Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and the epithelial integrin ?v?6 are thought to individually play critical roles in cancer metastasis. These observations have been highlighted by the recent discovery (by proteomics) of an interaction between these two molecules, which are also both implicated in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that facilitates escape of cells from tissue barriers and is a common signature of cancer metastases. In this study, orthogonal in cellulo and in vitro functional proteomic approaches were used to better characterize the uPAR·?v?6 interaction. Proximity ligation assays (PLA) confirmed the uPAR·?v?6 interaction on OVCA429 (ovarian cancer line) and four different colon cancer cell lines including positive controls in cells with de novo ?6 subunit expression. PLA studies were then validated using peptide arrays, which also identified potential physical sites of uPAR interaction with ?v?6, as well as verifying interactions with other known uPAR ligands (e.g., uPA, vitronectin) and individual integrin subunits (i.e., ?v, ?1, ?3, and ?6 alone). Our data suggest that interaction with uPAR requires expression of the complete ?? heterodimer (e.g., ?v?6), not individual subunits (i.e., ?v, ?1, ?3, or ?6). Finally, using in silico structural analyses in concert with these functional proteomics studies, we propose and demonstrate that the most likely unique sites of interaction between ?v?6 and uPAR are located in uPAR domains II and III.
EU-OPENSCREEN is an academic research infrastructure initiative in Europe for enabling researchers in all life sciences to take advantage of chemical biology approaches to their projects. In a collaborative effort of national networks in 16 European countries, EU-OPENSCREEN will develop novel chemical compounds with external users to address questions in, among other fields, systems and network biology (directed and selective perturbation of signalling pathways), structural biology (compound-target interactions at atomic resolution), pharmacology (early drug discovery and toxicology) and plant biology (response of wild or crop plants to environmental and agricultural substances). EU-OPENSCREEN supports all stages of a tool development project, including assay adaptation, high-throughput screening and chemical optimisation of the 'hit' compounds. All tool compounds and data will be made available to the scientific community. EU-OPENSCREEN integrates high-capacity screening platforms throughout Europe, which share a rationally selected compound collection comprising up to 300,000 (commercial and proprietary compounds collected from European chemists). By testing systematically this chemical collection in hundreds of assays originating from very different biological themes, the screening process generates enormous amounts of information about the biological activities of the substances and thereby steadily enriches our understanding of how and where they act.
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death due to bacterial infections worldwide, mainly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The antigen 85 complex comprises a set of major secreted proteins of M. tuberculosis, which are potential biomarkers for diagnostic.
This work describes a collaborative effort to define and apply a protocol for the rational selection of a general-purpose screening library, to be used by the screening platforms affiliated with the EU-OPENSCREEN initiative. It is designed as a standard source of compounds for primary screening against novel biological targets, at the request of research partners. Given the general nature of the potential applications of this compound collection, the focus of the selection strategy lies on ensuring chemical stability, absence of reactive compounds, screening-compliant physicochemical properties, loose compliance to drug-likeness criteria (as drug design is a major, but not exclusive application), and maximal diversity/coverage of chemical space, aimed at providing hits for a wide spectrum of drugable targets. Finally, practical availability/cost issues cannot be avoided. The main goal of this publication is to inform potential future users of this library about its conception, sources, and characteristics. The outline of the selection procedure, notably of the filtering rules designed by a large committee of European medicinal chemists and chemoinformaticians, may be of general methodological interest for the screening/medicinal chemistry community. The selection task of 200K molecules out of a pre-filtered set of 1.4M candidates was shared by five independent European research groups, each picking a subset of 40K compounds according to their own in-house methodology and expertise. An in-depth analysis of chemical space coverage of the library serves not only to characterize the collection, but also to compare the various chemoinformatics-driven selection procedures of maximal diversity sets. Compound selections contributed by various participating groups were mapped onto general-purpose self-organizing maps (SOMs) built on the basis of marketed drugs and bioactive reference molecules. In this way, the occupancy of chemical space by the EU-OPENSCREEN library could be directly compared with distributions of known bioactives of various classes. This mapping highlights the relevance of the selection and shows how the consensus reached by merging the five different 40K selections contributes to achieve this relevance. The approach also allows one to readily identify subsets of target- or target-class-oriented compounds from the EU-OPENSCREEN library to suit the needs of the diverse range of potential users. The final EU-OPENSCREEN library, assembled by merging five independent selections of 40K compounds from various expert groups, represents an excellent example of a Europe-wide collaborative effort toward the common objective of building best-in-class European open screening platforms.
The nuclear export of unspliced and partially spliced HIV-1 mRNA is mediated by the recognition of a leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES) in the HIV Rev protein by the host protein CRM1/Exportin1. This makes the CRM1-Rev complex an attractive target for the development of new antiviral drugs. Here we tested the anti-HIV efficacy of ratjadone A, a CRM1 inhibitor derived from myxobacteria.
Herpes B virus (or Herpesvirus simiae or Macacine herpesvirus 1) is endemic in many populations of macaques, both in the wild and in captivity. The virus elicits only mild clinical symptoms (if any) in monkeys, but can be transmitted by various routes, most commonly via bites, to humans where it causes viral encephalitis with a high mortality rate. Hence, herpes B constitutes a considerable occupational hazard for animal caretakers, veterinarians and laboratory personnel. Efforts are therefore being made to reduce the risk of zoonotic infection and to improve prognosis after accidental exposure. Among the measures envisaged are serological surveillance of monkey colonies and specific diagnosis of herpes B zoonosis against a background of antibodies recognizing the closely related human herpes simplex virus (HSV). 422 pentadecapeptides covering, in an overlapping fashion, the entire amino acid sequences of herpes B proteins gB and gD were synthesized and immobilized on glass slides. Antibodies present in monkey sera that bind to subsets of the peptide collection were detected by microserological techniques. With 42 different rhesus macaque sera, 114 individual responses to 18 different antibody target regions (ATRs) were recorded, 17 of which had not been described earlier. This finding may pave the way for a peptide-based, herpes B specific serological diagnostic test.
The ubiquitous second messenger c-di-GMP regulates the switching of bacterial lifestyles from motility to sessility and acute to chronic virulence to adjust bacterial fitness to altered environmental conditions. Conventionally, EAL proteins being c-di-GMP phosphodiesterases promote motility and acute virulence phenotypes such as invasion into epithelial cells and inhibit biofilm formation. We report here that in contradiction, the EAL-like protein STM1697 of Salmonella typhimurium suppresses motility, invasion into HT-29 epithelial cell line and secretion of the type three secretion system 1 effector protein SipA, whereas it promotes rdar biofilm formation and CsgD expression. STM1697 can, however, functionally replace the EAL-like protein STM1344 and vice versa, whereby both proteins neither degrade nor bind c-di-GMP. Like STM1344, STM1697 suppresses the transcription of class 2 and class 3 flagella regulon genes by binding to FlhD, a component of the master regulator of the flagella regulon FlhD4 C2 and act additively under numerous conditions. Interestingly, the interaction interface of STM1697 with FlhD2 is distinct from its paralogue STM1344. We predict that the stand alone EAL domain proteins STM1697 and STM1344 belong to a subclass of EAL domain proteins in S.?typhimurium, which are all involved in motility, biofilm and virulence regulation through interaction with proteins that regulate flagella function.
Drug-resistance and therapy failure due to drug-drug interactions are the main challenges in current treatment against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. As such, there is a continuous need for the development of new and more potent anti-HIV drugs. Here we established a high-throughput screen based on the highly permissive TZM-bl cell line to identify novel HIV inhibitors. The assay allows discriminating compounds acting on early and/or late steps of the HIV replication cycle.
Our previously reported phase I clinical trial with the allogeneic gene-modified tumor cell line RCC-26/CD80/IL-2 showed that vaccination was well tolerated and feasible in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients. Substantial disease stabilization was observed in most patients despite a high tumor burden at study entry. To investigate alterations in immune responses that might contribute to this effect, we performed an extended immune monitoring that included analysis of reactivity against multiple antigens, cytokine/chemokine changes in serum and determination of the frequencies of immune suppressor cell populations, including natural regulatory T cells (nTregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cell subsets (MDSCs). An overall immune response capacity to virus-derived control peptides was present in 100% of patients before vaccination. Vaccine-induced immune responses to tumor-associated antigens occurred in 75% of patients, demonstrating the potent immune stimulatory capacity of this generic vaccine. Furthermore, some patients reacted to peptide epitopes of antigens not expressed by the vaccine, showing that epitope-spreading occurred in vivo. Frequencies of nTregs and MDSCs were comparable to healthy donors at the beginning of study. A significant decrease of nTregs was detected after vaccination (p = 0.012). High immune response rates, decreased frequencies of nTregs and a mixed T helper 1/T helper 2 (T(H)1/T(H)2)-like cytokine pattern support the applicability of this RCC generic vaccine for use in combination therapies.
Causal therapeutic approaches for amyloid diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease targeting toxic amyloid oligomers or fibrils are still emerging. Here, we show that theaflavins (TF1, TF2a, TF2b, and TF3), the main polyphenolic components found in fermented black tea, are potent inhibitors of amyloid-? (A?) and ?-synuclein (?S) fibrillogenesis. Their mechanism of action was compared to that of two established inhibitors of amyloid formation, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and congo red (CR). All three compounds reduce the fluorescence of the amyloid indicator dye thioflavin T. Mapping the binding regions of TF3, EGCG, and CR revealed that all three bind to two regions of the A? peptide, amino acids 12-23 and 24-36, albeit with different specificities. However, their mechanisms of amyloid inhibition differ. Like EGCG but unlike congo red, theaflavins stimulate the assembly of A? and ?S into nontoxic, spherical aggregates that are incompetent in seeding amyloid formation and remodel A? fibrils into nontoxic aggregates. When compared to EGCG, TF3 was less susceptible to air oxidation and had an increased efficacy under oxidizing conditions. These findings suggest that theaflavins might be used to remove toxic amyloid deposits.
NF-kappaB repressing factor (NRF) is a nuclear transcription factor that binds to a specific DNA sequence in NF-kappaB target promoters. Previous reports suggested that NRF interferes with the transcriptional activity of NF-kappaB binding sites through a direct interaction with NF-kappaB subunits. The aim of this study was to map specific NRF binding domains in the NF-kappaB proteins, p65 and p50. Our data demonstrate that NRF is able to interact with the p65 subunit and inhibit its transcription enhancing activity in reporter gene experiments. Using tandem affinity purifications (TAP), we show that NRF protein significantly binds to the endogenous p65, subunit but not to the p50 subunit. The selective binding activity of the NRF protein is consistently mediated by the N-terminal domain of NRF (Amino acids 1-380). Moreover, the Rel homology domain (RHD) of p65 is sufficient for binding to the N-terminal domain of NRF. Using detailed peptide mapping studies, we finally identify three peptide motifs in p65 RHD showing distinctive binding specificities for the NRF protein. According to the predicted structure of p65, all three peptide motifs align within an exposed region of p65 and might hint at promising targets for inhibitors.
Flu vaccines are partially protective in infants and elder people. New adjuvants such as immunostimulatory oligonucleotides (ODNs) are strong candidates to solve this problem, because a combination with several antigens has demonstrated effectiveness. Here, we report that IMT504, the prototype of a major class of immunostimulatory ODNs, is a potent adjuvant of the influenza vaccine in young adult and elderly rats. Flu vaccines that use virosomes or whole viral particles as antigens were combined with IMT504 and injected in rats. Young adult and elderly animals vaccinated with IMT504-adjuvated preparations reached antibody titers 20-fold and 15-fold higher than controls, respectively. Antibody titers remained high throughout a 120 day-period. Animals injected with the IMT504-adjuvated vaccine showed expansion of the anti-hemagglutinin antibody repertoire and a significant increase in the antibody titer with hemagglutination inhibition capacity when confronted to viral strains included or not in the vaccine. This indicates that the addition of IMT504 in flu vaccines may contribute to the development of significant cross-protective immune response against shifted or drifted flu strains.
Yeast calmodulin known to be ubiquitylated in vivo in a Ca(2+) dependent manner has long remained an orphan substrate. Here we identify Saccharomyces cerevisiae Asr1p as an ubiquitin E3 ligase for yeast calmodulin, a protein involved in calcium signaling. A short region within Asr1p-C harboring two putative calmodulin-binding motifs is sufficient and necessary for interaction with calmodulin. The interaction is direct, occurs in vivo and depends on physiological concentrations of Ca(2+). A minimal set of purified proteins including Asr1p E3 ligase was sufficient for in vitro ubiquitylation of calmodulin, a reaction that required a functional Asr1p Ring domain. We propose a role of the Asr1p E3 ligase activity in coping with stress.
Several lines of evidence indicate that prefibrillar assemblies of amyloid-? (A?) polypeptides, such as soluble oligomers or protofibrils, rather than mature, end-stage amyloid fibrils cause neuronal dysfunction and memory impairment in Alzheimers disease. These findings suggest that reducing the prevalence of transient intermediates by small molecule-mediated stimulation of amyloid polymerization might decrease toxicity. Here we demonstrate the acceleration of A? fibrillogenesis through the action of the orcein-related small molecule O4, which directly binds to hydrophobic amino acid residues in A? peptides and stabilizes the self-assembly of seeding-competent, ?-sheet-rich protofibrils and fibrils. Notably, the O4-mediated acceleration of amyloid fibril formation efficiently decreases the concentration of small, toxic A? oligomers in complex, heterogeneous aggregation reactions. In addition, O4 treatment suppresses inhibition of long-term potentiation by A? oligomers in hippocampal brain slices. These results support the hypothesis that small, diffusible prefibrillar amyloid species rather than mature fibrillar aggregates are toxic for mammalian cells.
Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D-like protein (JKTBP) 1 was implicated in cap-independent translation by binding to the internal ribosome entry site in the 5 untranslated region (UTR) of NF-?B-repressing factor (NRF). Two different NRF mRNAs have been identified so far, both sharing the common 5 internal ribosome entry site but having different length of 3 UTRs. Here, we used a series of DNA and RNA luciferase reporter constructs comprising 5, 3 or both NRF UTRs to study the effect of JKTBP1 on translation of NRF mRNA variants. The results indicate that JKTBP1 regulates the level of NRF protein expression by binding to both NRF 5 and 3 UTRs. Using successive deletion and point mutations as well as RNA binding studies, we define two distinct JKTBP1 binding elements in NRF 5 and 3 UTRs. Furthermore, JKTBP1 requires two distinct RNA binding domains to interact with NRF UTRs and a short C-terminal region for its effect on NRF expression. Together, our study shows that JKTBP1 contributes to NRF protein expression via two disparate mechanisms: mRNA stabilization and cap-independent translation. By binding to 5 UTR, JKTBP1 increases the internal translation initiation in both NRF mRNA variants, whereas its binding to 3 UTR elevated primarily the stability of the major NRF mRNA. Thus, JKTBP1 is a key regulatory factor linking two pivotal control mechanisms of NRF gene expression: the cap-independent translation initiation and mRNA stabilization.
Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 3 (CEACAM3) is an immunoglobulin-related receptor expressed on human granulocytes. CEACAM3 functions as a single chain phagocytotic receptor recognizing gram-negative bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which possess CEACAM-binding adhesins on their surface. The cytoplasmic domain of CEACAM3 contains an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM)-like sequence that is phosphorylated upon receptor engagement. Here we show that the SH2 domains of the regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) bind to tyrosine residue 230 of CEACAM3 in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. PI3K is rapidly recruited and directly associates with CEACAM3 upon bacterial binding as shown by FRET analysis. Although PI3K activity is not required for efficient uptake of the bacteria by CEACAM3-transfected cells or primary human granulocytes, it is critical for the stimulated production of reactive oxygen species by infected phagocytes and the intracellular degradation of CEACAM-binding bacteria. Together, our results highlight the ability of CEACAM3 to coordinate signaling events that not only mediate bacterial uptake, but also trigger the killing of internalized pathogens.
To develop a novel attenuation strategy applicable to all influenza A viruses, we targeted the highly conserved protein-protein interaction of the viral polymerase subunits PA and PB1. We postulated that impaired binding between PA and PB1 would negatively affect trimeric polymerase complex formation, leading to reduced viral replication efficiency in vivo. As proof of concept, we introduced single or multiple amino acid substitutions into the protein-protein-binding domains of either PB1 or PA, or both, to decrease binding affinity and polymerase activity substantially. As expected, upon generation of recombinant influenza A viruses (SC35M strain) containing these mutations, many pseudo-revertants appeared that partially restored PA-PB1 binding and polymerase activity. These polymerase assembly mutants displayed drastic attenuation in cell culture and mice. The attenuation of the polymerase assembly mutants was maintained in IFN?/? receptor knock-out mice. As exemplified using a H5N1 polymerase assembly mutant, this attenuation strategy can be also applied to other highly pathogenic influenza A virus strains. Thus, we provide proof of principle that targeted mutation of the highly conserved interaction domains of PA and PB1 represents a novel strategy to attenuate influenza A viruses.
The influenza A virus polymerase complex, consisting of the subunits PB1, PB2, and PA, represents a promising target for the development of new antiviral drugs. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of targeting the protein-protein interaction domain between PA and PB1 using peptides derived from the extreme N terminus of PB1 (amino acids [aa] 1 to 15), comprising the PA-binding domain of PB1. To increase the binding affinity of these peptides, we performed a systematic structure-affinity relationship analysis. Alanine and aspartic acid scans revealed that almost all amino acids in the core binding region (aa 5 to 11) are indispensable for PA binding. Using a library of immobilized peptides representing all possible single amino acid substitutions, we were able to identify amino acid positions outside the core PA-binding region (aa 1, 3, 12, 14, and 15) that are variable and can be replaced by affinity-enhancing residues. Surface plasmon resonance binding studies revealed that combination of several affinity-enhancing mutations led to an additive effect. Thus, the feasibility to enhance the PA-binding affinity presents an intriguing possibility to increase antiviral activity of the PB1-derived peptide and one step forward in the development of an antiviral drug against influenza A viruses.
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a cytokine that mediates inflammatory diseases. MIF promotes atherogenic leukocyte recruitment through a promiscuous, yet highly affine, interaction with CXCR2 and CXCR4. Binding to CXCR2 is dependent on a pseudo-(E)LR motif in MIF, but a second interaction site has been elusive. Here we identified an N-like loop in MIF, suggesting that MIF binding to CXCR2 follows the 2-site binding mode of bona fide chemokines. For MIF, the model predicts interactions between the N-like loop and the CXCR2 N domain (site 1) and pseudo-(E)LR and extracellular loops (ELs) of CXCR2 (site 2). Applying biophysical and peptide array analysis, we demonstrated an interaction between MIF and the CXCR2 N domain, which was pseudo-(E)LR independent. Peptide array analysis also indicated that the pseudo-(E)LR motif is responsible for MIF binding to EL2 and 3. Notably, peptides MIF-(40-49) and MIF-(47-56), representing N-like-loop-derived peptides, but not a scrambled control peptide, significantly blocked MIF/CXCR2 binding, MIF-mediated monocyte arrest under flow on aortic endothelial cells in vitro (IC(50): 1.24×10(-6) M), and MIF-dependent monocyte adhesion to atherosclerotic mouse carotid arteries in vivo. Thus, the N-like loop in MIF is critical for MIFs noncognate interaction with CXCR2 and proatherogenic functions. The 2-site binding model that explains chemokine receptor activation also applies to MIF.
RNA transcripts from genomic sequences showing dyad symmetry typically adopt hairpin-like, cloverleaf, or similar structures that act as recognition sites for proteins. Such structures often are the precursors of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) sequences like microRNA (miRNA) and small-interfering RNA (siRNA) that have recently garnered more functional significance than in the past. Genomic DNA contains hundreds of thousands of such inverted repeats (IRs) with varying degrees of symmetry. But by collecting statistically significant information from a known set of ncRNA, we can sort these IRs into those that are likely to be functional.
In cells infected with the Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), CSL/CBF1 signaling is essential for viral replication and promotes the survival of KSHV-infected cells. CSL/CBF1 is a DNA adaptor molecule which recruits coactivator and corepressor complexes to regulate viral and cellular gene transcription and which is a major downstream effector molecule of activated Notch. The interaction of KSHV RTA and LANA with CSL/CBF1 has been shown to balance the lytic and latent viral life cycle. Here we report that a third KSHV protein, viral interferon regulatory factor 4 (vIRF4/K10), but none of the three other KSHV-encoded vIRFs, interacts with CSL/CBF1. Two regions of vIRF4 with dissimilar affinities contribute to CSL/CBF1 binding. Similar to Notch, vIRF4 targets the hydrophobic pocket in the beta trefoil domain of CSL/CBF1 through a short peptide motif which closely resembles a motif found in Notch but does not strictly follow the ?W?P consensus conserved in human and mouse Notch proteins. Our results suggest that vIRF4 might compete with Notch for CSL/CBF1 binding and signaling.
Infection with the hepatitis C virus represents a global public health threat given that an estimated 170 million individuals are chronically infected and thus at risk for cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. A number of direct antiviral molecules are in clinical development. However, side effects, drug resistance and viral genotype-specific differences in efficacy may limit these novel therapeutics. Therefore, a combination of well tolerated drugs with distinct mechanisms of action targeting different steps of the viral replication cycle will likely improve viral response rates and therapy success. To identify small molecules that interfere with different steps of the HCV replication cycle, we developed a novel dual reporter gene assay of the complete HCV life cycle and adapted it to 384-well high-throughput format. The system is based on a highly permissive Huh-7 cell line stably expressing a secreted luciferase. Using these cells and an efficient HCV luciferase reporter virus, perturbations of each step of the viral replication cycle as well as cell viability can be easily and quantitatively determined. The system was validated with a selected set of known HCV entry, replication and assembly inhibitors and then utilized to screen a library of small molecules derived from myxobacteria. Using this approach we identified a number of molecules that specifically inhibit HCV cell entry, or primarily virus assembly and release. Moreover, we also identified molecules that increase viral propagation. These compounds may be useful leads for development of novel HCV inhibitors and could be instrumental for the identification of as yet unknown host-derived viral resistance and dependency factors.
Interleukin-8 (IL-8) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infection. We used four different H. pylori strains isolated from patients with gastritis or duodenal ulcer disease to examine their differential effects on signaling pathways and IL-8 gene response in gastric epithelial cells. IL-8 mRNA level is elevated in response to high (100) multiplicity of infection (MOI) independent of cagA, vacA, and dupA gene characteristics. By lower MOIs (1 or 10), only cagA ( + ) strains significantly induce IL-8 gene expression. This is based on differential regulation of IL-8 promoter activity. Analysis of intracellular signaling pathways indicates that H. pylori clinical isolates induce IL-8 gene transcription through NF-?B p65, but by a MOI-dependent differential activation of MAPK pathways. Thus, the major virulence factors of H. pylori CagA, VacA, and DupA might play a minor role in the level of IL-8 gene response to a high bacterial load.
The cell wall of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii exclusively consists of hydroxyproline-containing glycoproteins. Protein chemical analysis of its polypeptide constituents was hindered by their cross-linking via peroxidase-catalysed intermolecular isodityrosine formation and transaminase-dependent processes. To overcome this problem, we have identified putative soluble precursors using polyclonal antibodies raised against deglycosylation products of the highly purified insoluble wall fraction and analysed their amino acid sequence. The occurrence of the corresponding polypeptide in the insoluble glycoprotein framework was finally probed by epitope mapping of the polyclonal antibodies using overlapping scan peptides which, together, cover the whole amino acid sequence of the putative precursor. As a control, peptide fragments released from the insoluble wall fraction by trypsin treatment were analysed by mass spectroscopy. By this approach, the heterodimeric, chaotrope-soluble glycoprotein GP3 proved to be a constituent of the insoluble extracellular matrix of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Furthermore, we have shown that the polypeptide backbones of both GP3 subunits are encoded by the same gene and differ by a C-terminal truncation in the case of GP3A.
Pork meat is one of the major sources for human infections with Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovars. Further, zoonoses caused by S. enterica subspecies enterica serovars are responsible for substantial economical losses in industrial countries. Quick and reliable detection of this infection is urgently needed to improve consumer security. Due to its capability to identify infections independent of the species, a competitive ELISA is the preferable method for the detection of anti-Salmonella antibodies in serum. Recombinant antibody fragments (scFvs) were isolated from the naive human antibody gene library HAL7 by phage display. Recombinant produced outer membrane protein D (OmpD) of Salmonella Typhimurium was used as antigen. The characterization of the isolated single chain Fv (scFv) antibodies was done by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunoblot, sequencing, epitope mapping and size exclusion chromatography (SEC). The detection of anti-OmpD IgGs in swine sera by competitive ELISA was shown in a proof of principle concept. Furthermore, the developed competitive ELISA would be compatible to a recently published DIVA vaccine, allow to distinguish between infected and vaccinated pigs.
The N-terminally myristoylated preS1 domain of the large hepatitis B surface protein (LHBs) mediates specific attachment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) to hepatocytes. Its B-cell epitopes leading to neutralization of infectivity are not yet characterized.
Neurofilaments assemble from three intermediate-filament proteins, contribute to the radial growth of axons, and are exceptionally stable. Microtubules are dynamic structures that assemble from tubulin dimers to support intracellular transport of molecules and organelles. We show here that neurofilaments, and other intermediate-filament proteins, contain motifs in their N-terminal domains that bind unassembled tubulin. Peptides containing such motifs inhibit the in vitro polymerization of microtubules and can be taken up by cultured cells in which they disrupt microtubules leading to altered cell shapes and an arrest of division. In transgenic mice in which neurofilaments are withheld from the axonal compartment, axonal tubulin accumulation is normal but microtubules assemble in excessive numbers. These observations suggest a model in which axonal neurofilaments modulate local microtubule assembly. This capacity also suggests novel mechanisms through which inherited or acquired disruptions in intermediate filaments might contribute to pathogenesis in multiple conditions.
Protein affinity reagents (PARs), most commonly antibodies, are essential reagents for protein characterization in basic research, biotechnology, and diagnostics as well as the fastest growing class of therapeutics. Large numbers of PARs are available commercially; however, their quality is often uncertain. In addition, currently available PARs cover only a fraction of the human proteome, and their cost is prohibitive for proteome scale applications. This situation has triggered several initiatives involving large scale generation and validation of antibodies, for example the Swedish Human Protein Atlas and the German Antibody Factory. Antibodies targeting specific subproteomes are being pursued by members of Human Proteome Organisation (plasma and liver proteome projects) and the United States National Cancer Institute (cancer-associated antigens). ProteomeBinders, a European consortium, aims to set up a resource of consistently quality-controlled protein-binding reagents for the whole human proteome. An ultimate PAR database resource would allow consumers to visit one on-line warehouse and find all available affinity reagents from different providers together with documentation that facilitates easy comparison of their cost and quality. However, in contrast to, for example, nucleotide databases among which data are synchronized between the major data providers, current PAR producers, quality control centers, and commercial companies all use incompatible formats, hindering data exchange. Here we propose Proteomics Standards Initiative (PSI)-PAR as a global community standard format for the representation and exchange of protein affinity reagent data. The PSI-PAR format is maintained by the Human Proteome Organisation PSI and was developed within the context of ProteomeBinders by building on a mature proteomics standard format, PSI-molecular interaction, which is a widely accepted and established community standard for molecular interaction data. Further information and documentation are available on the PSI-PAR web site.
Making informed decisions about breast and prostate cancer screening requires knowledge of its benefits. However, country-specific information on public knowledge of the benefits of screening is lacking. Face-to-face computer-assisted personal interviews were conducted with 10,228 persons selected by a representative quota method in nine European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom) to assess perceptions of cancer-specific mortality reduction associated with mammography and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening. Participants were also queried on the extent to which they consulted 14 different sources of health information. Correlation coefficients between frequency of use of particular sources and the accuracy of estimates of screening benefit were calculated. Ninety-two percent of women overestimated the mortality reduction from mammography screening by at least one order of magnitude or reported that they did not know. Eighty-nine percent of men overestimated the benefits of PSA screening by a similar extent or did not know. Women and men aged 50-69 years, and thus targeted by screening programs, were not substantially better informed about the benefits of mammography and PSA screening, respectively, than men and women overall. Frequent consulting of physicians (r = .07, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.05 to 0.09) and health pamphlets (r = .06, 95% CI = 0.04 to 0.08) tended to increase rather than reduce overestimation. The vast majority of citizens in nine European countries systematically overestimate the benefits of mammography and PSA screening. In the countries investigated, physicians and other information sources appear to have little impact on improving citizens perceptions of these benefits.
There is an urgent need for new drugs against influenza type A and B viruses due to incomplete protection by vaccines and the emergence of resistance to current antivirals. The influenza virus polymerase complex, consisting of the PB1, PB2 and PA subunits, represents a promising target for the development of new drugs. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of targeting the protein-protein interaction domain between the PB1 and PA subunits of the polymerase complex of influenza A virus using a small peptide derived from the PA-binding domain of PB1. However, this influenza A virus-derived peptide did not affect influenza B virus polymerase activity. Here we report that the PA-binding domain of the polymerase subunit PB1 of influenza A and B viruses is highly conserved and that mutual amino acid exchange shows that they cannot be functionally exchanged with each other. Based on phylogenetic analysis and a novel biochemical ELISA-based screening approach, we were able to identify an influenza A-derived peptide with a single influenza B-specific amino acid substitution which efficiently binds to PA of both virus types. This dual-binding peptide blocked the viral polymerase activity and growth of both virus types. Our findings provide proof of principle that protein-protein interaction inhibitors can be generated against influenza A and B viruses. Furthermore, this dual-binding peptide, combined with our novel screening method, is a promising platform to identify new antiviral lead compounds.
Success in small molecule screening relies heavily on the preselection of compounds. Here, we present a strategy for the enrichment of chemical libraries with potentially bioactive compounds integrating the collected knowledge of medicinal chemistry. Employing a genetic algorithm, substructures typically occurring in bioactive compounds were identified using the World Drug Index. Availability of compounds containing the selected substructures was analysed in vendor libraries, and the substructure-specific sublibraries were assembled. Compounds containing reactive, undesired functional groups were omitted. Using a diversity filter for both physico-chemical properties and the substructure composition, the compounds of all the sublibraries were ranked. Accordingly, a screening collection of 16,671 compounds was selected. Diversity and chemical space coverage of the collection indicate that it is highly diverse and well-placed in the chemical space spanned by bioactive compounds. Furthermore, secondary assay-validated hits presented in this study show the practical relevance of our library design strategy.
Infection of mice with murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) provides a valuable animal model for gamma-2 herpesvirus (rhadinovirus) infection and pathogenesis. The MHV-68 orf73 protein has been shown to be required for the establishment of viral latency in vivo. This study describes a novel transcriptional activation function of the MHV-68 orf73 protein and identifies the cellular bromodomain containing BET proteins Brd2/RING3, Brd3/ORFX, and BRD4 as interaction partners for the MHV-68 orf73 protein. BET protein members are known to interact with acetylated histones, and Brd2 and Brd4 have been implicated in fundamental cellular processes, including cell cycle regulation and transcriptional regulation. Using MHV-68 orf73 peptide array assays, we identified Brd2 and Brd4 interaction sites in the orf73 protein. Mutation of one binding site led to a loss of the interaction with Brd2/4 but not the retinoblastoma protein Rb, to impaired chromatin association, and to a decreased ability to activate the BET-responsive cyclin D1, D2, and E promoters. The results therefore pinpoint the binding site for Brd2/4 in a rhadinoviral orf73 protein and suggest that the recruitment of a member of the BET protein family allows the MHV-68 orf73 protein to activate the promoters of G(1)/S cyclins. These findings point to parallels between the transcriptional activator functions of rhadinoviral orf73 proteins and papillomavirus E2 proteins.
Aspergillus fumigatus is a common airborne fungal pathogen for humans. It frequently causes an invasive aspergillosis (IA) in immunocompromised patients with poor prognosis. Potent antifungal drugs are very expensive and cause serious adverse effects. Their correct application requires an early and specific diagnosis of IA, which is still not properly achievable. This work aims to a specific detection of A. fumigatus by immunofluorescence and the generation of recombinant antibodies for the detection of A. fumigatus by ELISA.
Actin pedestal formation by pathogenic E. coli requires signaling by the bacterial intimin receptor Tir, which induces host cell actin polymerization mediated by N-WASP and the Arp2/3 complex. Whereas canonical enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) recruit these actin regulators through tyrosine kinase signaling cascades, enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O157:H7 employ the bacterial effector EspF(U) (TccP), a potent N-WASP activator. Here, we show that IRSp53 family members, key regulators of membrane and actin dynamics, directly interact with both Tir and EspF(U). IRSp53 colocalizes with EspF(U) and N-WASP in actin pedestals. In addition, targeting of IRSp53 is independent of EspF(U) and N-WASP but requires Tir residues 454-463, previously shown to be essential for EspF(U)-dependent actin assembly. Genetic and functional loss of IRSp53 abrogates actin assembly mediated by EHEC. Collectively, these data indentify IRSp53 family proteins as the missing host cell factors linking bacterial Tir and EspF(U) in EHEC pedestal formation.
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii wild-type cells are surrounded by the insoluble cell wall component, a sac-like framework of cross-linked glycoproteins containing 22% hydroxyproline. The chaotrope-soluble cell wall glycoprotein GP1 is the only polypeptide with an even higher proportion of hydroxyproline (35%) occurring in vegetative C. reinhardtii cells. Mass spectrometric analyses of peptides released from the purified insoluble cell wall fraction by trypsin treatment and epitope analyses of polyclonal antibodies raised against different deglycosylation products of this particular wall fraction using 181 chemically synthesized GP1-derived pentadecapeptides revealed evidence that GP1 is indeed a constituent of the insoluble wall component.
Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 3 (CEACAM3) is a phagocytic receptor on human granulocytes, which mediates the opsonin-independent recognition and internalization of a restricted set of Gram-negative bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In an unbiased screen using a SH2 domain microarray we identified the SH2 domain of growth factor receptor-bound protein 14 (Grb14) as a novel binding partner of CEACAM3. Biochemical assays and microscopic studies demonstrated that the Grb14 SH2 domain promoted the rapid recruitment of this adaptor protein to the immunoreceptor-based activation motif (ITAM)-like sequence within the cytoplasmic domain of CEACAM3. Furthermore, FRET-FLIM analyses confirmed the direct association of Grb14 and CEACAM3 in intact cells at the sites of bacteria-host cell contact. Knockdown of endogenous Grb14 by RNA interference as well as Grb14 overexpression indicate an inhibitory role for this adapter protein in CEACAM3-mediated phagocytosis. Therefore, Grb14 is the first negative regulator of CEACAM3-initiated bacterial phagocytosis and might help to focus granulocyte responses to the subcellular sites of pathogen-host cell contact.
Helicobacter pylori is a specific gastric pathogen that colonizes the stomach in more than 50% of the worlds human population. Infection with this bacterium can induce several types of gastric pathology, ranging from chronic gastritis to peptic ulcers and even adenocarcinoma. Virulent H. pylori isolates encode components of a type IV secretion system (T4SS), which form a pilus for the injection of virulence proteins such as CagA into host target cells. This is accomplished by a specialized adhesin on the pilus surface, the protein CagL, a putative VirB5 ortholog, which binds to host cell ?(1) integrin, triggering subsequent delivery of CagA across the host cell membrane. Like the human extracellular matrix protein fibronectin, CagL contains an RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) motif and is able to trigger intracellular signaling pathways by RGD-dependent binding to integrins. While CagL binding to host cells is mediated primarily by the RGD motif, we identified an auxiliary binding motif for CagL-integrin interaction. Here, we report on a surface exposed FEANE (Phe-Glu-Ala-Asn-Glu) interaction motif in spatial proximity to the RGD sequence, which enhances the interactions of CagL with integrins. It will be referred to as RGD helper sequence (RHS). Competitive cell adhesion assays with recombinant wild type CagL and point mutants, competition experiments with synthetic cyclic and linear peptides, and peptide array experiments revealed amino acids essential for the interaction of the RHS motif with integrins. Infection experiments indicate that the RHS motif plays a role in the early interaction of H. pylori T4SS with integrin, to trigger signaling and to inject CagA into host cells. We thus postulate that CagL is a versatile T4SS surface protein equipped with at least two motifs to promote binding to integrins, thereby causing aberrant signaling within host cells and facilitating translocation of CagA into host cells, thus contributing directly to H. pylori pathogenesis.
Myxobacteria are amongst the top producers of natural products. The diversity and unique structural properties of their secondary metabolites is what make these social microbes highly attractive for drug discovery. Screening of products derived from these bacteria has revealed a puzzling amount of hits against infectious and non-infectious human diseases. Preying mainly on other bacteria and fungi, why would these ancient hunters manufacture compounds beneficial for us? The answer may be the targeting of shared processes and structural features conserved throughout evolution.
Background? Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death and a source of chronic disability. Objectives? To assess recognition of and reaction to symptoms of heart attack and stroke, and how recognition is related to the frequency of consulting physicians and other information sources. Design? Face-to-face computer-assisted personal interviews. Participants? Representative sample of 10?228 persons in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain and UK, aged 14-98. Main Outcome Variables? Recognition of heart attack and stroke symptoms and proper reaction to symptoms. Results? Chest pain was the only heart attack symptom recognized by more than 50% of participants. Eight percent knew no symptoms. Of 14 stroke symptoms, none was recognized by more than 50% of participants; 19% could not identify any symptom. For both heart attack and stroke, Germans and Austrians recognized the largest number of symptoms. Persons in Italy, Poland, Russia and Spain knew only about half as many symptoms as in Germany or Austria. Only 51% of Europeans would call an ambulance when someone suffers a stroke, the fewest (33 and 34%) in Germany and Austria. In most countries, people who consulted their physician more frequently had no better recognition of heart attack or stroke symptoms. Conclusions? The majority of persons in nine European countries recognize few heart attack and stroke symptoms; many do not know how to react. This low level of knowledge constitutes a major health risk and likely leads to delay in treatment, contributing to the high mortality and morbidity from these diseases.
Elevated expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8) has been implicated in inflammatory diseases, in tumor growth, and in angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to identify natural or synthetic compounds that suppress IL-8 production in response to interleukin-1 (IL-1), the natural inflammatory stimulus of the IL-8 gene. We therefore developed an IL-1-inducible cell-based screening assay by stable integration of an IL-8 reporter gene into HeLa S3 cells. The screening of heterogeneous compound libraries revealed several compounds that displayed an inhibitory effect on the reporter gene expression. Following hit validation, we focused on the most efficient compound, spirangien A, and its chemical derivate spirangien M522. Detailed analysis shows that both compounds are potent inhibitors of the endogenous IL-8 gene transcription. Furthermore, both compounds decelerate the phosphorylation and degradation of I?B?, the key regulator of the IL-1-stimulated NF-?B signaling pathway. Our study has identified the two spirangiens A and M522 as potent inhibitors of IL-1/NF-?B-mediated IL-8 gene expression.
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