Alkaline phosphatases are non-specific phosphomonoesterases that are distributed widely in species ranging from bacteria to man. This study has concentrated on the tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase from arctic shrimps (shrimp alkaline phosphatase, SAP). Originating from a cold-active species, SAP is thermolabile and is used widely in vitro, e.g. to dephosphorylate DNA or dNTPs, since it can be inactivated by a short rise in temperature. Since alkaline phosphatases are zinc-containing enzymes, a multiwavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) experiment was performed on the zinc K edge, which led to the determination of the structure to a resolution of 1.9 A. Anomalous data clearly showed the presence of a zinc triad in the active site, whereas alkaline phosphatases usually contain two zinc and one magnesium ion per monomer. SAP shares the core, an extended beta-sheet flanked by alpha-helices, and a metal triad with the currently known alkaline phosphatase structures (Escherichia coli structures and a human placental structure). Although SAP lacks some features specific for the mammalian enzyme, their backbones are very similar and may therefore be typical for other higher organisms. Furthermore, SAP possesses a striking feature that the other structures lack: surface potential representations show that the enzyme's net charge of -80 is distributed such that the surface is predominantly negatively charged, except for the positively charged active site. The negatively charged substrate must therefore be directed strongly towards the active site. It is generally accepted that optimization of the electrostatics is one of the characteristics related to cold-adaptation. SAP demonstrates this principle very clearly.
Indoor climate of two new blocks of flats was investigated. The case building was built for people with respiratory diseases by following the instructions of the Finnish Classification of Indoor Climate, Construction and Finishing Materials, while the control building was built using conventional building technology. The main indoor air parameters (temperature, relative humidity and levels of CO, CO2, ammonia, total volatile organic compounds, total suspended particles, fungal spores, bacteria and cat, dog and house dust mite allergens) were measured in six apartments of both the buildings on five occasions during the 3-year occupancy. In addition, a questionnaire to evaluate symptoms of the occupants and their satisfaction with their home environment was conducted in connection with indoor air quality (IAQ) measurements. The levels of indoor air pollutants in the case building were, in general, lower than those in the control building. In addition, the asthmatic occupants informed that their symptoms had decreased during the occupancy in the case building. This case study showed that high IAQ is possible to reach by careful design, proper materials and equipment and on high-quality construction with reasonable additional costs. In addition, the study indicated that good IAQ can also be maintained during the occupancy, if sufficient information on factors affecting IAQ and guidance on proper use and care of equipment are available for occupants.
Currents efforts in marine biodiscovery have essentially focused on temperate to tropical shallow water organisms. With more than 6000 species of marine plants and animals, the Kosterfjord area has the richest marine biodiversity in Swedish waters, but it remains understudied. The overall objective of our marine pharmacognosy research is to explore and reveal the pharmacological potential of organisms from this poorly explored region. More generally, we wish to understand aspects of structure-activity relationships of chemical interactions in cold-water marine environment (shallow and deep). Our strategy is based on ecologically guided search for compounds through studies of physiology and organism interactions coupled to identification of bioactive molecules guided by especially in vivo assays. The research programme originated in the beginning of the 1980s with a broad screening of Swedish marine organisms using both in vitro and in vivo assays, resulting in isolation and identification of several different bioactive molecules. Two congenerous cyclopeptides, i.e. barettin and 8,9-dihydrobarettin, were isolated from the deep-sea sponge Geodia barretti, and structurally elucidated, guided by their antifouling activity and their affinity to a selection of human serotonin receptors. To optimize the activity a number of analogues of barettin were synthezised and tested for antifouling activity. Within the EU project BlueGenics, two larger homologous peptides, barrettides A and B, were isolated from G. baretti. Also, metabolic fingerprinting combined with sponge systematics was used to further study deep-sea natural product diversity in the genus Geodia. Finally, the chemical property space model 'ChemGPS-NP' has been developed and used in our research group, enabling a more efficient use of obtained compounds and exploration of possible biological activities and targets. Another approach is the broad application of phylogenetic frameworks, which can be used in prediction of where-in which organisms-to search for novel molecules or better sources of known molecules in marine organisms. In a further perspective, the deeper understanding of evolution and development of life on Earth can also provide answers to why marine organisms produce specific molecules.
The cultural characteristics of 1220 Campylobacter strains from a variety of sources are described. Forty-two were identified as Campylobacter fetus ssp. fetus (Véron & Chatelain, 1973), 1120 as members of the C. jejuni/C. coli group, and 58 did not conform to any known description. Sixteen of the latter strains had the basic characteristics of C. fetus but were atypical in certain other respects. The other 42 strains had the thermophilic characteristics of the jejuni/coli group, but were resistant to nalidixic acid and had other features in common; it is possible that they represent a new species. They were isolated from 19% of locally caught wild seagulls but only occasionally from other animals and man.Growth at 25 degrees C clearly distinguished strains of C. fetus from those of the jejuni/coli and the nalidixic acid-resistant thermophilic (NARTC) groups. Maximum growth temperature was less reliable for this purpose, and 43 degrees C was found to be better than the traditional 42 degrees C. By arranging the results of three tests (tolerance to 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride, growth at 30.5 and 45.5 degrees C) serially in the form of a schema comprising nine categories, the jejuni/coli strains fell into two main groups resembling the Institute Pasteur C. jejuni and C. coli type strains, but these groups could not be clearly defined owing to the existence of strains with intermediate characteristics.Most of the strains from cattle resembled C. jejuni, whereas those from pigs resembled C. coli; poultry strains occupied a more intermediate position. Strains from man and other animals were of mixed types, but most human strains resembled C. jejuni rather than C. coli. The type distribution pattern that most nearly matched that of human indigenous strains was given by a half-and-half mixture of strains from cattle and poultry.
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Cites: Can J Microbiol. 1977 Sep;23(9):1311-371191
To study variability of enzymatic apparatus of opportunistic enterobacteria.
Clinical strains of Morganella morganii, Citrobacter freundii, Proteus mirabilis isolated from patients treated in Irkutsk Regional Hospital for Infectious Diseases. Activity of cellulase and lipase as well as amount of auxins and gibberellins was studied in these bacteria at different cultivation temperatures.
It was shown that studied species isolated from humans enterobacteria are able to produce plant growth regulators amount of which depends from cultivation temperature and type of microorganism. Activity of cellulase sharply rises if temperature falls.
Obtained results show high adaptation potential of opportunistic bacteria from Enterobacteriaceae family. Switch on saprophytic mechanism after fall of temperature to environment-corresponding values allows them to survive in soil and arrange different interactions with soil biota including plants.
The weekly changes in ambient sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and temperature were compared with the figures for respiratory infection in children and adults and for absenteeism from day-care centers (DCC), schools, and workplaces during a 1-year period in Helsinki. The annual average level of sulfur dioxide was 21 micrograms/m3 and of nitrogen dioxide 47 micrograms/m3; the average temperature was +3.1 degrees C. The levels of these pollutants and the temperature were significantly correlated with the number of upper respiratory infections reported from health centers. Low temperature also correlated with increased frequency of acute tonsillitis, of lower respiratory tract infection among DCC children, and of absenteeism from day-care centers, schools and workplaces. Furthermore, a significant association was found between levels of sulfur dioxide and absenteeism. After statistical standardization for temperature, no other correlations were observed apart from that between high levels of sulfur dioxide and numbers of upper respiratory tract infections diagnosed at health centers (P = 0.04). When the concentrations of sulfur dioxide were above the mean, the frequency of the upper respiratory tract infections was 15% higher than that during the periods of low concentration. The relative importance of the effects of low-level air pollution and low temperature on health is difficult to assess.