This is the institutional Repository of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig/Germany (HZI), the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrücken/Germany, the TWINCORE Zentrum für Exprerimentelle und Klinische Infektionsforschung, Hannover/Germany,Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung (HIRI), Würzburg/Germany, Braunschweig Integrated Centre for Systems biology (BRICS), Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) the Study Centre Hannover, Hannover/Germany and the Centre for Individualised Infection Medicine (CiiM).

 

  • A Grad-seq View of RNA and Protein Complexes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa under Standard and Bacteriophage Predation Conditions.

    Gerovac, Milan; Wicke, Laura; Chihara, Kotaro; Schneider, Cornelius; Lavigne, Rob; Vogel, Jörg; HIRI, Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung, Josef-Shneider Strasse 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany. (American Society for Microbiology (ASM), 2021-02-09)
    The Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is not only a major cause of nosocomial infections but also serves as a model species of bacterial RNA biology. While its transcriptome architecture and posttranscriptional regulation through the RNA-binding proteins Hfq, RsmA, and RsmN have been studied in detail, global information about stable RNA-protein complexes in this human pathogen is currently lacking. Here, we implement gradient profiling by sequencing (Grad-seq) in exponentially growing P. aeruginosa cells to comprehensively predict RNA and protein complexes, based on glycerol gradient sedimentation profiles of >73% of all transcripts and ∼40% of all proteins. As to benchmarking, our global profiles readily reported complexes of stable RNAs of P. aeruginosa, including 6S RNA with RNA polymerase and associated product RNAs (pRNAs). We observe specific clusters of noncoding RNAs, which correlate with Hfq and RsmA/N, and provide a first hint that P. aeruginosa expresses a ProQ-like FinO domain-containing RNA-binding protein. To understand how biological stress may perturb cellular RNA/protein complexes, we performed Grad-seq after infection by the bacteriophage ΦKZ. This model phage, which has a well-defined transcription profile during host takeover, displayed efficient translational utilization of phage mRNAs and tRNAs, as evident from their increased cosedimentation with ribosomal subunits. Additionally, Grad-seq experimentally determines previously overlooked phage-encoded noncoding RNAs. Taken together, the Pseudomonas protein and RNA complex data provided here will pave the way to a better understanding of RNA-protein interactions during viral predation of the bacterial cell.IMPORTANCE Stable complexes by cellular proteins and RNA molecules lie at the heart of gene regulation and physiology in any bacterium of interest. It is therefore crucial to globally determine these complexes in order to identify and characterize new molecular players and regulation mechanisms. Pseudomonads harbor some of the largest genomes known in bacteria, encoding ∼5,500 different proteins. Here, we provide a first glimpse on which proteins and cellular transcripts form stable complexes in the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa We additionally performed this analysis with bacteria subjected to the important and frequently encountered biological stress of a bacteriophage infection. We identified several molecules with established roles in a variety of cellular pathways, which were affected by the phage and can now be explored for their role during phage infection. Most importantly, we observed strong colocalization of phage transcripts and host ribosomes, indicating the existence of specialized translation mechanisms during phage infection. All data are publicly available in an interactive and easy to use browser.
  • COVID-19 immune signatures reveal stable antiviral T cell function despite declining humoral responses.

    Bonifacius, Agnes; Tischer-Zimmermann, Sabine; Dragon, Anna C; Gussarow, Daniel; Vogel, Alexander; Krettek, Ulrike; Gödecke, Nina; Yilmaz, Mustafa; Kraft, Anke R M; Hoeper, Marius M; et al.
    Cellular and humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is critical to control primary infection and correlates with severity of disease. The role of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity, its relationship to antibodies, and pre-existing immunity against endemic coronaviruses (huCoV), which has been hypothesized to be protective, were investigated in 82 healthy donors (HDs), 204 recovered (RCs), and 92 active COVID-19 patients (ACs). ACs had high amounts of anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and spike IgG but lymphopenia and overall reduced antiviral T cell responses due to the inflammatory milieu, expression of inhibitory molecules (PD-1, Tim-3) as well as effector caspase-3, -7, and -8 activity in T cells. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity conferred by polyfunctional, mainly interferon-γ-secreting CD4+ T cells remained stable throughout convalescence, whereas humoral responses declined. Immune responses toward huCoV in RCs with mild disease and strong cellular SARS-CoV-2 T cell reactivity imply a protective role of pre-existing immunity against huCoV.
  • Three new species of Hypoxylon and new records of Xylariales from Panama

    Cedeño–Sanchez, M; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Mushroom Research Foundation, 2020-03-31)
    This is a continuation of the papers “Towards a classification of Sordariomycetes” (2015) and “Families of Sordariomycetes” (2016) in which we compile a treatment of the class Sordariomycetes. The present treatment is needed as our knowledge has rapidly increased, from 32 orders, 105 families and 1331 genera in 2016, to 45 orders, 167 families and 1499 genera (with 308 genera incertae sedis) at the time of publication. In this treatment we provide notes on each order, families and short notes on each genus. We provide up-to-date DNA based phylogenies for 45 orders and 163 families. Three new genera and 16 new species are introduced with illustrations and descriptions, while 23 new records and three new species combinations are provided. We also list 308 taxa in Sordariomycetes genera incertae sedis. For each family we provide general descriptions and illustrate the type genus or another genus, the latter where the placement has generally been confirmed with molecular data. Both the sexual and asexual morphs representative of a family are illustrated where available. Notes on ecological and economic considerations are also given
  • Refined families of Sordariomycetes

    Hyde, KD; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Mushroom Research Foundation, 2020-03-31)
    This is a continuation of the papers “Towards a classification of Sordariomycetes” (2015) and “Families of Sordariomycetes” (2016) in which we compile a treatment of the class Sordariomycetes. The present treatment is needed as our knowledge has rapidly increased, from 32 orders, 105 families and 1331 genera in 2016, to 45 orders, 167 families and 1499 genera (with 308 genera incertae sedis) at the time of publication. In this treatment we provide notes on each order, families and short notes on each genus. We provide up-to-date DNA based phylogenies for 45 orders and 163 families. Three new genera and 16 new species are introduced with illustrations and descriptions, while 23 new records and three new species combinations are provided. We also list 308 taxa in Sordariomycetes genera incertae sedis. For each family we provide general descriptions and illustrate the type genus or another genus, the latter where the placement has generally been confirmed with molecular data. Both the sexual and asexual morphs representative of a family are illustrated where available. Notes on ecological and economic considerations are also given.
  • Second-generation lung-on-a-chip with an array of stretchable alveoli made with a biological membrane.

    Zamprogno, Pauline; Wüthrich, Simon; Achenbach, Sven; Thoma, Giuditta; Stucki, Janick D; Hobi, Nina; Schneider-Daum, Nicole; Lehr, Claus-Michael; Huwer, Hanno; Geiser, Thomas; et al. (Nature Pulishing Group, 2021-02-05)
    The air-blood barrier with its complex architecture and dynamic environment is difficult to mimic in vitro. Lung-on-a-chips enable mimicking the breathing movements using a thin, stretchable PDMS membrane. However, they fail to reproduce the characteristic alveoli network as well as the biochemical and physical properties of the alveolar basal membrane. Here, we present a lung-on-a-chip, based on a biological, stretchable and biodegradable membrane made of collagen and elastin, that emulates an array of tiny alveoli with in vivo-like dimensions. This membrane outperforms PDMS in many ways: it does not absorb rhodamine-B, is biodegradable, is created by a simple method, and can easily be tuned to modify its thickness, composition and stiffness. The air-blood barrier is reconstituted using primary lung alveolar epithelial cells from patients and primary lung endothelial cells. Typical alveolar epithelial cell markers are expressed, while the barrier properties are preserved for up to 3 weeks.

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