Oxidative stress is an obvious potential signal to the bacterial cell that it is leaving
the anaerobic gut environment. Thus, it is possible that this cue triggers increased production of the C10 proteases as a means to combat the host immune system. B. fragilis accounts for 55% of learn more bacteraemia in adult patients resulting in systemic blood infections  and it is plausible that blood can act as an environmental signal for the expression of virulence factors in Bacteroides cells leaving the intestine. For example, stimulation of virulence KU55933 manufacturer gene expression by exposure to blood has been documented for Streptococcus pyogenes. However, the study only sampled for a maximum of 3 hours growth in blood and did not detect an increase in expression of speB, the gene encoding the cysteine protease. SpeB is normally detected in culture supernatant in late-log phase growth.
Other studies have suggested a role for SpeB in survival in blood GSK461364 ic50 . Thus, the expression of C10 protease genes was also examined when B. fragilis and B. thetaiotaomicron were grown in the presence of blood. Only the expression of btpA from B. thetaiotaomicron increased upon exposure to blood, while the other btp genes were down-regulated. It was recently shown that the Prevotella intermedia Interpain A, a homologue of SpeB, and thus also of BtpA, has a role in the breakdown and release of haeme from haemoglobin . Therefore, it is tempting to speculate that BtpA could carry out a similar function in iron acquisition.
The relatively late transition point in the qPCR for the proteases, combined with the observation that none of the protease genes tested showed differential expression upon exposure to CaCO-2 cells, makes it likely that in the environment of the gut these genes are transcribed at low levels. However, in situations where the bacteria are able to transit to the host tissue or blood stream these bacteria have the ability to produce select combinations of the C10 proteases in response to oxidative stress and the presence of blood, stimuli that would be encountered during transit. Methane monooxygenase Interestingly, while B. fragilis produces four mature proteases that all have a basic (as distinct from acidic) character, the B. thetaiotaomicron proteases have distinct physicochemical properties. The predicted BtpA mature protease is basic in contrast to the predicted acidic character of BtpB, BtpC and BtpZ. This fact, and the mutually exclusive manner in which btpA and the clustered btpB, btpC and btpZ respond to the environment, suggests that these proteases may have very distinct targets and biological functions. To date extensive attempts by us and others (J. Potempa, personal communication) to express these Bacteroides enzymes in a soluble and/or active format in Escherichia coli have been unsuccessful.