To improve the metagenomic analysis of complex microbiomes, we have repurposed restriction endonucleases as methyl specific DNA binding proteins. As an example, we use DpnI immobilized on magnetic beads. The ten minute extraction technique allows specific binding of genomes containing the DpnI Gm6ATC motif common in the genomic DNA of many bacteria including ?-proteobacteria. Using synthetic genome mixtures, we demonstrate 80% recovery of Escherichia coli genomic DNA even when only femtogram quantities are spiked into 10 µg of human DNA background. Binding is very specific with less than 0.5% of human DNA bound. Next Generation Sequencing of input and enriched synthetic mixtures results in over 100-fold enrichment of target genomes relative to human and plant DNA. We also show comparable enrichment when sequencing complex microbiomes such as those from creek water and human saliva. The technique can be broadened to other restriction enzymes allowing for the selective enrichment of trace and unculturable organisms from complex microbiomes and the stratification of organisms according to restriction enzyme enrichment.
The widespread emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a lack of new pharmaceutical development have catalyzed a need for new and innovative approaches for antibiotic drug discovery. One bottleneck in antibiotic discovery is the lack of a rapid and comprehensive method to identify compound mode of action (MOA). Since a hallmark of antibiotic action is as an inhibitor of essential cellular targets and processes, we identify a set of 308 essential genes in the clinically important pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. A total of 446 strains differentially expressing these genes were constructed in a comprehensive platform of sensitized and resistant strains. A subset of strains allows either target underexpression or target overexpression by heterologous promoter replacements with a suite of tetracycline-regulatable promoters. A further subset of 236 antisense RNA-expressing clones allows knockdown expression of cognate targets. Knockdown expression confers selective antibiotic hypersensitivity, while target overexpression confers resistance. The antisense strains were configured into a TargetArray in which pools of sensitized strains were challenged in fitness tests. A rapid detection method measures strain responses toward antibiotics. The TargetArray antibiotic fitness test results show mechanistically informative biological fingerprints that allow MOA elucidation.
The abundance of circulating tumor cells (CTC) indicates patient prognosis. Molecular characterization of CTCs may add additional information about a patients disease. However, currently available methods are limited by contamination with blood cells. We describe a study using a modified CTC-chip to capture CTCs from an orthotopic xenograft model. Using laser capture microscopy to collect CTCs from the chip, we compared transcripts from purified CTCs with those from primary and metastatic tissue. Transcriptional profiles showed strong concordance among primary, metastatic, and CTC sources. Moreover, cells captured on the chip were viable and could be expanded in culture. We conclude that the CTC-chip is a useful tool to further characterize animal models of cancer and that viable CTCs can be isolated and show transcriptional similarity to solid tumors.
The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria coupled with the limited discovery of novel chemical scaffolds and druggable targets inspires new approaches to antibiotic development. Here we describe a chemical genomics strategy based on 245 Staphylococcus aureus antisense RNA strains, each engineered for reduced expression of target genes essential for S. aureus growth. Attenuation of gene expression can sensitize cells to compounds that inhibit the activity of a gene product or associated process. Pools of strains grown competitively in the presence of bioactive compounds generate characteristic profiles of strain sensitivities reflecting compound mechanism of action. Here, we validate this approach with a structurally and mechanistically diverse set of reference antibiotics and, in the accompanying paper in this issue of Chemistry & Biology (Huber et al., 2009), demonstrate its use in the discovery of new cell wall inhibitors.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.