- Regulation of osmoadaptation in the moderate halophile Halobacillus halophilus : chloride, glutamate and switching osmolyte strategies (2008)
- The moderate halophile Halobacillus halophilus is the paradigm for chloride dependent growth in prokaryotes. Recent experiments shed light on the molecular basis of the chloride dependence that is reviewed here. In the presence of moderate salinities Halobacillus halophilus mainly accumulates glutamine and glutamate to adjust turgor. The transcription of glnA2 (encoding a glutamine synthetase) as well as the glutamine synthetase activity were identified as chloride dependent steps. Halobacillus halophilus switches its osmolyte strategy and produces proline as the main compatible solute at high salinities. Furthermore, Halobacillus halophilus also shifts its osmolyte strategy at the transition from the exponential to the stationary phase where proline is exchanged by ectoine. Glutamate was found as a second messenger" essential for proline production. This observation leads to a new model of sensing salinity by sensing the physico-chemical properties of different anions.
- An ancient pathway combining carbon dioxide fixation with the generation and utilization of a sodium ion gradient for ATP synthesis (2012)
- Synthesis of acetate from carbon dioxide and molecular hydrogen is considered to be the first carbon assimilation pathway on earth. It combines carbon dioxide fixation into acetyl-CoA with the production of ATP via an energized cell membrane. How the pathway is coupled with the net synthesis of ATP has been an enigma. The anaerobic, acetogenic bacterium Acetobacterium woodii uses an ancient version of this pathway without cytochromes and quinones. It generates a sodium ion potential across the cell membrane by the sodium-motive ferredoxin:NAD oxidoreductase (Rnf). The genome sequence of A. woodii solves the enigma: it uncovers Rnf as the only ion-motive enzyme coupled to the pathway and unravels a metabolism designed to produce reduced ferredoxin and overcome energetic barriers by virtue of electron-bifurcating, soluble enzymes.
- Molecular Mechanisms of Adaptation of the Moderately Halophilic Bacterium Halobacillis halophilus to Its Environment (2013)
- The capability of osmoadaptation is a prerequisite of organisms that live in an environment with changing salinities. Halobacillus halophilus is a moderately halophilic bacterium that grows between 0.4 and 3 M NaCl by accumulating both chloride and compatible solutes as osmolytes. Chloride is absolutely essential for growth and, moreover, was shown to modulate gene expression and activity of enzymes involved in osmoadaptation. The synthesis of different compatible solutes is strictly salinity- and growth phase-dependent. This unique hybrid strategy of H. halophilus will be reviewed here taking into account the recently published genome sequence. Based on identified genes we will speculate about possible scenarios of the synthesis of compatible solutes and the uptake of potassium ion which would complete our knowledge of the fine-tuned osmoregulation and intracellular osmolyte balance in H. halophilus.
- Extended pancreas donor program – the EXPAND study rationale and study protocol (2013)
- Background: Simultaneous pancreas kidney transplantation (SPK), pancreas transplantation alone (PTA) or pancreas transplantation after kidney (PAK) are the only curative treatment options for patients with type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus with or without impaired renal function. Unfortunately, transplant waiting lists for this indication are increasing because the current organ acceptability criteria are restrictive; morbidity and mortality significantly increase with time on the waitlist. Currently, only pancreas organs from donors younger than 50 years of age and with a body mass index (BMI) less than 30 are allocated for transplantation in the Eurotransplant (ET) area. To address this issue we designed a study to increase the available donor pool for these patients. Methods/Design: This study is a prospective, multicenter (20 German centers), single blinded, non-randomized, two armed trial comparing outcome after SPK, PTA or PAK between organs with the currently allowed donor criteria versus selected organs from donors with extended criteria. Extended donor criteria are defined as organs procured from donors with a BMI of 30 to 34 or a donor age between 50 and 60 years. Immunosuppression is generally standardized using induction therapy with Myfortic, tacrolimus and low dose steroids. In principle, all patients on the waitlist for primary SPK, PTA or PAK are eligible for the clinical trial when they consent to possibly receiving an extended donor criteria organ. Patients receiving an organ meeting the current standard criteria for pancreas allocation (control arm) are compared to those receiving extended criteria organ (study arm); patients are blinded for a follow-up period of one year. The combined primary endpoint is survival of the pancreas allograft and pancreas allograft function after three months, as an early relevant outcome parameter for pancreas transplantation. Discussion: The EXPAND Study has been initiated to investigate the hypothesis that locally allocated extended criteria organs can be transplanted with similar results compared to the currently allowed standard ET organ allocation. If our study shows a favorable comparison to standard organ allocation criteria, the morbidity and mortality for patients waiting for transplantation could be reduced in the future. Trial registered at: NCT01384006
- Manche mögen’s salzig : Anpassungsstrategien und Biotechnologie Salz liebender Mikroorganismen (2008)
- Sie lieben extreme Bedingungen: Einige leben in tiefen Gesteinsschichten oder ohne Licht und Sauerstoff an kochend heißen Quellen der Tiefsee, andere bevorzugen die eisigen Temperaturen der Polargebiete, und wieder andere fühlen sich erst richtig wohl in kochender Schwefelsäure. Doch wie passen sich Mikroorganismen an diese extremen Bedingungen an? Die Forschung hat darauf bereits Antworten gefunden, die sich auch biotechnologisch nutzen lassen.