A coupled in silico thermodynamic and probabilistic metabolic control analysis methodology was verified by applying it to the glycerol biosynthetic pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The methodology allows predictions even when detailed knowledge of the enzyme kinetics is lacking. In a metabolic steady state, we found that glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase operates far from thermodynamic equilibrium ([Formula: see text] -15.9 to -47.5 kJ mol(-1), where [Formula: see text] is the transformed Gibbs energy of the reaction). Glycerol-3-phosphatase operates in modes near the thermodynamic equilibrium, far from the thermodynamic equilibrium or in between ([Formula: see text] ? 0 to -23.7 kJ mol(-1)). From the calculated distribution of the scaled flux control coefficients (median = 0.81), we inferred that the pathway flux is primarily controlled by glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. This prediction is consistent with previous findings, verifying the efficacy of the proposed methodology.
Renal fibrosis is a major hallmark of chronic kidney disease that is considered to be a common end point of various types of renal disease. To date, the biological meaning of fibrosis during the progression of chronic kidney diseases is unknown and possibly depends on the cell type contributing to extracellular matrix production. During the past decade, the origin of myofibroblasts in the kidney has been intensively investigated. Determining the origins of renal myofibroblasts is important because these might account for the heterogeneous characteristics and behaviors of myofibroblasts. Current data strongly suggest that collagen-producing myofibroblasts in the kidney can be derived from various cellular sources. Resident renal fibroblasts and cells of hematopoietic origin migrating into the kidney seem to be the most important ancestors of myofibroblasts. It is likely that both cell types communicate with each other and also with other cell types in the kidney. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge on the origin of scar-producing myofibroblasts and cellular events triggering fibrosis.Kidney International advance online publication, 27 August 2014; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.287.
A coupled in silico thermodynamic and probabilistic metabolic control analysis methodology was verified by applying it to the glycerol biosynthetic pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The methodology allows predictions even when detailed knowledge of the enzyme kinetics is lacking. In a metabolic steady state, we found that glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase operates far from thermodynamic equilibrium ([Formula: see text] -15.9 to -47.5 kJ mol(-1), where [Formula: see text] is the transformed Gibbs energy of the reaction). Glycerol-3-phosphataseoperates in modes near the thermodynamic equilibrium, far from the thermodynamic equilibrium or in between ([Formula: see text] ? 0 to -23.7 kJ mol(-1)). From the calculated distribution of the scaled flux control coefficients (median = 0.81), we inferred that the pathway flux is primarily controlled by glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. This prediction is consistent with previous findings, verifying the efficacy of the proposed methodology.
Roseoflavin is a toxic riboflavin (vitamin B2) analog and naturally is produced by Streptomyces davawensis. Roseoflavin is converted to roseoflavin mononucleotide (RoFMN) by promiscuous flavokinases (EC 22.214.171.124). Flavin mononucleotide (FMN) riboswitches control the expression of genes involved in riboflavin biosynthesis and/or transport. RoFMN triggers FMN riboswitches and negatively (or positively) affects expression of the downstream genes. RoFMN binding to the aptamer portion of FMN riboswitch RNAs occurs in the course of transcription by cellular RNA polymerases. We developed an in vitro test system to functionally characterize the interaction between riboflavin/FMN analogs such as roseoflavin/RoFMN and FMN riboswitches in the context of an actively transcribing RNA polymerase.
Acute inflammation is traditionally characterized by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) influx followed by phagocytosing macrophage (M?s) that clear injurious stimuli leading to resolution and tissue homeostasis. However, using the peritoneal cavity, we found that although innate immune-mediated responses to low-dose zymosan or bacteria resolve within days, these stimuli, but not hyperinflammatory stimuli, trigger a previously overlooked second wave of leukocyte influx into tissues that persists for weeks. These cells comprise distinct populations of tissue-resident M?s (resM?s), Ly6c(hi) monocyte-derived M?s (moM?s), monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs), and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Postresolution mononuclear phagocytes were observed alongside lymph node expansion and increased numbers of blood and peritoneal memory T and B lymphocytes. The resM?s and moM?s triggered FoxP3 expression within CD4 cells, whereas moDCs drive T-cell proliferation. The resM?s preferentially clear apoptotic PMNs and migrate to lymph nodes to bring about their contraction in an inducible nitric oxide synthase-dependent manner. Finally, moM?s remain in tissues for months postresolution, alongside altered numbers of T cells collectively dictating the magnitude of subsequent acute inflammatory reactions. These data challenge the prevailing idea that resolution leads back to homeostasis and asserts that resolution acts as a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity, as well as tissue reprogramming.
In recent years, immune-based therapies have become an increasingly attractive treatment option for patients with cancer. Cancer immunotherapy is often used in combination with conventional chemotherapy for synergistic effects. The alkylating agent cyclophosphamide (CTX) has been included in various chemoimmunotherapy regimens because of its well-known immunostimulatory effects. Paradoxically, cyclophosphamide can also induce suppressor cells that inhibit immune responses. However, the identity and biologic relevance of these suppressor cells are poorly defined. Here we report that cyclophosphamide treatment drives the expansion of inflammatory monocytic myeloid cells (CD11b(+)Ly6C(hi)CCR2(hi)) that possess immunosuppressive activities. In mice with advanced lymphoma, adoptive transfer (AT) of tumor-specific CD4(+) T cells following cyclophosphamide treatment (CTX+CD4 AT) provoked a robust initial antitumor immune response, but also resulted in enhanced expansion of monocytic myeloid cells. These therapy-induced monocytes inhibited long-term tumor control and allowed subsequent relapse by mediating functional tolerization of antitumor CD4(+) effector cells through the PD-1-PD-L1 axis. PD-1/PD-L1 blockade after CTX+CD4 AT therapy led to persistence of CD4(+) effector cells and durable antitumor effects. Depleting proliferative monocytes by administering low-dose gemcitabine effectively prevented tumor recurrence after CTX+CD4 AT therapy. Similarly, targeting inflammatory monocytes by disrupting the CCR2 signaling pathway markedly potentiated the efficacy of cyclophosphamide-based therapy. Besides cyclophosphamide, we found that melphalan and doxorubicin can also induce monocytic myeloid suppressor cells. These findings reveal a counter-regulation mechanism elicited by certain chemotherapeutic agents and highlight the importance of overcoming this barrier to prevent late tumor relapse after chemoimmunotherapy.
Riboflavin analogs have a good potential to serve as basic structures for the development of novel anti-infectives. Riboflavin analogs have multiple cellular targets, since riboflavin (as a precursor to flavin cofactors) is active at more than one site in the cell. As a result, the frequency of developing resistance to antimicrobials based on riboflavin analogs is expected to be significantly lower. The only known natural riboflavin analog with antibiotic function is roseoflavin from the bacterium Streptomyces davawensis. This antibiotic negatively affects flavoenzymes and FMN riboswitches. Another roseoflavin producer, Streptomyces cinnabarinus, was recently identified. Possibly, flavin analogs with antibiotic activity are more widespread than anticipated. The same could be true for flavin analogs yet to be discovered, which could constitute tools for cellular chemistry, thus allowing a further extension of the catalytic spectrum of flavoenzymes.
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating type of stroke that lacks a specific treatment. An intense immune response develops after ICH, which contributes to neuronal injury, disability, and death. However, the specific mediators of inflammation-induced injury remain unclear. The objective of the present study was to determine whether blood-derived CCR2+ Ly6C(hi) inflammatory monocytes contribute to disability. ICH was induced in mice and the resulting inflammatory response was quantified using flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and neurobehavioral testing. Importantly, blood-derived monocytes were distinguished from resident microglia by differential CD45 staining and by using bone marrow chimeras with fluorescent leukocytes. After ICH, blood-derived CCR2+ Ly6C(hi) inflammatory monocytes trafficked into the brain, outnumbered other leukocytes, and produced tumor necrosis factor. Ccr2(-/-) mice, which have few circulating inflammatory monocytes, exhibited better motor function following ICH than control mice. Chimeric mice with wild-type CNS cells and Ccr2(-/-) hematopoietic cells also exhibited early improvement in motor function, as did wild-type mice after inflammatory monocyte depletion. These findings suggest that blood-derived inflammatory monocytes contribute to acute neurological disability. To determine the translational relevance of our experimental findings, we examined CCL2, the principle ligand for the CCR2 receptor, in ICH patients. Serum samples from 85 patients were collected prospectively at two hospitals. In patients, higher CCL2 levels at 24 h were independently associated with poor functional outcome at day 7 after adjusting for potential confounding variables. Together, these findings suggest that inflammatory monocytes worsen early disability after murine ICH and may represent a therapeutic target for patients.
Glycosaminoglycans have anti-inflammatory properties and interact with a variety of soluble and membrane-bound molecules. Little is known about their effects on B cells and humoral immune responses. We show that CS but not dextran or other glycosaminoglycans induces a pronounced proliferation of B cells in vitro compared with TLR4 or TLR9 ligands. With the use of inhibitors and KO mice, we demonstrate that this proliferation is mediated by the tyrosine kinases BTK and Syk but independent of CD44. Antibodies against Ig-? or Ig-? completely block CS-induced B cell proliferation. Injection of CS in mice for 4-5 days expands B cells in the spleen and results in a marked increase of CD138(+) cells in the spleen that is dependent on BTK but independent of CD4(+) T cells. Long-term treatment with CS for 14 days also increases CD138(+) cells in the bone marrow. When mice were immunized with APC or collagen and treated with CS for up to 14 days during primary or after secondary immune responses, antigen-specific humoral immune responses and antigen-specific CD138(+) plasma cells in the bone marrow were reduced significantly. These data show that CD138(+) cells, induced by treatment with CS, migrate into the bone marrow and may displace other antigen-specific plasma cells. Overall, CS is able to interfere markedly with primary and fully established humoral immune responses in mice.
Protein-based vaccination using pneumococcal proteins is a promising approach for efficient vaccines against Streptococcus pneumoniae. Basophils play an important role in enhancing memory immune responses to intact proteins. We examined the impact of increased basophil pool sizes on humoral memory responses to pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA).
Insights into mechanisms governing resolution of inflammatory pain are of great importance for many chronic pain-associated diseases. Here we investigate the role of macrophages/monocytes and the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) in the resolution of transient inflammatory pain. Depletion of mice from peripheral monocytes/macrophages delayed resolution of intraplantar IL-1?- and carrageenan-induced inflammatory hyperalgesia from 1 to 3 days to >1 week. Intrathecal administration of a neutralizing IL-10 antibody also markedly delayed resolution of IL-1?- and carrageenan-induced inflammatory hyperalgesia. Recently, we showed that IL-1?- and carrageenan-induced hyperalgesia is significantly prolonged in LysM-GRK2(+/-) mice, which have reduced levels of G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) in LysM(+) myeloid cells. Here we show that adoptive transfer of wild-type, but not of GRK2(+/-), bone marrow-derived monocytes normalizes the resolution of IL-1?-induced hyperalgesia in LysM-GRK2(+/-) mice. Adoptive transfer of IL-10(-/-) bone marrow-derived monocytes failed to normalize the duration of IL-1?-induced hyperalgesia in LysM-GRK2(+/-) mice. Mechanistically, we show that GRK2(+/-) macrophages produce less IL-10 in vitro. In addition, intrathecal IL-10 administration attenuated IL-1?-induced hyperalgesia in LysM-GRK2(+/-) mice, whereas it had no effect in wild-type mice. Our data uncover a key role for monocytes/macrophages in promoting resolution of inflammatory hyperalgesia via a mechanism dependent on IL-10 signaling in dorsal root ganglia.
Adult neovascularization relies on the recruitment of monocytes to the target organ or tumor and functioning therein as a paracrine accessory. The exact origins of the recruited monocytes and the mechanisms underlying their plasticity remain unclear. Using a VEGF-based transgenic system in which genetically tagged monocytes are conditionally summoned to the liver as part of a VEGF-initiated angiogenic program, we show that these recruited cells are derived from the abundant pool of circulating Ly6C(hi) monocytes. Remarkably, however, upon arrival at the VEGF-induced organ, but not the naive organ, monocytes undergo multiple phenotypic and functional changes, endowing them with enhanced proangiogenic capabilities and, importantly, with a markedly increased capacity to remodel existing small vessels into larger conduits. Notably, monocytes do not differentiate into long-lived macrophages, but rather appear as transient accessory cells. Results from transfers of presorted subpopulations and a novel tandem transfer strategy ruled out selective recruitment of a dedicated preexisting subpopulation or onsite selection, thereby reinforcing active reprogramming as the underlying mechanism for improved performance. Collectively, this study uncovered a novel function of VEGF, namely, on-site education of recruited "standard" monocytes to become angiogenic and arteriogenic professional cells, a finding that may also lend itself for a better design of angiogenic therapies.
Antimetabolites are molecules, which are structurally similar to molecules needed to carry out primary metabolic reactions.The inhibitory activity of an antimetabolite depends on its successful competition with the natural substrate, ligand, modulator or cofactor of a given biomolecule. Antimetabolites are indispensable as molecular tools in order to understand biological processes. Beyond that,antimetabolites have a large variety of applications in the pharmaceutical and food industries. The identification of the structural riboflavin(vitamin B2) analog roseoflavin in Streptomyces davawensis demonstrates that anti-vitamins/cofactor analogs may serve as lead structures for the development of novel antibiotics. The latter is supported by the recent finding that roseoflavin had a profound inhibiting effect on the growth and infectivity of the human bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes at very low concentrations. Roseoflavin is studied in our laboratory as a model compound. We investigate the biosynthesis, the possible large-scale production, the metabolization,the mechanism of action and the resistance mechanism of the producer organism in order to pave the way for the structured analysis of other vitamin analogs yet to be discovered. These compounds hopefully will help to replenish the arsenal of antimicrobials urgently needed to fight multiresistant bacterial pathogens.
The riboflavin analog roseoflavin is an antibiotic produced by Streptomyces davawensis. Riboflavin transporters are responsible for roseoflavin uptake by target cells. Roseoflavin is converted to the flavin mononucleotide (FMN) analog roseoflavin mononucleotide (RoFMN) by flavokinase and to the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) analog roseoflavin adenine dinucleotide (RoFAD) by FAD synthetase. In order to study the effect of RoFMN and RoFAD in the cytoplasm of target cells, Escherichia coli was used as a model. E. coli is predicted to contain 38 different FMN- or FAD-dependent proteins (flavoproteins). These proteins were overproduced in recombinant E. coli strains grown in the presence of sublethal amounts of roseoflavin. The flavoproteins were purified and analyzed with regard to their cofactor contents. It was found that 37 out of 38 flavoproteins contained either RoFMN or RoFAD. These cofactors have different physicochemical properties than FMN and FAD and were reported to reduce or completely abolish flavoprotein function.
The Gram-positive bacterium Streptomyces davawensis is the only organism known to produce the antibiotic roseoflavin. Roseoflavin is a structural riboflavin analogue and is converted to the flavin mononucleotide (FMN) analogue roseoflavin mononucleotide (RoFMN) by flavokinase. FMN-dependent homodimeric azobenzene reductase (AzoR) (EC 126.96.36.199) from Escherichia coli was analyzed as a model enzyme. In vivo and in vitro experiments revealed that RoFMN binds to the AzoR apoenzyme with an even higher affinity compared to that of the "natural" cofactor FMN. Structural analysis (at a resolution of 1.07 Å) revealed that RoFMN binding did not affect the overall topology of the enzyme and also did not interfere with dimerization of AzoR. The AzoR-RoFMN holoenzyme complex was found to be less active (30% of AzoR-FMN activity) in a standard assay. We provide evidence that the different physicochemical properties of RoFMN are responsible for its reduced cofactor activity.
A novel Pichia pastoris expression vector (pEZT7) for the production of recombinant proteins employing prokaryotic bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase (T7 RNAP) (EC 188.8.131.52) and the corresponding promoter pT7 was constructed. The gene for T7 RNAP was stably introduced into the P. pastoris chromosome 2 under control of the (endogenous) constitutive P. pastoris glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAP) promoter (pGAP). The gene product T7 RNAP was engineered to contain a nuclear localization signal, which directed recombinant T7 RNAP to the P. pastoris nucleus. To promote translation of uncapped T7 RNAP derived transcripts, the internal ribosomal entry site from hepatitis C virus (HCV-IRES) was inserted directly upstream of the multiple cloning site of pEZT7. A P. pastoris autonomous replicating sequence (PARS1) was integrated into pEZT7 enabling propagation and recovery of plasmids from P. pastoris. Rapid amplification of 5 complementary DNA ends (5 RACE) experiments employing the test plasmid pEZT7-EGFP revealed that transcripts indeed initiated at pT7. HCV-IRES mediated translation of the latter mRNAs, however, was not observed. Surprisingly, HCV-IRES and the reverse complement of PARS1 (PARS1rc) were both found to display significant promoter activity as shown by 5 RACE.
Escherichia coli is the leading cause of Gram-negative neonatal bacterial meningitis and also causes meningitis and meningoencephalitis in older and immunocompromised patients. Here, we determined the contribution of granulocytes, monocytes, and TLR signaling cascades in the resistance of adult mice to Escherichia coli K1 brain infection. Deficiency in MyD88 (myd88(-/-)) but not in TRIF (trif(lps2)) adaptor proteins dramatically reduced the survival of animals. Depletion of CD11b(+) Ly-6G(+) Ly-6C(int) neutrophils by application of the anti-Ly-6G (1A8) monoclonal antibody (MAb) led to higher bacterial loads in cerebellum and spleen tissue and resulted in increased mortality compared to those of isotype-treated controls. Depletion of CD11b(+) Ly-6G(+) Ly-6C(int) neutrophils and CD11b(+) Ly-6G(-) Ly-6C(high) monocytes by administration of the anti-Gr-1 (RB6-8C5) MAb rendered mice even more susceptible to the infection, with higher central nervous system (CNS) and spleen bacterial burdens than anti-Ly-6G-treated animals. Depletion of ?50% of CD11b(+) Ly-6G(-) Ly-6C(high) monocytes by injection of the anti-CCR2 (MC-21) MAb resulted in a trend toward higher mortality compared to that with isotype treatment. Production of interleukin 1? (IL-1?), IL-6, KC, and MIP-2 in the CNS strongly depended on the bacterial load: increased levels of these cytokines/chemokines were found after depletion of CD11b(+) Ly-6G(+) Ly-6C(int) neutrophils alone or together with CD11b(+) Ly-6G(-) Ly-6C(high) monocytes. These findings identify Toll-like receptor (TLR)-MyD88 signaling and neutrophil and monocyte activity as critical elements in the early host defense against E. coli meningitis.
Functional macrophage heterogeneity is well appreciated outside the CNS in wound healing and cancer, and was recently also demonstrated in several CNS compartments after "sterile" insults. Yet, such heterogeneity was largely overlooked in the context of inflammatory autoimmune pathology, in which macrophages were mainly associated with disease induction and propagation. In this article, we show the diversity of monocyte-derived macrophages along the course of experimental autoimmune uveitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the ocular system, serving as a model for CNS autoimmune pathology. Disease induction resulted in the appearance of a distinct myeloid population in the retina, and in the infiltration of monocyte-derived macrophages that were absent from control eyes. During the disease course, the frequency of CX3CR1(high) infiltrating macrophages that express markers associated with inflammation-resolving activity was increased, along with a decrease in the frequency of inflammation-associated Ly6C(+) macrophages. Inhibition of monocyte infiltration at the induction phase of experimental autoimmune uveitis prevented disease onset, whereas monocyte depletion at the resolution phase resulted in a decrease in Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells and in exacerbated disease. Thus, monocyte-derived macrophages display distinct phenotypes throughout the disease course, even in an immune-induced pathology, reflecting their differential roles in disease induction and resolution.
Collagen-producing bone marrow-derived cells (fibrocytes) have been detected in animal models and patients with fibrotic diseases. In vitro data suggest that they develop from monocytes with the help of accessory cells and profibrotic soluble factors. Using a mouse model of renal fibrosis, unilateral ureteral obstruction, we found the number of circulating fibrocytes was not reduced when monocytes were depleted with a monoclonal antibody against CCR2 or when CCR2-/- mice with very low numbers of circulating or splenic monocytes were analyzed. The absence of CCR2, however, interfered with migration of fibrocytes into the kidney. The phenotype of splenic and renal fibrocytes was very similar and distinct from classical monocytes as fibrocytes expressed no CD115, medium levels of CCR2, and high levels of CD11b and Ly-6G. Using a depleting monoclonal antibody against Ly-6G or bone marrow chimeric mice expressing the diphtheria toxin receptor under the control of CD11b, we could efficiently deplete fibrocytes from the kidney. Depletion of fibrocytes or reduced migration of fibrocytes into the kidney resulted in lower renal expression of collagen-I. Thus, fibrocytes develop outside the kidney independent of infiltrating monocytes and rely on CCR2 for migration into target organs.
The protozoan parasite Leishmania major causes cutaneous lesions to develop at the site of infection, which are resolved with a strong Th1 immune response in resistant hosts, such as C57BL/6 mice. In contrast, the lesions ulcerate in susceptible hosts which display a Th2 response, such as BALB/c mice. The migration of cells in the immune response to L. major is regulated by chemokines and their receptors. The chemokine receptor CCR7 is expressed on activated DCs and naïve T cells, allowing them to migrate to the correct micro-anatomical positions within secondary lymphoid organs. While there have been many studies on the function of CCR7 during homeostasis or using model antigens, there are very few studies on the role of CCR7 during infection. In this study, we show that B6.CCR7(-/-) mice were unable to resolve the lesion and developed a chronic disease. The composition of the local infiltrate at the lesion was significantly skewed toward neutrophils while the proportion of CCR2(+) monocytes was reduced. Furthermore, a greater percentage of CCR2(+) monocytes expressed CCR7 in the footpad than in the lymph node or spleen of B6.WT mice. We also found an increased percentage of regulatory T cells in the draining lymph node of B6.CCR7(-/-) mice throughout infection. Additionally, the cytokine milieu of the lymph node showed a Th2 bias, rather than the resistant Th1 phenotype. This data shows that CCR7 is required for a protective immune response to intracellular L. major infection.
Whilst data recognise both myeloid cell accumulation during choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) as well as complement activation, none of the data has presented a clear explanation for the angiogenic drive that promotes pathological angiogenesis. One possibility that is a pre-eminent drive is a specific and early conditioning and activation of the myeloid cell infiltrate. Using a laser-induced CNV murine model, we have identified that disruption of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Bruchs membrane resulted in an early recruitment of macrophages derived from monocytes and microglia, prior to angiogenesis and contemporaneous with lesional complement activation. Early recruited CD11b(+) cells expressed a definitive gene signature of selective inflammatory mediators particularly a pronounced Arg-1 expression. Accumulating macrophages from retina and peripheral blood were activated at the site of injury, displaying enhanced VEGF expression, and notably prior to exaggerated VEGF expression from RPE, or earliest stages of angiogenesis. All of these initial events, including distinct VEGF (+) Arg-1(+) myeloid cells, subsided when CNV was established and at the time RPE-VEGF expression was maximal. Depletion of inflammatory CCR2-positive monocytes confirmed origin of infiltrating monocyte Arg-1 expression, as following depletion Arg-1 signal was lost and CNV suppressed. Furthermore, our in vitro data supported a myeloid cell uptake of damaged RPE or its derivatives as a mechanism generating VEGF (+) Arg-1(+) phenotype in vivo. Our results reveal a potential early driver initiating angiogenesis via myeloid-derived VEGF drive following uptake of damaged RPE and deliver an explanation of why CNV develops during any of the stages of macular degeneration and can be explored further for therapeutic gain.
Streptomyces davawensis synthesizes the antibiotic roseoflavin (RoF) (8-dimethylamino-8-demethyl-D-riboflavin). It was postulated that RoF is synthesized from riboflavin via 8-amino- (AF) and 8-methylamino-8-demethyl-D-riboflavin (MAF). In a cell-free extract of S. davawensis, an S-adenosyl methionine-dependent conversion of AF into MAF and RoF was observed. The corresponding N,N-8-amino-8-demethyl-d-riboflavin dimethyltransferase activity was enriched by column chromatography. The final most active fraction still contained at least five different proteins that were analyzed by enzymatic digestion and concomitant de novo sequencing by MS/MS. One of the sequences matched a hypothetical peptide fragment derived from an as yet uncharacterized open reading frame (sda77220) located in the middle of a (putative) gene cluster within the S. davawensis genome. Expression of ORF sda77220 in Escherichia coli revealed that the corresponding gene product had N,N-8-amino-8-demethyl-d-riboflavin dimethyltransferase activity. Inactivation of ORF sda77220 led to a S. davawensis strain that synthesized AF but not MAF or RoF. Accordingly, as the first identified gene of RoF biosynthesis, ORF sda77220 was named rosA. RosA (347 amino acids; 38 kDa) was purified from a recombinant E. coli strain (as a His(6)-tagged protein) and was biochemically characterized (apparent K(m) for AF = 57.7 ± 9.2 ?m; apparent K(D) for AF = 10.0 ?m; k(cat) = 0.37 ± 0.02 s(-1)). RosA is a unique enzyme and may be useful for a variety of applications.
Patients with chronic heart failure are often characterized by impaired renal function, also referred to as cardiorenal syndrome (CRS). The aim of this study was to assess whether novel markers of kidney injury are elevated in chronic heart failure and CRS.
The bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which is not a natural riboflavin overproducer, has been converted into an excellent production strain by classical mutagenesis and metabolic engineering. To our knowledge, the enhancement of riboflavin excretion from the cytoplasm of overproducing cells has not yet been considered as a target for (further) strain improvement. Here we evaluate the flavin transporter RibM from Streptomyces davawensis with respect to improvement of a riboflavin production strain.
The non-pathogenic Gram-positive soil bacterium Streptomyces davawensis synthesizes the riboflavin (vitamin B(2)) analogs roseoflavin (RoF) and 8-demethyl-8-amino-riboflavin (AF). Both compounds are antibiotics. Notably, a number of other riboflavin analogs are currently under investigation with regard to the development of novel antiinfectives. As a first step towards understanding the metabolism of riboflavin analogs in humans, the key enzymes flavokinase (EC 184.108.40.206) and FAD synthetase (EC 220.127.116.11) were studied. Human flavokinase efficiently converted RoF and AF to roseoflavin mononucleotide (RoFMN) and 8-demethyl-8-amino-riboflavin mononucleotide (AFMN), respectively. Human FAD synthetase accepted RoFMN but not AFMN as a substrate. Consequently, roseoflavin adenine dinucleotide (RoFAD) was synthesized by the latter enzyme but not 8-demethyl-8-amino-riboflavin adenine dinucleotide (AFAD). The cofactor analogs RoFMN, AFMN and RoFAD have different physicochemical properties as compared to FMN and FAD. Thus, the cofactor analogs have the potential to render flavoenzymes inactive, which may negatively affect human metabolism. RoF, but not AF, was found to inhibit human flavokinase. In summary, we suggest that AF has a lower toxic potential and may be better suited as a lead structure to develop antimicrobial compounds.
The potential roles of TLRs in the cause and pathogenesis of autoimmune CNS inflammation remain contentious. In this study, we examined the effects of targeted deletions of TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR6, TLR9, and MyD88 on the induction of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 (MOG(35-55)) peptide/CFA/pertussis toxin-induced autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Although C57BL/6.Tlr1(-/-), C57BL/6.Tlr4(-/-) and C57BL/6.Tlr6(-/-) mice showed normal susceptibility to disease, signs were alleviated in female C57BL/6.Tlr2(-/-) and C57BL/6.Tlr9(-/-) mice and C57BL/6.Tlr2/9(-/-) mice of both sexes. C57BL/6.Myd88(-/-) mice were completely protected. Lower clinical scores were associated with reduced leukocyte infiltrates. These results were confirmed by passive adoptive transfer of disease into female C57BL/6.Tlr2(-/-) and C57BL/6.Tlr9(-/-) mice, where protection in the absence of TLR2 was associated with fewer infiltrating CD4(+) cells in the CNS, reduced prevalence of detectable circulating IL-6, and increased proportions of central (CD62L(+)) CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. These results provide a potential molecular mechanism for the observed effects of TLR signaling on the severity of autoimmune CNS inflammation.
The balance between immune activation and suppression must be regulated to maintain immune homeostasis. Tissue macrophages (M?s) constitute the major cellular subsets of APCs within the body; however, how and what types of resident M?s are involved in the regulation of immune homeostasis in the peripheral lymphoid tissues are poorly understood. Splenic red pulp M? (RPMs) remove self-Ags, such as blood-borne particulates and aged erythrocytes, from the blood. Although many scattered T cells exist in the red pulp of the spleen, little attention has been given to how RPMs prevent harmful T cell immune responses against self-Ags. In this study, we found that murine splenic F4/80(hi)Mac-1(low) M?s residing in the red pulp showed different expression patterns of surface markers compared with F4/80(+)Mac-1(hi) monocytes/M?s. Studies with purified cell populations demonstrated that F4/80(hi)Mac-1(low) M?s regulated CD4(+) T cell responses by producing soluble suppressive factors, including TGF-? and IL-10. Moreover, F4/80(hi)Mac-1(low) M?s induced the differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cells into functional Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. Additionally, we found that the differentiation of F4/80(hi)Mac-1(low) M?s was critically regulated by CSF-1, and in vitro-generated bone marrow-derived M?s induced by CSF-1 suppressed CD4(+) T cell responses and induced the generation of Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells in vivo. These results suggested that splenic CSF-1-dependent F4/80(hi)Mac-1(low) M?s are a subpopulation of RPMs and regulate peripheral immune homeostasis.
The death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is a hallmark of many retinal neuropathies. Neuroprotection, axonal regeneration, and cell renewal are vital for the integrity of the visual system after insult but are scarce in the adult mammalian retina. We hypothesized that monocyte-derived macrophages, known to promote healing in peripheral tissues, are required after an insult to the visual system, where their role has been largely overlooked. We found that after glutamate eye intoxication, monocyte-derived macrophages infiltrated the damaged retina of mice. Inhibition of this infiltration resulted in reduced survival of RGCs and diminished numbers of proliferating retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) in the ciliary body. Enhancement of the circulating monocyte pool led to increased RGC survival and RPC renewal. The infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages skewed the milieu of the injured retina toward an antiinflammatory and neuroprotective one and down-regulated accumulation of other immune cells, thereby resolving local inflammation. The beneficial effect on RGC survival depended on expression of interleukin 10 and major histocompatibility complex class II molecules by monocyte-derived macrophages. Thus, we attribute to infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages a novel role in neuroprotection and progenitor cell renewal in the injured retina, with far-reaching potential implications to retinal neuropathies and other neurodegenerative disorders.
We have previously shown that basophils support humoral memory immune responses by increasing B cell proliferation and Ig production as well as inducing a Th2 and B helper phenotype in T cells. Based on the high frequency of basophils in spleen and bone marrow, in this study we investigated whether basophils also support plasma cell survival and Ig production. In the absence of basophils, plasma cells of naive or immunized mice rapidly undergo apoptosis in vitro and produce only low amounts of Igs. In contrast, in the presence of basophils and even more in the presence of activated basophils, the survival of plasma cells is markedly increased and continuous production of Igs enabled. This effect is partially dependent on IL-4 and IL-6 released from basophils. Similar results were obtained when total bone marrow cells or bone marrow cells depleted of basophils were cultured in the presence or absence of substances activating basophils. When basophils were depleted in vivo 6 mo after immunization with an Ag, specific Ig production in subsequent bone marrow cultures was significantly reduced. In addition, depletion of basophils for 18 d in naive mice significantly reduced the number of plasma cells in the spleen. These data indicate that basophils are important for survival of plasma cells in vitro and in vivo.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) form a major component of the tumor stroma. However, important concepts such as TAM heterogeneity and the nature of the monocytic TAM precursors remain speculative. Here, we show for the first time that mouse mammary tumors contained functionally distinct subsets of TAMs and provide markers for their identification. Furthermore, in search of the TAM progenitors, we show that the tumor-monocyte pool almost exclusively consisted of Ly6C(hi)CX(3)CR1(low) monocytes, which continuously seeded tumors and renewed all nonproliferating TAM subsets. Interestingly, gene and protein profiling indicated that distinct TAM populations differed at the molecular level and could be classified based on the classic (M1) versus alternative (M2) macrophage activation paradigm. Importantly, the more M2-like TAMs were enriched in hypoxic tumor areas, had a superior proangiogenic activity in vivo, and increased in numbers as tumors progressed. Finally, it was shown that the TAM subsets were poor antigen presenters, but could suppress T-cell activation, albeit by using different suppressive mechanisms. Together, our data help to unravel the complexities of the tumor-infiltrating myeloid cell compartment and provide a rationale for targeting specialized TAM subsets, thereby optimally "re-educating" the TAM compartment.
Intervention on chemokine receptors to prevent directional leukocyte migration is a potential therapeutic strategy. NNY-CCL14 is a CD26-resistant lead molecule, which exerts its effects on multiple chemokine receptors (CCR1, CCR2, CCR3, and CCR5). The inhibitory effects of NNY-CCL14 in murine models of allergic airway inflammation have been assigned to its interaction with CCR1 and CCR5. In this study, a non-GAG-binding variant of NNY-CCL14 was generated by mutating basic amino acids within the identified GAG-binding 49BBXB52 motif. This CD26-resistant, non-GAG binding variant, NNY-CCL14(G,A), does not promote CCR1-dependent cell arrest on modeled endothelium. Its biological activity tested on human and murine chemokine receptors revealed distinguishing properties to NNY-CCL14. As suggested by EC50 values for intracellular calcium mobilization, NNY-CCL14(G,A) demonstrated a reduced ability to activate hCCR1, but internalization and desensitization of hCCR1 were unperturbed. Surprisingly, its activity on hCCR3 was strongly reduced, and it did not internalize mCCR3. A significantly reduced chemotactic activity of eosinophils and monocytes was observed. All biological effects mediated by NNY-CCL14(G,A) via hCCR5 and mCCR5 showed no difference to NNY-CCL14. In mice treated i.v. with NNY-CCL14(G,A), a sustained in vivo down-modulation of CCR5 was achieved over 3 h. Therefore, NNY-CCL14(G,A) inactivates leukocytes by desensitizing and internalizing multiple chemokine receptors, thus rendering them unresponsive to further stimulation by natural ligands. When administered systemically, NNY-CCL14(G,A) may modulate leukocyte functions prior to their interaction with other endothelium-bound chemokines expressed under pathophysiological conditions, such as allergic inflammation.
Sustained neutrophilic infiltration is known to contribute to organ damage, such as acute lung injury. CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2) is the major receptor regulating inflammatory neutrophil recruitment in acute and chronic inflamed tissues. Whether or not the abundant neutrophil recruitment observed in severe pneumonia is essential for protective immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae infections is incompletely defined. Here we show that CXCR2 deficiency severely perturbs the recruitment of both neutrophils and exudate macrophages associated with a massive bacterial outgrowth in distal airspaces after infection with S. pneumoniae, resulting in 100% mortality in knockout (KO) mice within 3 days. Moreover, irradiated wild-type mice reconstituted with increasing amounts of CXCR2 KO bone marrow (10, 25, 50, and 75% KO) have correspondingly decreased numbers of both neutrophils and exudate macrophages, which is associated with a stepwise increase in bacterial burden and a reciprocal stepwise decrease in survival in S. pneumoniae-induced pulmonary infection. Finally, application of the CXCR2 antagonist SB-225002 resulted in decreased alveolar neutrophil and exudate macrophage recruitment in mice along with increased lung bacterial loads after infection with S. pneumoniae. Together, these data show that CXC chemokine receptor 2 serves a previously unrecognized nonredundant role in the regulation of both neutrophil and exudate macrophage recruitment to the lung in response to S. pneumoniae infection. In addition, we demonstrate that a threshold level of 10 to 25% of reduced neutrophil recruitment is sufficient to cause increased mortality in mice infected with S. pneumoniae.
A considerable fraction of tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) is located in the fibroblast-rich stromal compartment of desmoplastic breast carcinoma. We analyzed the migratory activity of blood monocytes (MO), the precursor cells of TAM, into 3-D cultures of carcinoma cells and fibroblasts from breast tumor origin. MO migration into breast tumor spheroids was highly variable: Hs578T spheroids showed high MO infiltration rates, T47D cultures were intermediate, whereas BT549, BT474 and MCF-7 spheroids were poorly infiltrated. MO infiltration was also high in tumor-derived fibroblast spheroids; however, no MO subpopulation with specific infiltrative potential was identified by CD14/CD16 expression profile. The infiltration of MO could be inhibited by pre-exposure to pertussis and cholera toxins, but only pertussis toxin, which blocks G(i) protein function, entirely inhibited MO migration. The G(i) coupled CCL2 receptor CCR2A/2B was expressed on roughly all MO. Furthermore, highly infiltrated tumor-derived fibroblast and Hs578T spheroids secreted considerable amounts of CCL2. In line with this, the infiltration of MO into fibroblast spheroids was suppressed by either addition of recombinant CCL2 to disturb the CCL2 gradient or by pre-incubation of MO with a CCR2A/2B blocking antibody. MO infiltration of Hs578T spheroids, however, could not be inhibited by CCL2 receptor blockade. Our study clearly shows that the CCL2-CCR2A/2B pathway is crucial for the recruitment of blood MO into tumor fibroblastic areas, whereas additional factors may be relevant for the migration of MO into tumor cell sites.
Fibrocytes are collagen-type-I-producing cells that arise at low frequency from hematopoietic cells. We have analyzed in mice which leukocyte subsets are required for generation of fibrocytes and show that murine fibrocytes develop from the subpopulation of CD11b(+) CD115(+) Gr1(+) monocytes under the control of CD4(+) T cells. In the absence of CD4(+) T cells, differentiation of fibrocytes was markedly reduced in vitro and in vivo. In the presence of CD4(+) T cells, the characteristics of T-cell activation critically determined development of fibrocytes. Polyclonal activation of CD4(+) T cells induced the release of soluble factors that completely prevented the outgrowth of fibrocytes and could be identified as IL-2, TNF, IFN-gamma, and IL-4. Application of IL-2 and TNF significantly reduced the appearance of fibrocytes and the severity of fibrosis in the model of unilateral ureteral obstruction. In contrast, activation of CD4(+) T cells in the presence of calcineurin inhibitors, but not mTOR inhibitors, markedly enhanced the outgrowth of fibrocytes and renal deposition of collagen I. Taken together, we show that differentiation of fibrocytes is critically dependent on CD4(+) T cells and that the context of T-cell activation determines whether development of fibrocytes is supported or blocked. Our data may have implications for prevention of organ fibrosis in autoimmune diseases and transplantation.
Infection of mice with the gastrointestinal nematode Trichuris muris represents a valuable tool to investigate and dissect intestinal immune responses. Resistant mouse strains respond to T. muris infection by mounting a T helper type 2 response. Previous results have shown that CD4(+) T cells play a critical role in protective immunity, and that CD4(+) T cells localize to the infected large intestinal mucosa to confer protection. Further, transfer of CD4(+) T cells from immune mice to immunodeficient SCID mice can prevent the development of a chronic infection. In the current study, we characterize the protective CD4(+) T cells, describe their chemokine receptor expression and explore the functional significance of these receptors in recruitment to the large intestinal mucosa post-T. muris infection. We show that the ability to mediate expulsion resides within a subpopulation of CD4(+) T cells marked by down-regulation of CD62L. These cells can be isolated from intestine-draining mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) from day 14 post-infection, but are rare or absent in MLN before this and in spleen at all times post-infection. Among CD4(+) CD62L(low) MLN cells, the two most abundantly expressed chemokine receptors were CCR6 and CXCR3. We demonstrate for the first time that CD4(+) CD62L(low) T-cell migration to the large intestinal mucosa is dependent on the family of G alpha(i)-coupled receptors, to which chemokine receptors belong. CCR6 and CXCR3 were however dispensable for this process because neutralization of CCR6 and CXCR3 did not prevent CD4(+) CD62L(low) cell migration to the large intestinal mucosa during T. muris infection.
Until recently, basophils and mast cells were considered mainly effector cells with an innate immune response linked to allergy and parasite infection. Only in the past few years they were recognized as important regulators of adaptive immunity. The development of new methods and reagents has enabled detection and functional analysis of these rare cells in patients and murine disease models. Basophils are normally present in the peripheral blood, spleen, and bone marrow, but migrate into lymph nodes and tissues during inflammation. They are rapidly activated by cytokines (e.g., interleukin (IL)-3) and intact antigens that cross-link surface-bound immunoglobulins. Activated basophils change the phenotype of T cells toward Th2 and markedly support humoral memory responses. Mast cells also migrate into lymph nodes and interact with dendritic cells, T cells, and B cells. In this review, we describe how mast cells and basophils affect immune responses and discuss implications for renal diseases and transplant rejection.
The riboflavin (vitamin B(2)) biosynthetic genes in Bacillus subtilis are transcribed simultaneously from the riboflavin promoter (P(rib)). The 5-end of the nascent rib-mRNA carries a flavin mononucleotide (FMN) binding riboswitch, which regulates gene expression. The antibiotic roseoflavin from Streptomyces davawensis is a naturally occurring riboflavin analog, its mechanism of action is largely unknown. A recombinant B. subtilis strain carrying a copy of P(rib)-RFN fused to a promoterless lacZ reporter gene in the chromosomal amyE locus was grown in a minimal medium. Upon addition of roseoflavin to the growth medium the apparent LacZ activity in this strain was not significantly reduced. Similar experiments carried out on recombinant B. subtilis strains oversynthesizing the flavin transporters RibU (B. subtilis) or RibM (S. davawensis) produced still other results. In these strains, roseoflavin (as well as riboflavin) repressed LacZ synthesis indicating that the RFN riboswitch is a target for roseoflavin (or roseoflavin mononucleotide), which may at least in part explain its antibiotic activity.
Activity of carnosinase (CN1), the only dipeptidase with substrate specificity for carnosine or homocarnosine, varies greatly between individuals but increases clearly and significantly with age. Surprisingly, the lower CN1 activity in children is not reflected by differences in CN1 protein concentrations. CN1 is present in different allosteric conformations in children and adults since all sera obtained from children but not from adults were positive in ELISA and addition of DTT to the latter sera increased OD450 values. There was no quantitative difference in the amount of monomeric CN1 between children and adults. Further, CN1 activity was dose dependently inhibited by homocarnosine. Addition of 80 microM homocarnosine lowered V (max) for carnosine from 440 to 356 pmol/min/microg and increased K (m) from 175 to 210 microM. The estimated K (i) for homocarnosine was higher (240 microM). Homocarnosine inhibits carnosine degradation and high homocarnosine concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may explain the lower carnosine degradation in CSF compared to serum. Because CN1 is implicated in the susceptibility for diabetic nephropathy (DN), our findings may have clinical implications for the treatment of diabetic patients with a high risk to develop DN. Homocarnosine treatment can be expected to reduce CN1 activity toward carnosine, resulting in higher carnosine levels.
The chemokine receptor CCR2 plays a vital role for the induction of autoimmunity in the central nervous system. However, it remains unclear how the pathogenic response is mediated by CCR2-bearing cells. By combining bone marrow chimerism with gene targeting we detected a mild disease-modulating role of CCR2 during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model for central nervous system autoimmunity, on radio-resistant cells that was independent from targeted CCR2 expression on endothelia. Interestingly, absence of CCR2 on lymphocytes did not influence autoimmune demyelination. In contrast, engagement of CCR2 on accessory cells was required for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis induction. CCR2+Ly-6Chi monocytes were rapidly recruited to the inflamed central nervous system and were crucial for the effector phase of disease. Selective depletion of this specific monocyte subpopulation through engagement of CCR2 strongly reduced central nervous system autoimmunity. Collectively, these data indicate a disease-promoting role of CCR2+Ly-6Chi monocytes during autoimmune inflammation of the central nervous system.
Activation of basophils contributes to memory immune responses and results in exacerbation of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). We undertook the present study to analyze the production and biologic effects of interleukin-3 (IL-3), a strong activator of basophils, in CIA.
Macrophages are major contributors to the damage occurring in the retina in experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). CCR2 may be needed for efficient recruitment of monocytes to an inflammatory site, and the aim of this study was to determine whether this was the case in EAU.
Petroleum is the main energy source utilized in the world, but its availability is limited and the search for new renewable energy sources is of major interest. Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are among the most promising sources for the substitution of fossil fuels. Biodiesel can replace petroleum diesel, as it is produced from animal fats and vegetable oils, which generate about 10% (w/w) glycerol as the main by-product. The excess glycerol generated may become an environmental problem, since it cannot be disposed of in the environment. One of the possible applications is its use as carbon and energy source for microbial growth in industrial microbiology. Glycerol bioconversion in valuable chemicals, such as 1,3-propanediol, dihydroxyacetone, ethanol, succinate etc. is discussed in this review article.
The large intestine is a major site of infection and disease, yet little is known about how immunity is initiated within this site and the role of dendritic cells (DCs) in this process. We used the well-established model of Trichuris muris infection to investigate the innate response of colonic DCs in mice that are inherently resistant or susceptible to infection. One day postinfection, there was a significant increase in the number of immature colonic DCs in resistant but not susceptible mice. This increase was sustained at day 7 postinfection in resistant mice when the majority of the DCs were mature. There was no increase in DC numbers in susceptible mice until day 13 postinfection. In resistant mice, most colonic DCs were located in or adjacent to the epithelium postinfection. There were also marked differences in the expression of colonic epithelial chemokines in resistant mice and susceptible mice. Resistant mice had significantly increased levels of epithelium-derived CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, and CCL20 compared with susceptible mice. Furthermore, administering neutralizing CCL5 and CCL20 Abs to resistant mice prevented DC recruitment. This study provides clear evidence of differences in the kinetics of DC responses in hosts inherently resistant and susceptible to infection. DC responses in the colon correlate with resistance to infection. Differences in the production of DC chemotactic chemokines by colonic epithelial cells in response to infection in resistant vs susceptible mice may explain the different kinetics of the DC response.
Understanding the mechanisms of osteoclastogenesis is crucial for developing new drugs to treat diseases associated with bone loss, such as osteoporosis. Here we report that the C-C chemokine receptor-2 (CCR2) is crucially involved in balancing bone mass. CCR2-knockout mice have high bone mass owing to a decrease in number, size and function of osteoclasts. In normal mice, activation of CCR2 in osteoclast progenitor cells results in both nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and extracellular signal-related kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) signaling but not that of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase or c-Jun N-terminal kinase. The induction of NF-kappaB and ERK1/2 signaling in turn leads to increased surface expression of receptor activator of NF-kappaB (RANK, encoded by Tnfrsf11a), making the progenitor cells more susceptible to RANK ligand-induced osteoclastogenesis. In ovariectomized mice, a model of postmenopausal osteoporosis, CCR2 is upregulated on wild-type preosteoclasts, thus increasing the surface expression of RANK on these cells and their osteoclastogenic potential, whereas CCR2-knockout mice are resistant to ovariectomy-induced bone loss. These data reveal a previously undescribed pathway by which RANK, osteoclasts and bone homeostasis are regulated in health and disease.
The methylotrophic yeasts Pichia pastoris and Pichia angusta (Hansenula polymorpha) were used for the comparative heterologous production of two model mammalian proteins of pharmaceutical interest, the NK1-fragment (22 kDa) of human hepatocyte growth factor and the extracellular domain (28 kDa) of mouse tissue factor (MTF). Both recombinant proteins were engineered to contain an N-terminal Strep- (WSHPQFEK) and a C-terminal His(6)-tag. In addition, both proteins contained the pre-pro-sequence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating factor alpha to allow secretion. Following vector construction, transformation and zeocin amplification, the best Pichia producers were identified in a screening procedure using Western blot and a Luminex xMAP based high-throughput method. Recombinant NK1-fragment and MTF were purified from culture supernatants of the best producers by affinity chromatography (Ni-nitrilotriacetic acid columns). Using P. pastoris as a host for the synthesis of NK1-fragment a protein yield of 5.7 mg/l was achieved. In comparable expression experiments P.angusta yielded 1.6 mg/l of NK1-fragment. NK1-fragment apparently was not glycosylated in either system. For the production of MTF, P. pastoris was also the superior host yielding 1.2mg/l glycosylated recombinant protein whereas P. angusta was clearly less efficient (<0.2mg/l MTF). For both expression systems no correlation between the amount of recombinant protein and the copy number of the chromosomally integrated heterologous genes was found. In P. pastoris strains less degradation of the two model recombinant proteins was observed. Altogether, this paper provides a structured protocol for rapidly identifying productive Pichia strains for the synthesis of full-length recombinant proteins.
Although macrophages (MPhi) are known as essential players in wound healing, their contribution to recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) is a subject of debate. The difficulties in distinguishing between different MPhi subpopulations at the lesion site have further contributed to the controversy and led to the common view of MPhi as functionally homogenous. Given the massive accumulation in the injured spinal cord of activated resident microglia, which are the native immune occupants of the central nervous system (CNS), the recruitment of additional infiltrating monocytes from the peripheral blood seems puzzling. A key question that remains is whether the infiltrating monocyte-derived MPhi contribute to repair, or represent an unavoidable detrimental response. The hypothesis of the current study is that a specific population of infiltrating monocyte-derived MPhi is functionally distinct from the inflammatory resident microglia and is essential for recovery from SCI.
Ly6C(hi) monocytes seed the healthy intestinal lamina propria to give rise to resident CX(3)CR1(+) macrophages that contribute to the maintenance of gut homeostasis. Here we report on two alternative monocyte fates in the inflamed colon. We showed that CCR2 expression is essential to the recruitment of Ly6C(hi) monocytes to the inflamed gut to become the dominant mononuclear cell type in the lamina propria during settings of acute colitis. In the inflammatory microenvironment, monocytes upregulated TLR2 and NOD2, rendering them responsive to bacterial products to become proinflammatory effector cells. Ablation of Ly6C(hi) monocytes ameliorated acute gut inflammation. With time, monocytes differentiated into migratory antigen-presenting cells capable of priming naive T cells, thus acquiring hallmarks reminiscent of dendritic cells. Collectively, our results highlight cellular dynamics in the inflamed colon and the plasticity of Ly6C(hi) monocytes, marking them as potential targets for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) therapy.
The infiltration of neutrophils and monocytes is a prominent feature of inflammatory diseases including human rheumatoid arthritis. Understanding how neutrophil recruitment is regulated during pathogenesis is crucial for developing anti-inflammatory therapies. We optimized the K/B×N serum-induced mouse arthritis model to study neutrophil trafficking dynamics in vivo using two-photon microscopy. Arthritogenic serum was injected subcutaneously into one hind footpad to induce a local arthritis with robust neutrophil recruitment. Using this approach, we showed that the depletion of monocytes with clodronate liposomes impaired neutrophil recruitment specifically at the transendothelial migration step. The depletion of CCR2(+) monocytes with the monoclonal antibody MC-21 reproduced these effects, implicating CCR2(+) monocytes as key regulators of neutrophil extravasation during arthritis initiation. However, monocyte depletion did not prevent neutrophil extravasation in response to bacterial challenge. These findings suggest that anti-inflammatory therapies targeting monocytes may act in part through antagonizing neutrophil extravasation at sites of aseptic inflammation.
Streptomyces davawensis JCM 4913 synthesizes the antibiotic roseoflavin, a structural riboflavin (vitamin B(2)) analog. Here, we report the 9,466,619-bp linear chromosome of S. davawensis JCM 4913 and a 89,331-bp linear plasmid. The sequence has an average G+C content of 70.58% and contains six rRNA operons (16S-23S-5S) and 69 tRNA genes. The 8,616 predicted protein-coding sequences include 32 clusters coding for secondary metabolites, several of which are unique to S. davawensis. The chromosome contains long terminal inverted repeats of 33,255 bp each and atypical telomeres. Sequence analysis with regard to riboflavin biosynthesis revealed three different patterns of gene organization in Streptomyces species. Heterologous expression of a set of genes present on a subgenomic fragment of S. davawensis resulted in the production of roseoflavin by the host Streptomyces coelicolor M1152. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that S. davawensis is a close relative of Streptomyces cinnabarinus, and much to our surprise, we found that the latter bacterium is a roseoflavin producer as well.
Invasive fungal infections by Candida albicans (Ca) are a frequent cause of lethal sepsis in intensive care unit patients. While a contribution of type I interferons (IFNs-I) in fungal sepsis remains unknown, these immunostimulatory cytokines mediate the lethal effects of endotoxemia and bacterial sepsis. Using a mouse model lacking a functional IFN-I receptor (Ifnar1?/?), we demonstrate a remarkable protection against invasive Ca infections. We discover a mechanism whereby IFN-I signaling controls the recruitment of inflammatory myeloid cells, including Ly6C(hi) monocytes and neutrophils, to infected kidneys by driving expression of the chemokines CCL2 and KC. Within kidneys, monocytes differentiate into inflammatory DCs but fail to functionally mature in Ifnar1?/? mice, as demonstrated by the impaired upregulation of the key activation markers PDCA1 and iNOS. The increased activity of inflammatory monocytes and neutrophils results in hyper-inflammation and lethal kidney pathology. Pharmacological diminution of monocytes and neutrophils by treating mice with pioglitazone, a synthetic agonist of the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR-?), strongly reduces renal immunopathology during Ca infection and improves mouse survival. Taken together, our data connect for the first time the sepsis-promoting functions of IFNs-I to the CCL2-mediated recruitment and the activation of inflammatory monocytes/DCs with high host-destructing potency. Moreover, our data demonstrate a therapeutic relevance of PPAR-? agonists for microbial infectious diseases where inflammatory myeloid cells may contribute to fatal tissue damage.
Acute lung injury (ALI) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality, with no currently effective pharmacological therapies. Neutrophils have been specifically implicated in the pathogenesis of ALI, and there has been significant research into the mechanisms of early neutrophil recruitment, but those controlling the later phases of neutrophil emigration that characterize disease are poorly understood.
Streptomyces davawensis is the only organism known to synthesize the antibiotic roseoflavin, a riboflavin (vitamin B2) analog. Roseoflavin is converted to roseoflavin mononucleotide (RoFMN) and roseoflavin adenine dinucleotide in the cytoplasm of target cells. (Ribo-)Flavin mononucleotide (FMN) riboswitches are genetic elements, which in many bacteria control genes responsible for the biosynthesis and transport of riboflavin. Streptomyces davawensis is roseoflavin resistant, and the closely related bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor is roseoflavin sensitive. The two bacteria served as models to investigate roseoflavin resistance of S. davawensis and to analyze the mode of action of roseoflavin in S. coelicolor. Our experiments demonstrate that the ribB FMN riboswitch of S. davawensis (in contrast to the corresponding riboswitch of S. coelicolor) is able to discriminate between the two very similar flavins FMN and RoFMN and shows opposite responses to the latter ligands.
In the absence of TNF, the normally resistant C57BL/6 (B6.WT) strain develops a fatal, progressive form of leishmaniasis after infection with Leishmania major. It is not yet understood which TNF activity or the lack thereof is responsible for the dramatic progression of leishmaniasis in TNF-negative (B6.TNF(-/-)) mice. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms resulting in the fatal outcome of L. major infection in this gene-deficient mouse strain, we analyzed the monocytic component of the inflammatory infiltrate in the draining popliteal lymph node and the site of the infection using multicolor flow cytometry. The leukocytic infiltrate within the draining lymph node and footpad of B6.TNF(-/-) mice resembled that of B6.WT mice over the first 2 wk of cutaneous L. major infection. Thereafter, the B6.TNF(-/-) mice showed an increase of CD11c(+)Ly-6C(+)CCR2(+) monocytic dendritic cells within the popliteal lymph node in comparison with B6.WT mice. This increase of inflammatory dendritic cells was paired with the accumulation of a novel CD11b(+)Ly-6C(low)CCR2(low) population that was not present in B6.WT mice. This B6.TNF(-/-)- and B6.TNFR1(-/-)-specific cell population was CD115(+)Ly-6G(-)iNOS(-), not apoptotic, and harbored large numbers of parasites.
During central nervous system autoimmunity, interactions between infiltrating immune cells and brain-resident cells are critical for disease progression and ultimately organ damage. Here, we demonstrate that local cross-talk between invading autoreactive T cells and auto-antigen-presenting myeloid cells within the central nervous system results in myeloid cell activation, which is crucial for disease progression during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model of multiple sclerosis. This T cell-mediated licensing of central nervous system myeloid cells triggered astrocytic CCL2-release and promoted recruitment of inflammatory CCR2(+)-monocytes, which are the main effectors of disease progression. By employing a cell-specific knockout model, we identify the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?) in myeloid cells as key regulator of their disease-determining interactions with autoreactive T cells and brain-resident cells, respectively. LysM-PPAR?(KO) mice exhibited disease exacerbation during the effector phase of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis characterized by enhanced activation of central nervous system myeloid cells accompanied by pronounced local CCL2 production and inflammatory monocyte invasion, which finally resulted in increased demyelination and neuronal damage. Pharmacological PPAR? activation decreased antigen-specific T cell-mediated licensing of central nervous system myeloid cells, reduced myeloid cell-mediated neurotoxicity and hence dampened central nervous system autoimmunity. Importantly, human monocytes derived from patients with multiple sclerosis clearly responded to PPAR?-mediated control of proinflammatory activation and production of neurotoxic mediators. Furthermore, PPAR? in human monocytes restricted their capacity to activate human astrocytes leading to dampened astrocytic CCL2 production. Together, interference with the disease-promoting cross-talk between central nervous system myeloid cells, autoreactive T cells and brain-resident cells represents a novel therapeutic approach that limits disease progression and lesion development during ongoing central nervous system autoimmunity.
7ND, a truncated version of the chemokine MCP-1/CCL2 lacking amino acids 2-8, is a potent antagonist of CCR2. In contrast to CCL2, 7ND is an obligate monomer. Similar to other chemokines, the in vivo half-life of 7ND is very short and its use as an antagonist in disease models is thus limited. We therefore constructed a 7ND-Fc fusion protein to extend the half-life of 7ND and overcome its limitations as a potential therapeutic antagonist. When we tested the properties of the fusion molecule in vitro, we found to our surprise that 7ND-Fc, in contrast to 7ND, produced a distinct, albeit small, chemotactic response in THP-1 cells, and a robust chemotactic response in L1.2 cells stably transfected with CCR2. To test whether this unexpected observation might be due to the bivalency of 7ND-Fc stemming from the dimeric nature of Fc fusions, we produced a heterodimeric Fc fusion which displays only one 7ND moiety, using a technology called strand exchange of engineered CH3 domains (SEED). The monovalent construct had properties equivalent to the parent 7ND. Furthermore, partial agonist activity appears to depend on receptor density as well as the signaling pathway examined. However, we were able to show that 7ND-Fc, but not 7ND alone, has antagonistic activity in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a murine model of multiple sclerosis.
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