Publications by authors named "Roman Moser"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Promiscuous phospholipid biosynthesis enzymes in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 2021 07 22;1866(7):158926. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Microbial Biology, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany. Electronic address:

Bacterial membranes are primarily composed of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and cardiolipin (CL). In the canonical PE biosynthesis pathway, phosphatidylserine (PS) is decarboxylated by the Psd enzyme. CL formation typically depends on CL synthases (Cls) using two PG molecules as substrates. Only few bacteria produce phosphatidylcholine (PC), the hallmark of eukaryotic membranes. Most of these bacteria use phospholipid N-methyltransferases to successively methylate PE to PC and/or a PC synthase (Pcs) to catalyze the condensation of choline and CDP-diacylglycerol (CDP-DAG) to PC. In this study, we show that membranes of Pseudomonas species able to interact with eukaryotes contain PE, PG, CL and PC. More specifically, we report on PC formation and a poorly characterized CL biosynthetic pathway in the plant pathogen P. syringae pv. tomato. It encodes a Pcs enzyme responsible for choline-dependent PC biosynthesis. CL formation is catalyzed by a promiscuous phospholipase D (PLD)-type enzyme (PSPTO_0095) that we characterized in vivo and in vitro. Like typical bacterial CL biosynthesis enzymes, it uses PE and PG for CL production. This enzyme is also able to convert PE and glycerol to PG, which is then combined with another PE molecule to synthesize CL. In addition, the enzyme is capable of converting ethanolamine or methylated derivatives into the corresponding phospholipids such as PE both in P. syringae and in E. coli. It can also hydrolyze CDP-DAG to yield phosphatidic acid (PA). Our study adds an example of a promiscuous Cls enzyme able to synthesize a suite of products according to the available substrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbalip.2021.158926DOI Listing
July 2021

3D path planning for flexible needle steering in neurosurgery.

Int J Med Robot 2019 Aug 9;15(4):e1998. Epub 2019 May 9.

Multi-Scale Robotics Laboratory, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

Background: We propose a 3D path planning method to steer flexible needles along curved paths in the context of deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedures.

Methods: Our approach is based on a rapidly exploring random tree strategy, and it takes into account constraints coming from anatomical obstacles and physical constraints dictated by flexible needle kinematics. The strategy is evaluated in simulation on a realistic 3D CAD model of the brain.

Results: The subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the fornix can be reached along several curved paths from various entry points. As compared with the usual straight line path, these curved paths avoid tissue damage to important neural structures while allowing for a much greater selection of entry points.

Conclusions: This path planning method offers alternative curved paths to reach DBS targets with flexible needles. The method potentially leads to safer paths and additional entry points capable of reaching the desired stimulation targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rcs.1998DOI Listing
August 2019

Enzymatic properties and substrate specificity of a bacterial phosphatidylcholine synthase.

FEBS J 2014 Aug 14;281(15):3523-41. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Department of Microbial Biology, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.

Unlabelled: Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a rare membrane lipid in bacteria, but is crucial for virulence of the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens and various other pathogens. Agrobacterium tumefaciens uses two independent PC biosynthesis pathways. One is dependent on the integral membrane protein PC synthase (Pcs), which catalyzes the conversion of cytidine diphosphate-diacylglycerol (CDP-DAG) and choline to PC, thereby releasing a cytidine monophosphate (CMP). Here, we show that Pcs consists of eight transmembrane segments with its N- and C-termini located in the cytoplasm. A cytoplasmic loop between the second and third membrane helix contains the majority of the conserved amino acids of a CDP-alcohol phosphotransferase motif (DGX2 ARX12 GX3 DX3 D). Using point mutagenesis, we provide evidence for a crucial role of this motif in choline binding and enzyme activity. To study the catalytic features of the enzyme, we established a purification protocol for recombinant Pcs. The enzyme forms stable oligomers and exhibits broad substrate specificity towards choline derivatives. The presence of CDP-DAG and manganese is a prerequisite for cooperative binding of choline. PC formation by Pcs is reversible and proceeds via two successive reactions. In a first choline- and manganese-independent reaction, CDP-DAG is hydrolyzed releasing a CMP molecule. The resulting phosphatidyl intermediate reacts with choline in a second manganese-dependent step to form PC.

Structured Digital Abstract: Pcs and Pcs bind by molecular sieving (1, 2, 3).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/febs.12877DOI Listing
August 2014

Discovery of a bifunctional cardiolipin/phosphatidylethanolamine synthase in bacteria.

Mol Microbiol 2014 Jun 29;92(5):959-72. Epub 2014 Apr 29.

Microbial Biology, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and cardiolipin (CL) are major components of bacterial and eukaryotic membranes. In bacteria, synthesis of PE usually occurs via decarboxylation of phosphatidylserine (PS) by PS decarboxylases (Psd). CL is produced by various CL synthases (Cls). Membranes of the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris predominantly contain PE, phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and CL. The X. campestris genome encodes one Psd and six putative CLs. Deletion of psd resulted in loss of PE and accumulation of PS. The mutant was severely affected in growth and cell size. PE synthesis, growth and cell division were partially restored when cells were supplied with ethanolamine (EA) suggesting a previously unknown PE synthase activity. Via mutagenesis, we identified a Cls enzyme (Xc_0186) responsible for EA-dependent PE biosynthesis. Xanthomonas lacking xc_0186 not only lost its ability to utilize EA for PE synthesis but also produced less CL suggesting a bifunctional enzyme. Recombinant Xc_0186 in E. coli and in cell-free extracts uses cytidine diphosphate diacylglycerol (CDP-DAG) and PG for CL synthesis. It is also able to use CDP-DAG and EA for PE synthesis. Owing to its dual function in CL and PE production, we consider Xc_0186 the founding member of a new class of enzymes called CL/PE synthase (CL/PEs).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mmi.12603DOI Listing
June 2014

Phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis in Xanthomonas campestris via a yeast-like acylation pathway.

Mol Microbiol 2014 Feb 7;91(4):736-50. Epub 2014 Jan 7.

Microbial Biology, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Two principal phosphatidylcholine (PC) biosynthesis pathways are known in bacteria. S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)-dependent phospholipid N-methyltransferases (Pmt) catalyse the threefold N-methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to PC. In an alternative pathway, the PC synthase (Pcs) condenses CDP-diacylglycerol and choline to produce PC. In this study, we investigated phospholipid biosynthesis in the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris that was found to contain significant amounts of monomethylated PE (MMPE) and small amounts of PC. We identified a Pmt enzyme that produces MMPE without methylating it further to PC. Surprisingly, PC production was independent of [(14) C]-SAM and [(14) C]-choline excluding canonical Pmt or Pcs pathways. Feeding experiments with various choline derivatives revealed a novel, yeast-like PC synthesis route in Xanthomonas, in which two acyl side-chains are added to a glycerophosphocholine (GPC) backbone. Two out of 12 tested acyltransferases from Xanthomonas were able to catalyse the second acylation step from lyso-PC to PC. This first description of GPC-dependent PC production in bacteria illustrates an unexpected diversity of PC biosynthesis pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mmi.12492DOI Listing
February 2014

Tellurite resistance gene trgB confers copper tolerance to Rhodobacter capsulatus.

Biometals 2012 Oct 6;25(5):995-1008. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Biologie der Mikroorganismen, Fakultät für Biologie und Biotechnologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780, Bochum, Germany.

To identify copper homeostasis genes in Rhodobacter capsulatus, we performed random transposon Tn5 mutagenesis. Screening of more than 10,000 Tn5 mutants identified tellurite resistance gene trgB as a so far unrecognized major copper tolerance determinant. The trgB gene is flanked by tellurite resistance gene trgA and cysteine synthase gene cysK2. While growth of trgA mutants was only moderately restricted by tellurite, trgB and cysK2 mutants were severely affected by tellurite, which implies that viability under tellurite stress requires increased cysteine levels. Mutational analyses revealed that trgB was the only gene in this chromosomal region conferring cross-tolerance towards copper. Expression of the monocistronic trgB gene required promoter elements overlapping the trgA coding region as shown by nested deletions. Neither copper nor tellurite affected trgB transcription as demonstrated by reverse transcriptase PCR and trgB-lacZ fusions. Addition of tellurite or copper gave rise to increased cellular tellurium and copper concentrations, respectively, as determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. By contrast, cellular iron concentrations remained fairly constant irrespective of tellurite or copper addition. This is the first study demonstrating a direct link between copper and tellurite response in bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10534-012-9566-2DOI Listing
October 2012

Transcriptional and posttranscriptional events control copper-responsive expression of a Rhodobacter capsulatus multicopper oxidase.

J Bacteriol 2012 Apr 27;194(8):1849-59. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Biologie der Mikroorganismen, Fakultät für Biologie und Biotechnologie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

The copper-regulated Rhodobacter capsulatus cutO (multicopper oxidase) gene confers copper tolerance and is carried in the tricistronic orf635-cutO-cutR operon. Transcription of cutO strictly depends on the promoter upstream of orf635, as demonstrated by lacZ reporter fusions to nested promoter fragments. Remarkably, orf635 expression was not affected by copper availability, whereas cutO and cutR were expressed only in the presence of copper. Differential regulation was abolished by site-directed mutations within the orf635-cutO intergenic region, suggesting that this region encodes a copper-responsive mRNA element. Bioinformatic predictions and RNA structure probing experiments revealed an intergenic stem-loop structure as the candidate mRNA element. This is the first posttranscriptional copper response mechanism reported in bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.06274-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3318457PMC
April 2012
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