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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Mechanism of Hb?-35-induced an increase in the activation of the human immune system by endotoxins.
Innate Immun
PUBLISHED: 07-19-2014
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Endotoxins (LPS) are highly potent immune stimulatory molecules and are mainly known for triggering Gram-negative sepsis. However, besides their toxic effects, this stimulatory function may be advantageous, for example when used as an adjuvant during vaccination. Thus, there is always a narrow range between the useful wake-up of the immune system and its overwhelming reaction, which can lead to diseases like sepsis. This raises the question of which conformational properties are responsible for making the LPS aggregates more or less potent. As described previously, the size, type and form of LPS aggregates play a major role in their immune stimulatory activity. In this study we investigate the role of these parameters. On the one hand, we use a peptide (Pep19-2.5; Aspidasept) that causes a change of the LPS aggregate structure into a less toxic state; on the other hand, we use a potent immune stimulating peptide (Hb?-35), leading to higher toxicity. We have found opposing effects on LPS aggregate conformations allowing a better understanding of the processes of immune stimulation.
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Galleria mellonella native and analogue peptides Gm1 and ?Gm1. II) anti-bacterial and anti-endotoxic effects.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 06-25-2014
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the innate immune system of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria and are recently under discussion as promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics. We have investigated two cecropin-like synthetic peptides, Gm1, which corresponds to the natural overall uncharged Galleria mellonella native peptide and ?Gm1, a modified overall positively charged Gm1 variant. We have analysed these peptides for their potential to inhibit the endotoxin-induced secretion of tumour necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) from human mononuclear cells. Furthermore, in a conventional microbiological assay, the ability of these peptides to inhibit the growth of the rough mutant bacteria Salmonella enterica Minnesota R60 and the polymyxin B-resistant Proteus mirabilis R45 was investigated and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements were performed to characterize the morphology of the bacteria treated by the two peptides. We have also studied their cytotoxic properties in a haemolysis assay to clarify potential toxic effects. Our data revealed for both peptides minor anti-inflammatory (anti-endotoxin) activity, but demonstrated antimicrobial activity with differences depending on the endotoxin composition of the respective bacteria. In accordance with the antimicrobial assay, AFM data revealed a stronger morphology change of the R45 bacteria than for the R60. Furthermore, Gm1 had a stronger effect on the bacteria than ?Gm1, leading to a different morphology regarding indentations and coalescing of bacterial structures. The findings verify the biophysical measurements with the peptides on model systems. Both peptides lack any haemolytic activity up to an amount of 100?g/ml, making them suitable as new anti-infective agents.
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Intestinal mucus affinity and biological activity of an orally administered antibacterial and anti-inflammatory peptide.
Gut
PUBLISHED: 05-10-2014
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) provide protection from infection by pathogenic microorganisms and restrict bacterial growth at epithelial surfaces to maintain mucosal homeostasis. In addition, they exert a significant anti-inflammatory activity. Here we analysed the anatomical distribution and biological activity of an orally administered AMP in the context of bacterial infection and host-microbial homeostasis.
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Galleria mellonella native and analogue peptides Gm1 and ?Gm1. I) biophysical characterization of the interaction mechanisms with bacterial model membranes.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2014
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Natural occurring antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the innate immune system of animals and plants. They are considered to be promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics. Here we present a comparative study of two synthetic peptides: Gm1, corresponding to the natural overall uncharged peptide from Galleria mellonella (Gm) and ?Gm1, a modified overall positively charged Gm1 variant. We have studied the interaction of the peptides with lipid membranes composed of different kinds of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG), in some cases also dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) as representative lipid components of Gram-negative bacterial membranes, by applying Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Förster resonance energy transfer spectroscopy (FRET), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Gm1 generates a destabilizing effect on the gel to liquid crystalline phase transition of the acyl chains of the lipids, as deduced from a decrease in the phase transition temperature and enthalpy, suggesting a fluidization, whereas ?Gm1 led to the opposite behavior. Further, FTIR analysis of the functional groups of the lipids participating in the interaction with the peptides indicated a shift in the band position and intensity of the asymmetric PO2(-) stretching vibration originating from the lipid phosphate groups, a consequence of the sterical changes in the head group region. Interestingly, FRET spectroscopy showed a similar intercalation of both peptides into the DMPG and LPS, but much less into the DMPE membrane systems. These results are discussed in the light of a possible use of the peptides as antimicrobial and anti-endotoxin drugs.
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A new class of synthetic anti-lipopolysaccharide peptides inhibits influenza A virus replication by blocking cellular attachment.
Antiviral Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2014
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Influenza A viruses are a continuous threat to human health as illustrated by the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Since circulating influenza virus strains become increasingly resistant against currently available drugs, the development of novel antivirals is urgently needed. Here, we have evaluated a recently described new class of broad-spectrum antiviral peptides (synthetic anti-lipopolysaccharide peptides; SALPs) for their potential to inhibit influenza virus replication in vitro and in vivo. We found that particularly SALP PEP 19-2.5 shows high binding affinities for the influenza virus receptor molecule, N-Acetylneuraminic acid, leading to impaired viral attachment and cellular entry. As a result, replication of several influenza virus subtypes (H7N7, H3N2 and 2009 pandemic H1N1) was strongly reduced. Furthermore, mice co-treated with PEP 19-2.5 were protected against an otherwise 100% lethal H7N7 influenza virus infection. These findings show that SALPs exhibit antiviral activity against influenza viruses by blocking virus attachment and entry into host cells. Thus, SALPs present a new class of broad-spectrum antiviral peptides for further development for influenza virus therapy.
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Biophysical analysis of the interaction of the serum protein human ?2GPI with bacterial lipopolysaccharide.
FEBS Open Bio
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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There are several human serum proteins for which no clear role is yet known. Among these is the abundant serum protein beta2-glycoprotein-I (?2GPI), which is known to bind to negatively charged phospholipids as well as to bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and was therefore proposed to play a role in the immune response. To understand the details of these interactions, a biophysical analysis of the binding of ?2GPI to LPS and phosphatidylserine (PS) was performed. The data indicate only a moderate tendency of the protein (1) to influence the LPS-induced cytokine production in vitro, (2) to react exothermally with LPS in a non-saturable way, and (3) to change its local microenvironment upon LPS association. Additionally, we found that the protein binds more strongly to phosphatidylserine (PS) than to LPS. Furthermore, ?2GPI converts the LPS bilayer aggregates into a stronger multilamellar form, and reduces the fluidity of the hydrocarbon moiety of LPS due to a rigidification of the acyl chains. From these data it can be concluded that ?2GPI plays a role as an immune-modulating agent, but there is much less evidence for a role in immune defense against bacterial toxins such as LPS.
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Pulmonary surfactant protein A-induced changes in the molecular conformation of bacterial deep-rough LPS lead to reduced activity on human macrophages.
Innate Immun
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2013
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The lung is constantly exposed to immune stimulation by LPS from inhaled microorganisms. A primary mechanism to maintain immune homeostasis is based on anti-inflammatory regulation by surfactant protein A (SP-A), a secreted component of lung innate immunity. The architecture of LPS aggregates is strongly associated with biological activity. We therefore investigated whether SP-A affects the physico-chemical properties of LPS. Determination of the three-dimensional aggregate structure of LPS by small-angle X-ray scattering demonstrated that SP-A induced the formation of multi-lamellar aggregate structures. Determination of the acyl-chain-fluidity of LPS aggregates by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed that the phase transition temperature of LPS was reduced in the presence of SP-A. The phosphate groups at the diglucosamine backbone of LPS represent important functional groups for the bioactivity of LPS. FTIR analysis revealed changes in the vibrational bands ?as $${hbox{ PO }}_{2}^{-}$$, indicating an interaction of SP-A with the 1-phosphate, but not with the 4-phosphate. The physico-chemical changes induced by SP-A were associated with up to 90% reduction in LPS-induced TNF-?-production by human macrophages. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that the SP-A/LPS interaction induces conformational changes in LPS aggregates leading to biologically less active structures, thereby providing a new molecular mechanism of immune modulation by SP-A.
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Cellular distribution of lipid A and LPS R595 after in vitro application to isolated human monocytes by freeze-fracture replica immunogold-labelling.
Innate Immun
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2013
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We have performed freeze-fracture replica immunogold labelling of endotoxin preparations (lipid A and deep rough mutant LPS Re from Salmonella enterica sv. Minnesota), i.e. adding the endotoxins to human monocytes, labelling with monoclonal Abs recognizing either lipid A or LPS Re (A6 and A20 respectively), and fixing with immunogold secondary Ab. We have found that the endotoxins intercalated into the cell membranes with subsequent internalization by the cells. Surprisingly, membrane uptake took place only in the inner, plasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane, but there was no uptake of the outer leaflet for both compounds. Remarkable labelling could be also found for the two membranes of the nuclear envelope-in the case of lipid A only at the plasmic leaflet, but in the case of LPS Re on both leaflets. Isothermal calorimetric titration of the AB A20 with LPS and phospholipids showed that the Ab may bind not only to LPS but also to negatively charged phosphatidylserine. These results are discussed in the frame of the published concepts of cell activation induced by the endotoxins, i.e. how they are able to cause a conformational change of signalling proteins, such as the TLR4/MD2 complex.
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Physical interactions of fish protamine and antisepsis peptide drugs with bacterial membranes revealed by combination of specular x-ray reflectivity and grazing-incidence x-ray fluorescence.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 01-17-2013
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As a defined model of outer membranes of gram negative bacteria, we investigated the interaction of monolayers of lipopolysacchrides from Salmonella enterica rough strains R90 (LPS Ra) with natural and synthetic peptides. The fine structures perpendicular to the membrane plane and the ion distribution near the interface were determined by specular x-ray reflectivity (XRR) and grazing-incidence x-ray fluorescence (GIXF) in the presence and absence of divalent cations. The unique combination of XRR and GIXF allows for the quantitative identification of different modes of interactions in a high spatial resolution, which cannot be assessed by other experimental methods. Natural fish protamine disrupts the stratified membrane structures in the absence of Ca(2+) ions, while staying away from the membrane surface in the presence of Ca(2+) ions. In contrast, synthetic antisepsis peptide Pep 19-2.5 weakly adsorbs to the membrane and stays near the uncharged sugar units even in the absence of Ca(2+). In the presence of Ca(2+), Pep 19-2.5 can reach the negatively charged inner core without destroying the barrier capability against ions.
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Preclinical investigations reveal the broad-spectrum neutralizing activity of peptide Pep19-2.5 on bacterial pathogenicity factors.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2013
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Bacterial infections are known to cause severe health-threatening conditions, including sepsis. All attempts to get this disease under control failed in the past, and especially in times of increasing antibiotic resistance, this leads to one of the most urgent medical challenges of our times. We designed a peptide to bind with high affinity to endotoxins, one of the most potent pathogenicity factors involved in triggering sepsis. The peptide Pep19-2.5 reveals high endotoxin neutralization efficiency in vitro, and here, we demonstrate its antiseptic/anti-inflammatory effects in vivo in the mouse models of endotoxemia, bacteremia, and cecal ligation and puncture, as well as in an ex vivo model of human tissue. Furthermore, we show that Pep19-2.5 can bind and neutralize not only endotoxins but also other bacterial pathogenicity factors, such as those from the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. This broad neutralization efficiency and the additive action of the peptide with common antibiotics makes it an exceptionally appropriate drug candidate against bacterial sepsis and also offers multiple other medication opportunities.
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The anti-inflammatory effect of the synthetic antimicrobial peptide 19-2.5 in a murine sepsis model: a prospective randomized study.
Crit Care
PUBLISHED: 01-07-2013
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ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Increasing rates of multi-resistant bacteria are a major problem in the treatment of critically ill patients. Furthermore, conventional antibiotics lead to the release of bacterial derived membrane parts initiating pro-inflammatory cascades with potential harm to the patient. Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) may kill bacteria without releasing pro-inflammatory factors. Thus, we compared three newly developed synthetic anti-lipopolysaccharide peptides (SALPs) with a broader range of efficacy to suppress cytokine release in plasma and CD14 mRNA expression in organ tissue in a murine, polymicrobial sepsis model. METHODS: A randomized, experimental trial was conducted in an animal research facility. Male NMRI mice (n = 90; 8- to 12-weeks old) were randomized to the following six groups: (i) sham operation and parenteral vehicle (NaCl 0.9%) administration (sham); (ii) cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) and vehicle infusion (sepsis-control), (iii) CLP and polymyxin B infusion (polyB), or (iv to vi) CLP and infusion of three different synthetic antimicrobial peptides Peptide 19-2.5 (Pep2.5), Peptide 19-4 (Pep4) or Peptide 19-8 (Pep8). All animals underwent arterial and venous catheterization for hemodynamic monitoring 48 hours prior to CLP or sham-operation. Physical appearance and behavior (activity), plasma cytokine levels, and CD14 mRNA expression in heart, lung, liver, spleen and kidney tissue were determined 24 hours after CLP or sham operation. RESULTS: Only Pep2.5 significantly enhanced the activity after CLP, whereas none of the therapeutic regimens elevated the mean arterial pressure or heart rate. The strongly elevated IL-6, IL-10 and monocyte chemoattractant protein serum levels in septic animals were significantly reduced after Pep2.5 administration (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P < 0.001, respectively). Similarly, Pep2.5 significantly reduced the sepsis-induced CD14 mRNA expression in heart (P = 0.003), lung (P = 0.008), and spleen tissue (P = 0.009) but not in kidney and liver. CONCLUSIONS: Structurally variable SALPs exhibit major differences in their anti-inflammatory effect in vivo. Continuous parenteral administration of Pep2.5 is able to reduce sepsis-induced cytokine release and tissue inflammation.
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Biophysical mechanisms of the neutralization of endotoxins by lipopolyamines.
Open Biochem J
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides, LPS) are one of the strongest immunostimulators in nature, responsible for beneficial effects at low, and pathophysiological effects at high concentrations, the latter frequently leading to sepsis and septic shock associated with high mortality in critical care settings. There are no drugs specifically targeting the pathophysiology of sepsis, and new therapeutic agents are therefore urgently needed. The lipopolyamines are a novel class of small molecules designed to sequester and neutralize LPS. To understand the mechanisms underlying the binding and neutralization of LPS toxicity, we have performed detailed biophysical analyses of the interactions of LPS with candidate lipopolyamines which differ in their potencies of LPS neutralization. We examined gel-to-liquid crystalline phase behavior of LPS and of its supramolecular aggregate structures in the absence and presence of lipopolyamines, the ability of such compounds to incorporate into different membrane systems, and the thermodynamics of the LPS:lipopolyamine binding. We have found that the mechanisms which govern the inactivation process of LPS obey similar rules as found for other active endotoxin neutralizers such as certain antimicrobial peptides.
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Biophysical investigations into the interactions of endotoxins with bile acids.
Innate Immun
PUBLISHED: 09-27-2011
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The interaction of selected endotoxin preparations (lipid A from Erwinia carotovora and LPS Re and Ra from Salmonella enterica sv. Minnesota strains R595 and R60, respectively) with selected bile acids was investigated biophysically. Endotoxin aggregates were analyzed for their gel-to-liquid crystalline phase behavior, the type of their aggregates, the conformation of particular functional groups, and their Zeta potential in the absence and presence of the bile acids by applying Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, measurements of the electrophoretic mobility, and synchrotron radiation X-ray scattering. In addition, the ability of the endotoxins to induce cytokines in human mononuclear cells was tested in the absence and presence of varying concentrations of bile acids. The data show that the endotoxin:bile acid interaction is not governed by Coulomb forces, rather a hydrophobic interaction takes place. This leads to an enhanced formation of the inherent cubic aggregate structures of the endotoxins, concomitant with a slight disaggregation, as evidenced by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Parallel to this, the addition of bile acids increased the bioactivity of lipid A and, to a lower degree, also that of the tested rough mutant LPS at lower concentrations of the endotoxin preparation, a finding similar as reported for the interaction of other agents such as hemoglobin. These data imply that there are general mechanisms that govern the expression of biological activities of endotoxins.
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Peptide-based treatment of sepsis.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2011
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Sepsis (blood poisoning) is a severe infectious disease with high mortality, and no effective therapy is actually known. In the case of Gram-negative bacteria, endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides) are known to be responsible for the strong inflammation reaction leading to the systemic infection. Peptides based on endotoxin-binding domains of human or animal proteins represent a promising approach in sepsis research. Although so far no medicament is available, the progress in recent years might lead to a breakthrough in this field. In this review, recent investigations are summarised, which may lead to an understanding of the mechanisms of action of peptides to suppress the inflammation reaction in vitro and in vivo (animal models) and thus may allow the development of effective anti-septic drugs.
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Effects of specific versus nonspecific ionic interactions on the structure and lateral organization of lipopolysaccharides.
Biophys. J.
PUBLISHED: 01-17-2011
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We report x-ray reflectivity and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction measurements of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) monolayers at the water-air interface. Our investigations reveal that the structure and lateral ordering of the LPS molecules is very different from phospholipid systems and can be modulated by the ionic strength of the aqueous subphase in an ion-dependent manner. Our findings also indicate differential effects of monovalent and divalent ions on the two-dimensional ordering of lipid domains. Na(+) ions interact unspecifically with LPS molecules based on their ability to efficiently screen the negative charges of the LPS molecules, whereas Ca(2+) ions interact specifically by cross-linking adjacent molecules in the monolayer. At low lateral pressures, Na(+) ions present in the subphase lead to a LPS monolayer structure ordered over large areas with high compressibility, nearly hexagonal packing of the hydrocarbon chains, and high density in the LPS headgroup region. At higher film pressures, the LPS monolayer becomes more rigid and results in a less perfect, oblique packing of the LPS hydrocarbon chains as well as a smaller lateral size of highly ordered domains on the monolayer. Furthermore, associated with the increased surface pressure, a conformational change of the sugar headgroups occurs, leading to a thickening of the entire LPS monolayer structure. The effect of Ca(2+) ions in the subphase is to increase the rigidity of the LPS monolayer, leading to an oblique packing of the hydrocarbon chains already at low film pressures, an upright orientation of the sugar moieties, and much smaller sizes of ordered domains in the plane of the monolayer. In the presence of both Na(+)- and Ca(2+) ions in the subphase, the screening effect of Na(+) is predominant at low film pressures, whereas, at higher film pressures, the structure and lateral organization of LPS molecules is governed by the influence of Ca(2+) ions. The unspecific charge-screening effect of the Na(+) ions on the conformation of the sugar moiety becomes less dominant at biologically relevant lateral pressures.
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Biophysical mechanisms of endotoxin neutralization by cationic amphiphilic peptides.
Biophys. J.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2011
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Bacterial endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides (LPS)) are strong elicitors of the human immune system by interacting with serum and membrane proteins such as lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) and CD14 with high specificity. At LPS concentrations as low as 0.3 ng/ml, such interactions may lead to severe pathophysiological effects, including sepsis and septic shock. One approach to inhibit an uncontrolled inflammatory reaction is the use of appropriate polycationic and amphiphilic antimicrobial peptides, here called synthetic anti-LPS peptides (SALPs). We designed various SALP structures and investigated their ability to inhibit LPS-induced cytokine secretion in vitro, their protective effect in a mouse model of sepsis, and their cytotoxicity in physiological human cells. Using a variety of biophysical techniques, we investigated selected SALPs with considerable differences in their biological responses to characterize and understand the mechanism of LPS inactivation by SALPs. Our investigations show that neutralization of LPS by peptides is associated with a fluidization of the LPS acyl chains, a strong exothermic Coulomb interaction between the two compounds, and a drastic change of the LPS aggregate type from cubic into multilamellar, with an increase in the aggregate sizes, inhibiting the binding of LBP and other mammalian proteins to the endotoxin. At the same time, peptide binding to phospholipids of human origin (e.g., phosphatidylcholine) does not cause essential structural changes, such as changes in membrane fluidity and bilayer structure. The absence of cytotoxicity is explained by the high specificity of the interaction of the peptides with LPS.
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Structural features governing the activity of lactoferricin-derived peptides that act in synergy with antibiotics against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro and in vivo.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 10-18-2010
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Pseudomonas aeruginosa is naturally resistant to many antibiotics, and infections caused by this organism are a serious threat, especially to hospitalized patients. The intrinsic low permeability of P. aeruginosa to antibiotics results from the coordinated action of several mechanisms, such as the presence of restrictive porins and the expression of multidrug efflux pump systems. Our goal was to develop antimicrobial peptides with an improved bacterial membrane-permeabilizing ability, so that they enhance the antibacterial activity of antibiotics. We carried out a structure activity relationship analysis to investigate the parameters that govern the permeabilizing activity of short (8- to 12-amino-acid) lactoferricin-derived peptides. We used a new class of constitutional and sequence-dependent descriptors called PEDES (peptide descriptors from sequence) that allowed us to predict (Spearmans ? = 0.74; P < 0.001) the permeabilizing activity of a new peptide generation. To study if peptide-mediated permeabilization could neutralize antibiotic resistance mechanisms, the most potent peptides were combined with antibiotics, and the antimicrobial activities of the combinations were determined on P. aeruginosa strains whose mechanisms of resistance to those antibiotics had been previously characterized. A subinhibitory concentration of compound P2-15 or P2-27 sensitized P. aeruginosa to most classes of antibiotics tested and counteracted several mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, including loss of the OprD porin and overexpression of several multidrug efflux pump systems. Using a mouse model of lethal infection, we demonstrated that whereas P2-15 and erythromycin were unable to protect mice when administered separately, concomitant administration of the compounds afforded long-lasting protection to one-third of the animals.
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Morphology, size distribution, and aggregate structure of lipopolysaccharide and lipid A dispersions from enterobacterial origin.
Innate Immun
PUBLISHED: 08-03-2010
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Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) from Gram-negative bacteria are strong elicitors of the human immune systems. There is strong evidence that aggregates and not monomers of LPS play a decisive role at least in the initial stages of cell activation of immune cells such as mononuclear cells. In previous reports, it was shown that the biologically most active part of enterobacterial LPS, hexa-acyl bisphosphorylated lipid A, adopts a particular supramolecular conformation, a cubic aggregate structure. However, little is known about the size and morphology of these aggregates, regarding the fact that LPS may have strong variations in the length of the saccharide chains (various rough mutant and smooth-form LPS). Thus, in the present paper, several techniques for the determination of details of the aggregate morphology such as freeze-fracture and cryo-electron microscopy, analytical ultracentrifugation, laser backscattering analysis, and small-angle X-ray scattering were applied for various endotoxin (lipid A and different LPS) preparations. The data show a variety of different morphologies not only for different endotoxins but also when comparing different applied techniques. The data are interpreted with respect to the suitability of the single techniques, in particular on the basis of available literature data.
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Conformation and supramolecular structure of lipid A.
Adv. Exp. Med. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2010
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In recent years, lipid A as endotoxic principle of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and derivatives thereof have become increasingly important in the field of biomedical application such as for vaccination or as therapeutical, e. g., anti-tumor agent. For an understanding of these biological processes, however, a basic physicochemical characterization of lipid A and lipid A-like structures is a necessary prerequisite. This includes the determination of parameters like critical micellar concentration, the type of aggregate structure, the molecular conformation, the gel to liquid crystalline phase behaviour, and theoretical approaches like molecular modelling. In this chapter, data from literature are summarized showing that the unusual chemical structure of lipid A-type molecules is connected with a very complex structural polymorphism, which is sensitively dependent on the particular chemical primary structure, particular on the acylation pattern and on the number of phosphate groups at the diglucosamine backbone.
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New antiseptic peptides to protect against endotoxin-mediated shock.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 07-06-2010
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Systemic bacterial infections are associated with high mortality. The access of bacteria or constituents thereof to systemic circulation induces the massive release of immunomodulatory mediators, ultimately causing tissue hypoperfusion and multiple-organ failure despite adequate antibiotic treatment. Lipid A, the "endotoxic principle" of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), is one of the major bacterial immunostimuli. Here we demonstrate the biological efficacy of rationally designed new synthetic antilipopolysaccharide peptides (SALPs) based on the Limulus anti-LPS factor for systemic application. We show efficient inhibition of LPS-induced cytokine release and protection from lethal septic shock in vivo, whereas cytotoxicity was not observed under physiologically relevant conditions and concentrations. The molecular mechanism of LPS neutralization was elucidated by biophysical techniques. The lipid A part of LPS is converted from its "endotoxic conformation," the cubic aggregate structure, into an inactive multilamellar structure, and the binding affinity of the peptide to LPS exceeds those of known LPS-binding proteins, such as LPS-binding protein (LBP). Our results thus delineate a novel therapeutic strategy for the clinical management of patients with septic shock.
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Quantitative determination of ion distributions in bacterial lipopolysaccharide membranes by grazing-incidence X-ray fluorescence.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-04-2010
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A model of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria was created by the deposition of a monolayer of purified rough mutant lipopolysaccharides at an air/water interface. The density profiles of monovalent (K(+)) and divalent (Ca(2+)) cations normal to the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) monolayers were investigated using grazing-incidence X-ray fluorescence. In the absence of Ca(2+), a K(+) concentration peak was found in the negatively charged LPS headgroup region. With the addition of CaCl(2), Ca(2+) ions almost completely displaced K(+) ions from the headgroup region. By integrating the experimentally reconstructed excess ion density profiles, we obtained an accurate measurement of the effective charge density of LPS monolayers. The experimental findings were compared to the results of Monte Carlo simulations based on a coarse-grained minimal model of LPS molecules and showed excellent agreement.
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Temperature-induced changes in the lipopolysaccharide of Yersinia pestis affect plasminogen activation by the pla surface protease.
Infect. Immun.
PUBLISHED: 04-05-2010
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The Pla surface protease of Yersinia pestis activates human plasminogen and is a central virulence factor in bubonic and pneumonic plague. Pla is a transmembrane beta-barrel protein and member of the omptin family of outer membrane proteases which require bound lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to be proteolytically active. Plasminogen activation and autoprocessing of Pla were dramatically higher in Y. pestis cells grown at 37 degrees C than in cells grown at 20 degrees C; the difference in enzymatic activity by far exceeded the increase in the cellular content of the Pla protein. Y. pestis modifies its LPS structure in response to growth temperature. We purified His(6)-Pla under denaturing conditions and compared various LPS types for their capacity to enhance plasmin formation by His(6)-Pla solubilized in detergent. Reactivation of His(6)-Pla was higher with Y. pestis LPSs isolated from bacteria grown at 37 degrees C than with LPSs from cells grown at 25 degrees C. Lack of O antigens and the presence of the outer core region as well as a lowered level of acylation in LPS were found to enhance the Pla-LPS interaction. Genetic substitution of arginine 138, which is part of a three-dimensional protein motif for binding to lipid A phosphates, decreased both the enzymatic activity of His(6)-Pla and the amount of Pla in Y. pestis cells, suggesting the importance of the Pla-lipid A phosphate interaction. The temperature-induced changes in LPS are known to help Y. pestis to avoid innate immune responses, and our results strongly suggest that they also potentiate Pla-mediated proteolysis.
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Crucial roles of charged saccharide moieties in survival of gram negative bacteria against protamine revealed by combination of grazing incidence x-ray structural characterizations and Monte Carlo simulations.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2010
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Grazing incidence x-ray scattering techniques and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations are combined to reveal the influence of molecular structure (genetic mutation) and divalent cations on the survival of gram negative bacteria against cationic peptides such as protamine. The former yields detailed structures of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) membranes with minimized radiation damages, while the minimal computer model based on the linearized Poisson-Boltzmann theory allows for the simulation of conformational changes of macromolecules (LPSs and peptides) that occur in the time scale of ms. The complementary combination of the structural characterizations and MC simulation demonstrates that the condensations of divalent ions (Ca2+ or Mg2+) in the negatively charged core saccharides are crucial for bacterial survival.
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Physicochemical and biological characterization of anti-endotoxin peptides and their influence on lipid properties.
Protein Pept. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 02-17-2010
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We have synthesized a series of short peptides (17 to 20 amino acids), originally derived from Limulus anti-lipopolysaccharide factor LALF, which were primarily designed to act as antimicrobial agents as well as neutralizers of bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS), Here, two selected peptides, a 17- and a 19-mer, were characterized physicochemically and in biological test systems. The secondary structure of the peptides indicates essentially a ?-sheet including antiparallel strands, the latter being reduced when the peptides bind to LPS. A very strong exothermic binding due to attractive Coulomb interactions governs the LPS-peptide reaction, which additionally leads to a fluidization of the acyl chains of LPS. A comparison of the interaction of the peptide with negatively charged phosphatidylserine shows in contrast a rigidification of the acyl chains of the lipid. Finally, the biological assays reveal a diverging behaviour of the two peptides, with higher antibacterial activity of the 17-mer, but a much higher activity of the 19-mer in its ability to inhibit the LPS-induced cytokine production in human mononuclear cells.
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Molecular basis for endotoxin neutralization by amphipathic peptides derived from the alpha-helical cationic core-region of NK-lysin.
Biophys. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2010
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An analysis of the interaction of the NK-lysin derived peptide NK-2 and of analogs thereof with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS, endotoxin) was performed to determine the most important biophysical parameters for an effective LPS neutralization. We used microcalorimetry, FTIR spectroscopy, Zeta potential measurements, and small-angle X-ray scattering to analyze the peptide:LPS binding enthalpy, the accessible LPS surface charge, the fluidity of the LPS hydrocarbon chains, their phase transition enthalpy change, the aggregate structure of LPS, and how these parameters are modulated by the peptides. We conclude that (i) a high peptide:LPS binding affinity, which is facilitated by electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions and which leads to a positive Zeta potential, (ii) the formation of peptide-enriched domains, which destabilize the lipid packing, demonstrated by a drastic decrease of phase transition enthalpy change of LPS, and (iii) the multilamellarization of the LPS aggregate structure are crucial for an effective endotoxin neutralization by cationic peptides.
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Influence of serum on the immune recognition of a synthetic lipopeptide mimetic of the 19-kDa lipoprotein from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Innate Immun
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2009
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The innate immune response provides a critical first-line defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an intracellular pathogen that represents a major health threat world-wide. A synthetic lipopeptide (LP) mimicking the lipid moiety of the cell-wall associated 19-kDa lipoprotein from M. tuberculosis has recently been assigned an important role in the induction of an antibacterial immune response in host macrophages. Here, we present experimental data on the biological activities and the biophysical mechanisms underlying cell activation by synthetic 19-kDa M. tuberculosis-derived lipopeptide (Mtb-LP). Investigation of the geometry of the LP (i.e. the molecular conformation and supramolecular aggregate structure) and the preference for membrane intercalation provide an explanation for the biological activities of the mycobacterial LP. Cell activation by low concentrations of Mtb-LP was enhanced by the lipopolysaccharide-binding protein and CD14. However, surprisingly, we found that activation of human macrophages to induce pro- as well as antiinflammatory mediators (tumor necrosis factor(TNF)-alpha, Interleukin(IL)-6, IL-8, and IL-10) in response to the Mtb-LP is strongly reduced in the presence of serum. This observation could be confirmed for the immune response of murine macrophages which showed a strongly enhanced TNF-alpha release in the absence of serum, suggesting that the molecular mechanisms of immune recognition of the Mtb-LP are tailored to the ambient conditions of the lung.
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The expression of endotoxic activity in the Limulus test as compared to cytokine production in immune cells.
Curr. Med. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2009
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Lipopolysaccharides (LPS, endotoxins) belong to the strongest elicitors of the mammalian immune system due to the induction of a series of cytokines such as tumor-necrosis-factor-alpha (TNFalpha) in immunocompetent cells like mononuclear cells. Since the effects of LPS on human health may be pathologically at too high concentrations (e.g., septic shock syndrome), it is of uttermost importance to have a reliable assay for measuring the concentrations of endotoxins in vitro and in vivo (human body fluids). The activation of the clotting cascade from the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), the Limulus amoebocyte lysate test (LAL), has been the standard and most sensitive assay to detect bacterial endotoxins. However, there are restrictions with this test. It was found in some clinical trials that the results from the LAL test did not correlate with the presence of bacteremia due to Gram-negative organisms or with the mortality but correlated with the presence of fungal bloodstream infections. This resulted from the fact that the LAL assay does not only respond to bacterial endotoxins but is activated also by (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan. Furthermore, in extensive studies the structural requirements for activation of the LAL test were analyzed, and it was found that the LAL activity correlated with pyrogenicity but not with activation of the complement cascade. Furthermore, there was no correlation of the LAL activity with cytokine expression (for example tumor-necrosis-factor-alpha and interleulkins-1 and 6) in mononuclear cells when the 4/2 acyl chain pattern of enterobacterial lipid A was changed, or when the cytokine production induced by LPS from various different species in the whole blood assay was compared with the response from the LAL test. To clarify the questions raised by the different experimental findings, data from literature are summarized to get a more closer insight where the Limulus test confidentially monitors the endotoxicity of LPS and other compounds and where this is not the case, and which are the decisive epitopes for recognition of the LPS molecules. These data are very crucial for example in clinical tests, whether the LAL assay can reliably describe the effectivity of an antibacterial therapy.
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Structural requirements of the Pseudomonas quinolone signal for membrane vesicle stimulation.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2009
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Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces the quorum signal 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone (Pseudomonas quinolone signal), which is important for stimulating outer membrane vesicle (MV) formation. Here we describe the importance of the 3-hydroxyl and 2-alkyl chain for MV production and the length of the 2-alkyl chain for association with MVs.
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Mechanical properties of interacting lipopolysaccharide membranes from bacteria mutants studied by specular and off-specular neutron scattering.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2009
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Specular and off-specular neutron scattering are used to study the influence of molecular chemistry (mutation) on the intermembrane interactions and mechanical properties of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria consisting of lipopolysaccharides (LPSs). For this purpose, solid-supported multilayers of mutant LPS membranes are deposited on silicon wafers and hydrated either at defined humidity or in bulk buffers. The planar sample geometry allows to identify out-of-plane and in-plane scattering vector components. The measured two-dimensional reciprocal space maps are simulated with membrane displacement correlation functions determined by two mechanical parameters (vertical compression modulus and bending rigidity) and an effective cutoff radius for the membrane fluctuation wavelength. Experiments at controlled humidity enable one to examine the influence of the disjoining pressure on the saccharide-mediated intermembrane interactions, while experiments in bulk buffers (i.e., in the absence of an external osmotic stress) reveal the effect of divalent cations on LPS membranes, highlighting the role of divalent cations in the survival mechanism of bacteria in the presence of antimicrobial molecules.
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The membrane-activity of Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, and Naproxen: a physico-chemical study with lecithin phospholipids.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2009
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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) represent non-specific inhibitors of the cycloxygenase pathway of inflammation, and therefore an understanding of the interaction process of the drugs with membrane phospholipids is of high relevance. We have studied the interaction of the NSAIDs with phospholipid membranes made from dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) by applying Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Förster resonance energy transfer spectroscopy (FRET), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). FTIR data obtained via attenuated total reflectance (ATR) show that the interaction between DMPC and NSAIDs is limited to a strong interaction of the drugs with the phosphate region of the lipid head group. The FTIR transmission data furthermore are indicative of a strong effect of the drugs on the hydrocarbon chains inducing a reduction of the chain-chain interactions, i.e., a fluidization effect. Parallel to this, from the DSC data beside the decrease of T(m) a reduction of the peak height of the melting endotherm connected with its broadening is observed, but leaving the overall phase transition enthalpy constant. Additionally, phase separation is observed, inducing the formation of a NSAID-rich and a NSAID-poor phase. This is especially pronounced for Diclofenac. Despite the strong influence of the drugs on the acyl chain moiety, FRET data do not reveal any evidence for drug incorporation into the lipid matrix, and ITC measurements performed do not exhibit any heat production due to drug binding. This implies that the interaction process is governed by only entropic reactions at the lipid/water interface.
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Conformation and supramolecular structure of lipid A.
Adv. Exp. Med. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2009
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In recent years, lipid A as endotoxic principle of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and derivatives thereof have become increasingly important in the field of biomedical application such as for vaccination or as therapeutical, e.g., anti-tumor agent. For an understanding of these biological processes, however, a basic physicochemical characterization of lipid A and lipid A-like structures is a necessary prerequisite. This includes the determination of parameters like critical micellar concentration, the type of aggregate structure, the molecular conformation, the gel to liquid crystalline phase behaviour, and theoretical approaches like molecular modelling. In this chapter, data from literature are summarized showing that the unusual chemical structure of lipid A-type molecules is connected with a very complex structural polymorphism, which is sensitively dependent on the particular chemical primary structure, particular on the acylation pattern and on the number of phosphate groups at the diglucosamine backbone.
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Bacterial cell wall compounds as promising targets of antimicrobial agents II. Immunological and clinical aspects.
Curr Drug Targets
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The bacterial cell wall represents the primary target for antimicrobial agents. Microbial destruction is accompanied by the release of potent immunostimulatory membrane constituents. Both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria release a variety of lipoproteins and peptidoglycan fragments. Gram-positive bacteria additionally provide lipoteichoic acids, whereas Gram-negative bacteria also release lipopolysaccharide (LPS, endotoxin), essential component of the outer leaflet of the bacterial cell wall and one of the most potent immunostimulatory molecules known. Immune activation therefore can be considered as an adverse effect of antimicrobial destruction and killing during anti-infective treatment. In contrast to antibiotics, the use of cationic amphiphilic antimicrobial peptides allows both effective bacterial killing and inhibition of the immunostimulatory effect of the released bacterial membrane constituents. The administration of antimicrobial peptides alone or in combination with antibiotic agents thus represents a novel strategy in the antiinfective treatment with potentially important beneficial aspects. Here, data are presented which describe immunological and clinical aspects of the use of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as therapeutic agents to treat bacterial infection and neutralize the immunostimulatory activity of released cell wall constituents.
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Bacterial cell wall compounds as promising targets of antimicrobial agents I. Antimicrobial peptides and lipopolyamines.
Curr Drug Targets
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The first barrier that an antimicrobial agent must overcome when interacting with its target is the microbial cell wall. In the case of Gram-negative bacteria, additional to the cytoplasmic membrane and the peptidoglycan layer, an outer membrane (OM) is the outermost barrier. The OM has an asymmetric distribution of the lipids with phospholipids and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) located in the inner and outer leaflets, respectively. In contrast, Gram-positive bacteria lack OM and possess a much thicker peptidoglycan layer compared to their Gram-negative counterparts. An additional class of amphiphiles exists in Gram-positives, the lipoteichoic acids (LTA), which may represent important structural components. These long molecules cross-bridge the entire cell envelope with their lipid component inserting into the outer leaflet of the cytoplasmic membrane and the teichoic acid portion penetrating into the peptidoglycan layer. Furthermore, both classes of bacteria have other important amphiphiles, such as lipoproteins, whose importance has become evident only recently. It is not known yet whether any of these amphiphilic components are able to stimulate the immune system under physiological conditions as constituents of intact bacteria. However, all of them have a very high pro-inflammatory activity when released from the cell. Such a release may take place through the interaction with the immune system, or with antibiotics (particularly with those targeting cell wall components), or simply by the bacterial division. Therefore, a given antimicrobial agent must ideally have a double character, namely, it must overcome the bacterial cell wall barrier, without inducing the liberation of the pro-inflammatory amphiphiles. Here, new data are presented which describe the development and use of membrane-active antimicrobial agents, in particular antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and lipopolyamines. In this way, essential progress was achieved, in particular with respect to the inhibition of deleterious consequences of bacterial infections such as severe sepsis and septic shock.
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The lipopolysaccharide core of Brucella abortus acts as a shield against innate immunity recognition.
PLoS Pathog.
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Innate immunity recognizes bacterial molecules bearing pathogen-associated molecular patterns to launch inflammatory responses leading to the activation of adaptive immunity. However, the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of the gram-negative bacterium Brucella lacks a marked pathogen-associated molecular pattern, and it has been postulated that this delays the development of immunity, creating a gap that is critical for the bacterium to reach the intracellular replicative niche. We found that a B. abortus mutant in the wadC gene displayed a disrupted LPS core while keeping both the LPS O-polysaccharide and lipid A. In mice, the wadC mutant induced proinflammatory responses and was attenuated. In addition, it was sensitive to killing by non-immune serum and bactericidal peptides and did not multiply in dendritic cells being targeted to lysosomal compartments. In contrast to wild type B. abortus, the wadC mutant induced dendritic cell maturation and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. All these properties were reproduced by the wadC mutant purified LPS in a TLR4-dependent manner. Moreover, the core-mutated LPS displayed an increased binding to MD-2, the TLR4 co-receptor leading to subsequent increase in intracellular signaling. Here we show that Brucella escapes recognition in early stages of infection by expressing a shield against recognition by innate immunity in its LPS core and identify a novel virulence mechanism in intracellular pathogenic gram-negative bacteria. These results also encourage for an improvement in the generation of novel bacterial vaccines.
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A new class of synthetic peptide inhibitors blocks attachment and entry of human pathogenic viruses.
J. Infect. Dis.
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Many enveloped viruses, including herpes viruses, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are among the most important human pathogens and are often responsible for coinfections involving ?2 types of viruses. However, therapies that are effective against multiple virus classes are rare. Here we present a new class of synthetic anti-lipopolysaccharide peptides (SALPs) that bind to heparan sulfate moieties on the cell surface and inhibit infection with a variety of enveloped viruses. We demonstrate that SALPs inhibit entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2, HBV, and HCV to their respective host cells. Despite their high antiviral efficiency, SALPs were well tolerated, and neither toxicity nor measurable inhibitor-induced adverse effects were observed. Since these broad-spectrum antiviral peptides target a host cell rather than a viral component, they may also be useful for suppression of viruses that are resistant to antiviral drugs.
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MARCKS as a negative regulator of lipopolysaccharide signaling.
J. Immunol.
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Myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) is an intrinsically unfolded protein with a conserved cationic effector domain, which mediates the cross-talk between several signal transduction pathways. Transcription of MARCKS is increased by stimulation with bacterial LPS. We determined that MARCKS and MARCKS-related protein specifically bind to LPS and that the addition of the MARCKS effector peptide inhibited LPS-induced production of TNF-? in mononuclear cells. The LPS binding site within the effector domain of MARCKS was narrowed down to a heptapeptide that binds to LPS in an extended conformation as determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. After LPS stimulation, MARCKS moved from the plasma membrane to FYVE-positive endosomes, where it colocalized with LPS. MARCKS-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) responded to LPS with increased IL-6 production compared with the matched wild-type MEFs. Similarly, small interfering RNA knockdown of MARCKS also increased LPS signaling, whereas overexpression of MARCKS inhibited LPS signaling. TLR4 signaling was enhanced by the ablation of MARCKS, which had no effect on stimulation by TLR2, TLR3, and TLR5 agonists. These findings demonstrate that MARCKS contributes to the negative regulation of the cellular response to LPS.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.