the 5th Aquatic Animal Models for Human Disease in September 2010 at Corvallis, Oregon to discuss the challenges involved with moving the field forward on this front.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2011.06.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3338152PMC
January 2012

Expression of common fluorescent reporters may modulate virulence for Mycobacterium marinum: dramatic attenuation results from Gfp over-expression.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2012 Jan 1;155(1):39-48. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Department of Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA.

Mycobacterium marinum is an established surrogate pathogen for Mycobacterium tuberculosis because of its strong conservation of thousands of orthologous genes, lower risk to researchers and similar pathology in fish. This pathogen causes TB-like chronic disease in a wide variety of fish species. As in human TB, the microbe grows within the host macrophages, can mount life-long chronic infections and produces granulomatous lesions in target organs. One of the fish species known to manifest chronic "fish TB" is the small laboratory fish, Japanese ricefish (medaka; Oryzias latipes). Our laboratory is currently characterizing the disease progression in medaka using fluorescent reporter systems that are introduced into engineered strains of M. marinum. While conducting these studies we observed differences in growth, plasmid stability, and virulence depending on which fluorescent reporter construct was present. Here, we describe large negative effects on virulence and organ colonization that occurred with a commonly used plasmid pG13, that expresses green fluorescent protein (Gfp). The studies presented here, indicate that Gfp over-expression was the basis for the reduced virulence in this reporter construct. We also show that these negative effects could be reversed by significantly reducing Gfp expression levels or by using low-expression constructs of Rfp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2011.05.011DOI Listing
January 2012

Chronic Mycobacterium marinum infection acts as a tumor promoter in Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes).

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2009 Mar 24;149(2):152-60. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Department of Biology, University of Louisiana, P.O. Box 42451, Lafayette, LA 70504-2451, USA.

An accumulating body of research indicates there is an increased cancer risk associated with chronic infections. The genus Mycobacterium contains a number of species, including M. tuberculosis, which mount chronic infections and have been implicated in higher cancer risk. Several non-tuberculosis mycobacterial species, including M. marinum, are known to cause chronic infections in fish and like human tuberculosis, often go undetected. The elevated carcinogenic potential for fish colonies infected with Mycobacterium spp. could have far reaching implications because fish models are widely used to study human diseases. Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) is an established laboratory fish model for toxicology, mutagenesis, and carcinogenesis; and produces a chronic tuberculosis-like disease when infected by M. marinum. We examined the role that chronic mycobacterial infections play in cancer risk for medaka. Experimental M. marinum infections of medaka alone did not increase the mutational loads or proliferative lesion incidence in all tissues examined. However, we showed that chronic M. marinum infections increased hepatocellular proliferative lesions in fish also exposed to low doses of the mutagen benzo[a]pyrene. These results indicate that chronic mycobacterial infections of medaka are acting as tumor promoters and thereby suggest increased human risks for cancer promotion in human populations burdened with chronic tuberculosis infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2008.09.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2700008PMC
March 2009

Constitutive SOS expression and damage-inducible AddAB-mediated recombinational repair systems for Coxiella burnetii as potential adaptations for survival within macrophages.

Mol Microbiol 2008 Sep 18;69(6):1411-26. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Department of Microbial and Molecular Pathogenesis, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, College Station, TX, USA.

Summary: Coxiella burnetii, a Gram-negative obligate intracellular pathogen, replicates within an parasitophorous vacuole with lysosomal characteristics. To understand how C. burnetii maintains genomic integrity in this environment, a database search for genes involved in DNA repair was performed. Major components of repair, SOS response and recombination were identified, including recA and ruvABC, but lexA and recBCD were absent. Instead, C. burnetii possesses addAB orthologous genes, functional equivalents to recBCD. Survival after treatment with UV, mitomycin C (MC) or methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), as well as homologous recombination in Hfr mating was restored in Escherichia coli deletion strains by C. burnetii recA or addAB. Despite the absence of LexA, co-protease activity for C. burnetii RecA was demonstrated. Dominant-negative inhibition of C. burnetii RecA by recA mutant alleles, modelled after E. coli recA1 and recA56, was observed and more apparent with expression of C. burnetii RecAG159D mutant protein. Expression of a subset of repair genes in C. burnetii was monitored and, in contrast to the non-inducible E. coli recBCD, addAB expression was strongly upregulated under oxidative stress. Constitutive SOS gene expression due to the lack of LexA and induction of AddAB likely reflect a unique repair adaptation of C. burnetii to its hostile niche.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06373.xDOI Listing
September 2008

Effects of post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans (LA, USA) sediments on early development of the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes).

Environ Toxicol Chem 2008 Dec;27(12):2557-64

Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana 70148, USA.

When Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast, levees surrounding New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, were breached, leading to widespread flooding of the city and potential contamination from industrial spills, residential sources, and redistribution of pre-existing pollutants. We chemically characterized sediment samples from five New Orleans locations and used early development and mutagenesis in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) as metrics of the toxic effects of these sediments. Sediment samples were analyzed for organohalogen pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals. One month after Hurricane Katrina, four of the five sites had unsafe concentrations of arsenic and one or more pesticides, pesticide metabolites, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Medaka embryonic mortality and time to hatching both increased during exposure to aqueous extracts of sediments, with the greatest toxicity observed for the most heavily contaminated sediment. Exposure to sediment extracts did not, however, result in significantly elevated rates of mutagenesis. When the most contaminated site was resampled 4.5 months later, the sediment had lower contaminant concentrations and fewer deleterious effects on medaka development. Using the medaka bioassay, therefore, we demonstrate toxic effects of post-Hurricane Katrina sediments immediately following the storm, with some amelioration over time of contaminant concentrations and their negative biological effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1897/08-077.1DOI Listing
December 2008

Mycobacterium marinum produces long-term chronic infections in medaka: a new animal model for studying human tuberculosis.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2007 Feb 12;145(1):45-54. Epub 2006 Aug 12.

Department of Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA.

Human infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis is endemic, with approximately 2 billion infected and is the most common cause of adult death due to an infectious agent. Because of the slow growth rate of M. tuberculosis and risk to researchers, other species of Mycobacterium have been employed as alternative model systems to study human tuberculosis (TB). Mycobacterium marinum may be a good surrogate pathogen, conferring TB-like chronic infections in some fish. Medaka (Oryzias latipes) has been established for over five decades as a laboratory fish model for toxicology, genotoxicity, teratogenesis, carcinogenesis, classical genetics and embryology. We are investigating if medaka might also serve as a host for M. marinum in order to model human TB. We show that both acute and chronic infections are inducible in a dose dependent manner. Colonization of target organs and systemic granuloma formation has been demonstrated through the use of histology. M. marinum expressing green fluorescent protein (Gfp) was used to monitor bacterial colonization of these organs in fresh tissues as well as in intact animals. Moreover, we have employed the See-Through fish line, a variety of medaka devoid of major pigments, to monitor real-time disease progression, in living animals. We have also compared the susceptibility of another prominent fish model, zebrafish (Danio rerio), to our medaka-M. marinum model. We determined the course of infections in zebrafish is significantly more severe than in medaka. Together, these results indicate that the medaka-M. marinum model provides unique advantages for studying chronic mycobacteriosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2006.07.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2714049PMC
February 2007

RecA and RadA proteins of Brucella abortus do not perform overlapping protective DNA repair functions following oxidative burst.

J Bacteriol 2006 Jul;188(14):5187-95

Department of Biology, P.O. Box 42451, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504-2451, USA.

Very little is known about the role of DNA repair networks in Brucella abortus and its role in pathogenesis. We investigated the roles of RecA protein, DNA repair, and SOS regulation in B. abortus. While recA mutants in most bacterial species are hypersensitive to UV damage, surprisingly a B. abortus recA null mutant conferred only modest sensitivity. We considered the presence of a second RecA protein to account for this modest UV sensitivity. Analyses of the Brucella spp. genomes and our molecular studies documented the presence of only one recA gene, suggesting a RecA-independent repair process. Searches of the available Brucella genomes revealed some homology between RecA and RadA, a protein implicated in E. coli DNA repair. We considered the possibility that B. abortus RadA might be compensating for the loss of RecA by promoting similar repair activities. We present functional analyses that demonstrated that B. abortus RadA complements a radA defect in E. coli but could not act in place of the B. abortus RecA. We show that RecA but not RadA was required for survival in macrophages. We also discovered that recA was expressed at high constitutive levels, due to constitutive LexA cleavage by RecA, with little induction following DNA damage. Higher basal levels of RecA and its SOS-regulated gene products might protect against DNA damage experienced following the oxidative burst within macrophages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.01994-05DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1539968PMC
July 2006