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Articles by Eric J. Hansen
Total Records ( 6 ) for Eric J. Hansen
  Ahmed S. Attia , Jennifer L. Sedillo , Wei Wang , Wei Liu , Chad A. Brautigam , Wade Winkler and Eric J. Hansen
  The Hfq protein is recognized as a global regulatory molecule that facilitates certain RNA-RNA interactions in bacteria. BLAST analysis identified a 630-nucleotide open reading frame in the genome of Moraxella catarrhalis ATCC 43617 that was highly conserved among M. catarrhalis strains and which encoded a predicted protein with significant homology to the Hfq protein of Escherichia coli. This protein, containing 210 amino acids, was more than twice as large as the Hfq proteins previously described for other bacteria. The C-terminal half of the M. catarrhalis Hfq protein was very hydrophilic and contained two different types of amino acid repeats. A mutation in the M. catarrhalis hfq gene affected both the growth rate of this organism and its sensitivity to at least two different types of stress in vitro. Provision of the wild-type M. catarrhalis hfq gene in trans eliminated these phenotypic differences in the hfq mutant. This M. catarrhalis hfq mutant exhibited altered expression of some cell envelope proteins relative to the wild-type parent strain and also had a growth advantage in a continuous flow biofilm system. The presence of the wild-type M. catarrhalis hfq gene in trans in an E. coli hfq mutant fully reversed the modest growth deficiency of this E. coli mutant and partially reversed the stress sensitivity of this E. coli mutant to methyl viologen. The use of an electrophoretic mobility shift assay showed that this M. catarrhalis Hfq protein could bind RNA derived from a gene whose expression was altered in the M. catarrhalis hfq mutant.
  Michael J. Brooks , Jennifer L. Sedillo , Nikki Wagner , Wei Wang , Ahmed S. Attia , Henry Wong , Cassie A. Laurence , Eric J. Hansen and Scott D. Gray-Owen
  The Moraxella catarrhalis ubiquitous surface proteins (UspAs) are autotransporter molecules reported to interact with a variety of different host proteins and to affect processes ranging from serum resistance to cellular adhesion. The role of UspA1 as an adhesin has been confirmed with a number of different human cell types and is mediated by binding to eukaryotic proteins including carcinoembryonic antigen-related cellular adhesion molecules (CEACAMs), fibronectin, and laminin. A distinct difference in the ability of prototypical M. catarrhalis strains to adhere to CEACAM-expressing cell lines prompted us to perform strain-specific structure-function analyses of UspA1 proteins. In this study, we characterized CEACAM binding by a diverse set of UspA1 proteins and showed that 3 out of 10 UspA1 proteins were incapable of binding CEACAM. This difference resulted from the absence of a distinct CEACAM binding motif in nonadhering strains. Our sequence analysis also revealed a single M. catarrhalis isolate that lacked the fibronectin-binding motif and was defective in adherence to Chang conjunctival epithelial cells. These results clearly demonstrate that UspA1-associated adhesive functions are not universally conserved. Instead, UspA1 proteins must be considered as variants with the potential to confer both different cell tropisms and host cell responses.
  Michael J. Brooks , Jennifer L. Sedillo , Nikki Wagner , Cassie A. Laurence , Wei Wang , Ahmed S. Attia , Eric J. Hansen and Scott D. Gray-Owen
  Ubiquitous surface protein A molecules (UspAs) of Moraxella catarrhalis are large, nonfimbrial, autotransporter proteins that can be visualized as a "fuzzy" layer on the bacterial surface by transmission electron microscopy. Previous studies attributed a wide array of functions and binding activities to the closely related UspA1, UspA2, and/or UspA2H protein, yet the molecular and phylogenetic relationships among these activities remain largely unexplored. To address this issue, we determined the nucleotide sequence of the uspA1 genes from a variety of independent M. catarrhalis isolates and compared the deduced amino acid sequences to those of the previously characterized UspA1, UspA2, and UspA2H proteins. Rather than being conserved proteins, we observed a striking divergence of individual UspA1, UspA2, and UspA2H proteins resulting from the modular assortment of unrelated "cassettes" of peptide sequence. The exchange of certain variant cassettes correlates with strain-specific differences in UspA protein function and confers differing phenotypes upon these mucosal surface pathogens.
  Kaiping Deng , Jason R. Mock , Steven Greenberg , Nicolai S. C. van Oers and Eric J. Hansen
  The LspA proteins (LspA1 and LspA2) of Haemophilus ducreyi are necessary for this pathogen to inhibit the phagocytic activity of macrophage cell lines, an event that can be correlated with a reduction in the level of active Src family protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) in these eukaryotic cells. During studies investigating this inhibitory mechanism, it was discovered that the LspA proteins themselves were tyrosine phosphorylated after wild-type H. ducreyi cells were incubated with macrophages. LspA proteins in cell-free concentrated H. ducreyi culture supernatant fluid could also be tyrosine phosphorylated by macrophages. This ability to tyrosine phosphorylate the LspA proteins was not limited to immune cell lineages but could be accomplished by both HeLa and COS-7 cells. Kinase inhibitor studies with macrophages demonstrated that the Src family PTKs were required for this tyrosine phosphorylation activity. In silico methods and site-directed mutagenesis were used to identify EPIYG and EPVYA motifs in LspA1 that contained tyrosines that were targets for phosphorylation. A total of four tyrosines could be phosphorylated in LspA1, with LspA2 containing eight predicted tyrosine phosphorylation motifs. Purified LspA1 fusion proteins containing either the EPIYG or EPVYA motifs were shown to be phosphorylated by purified Src PTK in vitro. Macrophage lysates could also tyrosine phosphorylate the LspA proteins and an LspA1 fusion protein via a mechanism that was dependent on the presence of both divalent cations and ATP. Several motifs known to interact with or otherwise affect eukaryotic kinases were identified in the LspA proteins.
  Todd C. Hoopman , Wei Wang , Chad A. Brautigam , Jennifer L. Sedillo , Thomas J . Reilly and Eric J. Hansen
  Moraxella catarrhalis O35E was shown to synthesize a 105-kDa protein that has similarity to both acid phosphatases and autotransporters. The N-terminal portion of the M. catarrhalis acid phosphatase A (MapA) was most similar (the BLAST probability score was 10–10) to bacterial class A nonspecific acid phosphatases. The central region of the MapA protein had similarity to passenger domains of other autotransporter proteins, whereas the C-terminal portion of MapA resembled the translocation domain of conventional autotransporters. Cloning and expression of the M. catarrhalis mapA gene in Escherichia coli confirmed the presence of acid phosphatase activity in the MapA protein. The MapA protein was shown to be localized to the outer membrane of M. catarrhalis and was not detected either in the soluble cytoplasmic fraction from disrupted M. catarrhalis cells or in the spent culture supernatant fluid from M. catarrhalis. Use of the predicted MapA translocation domain in a fusion construct with the passenger domain from another predicted M. catarrhalis autotransporter confirmed the translocation ability of this MapA domain. Inactivation of the mapA gene in M. catarrhalis strain O35E reduced the acid phosphatase activity expressed by this organism, and this mutation could be complemented in trans with the wild-type mapA gene. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the mapA gene from six M. catarrhalis strains showed that this protein was highly conserved among strains of this pathogen. Site-directed mutagenesis of a critical histidine residue (H233A) in the predicted active site of the acid phosphatase domain in MapA eliminated acid phosphatase activity in the recombinant MapA protein. This is the first description of an autotransporter protein that expresses acid phosphatase activity.
  Wei Wang , Anthony R. Richardson , Willm Martens-Habbena , David A. Stahl , Ferric C. Fang and Eric J. Hansen
  Growth of Moraxella catarrhalis in a biofilm resulted in marked upregulation of two open reading frames (ORFs), aniA and norB, predicted to encode a nitrite reductase and a nitric oxide reductase, respectively (W. Wang, L. Reitzer, D. A. Rasko, M. M. Pearson, R. J. Blick, C. Laurence, and E. J. Hansen, Infect. Immun. 75:4959-4971, 2007). An ORF designated nsrR, which was located between aniA and norB, was shown to encode a predicted transcriptional regulator. Inactivation of nsrR resulted in increased expression of aniA and norB in three different M. catarrhalis strains, as measured by both DNA microarray analysis and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Provision of a wild-type nsrR gene in trans in an nsrR mutant resulted in decreased expression of the AniA protein. DNA microarray analysis revealed that two other ORFs (MC ORF 683 and MC ORF 1550) were also consistently upregulated in an nsrR mutant. Consumption of both nitrite and nitric oxide occurred more rapidly with cells of an nsrR mutant than with wild-type cells. However, growth of nsrR mutants was completely inhibited by a low level of sodium nitrite. This inhibition of growth by nitrite was significantly reversed by introduction of an aniA mutation into the nsrR mutant and was completely reversed by the presence of a wild-type nsrR gene in trans. NsrR regulation of the expression of aniA was sensitive to nitrite, whereas NsrR regulation of norB was sensitive to nitric oxide.
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