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Vadeboncoeur, Christian

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Département de biochimie, de microbiologie et de bio-informatique, Faculté des sciences et de génie, Université Laval
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  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Characterization of the cro-ori region of the Streptococcus thermophilus virulent bacteriophage DT1
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2005-03-03) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Tremblay, Denise; Frenette, Michel; Cochu, Armelle.; Moineau, Sylvain; Lamothe, Geneviève.; Duplessis, Martin; Bissonnette, Frédéric.; Lévesque, Céline
    The virulent cos-type Streptococcus thermophilus phage DT1 was previously isolated from a mozzarella whey sample, and its complete genomic sequence is available. The putative ori of phage DT1 is characterized by three inverted and two direct repeats located in a noncoding region between orf36 and orf37. As the replication ability of the putative ori and flanking genes could not be established, its ability to confer phage resistance was tested. When ori is cloned on a high-copy-number plasmid, it provides protection to S. thermophilus strains against phage infection during milk fermentation. This protection is phage specific and strain dependent. Then, a detailed transcriptional map was established for the region located between the cro-like gene (orf29) and the ori. The results of the Northern blots indicated that the transcription of this region started 5 min after the onset of phage infection. Comparative analysis of the expression of the cro-ori region in the three S. thermophilus cos-type phages DT1, Sfi19 (virulent), and Sfi21 (temperate) reveals significant differences in the number and size of transcripts. The promoter upstream of orf29 was further investigated by primer extension analysis, and its activity was confirmed by a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assay, which showed that the phage promoter is more efficient than the constitutive bacterial promoter of the S. thermophilus operon encoding the general proteins of the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system. However, the phage promoter is less efficient than the pts promoter in Lactococcus lactis and in Escherichia coli.
  • Publication
    Galactose and lactose genes from the galactose-positive bacterium streptococcus salivarius and the phylogenetically related galactose-negative bacterium streptococcus thermophilus : organization, sequence, transcription, and activity of the gal gene products
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2002-02-01) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Frenette, Michel; Lessard, Christian; Moineau, Sylvain; Vaillancourt, Katy
    Streptococcus salivarius is a lactose- and galactose-positive bacterium that is phylogenetically closelyrelated to Streptococcus thermophilus, a bacterium that metabolizes lactose but not galactose. In this paper, we report a comparative characterization of the S. salivarius and S. thermophilus gal-lac geneclusters. The clusters have the same organization with the order galR (codes for a transcriptional regulator and is transcribed in the opposite direction), galK (galactokinase), galT (galactose-1-Puridylyltransferase), galE (UDP-glucose 4-epimerase), galM (galactose mutarotase), lacS (lactosetransporter), and lacZ (β-galactosidase). An analysis of the nucleotide sequence as well as Northern blotting and primer extension experiments revealed the presence of four promoters located upstream from galR, the gal operon, galM, and the lac operon of S. salivarius. Putative promoters with virtually identical nucleotide sequences were found at the same positions in the S. thermophilus gal-lac genecluster. An additional putative internal promoter at the 3′ end of galT was found in S. thermophilus but not in S. salivarius. The results clearly indicated that the gal-lac gene cluster was efficiently transcribed in both species. The Shine-Dalgarno sequences of galT and galE were identical in both species, where as the ribosome binding site of S. thermophilus galK differed from that of S. salivariusby two nucleotides, suggesting that the S. thermophilus galK gene might be poorly translated. This was confirmed by measurements of enzyme activities.
  • Publication
    Characterization of genes involved in the metabolism of α-Galactosides by Lactococcus raffinolactis
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2003-07-01) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Moineau, Sylvain; Boucher, Isabelle
    Lactococcus raffinolactis, unlike most lactococci, is able to ferment α-galactosides, such as melibiose and raffinose. More than 12 kb of chromosomal DNA from L. raffinolactis ATCC 43920 was sequenced, including the α-galactosidase gene and genes involved in the Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism. These genes are organized into an operon containing aga (α-galactosidase), galK (galactokinase), and galT (galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase). Northern blotting experiments revealed that this operon was induced by galactosides, such as lactose, melibiose, raffinose, and, to a lesser extent, galactose. Similarly, α-galactosidase activity was higher in lactose-, melibiose-, and raffinose-grown cells than in galactose-grown cells. No α-galactosidase activity was detected in glucose-grown cells. The expression of the aga-galKT operon was modulated by a regulator encoded by the upstream gene galR. The product of galR belongs to the LacI/GalR family of transcriptional regulators. In L. lactis, L. raffinolactis GalR acted as a repressor of aga and lowered the enzyme activity by more than 20-fold. We suggest that the expression of the aga operon in lactococci is negatively controlled by GalR and induced by a metabolite derived from the metabolism of galactosides.
  • Publication
    Role of galK and galM in galactose metabolism by Streptococcus thermophilus
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2008-02-07) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Frenette, Michel; Christian, Bart; Moineau, Sylvain; Vaillancourt, Katy; Robitaille, Gilles; Turgeon, Nathalie; Bédard, Nathalie
    Streptococcus thermophilus is unable to metabolize the galactose moiety of lactose. In this paper, we show that a transformant of S. thermophilus SMQ-301 expressing Streptococcus salivarius galK and galM was able to grow on galactose and expelled at least twofold less galactose into the medium during growth on lactose.
  • Publication
    Genetic and biochemical characterization of the phosphoenolpyruvate : glucose/mannose phosphotransferase system of Streptococcus thermophilus
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2003-09-03) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Frenette, Michel; Cochu, Armelle.; Moineau, Sylvain
    In most streptococci, glucose is transported by the phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP):glucose/mannose phosphotransferase system (PTS) via HPr and IIABMan, two proteins involved in regulatory mechanisms. While most strains of Streptococcus thermophilus do not or poorly metabolize glucose, compelling evidence suggests that S. thermophilus possesses the genes that encode the glucose/mannose general and specific PTS proteins. The purposes of this study were to determine (i) whether these PTS genes are expressed, (ii) whether the PTS proteins encoded by these genes are able to transfer a phosphate group from PEP to glucose/mannose PTS substrates, and (iii) whether these proteins catalyze sugar transport. The pts operon is made up of the genes encoding HPr (ptsH) and enzyme I (EI) (ptsI), which are transcribed into a 0.6-kb ptsH mRNA and a 2.3-kb ptsHI mRNA. The specific glucose/mannose PTS proteins, IIABMan, IICMan, IIDMan, and the ManO protein, are encoded by manL, manM, manN, and manO, respectively, which make up the man operon. The man operon is transcribed into a single 3.5-kb mRNA. To assess the phosphotransfer competence of these PTS proteins, in vitro PEP-dependent phosphorylation experiments were conducted with purified HPr, EI, and IIABMan as well as membrane fragments containing IICMan and IIDMan. These PTS components efficiently transferred a phosphate group from PEP to glucose, mannose, 2-deoxyglucose, and (to a lesser extent) fructose, which are common streptococcal glucose/mannose PTS substrates. Whole cells were unable to catalyze the uptake of mannose and 2-deoxyglucose, demonstrating the inability of the S. thermophilus PTS proteins to operate as a proficient transport system. This inability to transport mannose and 2-deoxyglucose may be due to a defective IIC domain. We propose that in S. thermophilus, the general and specific glucose/mannose PTS proteins are not involved in glucose transport but might have regulatory functions associated with the phosphotransfer properties of HPr and IIABMan.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    Use of an α-galactosidase gene as a food-grade selection marker for Streptococcus thermophilus
    (American Dairy Science Association, 2010-03-18) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Moineau, Sylvain; Labrie, Simon; Bart, Christian.
    The α-galactosidase gene (aga) of Lactococcus raffinolactis ATCC 43920 was previously shown to be an efficient food-grade selection marker in Lactococcus lactis and Pediococcus acidilactici but not in Streptococcus thermophilus. In this study, we demonstrated that the α-galactosidase of L. raffinolactis is thermolabile and inoperative at 42°C, the optimal growth temperature of S. thermophilus. An in vitro assay indicated that the activity of this α-galactosidase at 42°C was only 3% of that at 30°C, whereas the enzyme retained 23% of its activity at 37°C. Transformation of Strep. thermophilus RD733 with the shuttle-vector pNZ123 bearing the aga gene of L. raffinolactis (pRAF301) generated transformants that were stable and able to grow on melibiose and raffinose at 37°C or below. The transformed cells possessed 6-fold more α-galactosidase activity after growth on melibiose than cells grown on lactose. Slot-blot analyses of aga mRNA indicated that repression by lactose occurred at the transcriptional level. The presence of pRAF301 did not interfere with the lactic acid production when the transformed cells of Strep. thermophilus were grown at the optimal temperature in milk. Using the recombinant plasmid pRAF301, which carries a chloramphenicol resistance gene in addition to aga, we showed that both markers were equally efficient at differentiating transformed from nontransformed cells. The aga gene of L. raffinolactis can be used as a highly efficient selection marker in Strep. thermophilus.
  • Publication
    Novel food-grade plasmid vector based on melibiose fermentation for the genetic engineering of Lactococcus lactis
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2002-12-01) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Moineau, Sylvain; Gaudreau, Hélène; Parrot, Marc; Champagne, Claude P.; Boucher, Isabelle.
    The α-galactosidase gene (aga) and a gene coding for a putative transcriptional regulator from the LacI/GalR family (galR) of Lactococcus raffinolactis ATCC 43920 were cloned and sequenced. When transferred into Lactococcus lactis and Pediococcus acidilactici strains, aga modified the sugar fermentation profile of the strains from melibiose negative (Mel−) to melibiose positive (Mel+). Analysis of galA mutants of L. lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363 indicated that the putative galactose permease GalA is also needed to obtain the Mel+ phenotype. Consequently, GalA may also transport melibiose into this strain. We demonstrated that when aga was associated with the theta-type replicon of a natural L. lactis plasmid, it constituted the selectable marker of a cloning vector named pRAF800. Transcriptional analysis by reverse transcriptase PCR suggests that this vector is also suitable for gene expression. The α-galactosidase activity conferred by pRAF800 was monitored in an industrial strain grown in the presence of various carbon sources. The results indicated that the enzymatic activity was induced by galactose and melibiose, but not by glucose or lactose. The gene encoding the phage defense mechanism, AbiQ, was cloned into pRAF800, and the resulting clone (pRAF803) was transferred into an industrial L. lactis strain that became highly phage resistant. The measurements of various growth parameters indicated that cells were not affected by the presence of pRAF803. Moreover, the plasmid was highly stable in this strain even under starter production conditions. The L. raffinolactis aga gene represents the basis of a novel and convenient food-grade molecular tool for the genetic engineering of lactic acid bacteria.
  • Publication
    Accès libre
    The relevance of genetic analysis to dairy bacteria : building upon our heritage
    (BioMed Central, 2004-12-10) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Moineau, Sylvain
    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are essential for the manufacture of fermented dairy products. Studies on the physiology, biochemistry and genetics of these microorganisms over the last century have contributed considerably to the improvement of fermentation processes and have resulted in better and safer products. Nevertheless, the potential of LAB is far from being maximized. The sophistication of biotechnologies and the availability of complete genome sequences have opened the door to the metabolic engineering of LAB. In this regard, the recent publication of the complete genome sequences of two Streptococcus thermophilus strains will provide a key tool to facilitate the genetic manipulation of this important dairy species.
  • Publication
    Characterization of a galactokinase-positive recombinant strain of Streptococcus thermophilus
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2004-08-04) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Lamoureux, Maryse.; Frenette, Michel; Moineau, Sylvain; LeMay, Jean-Dominique.; Vaillancourt, Katy
    The lactic acid bacterium Streptococcus thermophilus is widely used by the dairy industry for its ability to transform lactose, the primary sugar found in milk, into lactic acid. Unlike the phylogenetically related species Streptococcus salivarius, S. thermophilus is unable to metabolize and grow on galactose and thus releases substantial amounts of this hexose into the external medium during growth on lactose. This metabolic property may result from the inability of S. thermophilus to synthesize galactokinase, an enzyme of the Leloir pathway that phosphorylates intracellular galactose to generate galactose-1-phosphate. In this work, we report the complementation of Gal strain S. thermophilus SMQ-301 with S. salivarius galK, the gene that codes for galactokinase, and the characterization of recombinant strain SMQ-301K01. The recombinant strain, which was obtained by transformation of strain SMQ-301 with pTRKL2TK, a plasmid bearing S. salivarius galK, grew on galactose with a generation time of 55 min, which was almost double the generation time on lactose. Data confirmed that (i) the ability of SMQ-301K01 to grow on galactose resulted from the expression of S. salivarius galK and (ii) transcription of the plasmid-borne galK gene did not require GalR, a transcriptional regulator of the gal and lac operons, and did not interfere with the transcription of these operons. Unexpectedly, recombinant strain SMQ-301K01 still expelled galactose during growth on lactose, but only when the amount of the disaccharide in the medium exceeded 0.05%. Thus, unlike S. salivarius, the ability to metabolize galactose was not sufficient for S. thermophilus to simultaneously metabolize the glucose and galactose moieties of lactose. Nevertheless, during growth in milk and under time-temperature conditions that simulated those used to produce mozzarella cheese, the recombinant Gal strain grew and produced acid more rapidly than the Gal wild-type strain.
  • Publication
    Fat-free yogurt made using a galactose-positive exopolysaccharide-producing recombinant strain of Streptococcus thermophilus
    (American Dairy Science Association, 2010-01-08) Vadeboncoeur, Christian; Moineau, Sylvain; Robitaille, Gilles; Britten, Michel; Tremblay, André; St-Gelais, Daniel
    To prevent textural defects in low-fat and fat-free yogurts, fat substitutes are routinely added to milk. In situ production of exopolysaccharides (EPS) by starter cultures is an acknowledged alternative to the addition of biothickeners. With the aim of increasing in situ EPS production, a recombinant galactose-positive EPS(+) Streptococcus thermophilus strain, RD-534-S1, was generated and compared with the parent galactose-negative EPS(+) strain RD-534. The RD-534-S1 strain produced up to 84 mg/L of EPS during a single-strain milk fermentation process, which represented 1.3 times more than the EPS produced by strain RD-534. Under conditions that mimic industrial yogurt production, the starter culture consisting of RD-534-S1 and (EPS(-)) Lactobacillus bulgaricus L210R strain (RD-534-S1/L210R) led to an EPS production increase of 1.65-fold as compared with RD-534-S1 alone. However, the amount of EPS produced did not differ from that found in yogurts produced using an isogenic starter culture that included the parent S. thermophilus strain RD-534 and Lb. bulgaricus L210R (RD-534/L210R). Moreover, the gel characteristics of set-style yogurt and the rheological properties of stirred-style yogurt produced using RD-534-S1/L210R were similar to the values obtained for yogurts made with RD-534/L210R. In conclusion, it is possible to increase the production of EPS by ropy S. thermophilus strains through genetic engineering of galactose metabolism. However, when used in combination with Lb. bulgaricus for yogurt manufacture, the EPS overproduction of recombinant strain is not significant.