?Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) is the most widely administered vaccine in the world yet its mechanism of action remains unclear. We hypothesize that certain immune pathways are associated with reduced mycobacterial growth following a BCG challenge in human volunteers.
Intradermal MVA85A, a candidate vaccine against tuberculosis, induces high amounts of Ag85A-specific CD4 T cells in adults who have already received the BCG vaccine, but aerosol delivery of this vaccine might offer immunological and logistical advantages. We did a phase 1 double-blind trial to compare the safety and immunogenicity of aerosol-administered and intradermally administered MVA85A METHODS: In this phase 1, double-blind, proof-of-concept trial, 24 eligible BCG-vaccinated healthy UK adults were randomly allocated (1:1) by sequentially numbered, sealed, opaque envelopes into two groups: aerosol MVA85A and intradermal saline placebo or intradermal MVA85A and aerosol saline placebo. Participants, the bronchoscopist, and immunologists were masked to treatment assignment. The primary outcome was safety, assessed by the frequency and severity of vaccine-related local and systemic adverse events. The secondary outcome was immunogenicity assessed with laboratory markers of cell-mediated immunity in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage samples. Safety and immunogenicity were assessed for 24 weeks after vaccination. Immunogenicity to both insert Ag85A and vector modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) was assessed by ex-vivo interferon-? ELISpot and serum ELISAs. Since all participants were randomised and vaccinated according to protocol, our analyses were per protocol. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01497769.
Background: Cells respond to environmental stressors through several key pathways, including response to reactive oxygen species (ROS), nutrient and ATP sensing, DNA damage response (DDR), and epigenetic alterations. Mitochondria play a central role in these pathways, not only through energetics and ATP production but also through metabolites generated in the Tricarboxylic Acid (TCA) cycle, and mitochondria-nuclear signaling related to mitochondria morphology, biogenesis, fission/fusion, mitophagy, apoptosis, and epigenetic regulation. Objectives: This review investigates the concept of bidirectional interactions between mitochondria and cellular pathways in response to environmental stress with a focus on epigenetic regulation, and DNA repair and DDR pathways as examples of biological processes that respond to exogenous insults through changes in homeostasis and altered mitochondrial function. Methods: NIEHS sponsored a workshop on Mitochondria, Energetics, Epigenetics, Environment and DNA Damage Response on March 25-26, 2013. Key points and ideas emerging from this meeting are summarized. Discussion: A more comprehensive understanding of signaling mechanisms (cross-talk) between the mitochondria and nucleus is central to elucidating the integration of mitochondrial functions with other cellular response pathways in modulating the effects of environmental agents. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of mitochondrial functions in epigenetic regulation and DDR with environmental stress. Development and application of novel technologies, enhanced experimental models, and a systems-type research approach will help to discern how environmentally induced mitochondrial dysfunction affects key mechanistic pathways. Conclusions: Understanding mitochondrial-cell signaling will provide insight into individual responses to environmental hazards, improving prediction of hazard and susceptibility to environmental stressors.
The use of silver nanoparticles in consumer products and industrial applications, as well as recent detection in waste streams, has created concern over potential impacts on aquatic ecosystems. The effect of complex environmental media on silver nanoparticle toxicity was investigated using wetland mesocosms and smaller scale microcosms. Mesocosms were dosed with 2.5 mg Ag/L as gum arabic (GA) coated Ag-NPs, polyvinylpyrolidone (PVP) coated Ag-NPs, or AgNO3 . Water samples were taken from mesocosms 24 hs post-dosing for acute toxicity tests with embryos and larvae of Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Acute toxicity tests were also performed on Atlantic killifish with AgNO3 , GA Ag-NPs and PVP Ag-NPs prepared in the laboratory with similar water. For killifish embryos, mesocosm samples were much less toxic than laboratory samples for all types of silver. In contrast, for larvae, all three silver mesocosm treatments exhibited toxicity. Interestingly, mesocosm samples of AgNO3 were less toxic than laboratorysamples; GA Ag-NP-containing samples were similar in toxicity, and PVP Ag-NP-containing samples were more toxic. For C. elegans, results were similar to killifish larvae. Results obtained from the mesocosms were not replicated on the smaller scale of the microcosms. These results indicate that environmental factors unique to the mesocosms acted differentially on AgNO3 to reduce its toxicity in a manner that does not translate to Ag-NPs for larval fish. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
In this chapter, we describe a gene-specific quantitative PCR (QPCR)-based assay for the measurement of DNA damage, using amplification of long DNA targets. This assay has been used extensively to measure the integrity of both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes exposed to different genotoxins and has proven to be particularly valuable in identifying reactive oxygen species-mediated mitochondrial DNA damage. QPCR can be used to quantify both the formation of DNA damage as well as the kinetics of damage removal. One of the main strengths of the assay is that it permits monitoring the integrity of mtDNA directly from total cellular DNA without the need for isolating mitochondria or a separate step of mitochondrial DNA purification. Here we discuss advantages and limitations of using QPCR to assay DNA damage in mammalian cells. In addition, we give a detailed protocol of the QPCR assay that helps facilitate its successful deployment in any molecular biology laboratory.
Significant progress has been made in understanding the toxicity of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. Natural organic matter (NOM) is omnipresent in complex environmental systems, where it may alter the behavior of nanoparticles in these systems. We exposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to Ag NP suspensions with or without one of two kinds of NOM, Suwannee River and Pony Lake fulvic acids (SRFA and PLFA, respectively). PLFA rescued toxicity more effectively than SRFA. Measurement of total tissue silver content indicated that PLFA reduced total organismal (including digestive tract) uptake of ionic silver, but not of citrate-coated Ag NPs (CIT-Ag NPs). The majority of the CIT-Ag NP uptake was in the digestive tract. Limited tissue uptake was detected by hyperspectral microscopy but not by transmission electron microscopy. Co-exposure to PLFA resulted in the formation of NOM-Ag NP composites (both in medium and in nematodes) and rescued AgNO3- and CIT-Ag NP-induced cellular damage, potentially by decreasing intracellular uptake of CIT-Ag NPs.
Microtubule-targeting chemotherapeutics induce apoptosis in cancer cells by promoting the phosphorylation and degradation of the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family member MCL1. The signalling cascade linking microtubule disruption to MCL1 degradation remains however to be defined. Here, we establish an in vivo screening strategy in Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover genes involved in chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. Using an RNAi-based screen, we identify three genes required for vincristine-induced apoptosis. We show that the DEP domain protein LET-99 acts upstream of the heterotrimeric G protein alpha subunit GPA-11 to control activation of the stress kinase JNK-1. The human homologue of LET-99, DEPDC1, similarly regulates vincristine-induced cell death by promoting JNK-dependent degradation of the BCL-2 family protein MCL1. Collectively, these data uncover an evolutionarily conserved mediator of anti-tubulin drug-induced apoptosis and suggest that DEPDC1 levels could be an additional determinant for therapy response upstream of MCL1.
Parking lot runoff retention ponds (PLRRP) receive significant chemical input, but the biological effects of parking lot runoff are not well understood. We used the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) as a model to study the toxicity of water and sediment samples from a PLRRP in Morehead City, NC. Medaka exposed in ovo to a dilution series of PLRRP water had increased odds of death before hatching, but not teratogenesis or delayed hatching. Next, we adapted a long-amplicon quantitative PCR (LA-QPCR) assay for DNA damage for use with the Japanese medaka. We employed LA-QPCR to test the hypotheses that PLRRP water and sediments would cause nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage with and without full-spectrum, natural solar radiation. Fluoranthene with and without natural sunlight was a positive control for phototoxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced DNA damage. Fluoranthene exposure did not result in detectable DNA damage by itself, but in combination with sunlight caused significant DNA damage to both genomes. PLRRP samples caused DNA damage to both genomes, and this was not increased by sunlight exposure, suggesting the DNA damage was unlikely the result of PAH phototoxicity. We report for the first time that PLRRP-associated pollutants cause both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage, and that fluoranthene-mediated phototoxicity results in similar levels of damage to the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. These effects may be especially significant in sensitive marine ecosystems.
This study examined the effects of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) surface coating and size on the organismal and molecular toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. The toxicity of bare AgNPs and 8 and 38 nm PVP-coated AgNPs (PVP8-AgNPs, PVP38-AgNPs) were compared. The toxicity of AgNO3 was also tested because ion dissolution and particle-specific effects are often important characteristics determining Ag nanotoxicity. Comparative toxicity across AgNO3 and the three different types of AgNPs was first evaluated using a C. elegans mortality test by a direct comparison of the LC50 values. Subsequently, mutant screening followed by oxidative stress, mitochondrial toxicity and DNA damage assays were carried out at equitoxic (LC10 and LC50) concentrations to further assess the toxicity mechanism of AgNO3 and AgNPs. AgNO3 and bare AgNPs had similar toxicities, whereas PVP coating reduced the toxicity of the AgNPs significantly. Of the PVP-AgNPs, the smaller NPs were more toxic. Different groups of mutants responded differently to AgNO3 and AgNPs, which indicates that their toxicity mechanism might be different. AgNO3 and bare AgNPs induced mitochondrial membrane damage. None of the silver materials tested caused detectable polymerase-inhibiting DNA lesions in either the nucleus or mitochondria as measured by a quantitative PCR assay, but AgNO3, bare AgNPs and PVP8-AgNPs induced oxidative DNA damage. These results show that coatings on the AgNPs surface and the particle size make a clear contribution to the toxicity of the AgNPs, and oxidative stress-related mitochondrial and DNA damage appear to be potential mechanisms of toxicity.
Many materials in nature change colours in response to stimuli, making them attractive for use as sensor platform. However, both natural materials and their synthetic analogues lack selectivity towards specific chemicals, and introducing such selectivity remains a challenge. Here we report the self-assembly of genetically engineered viruses (M13 phage) into target-specific, colourimetric biosensors. The sensors are composed of phage-bundle nanostructures and exhibit viewing-angle independent colour, similar to collagen structures in turkey skin. On exposure to various volatile organic chemicals, the structures rapidly swell and undergo distinct colour changes. Furthermore, sensors composed of phage displaying trinitrotoluene (TNT)-binding peptide motifs identified from a phage display selectively distinguish TNT down to 300 p.p.b. over similarly structured chemicals. Our tunable, colourimetric sensors can be useful for the detection of a variety of harmful toxicants and pathogens to protect human health and national security.
To optimize and preliminarily evaluate a three-dimensional (3D) radial balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) arterial spin labeled (ASL) sequence for nonenhanced MR angiography (MRA) of the extracranial carotid arteries.
The biotransformation of fluorotelomer based compounds yields saturated and unsaturated fluorotelomer aldehydes (FTALs and FTUALs, respectively) and carboxylic acids (FTCAs and FTUCAs, respectively) as intermediate metabolites that subsequently transform to perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs). Previous studies have demonstrated that the FTCAs and FTUCAs are 1 to 5 orders of magnitude more toxic than PFCAs after exposure to aquatic organisms. Additionally, FTUALs have demonstrated reactivity with proteins, which may be associated with toxicity through the inhibition of protein function. The purpose of this study was to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the relative toxicity between PFCAs and their intermediate precursor metabolites: the FTALs, FTUALs, FTCAs, and FTUCAs. Analytes were separately incubated with human liver epithelial (THLE-2) cells to assess how varying the functional group and the fluorinated chain length affects cell viability. For each analyte, dose-response EC50 values were calculated. The EC50 values for FTUCAs and FTCAs were similar, with values ranging from 22 ± 9 and 24 ± 9 ?M for the 10:2 congeners to 1004 ± 20 and 1004 ± 24 ?M for the 4:2 congeners, respectively. The EC50 values for the PFCAs ranged from 65 ± 41 (PFDA) to 1361 ± 146 (PFBA) ?M. The range of toxicity between PFCAs and their acid precursors were similar. However, the comparative toxicity between the 6:2 and 8:2 congeners and their corresponding PFCA had toxicity thresholds that varied depending on the functional headgroup, where FTUALs ? FTALs > FTUCAs ? FTCAs > PFCAs. For all PFCAs and acid precursors, toxicity depended on the length of the fluorinated chain, where the longer chain lengths yielded greater bioaccumulation and enhanced toxicity, results which agreed with those previously reported. By contrast, FTALs and FTUALs were the most toxic of all the analytes examined, where toxicity was enhanced at shorter chain lengths, with EC50 values of 7 ± 1 ?M (6:2 FTUAL) and 8.6 ± 0.8 ?M (6:2 FTAL). DNA adducts were not detectable for the aldehyde precursors, using a quantitative long-range PCR method. Our data provide the first evidence that aldehyde intermediates have demonstrated toxicity in cellular systems that is more significant than PFCAs and their corresponding acid intermediates.
Background.?A new vaccine is urgently needed to combat tuberculosis. However, without a correlate of protection, selection of the vaccines to take forward into large-scale efficacy trials is difficult. Use of bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) as a surrogate for human Mycobacterium tuberculosis challenge is a novel model that could aid selection.Methods.?Healthy adults were assigned to groups A and B (BCG-naive) or groups C and D (BCG-vaccinated). Groups B and D received candidate tuberculosis vaccine MVA85A. Participants were challenged with intradermal BCG 4 weeks after those who received MVA85A. Skin biopsies of the challenge site were taken 2 weeks post challenge and BCG load quantified by culture and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).Results.?Volunteers with a history of BCG showed some degree of protective immunity to challenge, having lower BCG loads compared with volunteers without prior BCG, regardless of MVA85A status. There was a significant inverse correlation between antimycobacterial immunity at peak response after MVA85A and BCG load detected by qPCR.Conclusion.?Our results support previous findings that this BCG challenge model is able to detect differences in antimycobacterial immunity induced by vaccination and could aid in the selection of candidate tuberculosis vaccines for field efficacy testing.www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT01194180.
Nanomaterials are highly dynamic in biological and environmental media. A critical need for advancing environmental health and safety research for nanomaterials is to identify physical and chemical transformations that affect the nanomaterial properties and their toxicity. Silver nanoparticles, one of the most toxic and well-studied nanomaterials, readily react with sulfide to form Ag(0)/Ag2S core-shell particles. Here, we show that sulfidation decreased silver nanoparticle toxicity to four diverse types of aquatic and terrestrial eukaryotic organisms (Danio rerio (zebrafish), Fundulus heteroclitus (killifish), Caenorhabditis elegans (nematode worm), and the aquatic plant Lemna minuta (least duckweed)). Toxicity reduction, which was dramatic in killifish and duckweed even for low extents of sulfidation (about 2 mol % S), is primarily associated with a decrease in Ag(+) concentration after sulfidation due to the lower solubility of Ag2S relative to elemental Ag (Ag(0)). These results suggest that even partial sulfidation of AgNP will decrease the toxicity of AgNPs relative to their pristine counterparts. We also show that, for a given organism, the presence of chloride in the exposure media strongly affects the toxicity results by affecting Ag speciation. These results highlight the need to consider environmental transformations of NPs in assessing their toxicity to accurately portray their potential environmental risks.
Despite the widespread use of the Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccine, there are more than 9 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) every year, and there is an urgent need for better TB vaccines. TB vaccine candidates are selected for evaluation based in part on the detection of an antigen-specific gamma interferon (IFN-?) response. The measurement of mycobacterial growth in blood specimens obtained from subjects immunized with investigational TB vaccines may be a better in vitro correlate of in vivo vaccine efficacy. We performed a clinical study with 30 United Kingdom adults who were followed for 6 months to evaluate the abilities of both a whole-blood- and a novel peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-based mycobacterial growth inhibition assay to measure a response to primary vaccination and revaccination with BCG. Using cryopreserved PBMCs, we observed a significant improvement in mycobacterial growth inhibition following primary vaccination but no improvement in growth inhibition following revaccination with BCG (P < 0.05). Mycobacterial growth inhibition following primary BCG vaccination was not correlated with purified protein derivative (PPD) antigen-specific IFN-? enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) responses. We demonstrate that a mycobacterial growth inhibition assay can detect improved capacity to control growth following primary immunization, but not revaccination, with BCG. This is the first study to demonstrate that an in vitro growth inhibition assay can identify a difference in vaccine responses by comparing both primary and secondary BCG vaccinations, suggesting that in vitro growth inhibition assays may serve as better surrogates of clinical efficacy than the assays currently used for the assessment of candidate TB vaccines.
Enormous strides have recently been made in our understanding of the biology and pathobiology of mitochondria. Many diseases have been identified as caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, and many pharmaceuticals have been identified as previously unrecognized mitochondrial toxicants. A much smaller but growing literature indicates that mitochondria are also targeted by environmental pollutants. We briefly review the importance of mitochondrial function and maintenance for health based on the genetics of mitochondrial diseases and the toxicities resulting from pharmaceutical exposure. We then discuss how the principles of mitochondrial vulnerability illustrated by those fields might apply to environmental contaminants, with particular attention to factors that may modulate vulnerability including genetic differences, epigenetic interactions, tissue characteristics, and developmental stage. Finally, we review the literature related to environmental mitochondrial toxicants, with a particular focus on those toxicants that target mitochondrial DNA. We conclude that the fields of environmental toxicology and environmental health should focus more strongly on mitochondria.
The control of TB is a global health priority. Over the last decade, considerable progress has been made in the field of TB vaccines with numerous vaccine candidates entering the clinic and two candidates now in Phase IIb efficacy trials. Nevertheless, the lack of predictive animal models and biomarkers of TB vaccine efficacy prevents rational vaccine down-selection and necessitates prolonged and expensive clinical efficacy trials in target populations. Advances in molecular technology and progress in the development of human as well as animal mycobacterial challenge models make the identification of one or more immune correlates of protection a genuine prospect over the next decade. Moreover, the increasing pace, extent and coordination of global research efforts in TB promises to broaden understanding and inform the next generation of vaccine candidates against TB as well as related globally important pathogens.
Sepsis commonly presents to the acute medicine unit (AMU). Timely recognition and treatment can reduce the significant associated mortality, but United Kingdom AMUs and emergency departments are often inadequately equipped to manage sepsis with early-goal directed therapy. We conducted an observational study of 50 consecutive patients admitted with severe sepsis. Demographic, physiological and microbiological data, and information about the provision and timing of care were collected in real time. Treatment fell below "surviving sepsis" targets with only 28% of patients receiving sufficient fluid, and 64% receiving antibiotics within 3 hours, associated with delays in seeing physicians; however despite this mortality was lower than the nationally quoted average (14% at 90 days).
We recently found that genes involved in mitochondrial dynamics and autophagy are required for removal of UVC-induced mitochondrial DNA damage. However, drp-1 and pink-1, unlike the autophagy and fusion genes tested, were not necessary for larval development after exposure. We hypothesized that increased fusion resulting from mutations in these genes facilitated recovery of mitochondrial function. In this work, we investigated this hypothesis by studying the effects of fis-1, fis-2, drp-1 and pink-1 mutations on mitochondrial responses to UVC exposure including ATP levels, mitochondrial DNA copy number, larval development and mitochondrial morphology. Our results suggest that mutations that promote highly networked mitochondria have the capacity to lessen the effects of mitochondrial genotoxicants on the function of this organelle.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is present in multiple copies per cell and undergoes dramatic amplification during development. The impacts of mtDNA damage incurred early in development are not well understood, especially in the case of types of mtDNA damage that are irreparable, such as ultraviolet C radiation (UVC)-induced photodimers.
Mountaintop removal-valley fill coal mining has been associated with a variety of impacts on ecosystem and human health, in particular reductions in the biodiversity of receiving streams. However, effluents emerging from valley fills contain a complex mixture of chemicals including metals, metalloids, and salts, and it is not clear which of these are the most important drivers of toxicity. We found that streamwater and sediment samples collected from mine-impacted streams of the Upper Mud River in West Virginia inhibited the growth of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Next, we took advantage of genetic and transgenic tools available in this model organism to test the hypotheses that the toxicity could be attributed to metals, selenium, oxidative stress, or osmotic stress. Our results indicate that in general, the toxicity of streamwater to C. elegans was attributable to osmotic stress, while the toxicity of sediments resulted mostly from metals or metalloids.
A better understanding of the relationships between vaccine, immunogenicity and protection from disease would greatly facilitate vaccine development. Modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing antigen 85A (MVA85A) is a novel tuberculosis vaccine candidate designed to enhance responses induced by BCG. Antigen-specific interferon-? (IFN-?) production is greatly enhanced by MVA85A, however the variability between healthy individuals is extensive. In this study we have sought to characterize the early changes in gene expression in humans following vaccination with MVA85A and relate these to long-term immunogenicity. Two days post-vaccination, MVA85A induces a strong interferon and inflammatory response. Separating volunteers into high and low responders on the basis of T cell responses to 85A peptides measured during the trial, an expansion of circulating CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ cells is seen in low but not high responders. Additionally, high levels of Toll-like Receptor (TLR) 1 on day of vaccination are associated with an increased response to antigen 85A. In a classification model, combined expression levels of TLR1, TICAM2 and CD14 on day of vaccination and CTLA4 and IL2R? two days post-vaccination can classify high and low responders with over 80% accuracy. Furthermore, administering MVA85A in mice with anti-TLR2 antibodies may abrogate high responses, and neutralising antibodies to TLRs 1, 2 or 6 or HMGB1 decrease CXCL2 production during in vitro stimulation with MVA85A. HMGB1 is released into the supernatant following atimulation with MVA85A and we propose this signal may be the trigger activating the TLR pathway. This study suggests an important role for an endogenous ligand in innate sensing of MVA and demonstrates the importance of pattern recognition receptors and regulatory T cell responses in determining the magnitude of the antigen specific immune response to vaccination with MVA85A in humans.
The rapidly increasing use of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) in consumer products and medical applications has raised ecological and human health concerns. A key question for addressing these concerns is whether Ag NP toxicity is mechanistically unique to nanoparticulate silver, or if it is a result of the release of silver ions. Furthermore, since Ag NPs are produced in a large variety of monomer sizes and coatings, and since their physicochemical behavior depends on the media composition, it is important to understand how these variables modulate toxicity. We found that a lower ionic strength medium resulted in greater toxicity (measured as growth inhibition) of all tested Ag NPs to Caenorhabditis elegans and that both dissolved silver and coating influenced Ag NP toxicity. We found a linear correlation between Ag NP toxicity and dissolved silver, but no correlation between size and toxicity. We used three independent and complementary approaches to investigate the mechanisms of toxicity of differentially coated and sized Ag NPs: pharmacological (rescue with trolox and N-acetylcysteine), genetic (analysis of metal-sensitive and oxidative stress-sensitive mutants), and physicochemical (including analysis of dissolution of Ag NPs). Oxidative dissolution was limited in our experimental conditions (maximally 15% in 24 h) yet was key to the toxicity of most Ag NPs, highlighting a critical role for dissolved silver complexed with thiols in the toxicity of all tested Ag NPs. Some Ag NPs (typically less soluble due to size or coating) also acted via oxidative stress, an effect specific to nanoparticulate silver. However, in no case studied here was the toxicity of a Ag NP greater than would be predicted by complete dissolution of the same mass of silver as silver ions.
Cyclobutane thymine dimers (T-T) comprise the majority of DNA damage caused by short wavelength ultraviolet radiation. These lesions generally block replicative DNA polymerases and are repaired by nucleotide excision repair or bypassed by translesion polymerases in the nucleus. Mitochondria lack nucleotide excision repair, and therefore, it is important to understand how the sole mitochondrial DNA polymerase, pol ?, interacts with irreparable lesions such as T-T. We performed in vitro DNA polymerization assays to measure the kinetics of incorporation opposite the lesion and bypass of the lesion by pol ? with a dimer-containing template. Exonuclease-deficient pol ? bypassed thymine dimers with low relative efficiency; bypass was attenuated but still detectable when using exonuclease-proficient pol ?. When bypass did occur, pol ? misincorporated a guanine residue opposite the 3-thymine of the dimer only 4-fold less efficiently than it incorporated an adenine. Surprisingly, the pol ? exonuclease-proficient enzyme excised the incorrectly incorporated guanine at similar rates irrespective of the nature of the thymines in the template. In the presence of all four dNTPs, pol ? extended the primer after incorporation of two adenines opposite the lesion with relatively higher efficiency compared with extension past either an adenine or a guanine incorporated opposite the 3-thymine of the T-T. Our results suggest that T-T usually stalls mitochondrial DNA replication but also suggest a mechanism for the introduction of point mutations and deletions in the mitochondrial genomes of chronically UV-exposed cells.
In nature, helical macromolecules such as collagen, chitin and cellulose are critical to the morphogenesis and functionality of various hierarchically structured materials. During tissue formation, these chiral macromolecules are secreted and undergo self-templating assembly, a process whereby multiple kinetic factors influence the assembly of the incoming building blocks to produce non-equilibrium structures. A single macromolecule can form diverse functional structures when self-templated under different conditions. Collagen type I, for instance, forms transparent corneal tissues from orthogonally aligned nematic fibres, distinctively coloured skin tissues from cholesteric phase fibre bundles, and mineralized tissues from hierarchically organized fibres. Natures self-templated materials surpass the functional and structural complexity achievable by current top-down and bottom-up fabrication methods. However, self-templating has not been thoroughly explored for engineering synthetic materials. Here we demonstrate the biomimetic, self-templating assembly of chiral colloidal particles (M13 phage) into functional materials. A single-step process produces long-range-ordered, supramolecular films showing multiple levels of hierarchical organization and helical twist. Three distinct supramolecular structures are created by this approach: nematic orthogonal twists, cholesteric helical ribbons and smectic helicolidal nanofilaments. Both chiral liquid crystalline phase transitions and competing interfacial forces at the interface are found to be critical factors in determining the morphology of the templated structures during assembly. The resulting materials show distinctive optical and photonic properties, functioning as chiral reflector/filters and structural colour matrices. In addition, M13 phages with genetically incorporated bioactive peptide ligands direct both soft and hard tissue growth in a hierarchically organized manner. Our assembly approach provides insight into the complexities of hierarchical assembly in nature and could be expanded to other chiral molecules to engineer sophisticated functional helical-twisted structures.
There is relatively little information regarding the critical xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in Caenorhabditis elegans, despite this organisms increasing use as a model in toxicology and pharmacology. We carried out experiments to elucidate the capacity of C. elegans to metabolically activate important promutagens via CYPs. Phylogenetic comparisons confirmed an earlier report indicating a lack of CYP1 family enzymes in C. elegans. Exposure to aflatoxin B(1) (AFB(1)), which is metabolized in mammals by CYP1, CYP2, and CYP3 family enzymes, resulted in significant DNA damage in C. elegans. However, exposure to benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), which is metabolized in mammals by CYP1 family enzymes only, produced no detectable damage. To further test whether BaP exposure caused DNA damage, the toxicities of AFB(1) and BaP were compared in nucleotide excision repair (NER)-deficient (xpa-1) and NER-proficient (N2) strains of C. elegans. Exposure to AFB(1) inhibited growth more in xpa-1 than N2 nematodes, but the growth-inhibitory effects of BaP were indistinguishable in the two strains. Finally, a CYP-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate reductase-deficient strain (emb-8) of C. elegans was found to be more resistant to the growth-inhibitory effect of AFB(1) exposure than N2, confirming that the AFB(1)-mediated growth inhibition resulted from CYP-mediated metabolism. Together, these results indicate that C. elegans lacks biologically significant CYP1 family-mediated enzymatic metabolism of xenobiotics. Interestingly, we also found that xpa-1 nematodes were slightly more sensitive to chlorpyrifos than were wild type. Our results highlight the importance of considering differences between xenobiotic metabolism in C. elegans and mammals when using this alternative model in pharmaceutical and toxicological research.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are frequently used as antimicrobials. While the mechanism(s) by which AgNPs are toxic are unclear, their increasing use raises the concern that release into the environment could lead to environmental toxicity. We characterized the physicochemical behavior, uptake, toxicity (growth inhibition), and mechanism of toxicity of three AgNPs with different sizes and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or citrate coatings to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used wild-type (N2) C. elegans and strains expected to be sensitive to oxidative stress (nth-1, sod-2 and mev-1), genotoxins (xpa-1 and nth-1), and metals (mtl-2). Using traditional and novel analytical methods, we observed significant aggregation and extra-organismal dissolution of silver, organismal uptake and, in one case, transgenerational transfer of AgNPs. We also observed growth inhibition by all tested AgNPs at concentrations in the low mg/L levels. A metallothionein-deficient (mtl-2) strain was the only mutant tested that exhibited consistently greater AgNP sensitivity than wild-type. Although all tested AgNPs were internalized (passed cell membranes) in C. elegans, at least part of the toxicity observed was mediated by ionic silver. Finally, we describe a modified growth assay that permits differentiation between direct growth-inhibitory effects and indirect inhibition mediated by toxicity to the food source.
The mitomycin derivative 10-decarbamoyl mitomycin C (DMC) more rapidly activates a p53-independent cell death pathway than mitomycin C (MC). We recently documented that an increased proportion of mitosene1-beta-adduct formation occurs in human cells treated with DMC in comparison to those treated with MC. Here, we compare the cellular and molecular response of human cancer cells treated with MC and DMC. We find the increase in mitosene 1-beta-adduct formation correlates with a condensed nuclear morphology and increased cytotoxicity in human cancer cells with or without p53. DMC caused more DNA damage than MC in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Checkpoint 1 protein (Chk1) was depleted following DMC, and the depletion of Chk1 by DMC was achieved through the ubiquitin proteasome pathway since chemical inhibition of the proteasome protected against Chk1 depletion. Gene silencing of Chk1 by siRNA increased the cytotoxicity of MC. DMC treatment caused a decrease in the level of total ubiquitinated proteins without increasing proteasome activity, suggesting that DMC mediated DNA adducts facilitate signal transduction to a pathway targeting cellular proteins for proteolysis. Thus, the mitosene-1-beta stereoisomeric DNA adducts produced by the DMC signal for a p53-independent mode of cell death correlated with reduced nuclear size, persistent DNA damage, increased ubiquitin proteolysis and reduced Chk1 protein.
In order to generate hypotheses regarding the mechanisms by which 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (dioxin) causes toxicity, we analyzed global gene expression changes in developing zebrafish embryos exposed to this potent toxicant in the context of a dynamic gene network. For this purpose, we also computationally inferred a zebrafish (Danio rerio) interactome based on orthologs and interaction data from other eukaryotes.
The quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) assay allows measurement of DNA damage in the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes without isolation of mitochondria. It also permits measurement of relative mitochondrial genome copy number. Finally, it can be used for measurement of DNA repair in vivo when employed appropriately. In this manuscript we briefly review the methodology of the QPCR assay, discuss its strengths and limitations, address considerations for measurement of mitochondrial DNA repair, and describe methodological changes implemented in recent years. We present QPCR assay primers and reaction conditions for five species not previously described in a methods article: Caenorhabditis elegans, Fundulus heteroclitus, Danio rerio, Drosophila melanogaster, and adenovirus. Finally, we illustrate the use of the assay by measuring repair of ultraviolet C radiation-induced DNA damage in the nuclear but not mitochondrial genomes of a zebrafish cell culture.
The neurodegenerative disease Friedreichs ataxia (FRDA) is the most common autosomal-recessively inherited ataxia and is caused by a GAA triplet repeat expansion in the first intron of the frataxin gene. In this disease, transcription of frataxin, a mitochondrial protein involved in iron homeostasis, is impaired, resulting in a significant reduction in mRNA and protein levels. Global gene expression analysis was performed in peripheral blood samples from FRDA patients as compared to controls, which suggested altered expression patterns pertaining to genotoxic stress. We then confirmed the presence of genotoxic DNA damage by using a gene-specific quantitative PCR assay and discovered an increase in both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage in the blood of these patients (p<0.0001, respectively). Additionally, frataxin mRNA levels correlated with age of onset of disease and displayed unique sets of gene alterations involved in immune response, oxidative phosphorylation, and protein synthesis. Many of the key pathways observed by transcription profiling were downregulated, and we believe these data suggest that patients with prolonged frataxin deficiency undergo a systemic survival response to chronic genotoxic stress and consequent DNA damage detectable in blood. In conclusion, our results yield insight into the nature and progression of FRDA, as well as possible therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, the identification of potential biomarkers, including the DNA damage found in peripheral blood, may have predictive value in future clinical trials.
The quantitative PCR (QPCR) assay for DNA damage and repair has been used extensively in laboratory species. More recently, it has been adapted to ecological settings. The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed methodological guide that will facilitate its adaptation to additional species, highlight its potential for ecotoxicological and biomonitoring work, and critically review the strengths and limitations of this assay. Major strengths of the assay include very low (nanogram to picogram) amounts of input DNA; direct comparison of damage and repair in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, and different parts of the nuclear genome; detection of a wide range of types of DNA damage; very good reproducibility and quantification; applicability to properly preserved frozen samples; simultaneous monitoring of relative mitochondrial genome copy number; and easy adaptation to most species. Potential limitations include the limit of detection (approximately 1 lesion per 10(5) bases); the inability to distinguish different types of DNA damage; and the need to base quantification of damage on a control or reference sample. I suggest that the QPCR assay is particularly powerful for some ecotoxicological studies.
DNA damage is an important mechanism of toxicity for a variety of pollutants, and therefore, is often used as an indicator of pollutant effects in ecotoxicological studies. Here, we adapted a PCR-based assay for nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage for use in an important environmental model, the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). We refer to this assay as the long amplicon quantitative PCR (LA-QPCR) assay. To validate this method in killifish, DNA damage was measured in liver, brain, and muscle of fish dosed with 10 mg/kg benzo[a]pyrene. This exposure caused 0.4-0.8 lesions/10 kb. We also measured DNA damage in liver and muscle tissues from killifish inhabiting a Superfund site, confirming the utility of this method for biomonitoring. In both cases, damage levels were comparable in nuclear DNA (nDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Since extensive nDNA sequence data are not readily available for many environmentally relevant species, but mitochondrial genomes are frequently fully sequenced, this assay can be adapted to examine mtDNA damage in virtually any species with little development. Therefore, we argue that this assay will be a valuable tool in assessing DNA damage in ecotoxicological studies.
Adenovirus is a focus of the water treatment community because of its resistance to standard, monochromatic low-pressure (LP) UV irradiation. Recent research has shown that polychromatic, medium-pressure (MP) UV sources are more effective than LP UV for disinfection of adenovirus when viral inactivation is measured using cell culture infectivity assays; however, UV-induced DNA damage may be repaired during cell culture infectivity assays, and this confounds interpretation of these results. Objectives of this work were to study adenoviral response to both LP and MP UV using (i) standard cell culture infectivity assays and (ii) a PCR assay to directly assess damage to the adenoviral genome without introducing the virus into cell culture. LP and MP UV dose response curves were determined for (i) log inactivation of the virus in cell culture and (ii) UV-induced lesions per kilobase of viral DNA as measured by the PCR assay. Results show that LP and MP UV are equally effective at damaging the genome; MP UV is more effective at inactivating adenovirus in cell culture. This work suggests that the higher disinfection efficacy of MP UV cannot be attributed to a difference in DNA damage induction. These results enhance our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of UV disinfection of viruses-especially double-stranded DNA viruses that infect humans--and improve the ability of the water treatment community to protect public health.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) in high altitude trekkers is common, often trek-limiting, and occasionally fatal. The incidence of AMS can be modified by prudent ascent profile and route selection. It is not known whether the 6-day Machame route may enhance acclimatization on Kilimanjaro (5895 m) by sleeping low on the third day. This report presents real time twice-daily AMS data from 28 healthy adult trekkers on the Machame route. The incidences of AMS and severe AMS were: 0% and 0% (day 1); 11% and 4% (day 2); 25% and 4% (day 3); 25% and 0% (day 4); 86% and 61% (summit day 5); and 7% and 0% (day 6), respectively. High altitude cerebral edema occurred in 4 of 28 trekkers (14%). On summit day, the median Lake Louise Symptom Score (LLSS) was 8 (range 2 to 15). Twice-daily measurements of AMS symptoms provide detailed insight into the time-course and evolution of AMS during ascent on Kilimanjaro. The 6-day Machame route may delay the onset but does not ultimately protect against AMS. The extremely high incidence and severity of AMS on summit day is of major concern to trekkers, portering staff, expedition medical staff, and leaders.
New vaccines to prevent tuberculosis are urgently needed. MVA85A is a novel viral vector TB vaccine candidate designed to boost BCG-induced immunity when delivered intradermally. To date, intramuscular delivery has not been evaluated. Skin and muscle have distinct anatomical and immunological properties which could impact upon vaccine-mediated cellular immunity.
The safety and immunogenicity of a new candidate tuberculosis (TB) vaccine, FP85A was evaluated alone and in heterologous prime-boost regimes with another candidate TB vaccine, MVA85A. This was an open label, non-controlled, non-randomized Phase I clinical trial. Healthy previously BCG-vaccinated adult subjects were enrolled sequentially into three groups and vaccinated with FP85A alone, or both FP85A and MVA85A, with a four week interval between vaccinations. Passive and active data on adverse events were collected. Immunogenicity was evaluated by Enzyme Linked Immunospot (ELISpot), flow cytometry and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Most adverse events were mild and there were no vaccine-related serious adverse events. FP85A vaccination did not enhance antigen 85A-specific cellular immunity. When MVA85A vaccination was preceded by FP85A vaccination, cellular immune responses were lower compared with when MVA85A vaccination was the first immunisation. MVA85A vaccination, but not FP85A vaccination, induced anti-MVA IgG antibodies. Both MVA85A and FP85A vaccinations induced anti-FP9 IgG antibodies. In conclusion, FP85A vaccination was well tolerated but did not induce antigen-specific cellular immune responses. We hypothesize that FP85A induced anti-FP9 IgG antibodies with cross-reactivity for MVA85A, which may have mediated inhibition of the immune response to subsequent MVA85A. ClinicalTrials.gov identification number: NCT00653770.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is more susceptible than nuclear DNA to helix-distorting damage via exposure to environmental genotoxins, partially due to a lack of nucleotide excision repair. Thus, this damage is irreparable and persistent in mtDNA in the short term. We recently found that helix-distorting mtDNA damage induced by ultraviolet C radiation (UVC) is gradually removed in Caenorhabditis elegans and that removal is dependent upon autophagy and mitochondrial dynamics. We here report the effects of UVC exposure on mitophagy, mitochondrial morphology, and indicators of mitochondrial function in mammalian cells. Exposure to UVC induced autophagy within 24 h; nonetheless, significant mitochondrial degradation was not observed until 72 h post exposure. Mitochondrial mass, morphology, and function were not significantly altered. These data further support the idea that persistent mtDNA damage is removed by autophagy and also suggest a powerful compensatory capacity for dealing with mtDNA damage.
Base excision repair (BER) is an evolutionarily conserved DNA repair pathway that is critical for repair of many of the most common types of DNA damage generated both by endogenous metabolic pathways and exposure to exogenous stressors such as pollutants. Caenorhabditis elegans is an increasingly important model organism for the study of DNA damage-related processes including DNA repair, genotoxicity, and apoptosis, but BER is not well understood in this organism, and has not previously been measured in vivo. We report robust BER in the nuclear genome and slightly slower damage removal from the mitochondrial genome; in both cases the removal rates are comparable to those observed in mammals. However we could detect no deficiency in BER in the nth-1 strain, which carries a deletion in the only glycosylase yet described in C. elegans that repairs oxidative DNA damage. We also failed to detect increased lethality or growth inhibition in nth-1 nematodes after exposure to oxidative or alkylating damage, suggesting the existence of at least one additional as-yet undetected glycosylase.
This chapter was written as a guide to using the long-amplicon quantitative PCR (QPCR) assay for the measurement of DNA damage in mammalian as well as nonmammalian species such as Caenorhabditis elegans (nematodes), Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies), and two species of fish (Fundulus heteroclitus and Danio rerio). Since its development in the early 1990s (Kalinowski et al., Nucleic Acids Res 20:3485-3494, 1992; Salazar and Van Houten, Mutat Res 385:139-149, 1997; Yakes and Van Houten, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94:514-519, 1997), the QPCR assay has been widely used to measure DNA damage and repair kinetics in nuclear and mitochondrial genomes after genotoxin exposure (Yakes and Van Houten, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 94:514-519, 1997; Santos et al., J Biol Chem 278:1728-1734, 2003; Mandavilli et al., Mol Brain Res 133:215-223, 2005). One of the main strengths of the assay is that the labor-intensive and artifact-generating step of mitochondrial isolation is not needed for the accurate measurement of mitochondrial DNA copy number and damage. Below we present the advantages and limitations of using QPCR to assay DNA damage in animal cells and provide a detailed protocol of the QPCR assay that integrates its usage in newly developed animal systems.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is different in many ways from nuclear DNA. A key difference is that certain types of DNA damage are not repaired in the mitochondrial genome. What, then, is the fate of such damage? What are the effects? Both questions are important from a health perspective because irreparable mtDNA damage is caused by many common environmental stressors including ultraviolet C radiation (UVC). We found that UVC-induced mtDNA damage is removed slowly in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans via a mechanism dependent on mitochondrial fusion, fission, and autophagy. However, knockdown or knockout of genes involved in these processes—many of which have homologs involved in human mitochondrial diseases—had very different effects on the organismal response to UVC. Reduced mitochondrial fission and autophagy caused no or small effects, while reduced mitochondrial fusion had dramatic effects.
Previously unrecognized medical conditions identified in volunteers for early phase clinical studies have significant clinical and ethical implications for the participant. It is therefore crucial that the potential for unexpected diagnosis is addressed during the informed consent process. But the frequency of incidental diagnosis in healthy volunteers who attend for clinical trial screening remains unclear. To assess this we retrospectively analyzed 1,131 independent screening visits for 990 volunteers at a single academic center over a 10-year period to describe the frequency and nature of new clinical findings. Overall 23 of 990 volunteers (2.3%) were excluded at screening for a newly diagnosed medical abnormality. Some clinically important conditions, such as nephrotic syndrome and familial hypercholesterolemia were identified. The frequency of abnormalities was associated with increasing age in males (p= 0.02 ?(2) for trend) but not females (p= 0.82). These data will assist those planning and conducting phase I/II vaccine trials in healthy volunteers, and importantly should strengthen the informed consent of future trial participants.
Alveolar epithelial cells are considered to be the primary target of bleomycin-induced lung injury, leading to interstitial fibrosis. The molecular mechanisms by which bleomycin causes this damage are poorly understood but are suspected to involve generation of reactive oxygen species and DNA damage. We studied the effect of bleomycin on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA (nDNA) in human alveolar epithelial A549 cells. Bleomycin caused an increase in reactive oxygen species production, DNA damage, and apoptosis in A549 cells; however, bleomycin induced more mtDNA than nDNA damage. DNA damage was associated with activation of caspase-3, cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, and cleavage and activation of protein kinase D1 (PKD1), a newly identified mitochondrial oxidative stress sensor. These effects appear to be mtDNA-dependent, because no caspase-3 or PKD1 activation was observed in mtDNA-depleted (?(0)) A549 cells. Survival rate after bleomycin treatment was higher for A549 ?(0) than A549 cells. These results suggest that A549 ?(0) cells are more resistant to bleomycin toxicity than are parent A549 cells, likely in part due to the depletion of mtDNA and impairment of mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways.
Mitochondria lack the ability to repair certain helix-distorting lesions that are induced at high levels in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) by important environmental genotoxins and endogenous metabolites. These lesions are irreparable and persistent in the short term, but their long-term fate is unknown. We report that removal of such mtDNA damage is detectable by 48 h in Caenorhabditis elegans, and requires mitochondrial fusion, fission and autophagy, providing genetic evidence for a novel mtDNA damage removal pathway. Furthermore, mutations in genes involved in these processes as well as pharmacological inhibition of autophagy exacerbated mtDNA damage-mediated larval arrest, illustrating the in vivo relevance of removal of persistent mtDNA damage. Mutations in genes in these pathways exist in the human population, demonstrating the potential for important gene-environment interactions affecting mitochondrial health after genotoxin exposure.
Piezoelectric materials can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, and piezoelectric devices made of a variety of inorganic materials and organic polymers have been demonstrated. However, synthesizing such materials often requires toxic starting compounds, harsh conditions and/or complex procedures. Previously, it was shown that hierarchically organized natural materials such as bones, collagen fibrils and peptide nanotubes can display piezoelectric properties. Here, we demonstrate that the piezoelectric and liquid-crystalline properties of M13 bacteriophage (phage) can be used to generate electrical energy. Using piezoresponse force microscopy, we characterize the structure-dependent piezoelectric properties of the phage at the molecular level. We then show that self-assembled thin films of phage can exhibit piezoelectric strengths of up to 7.8 pm V(-1). We also demonstrate that it is possible to modulate the dipole strength of the phage, hence tuning the piezoelectric response, by genetically engineering the major coat proteins of the phage. Finally, we develop a phage-based piezoelectric generator that produces up to 6 nA of current and 400 mV of potential and use it to operate a liquid-crystal display. Because biotechnology techniques enable large-scale production of genetically modified phages, phage-based piezoelectric materials potentially offer a simple and environmentally friendly approach to piezoelectric energy generation.
During the H1N1 influenza pandemic (pH1N1/09) diagnostic algorithms were developed to guide antiviral provision. However febrile illnesses are notoriously difficult to distinguish clinically. Recent evidence highlights the importance of incorporating travel history into diagnostic algorithms to prevent the catastrophic misdiagnosis of life-threatening infections such as malaria. We applied retrospectively the UK pH1N1/09 case definition to a unique cohort of healthy adult volunteers exposed to Plasmodium falciparum malaria or influenza to assess the predictive value of this case definition, and to explore the distinguishing clinical features of early phase infection with these pathogens under experimental conditions. For influenza exposure the positive predictive value of the pH1N1/09 case definition was only 0.38 (95% CI: 0.06-0.60), with a negative predictive value of 0.27 (95% CI: 0.02-0.51). Interestingly, 8/11 symptomatic malaria-infected adults would have been inappropriately classified with influenza by the pH1N1/09 case definition, while 5/8 symptomatic influenza-exposed volunteers would have been classified without influenza (P = 0.18 Fishers exact). Cough (P = 0.005) and nasal symptoms (P = 0.001) were the only clinical features that distinguished influenza-exposed from malaria-exposed volunteers. An open mind regarding the clinical cause of undifferentiated febrile illness, particularly in the absence of upper respiratory tract symptoms, remains important even during influenza pandemic settings. These data support incorporating travel history into pandemic algorithms.
There is currently no safe human challenge model of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection to enable proof-of-concept efficacy evaluation of candidate vaccines against tuberculosis. In vivo antimycobacterial immunity could be assessed using intradermal Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination as a surrogate for M. tuberculosis infection.
Currently, no vaccine exists for hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major pathogen thought to infect 170 million people globally. Many studies suggest that host T cell responses are critical for spontaneous resolution of disease, and preclinical studies have indicated a requirement for T cells in protection against challenge. We aimed to elicit HCV-specific T cells with the potential for protection using a recombinant adenoviral vector strategy in a phase 1 study of healthy human volunteers. Two adenoviral vectors expressing NS proteins from HCV genotype 1B were constructed based on rare serotypes [human adenovirus 6 (Ad6) and chimpanzee adenovirus 3 (ChAd3)]. Both vectors primed T cell responses against HCV proteins; these T cell responses targeted multiple proteins and were capable of recognizing heterologous strains (genotypes 1A and 3A). HCV-specific T cells consisted of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets; secreted interleukin-2, interferon-?, and tumor necrosis factor-?; and could be sustained for at least a year after boosting with the heterologous adenoviral vector. Studies using major histocompatibility complex peptide tetramers revealed long-lived central and effector memory pools that retained polyfunctionality and proliferative capacity. These data indicate that an adenoviral vector strategy can induce sustained T cell responses of a magnitude and quality associated with protective immunity and open the way for studies of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines for HCV.
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