cGAS/DncV-like nucleotidyltransferase (CD-NTase) enzymes are immune sensors that synthesize nucleotide second messengers and initiate antiviral responses in bacterial and animal cells. Here, we discover Enterobacter cloacae CD-NTase-associated protein 4 (Cap4) as a founding member of a diverse family of >2,000 bacterial receptors that respond to CD-NTase signals. Structures of Cap4 reveal a promiscuous DNA endonuclease domain activated through ligand-induced oligomerization. Oligonucleotide recognition occurs through an appended SAVED domain that is an unexpected fusion of two CRISPR-associated Rossman fold (CARF) subunits co-opted from type III CRISPR immunity. Like a lock and key, SAVED effectors exquisitely discriminate 2′–5′- and 3′–5′-linked bacterial cyclic oligonucleotide signals and enable specific recognition of at least 180 potential nucleotide second messenger species. Our results reveal SAVED CARF family proteins as major nucleotide second messenger receptors in CBASS and CRISPR immune defense and extend the importance of linkage specificity beyond mammalian cGAS-STING signaling.
Environmental light cycles entrain circadian feeding behaviors in animals that produce rhythms in exposure to foodborne bacteria. Here, we show that the intestinal microbiota generates diurnal rhythms in innate immunity that synchronize with feeding rhythms to anticipate microbial exposure. Rhythmic expression of antimicrobial proteins was driven by daily rhythms in epithelial attachment by segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB), members of the mouse intestinal microbiota. Rhythmic SFB attachment was driven by the circadian clock through control of feeding rhythms. Mechanistically, rhythmic SFB attachment activated an immunological circuit involving group 3 innate lymphoid cells. This circuit triggered oscillations in epithelial STAT3 expression and activation that produced rhythmic antimicrobial protein expression and caused resistance to Salmonella Typhimurium infection to vary across the day-night cycle. Thus, host feeding rhythms synchronize with the microbiota to promote rhythms in intestinal innate immunity that anticipate exogenous microbial exposure.
Antimicrobial resistance has emerged as a global threat to human health. Natural transformation is an important pathway for horizontal gene transfer, which facilitates the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) among bacteria. Although it is suspected that artificial sweeteners could exert antimicrobial effects, little is known whether artificial sweeteners would also affect horizontal transfer of ARGs via transformation. Here we demonstrate that four commonly used artificial sweeteners (saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium) promote transfer of ARGs via natural transformation in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1, a model organism for studying competence and transformation. Such phenomenon was also found in a Gram-positive human pathogen Bacillus subtilis and mice faecal microbiome. We reveal that exposure to these sweeteners increases cell envelope permeability and results in an upregulation of genes encoding DNA uptake and translocation (Com) machinery. In addition, we find that artificial sweeteners induce an increase in plasmid persistence in transformants. We propose a mathematical model established to predict the long-term effects on transformation dynamics under exposure to these sweeteners. Collectively, our findings offer insights into natural transformation promoted by artificial sweeteners and highlight the need to evaluate these environmental contaminants for their antibiotic-like side effects.
Due to rapid urbanization and industrialization, the population density of the world is intense in developing countries. This overgrowing population has resulted in the production of huge amounts of waste/refused water due to various anthropogenic activities. Household, municipal corporations (MC), urban local bodies (ULBs), and industries produce a huge amount of waste water, which is discharged into nearby water bodies and streams/rivers without proper treatment, resulting in water pollution. This mismanaged treatment of wastewater leads to various challenges like loss of energy to treat the wastewater and scarcity of fresh water, beside various water born infections. However, all these major issues can provide solutions to each other. Most of the wastewater generated by ULBs and industries is rich in various biopolymers like starch, lactose, glucose lignocellulose, protein, lipids, fats, and minerals, etc. These biopolymers can be converted into sustainable biofuels, i.e., ethanol, butanol, biodiesel, biogas, hydrogen, methane, biohythane, etc., through its bioremediation followed by dark fermentation (DF) and anaerobic digestion (AD). The key challenge is to plan strategies in such a way that they not only help in the treatment of wastewater, but also produce some valuable energy driven products from it. This review will deal with various strategies being used in the treatment of wastewater as well as for production of some valuable energy products from it to tackle the upcoming future demands and challenges of fresh water and energy crisis, along with sustainable development. View Full-Text
A paper was shared on ResearchHub this morning that described how fecal transplantation had a positive impact on both immune system and brain health in rodents. From my introductory knowledge of fecal transplantation, I know it has been used to treat: C. difficil infectionsUlcerative colitis CancerNon-alcoholic fatty liver diseaseDoes anyone know how this technique can manage to have such a diverse range of beneficial clinical effects?
Social interactions among animals mediate essential behaviours, including mating, nurturing, and defence1,2. The gut microbiota contribute to social activity in mice3,4, but the gut–brain connections that regulate this complex behaviour and its underlying neural basis are unclear5,6. Here we show that the microbiome modulates neuronal activity in specific brain regions of male mice to regulate canonical stress responses and social behaviours. Social deviation in germ-free and antibiotic-treated mice is associated with elevated levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, which is primarily produced by activation of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Adrenalectomy, antagonism of glucocorticoid receptors, or pharmacological inhibition of corticosterone synthesis effectively corrects social deficits following microbiome depletion. Genetic ablation of glucocorticoid receptors in specific brain regions or chemogenetic inactivation of neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus that produce corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) reverse social impairments in antibiotic-treated mice. Conversely, specific activation of CRH-expressing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus induces social deficits in mice with a normal microbiome. Via microbiome profiling and in vivo selection, we identify a bacterial species, Enterococcus faecalis, that promotes social activity and reduces corticosterone levels in mice following social stress. These studies suggest that specific gut bacteria can restrain the activation of the HPA axis, and show that the microbiome can affect social behaviours through discrete neuronal circuits that mediate stress responses in the brain.
We hypothesized that the highly controlled pattern of gene expression that is essential for liver regeneration is encoded by an epigenetic code set in quiescent hepatocytes. Here we report that epigenetic and transcriptomic profiling of quiescent and regenerating mouse livers define chromatin states that dictate gene expression and transposon repression. We integrate ATACseq and DNA methylation profiling with ChIPseq for the histone marks H3K4me3, H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 and the histone variant H2AZ to identify 6 chromatin states with distinct functional characteristics. We show that genes involved in proliferation reside in active states, but are marked with H3K27me3 and silenced in quiescent livers. We find that during regeneration, H3K27me3 is depleted from their promoters, facilitating their dynamic expression. These findings demonstrate that hepatic chromatin states in quiescent livers predict gene expression and that pro-regenerative genes are maintained in active chromatin states, but are restrained by H3K27me3, permitting a rapid and synchronized response during regeneration.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has evolved to evade host innate immunity by interfering with macrophage functions. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is secreted by macrophages after the activation of the inflammasome complex and is crucial for host defense against Mtb infections. We have previously shown that Mtb is able to inhibit activation of the AIM2 inflammasome and subsequent pyroptosis. Here we show that Mtb is also able to inhibit host cell NLRP3 inflammasome activation and pyroptosis. We identified the serine/threonine kinase PknF as one protein of Mtb involved in the NLRP3 inflammasome inhibition, since the pknF deletion mutant of Mtb induces increased production of IL-1β in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). The increased production of IL-1β was dependent on NLRP3, the adaptor protein ASC and the protease caspase-1, as revealed by studies performed in gene-deficient BMDMs. Additionally, infection of BMDMs with the pknF deletion mutant resulted in increased pyroptosis, while the IL-6 production remained unchanged compared to Mtb-infected cells, suggesting that the mutant did not affect the priming step of inflammasome activation. In contrast, the activation step was affected since potassium efflux, chloride efflux and the generation of reactive oxygen species played a significant role in inflammasome activation and subsequent pyroptosis mediated by the Mtb pknF mutant strain. In conclusion, we reveal here that the serine/threonine kinase PknF of Mtb plays an important role in innate immune evasion through inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
This study reports a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 (and SARS-CoV). This cross-neutralizing antibody targets a communal epitope on these viruses and offers potential for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.