• The 3D structure of Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus LANA C-terminal domain bound to DNA.

      Hellert, Jan; Weidner-Glunde, Magdalena; Krausze, Joern; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Ritter, Christiane; Schulz, Thomas F; Lührs, Thorsten (2015-05-26)
      Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) persists as a latent nuclear episome in dividing host cells. This episome is tethered to host chromatin to ensure proper segregation during mitosis. For duplication of the latent genome, the cellular replication machinery is recruited. Both of these functions rely on the constitutively expressed latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) of the virus. Here, we report the crystal structure of the KSHV LANA DNA-binding domain (DBD) in complex with its high-affinity viral target DNA, LANA binding site 1 (LBS1), at 2.9 Å resolution. In contrast to homologous proteins such as Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) of the related γ-herpesvirus Epstein-Barr virus, specific DNA recognition by LANA is highly asymmetric. In addition to solving the crystal structure, we found that apart from the two known LANA binding sites, LBS1 and LBS2, LANA also binds to a novel site, denoted LBS3. All three sites are located in a region of the KSHV terminal repeat subunit previously recognized as a minimal replicator. Moreover, we show that the LANA DBD can coat DNA of arbitrary sequence by virtue of a characteristic lysine patch, which is absent in EBNA-1 of the Epstein-Barr virus. Likely, these higher-order assemblies involve the self-association of LANA into supermolecular spirals. One such spiral assembly was solved as a crystal structure of 3.7 Å resolution in the absence of DNA. On the basis of our data, we propose a model for the controlled nucleation of higher-order LANA oligomers that might contribute to the characteristic subnuclear KSHV microdomains ("LANA speckles"), a hallmark of KSHV latency.
    • Detection of anti-HPV11-L1 antibodies in immune sera from patients suffering from recurrent respiratory papillomatosis using ELISA.

      Durzyńska, Julia; Błazejewska, Paulina; Szydłowski, Jarosław; Goździcka-Józefiak, Anna; Department of Molecular Virology, Faculty of Biology, University of A. Mickiewicz, Poznan, Poznan. juliadur@amu.edu.pl (2010-08)
      Infection with human papillomaviruses (mostly HPV6 and HPV11) may lead to recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), a chronic disease affecting 2-4/100,000 people. Papillomas have to be removed surgically so patients can breathe normally. Papillomas often grow back and some patients are subjected to a number of operations. In general, asymptomatic HPV-positive people have low levels of antiviral antibodies in their sera, as the human humoral response is weak due to HPV's biology. In patients suffering from RRP who have undergone multiple surgeries, a blood-epithelium barrier breach stimulates the production of anti-HPV antibodies. Our study's aim was to produce HisTag-HPV11-L1 major capsid protein in E. coli cells, and to purify it. We also sought to detect anti-HPV11-L1 antibodies in antisera obtained from RRP patients using ELISA. Clinical samples were collected from 47 patients with RRP (antisera and papillomas), and from 32 controls (sera and oral swabs), from the Wielkopolska region of Poland. Antisera and control sera were used to coat microplates, HisTag-HPV11-L1 antigen was applied, and antibody-antigen complexes were detected by anti-HisTag monoclonal antibody in an ELISA assay. Simultaneously, total cellular DNA was extracted from papillomas and oral squamous cells obtained from controls. All DNA samples were screened for HPV DNA using MY-PCR. All patients were HPV-positive (30% for HPV6 and 70% for HPV11). Statistically significant correlations were found between the amount of anti-HPV11-L1 antibodies in the sera of RRP patients and the number of surgical procedures they underwent. Although HPV virus-like particles are most often used for anti-HPV antibody detection, the ELISA method presented herein is another viable option for use in RRP patients.
    • Genomic structure and expression of Jmjd6 and evolutionary analysis in the context of related JmjC domain containing proteins.

      Hahn, Phillip; Böse, Jens; Edler, Stefanie; Lengeling, Andreas; Research Group Infection Genetics, Department of Experimental Mouse Genetics, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, D-31824 Braunschweig, Germany. Phillip.Hahn@helmholtz-hzi.de (2008)
      BACKGROUND: The jumonji C (JmjC) domain containing gene 6 (Jmjd6, previously known as phosphatidylserine receptor) has misleadingly been annotated to encode a transmembrane receptor for the engulfment of apoptotic cells. Given the importance of JmjC domain containing proteins in controlling a wide range of diverse biological functions, we undertook a comparative genomic analysis to gain further insights in Jmjd6 gene organisation, evolution, and protein function. RESULTS: We describe here a semiautomated computational pipeline to identify and annotate JmjC domain containing proteins. Using a sequence segment N-terminal of the Jmjd6 JmjC domain as query for a reciprocal BLAST search, we identified homologous sequences in 62 species across all major phyla. Retrieved Jmjd6 sequences were used to phylogenetically analyse corresponding loci and their genomic neighbourhood. This analysis let to the identification and characterisation of a bi-directional transcriptional unit compromising the Jmjd6 and 1110005A03Rik genes and to the recognition of a new, before overseen Jmjd6 exon in mammals. Using expression studies, two novel Jmjd6 splice variants were identified and validated in vivo. Analysis of the Jmjd6 neighbouring gene 1110005A03Rik revealed an incident deletion of this gene in two out of three earlier reported Jmjd6 knockout mice, which might affect previously described conflicting phenotypes. To determine potentially important residues for Jmjd6 function a structural model of the Jmjd6 protein was calculated based on sequence conservation. This approach identified a conserved double-stranded beta-helix (DSBH) fold and a HxDxnH facial triad as structural motifs. Moreover, our systematic annotation in nine species identified 313 DSBH fold-containing proteins that split into 25 highly conserved subgroups. CONCLUSION: We give further evidence that Jmjd6 most likely has a function as a nonheme-Fe(II)-2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase as previously suggested. Further, we provide novel insights into the evolution of Jmjd6 and other related members of the superfamily of JmjC domain containing proteins. Finally, we discuss possibilities of the involvement of Jmjd6 and 1110005A03Rik in an antagonistic biochemical pathway.
    • Immunization with live virus vaccine protects highly susceptible DBA/2J mice from lethal influenza A H1N1 infection.

      Dengler, Leonie; May, Mathias; Wilk, Esther; Bahgat, Mahmoud M; Schughart, Klaus; Department of Infection Genetics, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012)
      The mouse represents an important model system to study the host response to influenza A infections and to evaluate new prevention or treatment strategies. We and others reported that the susceptibility to influenza A virus infections strongly varies among different inbred mouse strains. In particular, DBA/2J mice are highly susceptible to several influenza A subtypes, including human isolates and exhibit severe symptoms after infection with clinical isolates.
    • Inhibition of lung serine proteases in mice: a potentially new approach to control influenza infection.

      Bahgat, Mahmoud M; Błazejewska, Paulina; Schughart, Klaus; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-01-20)
      Host serine proteases are essential for the influenza virus life cycle because the viral haemagglutinin is synthesized as a precursor which requires proteolytic maturation. Therefore, we studied the activity and expression of serine proteases in lungs from mice infected with influenza and evaluated the effect of serine protease inhibitors on virus replication both in cell culture and in infected mice.
    • Jmjd6 catalyses lysyl-hydroxylation of U2AF65, a protein associated with RNA splicing.

      Webby, Celia J; Wolf, Alexander; Gromak, Natalia; Dreger, Mathias; Kramer, Holger; Kessler, Benedikt; Nielsen, Michael L; Schmitz, Corinna; Butler, Danica S; Yates, John R; et al. (2009-07-03)
      The finding that the metazoan hypoxic response is regulated by oxygen-dependent posttranslational hydroxylations, which regulate the activity and lifetime of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), has raised the question of whether other hydroxylases are involved in the regulation of gene expression. We reveal that the splicing factor U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein auxiliary factor 65-kilodalton subunit (U2AF65) undergoes posttranslational lysyl-5-hydroxylation catalyzed by the Fe(II) and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase Jumonji domain-6 protein (Jmjd6). Jmjd6 is a nuclear protein that has an important role in vertebrate development and is a human homolog of the HIF asparaginyl-hydroxylase. Jmjd6 is shown to change alternative RNA splicing of some, but not all, of the endogenous and reporter genes, supporting a specific role for Jmjd6 in the regulation of RNA splicing.
    • Protection from Severe Influenza Virus Infections in Mice Carrying the Mx1 Influenza Virus Resistance Gene Strongly Depends on Genetic Background.

      Shin, Dai-Lun; Hatesuer, Bastian; Bergmann, Silke; Nedelko, Tatiana; Schughart, Klaus; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-10)
      Influenza virus infections represent a serious threat to human health. Both extrinsic and intrinsic factors determine the severity of influenza. The MX dynamin-like GTPase 1 (Mx1) gene has been shown to confer strong resistance to influenza A virus infections in mice. Most laboratory mouse strains, including C57BL/6J, carry nonsense or deletion mutations in Mx1 and thus a nonfunctional allele, whereas wild-derived mouse strains carry a wild-type Mx1 allele. Congenic C57BL/6J (B6-Mx1(r/r)) mice expressing a wild-type allele from the A2G mouse strain are highly resistant to influenza A virus infections, to both mono- and polybasic subtypes. Furthermore, in genetic mapping studies, Mx1 was identified as the major locus of resistance to influenza virus infections. Here, we investigated whether the Mx1 protective function is influenced by the genetic background. For this, we generated a congenic mouse strain carrying the A2G wild-type Mx1 resistance allele on a DBA/2J background (D2-Mx1(r/r)). Most remarkably, congenic D2-Mx1(r/r) mice expressing a functional Mx1 wild-type allele are still highly susceptible to H1N1 virus. However, pretreatment of D2-Mx1(r/r) mice with alpha interferon protected them from lethal infections. Our results showed, for the first time, that the presence of an Mx1 wild-type allele from A2G as such does not fully protect mice from lethal influenza A virus infections. These observations are also highly relevant for susceptibility to influenza virus infections in humans.
    • Quantitative determination of the diagnostic accuracy of the synovitis score and its components.

      Slansky, Elisabeth; Li, Jialiang; Häupl, Thomas; Morawietz, Lars; Krenn, Veit; Pessler, Frank; Medical Faculty 'Carl Gustav Carus', Technical University of Dresden, Germany. (2010-09)
      To assess the diagnostic accuracy of a three-component synovitis score and to determine the relative contribution of each of its components to its overall discriminatory power.
    • Self-collected nasal swabs to detect infection and colonization: a useful tool for population-based epidemiological studies?

      Akmatov, M K; Pessler, F; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-09)
      Population-based epidemiological studies on infectious diseases are limited by methodological problems that may not be encountered in other fields of epidemiology. The acute or asymptomatic nature of many infections hinders a timely diagnosis by trained personnel in a study centre, indicating the need for new collection methods of biological specimens. One alternative approach is to have the participants collect the specimens themselves, for instance nasal swabs for the detection of bacterial or viral pathogens. Although self-collection is widely accepted in clinical studies of specific populations (e.g., self-collection of vaginal swabs by young women to diagnose sexually transmitted infections), it has not been employed much in population-based studies. Here, we review recent experience with self-collection of nasal swabs for the detection of microorganisms and discuss future prospects and applications for this technique.
    • XGAP: a uniform and extensible data model and software platform for genotype and phenotype experiments.

      Swertz, Morris A; Velde, K Joeri van der; Tesson, Bruno M; Scheltema, Richard A; Arends, Danny; Vera, Gonzalo; Alberts, Rudi; Dijkstra, Martijn; Schofield, Paul; Schughart, Klaus; et al. (2010)
      We present an extensible software model for the genotype and phenotype community, XGAP. Readers can download a standard XGAP (http://www.xgap.org) or auto-generate a custom version using MOLGENIS with programming interfaces to R-software and web-services or user interfaces for biologists. XGAP has simple load formats for any type of genotype, epigenotype, transcript, protein, metabolite or other phenotype data. Current functionality includes tools ranging from eQTL analysis in mouse to genome-wide association studies in humans.