In (hyper)thermophilic organisms metabolic processes have to be adapted to function optimally at high temperature. We compared the gluconeogenic conversion of 3-phosphoglycerate via 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate at 30 °C and at 70 °C. At 30 °C it was possible to produce 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate from 3-phosphoglycerate with phosphoglycerate kinase, but at 70 °C, 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate was dephosphorylated rapidly to 3-phosphoglycerate, effectively turning the phosphoglycerate kinase into a futile cycle. When phosphoglycerate kinase was incubated together with glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase it was possible to convert 3-phosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, both at 30 °C and at 70 °C, however, at 70 °C only low concentrations of product were observed due to thermal instability of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. Thus, thermolabile intermediates challenge central metabolic reactions and require special adaptation strategies for life at high temperature.
Overuse of antibiotics is contributing to an emerging antimicrobial resistance crisis. To better understand how bacteria adapt tolerance and resist antibiotic treatment, Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates obtained from infection sites sampled from companion animals were collected and evaluated for phenotypic differences. Selected pairs of clonal isolates were obtained from individual infection samples and were assessed for antibiotic susceptibility, cyclic di-GMP levels, biofilm production, motility and genetic-relatedness. A total of 18 samples from equine, feline and canine origin were characterized. A sample from canine otitis media produced a phenotypically heterogeneous pair of P. aeruginosa isolates, 42121A and 42121B, which during growth on culture medium respectively exhibited hyper dye-binding small colony morphology and wild-type phenotypes. Antibiotic susceptibility to gentamicin and ciprofloxacin also differed between this pair of clonal isolates. Sequence analysis of gyrA, a gene known to be involved in ciprofloxacin resistance, indicated that 42121A and 42121B both contained mutations that confer ciprofloxacin resistance, but this did not explain the differences in ciprofloxacin resistance that were observed. Cyclic di-GMP levels also varied between this pair of isolates and were shown to contribute to the observed colony morphology variation and ability to form a biofilm. Our results demonstrate the role of cyclic di-GMP in generating the observed morphological phenotypes that are known to contribute to biofilm-mediated antibiotic tolerance. The generation of phenotypic diversity may go unnoticed during standard diagnostic evaluation, which potentially impacts the therapeutic strategy chosen to treat the corresponding infection and may contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance.
Acinetobacter baumannii is a ubiquitous multidrug-resistant bacteria that is found on a variety of surfaces, including skin, hair and soil. During the past decade, A. baumannii has emerged as a significant cause of nosocomial infections in the United States. Recent studies have highlighted the ability of some bacteria to utilize a wide variety of fatty acids as a membrane remodelling strategy. Considering this, we hypothesized that fatty acids may have an effect on the emerging pathogen A. baumannii. Thin-layer chromatography indicated structural alterations to major phospholipids. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry confirmed the assimilation of numerous exogenous polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) into the phospholipid species of A. baumannii. The incorporation of fatty acids affected several bacterial phenotypes, including membrane permeability, biofilm formation, surface motility and antimicrobial peptide resistance.
Genus Comamonas is a group of bacteria that are able to degrade a variety of environmental waste. Comamonas aquatica CJG (C. aquatica) in this genus is able to absorb low-density lipoprotein but not high-density lipoprotein of human serum. Using 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, we found that the O-polysaccharide (O-antigen) of this bacterium is comprised of a disaccharide repeat (O-unit) of d-glucose and 2-O-acetyl-l-rhamnose, which is shared by Serratia marcescens O6. The O-antigen gene cluster of C. aquatica, which is located between coaX and tnp4 genes, contains rhamnose synthesis genes, glycosyl and acetyl transferase genes, and ATP-binding cassette transporter genes, and therefore is consistent with the O-antigen structure determined here.