Wolbachia pipientis, a widespread vertically transmitted intracellular bacterium, provides a tool for insect control through manipulation of host-microbe interactions. We report proteomic characterization of wStr, a Wolbachia strain associated with a strong cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype in its native host, Laodelphax striatellus. In the Aedes albopictus?C/wStr1 mosquito cell line, wStr maintains a robust, persistent infection. MS/MS analyses of gel bands revealed a protein 'footprint' dominated by Wolbachia-encoded chaperones, stress response and cell membrane proteins, including the surface antigen WspA, a peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein and a 73?kDa outer membrane protein. Functional classifications and estimated abundance levels of 790 identified proteins suggested that expression, stabilization and secretion of proteins predominate over bacterial genome replication and cell division. High relative abundances of cysteine desulphurase, serine/glycine hydroxymethyl transferase, and components of the ?-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex in conjunction with above average abundances of glutamate dehydrogenase and proline utilization protein A support Wolbachia genome-based predictions for amino acid metabolism as a primary energy source. wStr expresses 15 Vir proteins of a Type IV secretion system and its transcriptional regulator. Proteomic characterization of a robust insect-associated Wolbachia strain provides baseline information that will inform further development of in vitro protocols for Wolbachia manipulation.
Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular bacterium (Anaplasmataceae, Rickettisales) that occurs in arthropods and filarial worms, and spreads by vertical transmission in the oocyte cytoplasm. In insects, reproductive distortions associated with Wolbachia, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility in mosquitoes, have potential value for controlling pests, including species that transmit human, animal and plant diseases. Wolbachia strains that propagate as a persistent infection in insect cell lines provide an important resource for developing the genetic tools that will facilitate these applications. Here I describe conditions for flow cytometric evaluation of Wolbachia growth in persistently infected mosquito cells. Cytometry parameters were established using uninfected mosquito cells and Escherichia coli as a surrogate for Wolbachia, and quantitation was correlated with cell counts determined with a Coulter electronic cell counter and bacterial counts based on optical density. The protocol was validated by showing depletion of Wolbachia in medium containing tetracycline and rifampicin, and sensitivity of Wolbachia to treatment of host cells with paraquat, an oxidizing agent, and lumiflavin, an inhibitor of riboflavin uptake. The Wolbachia peak on the flow cytometry histogram was shown to contain Wolbachia by DNA analysis using the polymerase chain reaction, and by infection of naive recipient cells. This approach will streamline investigation of Wolbachia growth in insect cell lines and facilitate identification of culture conditions that select for Wolbachia-infected cells.
Wolbachia is an obligate intracellular alphaproteobacterium that occurs in arthropod and nematode hosts. Wolbachia presumably provides a fitness benefit to its hosts, but the basis for its retention and spread in host populations remains unclear. Wolbachia genomes retain biosynthetic pathways for some vitamins, and the possibility that these vitamins benefit host cells provides a potential means of selecting for Wolbachia-infected cell lines. To explore whether riboflavin produced by Wolbachia is available to its host cell, we established that growth of uninfected C7-10 mosquito cells decreases in riboflavin-depleted culture medium. A well-studied inhibitor of riboflavin uptake, lumiflavin, further inhibits growth of uninfected C7-10 cells with an LC50 of approximately 12 ?g/ml. Growth of C/wStr1 mosquito cells, infected with Wolbachia from the planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus, was enhanced in medium containing low levels of lumiflavin, but Wolbachia levels decreased. Lumiflavin-enhanced growth thus resembled the improved growth that accompanies treatment with antibiotics that deplete Wolbachia, rather than a metabolic advantage provided by the Wolbachia infection. We used the polymerase chain reaction to validate the decrease in Wolbachia abundance and evaluated our results in the context of a proteomic analysis in which we detected nearly 800 wStr proteins. Our data indicate that Wolbachia converts riboflavin to FMN and FAD for its own metabolic needs, and does not provide a source of riboflavin for its host cell.
Cultured cells provide an important in vitro system for examining metabolic interactions between the intracellular bacterium, Wolbachia pipientis, and its insect hosts. To test whether Wolbachia-associated changes in antioxidant activities could provide a tool to select for infected cells, we tested the effects of paraquat (PQ) on Aedes albopictus mosquito cells. Like mammalian cells, mosquito cells tolerate PQ over a wide range of concentrations, and for considerable lengths of time, depending on cell density at the time of treatment. When mosquito cells were plated at low density and allowed to grow in the presence of PQ, we measured an LC50 of approximately 1-2 ?M. Unexpectedly, cells persistently infected with Wolbachia strain wStr, from the planthopper Laodelphax striatellus, grew to higher densities in the presence of 1.5 ?M PQ than in its absence. This effect of PQ was similar to the improved growth of host cells that occurs in the presence of antibiotics that suppress the Wolbachia infection. A more detailed examination of growth and metabolic sensitivity indicated that wStr is about 10-fold more sensitive to PQ than the mosquito host cells. Microscopic examination confirmed that Wolbachia levels were reduced in PQ-treated cells, and DNA estimates based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) indicated that Wolbachia abundance decreased by approximately 100-fold over a 10-d period. Although Wolbachia genomes encode superoxide dismutase, inspection of annotated genomes indicates that they lack several genes encoding products that ameliorate oxidative damage, including catalase, which converts the PQ byproduct, hydrogen peroxide, to molecular oxygen and water. We suggest that loss of multiple genes that participate in repair of oxidative damage accounts for increased sensitivity of Wolbachia to PQ, relative to its host cells.
Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is a conditional sterility induced by the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis that infects reproductive tissues in many arthropods. Although CI provides a potential tool to control insect vectors of arthropod-borne diseases, the molecular basis for CI induction is unknown. We hypothesized that a Wolbachia-encoded, CI-inducing factor would be enriched in sperm recovered from spermathecae of female mosquitoes. Using SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry, we detected peptides from the 56 kDa hypothetical protein, encoded by wPip_0282, associated with sperm transferred to females by Wolbachia infected males. We also detected peptides from the same protein in Wolbachia infected ovaries. Homologs of wPip_0282 and the co-transcribed downstream gene, wPip_0283, occur as multiple divergent copies in genomes of CI-inducing strains of Wolbachia. The operon is located in a genomic context that includes mobile genetic elements. The absence of wPip_0282 and wPip_0283 homologs from genomes of Wolbachia in filarial nematodes, as well as other members of the Rickettsiales, suggests a role as a candidate CI effector.
Wolbachia are obligate intracellular bacteria that cause cytoplasmic incompatibility in mosquitoes. In an incompatible cross, eggs of uninfected females fail to hatch when fertilized by sperm from infected males. We used polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry to identify Wolbachia proteins in infected mosquito gonads. These included surface proteins with masses of 25 and 18 kDa and the DNA binding protein, HU beta. Using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, we showed that the HU gene is transcribed in Wolbachia-infected Culex pipiens and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. We sequenced HU genes from four Wolbachia strains and compared deduced protein sequences with additional homologs from the databases. Among the Rickettsiales, Wolbachia HU has distinct N- and C-terminal basic/acidic amino acid motifs as well as a pair of conserved, cysteine residues.
When treated with the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), C7-10 cells from the mosquito, Aedes albopictus, arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. To explore whether 20E-mediated cell cycle arrest proceeds through increased levels of cell cycle inhibitor (CKI) proteins, we cloned the Ae. albopictus homolog of dacapo, the single member of the Cip/Kip family of CKI proteins known from Drosophila melanogaster. The Ae. albopictus dacapo cDNA encoded a 261-amino acid homolog of the Aedes aegypti protein XP_001651102.1, which is encoded by an ?23?kb gene containing three exons. Like dacapo from D. melanogaster, the ?27?kDa protein from Aedes and Culex mosquitoes contained several S/TXXE/D motifs corresponding to potential protein kinase CK2 phosphorylation sites, and a binding site for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). When extracts from cells treated with 20E were analyzed by western blotting, using a primary antibody to synthetic peptides from the mosquito dacapo protein, up-regulation of an ?27?kDa protein was observed within 24?h, and the abundance of the protein further increased by 48?h after hormone treatment. This is the first investigation of a cell cycle inhibitory protein in mosquitoes. The results reinforce growing evidence that 20E affects expression of proteins that regulate cell cycle progression.
DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) is the active ingredient used in many commonly used insect repellents, but its mode of action remains poorly understood. Efforts to identify properties that could lead to the development of more effective active ingredients have distinguished among DEETs repellent, deterrent, and insecticidal activities. We used an Aedes albopictus mosquito cell line to evaluate DEETs toxicological properties in the absence of sensory input mediated by the olfactory system. When cells were treated with DEET and labeled with [(35)S]methionine/cysteine, a single 25-kDa protein was induced, relative to other proteins, on SDS-polyacrylamide gels. The 25-kDa band from DEET-treated cells was enriched in peptides corresponding to glutathione S-transferase D10 and/or theta in the Aedes aegypti genome. Consistent with the increased expression of the labeled protein, DEET-treated cells had increased glutathione S-transferase activity, and the radiolabeled band bound to Sepharose 4B containing reduced glutathione. By analyzing partial tryptic digests, we established that DEET induces the homolog of A. aegypti glutathione S-transferase, class theta, corresponding to protein XP_001658009.1 in the NCBI database. This specific effect of DEET at the subcellular level suggests that DEET induces physiological responses that extend beyond recognition by the peripheral olfactory system.
Since 2004, Minnesota has seen an influx of refugees from Burma. Many of these newcomers came from the Karen state and spent time in refugee camps in Thailand before resettling in the United States. To better understand the health needs of this population, the authors of this article conducted chart reviews at a St. Paul family medicine clinic that serves a number of Karen refugees and reviewed formal data from the Minnesota Department of Healths Refugee Health Program. Here, they briefly describe this community, the cultural issues that could affect health care providers ability to care for Karen patients, and the health concerns of these refugees.
Historically, the purpose of medical screening of new refugees has been to identify acute conditions such as infections that can be effectively addressed with short-term therapy. More recently, screening of refugees who are new to Minnesota has included identifying conditions that require ongoing care. But regular screening for chronic conditions only makes sense when follow-up care can be provided. To address this issue, the Minnesota Department of Healths Refugee Health Program, in conjunction with outside experts, reviewed its guidelines for medical screening of new refugees and revised its recommendations. In addition to recommending screening for infections and other acute conditions, the new guidelines call for screening for chronic conditions and repeat testing for diseases or conditions of long latency. The guidelines take into account the ability of the screening clinic to provide ongoing care or assure the patients transition to primary care.
Cell lines provide a tool for investigating basic biological processes that underlie the complex interactions among the tissues and organs of an intact organism. We compare the evolution of insect and mammalian populations as they progress from diploid cell strains to continuous cell lines, and review the history of the well-characterized Aedes albopictus mosquito cell line, C7-10. Like Kc and S3 cells from Drosophila melanogaster, C7-10 cells are sensitive to the insect steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), and express 20E-inducible proteins as well as the EcR and USP components of the ecdysteroid receptor. The decrease in growth associated with 20E treatment results in an accumulation of cells in the G1 phase of the cycle, and a concomitant decrease in levels of cyclin A. In contrast, 20E induces a G2 arrest in a well-studied imaginal disc cell line from the moth, Plodia interpunctella. We hypothesize that 20E-mediated events associated with molting and metamorphosis include effects on regulatory proteins that modulate the mitotic cell cycle and that differences between the 20E response in diverse insect cell lines reflect an interplay between classical receptor-mediated effects on gene expression and non-classical effects on signaling pathways similar to those recently described for the vertebrate steroid hormone, estrogen.
New insecticides are urgently needed because resistance to current insecticides allows resurgence of disease-transmitting mosquitoes while concerns for human toxicity from current compounds are growing. We previously reported the finding of a free cysteine (Cys) residue at the entrance of the active site of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in some insects but not in mammals, birds, and fish. These insects have two AChE genes (AP and AO), and only AP-AChE carries the Cys residue. Most of these insects are disease vectors such as the African malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto) or crop pests such as aphids. Recently we reported a Cys-targeting small molecule that irreversibly inhibited all AChE activity extracted from aphids while an identical exposure caused no effect on the human AChE. Full inhibition of AChE in aphids indicates that AP-AChE contributes most of the enzymatic activity and suggests that the Cys residue might serve as a target for developing better aphicides. It is therefore worth investigating whether the Cys-targeting strategy is applicable to mosquitocides. Herein, we report that, under conditions that spare the human AChE, a methanethiosulfonate-containing molecule at 6 microM irreversibly inhibited 95% of the AChE activity extracted from An. gambiae s. str. and >80% of the activity from the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti L.) or the northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens L.) that is a vector of St. Louis encephalitis. This type of inhibition is fast ( approximately 30 min) and due to conjugation of the inhibitor to the active-site Cys of mosquito AP-AChE, according to our observed reactivation of the methanethiosulfonate-inhibited AChE by 2-mercaptoethanol. We also note that our sulfhydryl agents partially and irreversibly inhibited the human AChE after prolonged exposure (>4 hr). This slow inhibition is due to partial enzyme denaturation by the inhibitor and/or micelles of the inhibitor, according to our studies using atomic force microscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, and liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. These results support our view that the mosquito-specific Cys is a viable target for developing new mosquitocides to control disease vectors and to alleviate resistance problems with reduced toxicity toward non-target species.
We used Wolbachia pipientis strain wAlbB from Aedes albopictus Aa23 cells to infect clonal Ae. albopictus TK-6 cells, which are resistant to 5-bromodeoxyuridine. Infected TK-6 cells were cultured in medium containing 5-bromodeoxyuridine to select against Aa23 cells that might have persisted in the inoculum. Infected TK-6 lines retained the Wolbachia infection for 5 mo, indicating that their metabolic processes support Wolbachia growth and multiplication. To investigate early events after Wolbachia infection, we labeled infected cells with (35)S[methionine/cysteine]. Patterns of labeled proteins on sodium dodecyl sulfate gels were similar in control and infected cells, with the exception of a 29-kDa protein. Tandem mass spectrometry revealed that the 29-kDa band included alpha and beta subunits of the 26S proteasome. Independent confirmation of the up-regulation of the proteasome was established by probing Western blots with a monoclonal antibody to the proteasome-associated co-factor, ubiquitin. Wolbachias loss of metabolic pathways for the synthesis of most amino acids and retention of pathways for their uptake and metabolism suggest that proteasome activation provides a mechanism whereby controlled degradation of intracellular host proteins would increase availability of amino acids to support establishment and maintenance of the Wolbachia infection.
In 2010, the requirement for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing of adult refugees prior to US resettlement was removed, thus leading to a potential for missed diagnosis. We reviewed refugee health assessment data and medical charts to evaluate the health status of HIV-infected refugees who arrived in Minnesota during 2000-2007, prior to this 2010 policy change. Among 19,292 resettled adults, 174 were HIV-infected; 169 (97%) were African (median age 26.4 (range: 17-76) years). Charts were abstracted for 157 (124 (79%) with ? 1 year of follow-up). At initial presentation, two of 74 (3%) women were pregnant; 27% became pregnant during follow-up. HIV clinical stage varied (59%, asymptomatic; 11%, mild symptoms; 10%, advanced symptoms; 3%, severe symptoms; 17%, unknown); coinfections were common (51 tuberculosis, 13 hepatitis B, 13 parasites, four syphilis). Prior to arrival 4% had received antiretrovirals. Opportunistic infections were diagnosed among 13%; 2% died from AIDS-related causes. Arrival screening may be needed to identify these HIV-infected refugees and prevent HIV-related morbidity and mortality.
To examine the beliefs, attitudes and health-seeking behavior surrounding the use of traditional medicine among the Karen (refugees from Burma).
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