• Mapping of NRF binding motifs of NF-kappaB p65 subunit.

      Reboll, Marc R; Schweda, Aike T; Bartels, Myriam; Franke, Raimo; Frank, Ronald; Nourbakhsh, Mahtab; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-11)
      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.
    • Metabolome and transcriptome-wide effects of the carbon storage regulator A in enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.

      Berndt, Volker; Beckstette, Michael; Volk, Marcel; Dersch, Petra; Brönstrup, Mark; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer-Nature, 2019-01-15)
      The carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) is a conserved global regulatory system known to control central carbon pathways, biofilm formation, motility, and pathogenicity. The aim of this study was to characterize changes in major metabolic pathways induced by CsrA in human enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) grown under virulence factor-inducing conditions. For this purpose, the metabolomes and transcriptomes of EPEC and an isogenic ∆csrA mutant derivative were analyzed by untargeted mass spectrometry and RNA sequencing, respectively. Of the 159 metabolites identified from untargeted GC/MS and LC/MS data, 97 were significantly (fold change ≥ 1.5; corrected p-value ≤ 0.05) regulated between the knockout and the wildtype strain. A lack of csrA led to an accumulation of fructose-6-phosphate (F6P) and glycogen synthesis pathway products, whereas metabolites in lower glycolysis and the citric acid cycle were downregulated. Associated pathways from the citric acid cycle like aromatic amino acid and siderophore biosynthesis were also negatively influenced. The nucleoside salvage pathways were featured by an accumulation of nucleosides and nucleobases, and a downregulation of nucleotides. In addition, a pronounced downregulation of lyso-lipid metabolites was observed. A drastic change in the morphology in the form of vesicle-like structures of the ∆csrA knockout strain was visible by electron microscopy. Colanic acid synthesis genes were strongly (up to 50 fold) upregulated, and the abundance of colanic acid was 3 fold increased according to a colorimetric assay. The findings expand the scope of pathways affected by the csrA regulon and emphasize its importance as a global regulator.
    • Minimum information about a protein affinity reagent (MIAPAR).

      Bourbeillon, Julie; Orchard, Sandra; Benhar, Itai; Borrebaeck, Carl; de Daruvar, Antoine; Dübel, Stefan; Frank, Ronald; Gibson, Frank; Gloriam, David; Haslam, Niall; et al. (2010-07)
    • Modification of uptake and subcellular distribution of doxorubicin by N-acylhydrazone residues as visualised by intrinsic fluorescence.

      Effenberger-Neidnicht, Katharina; Breyer, Sandra; Mahal, Katharina; Sasse, Florenz; Schobert, Rainer (2012-01)
      Doxorubicin (1) is commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of cancers. Some N-acylhydrazones of 1 were previously found to have an improved tumour and organ selectivity. In order to clarify the molecular basis for this effect, the cellular uptake into various cancer cells and the localisation in PtK(2) potoroo kidney cells of 1 and its N-acylhydrazones derived from heptadecanoic acid (2) and 11-(menthoxycarbonyl)undecanoic acid (3) were studied drawing on their intrinsic fluorescence.
    • A modular synthesis of tetracyclic meroterpenoid antibiotics

      Wildermuth, Raphael; Speck, Klaus; Haut, Franz-Lucas; Mayer, Peter; Karge, Bianka; Brönstrup, Mark; Magauer, Thomas; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
    • A multi-target caffeine derived rhodium(i) N-heterocyclic carbene complex: evaluation of the mechanism of action.

      Zhang, Jing-Jing; Muenzner, Julienne K; Abu El Maaty, Mohamed A; Karge, Bianka; Schobert, Rainer; Wölfl, Stefan; Ott, Ingo; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-08-16)
      A rhodium(i) and a ruthenium(ii) complex with a caffeine derived N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligand were biologically investigated as organometallic conjugates consisting of a metal center and a naturally occurring moiety. While the ruthenium(ii) complex was largely inactive, the rhodium(i) NHC complex displayed selective cytotoxicity and significant anti-metastatic and in vivo anti-vascular activities and acted as both a mammalian and an E. coli thioredoxin reductase inhibitor. In HCT-116 cells it increased the reactive oxygen species level, leading to DNA damage, and it induced cell cycle arrest, decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential, and triggered apoptosis. This rhodium(i) NHC derivative thus represents a multi-target compound with promising anti-cancer potential.
    • 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.
    • Multivalent Siderophore-DOTAM Conjugates as Theranostics for Imaging and Treatment of Bacterial Infections.

      Ferreira, Kevin; Hu, Hai-Yu; Fetz, Verena; Prochnow, Hans; Rais, Bushra; Müller, Peter P; Brönstrup, Mark; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-07-03)
      There is a strong need to better diagnose infections at deep body sites through noninvasive molecular imaging methods. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of probes based on siderophore conjugates with catechol moieties and a central DOTAM scaffold. The probes can accommodate a metal ion as well as an antibiotic moiety and are therefore suited for theranostic purposes. The translocation of the conjugates across the outer and inner cell membranes of E. coli was confirmed by growth recovery experiments with enterobactin-deficient strains, by the antibacterial activity of ampicillin conjugates, and by confocal imaging using a fluorogen-activating protein-malachite green system adapted to E. coli. The suitability of the probes for in vivo imaging was demonstrated with a Cy5.5 conjugate in mice infected with P. aeruginosa.
    • Myxobacteria: natural pharmaceutical factories.

      Diez, Juana; Martinez, Javier P; Mestres, Jordi; Sasse, Florenz; Frank, Ronald; Meyerhans, Andreas; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012)
      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.
    • The myxobacterial metabolite ratjadone A inhibits HIV infection by blocking the Rev/CRM1-mediated nuclear export pathway

      Fleta-Soriano, Eric; Martinez, Javier P; Hinkelmann, Bettina; Gerth, Klaus; Washausen, Peter; Diez, Juana; Frank, Ronald; Sasse, Florenz; Meyerhans, Andreas (2014-01-29)
      Abstract Background 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. Results Ratjadone A inhibits HIV infection in vitro in a dose-dependent manner with EC50 values at the nanomolar range. The inhibitory effect of ratjadone A occurs around 12 hours post-infection and is specific for the Rev/CRM1-mediated nuclear export pathway. By using a drug affinity responsive target stability (DARTS) assay we could demonstrate that ratjadone A interferes with the formation of the CRM1-Rev-NES complex by binding to CRM1 but not to Rev. Conclusion Ratjadone A exhibits strong anti-HIV activity but low selectivity due to toxic effects. Although this limits its potential use as a therapeutic drug, further studies with derivatives of ratjadones might help to overcome these difficulties in the future.
    • The myxobacterial metabolite Soraphen A inhibits HIV-1 by reducing virus production and altering virion composition.

      Fleta-Soriano, Eric; Smutná, Katarína; Martinez, Javier P; Lorca Oró, Cristina; Sadiq, S Kashif; Mirambeau, Gilles; Lopez-Iglesias, Carmen; Bosch, Marta; Pol, Albert; Brönstrup, Mark; et al. (2017-05-22)
      Soraphen A is a myxobacterial metabolite that blocks the acetyl-CoA carboxylase of the host, and was previously identified as a novel HIV inhibitor. Here we report that Soraphen A acts by reducing virus production and altering the gp120 virion content, impacting entry capacity and infectivity. These effects are partially reversed by addition of palmitic acid, suggesting inhibition of HIV Env palmitoylation as one of the mechanisms of antiviral action.
    • New geldanamycin derivatives with anti Hsp properties by mutasynthesis.

      Hermane, Jekaterina; Eichner, Simone; Mancuso, Lena; Schröder, Benjamin; Sasse, Florenz; Zeilinger, Carsten; Kirschning, Andreas; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019-05-29)
      Mutasynthetic supplementation of the AHBA blocked mutant strain of S. hygroscopicus, the geldanamycin producer, with 21 aromatic and heteroaromatic amino acids provided new nonquinoid geldanamycin derivatives. Large scale (5 L) fermentation provided four new derivatives in sufficient quantity for full structural characterisation. Among these, the first thiophene derivative of reblastatin showed strong antiproliferative activity towards several human cancer cell lines. Additionally, inhibitory effects on human heat shock protein Hsp90α and bacterial heat shock protein from H. pylori HpHtpG were observed, revealing strong displacement properties for labelled ATP and demonstrating that the ATP-binding site of Hsps is the target site for the new geldanamycin derivatives.
    • New Structural Templates for Clinically Validated and Novel Targets in Antimicrobial Drug Research and Development.

      Klahn, Philipp; Brönstrup, Mark; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-10-05)
      The development of bacterial resistance against current antibiotic drugs necessitates a continuous renewal of the arsenal of efficacious drugs. This imperative has not been met by the output of antibiotic research and development of the past decades for various reasons, including the declining efforts of large pharma companies in this area. Moreover, the majority of novel antibiotics are chemical derivatives of existing structures that represent mostly step innovations, implying that the available chemical space may be exhausted. This review negates this impression by showcasing recent achievements in lead finding and optimization of antibiotics that have novel or unexplored chemical structures. Not surprisingly, many of the novel structural templates like teixobactins, lysocin, griselimycin, or the albicidin/cystobactamid pair were discovered from natural sources. Additional compounds were obtained from the screening of synthetic libraries and chemical synthesis, including the gyrase-inhibiting NTBI's and spiropyrimidinetrione, the tarocin and targocil inhibitors of wall teichoic acid synthesis, or the boronates and diazabicyclo[3.2.1]octane as novel β-lactamase inhibitors. A motif that is common to most clinically validated antibiotics is that they address hotspots in complex biosynthetic machineries, whose functioning is essential for the bacterial cell. Therefore, an introduction to the biological targets-cell wall synthesis, topoisomerases, the DNA sliding clamp, and membrane-bound electron transport-is given for each of the leads presented here.
    • Non-Invasive Luciferase Imaging of Type I Interferon Induction in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Biomaterial Associated Bacterial Infections: Microbial Specificity and Inter-Bacterial Species Interactions.

      Rahim, Muhammad Imran; Winkel, Andreas; Lienenklaus, Stefan; Stumpp, Nico S; Szafrański, Szymon P; Kommerein, Nadine; Willbold, Elmar; Reifenrath, Janin; Mueller, Peter P; Eisenburger, Michael; et al. (MDPI, 2020-10-21)
      The performance of biomaterials is often compromised by bacterial infections and subsequent inflammation. So far, the conventional analysis of inflammatory processes in vivo involves time-consuming histology and biochemical assays. The present study employed a mouse model where interferon beta (IFN-β) is monitored as a marker for non-invasive rapid detection of inflammation in implant-related infections. The mouse model comprises subcutaneous implantation of morphologically modified titanium, followed by experimental infections with four taxonomically diverse oral bacteria: Streptococcus oralis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Treponema denticola (as mono culture or selected mixed-culture). IFN-β expression increased upon infections depending on the type of pathogen and was prolonged by the presence of the implant. IFN-β expression kinetics reduced with two mixed species infections when compared with the single species. Histological and confocal microscopy confirmed pathogen-specific infiltration of inflammatory cells at the implant-tissue interface. This was observed mainly in the vicinity of infected implants and was, in contrast to interferon expression, higher in infections with dual species. In summary, this non-invasive mouse model can be used to quantify longitudinally host inflammation in real time and suggests that the polymicrobial character of infection, highly relevant to clinical situations, has complex effects on host immunity.
    • Novel peptidomimetic compounds containing redox active chalcogens and quinones as potential anticancer agents.

      Shaaban, Saad; Diestel, Randi; Hinkelmann, Bettina; Muthukumar, Yazh; Verma, Rajeshwar P; Sasse, Florenz; Jacob, Claus; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012-12)
      Many types of cancer cells are associated with a disturbed intracellular redox balance and oxidative stress (OS). Among the various agents employed to modulate the intracellular redox state of cells, certain redox catalysts containing quinone and chalcogen moieties have shown considerable promise. Passerini multicomponent reaction has been developed for the synthesis of agents combining two, three or even four redox centers in one molecule in a good yield. When incubated with cancer cells these agents inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, some of these redox active compounds exhibited quite low toxicity with normal cells. The cause was obviously OS, which was reflected by significant decrease in reduced glutathione, subsequently cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis.
    • The nuclear export inhibitor aminoratjadone is a potent effector in extracellular-targeted drug conjugates.

      Klahn, Philipp; Fetz, Verena; Ritter, Antje; Collisi, Wera; Hinkelmann, Bettina; Arnold, Tatjana; Tegge, Werner; Rox, Katharina; Hüttel, Stephan; Mohr, Kathrin I; et al. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019-05-28)
      The concept of targeted drug conjugates has been successfully translated to clinical practice in oncology. Whereas the majority of cytotoxic effectors in drug conjugates are directed against either DNA or tubulin, our study aimed to validate nuclear export inhibition as a novel effector principle in drug conjugates. For this purpose, a semisynthetic route starting from the natural product ratjadone A, a potent nuclear export inhibitor, has been developed. The biological evaluation of ratjadones functionalized at the 16-position revealed that oxo- and amino-analogues had very high potencies against cancer cell lines (e.g. 16R-aminoratjadone 16 with IC50 = 260 pM against MCF-7 cells, or 19-oxoratjadone 14 with IC50 = 100 pM against A-549 cells). Mechanistically, the conjugates retained a nuclear export inhibitory activity through binding CRM1. To demonstrate a proof-of-principle for cellular targeting, folate- and luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH)-based carrier molecules were synthesized and coupled to aminoratjadones as well as fluorescein for cellular efficacy and imaging studies, respectively. The Trojan-Horse conjugates selectively addressed receptor-positive cell lines and were highly potent inhibitors of their proliferation. For example, the folate conjugate FA-7-Val-Cit-pABA-16R-aminoratjadone had an IC50 of 34.3 nM, and the LHRH conjugate d-Orn-Gose-Val-Cit-pABA-16R-aminoratjadone had an IC50 of 12.8 nM. The results demonstrate that nuclear export inhibition is a promising mode-of-action for extracellular-targeted drug conjugate payloads.
    • Occupation-Associated Fatal Limbic Encephalitis Caused by Variegated Squirrel Bornavirus 1, Germany, 2013.

      Tappe, Dennis; Schlottau, Kore; Cadar, Daniel; Hoffmann, Bernd; Balke, Lorenz; Bewig, Burkhard; Hoffmann, Donata; Eisermann, Philip; Fickenscher, Helmut; Krumbholz, Andi; et al. (2018-06-01)
      Limbic encephalitis is commonly regarded as an autoimmune-mediated disease. However, after the recent detection of zoonotic variegated squirrel bornavirus 1 in a Prevost's squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii) in a zoo in northern Germany, we retrospectively investigated a fatal case in an autoantibody-seronegative animal caretaker who had worked at that zoo. The virus had been discovered in 2015 as the cause of a cluster of cases of fatal encephalitis among breeders of variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides) in eastern Germany. Molecular assays and immunohistochemistry detected a limbic distribution of the virus in brain tissue of the animal caretaker. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated a spillover infection from the Prevost's squirrel. Antibodies against bornaviruses were detected in the patient's cerebrospinal fluid by immunofluorescence and newly developed ELISAs and immunoblot. The putative antigenic epitope was identified on the viral nucleoprotein. Other zoo workers were not infected; however, avoidance of direct contact with exotic squirrels and screening of squirrels are recommended.
    • Olfaction, taste and chemoreception: scientific evidence replaces "Essays in biopoetry".

      Appendino, Giovanni; Brönstrup, Mark; Kubanek, Julia M; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
    • The Peptide Chain Release Factor Methyltransferase PrmC Influences the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 Endo- and Exometabolome.

      Depke, Tobias; Häussler, Susanne; Brönstrup, Mark; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-10-18)
      Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most important nosocomial pathogens and understanding its virulence is the key to effective control of P. aeruginosa infections. The regulatory network governing virulence factor production in P. aeruginosa is exceptionally complex. Previous studies have shown that the peptide chain release factor methyltransferase PrmC plays an important role in bacterial pathogenicity. Yet, the underlying molecular mechanism is incompletely understood. In this study, we used untargeted liquid and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry to characterise the metabolome of a prmC defective P. aeruginosa PA14 strain in comparison with the corresponding strain complemented with prmC in trans. The comprehensive metabolomics data provided new insight into the influence of prmC on virulence and metabolism. prmC deficiency had broad effects on the endo- and exometabolome of P. aeruginosa PA14, with a marked decrease of the levels of aromatic compounds accompanied by reduced precursor supply from the shikimate pathway. Furthermore, a pronounced decrease of phenazine production was observed as well as lower abundance of alkylquinolones. Unexpectedly, the metabolomics data showed no prmC-dependent effect on rhamnolipid production and an increase in pyochelin levels. A putative virulence biomarker identified in a previous study was significantly less abundant in the prmC deficient strain.
    • Peptide-mediated interference with influenza A virus polymerase.

      Ghanem, Alexander; Mayer, Daniel; Chase, Geoffrey; Tegge, Werner; Frank, Ronald; Kochs, Georg; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Schwemmle, Martin; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-07)
      The assembly of the polymerase complex of influenza A virus from the three viral polymerase subunits PB1, PB2, and PA is required for viral RNA synthesis. We show that peptides which specifically bind to the protein-protein interaction domains in the subunits responsible for complex formation interfere with polymerase complex assembly and inhibit viral replication. Specifically, we provide evidence that a 25-amino-acid peptide corresponding to the PA-binding domain of PB1 blocks the polymerase activity of influenza A virus and inhibits viral spread. Targeting polymerase subunit interactions therefore provides a novel strategy to develop antiviral compounds against influenza A virus or other viruses.