This report describes an Escherichia coli genetic system that permits bacterial genetic methods to be applied to the study of essentially any prokaryotic or eukaryotic site-specific DNA binding protein. It consists of two parts. The first part is a set of tools that facilitate construction of customized E.coli strains bearing single copy lacZYA reporters that are repressed by a specific target protein.
The second part is a pair of regulatable protein expression vectors that permit in vivo production of the target protein at levels appropriate for genetic experiments. When expressed in a properly designed reporter strain, the target protein represses the lac genes, resulting in an E.coli phenotype that can be quantitatively measured or exploited in large scale genetic screens or selections.
As a result, large plasmid-based libraries of protein genes or pools of mutagenized variants of a given gene may be examined in relatively simple genetic experiments. The strain construction technique is also useful for generating E.coli strains bearing reporters for other types of genetic systems joplink Human ADAM10 cDNA Clone, including repression-based and activation-based systems in which chimeric proteins are used to examine interactions between foreign protein domains.
Efficient integration of artificial transposons into plasmid targets in vitro: a useful tool for DNA mapping, sequencing and genetic analysis
We have developed efficient methods for creating artificial transposons and inserting these transposons into plasmid targets in vitro, primarily for the purpose of DNA mapping and sequencing. A novel plasmid has been engineered to convert virtually any DNA sequence, or combination of sequences, into an artificial transposon; hence, custom transposons containing any desired feature can be easily designed and constructed.
Such transposons are then efficiently inserted into plasmid targets, in vitro, using the integrase activity present in yeast Ty1 virus-like particles. A single in vitro integration reaction, which resembles a simple restriction digestion in the complexity of the reaction, gives rise to thousands of recoverable insertion events within DNA target molecules; this frequency approaches one insertion per phosphodiester bond in typical plasmids. Importantly, transposon insertions are recovered from all regions of DNA inserts carried on plasmid targets, indicating that integration is a random or nearly-random process.
Because of its versatility, this technology offers a generalized method of generating recombinant DNA molecules of a desired structure. We have adapted this system for DNA sequencing by developing a customized artificial transposon to insert new primer binding sites into internal regions of DNA inserts carried on cloning vectors. Transposon insertions have been generated throughout several different yeast and human DNA inserts carried on plasmids, allowing the efficient recovery of sequence information from these inserts. Our results demonstrate the overall utility of this method for both small and large-scale DNA sequencing, as well as general DNA restructuring, and indicate that it could be adapted for use with a number of additional applications including functional genetic analysis.
Examination of the Borrelia burgdorferi transcriptome in Ixodes scapularis during feeding
Borrelia burgdorferi gene expression within the guts of engorging Ixodes scapularis ticks was examined by use of differential immunoscreening and differential expression with a customized amplified library. Fourteen chromosomal genes involved in energy metabolism, substrate transport, and signal transduction and 10 (4 chromosomal and 6 plasmid) genes encoding putative lipoproteins and periplasmic proteins were preferentially expressed in engorging ticks. These data demonstrate a new approach to the global analysis of B. burgdorferi genes that are preferentially expressed within the vector during feeding.
Extrachromosomal, extraordinary and essential–the plasmids of the Roseobacter clade
The alphaproteobacterial Roseobacter clade (Rhodobacterales) is one of the most important global players in carbon and sulfur cycles of marine ecosystems. The remarkable metabolic versatility of this bacterial lineage provides access to diverse habitats and correlates with a multitude of extrachromosomal elements. Four non-homologous replication systems and additional subsets of individual compatibility groups ensure the stable maintenance of up to a dozen replicons representing up to one third of the bacterial genome.
This complexity presents the challenge of successful partitioning of all low copy number replicons. Based on the phenomenon of plasmid incompatibility, we developed molecular tools for target-oriented plasmid curing and could generate customized mutants lacking hundreds of genes.
This approach allows one to analyze the relevance of specific replicons including so-called chromids that are known as lifestyle determinants of bacteria. Chromids are extrachromosomal elements with a chromosome-like genetic imprint (codon usage, GC content) that are essential for competitive survival in the natural habitat, whereas classical dispensable plasmids exhibit a deviating codon usage and typically contain type IV secretion systems for conjugation.
The impact of horizontal plasmid transfer is exemplified by the scattered occurrence of the characteristic aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis among the Roseobacter clade and the recently reported transfer of the 45-kb photosynthesis gene cluster to extrachromosomal elements. Conjugative transmission may be the crucial driving force for rapid adaptations and hence the ecological prosperousness of this lineage of pink bacteria.
PlasMapper: a web server for drawing and auto-annotating plasmid maps
PlasMapper is a comprehensive web server that automatically generates and annotates high-quality circular plasmid maps. Taking only the plasmid/vector DNA sequence as input, PlasMapper uses sequence pattern matching and BLAST alignment to automatically identify and label common promoters, terminators, cloning sites, restriction sites, reporter genes, affinity tags, selectable marker genes, replication origins and open reading frames. PlasMapper then presents the identified features in textual form and as high-resolution, multicolored graphical output.
The appearance and contents of the output can be customized in numerous ways using several supplied options. Further, PlasMapper images can be rendered in both rasterized (PNG and JPG) and vector graphics (SVG) formats to accommodate a variety of user needs or preferences. The images and textual output are of sufficient quality that they may be used directly in publications or presentations.
Additional cassettes for epitope and fluorescent fusion proteins in Candida albicans
Epitope tags that confer specific properties, including affinity for resins or antibodies or detection by fluorescence microscopy, are highly useful for biochemical and cell biological investigations. In Candida albicans and several other related yeasts, the CUG codon specifies serine instead of leucine, requiring that molecular tools be customized for use in this important human fungal pathogen. Here we report the construction of a set of plasmids containing 13-Myc, 3HA, GST, V5 or His9 epitope cassettes that facilitate PCR-mediated construction of epitope-tagged proteins.
Common primer sets amplify the different tags with two different selectable markers. In addition, we report construction of a codon-optimized Discosoma red fluorescent protein (DsRFP) gene. Like mCherryRFP, this DsRFP signal is detectable in transformants at the colony level and is useful in double-labelling experiments with green fluorescent protein (GFP).
Finally, we describe a construct that directs PCR-mediated two-step insertion of GFP internal to a coding sequence, which facilitates tagging of secreted proteins, including GPI-anchor cell wall proteins that require endogenous N- and C-termini for function. These reagents expand the repertoire of molecular tools available for working with C. albicans and other members of the CUG clade of pathogenic yeasts.