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New article in Cell by Alex Mironov: Bacterial Nitric Oxide Extends the Lifespan of C. elegans.

Ivan Gusarov, Laurent Gautier, Olga Smolentseva, Ilya Shamovsky, Svetlana Eremina, Alexander Mironov, Evgeny Nudler

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Cell (impact factor: 32.4). 02/2013; 152(4):818-30. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2012.12.043

ABSTRACT Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling molecule in multicellular organisms. Most animals produce NO from L-arginine via a family of dedicated enzymes known as NO synthases (NOSes). A rare exception is the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, which lacks its own NOS. However, in its natural environment, C. elegans feeds on Bacilli that possess functional NOS. Here, we demonstrate that bacterially derived NO enhances C. elegans longevity and stress resistance via a defined group of genes that function under the dual control of HSF-1 and DAF-16 transcription factors. Our work provides an example of interspecies signaling by a small molecule and illustrates the lifelong value of commensal bacteria to their host.


Another article in Science: "H2S: A Universal Defense Against Antibiotics in Bacteria"

H2S: A Universal Defense Against Antibiotics in Bacteria

Science 334, 986 (2011); DOI: 10.1126/science.1209855

Konstantin Shatalin,1 Elena Shatalina,1 Alexander Mironov,2 Evgeny Nudler1*

Many prokaryotic species generate hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in their natural environments. However, the biochemistry and physiological role of this gas in nonsulfur bacteria remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that inactivation of putative cystathionine b-synthase, cystathionine g-lyase, or 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase in Bacillus anthracis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli suppresses H2S production, rendering these pathogens highly sensitive to a multitude of antibiotics. Exogenous H2S suppresses this effect. Moreover, in bacteria that normally produce H2S and nitric oxide, these two gases act synergistically to sustain growth. The mechanism of gas-mediated antibiotic resistance relies on mitigation of oxidative stress imposed by antibiotics.


Bioengineering: Study results from GosNiigenetika, State Research Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms provide new insights into bioengineering

New research, 'Production of succinic acid at low pH by a recombinant strain of the aerobic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica,' is the subject of a report. "Biotechnological production of weak organic acids such as succinic acid is most economically advantageous when carried out at low pH. Among naturally occurring microorganisms, several bacterial strains are known to produce considerable amounts of succinic acid under anaerobic conditions but they are inefficient in performing the low-pH fermentation due to their physiological properties," scientists writing in the journal Biotechnology & Bioengineering report.

New Article: A novel model system for design of biomaterials based on recombinant analogs of spider silk proteins

Spider dragline silk possesses impressive mechanical and biochemical properties. It is synthesized by a couple of major ampullate glands in spiders and comprises of two major structural proteins--spidroins 1 and 2. The relationship between structure and mechanical properties of spider silk is not well understood. Here, we modeled the complete process of the spider silk assembly using two new recombinant analogs of spidroins 1 and 2.


The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (Order ¹ 82/k-n of 16.02.2005) appointed Dr. Dmitry Rubvalter as Director of the Centre for Science Research and Statistics.