The only way to cure leukemia is by cooperative research. To optimize research, the European LeukemiaNet integrates 105 national leukemia trial groups and networks, 105 interdisciplinary partner groups and about 1,000 leukemia specialists from 175 institutions. They care for tens of thousands of leukemia patients in 33 countries across Europe. Their ultimate goal is to cure leukemia. Since its inception in 2002, the European LeukemiaNet has steadily expanded and has unified leukemia research across Europe. The European LeukemiaNet grew from two major roots: 1) the German Competence Network on Acute and Chronic Leukemias; and 2) the collaboration of European Investigators on Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. The European LeukemiaNet has improved leukemia research and management across Europe. Its concept has led to funding by the European Commission as a network of excellence. Other sources (European Science Foundation; European LeukemiaNet-Foundation) will take over when the support of the European Commission ends.
Pathogenesis of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infections involves colonization of the small intestine mediated by cell-surface fimbriae (CS) or colonization fimbriae antigens (CFA). However, protection against reinfection of ETEC is also conferred by somatic antigens rather than by virulence factors. To discover ETEC specific somatic antigens, the surface proteome of the ETEC H10406 strain was compared with that of non-pathogenic E. coli K12 strains. In this study, we were using stable isotope labelling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) technology for the labelling and relative quantification of surface proteins in order to identify polypeptides that are specifically present on ETEC strains. Outer membrane proteins were isolated, separated by gel electrophoresis, and identified by mass spectrometry. Twenty-three differentially expressed cell-surface polypeptides of ETEC were identified and evaluated by bioinformatics for protein vaccine candidates. The combination of being surface-exposed and present differentially makes these polypeptides highly suitable as targets for antibodies and thus for use in passive or active immunisation/vaccination.
Lantibiotics are a group of potent antibacterial agents that contain unusual amino acids, such as the thioether amino acids lanthionine and methyllanthionine, and the didehydroamino acids didehydroalanine and didehydro-aminobutyric acid. Here, we report on an antibacterial lantibiotic peptide named SWLP1 (Staphylococcus warneri lantibiotic peptide 1), which is secreted from Staphylococcus warneri (deposited with DSMZ, accession number DSM 16081). SWLP1 was purified from growth media. The purified peptide displays antibacterial activity against several species, including Staphylococcus epidermidis. The molecular mass of SWLP1 is 2998.9 Da as determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The sequence and possible structure was elucidated by combining electrospray ionization mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry data of ethanethiol-treated and non-ethanethiol-treated tryptic fragments of the SWLP1. SWLP1 contains three thioether bridges, one didehydroalanine, and three didehydroaminobutyric acids. This peptide has the potential to be used in treatment of several Gram-positive bacterial infections.
Separase, an endopeptidase required for the separation of sister-chromatides in mitotic anaphase, triggers centriole disengagement during centrosome duplication. In cancer, separase is frequently overexpressed, pointing to a functional role as an aneuploidy promoter associated with centrosomal amplification and genomic instability. Recently, we have shown that centrosomal amplification and subsequent chromosomal aberrations are a hallmark of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), increasing from chronic phase (CP) toward blast crisis (BC). Moreover, a functional linkage of p210BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activity with centrosomal amplification and clonal evolution has been established in long-term cell culture experiments. Unexpectedly, therapeutic doses of imatinib (IM) did not counteract; instead induced similar centrosomal alterations in vitro. We investigated the influence of IM and p210BCR-ABL on Separase as a potential driver of centrosomal amplification in CML. Short-term cell cultures of p210BCR-ABL-negative (NHDF, UROtsa, HL-60, U937), positive (K562, LAMA-84) and inducible (U937p210BCR-ABL/c6 (Tet-ON)) human cell lines were treated with therapeutic doses of IM and analyzed by qRT-PCR, Western blot analysis and quantitative Separase activity assays. Decreased Separase protein levels were observed in all cells treated with IM in a dose dependent manner. Accordingly, in all p210BCR-ABL-negative cell lines, decreased proteolytic activity of Separase was found. In contrast, p210BCR-ABL-positive cells showed increased Separase proteolytic activity. This activation of Separase was consistent with changes in the expression levels of Separase regulators (Separase phosphorylation at serine residue 1126, Securin, CyclinB1 and PP2A). Our data suggest that regulation of Separase in IM-treated BCR-ABL-positive cells occurs on both the protein expression and the proteolytic activity levels. Activation of Separase proteolytic activity exclusively in p210BCR-ABL-positive cells during IM treatment may act as a driving force for centrosomal amplification, contributing to genomic instability, clonal evolution and resistance in CML.
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