A second band of lower molecular weight than intact Hbl B in the

A second band of lower molecular weight than intact Hbl B in the lane containing the cell pellet from the FEA-deficient strain likely represents a degradation product of mutant Hbl B, while a weak band in the lane containing the supernatant CHIR98014 fraction may represent native chromosomally encoded Hbl B protein or originate from lysed cells. Secretion of cytotoxins was inhibited by the SecA inhibitor azide The Sec translocation pathway in Gram positive bacteria is composed of the SecYEG membrane channel and of SecA, the ATPase that drives the translocation reaction through the SecYEG channel. Sodium azide markedly inhibits Sec-dependent preprotein membrane translocation

in vivo and in vitro [27]. Although azide AZD2281 manufacturer also inhibits other ATPases [28], it has been shown both in E. coli and in Bacillus subtilis that azide-resistance may be conferred by specifically mutating SecA [29–31], indicating that SecA is the major target for the lethal action of azide

in bacteria. Since deletion mutants in essential components of the Sec translocation pathway are non-viable [32], the Sec-dependence of B. cereus Hbl, Nhe, and CytK toxin secretion was investigated by addition of sodium azide to cultures of B. cereus ATCC 14579. For this purpose, it was essential to study the secretion of de novo synthesised toxins, otherwise the effect of azide would be overshadowed by toxins accumulated in the growth medium. Therefore, cells grown to transition phase (t0) were washed and resuspended in culture medium with and without added azide. Culture supernatants were harvested 20 minutes after addition of azide, to minimize pleiotropic effects potentially affecting toxin secretion indirectly. Furthermore, activation of PlcR, the transcriptional Rucaparib supplier regulator required for B. cereus cytotoxin expression, is dependent on PapR, a 48 amino acid AZD3965 peptide with a Sec-type signal peptide thought to be secreted by the Sec pathway and reimported after extracellular processing [33]. To ensure that potential inhibition of toxin secretion by addition of azide

was not an indirect effect due to lack of PapR secretion, a culture containing both azide and synthetic PapR pentapeptide was included. The concentration of azide used (2 mM) was chosen as this was the lowest concentration of azide that inhibited growth of B. cereus ATCC 14579 on agar plates. The Western blot analysis shown in Figure 2A detecting Hbl, Nhe, and CytK proteins shows that in the presence of azide, secretion of the toxins into the culture medium was reduced, while cell lysates contained increased levels of toxins, indicating intracellular accumulation. Incomplete inhibition of toxin secretion in the presence of azide may be due to residual activity of the SecA ATPase at the azide concentration employed. Multiple band patterns in the cell lysates are likely to represent pre-proteins, mature forms, and/or intracellularly degraded forms of the toxins.

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