Nuestros investigadores

Amaia Zúñiga Ripa

Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Letesson, J. J.; Barbier, T.; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
Revista: FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN 1664-302X  Vol. 8  2017  págs. 506
Autores: Barbier, T.; Machelart, A.; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
Revista: FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN 1664-302X  Vol. 8  2017  págs. 1088
Erythritol is the preferential carbon source for most brucellae, a group of facultative intracellular bacteria that cause a worldwide zoonosis. Since this polyol is abundant in genital organs of ruminants and swine, it is widely accepted that erythritol accounts at least in part for the characteristic genital tropism of brucellae. Nevertheless, proof of erythritol availability and essentiality during Brucella intracellular multiplication has remained elusive. To investigate this relationship, we compared ¿eryH (erythritol-sensitive and thus predicted to be attenuated if erythritol is present), ¿eryA (erythritol-tolerant but showing reduced growth if erythritol is a crucial nutrient) and wild type B. abortus in various infection models. This reporting system indicated that erythritol was available but not required for B. abortus multiplication in bovine trophoblasts. However, mice and humans have been considered to lack erythritol, and we found that it was available but not required for B. abortus multiplication in human and murine trophoblastic and macrophage-like cells, and in mouse spleen and conceptus (fetus, placenta and envelopes). Using this animal model, we found that B. abortus infected cells and tissues contained aldose reductase, an enzyme that can account for the production of erythritol from pentose cycle precursors.
Autores: Ronneau, S.; Moussa, S.; Barbier, T.; et al.
Revista: CRITICAL REVIEWS IN MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN 1040-841X  Vol. 42  Nº 4  2016  págs. 507 - 525
Abstract The brucellae are ¿-Proteobacteria causing brucellosis, an important zoonosis. Although multiplying in endoplasmic reticulum-derived vacuoles, they cause no cell death, suggesting subtle but efficient use of host resources. Brucellae are amino-acid prototrophs able to grow with ammonium or use glutamate as the sole carbon-nitrogen source in vitro. They contain more than twice amino acid/peptide/polyamine uptake genes than the amino-acid auxotroph Legionella pneumophila, which multiplies in a similar vacuole, suggesting a different nutritional strategy. During these two last decades, many mutants of key actors in nitrogen metabolism (transporters, enzymes, regulators, etc.) have been described to be essential for full virulence of brucellae. Here, we review the genomic and experimental data on Brucella nitrogen metabolism and its connection with virulence. An analysis of various aspects of this metabolism (transport, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, respiration and regulation) has highlighted differences and similarities in nitrogen metabolism with other ¿-Proteobacteria. Together, these data suggest that, during their intracellular life cycle, the brucellae use various nitrogen sources for biosynthesis, catabolism and respiration following a strategy that requires prototrophy and a tight regulation of nitrogen use.
Autores: Bertu, W.J.; Ducrotoy, M.J.; Muñoz, P.M.; et al.
Revista: VETERINARY MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN 0378-1135  Vol. 180  Nº 1 - 2  2015  págs. 103 - 108
Brucellosis is a worldwide widespread zoonosis caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. Control of this disease in a given area requires an understanding of the Brucella species circulating in livestock and humans. However, because of the difficulties intrinsic to Brucella isolation and typing, such data are scarce for resource-poor areas. The paucity of bacteriological data and the consequent imperfect epidemiological picture are particularly critical for Sahelian and Sub-Sahara African countries. Here, we report on the characterization of 34 isolates collected between 1976 and 2012 from cattle, sheep and horses in Nigeria. All isolates were identified as Brucella abortus by Bruce-ladder PCR and assigned to biovar 3 by conventional typing. Further analysis by enhanced AMOS-ERY PCR showed that all of them belonged to the 3a sub-biovar, and MLVA analysis grouped them in a cluster clearly distinct from that formed by European B. abortus biovar 3b strains. Nevertheless, MLVA detected heterogeneity within the Nigerian biovar 3a strains. The close genetic profiles of the isolates from cattle, sheep and horses, suggest that, at least in some parts of Nigeria, biovar 3a circulates among animal species that are not the preferential hosts of B. abortus. Consistent with previous genetic analyses of 7 strains from Ivory Cost, Gambia and Togo, the analysis of these 34 Nigerian strains supports the hypothesis that the B. abortus biovar 3a lineage is dominant in West African countries.
Autores: Conde, Raquel; Palacios, Leyre; et al.
Revista: MICROBIAL PATHOGENESIS
ISSN 0882-4010  Vol. 73  2014  págs. 53 - 59
Brucellosis is a worldwide extended zoonosis caused by Brucella spp. These gram-negative bacteria are not readily detected by innate immunity, a virulence-related property largely linked to their surface lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The role of the LPS lipid A and O-polysaccharide in virulence is well known. Moreover, mutation of the glycosyltransferase gene wadC of Brucella abortus, although not affecting O-polysaccharide assembly onto the lipid-A core section causes a core oligosaccharide defect that increases recognition by innate immunity. Here, we report on a second gene (wadB) encoding a LPS core glycosyltransferase not involved in the assembly of the O-polysaccharide-linked core section. As compared to wild-type B. abortus, a wadB mutant was sensitive to bactericidal peptides and non-immune serum, and was attenuated in mice and dendritic cells. These observations show that as WadC, WadB is also involved in the assembly of a branch of Brucella LPS core and support the concept that this LPS section is a virulence-related structure.
Autores: Barbier, T.; Collard, F.; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
Revista: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ISSN 0027-8424  Vol. 111  Nº 50  2014  págs. 17815 - 17820
Erythritol is an important nutrient for several ¿-2 Proteobacteria, including N2-fixing plant endosymbionts and Brucella, a worldwide pathogen that finds this four-carbon polyol in genital tissues. Erythritol metabolism involves phosphorylation to l-erythritol-4-phosphate by the kinase EryA and oxidation of the latter to l-3-tetrulose 4-phosphate by the dehydrogenase EryB. It is accepted that further steps involve oxidation by the putative dehydrogenase EryC and subsequent decarboxylation to yield triose-phosphates. Accordingly, growth on erythritol as the sole C source should require aldolase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase to produce essential hexose-6-monophosphate. However, we observed that a mutant devoid of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatases grew normally on erythritol and that EryC, which was assumed to be a dehydrogenase, actually belongs to the xylose isomerase superfamily. Moreover, we found that TpiA2 and RpiB, distant homologs of triose phosphate isomerase and ribose 5-phosphate isomerase B, were necessary, as previously shown for Rhizobium. By using purified recombinant enzymes, we demonstrated that l-3-tetrulose-4-phosphate was converted to d-erythrose 4-phosphate through three previously unknown isomerization reactions catalyzed by EryC (tetrulose-4-phosphate racemase), TpiA2 (d-3-tetrulose-4-phosphate isomerase; renamed EryH), and RpiB (d-erythrose-4-phosphate isomerase; renamed EryI), a pathway fully consistent with the isotopomer distribution of the erythrose-4-phosphate-derived amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine obtained from bacteria grown on (13)C-labeled erythritol. d-Erythrose-4-phosphate is then converted by enzymes of the pentose phosphate pathway to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and fructose 6-phosphate, thus bypassing fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase. This is the first description to our knowledge of a route feeding carbohydrate metabolism exclusively via d-erythrose 4-phosphate, a pathway that may provide clues to the preferential metabolism of erythritol by Brucella and its role in pathogenicity.
Autores: Soler, Pedro Francisco; A. Zabalza-Baranguá; et al.
Revista: VETERINARY RESEARCH
ISSN 0928-4249  Vol. 45  Nº 72  2014 
Brucella spp. are Gram-negative bacteria that behave as facultative intracellular parasites of a variety of mammals. This genus includes smooth (S) and rough (R) species that carry S and R lipopolysaccharides (LPS), respectively. S-LPS is a virulence factor, and mutants affected in the S-LPS O-polysaccharide (R mutants), core oligosaccharide or both show attenuation. However, B. ovis is naturally R and is virulent in sheep. We studied the role of B. ovis LPS in virulence by mutating the orthologues of wadA, wadB and wadC, three genes known to encode LPS core glycosyltransferases in S brucellae. When mapped with antibodies to outer membrane proteins (Omps) and R-LPS, wadB and wadC mutants displayed defects in LPS structure and outer membrane topology but inactivation of wadA had little or no effect. Consistent with these observations, the wadB and wadC but not the wadA mutants were attenuated in mice. When tested as vaccines, the wadB and wadC mutants protected mice against B. ovis challenge. The results demonstrate that the LPS core is a structure essential for survival in vivo not only of S brucellae but also of a naturally R Brucella pathogenic species, and they confirm our previous hypothesis that the Brucella LPS core is a target for vaccine development. Since vaccine B. melitensis Rev 1 is S and thus interferes in serological testing for S brucellae, wadB mutant represents a candidate vaccine to be evaluated against B. ovis infection of sheep suitable for areas free of B. melitensis.
Autores: Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; Thilbault Barbier; Conde, Raquel; et al.
Revista: JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY
ISSN 0021-9193  Vol. 196  Nº 16  2014  págs. 3045 - 3057
The brucellae are the etiological agents of brucellosis, a worldwide-distributed zoonosis. These bacteria are facultative intracellular parasites and thus are able to adjust their metabolism to the extra- and intracellular environments encountered during an infectious cycle. However, this aspect of Brucella biology is imperfectly understood, and the nutrients available in the intracellular niche are unknown. Here, we investigated the central pathways of C metabolism used by Brucella abortus by deleting the putative fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (fbp and glpX), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (pckA), pyruvate phosphate dikinase (ppdK), and malic enzyme (mae) genes. In gluconeogenic but not in rich media, growth of ¿ppdK and ¿mae mutants was severely impaired and growth of the double ¿fbp-¿glpX mutant was reduced. In macrophages, only the ¿ppdK and ¿mae mutants showed reduced multiplication, and studies with the ¿ppdK mutant confirmed that it reached the replicative niche. Similarly, only the ¿ppdK and ¿mae mutants were attenuated in mice, the former being cleared by week 10 and the latter persisting longer than 12 weeks. We also investigated the glyoxylate cycle. Although aceA (isocitrate lyase) promoter activity was enhanced in rich medium, aceA disruption had no effect in vitro or on multiplication in macrophages or mouse spleens. The results suggest that B. abortus grows intracellularly using a limited supply of 6-C (and 5-C) sugars that is compensated by glutamate and possibly other amino acids entering the Krebs cycle without a critical role of the glyoxylate shunt.
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Conde, Raquel; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; et al.
Revista: EUROPEAN BIOPHYSICS JOURNAL WITH BIOPHYSICS LETTERS
ISSN 0175-7571  Vol. 42  Nº Supl. 1  2013  págs. S154
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Zúñiga-Ripa, Amaia; Gutiérrez, A.; et al.
Revista: MICROBIOLOGY-SGM
ISSN 1350-0872  Vol. 158  Nº 4  2012  págs. 1037 - 1044
The brucellae are facultative intracellular pathogens of mammals that are transmitted by contact with infected animals or contaminated materials. Several major lipidic components of the brucella cell envelope are imperfectly recognized by innate immunity, thus contributing to virulence. These components carry large proportions of acyl chains of lactobacillic acid, a long chain cyclopropane fatty acid (CFA). CFAs result from addition of a methylene group to unsaturated acyl chains and contribute to resistance to acidity, dryness and high osmolarity in many bacteria and to virulence in mycobacteria. We examined the role of lactobacillic acid in Brucella abortus virulence by creating a mutant in ORF BAB1_0476, the putative CFA synthase gene. The mutant did not incorporate [(14)C]methyl groups into lipids, lacked CFAs and synthesized the unsaturated precursors, proving that BAB1_0476 actually encodes a CFA synthase. BAB1_0476 promoter-luxAB fusion studies showed that CFA synthase expression was promoted by acid pH and high osmolarity. The mutant was not attenuated in macrophages or mice, strongly suggesting that CFAs are not essential for B. abortus intracellular life. However, when the mutant was tested under high osmolarity on agar and acid pH, two conditions likely to occur on contaminated materials and fomites, they showed reduced ability to grow or survive. Since CFA synthesis entails high ATP expenses and brucellae produce large proportions of lactobacillic acyl chains, we speculate that the CFA synthase has been conserved because it is useful for survival extracellularly, thus facilitating persistence in contaminated materials and transmission to new hosts.
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Conde, Raquel; et al.
Revista: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN 1438-4221  Vol. 302  Nº Supl. 1  2012  págs. 79
Autores: Palacios, Leyre; Conde, Raquel; et al.
Revista: PLoS One
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 6  Nº 1  2011  págs. e16030
The brucellae are ¿-Proteobacteria facultative intracellular parasites that cause an important zoonosis. These bacteria escape early detection by innate immunity, an ability associated to the absence of marked pathogen-associated molecular patterns in the

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