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The human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus successfully colonizes its primary reservoir, the nasal cavity, most likely by regulatory adaptation to the nose environment. Cotton rats represent an excellent model for the study of bacterial gene expression in the initial phases of colonization. To gain insight into the expression profile necessary for the(More)
Staphylococci and most other Gram-positive bacteria incorporate complex teichoic acid (TA) polymers into their cell envelopes. Several crucial roles in Staphylococcus aureus fitness and cell wall maintenance have been assigned to these polymers, which are either covalently linked to peptidoglycan (wall teichoic acid, WTA) or to the cytoplasmic membrane(More)
Staphylococcal cell separation depends largely on the bifunctional autolysin Atl that is processed to amidase-R(1,2) and R(3)-glucosaminidase. These murein hydrolases are targeted via repeat domains (R) to the septal region of the cell surface, thereby allowing localized peptidoglycan hydrolysis and separation of the dividing cells. Here we show that(More)
Dermcidin (DCD) is an antimicrobial peptide which is constitutively expressed in eccrine sweat glands. By postsecretory proteolytic processing in sweat, the DCD protein gives rise to anionic and cationic DCD peptides with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Many antimicrobial peptides induce membrane permeabilization as part of their killing(More)
Many Gram-positive bacteria produce lipoteichoic acid (LTA) polymers whose physiological roles have remained a matter of debate because of the lack of LTA-deficient mutants. The ypfP gene responsible for biosynthesis of a glycolipid found in LTA was deleted in Staphylococcus aureus SA113, causing 87% reduction of the LTA content. Mass spectrometry and(More)
Skin-colonizing gram-positive bacteria produce wall teichoic acids (WTAs) or related glycopolymers for unclear reasons. Using a WTA-deficient Staphylococcus aureus mutant, we demonstrated that WTA confers resistance to antimicrobial fatty acids from human sebaceous glands by preventing fatty acid binding. Thus, WTA is probably important for bacterial skin(More)
Most of the severe bacterial infections originate from the endogenous microflora of human body surfaces. However, the molecular basis of colonization, e.g. of the human nose by Staphylococcus aureus, has remained incompletely understood. Several surface-exposed proteins and wall teichoic acid (WTA) polymers have previously been implicated in S. aureus(More)
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a Gram-positive human pathogen with a complex lipoteichoic acid (pnLTA) structure. Because the current structural model for pnLTA shows substantial inconsistencies, we reinvestigated purified and, more importantly, O-deacylated pnLTA, which is most suitable for NMR spectroscopy and electrospray ionization-MS spectrometry. We(More)
Human thrombospondin 1 (hTSP-1) is a matricellular glycoprotein facilitating bacterial adherence to and invasion into eukaryotic cells. However, the bacterial adhesin(s) remain elusive. In this study, we show a dose-dependent binding of soluble hTSP-1 to Gram-positive but not Gram-negative bacteria. Diminished binding of soluble hTSP-1 to proteolytically(More)
BACKGROUND Plasmacytosis (ie, an expansion of plasma cell populations to much greater than the homeostatic level) occurs in the context of various immune disorders and plasma cell neoplasia. This condition is often associated with immunodeficiency that causes increased susceptibility to severe infections. Yet a causative link between plasmacytosis and(More)