Anne O. Summers
Other affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard University, Washington University in St. Louis ...read more
Bio: Anne O. Summers is an academic researcher from University of Georgia. The author has contributed to research in topics: Operon & Plasmid. The author has an hindex of 45, co-authored 101 publications receiving 9883 citations. Previous affiliations of Anne O. Summers include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Harvard University.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: This review describes MGEs, their properties that are important in horizontal gene transfer, and current opportunities to advance MGE genomics.
Abstract: Horizontal genomics is a new field in prokaryotic biology that is focused on the analysis of DNA sequences in prokaryotic chromosomes that seem to have originated from other prokaryotes or eukaryotes. However, it is equally important to understand the agents that effect DNA movement: plasmids, bacteriophages and transposons. Although these agents occur in all prokaryotes, comprehensive genomics of the prokaryotic mobile gene pool or 'mobilome' lags behind other genomics initiatives owing to challenges that are distinct from cellular chromosomal analysis. Recent work shows promise of improved mobile genetic element (MGE) genomics and consequent opportunities to take advantage - and avoid the dangers - of these 'natural genetic engineers'. This review describes MGEs, their properties that are important in horizontal gene transfer, and current opportunities to advance MGE genomics.
TL;DR: How this very mobile and plastic suite of proteins protects host cells from this pervasive toxic metal, what roles it has in the biogeochemical cycling of Hg, and how it has been employed in ameliorating environmental contamination are the subjects of this review.
Abstract: Bacterial resistance to inorganic and organic mercury compounds (HgR) is one of the most widely observed phenotypes in eubacteria. Loci conferring HgR in Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria typically have at minimum a mercuric reductase enzyme (MerA) that reduces reactive ionic Hg(II) to volatile, relatively inert, monoatomic Hg(0) vapor and a membrane-bound protein (MerT) for uptake of Hg(II) arranged in an operon under control of MerR, a novel metal-responsive regulator. Many HgR loci encode an additional enzyme, MerB, that degrades organomercurials by protonolysis, and one or more additional proteins apparently involved in transport. Genes conferring HgR occur on chromosomes, plasmids, and transposons and their operon arrangements can be quite diverse, frequently involving duplications of the above noted structural genes, several of which are modular themselves. How this very mobile and plastic suite of proteins protects host cells from this pervasive toxic metal, what roles it has in the biogeochemical cycling of Hg, and how it has been employed in ameliorating environmental contamination are the subjects of this review.
TL;DR: The entire 19,671-bp sequence of Tn21 is compiled and the possible origins and functions of the genes it contains are assessed and will provide a reference point for ongoing observations of related elements in multiply resistant strains emerging worldwide.
Abstract: The transposon Tn21 and a group of closely related transposons (the Tn21 family) are involved in the global dissemination of antibiotic resistance determinants in gram-negative facultative bacteria. The molecular basis for their involvement is carriage by the Tn21 family of a mobile DNA element (the integron) encoding a site-specific system for the acquisition of multiple antibiotic resistance genes. The paradigm example, Tn21, also carries genes for its own transposition and a mercury resistance (mer) operon. We have compiled the entire 19,671-bp sequence of Tn21 and assessed the possible origins and functions of the genes it contains. Our assessment adds molecular detail to previous models of the evolution of Tn21 and is consistent with the insertion of the integron In2 into an ancestral Tn501-like mer transposon. Codon usage analysis indicates distinct host origins for the ancestral mer operon, the integron, and the gene cassette and two insertion sequences which lie within the integron. The sole gene of unknown function in the integron, orf5, resembles a puromycin-modifying enzyme from an antibiotic producing bacterium. A possible seventh gene in the mer operon (merE), perhaps with a role in Hg(II) transport, lies in the junction between the integron and the mer operon. Analysis of the region interrupted by insertion of the integron suggests that the putative transposition regulator, tnpM, is the C-terminal vestige of a tyrosine kinase sensor present in the ancestral mer transposon. The extensive dissemination of the Tn21 family may have resulted from the fortuitous association of a genetic element for accumulating multiple antibiotic resistances (the integron) with one conferring resistance to a toxic metal at a time when clinical, agricultural, and industrial practices were rapidly increasing the exposure to both types of selective agents. The compendium offered here will provide a reference point for ongoing observations of related elements in multiply resistant strains emerging worldwide.
TL;DR: Plants and bacteria expressing merApe9 were resistant to toxic levels of Au3+.
Abstract: With global heavy metal contamination increasing, plants that can process heavy metals might provide efficient and ecologically sound approaches to sequestration and removal. Mercuric ion reductase, MerA, converts toxic Hg2+ to the less toxic, relatively inert metallic mercury (Hg0) The bacterial merA sequence is rich in CpG dinucleotides and has a highly skewed codon usage, both of which are particularly unfavorable to efficient expression in plants. We constructed a mutagenized merA sequence, merApe9, modifying the flanking region and 9% of the coding region and placing this sequence under control of plant regulatory elements. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana seeds expressing merApe9 germinated, and these seedlings grew, flowered, and set seed on medium containing HgCl2 concentrations of 25-100 microM (5-20 ppm), levels toxic to several controls. Transgenic merApe9 seedlings evolved considerable amounts of Hg0 relative to control plants. The rate of mercury evolution and the level of resistance were proportional to the steady-state mRNA level, confirming that resistance was due to expression of the MerApe9 enzyme. Plants and bacteria expressing merApe9 were also resistant to toxic levels of Au3+. These and other data suggest that there are potentially viable molecular genetic approaches to the phytoremediation of metal ion pollution.
TL;DR: The mercury cycle in the biosphere and biological methylation of mercury and microbial resistance to mercury and organomercurials are studied.
Abstract: BIOTRANSFORMA nONS OF TOXIC MET AL CAnONS . Mercury . The mercury cycle in the biosphere .. Biological methylation of mercury . Microbial resistance to mercury and organomercurials .
TL;DR: A review of antibiotic resistance development over the past half-century can be found in this article, with the oft-restated conclusion that it is time to act and to restore the therapeutic applications of antibiotics.
Abstract: Antibiotics have always been considered one of the wonder discoveries of the 20th century. This is true, but the real wonder is the rise of antibiotic resistance in hospitals, communities, and the environment concomitant with their use. The extraordinary genetic capacities of microbes have benefitted from man's overuse of antibiotics to exploit every source of resistance genes and every means of horizontal gene transmission to develop multiple mechanisms of resistance for each and every antibiotic introduced into practice clinically, agriculturally, or otherwise. This review presents the salient aspects of antibiotic resistance development over the past half-century, with the oft-restated conclusion that it is time to act. To achieve complete restitution of therapeutic applications of antibiotics, there is a need for more information on the role of environmental microbiomes in the rise of antibiotic resistance. In particular, creative approaches to the discovery of novel antibiotics and their expedited and controlled introduction to therapy are obligatory.
TL;DR: This review provides a detailed summary of the research conducted on the inhibition of anaerobic processes and indicates that co-digestion with other waste, adaptation of microorganisms to inhibitory substances, and incorporation of methods to remove or counteract toxicants before an aerobic digestion can significantly improve the waste treatment efficiency.
Abstract: Anaerobic digestion is an attractive waste treatment practice in which both pollution control and energy recovery can be achieved. Many agricultural and industrial wastes are ideal candidates for anaerobic digestion because they contain high levels of easily biodegradable materials. Problems such as low methane yield and process instability are often encountered in anaerobic digestion, preventing this technique from being widely applied. A wide variety of inhibitory substances are the primary cause of anaerobic digester upset or failure since they are present in substantial concentrations in wastes. Considerable research efforts have been made to identify the mechanism and the controlling factors of inhibition. This review provides a detailed summary of the research conducted on the inhibition of anaerobic processes. The inhibitors commonly present in anaerobic digesters include ammonia, sulfide, light metal ions, heavy metals, and organics. Due to the difference in anaerobic inocula, waste composition, and experimental methods and conditions, literature results on inhibition caused by specific toxicants vary widely. Co-digestion with other waste, adaptation of microorganisms to inhibitory substances, and incorporation of methods to remove or counteract toxicants before anaerobic digestion can significantly improve the waste treatment efficiency.
TL;DR: The optimism of the early period of antimicrobial discovery has been tempered by the emergence of bacterial strains with resistance to these therapeutics, and today, clinically important bacteria are characterized not only by single drug resistance but also by multiple antibiotic resistance.
Abstract: The optimism of the early period of antimicrobial discovery has been tempered by the emergence of bacterial strains with resistance to these therapeutics. Today, clinically important bacteria are characterized not only by single drug resistance but also by multiple antibiotic resistance--the legacy of past decades of antimicrobial use and misuse. Drug resistance presents an ever-increasing global public health threat that involves all major microbial pathogens and antimicrobial drugs.
01 May 2005
TL;DR: This review describes the workings of known metal-resistance systems in microorganisms and the transport of the 17 most important (heavy metal) elements is compared.
Abstract: We are just beginning to understand the metabolism of heavy metals and to use their metabolic functions in biotechnology, although heavy metals comprise the major part of the elements in the periodic table. Because they can form complex compounds, some heavy metal ions are essential trace elements, but, essential or not, most heavy metals are toxic at higher concentrations. This review describes the workings of known metal-resistance systems in microorganisms. After an account of the basic principles of homoeostasis for all heavy-metal ions, the transport of the 17 most important (heavy metal) elements is compared.