• Gene expression profiling of macrophages: implications for an immunosuppressive effect of dissolucytotic gold ions

      Seifert, Oliver; Matussek, Andreas; Sjögren, Florence; Geffers, Robert; Anderson, Chris D (2012-11-09)
      Abstract Background Gold salts has previously been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but have been replaced by biologicals such as TNF-α inhibitors. The mechanisms behind the anti-inflammatory effect of metallic gold ions are still unknown, however, recent data showed that charged gold atoms are released from pure metallic gold implants by macrophages via a dissolucytosis membrane, and that gold ions are taken up by local macrophages, mast cells and to some extent fibroblasts. These findings open the question of possible immunomodulatory effects of metallic gold and motivate efforts on a deeper understanding of the effect of metallic gold on key inflammatory cells as macrophages. Methods Human macrophage cells (cell line THP-1) were grown on gold foils and intracellular uptake was analysed by autometallography. The impact of phagocytised gold ions on viability of THP-1 cells was investigated by trypan blue staining and TUNEL assay. The global gene expression profile of THP-1 cells after incorporation of gold ions was studied using microarray analysis comprising approximately 20,000 genes. The gene expression data was confirmed by measurement of secreted proteins. Results Autometallography showed intracellular uptake of gold ions into THP-1 cells. No significant effect on viability of THP-1 cells was demonstrated. Our data revealed a unique gene expression signature of dissolucytotic THP-1 cells that had taken up gold ions. A large number of regulated genes were functionally related to immunomodulation. Gold ion uptake induced downregulation of genes involved in rheumatoid arthritis such as hepatocyte growth factor, tenascin-C, inhibitor of DNA binding 1 and 3 and matrix metalloproteinase 13. Conclusion The data obtained in this study offer new insights into the mode of action of gold ions and suggest for the investigation of effects on other key cells and a possible future role of metallic gold as implants in rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
    • Genetically diverse Pseudomonas aeruginosa populations display similar transcriptomic profiles in a cystic fibrosis explanted lung.

      Kordes, Adrian; Preusse, Matthias; Willger, Sven D; Braubach, Peter; Jonigk, Danny; Haverich, Axel; Warnecke, Gregor; Häussler, Susanne; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer-Nature, 2019-07-30)
      Previous studies have demonstrated substantial genetic diversification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa across sub-compartments in cystic fibrosis (CF) lungs. Here, we isolate P. aeruginosa from five different sampling areas in the upper and lower airways of an explanted CF lung, analyze ex vivo transcriptional profiles by RNA-seq, and use colony re-sequencing and deep population sequencing to determine the genetic diversity within and across the various sub-compartments. We find that, despite genetic variation, the ex vivo transcriptional profiles of P. aeruginosa populations inhabiting different regions of the CF lung are similar. Although we cannot estimate the extent to which the transcriptional response recorded here actually reflects the in vivo transcriptomes, our results indicate that there may be a common in vivo transcriptional profile in the CF lung environment.
    • Genome Sequence of Strain MOLA814, a Proteorhodopsin-Containing Representative of the Betaproteobacteria Common in the Ocean.

      Courties, Alicia; Riedel, Thomas; Jarek, Michael; Intertaglia, Laurent; Lebaron, Philippe; Suzuki, Marcelino T; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2013-12-19)
      Strain MOLA814 is a marine betaproteobacterium that was isolated from seawater in the Beaufort Sea. Here, we present its genome sequence and annotation. Genome analysis revealed the presence of a proteorhodopsin-encoding sequence together with its retinal-producing pathway, indicating that this strain might generate energy by using light.
    • Genome sequence of the thermophilic strain Bacillus coagulans 2-6, an efficient producer of high-optical-purity L-lactic acid.

      Su, Fei; Yu, Bo; Sun, Jibin; Ou, Hong-Yu; Zhao, Bo; Wang, Limin; Qin, Jiayang; Tang, Hongzhi; Tao, Fei; Jarek, Michael; et al. (2011-09)
      Bacillus coagulans 2-6 is an efficient producer of lactic acid. The genome of B. coagulans 2-6 has the smallest genome among the members of the genus Bacillus known to date. The frameshift mutation at the start of the d-lactate dehydrogenase sequence might be responsible for the production of high-optical-purity l-lactic acid.
    • Genome-wide localization and expression profiling establish Sp2 as a sequence-specific transcription factor regulating vitally important genes.

      Terrados, Gloria; Finkernagel, Florian; Stielow, Bastian; Sadic, Dennis; Neubert, Juliane; Herdt, Olga; Krause, Michael; Scharfe, Maren; Jarek, Michael; Suske, Guntram; et al. (2012-09)
      The transcription factor Sp2 is essential for early mouse development and for proliferation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts in culture. Yet its mechanisms of action and its target genes are largely unknown. In this study, we have combined RNA interference, in vitro DNA binding, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and global gene-expression profiling to investigate the role of Sp2 for cellular functions, to define target sites and to identify genes regulated by Sp2. We show that Sp2 is important for cellular proliferation that it binds to GC-boxes and occupies proximal promoters of genes essential for vital cellular processes including gene expression, replication, metabolism and signalling. Moreover, we identified important key target genes and cellular pathways that are directly regulated by Sp2. Most significantly, Sp2 binds and activates numerous sequence-specific transcription factor and co-activator genes, and represses the whole battery of cholesterol synthesis genes. Our results establish Sp2 as a sequence-specific regulator of vitally important genes.
    • Genome-Wide Sequencing Reveals MicroRNAs Downregulated in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations.

      Kar, Souvik; Bali, Kiran Kumar; Baisantry, Arpita; Geffers, Robert; Samii, Amir; Bertalanffy, Helmut; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-02)
      Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are vascular lesions associated with loss-of-function mutations in one of the three genes encoding KRIT1 (CCM1), CCM2, and PDCD10. Recent understanding of the molecular mechanisms that lead to CCM development is limited. The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been demonstrated in vascular pathologies resulting in loss of tight junction proteins, increased vascular permeability and endothelial cell dysfunction. Since the relevance of miRNAs in CCM pathophysiology has not been elucidated, the primary aim of the study was to identify the miRNA-mRNA expression network associated with CCM. Using small RNA sequencing, we identified a total of 764 matured miRNAs expressed in CCM patients compared to the healthy brains. The expression of the selected miRNAs was validated by qRT-PCR, and the results were found to be consistent with the sequencing data. Upon application of additional statistical stringency, five miRNAs (let-7b-5p, miR-361-5p, miR-370-3p, miR-181a-2-3p, and miR-95-3p) were prioritized to be top CCM-relevant miRNAs. Further in silico analyses revealed that the prioritized miRNAs have a direct functional relation with mRNAs, such as MIB1, HIF1A, PDCD10, TJP1, OCLN, HES1, MAPK1, VEGFA, EGFL7, NF1, and ENG, which are previously characterized as key regulators of CCM pathology. To date, this is the first study to investigate the role of miRNAs in CCM pathology. By employing cutting edge molecular and in silico analyses on clinical samples, the current study reports global miRNA expression changes in CCM patients and provides a rich source of data set to understand detailed molecular machinery involved in CCM pathophysiology.
    • Genomewide analyses define different modes of transcriptional regulation by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/δ (PPARβ/δ).

      Adhikary, Till; Kaddatz, Kerstin; Finkernagel, Florian; Schönbauer, Anne; Meissner, Wolfgang; Scharfe, Maren; Jarek, Michael; Blöcker, Helmut; Müller-Brüsselbach, Sabine; Müller, Rolf; et al. (2011)
      Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors with essential functions in lipid, glucose and energy homeostasis, cell differentiation, inflammation and metabolic disorders, and represent important drug targets. PPARs heterodimerize with retinoid X receptors (RXRs) and can form transcriptional activator or repressor complexes at specific DNA elements (PPREs). It is believed that the decision between repression and activation is generally governed by a ligand-mediated switch. We have performed genomewide analyses of agonist-treated and PPARβ/δ-depleted human myofibroblasts to test this hypothesis and to identify global principles of PPARβ/δ-mediated gene regulation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq) of PPARβ/δ, H3K4me3 and RNA polymerase II enrichment sites combined with transcriptional profiling enabled the definition of 112 bona fide PPARβ/δ target genes showing either of three distinct types of transcriptional response: (I) ligand-independent repression by PPARβ/δ; (II) ligand-induced activation and/or derepression by PPARβ/δ; and (III) ligand-independent activation by PPARβ/δ. These data identify PPRE-mediated repression as a major mechanism of transcriptional regulation by PPARβ/δ, but, unexpectedly, also show that only a subset of repressed genes are activated by a ligand-mediated switch. Our results also suggest that the type of transcriptional response by a given target gene is connected to the structure of its associated PPRE(s) and the biological function of its encoded protein. These observations have important implications for understanding the regulatory PPAR network and PPARβ/δ ligand-based drugs.
    • A Genomic Approach to Resolving Relapse versus Reinfection among Four Cases of Buruli Ulcer.

      Eddyani, Miriam; Vandelannoote, Koen; Meehan, Conor J; Bhuju, Sabin; Porter, Jessica L; Aguiar, Julia; Seemann, Torsten; Jarek, Michael; Singh, Mahavir; Portaels, Françoise; et al. (2015-11)
      Increased availability of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques allows, for the first time, to distinguish relapses from reinfections in patients with multiple Buruli ulcer (BU) episodes.
    • Genomic Landscape of Primary Mediastinal B-Cell Lymphoma Cell Lines.

      Dai, Haiping; Ehrentraut, Stefan; Nagel, Stefan; Eberth, Sonja; Pommerenke, Claudia; Dirks, Wilhelm G; Geffers, Robert; Kalavalapalli, Srilaxmi; Kaufmann, Maren; Meyer, Corrina; et al. (2015)
      Primary mediastinal B-Cell lymphoma (PMBL) is a recently defined entity comprising ~2-10% non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL). Unlike most NHL subtypes, PMBL lacks recurrent gene rearrangements to serve as biomarkers or betray target genes. While druggable, late chemotherapeutic complications warrant the search for new targets and models. Well characterized tumor cell lines provide unlimited material to serve as preclinical resources for verifiable analyses directed at the discovery of new biomarkers and pathological targets using high throughput microarray technologies. The same cells may then be used to seek intelligent therapies directed at clinically validated targets. Four cell lines have emerged as potential PMBL models: FARAGE, KARPAS-1106P, MEDB-1 and U-2940. Transcriptionally, PMBL cell lines cluster near c(lassical)-HL and B-NHL examples showing they are related but separate entities. Here we document genomic alterations therein, by cytogenetics and high density oligonucleotide/SNP microarrays and parse their impact by integrated global expression profiling. PMBL cell lines were distinguished by moderate chromosome rearrangement levels undercutting cHL, while lacking oncogene translocations seen in B-NHL. In total 61 deletions were shared by two or more cell lines, together with 12 amplifications (≥4x) and 72 homozygous regions. Integrated genomic and transcriptional profiling showed deletions to be the most important class of chromosome rearrangement. Lesions were mapped to several loci associated with PMBL, e.g. 2p15 (REL/COMMD1), 9p24 (JAK2, CD274), 16p13 (SOCS1, LITAF, CIITA); plus new or tenuously associated loci: 2p16 (MSH6), 6q23 (TNFAIP3), 9p22 (CDKN2A/B), 20p12 (PTPN1). Discrete homozygous regions sometimes substituted focal deletions accompanied by gene silencing implying a role for epigenetic or mutational inactivation. Genomic amplifications increasing gene expression or gene-activating rearrangements were respectively rare or absent. Our findings highlight biallelic deletions as a major class of chromosomal lesion in PMBL cell lines, while endorsing the latter as preclinical models for hunting and testing new biomarkers and actionable targets.
    • Gin-mediated site-specific recombination in bacteriophage Mu DNA: overproduction of the protein and inversion in vitro

      Mertens, Gabriele; Hoffmann, Andrea; Blöcker, Helmut; Frank, Ronald; Kahmann, Regine (1984-10)
      Images
    • Global micro RNA expression profiling in the liver biopsies of Hepatitis B Virus infected patients suggests specific miRNA signatures for viral persistence and hepatocellular injury.

      Singh, Avishek Kumar; Rooge, Sheetalnath Babasaheb; Varshney, Aditi; Vasudevan, Madavan; Bhardwaj, Ankit; Venugopal, Senthil Kumar; Trehanpati, Nirupama; Kumar, Manoj; Geffers, Robert; Kumar, Vijay; et al. (2017-11-30)
      Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can manipulate the miRNA regulatory networks in infected cells to create a permissive environment for viral replication, cellular injury, disease onset and its progression. The aim of the present study was to understand the miRNA networks and their target genes in the liver of hepatitis B patients involved in HBV replication, liver injury and liver fibrosis. We investigated differentially expressed miRNAs by microarray in the liver biopsy samples from different stages of HBV infection and liver disease [immune tolerant (IT; n= 8); acute viral hepatitis (AVH; n=8); no fibrosis (n=16); early (F1+F2) (n=19) or late fibrosis (F3+F4) (n=14) and healthy controls (n=7)]. The miRNA expression levels were analyzed by the unsupervised principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clustering. Analysis of miRNA-mRNA regulatory networks identified 17 miRNAs and 18 target gene interactions with four distinct nodes each representing a stage-specific gene regulation during disease progression. The IT group showed elevated miR-199a-5p, miR-221-3p and Let-7a-3p levels which could target genes involved in innate immune response and viral replication. In AVH group, miR-125b-5p and miR-3613-3p were up whereas miR-940 was down which might affect cell proliferation via STAT3 pathway. In early fibrosis, miR-34b-3p, miR-1224-3p and miR-1227-3p were up while miR-499a-5p was down which together, possibly mediate chronic inflammation. In advanced fibrosis, miR-1, miR-10b-5p, miR-96-5p, miR-133b and miR-671-5p were up while miR-20b-5p and miR-455-3p were down, possibly allowing chronic disease progression. Interestingly, only 8 of 17 liver-specific miRNAs exhibited a similar expression pattern in patient sera.
    • Gut bacterial communities across tadpole ecomorphs in two diverse tropical anuran faunas.

      Vences, Miguel; Lyra, Mariana L; Kueneman, Jordan G; Bletz, Molly C; Archer, Holly M; Canitz, Julia; Handreck, Svenja; Randrianiaina, Roger-Daniel; Struck, Ulrich; Bhuju, Sabin; et al. (2016-04)
      Animal-associated microbial communities can play major roles in the physiology, development, ecology, and evolution of their hosts, but the study of their diversity has yet focused on a limited number of host species. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of partial sequences of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to assess the diversity of the gut-inhabiting bacterial communities of 212 specimens of tropical anuran amphibians from Brazil and Madagascar. The core gut-associated bacterial communities among tadpoles from two different continents strongly overlapped, with eight highly represented operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in common. In contrast, the core communities of adults and tadpoles from Brazil were less similar with only one shared OTU. This suggests a community turnover at metamorphosis. Bacterial diversity was higher in tadpoles compared to adults. Distinct differences in composition and diversity occurred among gut bacterial communities of conspecific tadpoles from different water bodies and after experimental fasting for 8 days, demonstrating the influence of both environmental factors and food on the community structure. Communities from syntopic tadpoles clustered by host species both in Madagascar and Brazil, and the Malagasy tadpoles also had species-specific isotope signatures. We recommend future studies to analyze the turnover of anuran gut bacterial communities at metamorphosis, compare the tadpole core communities with those of other aquatic organisms, and assess the possible function of the gut microbiota as a reservoir for protective bacteria on the amphibian skin.
    • Haplotypes of the porcine peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta gene are associated with backfat thickness

      Meidtner, Karina; Schwarzenbacher, Hermann; Scharfe, Maren; Severitt, Simone; Blöcker, Helmut; Fries, Ruedi (2009-11-30)
      Abstract Background Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-inducible transcription factors. It is a key regulator of lipid metabolism. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta gene (PPARD) has been assigned to a region on porcine chromosome 7, which harbours a quantitative trait locus for backfat. Thus, PPARD is considered a functional and positional candidate gene for backfat thickness. The purpose of this study was to test this candidate gene hypothesis in a cross of breeds that were highly divergent in lipid deposition characteristics. Results Screening for genetic variation in porcine PPARD revealed only silent mutations. Nevertheless, significant associations between PPARD haplotypes and backfat thickness were observed in the F2 generation of the Mangalitsa × Piétrain cross as well as a commercial German Landrace population. Haplotype 5 is associated with increased backfat in F2 Mangalitsa × Piétrain pigs, whereas haplotype 4 is associated with lower backfat thickness in the German Landrace population. Haplotype 4 and 5 carry the same alleles at all but one SNP. Interestingly, the opposite effects of PPARD haplotypes 4 and 5 on backfat thickness are reflected by opposite effects of these two haplotypes on PPAR-δ mRNA levels. Haplotype 4 significantly increases PPAR-δ mRNA levels, whereas haplotype 5 decreases mRNA levels of PPAR-δ. Conclusion This study provides evidence for an association between PPARD and backfat thickness. The association is substantiated by mRNA quantification. Further studies are required to clarify, whether the observed associations are caused by PPARD or are the result of linkage disequilibrium with a causal variant in a neighbouring gene.
    • Haplotypes of the porcine peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta gene are associated with backfat thickness.

      Meidtner, Karina; Schwarzenbacher, Hermann; Scharfe, Maren; Severitt, Simone; Blöcker, Helmut; Fries, Ruedi; Chair of Animal Breeding, Technical University of Munich, Hochfeldweg 1, 85354 Freising - Weihenstephan, Germany. karina.meidtner@tierzucht.tum.de (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-inducible transcription factors. It is a key regulator of lipid metabolism. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta gene (PPARD) has been assigned to a region on porcine chromosome 7, which harbours a quantitative trait locus for backfat. Thus, PPARD is considered a functional and positional candidate gene for backfat thickness. The purpose of this study was to test this candidate gene hypothesis in a cross of breeds that were highly divergent in lipid deposition characteristics. RESULTS: Screening for genetic variation in porcine PPARD revealed only silent mutations. Nevertheless, significant associations between PPARD haplotypes and backfat thickness were observed in the F2 generation of the Mangalitsa x Piétrain cross as well as a commercial German Landrace population. Haplotype 5 is associated with increased backfat in F2 Mangalitsa x Piétrain pigs, whereas haplotype 4 is associated with lower backfat thickness in the German Landrace population. Haplotype 4 and 5 carry the same alleles at all but one SNP. Interestingly, the opposite effects of PPARD haplotypes 4 and 5 on backfat thickness are reflected by opposite effects of these two haplotypes on PPAR-delta mRNA levels. Haplotype 4 significantly increases PPAR-delta mRNA levels, whereas haplotype 5 decreases mRNA levels of PPAR-delta. CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence for an association between PPARD and backfat thickness. The association is substantiated by mRNA quantification. Further studies are required to clarify, whether the observed associations are caused by PPARD or are the result of linkage disequilibrium with a causal variant in a neighbouring gene.
    • Human Host Defense Peptide LL-37 Stimulates Virulence Factor Production and Adaptive Resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

      Strempel, Nikola; Neidig, Anke; Nusser, Michael; Geffers, Robert; Vieillard, Julien; Lesouhaitier, Olivier; Brenner-Weiss, Gerald; Overhage, Joerg; Research group genomeanalytics, Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Braunschweig, Germany (2013)
      A multitude of different virulence factors as well as the ability to rapidly adapt to adverse environmental conditions are important features for the high pathogenicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Both virulence and adaptive resistance are tightly controlled by a complex regulatory network and respond to external stimuli, such as host signals or antibiotic stress, in a highly specific manner. Here, we demonstrate that physiological concentrations of the human host defense peptide LL-37 promote virulence factor production as well as an adaptive resistance against fluoroquinolone and aminoglycoside antibiotics in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Microarray analyses of P. aeruginosa cells exposed to LL-37 revealed an upregulation of gene clusters involved in the production of quorum sensing molecules and secreted virulence factors (PQS, phenazine, hydrogen cyanide (HCN), elastase and rhamnolipids) and in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) modification as well as an induction of genes encoding multidrug efflux pumps MexCD-OprJ and MexGHI-OpmD. Accordingly, we detected significantly elevated levels of toxic metabolites and proteases in bacterial supernatants after LL-37 treatment. Pre-incubation of bacteria with LL-37 for 2 h led to a decreased susceptibility towards gentamicin and ciprofloxacin. Quantitative Realtime PCR results using a PAO1-pqsE mutant strain present evidence that the quinolone response protein and virulence regulator PqsE may be implicated in the regulation of the observed phenotype in response to LL-37. Further experiments with synthetic cationic antimicrobial peptides IDR-1018, 1037 and HHC-36 showed no induction of pqsE expression, suggesting a new role of PqsE as highly specific host stress sensor.
    • A human-horse comparative map based on equine BAC end sequences.

      Leeb, Tosso; Vogl, Claus; Zhu, Baoli; de Jong, Pieter J; Binns, Matthew M; Chowdhary, Bhanu P; Scharfe, Maren; Jarek, Michael; Nordsiek, Gabriele; Schrader, Frank; et al. (2006-06)
      In an effort to increase the density of sequence-based markers for the horse genome we generated 9473 BAC end sequences (BESs) from the CHORI-241 BAC library with an average read length of 677 bp. BLASTN searches with the BESs revealed 4036 meaningful hits (E
    • HuR Small-Molecule Inhibitor Elicits Differential Effects in Adenomatosis Polyposis and Colorectal Carcinogenesis.

      Lang, Michaela; Berry, David; Passecker, Katharina; Mesteri, Ildiko; Bhuju, Sabin; Ebner, Florian; Sedlyarov, Vitaly; Evstatiev, Rayko; Dammann, Kyle; Loy, Alexander; et al. (American Association for Cancer Research, 2017-05-01)
      HuR is an RNA-binding protein implicated in immune homeostasis and various cancers, including colorectal cancer. HuR binding to AU-rich elements within the 3' untranslated region of mRNAs encoding oncogenes, growth factors, and various cytokines leads message stability and translation. In this study, we evaluated HuR as a small-molecule target for preventing colorectal cancer in high-risk groups such as those with familial adenomatosis polyposis (FAP) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In human specimens, levels of cytoplasmic HuR were increased in colonic epithelial cells from patients with IBD, IBD-cancer, FAP-adenoma, and colorectal cancer, but not in patients with IBD-dysplasia. Intraperitoneal injection of the HuR small-molecule inhibitor MS-444 in AOM/DSS mice, a model of IBD and inflammatory colon cancer, augmented DSS-induced weight loss and increased tumor multiplicity, size, and invasiveness. MS-444 treatment also abrogated tumor cell apoptosis and depleted tumor-associated eosinophils, accompanied by a decrease in IL18 and eotaxin-1. In contrast, HuR inhibition in APCMin mice, a model of FAP and colon cancer, diminished the number of small intestinal tumors generated. In this setting, fecal microbiota, evaluated by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, shifted to a state of reduced bacterial diversity, with an increased representation of Prevotella, Akkermansia, and Lachnospiraceae Taken together, our results indicate that HuR activation is an early event in FAP-adenoma but is not present in IBD-dysplasia. Furthermore, our results offer a preclinical proof of concept for HuR inhibition as an effective means of FAP chemoprevention, with caution advised in the setting of IBD. Cancer Res; 77(9); 2424-38. ©2017 AACR.
    • Hypoxia Enhances Immunosuppression by Inhibiting CD4+ Effector T Cell Function and Promoting Treg Activity.

      Westendorf, Astrid M; Skibbe, Kathrin; Adamczyk, Alexandra; Buer, Jan; Geffers, Robert; Hansen, Wiebke; Pastille, Eva; Jendrossek, Verena; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
      Hypoxia occurs in many pathological conditions, including inflammation and cancer. Within this context, hypoxia was shown to inhibit but also to promote T cell responses. Due to this controversial function, we aimed to explore whether an insufficient anti-tumour response during colitis-associated colon cancer could be ascribed to a hypoxic microenvironment.
    • Identification and quantification of (t)RNA modifications in Pseudomonas aeruginosa by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

      Grobe, Svenja; Doberenz, Sebastian; Ferreira, Kevin; Krueger, Jonas; Brönstrup, Mark; Kaever, Volkhard; Häußler, Susanne; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-01-15)
      Transfer RNA (tRNA) modifications impact the structure and function of tRNAs thus affecting the efficiency and fidelity of translation. In the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa translational regulation plays an important but less defined role in the adaptation to changing environments. In this study, we explored tRNA modifications in P. aeruginosa using LC-MS/MS based approaches. Neutral Loss Scan (NLS) demonstrated the potential to identify previously unknown modifications, while Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) can detect modifications with high specificity and sensitivity. In this study, the MRM-based external calibration method allowed for quantification of the 4 canonical and 32 modified ribonucleosides, of which 21 tRNA modifications were quantified in the total tRNA pool of P. aeruginosa PA14. We also purified the single tRNA isoacceptors tRNA-ArgUCU, tRNA-LeuCAA and tRNA-TrpCCA and determined, both qualitatively and quantitatively, their specific modification pattern. Deeper insights into the nature and dynamics of tRNA modifications in P. aeruginosa will pave the way for further studies on posttranscriptional gene regulation as a relatively unexplored molecular mechanism of controlling bacterial pathogenicity and life style.
    • Identification of a lineage specific zinc responsive genomic island in Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis

      Eckelt, Elke; Jarek, Michael; Frömke, Cornelia; Meens, Jochen; Goethe, Ralph (2014-12-06)
      Abstract Background Maintenance of metal homeostasis is crucial in bacterial pathogenicity as metal starvation is the most important mechanism in the nutritional immunity strategy of host cells. Thus, pathogenic bacteria have evolved sensitive metal scavenging systems to overcome this particular host defence mechanism. The ruminant pathogen Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) displays a unique gut tropism and causes a chronic progressive intestinal inflammation. MAP possesses eight conserved lineage specific large sequence polymorphisms (LSP), which distinguish MAP from its ancestral M. avium ssp. hominissuis or other M. avium subspecies. LSP14 and LSP15 harbour many genes proposed to be involved in metal homeostasis and have been suggested to substitute for a MAP specific, impaired mycobactin synthesis. Results In the present study, we found that a LSP14 located putative IrtAB-like iron transporter encoded by mptABC was induced by zinc but not by iron starvation. Heterologous reporter gene assays with the lacZ gene under control of the mptABC promoter in M. smegmatis (MSMEG) and in a MSMEG∆furB deletion mutant revealed a zinc dependent, metalloregulator FurB mediated expression of mptABC via a conserved mycobacterial FurB recognition site. Deep sequencing of RNA from MAP cultures treated with the zinc chelator TPEN revealed that 70 genes responded to zinc limitation. Remarkably, 45 of these genes were located on a large genomic island of approximately 90 kb which harboured LSP14 and LSP15. Thirty-five of these genes were predicted to be controlled by FurB, due to the presence of putative binding sites. This clustering of zinc responsive genes was exclusively found in MAP and not in other mycobacteria. Conclusions Our data revealed a particular genomic signature for MAP given by a unique zinc specific locus, thereby suggesting an exceptional relevance of zinc for the metabolism of MAP. MAP seems to be well adapted to maintain zinc homeostasis which might contribute to the peculiarity of MAP pathogenicity.