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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Purification and functional characterization of factor I.
Methods Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2014
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Factor I (FI) is a soluble, 88 kDa glycoprotein present in plasma at a concentration of approximately 35 mg/L. FI inhibits all complement pathways as it degrades activated C4b and C3b when these are bound to a cofactor such as C4b-binding protein or factor H. Here, we describe a method for purification of FI from human plasma, which is based on affinity chromatography followed by anion exchange chromatography. We also describe a functional assay, in which activity of FI can be assessed.
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Behavioral responses to Mammalian blood odor and a blood odor component in four species of large carnivores.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Only little is known about whether single volatile compounds are as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in animals as the whole complex mixture of a behaviorally relevant odor. Recent studies analysing the composition of volatiles in mammalian blood, an important prey-associated odor stimulus for predators, found the odorant trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal to evoke a typical "metallic, blood-like" odor quality in humans. We therefore assessed the behavior of captive Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), and Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) when presented with wooden logs that were impregnated either with mammalian blood or with the blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal, and compared it to their behavior towards a fruity odor (iso-pentyl acetate) and a near-odorless solvent (diethyl phthalate) as control. We found that all four species displayed significantly more interactions with the odorized wooden logs such as sniffing, licking, biting, pawing, and toying, when they were impregnated with the two prey-associated odors compared to the two non-prey-associated odors. Most importantly, no significant differences were found in the number of interactions with the wooden logs impregnated with mammalian blood and the blood odor component in any of the four species. Only one of the four species, the South American bush dogs, displayed a significant decrease in the number of interactions with the odorized logs across the five sessions performed per odor stimulus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that a single blood odor component can be as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in large carnivores as the odor of real blood, suggesting that trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal may be perceived by predators as a "character impact compound" of mammalian blood odor. Further, the results suggest that odorized wooden logs are a suitable manner of environmental enrichment for captive carnivores.
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Conducting polymer electrodes for gel electrophoresis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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In nearly all cases, electrophoresis in gels is driven via the electrolysis of water at the electrodes, where the process consumes water and produces electrochemical by-products. We have previously demonstrated that ?-conjugated polymers such as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) can be placed between traditional metal electrodes and an electrolyte to mitigate electrolysis in liquid (capillary electroosmosis/electrophoresis) systems. In this report, we extend our previous result to gel electrophoresis, and show that electrodes containing PEDOT can be used with a commercial polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis system with minimal impact to the resulting gel image or the ionic transport measured during a separation.
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Evaluation of CADASTER QSAR models for the aquatic toxicity of (benzo)triazoles and prioritisation by consensus prediction.
Altern Lab Anim
PUBLISHED: 04-26-2013
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QSAR regression models of the toxicity of triazoles and benzotriazoles ([B]TAZs) to an alga (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata), Daphnia magna and a fish (Onchorhynchus mykiss), were developed by five partners in the FP7-EU Project, CADASTER. The models were developed by different methods - Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), Partial Least Squares (PLS), Bayesian regularised regression and Associative Neural Network (ASNN) - by using various molecular descriptors (DRAGON, PaDEL-Descriptor and QSPR-THESAURUS web). In addition, different procedures were used for variable selection, validation and applicability domain inspection. The predictions of the models developed, as well as those obtained in a consensus approach by averaging the data predicted from each model, were compared with the results of experimental tests that were performed by two CADASTER partners. The individual and consensus models were able to correctly predict the toxicity classes of the chemicals tested in the CADASTER project, confirming the utility of the QSAR approach. The models were also used for the prediction of aquatic toxicity of over 300 (B)TAZs, many of which are included in the REACH pre-registration list, and were without experimental data. This highlights the importance of QSAR models for the screening and prioritisation of untested chemicals, in order to reduce and focus experimental testing.
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A functional variant in the CFI gene confers a high risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Nat. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2013
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Up to half of the heritability of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is explained by common variants. Here, we report the identification of a rare, highly penetrant missense mutation in CFI encoding a p.Gly119Arg substitution that confers high risk of AMD (P = 3.79 × 10??; odds ratio (OR) = 22.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.98-164.49). Plasma and sera from cases carrying the p.Gly119Arg substitution mediated the degradation of C3b, both in the fluid phase and on the cell surface, to a lesser extent than those from controls. Recombinant protein studies showed that the Gly119Arg mutant protein is both expressed and secreted at lower levels than wild-type protein. Consistent with these findings, human CFI mRNA encoding Arg119 had reduced activity compared to wild-type mRNA encoding Gly119 in regulating vessel thickness and branching in the zebrafish retina. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that rare, highly penetrant mutations contribute to the genetic burden of AMD.
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Mutations in genes encoding complement inhibitors CD46 and CFH affect the age at nephritis onset in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Arthritis Res. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 09-19-2011
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Inherited deficiencies of several complement components strongly predispose to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) while deficiencies of complement inhibitors are found in kidney diseases such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).
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Complement factor I in health and disease.
Mol. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2011
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Factor I (FI) is a crucial inhibitor controlling all complement pathways due to its ability to degrade activated complement proteins C3b and C4b in the presence of cofactors such as factor H, C4b-binding protein, complement receptor 1 or CD46. Complete deficiency of FI, which is synthesized mainly in the liver is rare and leads to complement consumption resulting in recurrent severe infections, glomerulonephritis or autoimmune diseases. Incomplete FI deficiency is in turn associated with atypical haemolytic uremic syndrome, a severe disease characterized by thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia and acute renal failure. Structurally, FI is a 88kDa heterodimer of a heavy chain consisting of one FI-membrane attack complex (FIMAC) domain, one CD5 domain and two low-density lipoprotein receptor domains (LDLr), and a light chain which is a serine protease domain (SP), linked to the heavy chain by a disulfide bond. FI cleaves its in vivo substrates C3b and C4b only in the presence of cofactors, it shows poor enzymatic activity towards synthetic substrates tested so far and it has no natural inhibitor.
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Molecular characterization of two novel cases of complete complement inhibitor Factor I deficiency.
Mol. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2011
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Factor I (FI) is the major complement inhibitor that degrades activated complement components C3b and C4b in the presence of specific cofactors. Complete FI deficiency results in secondary complement deficiency due to uncontrolled spontaneous alternative pathway activation. In this study we describe two unrelated patients with complete FI deficiency and undetectable alternative complement pathway activity. Both patients had experienced recurrent infections and arthralgia/arthritis. In one patient, analysis of genomic DNA revealed deletion of two adenine nucleotides in exon 2 of the CFI gene (c.133-134delAA), causing a frame shift and premature STOP codon/termination in the FIMAC (FI-membrane attack complex) domain (p.K45SfsX11). The other patient carried an A>T substitution in exon 6 (c.866A>T) encoding the LDLr2 (low density lipoprotein receptor) domain (p.D289V), resulting in an aspartic acid to valine change. Both patients were homozygous for the mutations while their healthy parents were heterozygous carriers. The mutations were introduced into recombinant FI, causing lack of FI expression and secretion upon transient transfection. Mutation p.K45SfsX11 theoretically allows expression of a 55 amino acid fragment of FI that lacks the serine protease domain, preventing proteolytic activity. In contrast, aspartic acid D289 is crucial for folding of FI. This report describes the molecular and functional consequences of two novel mutations of FI, providing a unique insight into the pathogenesis of complete FI deficiency in these patients.
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Effects of elevated temperature on coral reef fishes: loss of hypoxia tolerance and inability to acclimate.
Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part A Mol. Integr. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2010
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Water temperature is expected to rise on coral reefs due to global warming. Here, we have examined if increased temperature reduces the hypoxia tolerance of coral reef fish (measured as critical [O(2)]), and if temperature acclimation in adults can change the resting rate of O(2) consumption and critical [O(2)]. Two common species from Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) were tested, Doederleins cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus doederleini) and lemon damselfish (Pomacentrus moluccensis). In both species, a 3 degrees C rise in water temperature caused increased oxygen consumption and reduced hypoxia tolerance, changes that were not reduced by acclimation to the higher temperature for 7 to 22 days. Critical [O(2)] increased by 71% in the cardinalfish and by 23% in the damselfish at 32 degrees C compared to 29 degrees C. The higher oxygen needs are likely to reduce the aerobic scope, which could negatively affect the capacity for feeding, growth and reproduction. The reduced hypoxia tolerance may force the fishes out of their nocturnal shelters in the coral matrix, exposing them to predation. The consequences for population and species survival could be severe unless developmental phenotypic plasticity within generations or genetic adaptation between generations could produce individuals that are more tolerant to a warmer future.
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Analysis of binding sites on complement factor I that are required for its activity.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2010
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The central complement inhibitor factor I (FI) degrades activated complement factors C4b and C3b in the presence of cofactors such as C4b-binding protein, factor H, complement receptor 1, and membrane cofactor protein. FI is a serine protease composed of two chains. The light chain comprises the serine protease domain, whereas the heavy chain contains several domains; that is, the FI and membrane attack complex domain (FIMAC), CD5, low density lipoprotein receptor 1 (LDLr1) and LDLr2 domains. To understand better how FI acts as a complement inhibitor, we used homology-based models of FI domains to predict potential binding sites. Specific amino acids were then mutated to yield 16 well expressed mutants, which were then purified from media of eukaryotic cells for functional analyses. The Michaelis constant (K(m)) of all FI mutants toward a small substrate was not altered, whereas some mutants showed increased maximum initial velocity (V(max)). All the mutations in the FIMAC domain affected the ability of FI to degrade C4b and C3b irrespective of the cofactor used, whereas only some mutations in the CD5 and LDLr1/2 domains had a similar effect. These same mutants also showed impaired binding to C3met. In conclusion, the FIMAC domain appears to harbor the main binding sites important for the ability of FI to degrade C4b and C3b.
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Mutations in components of complement influence the outcome of Factor I-associated atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Kidney Int.
PUBLISHED: 12-16-2009
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Genetic studies have shown that mutations of complement inhibitors such as membrane cofactor protein, Factors H, I, or B and C3 predispose patients to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Factor I is a circulating serine protease that inhibits complement by degrading C3b and up to now only a few mutations in the CFI gene have been characterized. In a large cohort of 202 patients with aHUS, we identified 23 patients carrying exonic mutations in CFI. Their overall clinical outcome was unfavorable, as half died or developed end-stage renal disease after their first syndrome episode. Eight patients with CFI mutations carried at least one additional known genetic risk factor for aHUS, such as a mutation in MCP, CFH, C3 or CFB; a compound heterozygous second mutation in CFI; or mutations in both the MCP and CFH genes. Five patients exhibited homozygous deletion of the Factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR-1) gene. Ten patients with aHUS had one mutation in their CFI gene (Factor I-aHUS), resulting in a quantitative or functional Factor I deficiency. Patients with a complete deletion of the CFHR-1 gene had a significantly higher risk of a bad prognosis compared with those with one Factor I mutation as their unique vulnerability feature. Our results emphasize the necessity of genetic screening for all susceptibility factors in patients with aHUS.
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Attovial-based antibody nanoarrays.
Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2009
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Antibody array-based technology is a powerful emerging tool in proteomics, but to enable global proteome analysis, antibody array layouts with even higher density has to be developed. To this end, we have further developed the first generation of a nanoarray platform, based on attoliter-sized vials, attovials, which we have characterized and used for the detection of complement factor C1q in human serum samples. Finally, we demonstrated proof-of-concept for individual functionalization of the attovials with a recombinant antibody.
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Genetic, molecular and functional analyses of complement factor I deficiency.
Eur. J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2009
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Complete deficiency of complement inhibitor factor I (FI) results in secondary complement deficiency due to uncontrolled spontaneous alternative pathway activation leading to susceptibility to infections. Current genetic examination of two patients with near complete FI deficiency and three patients with no detectable serum FI and also close family members revealed homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in several domains of FI. These mutations were introduced into recombinant FI and the resulting proteins were purified for functional studies, while transient transfection was used to analyze expression and secretion. The G170V mutation resulted in a protein that was not expressed, whereas the mutations Q232K, C237Y, S250L, I339M and H400L affected secretion. Furthermore, the C237Y and the S250L mutants did not degrade C4b and C3b as efficiently as the WT. The truncated Q336x mutant could be expressed, in vitro, but was not functional because it lacks the serine protease domain. Furthermore, this truncated FI was not detected in serum of the patient. Structural investigations using molecular modeling were performed to predict the potential impact the mutations have on FI structure. This is the first study that investigates, at the functional level, the consequences of molecular defects identified in patients with full FI deficiency.
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Factor H autoantibodies and deletion of Complement Factor H-Related protein-1 in rheumatic diseases in comparison to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Arthritis Res. Ther.
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ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Complement activation is involved in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Autoantibodies to complement inhibitor factor H (FH), particularly in association with deletions of the gene coding for FH-related protein 1 (CFHR1), are associated with aHUS. METHODS: Autoantibodies against FH, factor I (FI) and C4b-binding protein (C4BP) were measured by ELISA, while CFHR1 homozygous deletion was determined with Western blotting of sera. Epitopes for FH autoantibodies were mapped using recombinant fragments of FH. RESULTS: FH autoantibodies were detected in SLE (6.7%, n = 60, RA patients (16.5%, n = 97 in the Swedish cohort and 9.2%, n = 217 in the Dutch cohort) and thrombosis patients positive for the lupus anticoagulants (LA+) test (9.4%, n = 64) compared with aHUS patients (11.7%, n = 103). In the control groups (n = 354), an average of 4% of individuals were positive for FH autoantibodies. The frequencies observed in both RA cohorts and LA+ patients were statistically significantly higher than in controls. We also found that an average of 15.2% of the FH-autoantibody positive individuals in all studied disease groups had homozygous deficiency of CFHR1 compared with 3.8% of the FH autoantibody negative patients. The levels of FH autoantibodies varied in individual patients over time. FH autoantibodies found in LA+, SLE and RA were directed against several epitopes across FH in contrast to those found in aHUS, which bound mainly to the C-terminus. Autoantibodies against FI and C4BP were detected in some patients and controls but they were not associated with any of the diseases analyzed in this study. CONCLUSIONS: Autoantibodies against FH are not specific for aHUS but are present at a significant frequency in rheumatic diseases where they could be involved in pathophysiological mechanisms.
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Patterns of diversity in soft-bodied meiofauna: dispersal ability and body size matter.
PLoS ONE
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Biogeographical and macroecological principles are derived from patterns of distribution in large organisms, whereas microscopic ones have often been considered uninteresting, because of their supposed wide distribution. Here, after reporting the results of an intensive faunistic survey of marine microscopic animals (meiofauna) in Northern Sardinia, we test for the effect of body size, dispersal ability, and habitat features on the patterns of distribution of several groups.
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Analysis of binding sites on complement factor I using artificial N-linked glycosylation.
J. Biol. Chem.
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Factor I (FI) is a serine protease that inhibits all complement pathways by degrading activated complement components C3b and C4b. FI functions only in the presence of several cofactors, such as factor H, C4b-binding protein, complement receptor 1, and membrane cofactor protein. FI is composed of two chains linked by a disulfide bridge; the light chain comprises only the serine protease (SP) domain, whereas the heavy chain contains the FI membrane attack complex domain (FIMAC), CD5 domain, and low density lipoprotein receptor 1 (LDLr1) and LDLr2 domains. To better understand how FI inhibits complement, we used homology-based three-dimensional models of FI domains in an attempt to identify potential protein-protein interaction sites. Specific amino acids were then mutated to yield 20 recombinant mutants of FI carrying additional surface-exposed N-glycosylation sites that were expected to sterically hinder interactions. The Michaelis constant (K(m)) of all FI mutants toward a small substrate was not increased. We found that many mutations in the FIMAC and SP domains nearly abolished the ability of FI to degrade C4b and C3b in the fluid phase and on the surface, irrespective of the cofactor used. On the other hand, only a few alterations in the CD5 and LDLr1/2 domains impaired this activity. In conclusion, all analyzed cofactors form similar trimolecular complexes with FI and C3b/C4b, and the accessibility of FIMAC and SP domains is crucial for the function of FI.
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