• Kinome analysis of receptor-induced phosphorylation in human natural killer cells.

      König, Sebastian; Nimtz, Manfred; Scheiter, Maxi; Ljunggren, Hans-Gustaf; Bryceson, Yenan T; Jänsch, Lothar; Department of Molecular Structural Biology, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, Braunschweig, Germany. (2012)
      Natural killer (NK) cells contribute to the defense against infected and transformed cells through the engagement of multiple germline-encoded activation receptors. Stimulation of the Fc receptor CD16 alone is sufficient for NK cell activation, whereas other receptors, such as 2B4 (CD244) and DNAM-1 (CD226), act synergistically. After receptor engagement, protein kinases play a major role in signaling networks controlling NK cell effector functions. However, it has not been characterized systematically which of all kinases encoded by the human genome (kinome) are involved in NK cell activation.
    • Saliva proteins of vector Culicoides modify structure and infectivity of bluetongue virus particles.

      Darpel, Karin E; Langner, Kathrin F A; Nimtz, Manfred; Anthony, Simon J; Brownlie, Joe; Takamatsu, Haru-Hisa; Mellor, Philip S; Mertens, Peter P C; Pirbright Laboratory, Vector-borne Disease Programme, Institute for Animal Health, Woking, United Kingdom. karin.darpel@bbsrc.ac.uk (2011)
      Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic haemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) are related orbiviruses, transmitted between their ruminant hosts primarily by certain haematophagous midge vectors (Culicoides spp.). The larger of the BTV outer-capsid proteins, 'VP2', can be cleaved by proteases (including trypsin or chymotrypsin), forming infectious subviral particles (ISVP) which have enhanced infectivity for adult Culicoides, or KC cells (a cell-line derived from C. sonorensis). We demonstrate that VP2 present on purified virus particles from 3 different BTV strains can also be cleaved by treatment with saliva from adult Culicoides. The saliva proteins from C. sonorensis (a competent BTV vector), cleaved BTV-VP2 more efficiently than those from C. nubeculosus (a less competent/non-vector species). Electrophoresis and mass spectrometry identified a trypsin-like protease in C. sonorensis saliva, which was significantly reduced or absent from C. nubeculosus saliva. Incubating purified BTV-1 with C. sonorensis saliva proteins also increased their infectivity for KC cells ∼10 fold, while infectivity for BHK cells was reduced by 2-6 fold. Treatment of an 'eastern' strain of EHDV-2 with saliva proteins of either C. sonorensis or C. nubeculosus cleaved VP2, but a 'western' strain of EHDV-2 remained unmodified. These results indicate that temperature, strain of virus and protein composition of Culicoides saliva (particularly its protease content which is dependent upon vector species), can all play a significant role in the efficiency of VP2 cleavage, influencing virus infectivity. Saliva of several other arthropod species has previously been shown to increase transmission, infectivity and virulence of certain arboviruses, by modulating and/or suppressing the mammalian immune response. The findings presented here, however, demonstrate a novel mechanism by which proteases in Culicoides saliva can also directly modify the orbivirus particle structure, leading to increased infectivity specifically for Culicoides cells and, in turn, efficiency of transmission to the insect vector.
    • Streamlining homogeneous glycoprotein production for biophysical and structural applications by targeted cell line development.

      Wilke, Sonja; Groebe, Lothar; Maffenbeier, Vitali; Jäger, Volker; Gossen, Manfred; Josewski, Jörn; Duda, Agathe; Polle, Lilia; Owens, Raymond J; Wirth, Dagmar; et al. (2011)
      Studying the biophysical characteristics of glycosylated proteins and solving their three-dimensional structures requires homogeneous recombinant protein of high quality.We introduce here a new approach to produce glycoproteins in homogenous form with the well-established, glycosylation mutant CHO Lec3.2.8.1 cells. Using preparative cell sorting, stable, high-expressing GFP 'master' cell lines were generated that can be converted fast and reliably by targeted integration via Flp recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) to produce any glycoprotein. Small-scale transient transfection of HEK293 cells was used to identify genetically engineered constructs suitable for constructing stable cell lines. Stable cell lines expressing 10 different proteins were established. The system was validated by expression, purification, deglycosylation and crystallization of the heavily glycosylated luminal domains of lysosome-associated membrane proteins (LAMP).