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postgraduate thesis: The study of virulence determinants of mycobacterium tuberculosis

TitleThe study of virulence determinants of mycobacterium tuberculosis
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lam, T. H. J. [林梓軒]. (2011). The study of virulence determinants of mycobacterium tuberculosis. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784975
AbstractPersistence in human macrophages is central to the virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is the causative agent of tuberculosis. Although the intracellular parasitism is apparent, molecular determinants of mycobacterial virulence are not well understood. The current investigation identified virulent genes of M. tuberculosis by measuring survivability of Mycobacterium smegmatis recombinants inside a human monocytic cell line THP-1 after acquiring various virulent gene candidates of M. tuberculosis. These gene candidates included nine virulent gene candidates suggested by other studies, five genomic polymorphisms identified in hypervirulent strains of M. tuberculosis using microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization, and ten single nucleotide polymorphisms identified in the hypervirulent strains using full genome sequencing. Interestingly, only recombinants harboring a truncated Rv2820c and a known virulent gene mce1A survived significantly better than vector control after six hours of ex vivo infection. As nucleotide sequencing indicated that the truncated Rv2820c loses around 60% of gene at 3’ end, ex vivo survivability of M. smegmatis recombinants harboring the last 60% of Rv2820c as well as the intact Rv2820c was measured, but was similar to that of vector control. The 3’ truncated portion itself did not alter mycobacterial survivability ex vivo, but its presence did compromise the survival advantage gained due to the truncated Rv2820c. To determine whether the truncated and the intact Rv2820c could enhance mycobacterial virulence in vivo, these two alleles were transformed into Mycobacterium marinum and their recombinants were used to infect zebrafish. In vivo infection showed that zebrafish infected with the recombinant harboring truncated Rv2820c died significantly faster than vector control, whereas the recombinant harboring intact Rv2820c behaved similarly to vector control. Results indicated that the truncated Rv2820c, but not the intact Rv2820c, could enhance mycobacterial virulence both ex vivo and in vivo. Additional nucleotide sequencing revealed that the 3’ truncation in Rv2820c is caused by a Beijing/W-defining deletion RD207 and is commonly found in Beijing/W strains of M. tuberculosis. Non-Beijing/W strains possess the intact Rv2820c conversely. Since Beijing/W strains have proven to be more virulent than non-Beijing/W strains both ex vivo and in vivo, the truncated Rv2820c may be one of the Beijing/W-specific virulence determinants. To confirm that Rv2820c of Beijing/W strains really enhances M. tuberculosis survival in human macrophages, the truncated Rv2820c was transformed into non-Beijing/W M. tuberculosis strains and their recombinants were used to infect THP-1 cells. Ex vivo infection confirmed that the truncated Rv2820c could enhance M. tuberculosis survival inside human macrophages, but is unlikely to induce a different profile of cytokine secretion from infected macrophages. In conclusion, the current study demonstrated that the truncated Rv2820c of Beijing/W strains could enhance mycobacterial virulence both ex vivo and in vivo. Enhanced phenotypic virulence, however, was not observed for the intact Rv2820c of non-Beijing/W strains. The truncated Rv2820c may be one of the Beijing/W-specific virulence determinants and collaboratively contribute to the high phenotypic virulence of this family.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectMycobacterium tuberculosis - Pathogenesis.
Bacterial genetics.
Gene expression.
Dept/ProgramMicrobiology

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLam, T. H., Jason.-
dc.contributor.author林梓軒.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationLam, T. H. J. [林梓軒]. (2011). The study of virulence determinants of mycobacterium tuberculosis. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784975-
dc.description.abstractPersistence in human macrophages is central to the virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is the causative agent of tuberculosis. Although the intracellular parasitism is apparent, molecular determinants of mycobacterial virulence are not well understood. The current investigation identified virulent genes of M. tuberculosis by measuring survivability of Mycobacterium smegmatis recombinants inside a human monocytic cell line THP-1 after acquiring various virulent gene candidates of M. tuberculosis. These gene candidates included nine virulent gene candidates suggested by other studies, five genomic polymorphisms identified in hypervirulent strains of M. tuberculosis using microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization, and ten single nucleotide polymorphisms identified in the hypervirulent strains using full genome sequencing. Interestingly, only recombinants harboring a truncated Rv2820c and a known virulent gene mce1A survived significantly better than vector control after six hours of ex vivo infection. As nucleotide sequencing indicated that the truncated Rv2820c loses around 60% of gene at 3’ end, ex vivo survivability of M. smegmatis recombinants harboring the last 60% of Rv2820c as well as the intact Rv2820c was measured, but was similar to that of vector control. The 3’ truncated portion itself did not alter mycobacterial survivability ex vivo, but its presence did compromise the survival advantage gained due to the truncated Rv2820c. To determine whether the truncated and the intact Rv2820c could enhance mycobacterial virulence in vivo, these two alleles were transformed into Mycobacterium marinum and their recombinants were used to infect zebrafish. In vivo infection showed that zebrafish infected with the recombinant harboring truncated Rv2820c died significantly faster than vector control, whereas the recombinant harboring intact Rv2820c behaved similarly to vector control. Results indicated that the truncated Rv2820c, but not the intact Rv2820c, could enhance mycobacterial virulence both ex vivo and in vivo. Additional nucleotide sequencing revealed that the 3’ truncation in Rv2820c is caused by a Beijing/W-defining deletion RD207 and is commonly found in Beijing/W strains of M. tuberculosis. Non-Beijing/W strains possess the intact Rv2820c conversely. Since Beijing/W strains have proven to be more virulent than non-Beijing/W strains both ex vivo and in vivo, the truncated Rv2820c may be one of the Beijing/W-specific virulence determinants. To confirm that Rv2820c of Beijing/W strains really enhances M. tuberculosis survival in human macrophages, the truncated Rv2820c was transformed into non-Beijing/W M. tuberculosis strains and their recombinants were used to infect THP-1 cells. Ex vivo infection confirmed that the truncated Rv2820c could enhance M. tuberculosis survival inside human macrophages, but is unlikely to induce a different profile of cytokine secretion from infected macrophages. In conclusion, the current study demonstrated that the truncated Rv2820c of Beijing/W strains could enhance mycobacterial virulence both ex vivo and in vivo. Enhanced phenotypic virulence, however, was not observed for the intact Rv2820c of non-Beijing/W strains. The truncated Rv2820c may be one of the Beijing/W-specific virulence determinants and collaboratively contribute to the high phenotypic virulence of this family.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47849757-
dc.subject.lcshMycobacterium tuberculosis - Pathogenesis.-
dc.subject.lcshBacterial genetics.-
dc.subject.lcshGene expression.-
dc.titleThe study of virulence determinants of mycobacterium tuberculosis-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4784975-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineMicrobiology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4784975-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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