• Assessment of cross-species transmission of hepatitis C virus-related non-primate hepacivirus in a population of humans at high risk of exposure.

      Pfaender, Stephanie; Walter, Stephanie; Todt, Daniel; Behrendt, Patrick; Doerrbecker, Juliane; Wölk, Benno; Engelmann, Michael; Gravemann, Ute; Seltsam, Axel; Steinmann, Joerg; et al. (2015-09)
      The recent discovery of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related viruses in different animal species has raised new speculations regarding the origin of HCV and the possibility of a zoonotic source responsible for the endemic HCV transmission. As a consequence, these new findings prompt questions regarding the potential for cross-species transmissions of hepaciviruses. The closest relatives to HCV discovered to date are the non-primate hepaciviruses (NPHVs), which have been described to infect horses. To evaluate the risk of a potential zoonotic transmission, we analysed NPHV RNA and antibodies in humans with occupational exposure to horses in comparison with a low-risk group. Both groups were negative for NPHV RNA, even though low seroreactivities against various NPHV antigens could be detected irrespective of the group. In conclusion, we did not observe evidence of NPHV transmission between horses and humans.
    • Collection and analysis of salivary proteins from the biting midge Culicoides nubeculosus (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae).

      Langner, Kathrin F A; Darpel, Karin E; Denison, Eric; Drolet, Barbara S; Leibold, Wolfgang; Mellor, Philip S; Mertens, Peter P C; Nimtz, Manfred; Greiser-Wilke, Irene; USDA-ARS, Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Laboratory, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071, USA. klangner@uwyo.edu (2007-03)
      Salivary proteins of hematophagous Culicoides spp. are thought to play an important role in pathogen transmission and skin hypersensitivity. Analysis of these proteins, however, has been problematic due to the difficulty in obtaining adequate amounts of secreted Culicoides saliva. In the current study, a collection method for midge saliva was developed. Over a 3-d period, 3- to 5-d-old male and female Culicoides nubeculosus Meigen (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were repeatedly placed onto the collection system and allowed to deposit saliva into a filter. Salivary products were eluted from the filters and evaluated by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry as well as by intradermal testing and determination of clotting time. Gel electrophoresis revealed approximately 55 protein spots displaying relative molecular masses from 5 to 67 kDa and isoelectric points ranging from 4.5 to 9.8. The majority of molecular species analyzed by mass spectrometry showed high convergence with salivary proteins recently obtained from a cDNA library of Culicoides sonorensis Wirth & Jones, including proteins involved in sugarmeal digestion, defense, and coagulation inhibition as well as members of the D7 family and unclassified salivary proteins. In addition, the proteome analysis revealed a number of peptides that were related to proteins from insect species other than Culicoides. Intradermal injection of the saliva in human skin produced edema, vasodilatation, and pruritus. The anticoagulant activity of the saliva was demonstrated by significantly prolonged clotting times for human platelets. The potential role of the identified salivary proteins in the transmission of pathogens and the induction of allergies is discussed.
    • Diagnostic Support for Selected Paediatric Pulmonary Diseases Using Answer-Pattern Recognition in Questionnaires Based on Combined Data Mining Applications--A Monocentric Observational Pilot Study.

      Rother, Ann-Katrin; Schwerk, Nicolaus; Brinkmann, Folke; Klawonn, Frank; Lechner, Werner; Grigull, Lorenz; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015)
      Clinical symptoms in children with pulmonary diseases are frequently non-specific. Rare diseases such as primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), cystic fibrosis (CF) or protracted bacterial bronchitis (PBB) can be easily missed at the general practitioner (GP).
    • Identification of persulfide-binding and disulfide-forming cysteine residues in the NifS-like domain of the molybdenum cofactor sulfurase ABA3 by cysteine-scanning mutagenesis.

      Lehrke, Markus; Rump, Steffen; Heidenreich, Torsten; Wissing, Josef; Mendel, Ralf R; Bittner, Florian; Department of Plant Biology, Braunschweig University of Technology, Humboldtstrasse 1, 38023 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012-02-01)
      The Moco (molybdenum cofactor) sulfurase ABA3 from Arabidopsis thaliana catalyses the sulfuration of the Moco of aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidoreductase, which represents the final activation step of these enzymes. ABA3 consists of an N-terminal NifS-like domain that exhibits L-cysteine desulfurase activity and a C-terminal domain that binds sulfurated Moco. The strictly conserved Cys430 in the NifS-like domain binds a persulfide intermediate, which is abstracted from the substrate L-cysteine and finally needs to be transferred to the Moco of aldehyde oxidase and xanthine oxidoreductase. In addition to Cys⁴³⁰, another eight cysteine residues are located in the NifS-like domain, with two of them being highly conserved among Moco sulfurase proteins and, at the same time, being in close proximity to Cys⁴³⁰. By determination of the number of surface-exposed cysteine residues and the number of persulfide-binding cysteine residues in combination with the sequential substitution of each of the nine cysteine residues, a second persulfide-binding cysteine residue, Cys²⁰⁶, was identified. Furthermore, the active-site Cys⁴³⁰ was found to be located on top of a loop structure, formed by the two flanking residues Cys⁴²⁸ and Cys⁴³⁵, which are likely to form an intramolecular disulfide bridge. These findings are confirmed by a structural model of the NifS-like domain, which indicates that Cys⁴²⁸ and Cys⁴³⁵ are within disulfide bond distance and that a persulfide transfer from Cys⁴³⁰ to Cys²⁰⁶ is indeed possible.
    • Inactivation of Lgt allows systematic characterization of lipoproteins from Listeria monocytogenes.

      Baumgärtner, Maja; Kärst, Uwe; Gerstel, Birgit; Loessner, Martin; Wehland, Jürgen; Jänsch, Lothar; Department of Cell Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-01)
      Lipoprotein anchoring in bacteria is mediated by the prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase (Lgt), which catalyzes the transfer of a diacylglyceryl moiety to the prospective N-terminal cysteine of the mature lipoprotein. Deletion of the lgt gene in the gram-positive pathogen Listeria monocytogenes (i) impairs intracellular growth of the bacterium in different eukaryotic cell lines and (ii) leads to increased release of lipoproteins into the culture supernatant. Comparative extracellular proteome analyses of the EGDe wild-type strain and the Delta lgt mutant provided systematic insight into the relative expression of lipoproteins. Twenty-six of the 68 predicted lipoproteins were specifically released into the extracellular proteome of the Delta lgt strain, and this proved that deletion of lgt is an excellent approach for experimental verification of listerial lipoproteins. Consequently, we generated Delta lgt Delta prfA double mutants to detect lipoproteins belonging to the main virulence regulon that is controlled by PrfA. Overall, we identified three lipoproteins whose extracellular levels are regulated and one lipoprotein that is posttranslationally modified depending on PrfA. It is noteworthy that in contrast to previous studies of Escherichia coli, we unambiguously demonstrated that lipidation by Lgt is not a prerequisite for activity of the lipoprotein-specific signal peptidase II (Lsp) in Listeria.
    • The intriguing cyclophilin A-HIV-1 Vpr interaction: prolyl cis/trans isomerisation catalysis and specific binding.

      Solbak, Sara M; Reksten, Tove R; Wray, Victor; Bruns, Karsten; Horvli, Ole; Raae, Arnt J; Henklein, Petra; Henklein, Peter; Röder, Rene; Mitzner, David; et al. (2010)
      Cyclophilin A (CypA) represents a potential target for antiretroviral therapy since inhibition of CypA suppresses human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication, although the mechanism through which CypA modulates HIV-1 infectivity still remains unclear. The interaction of HIV-1 viral protein R (Vpr) with the human peptidyl prolyl isomerase CypA is known to occur in vitro and in vivo. However, the nature of the interaction of CypA with Pro-35 of N-terminal Vpr has remained undefined.
    • Proteomics analysis of protein kinases by target class-selective prefractionation and tandem mass spectrometry.

      Wissing, Josef; Jänsch, Lothar; Nimtz, Manfred; Dieterich, Guido; Hornberger, Renate; Kéri, György; Wehland, Jürgen; Daub, Henrik; Department of Cell Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Inhoffenstrasse 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-03)
      Protein kinases constitute a large superfamily of enzymes with key regulatory functions in nearly all signal transmission processes of eukaryotic cells. However, due to their relatively low abundance compared with the vast majority of cellular proteins, currently available proteomics techniques do not permit the comprehensive biochemical characterization of protein kinases. To address these limitations, we have developed a prefractionation strategy that uses a combination of immobilized low molecular weight inhibitors for the selective affinity capture of protein kinases. This approach resulted in the direct purification of cell type-specific sets of expressed protein kinases, and more than 140 different members of this enzyme family could be detected by LC-MS/MS. Furthermore the enrichment technique combined with phosphopeptide fractionation led to the identification of more than 200 different phosphorylation sites on protein kinases, which often remain occluded in global phosphoproteome analysis. As the phosphorylation states of protein kinases can provide a readout for the signaling activities within a cellular system, kinase-selective phosphoproteomics based on the procedures described here has the potential to become an important tool in signal transduction analysis.