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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Publishing Ltd
    FEMS microbiology reviews 29 (2005), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1574-6976
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: The field of probiosis has emerged as a new science with applications in farming and aqaculture as alternatives to antibiotics as well as prophylactics in humans. Probiotics are being developed commercially for both human use, primarily as novel foods or dietary supplements, and in animal feeds for the prevention of gastrointestinal infections, with extensive use in the poultry and aquaculture industries. The impending ban of antibiotics in animal feed, the current concern over the spread of antibiotic resistance genes, the failure to identify new antibiotics and the inherent problems with developing new vaccines make a compelling case for developing alternative prophylactics. Among the large number of probiotic products in use today are bacterial spore formers, mostly of the genus Bacillus. Used primarily in their spore form, these products have been shown to prevent gastrointestinal disorders and the diversity of species used and their applications are astonishing. Understanding the nature of this probiotic effect is complicated, not only because of the complexities of understanding the microbial interactions that occur within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), but also because Bacillus species are considered allochthonous microorganisms. This review summarizes the commercial applications of Bacillus probiotics. A case will be made that many Bacillus species should not be considered allochthonous microorganisms but, instead, ones that have a bimodal life cycle of growth and sporulation in the environment as well as within the GIT. Specific mechanisms for how Bacillus species can inhibit gastrointestinal infections will be covered, including immunomodulation and the synthesis of antimicrobials. Finally, the safety and licensing issues that affect the use of Bacillus species for commercial development will be summarized, together with evidence showing the growing need to evaluate the safety of individual Bacillus strains as well as species on a case by case by basis.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Oxford, UK : Blackwell Science Ltd
    Molecular microbiology 55 (2005), S. 0 
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Sporulation in the Gram-positive bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, has been used as an excellent model system to study cell differentiation for almost half a century. This research has given us a detailed picture of the genetic, physiological and biochemical mechanisms that allow bacteria to survive harsh environmental conditions by forming highly robust spores. Although many basic aspects of this process are now understood in great detail, including the crystal and NMR structures of some of the key proteins and their complexes, bacterial sporulation still continues to be a highly attractive model for studying various cell processes at a molecular level. There are several reasons for such scientific interest. First, some of the complex steps in sporulation are not fully understood and/or are only described by ‘controversial’ models. Second, intensive research on unicellular development of a single microorganism, B. subtilis, left us largely unaware of the multitude of diverse sporulation mechanisms in many other Gram-positive endospore and exospore formers. This diversity would likely be increased if we were to include sporulation processes in the Gram-negative spore formers. Spore formers have great potential in applied research. They have been used for many years as biodosimeters and as natural insecticides, exploited in the industrial production of enzymes, antibiotics, used as probiotics and, more, exploited as possible vectors for drug delivery, vaccine antigens and other immunomodulating molecules. This report describes these and other aspects of current fundamental and applied spore research that were presented at European Spores Conference held in Smolenice Castle, Slovakia, June 2004.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: SpoIVB is the critical determinant for intercompartmental signalling of pro-σK processing during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. We show here that the SpoIVB serine peptidase can cleave the SpoIVFA protein, which is one component of the pro-σK processing complex. SpoIVFA has been shown elsewhere (Rudner, D.Z., and Losick, R., 2002, Genes Dev 16: 1007–1018) to tether BofA and SpoIVFB in a membrane-embedded heteroligomeric complex in which BofA directly inhibits the activity of SpoIVFB. Cleavage of SpoIVFA would provide the necessary signal to dissolve this complex and release BofA-mediated inhibition on the zinc metalloprotease, SpoIVFB, that is responsible for cleaving pro-σK to its mature form. We also show that the SpoIVB PDZ domain is required for self-recognition and trans cleavage of SpoIVB and is probably also used to target an internal motif within the C-terminal region of SpoIVFA exposed in the space between the inner and outer forespore membranes. This work reveals the mechanism of intercompartmental signalling and provides a unified model as to how σK-directed gene expression in the mother cell is co-ordinated with events in the forespore chamber.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1365-2958
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: SpoIVB is essential for intercompartmental signalling in the σK-checkpoint of Bacillus subtilis. SpoIVB is synthesized in the spore chamber and is the signal which activates proteolytic processing of pro-σK to its mature and active form σK. We show here that SpoIVB is a serine peptidase of the SA clan. Expression of SpoIVB in Escherichia coli has shown that SpoIVB is able to self-cleave into at least three discrete products, and in vitro studies have shown cleavage in trans. Autoproteolysis of SpoIVB is tightly linked to the initiation of the two developmental functions of this protein, signalling of pro-σK processing and a yet, uncharacterized, second function which is essential for the formation of heat-resistant spores. In B. subtilis, SpoIVB is synthesized as a zymogen and is subject to two levels of proteolysis. First, autoproteolysis generating intermediate products, at least one of which is proposed to be the active form, followed by processing by one or more enzymes to smaller species. This could provide a mechanism for switching off the active SpoIVB intermediate(s) and suggests a similarity to other proteolytic cascades such as those found in blood coagulation.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1574-6968
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: The process of spore formation in Bacillus subtilis is dependent upon a sophisticated program of gene expression that is regulated both temporally and spatially by a series of alternate sigma factors, in conjunction with a number of transcriptional regulators. One of these, SpoVT, regulates forespore-specific σG-dependent transcription and is related at the amino acid level to the major stationary phase sentinel, AbrB, whose mode of DNA recognition appears to be non-classical. Here, we report that the C-terminal domain of SpoVT is crucial to its correct folding and function, and how the DNA-binding domain from AbrB cannot complement the closely homologous domain of SpoVT in vivo. We also establish the oligomeric state of SpoVT and its component domains. Finally, we demonstrate that the regulation of transcriptional control by SpoVT is unexpectedly more complicated than its counterpart, AbrB, and that the latent non-specific DNA-binding activity of the N-terminal domain of SpoVT is modulated by the C-terminal domain, which perhaps in combination with another unknown factor, confers specificity.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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