• Analysis of gene expression data from non-small cell lung carcinoma cell lines reveals distinct sub-classes from those identified at the phenotype level.

      Dalby, Andrew R; Emam, Ibrahim; Franke, Raimo; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012)
      Microarray data from cell lines of Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (NSCLC) can be used to look for differences in gene expression between the cell lines derived from different tumour samples, and to investigate if these differences can be used to cluster the cell lines into distinct groups. Dividing the cell lines into classes can help to improve diagnosis and the development of screens for new drug candidates. The micro-array data is first subjected to quality control analysis and then subsequently normalised using three alternate methods to reduce the chances of differences being artefacts resulting from the normalisation process. The final clustering into sub-classes was carried out in a conservative manner such that sub-classes were consistent across all three normalisation methods. If there is structure in the cell line population it was expected that this would agree with histological classifications, but this was not found to be the case. To check the biological consistency of the sub-classes the set of most strongly differentially expressed genes was be identified for each pair of clusters to check if the genes that most strongly define sub-classes have biological functions consistent with NSCLC.
    • Identification of a PA-binding peptide with inhibitory activity against influenza A and B virus replication.

      Wunderlich, Kerstin; Mayer, Daniel; Ranadheera, Charlene; Holler, Anne-Sophie; Mänz, Benjamin; Martin, Arnold; Chase, Geoffrey; Tegge, Werner; Frank, Ronald; Kessler, Ulrich; et al. (2009-10-20)
      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.
    • Influence of fenofibrate treatment on triacylglycerides, diacylglycerides and fatty acids in fructose fed rats.

      Kopf, Thomas; Schaefer, Hans-Ludwig; Troetzmueller, Martin; Koefeler, Harald; Broenstrup, Mark; Konovalova, Tatiana; Schmitz, Gerd (2014)
      Fenofibrate (FF) lowers plasma triglycerides via PPARα activation. Here, we analyzed lipidomic changes upon FF treatment of fructose fed rats. Three groups with 6 animals each were defined as control, fructose-fed and fructose-fed/FF treated. Male Wistar Unilever Rats were subjected to 10% fructose-feeding for 20 days. On day 14, fenofibrate treatment (100 mg/kg p.o.) was initiated and maintained for 7 days. Lipid species in serum were analyzed using mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS; LC-FT-MS, GC-MS) on days 0, 14 and 20 in all three groups. In addition, lipid levels in liver and intestine were determined. Short-chain TAGs increased in serum and liver upon fructose-feeding, while almost all TAG-species decreased under FF treatment. Long-chain unsaturated DAG-levels (36:1, 36:2, 36:4, 38:3, 38:4, 38:5) increased upon FF treatment in rat liver and decreased in rat serum. FAs, especially short-chain FAs (12:0, 14:0, 16:0) increased during fructose-challenge. VLDL secretion increased upon fructose-feeding and together with FA-levels decreased to control levels during FF treatment. Fructose challenge of de novo fatty acid synthesis through fatty acid synthase (FAS) may enhance the release of FAs ≤ 16:0 chain length, a process reversed by FF-mediated PPARα-activation.
    • Multiple antibody targets on herpes B glycoproteins B and D identified by screening sera of infected rhesus macaques with peptide microarrays.

      Hotop, Sven-Kevin; Abd El Wahed, Ahmed; Beutling, Ulrike; Jentsch, Dieter; Motzkus, Dirk; Frank, Ronald; Hunsmann, Gerhard; Stahl-Hennig, Christiane; Fritz, Hans-Joachim; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014)
      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.