Now showing items 1-20 of 3281

    • Rosistilla oblonga gen. nov., sp. nov. and Rosistilla carotiformis sp. nov., isolated from biotic or abiotic surfaces in Northern Germany, Mallorca, Spain and California, USA.

      Waqqas, Muhammad; Salbreiter, Markus; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Wiegand, Sandra; Heuer, Anja; Rast, Patrick; Peeters, Stijn H; Boedeker, Christian; Jetten, Mike S M; et al. (Springer, 2020-07-04)
      Planctomycetes are ubiquitous bacteria with fascinating cell biological features. Strains available as axenic cultures in most cases have been isolated from aquatic environments and serve as a basis to study planctomycetal cell biology and interactions in further detail. As a contribution to the current collection of axenic cultures, here we characterise three closely related strains, Poly24T, CA51T and Mal33, which were isolated from the Baltic Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, respectively. The strains display cell biological features typical for related Planctomycetes, such as division by polar budding, presence of crateriform structures and formation of rosettes. Optimal growth was observed at temperatures of 30-33 °C and at pH 7.5, which led to maximal growth rates of 0.065-0.079 h-1, corresponding to generation times of 9-11 h. The genomes of the novel isolates have a size of 7.3-7.5 Mb and a G + C content of 57.7-58.2%. Phylogenetic analyses place the strains in the family Pirellulaceae and suggest that Roseimaritima ulvae and Roseimaritima sediminicola are the current closest relatives. Analysis of five different phylogenetic markers, however, supports the delineation of the strains from members of the genus Roseimaritima and other characterised genera in the family. Supported by morphological and physiological differences, we conclude that the strains belong to the novel genus Rosistilla gen. nov. and constitute two novel species, for which we propose the names Rosistilla carotiformis sp. nov. and Rosistilla oblonga sp. nov. (the type species). The two novel species are represented by the type strains Poly24T (= DSM 102938T = VKM B-3434T = LMG 31347T = CECT 9848T) and CA51T (= DSM 104080T = LMG 29702T), respectively.
    • Rosistilla oblonga gen. nov., sp. nov. and Rosistilla carotiformis sp. nov., isolated from biotic or abiotic surfaces in Northern Germany, Mallorca, Spain and California, USA.

      Waqqas, Muhammad; Salbreiter, Markus; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Wiegand, Sandra; Heuer, Anja; Rast, Patrick; Peeters, Stijn H; Boedeker, Christian; Jetten, Mike S M; et al. (Springer, 2020-07-04)
      Planctomycetes are ubiquitous bacteria with fascinating cell biological features. Strains available as axenic cultures in most cases have been isolated from aquatic environments and serve as a basis to study planctomycetal cell biology and interactions in further detail. As a contribution to the current collection of axenic cultures, here we characterise three closely related strains, Poly24T, CA51T and Mal33, which were isolated from the Baltic Sea, the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, respectively. The strains display cell biological features typical for related Planctomycetes, such as division by polar budding, presence of crateriform structures and formation of rosettes. Optimal growth was observed at temperatures of 30-33 °C and at pH 7.5, which led to maximal growth rates of 0.065-0.079 h-1, corresponding to generation times of 9-11 h. The genomes of the novel isolates have a size of 7.3-7.5 Mb and a G + C content of 57.7-58.2%. Phylogenetic analyses place the strains in the family Pirellulaceae and suggest that Roseimaritima ulvae and Roseimaritima sediminicola are the current closest relatives. Analysis of five different phylogenetic markers, however, supports the delineation of the strains from members of the genus Roseimaritima and other characterised genera in the family. Supported by morphological and physiological differences, we conclude that the strains belong to the novel genus Rosistilla gen. nov. and constitute two novel species, for which we propose the names Rosistilla carotiformis sp. nov. and Rosistilla oblonga sp. nov. (the type species). The two novel species are represented by the type strains Poly24T (= DSM 102938T = VKM B-3434T = LMG 31347T = CECT 9848T) and CA51T (= DSM 104080T = LMG 29702T), respectively.
    • Heparin 2.0: A New Approach to the Infection Crisis.

      Seffer, Malin-Theres; Cottam, Daniel; Forni, Lui G; Kielstein, Jan T; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Karger AG, 2020-07-02)
      In April 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for certain medical devices to be used in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (CO-VID-19). This included extracorporeal blood purification devices. This narrative review will give a brief overview regarding some of the extracorporeal devices that could be used to treat COVID-19 patients, including the Seraph® 100 Microbind® Affinity Blood Filter, produced by ExThera Medical (Martinez, CA, USA), first licensed in the European Economic Area in 2019. The Seraph® 100 contains ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene beads with end point-attached heparin and is approved for the reduction of pathogens from the bloodstream either as a single agent or as an adjunct to conventional anti-infective agents. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins have been shown to bind to the immobilized heparin in a similar way to the interaction with heparan sulfate on the cell surface. This binding is nonreversible and as such, the pathogens are removed from the bloodstream. In this review, we describe the pathophysiological basis and rationale for using heparin for pathogen removal from the blood as well as exploring the technology behind the adaptation of heparin to deprive it of its systemic anticoagulant activity. In addition, we summarize the in vitro data as well as the available preclinical testing and published clinical reports. Finally, we discuss the enormous potential of this technology in an era of increasing antibiotic resistance and high mortality associated with sepsis and consider the application of this as a possible treatment option for COVID-19.
    • Varying the sustained release of BMP-2 from chitosan nanogel-functionalized polycaprolactone fiber mats by different polycaprolactone surface modifications.

      Sundermann, Julius; Oehmichen, Sarah; Sydow, Steffen; Burmeister, Laura; Quaas, Bastian; Hänsch, Robert; Rinas, Ursula; Hoffmann, Andrea; Menzel, Henning; Bunjes, Heike; et al. (Wiley and sons, 2020-06-30)
      Polycaprolactone (PCL) fiber mats with different surface modifications were functionalized with a chitosan nanogel coating to attach the growth factor human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2). Three different hydrophilic surface modifications were compared with regard to the binding and in vitro release of BMP-2. The type of surface modification and the specific surface area derived from the fiber thickness had an important influence on the degree of protein loading. Coating the PCL fibers with polydopamine resulted in the binding of the largest BMP-2 quantity per surface area. However, most of the binding was irreversible over the investigated period of time, causing a low release in vitro. PCL fiber mats with a chitosan-graft-PCL coating and an additional alginate layer, as well as PCL fiber mats with an air plasma surface modification boundless BMP-2, but the immobilized protein could almost completely be released. With polydopamine and plasma modifications as well as with unmodified PCL, high amounts of BMP-2 could also be attached directly to the surface. Integration of BMP-2 into the chitosan nanogel functionalization considerably increased binding on all hydrophilized surfaces and resulted in a sustained release with an initial burst release of BMP-2 without detectable loss of bioactivity in vitro.
    • YBX1 Indirectly Targets Heterochromatin-Repressed Inflammatory Response-Related Apoptosis Genes through Regulating CBX5 mRNA.

      Kloetgen, Andreas; Duggimpudi, Sujitha; Schuschel, Konstantin; Hezaveh, Kebria; Picard, Daniel; Schaal, Heiner; Remke, Marc; Klusmann, Jan-Henning; Borkhardt, Arndt; McHardy, Alice C; et al. (MDPI, 2020-06-23)
      Medulloblastomas arise from undifferentiated precursor cells in the cerebellum and account for about 20% of all solid brain tumors during childhood; standard therapies include radiation and chemotherapy, which oftentimes come with severe impairment of the cognitive development of the young patients. Here, we show that the posttranscriptional regulator Y-box binding protein 1 (YBX1), a DNA- and RNA-binding protein, acts as an oncogene in medulloblastomas by regulating cellular survival and apoptosis. We observed different cellular responses upon YBX1 knockdown in several medulloblastoma cell lines, with significantly altered transcription and subsequent apoptosis rates. Mechanistically, PAR-CLIP for YBX1 and integration with RNA-Seq data uncovered direct posttranscriptional control of the heterochromatin-associated gene CBX5; upon YBX1 knockdown and subsequent CBX5 mRNA instability, heterochromatin-regulated genes involved in inflammatory response, apoptosis and death receptor signaling were de-repressed. Thus, YBX1 acts as an oncogene in medulloblastoma through indirect transcriptional regulation of inflammatory genes regulating apoptosis and represents a promising novel therapeutic target in this tumor entity.
    • Breast cancer colonization by Fusobacterium nucleatum accelerates tumor growth and metastatic progression.

      Parhi, Lishay; Alon-Maimon, Tamar; Sol, Asaf; Nejman, Deborah; Shhadeh, Amjad; Fainsod-Levi, Tanya; Yajuk, Olga; Isaacson, Batya; Abed, Jawad; Maalouf, Naseem; et al. (Nature Research, 2020-06-26)
      Fusobacterium nucleatum is an oral anaerobe recently found to be prevalent in human colorectal cancer (CRC) where it is associated with poor treatment outcome. In mice, hematogenous F. nucleatum can colonize CRC tissue using its lectin Fap2, which attaches to tumor-displayed Gal-GalNAc. Here, we show that Gal-GalNAc levels increase as human breast cancer progresses, and that occurrence of F. nucleatum gDNA in breast cancer samples correlates with high Gal-GalNAc levels. We demonstrate Fap2-dependent binding of the bacterium to breast cancer samples, which is inhibited by GalNAc. Intravascularly inoculated Fap2-expressing F. nucleatum ATCC 23726 specifically colonize mice mammary tumors, whereas Fap2-deficient bacteria are impaired in tumor colonization. Inoculation with F. nucleatum suppresses accumulation of tumor infiltrating T cells and promotes tumor growth and metastatic progression, the latter two of which can be counteracted by antibiotic treatment. Thus, targeting F. nucleatum or Fap2 might be beneficial during treatment of breast cancer.
    • Deconvolution of bulk blood eQTL effects into immune cell subpopulations.

      Aguirre-Gamboa, Raúl; de Klein, Niek; di Tommaso, Jennifer; Claringbould, Annique; van der Wijst, Monique Gp; de Vries, Dylan; Brugge, Harm; Oelen, Roy; Võsa, Urmo; Zorro, Maria M; et al. (BMC, 2020-06-12)
      A novel planctomycetal strain, designated Pla85_3_4T, was isolated from the surface of wood incubated at the discharge of a wastewater treatment plant in the Warnow river near Rostock, Germany. Cells of the novel strain have a cell envelope architecture resembling that of Gram-negative bacteria, are round to pear-shaped (length: 2.2 ± 0.4 µm, width: 1.2 ± 0.3 µm), form aggregates and divide by polar budding. Colonies have a cream colour. Strain Pla85_3_4T grows at ranges of 10-30 °C (optimum 26 °C) and at pH 6.5-10.0 (optimum 7.5), and has a doubling time of 26 h. Phylogenetically, strain Pla85_3_4T (DSM 103796T = LMG 29741T) is concluded to represent a novel species of a novel genus within the family Pirellulaceae, for which we propose the name Lignipirellula cremea gen. nov., sp. nov.
    • Maioricimonas rarisocia gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel planctomycete isolated from marine sediments close to Mallorca Island.

      Rivas-Marin, Elena; Wiegand, Sandra; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Peeters, Stijn H; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Boedeker, Christian; Rohde, Manfred; Devos, Damien P; et al. (Springer, 2020-06-25)
      Planctomycetes are ubiquitous bacteria with environmental and biotechnological relevance. Axenic cultures of planctomycetal strains are the basis to analyse their unusual biology and largely uncharacterised metabolism in more detail. Here, we describe strain Mal4T isolated from marine sediments close to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Strain Mal4T displays common planctomycetal features, such as division by polar budding and the presence of fimbriae and crateriform structures on the cell surface. Cell growth was observed at ranges of 10-39 °C (optimum at 31 °C) and pH 6.5-9.0 (optimum at 7.5). The novel strain shows as pear-shaped cells of 2.0 ± 0.2 × 1.4 ± 0.1 µm and is one of the rare examples of orange colony-forming Planctomycetes. Its genome has a size of 7.7 Mb with a G+C content of 63.4%. Phylogenetically, we conclude that strain Mal4T (= DSM 100296T = LMG 29133T) is the type strain representing the type species of a novel genus, for which we propose the name Maioricimonas rarisocia gen. nov., sp. nov.
    • Glutathione Restricts Serine Metabolism to Preserve Regulatory T Cell Function.

      Kurniawan, Henry; Franchina, Davide G; Guerra, Luana; Bonetti, Lynn; -Baguet, Leticia Soriano; Grusdat, Melanie; Schlicker, Lisa; Hunewald, Oliver; Dostert, Catherine; Merz, Myriam P; et al. (Elsevier (Cell Press), 2020-03-25)
      Regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain immune homeostasis and prevent autoimmunity. Serine stimulates glutathione (GSH) synthesis and feeds into the one-carbon metabolic network (1CMet) essential for effector T cell (Teff) responses. However, serine's functions, linkage to GSH, and role in stress responses in Tregs are unknown. Here, we show, using mice with Treg-specific ablation of the catalytic subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase (Gclc), that GSH loss in Tregs alters serine import and synthesis and that the integrity of this feedback loop is critical for Treg suppressive capacity. Although Gclc ablation does not impair Treg differentiation, mutant mice exhibit severe autoimmunity and enhanced anti-tumor responses. Gclc-deficient Tregs show increased serine metabolism, mTOR activation, and proliferation but downregulated FoxP3. Limitation of cellular serine in vitro and in vivo restores FoxP3 expression and suppressive capacity of Gclc-deficient Tregs. Our work reveals an unexpected role for GSH in restricting serine availability to preserve Treg functionality.
    • Discovery of Small-Molecule Stabilizers of 14-3-3 Protein-Protein Interactions via Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry.

      Hartman, Alwin M; Elgaher, Walid A M; Hertrich, Nathalie; Andrei, Sebastian A; Ottmann, Christian; Hirsch, Anna K H; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2020-02-28)
      Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) play an important role in numerous biological processes such as cell-cycle regulation and multiple diseases. The family of 14-3-3 proteins is an attractive target as they serve as binding partner to various proteins and are therefore capable of regulating their biological activities. Discovering small-molecule modulators, in particular stabilizers, of such complexes via traditional screening approaches is a challenging task. Herein, we pioneered the first application of dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) to a PPI target, to find modulators of 14-3-3 proteins. Evaluation of the amplified hits from the DCC experiments for their binding affinity via surface plasmon resonance (SPR), revealed that the low-micromolar (KD 15-16 μM) acylhydrazones are 14-3-3/synaptopodin PPI stabilizers. Thus, DCC appears to be ideally suited for the discovery of not only modulators but even the more elusive stabilizers of notoriously challenging PPIs.
    • Potential Dental Biofilm Inhibitors: Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry Affords Sugar-Based Molecules that Target Bacterial Glucosyltransferase.

      Hartman, Alwin M; Jumde, Varsha R; Elgaher, Walid A M; Te Poele, Evelien M; Dijkhuizen, Lubbert; Hirsch, Anna K H; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Wiley-VCH, 2020-06-16)
      We applied dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) to find novel ligands of the bacterial virulence factor glucosyltransferase (GTF) 180. GTFs are the major producers of extracellular polysaccharides, which are important factors in the initiation and development of cariogenic dental biofilms. Following a structure-based strategy, we designed a series of 36 glucose- and maltose-based acylhydrazones as substrate mimics. Synthesis of the required mono- and disaccharide-based aldehydes set the stage for DCC experiments. Analysis of the dynamic combinatorial libraries (DCLs) by UPLC-MS revealed major amplification of four compounds in the presence of GTF180. Moreover, we found that derivatives of the glucose-acceptor maltose at the C1-hydroxy group act as glucose-donors and are cleaved by GTF180. The synthesized hits display medium to low binding affinity (KD values of 0.4-10.0 mm) according to surface plasmon resonance. In addition, they were investigated for inhibitory activity in GTF-activity assays. The early-stage DCC study reveals that careful design of DCLs opens up easy access to a broad class of novel compounds that can be developed further as potential inhibitors.
    • Polyhalonitrobutadienes as Versatile Building Blocks for the Biotargeted Synthesis of Substituted N-Heterocyclic Compounds.

      Zapol'skii, Viktor A; Bilitewski, Ursula; Kupiec, Sören R; Ramming, Isabell; Kaufmann, Dieter E; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-06-21)
      Substituted nitrogen heterocycles are structural key units in many important pharmaceuticals. A new synthetic approach towards heterocyclic compounds displaying antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus or cytotoxic activity has been developed. The selective synthesis of a series of 64 new N-heterocycles from the three nitrobutadienes 2-nitroperchloro-1,3-butadiene, 4-bromotetrachloro-2-nitro-1,3-butadiene and (Z)-1,1,4-trichloro-2,4-dinitrobuta-1,3-diene proved feasible. Their reactions with N-, O- and S-nucleophiles provide rapid access to push-pull substituted benzoxazolines, benzimidazolines, imidazolidines, thiazolidinones, pyrazoles, pyrimidines, pyridopyrimidines, benzoquinolines, isothiazoles, dihydroisoxazoles, and thiophenes with unique substitution patterns. Antibacterial activities of 64 synthesized compounds were examined. Additionally, seven compounds (thiazolidinone, nitropyrimidine, indole, pyridopyrimidine, and thiophene derivatives) exhibited a significant cytotoxicity with IC50-values from 1.05 to 20.1 µM. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that polyhalonitrobutadienes have an interesting potential as structural backbones for a variety of highly functionalized, pharmaceutically active heterocycles.
    • Thalassoglobus polymorphus sp. nov., a novel Planctomycete isolated close to a public beach of Mallorca Island.

      Rivas-Marin, Elena; Wiegand, Sandra; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Peeters, Stijn H; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Boedeker, Christian; Rohde, Manfred; Devos, Damien P; et al. (Springer, 2020-06-24)
      Access to axenic cultures is crucial to extend the knowledge of the biology, lifestyle or metabolic capabilities of bacteria from different phyla. The phylum Planctomycetes is an excellent example since its members display an unusual cell biology and complex lifestyles. As a contribution to the current collection of axenic planctomycete cultures, here we describe strain Mal48T isolated from phytoplankton material sampled at the coast of S'Arenal close to Palma de Mallorca (Spain). The isolated strain shows optimal growth at pH 7.0-7.5 and 30 °C and exhibits typical features of Planctomycetes. Cells of the strain are spherical to pear-shaped, divide by polar budding with daughter cells showing the same shape as the mother cell, tend to aggregate, display a stalk and produce matrix or fimbriae. Strain Mal48T showed 95.8% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with the recently described Thalassoglobus neptunius KOR42T. The genome sequence of the novel isolate has a size of 6,357,355 bp with a G+C content of 50.3%. A total of 4874 protein-coding genes, 41 tRNA genes and 2 copies of the 16S rRNA gene are encoded in the genome. Based on phylogenetic, morphological and physiological analyses, we conclude that strain Mal48T (= DSM 100737T = LMG 29019T) should be classified as the type strain of a new species in the genus Thalassoglobus, for which the name Thalassoglobus polymorphus sp. nov. is proposed.
    • Enduring Changes in Neuronal Function upon Systemic Inflammation Are NLRP3 Inflammasome Dependent.

      Beyer, Marianna M S; Lonnemann, Niklas; Remus, Anita; Latz, Eicke; Heneka, Michael T; Korte, Martin (Society for Neuroscience, 2020-06-04)
      Neuroinflammation can be caused by various insults to the brain and represents an important pathologic hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Infection-triggered acute systemic inflammation is able to induce neuroinflammation and may negatively affect neuronal morphology, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive function. In contrast to acute effects, persisting consequences for the brain on systemic immune stimulation remain largely unexplored. Here, we report an age-dependent vulnerability of wild-type (WT) mice of either sex toward a systemic immune stimulation by Salmonella typhimurium lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Decreased neuronal complexity three months after peripheral immune stimulation is accompanied by impairment in long-term potentiation (LTP) and spatial learning. Aged APP/PS1 mice reveal an increased sensitivity also to LPS of Escherichia coli, which had no effect in WT mice. We further report that these effects are mediated by NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation, since the genetic ablation and pharmacological inhibition using the NLRP3 inhibitor MCC950 rescue the morphological and electrophysiological phenotype.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Acute peripheral immune stimulation has been shown to have both positive and negative effects on Aβ deposition. Improvements or worsening may be possible in acute inflammation. However, there is still no evidence of effects longer than a month after stimulation. The data are pointing to an important role of the NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome for mediating the long-term consequences of systemic immune stimulation, which in addition turns out to be age dependent.
    • Caulifigura coniformis gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel member of the family Planctomycetaceae isolated from a red biofilm sampled in a hydrothermal area.

      Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Wiegand, Sandra; Boedeker, Christian; Peeters, Stijn H; Jogler, Mareike; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer, 2020-06-24)
      Pan44T, a novel strain belonging to the phylum Planctomycetes, was isolated from a red biofilm in a hydrothermal area close to the island Panarea in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, Italy. The strain forms white colonies on solid medium and displays the following characteristics: cell division by budding, formation of rosettes, presence of matrix or fimbriae and long stalks. The cell surface has an interesting and characteristic texture made up of triangles and rectangles, which leads to a pine cone-like morphology of the strain. Strain Pan44T is mesophilic (temperature optimum 26 °C), slightly alkaliphilic (pH optimum 8.0), aerobic and heterotrophic. The strain has a genome size of 6.76 Mb with a G + C content of 63.2%. Phylogenetically, the strain is a member of the family Planctomycetaceae, order Planctomycetales, class Planctomycetia. Our analysis supports delineation of strain Pan44T from all known genera in this family, hence, we propose to assign it to a novel species within a novel genus, for which we propose the name Caulifigura coniformis gen. nov., sp. nov., represented by Pan44T (DSM 29405T = LMG 29788T) as the type strain.
    • A decade of advances in transposon-insertion sequencing.

      Cain, Amy K; Barquist, Lars; Goodman, Andrew L; Paulsen, Ian T; Parkhill, Julian; van Opijnen, Tim; HIRI, Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung, Josef-Shneider Strasse 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany. (Springer Nature, 2020-06-12)
      It has been 10 years since the introduction of modern transposon-insertion sequencing (TIS) methods, which combine genome-wide transposon mutagenesis with high-throughput sequencing to estimate the fitness contribution or essentiality of each genetic component in a bacterial genome. Four TIS variations were published in 2009: transposon sequencing (Tn-Seq), transposon-directed insertion site sequencing (TraDIS), insertion sequencing (INSeq) and high-throughput insertion tracking by deep sequencing (HITS). TIS has since become an important tool for molecular microbiologists, being one of the few genome-wide techniques that directly links phenotype to genotype and ultimately can assign gene function. In this Review, we discuss the recent applications of TIS to answer overarching biological questions. We explore emerging and multidisciplinary methods that build on TIS, with an eye towards future applications.
    • A shift of dynamic equilibrium between the KIT active and inactive states causes drug resistance.

      Srikakulam, Sanjay K; Bastys, Tomas; Kalinina, Olga V; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Wiley, 2020-06-12)
      Integrative bioinformatics is an emerging field in the big data era, offering a steadily increasing number of algorithms and analysis tools. However, for researchers in experimental life sciences it is often difficult to follow and properly apply the bioinformatical methods in order to unravel the complexity and systemic effects of omics data. Here, we present an integrative bioinformatics pipeline to decipher crucial biological insights from global transcriptome profiling data to validate innovative therapeutics. It is available as a web application for an interactive and simplified analysis without the need for programming skills or deep bioinformatics background. The approach was applied to an ex vivo cardiac model treated with natural anti-fibrotic compounds and we obtained new mechanistic insights into their anti-fibrotic action and molecular interplay with miRNAs in cardiac fibrosis. Several gene pathways associated with proliferation, extracellular matrix processes and wound healing were altered, and we could identify micro (mi) RNA-21-5p and miRNA-223-3p as key molecular components related to the anti-fibrotic treatment. Importantly, our pipeline is not restricted to a specific cell type or disease and can be broadly applied to better understand the unprecedented level of complexity in big data research.
    • Plugging Small RNAs into the Network.

      Barquist, Lars; HIRI, Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung, Josef-Shneider Strasse 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany. (ASM, 2020-06-02)
      Small RNAs (sRNAs) have been discovered in every bacterium examined and have been shown to play important roles in the regulation of a diverse range of behaviors, from metabolism to infection. However, despite a wide range of available techniques for discovering and validating sRNA regulatory interactions, only a minority of these molecules have been well characterized. In part, this is due to the nature of posttranscriptional regulation: the activity of an sRNA depends on the state of the transcriptome as a whole, so characterization is best carried out under the conditions in which it is naturally active. In this issue of mSystems, Arrieta-Ortiz and colleagues (M. L. Arrieta-Ortiz, C. Hafemeister, B. Shuster, N. S. Baliga, et al., mSystems 5:e00057-20, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1128/mSystems.00057-20) present a network inference approach based on estimating sRNA activity across transcriptomic compendia. This shows promise not only for identifying new sRNA regulatory interactions but also for pinpointing the conditions in which these interactions occur, providing a new avenue toward functional characterization of sRNAs.
    • Sex-Specific Regulation of Inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome in Obesity.

      Ter Horst, Rob; van den Munckhof, Inge C L; Schraa, Kiki; Aguirre-Gamboa, Raul; Jaeger, Martin; Smeekens, Sanne P; Brand, Tessa; Lemmers, Heidi; Dijkstra, Helga; Galesloot, Tessel E; et al. (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2020-05-28)
      Metabolic dysregulation and inflammation are important consequences of obesity and impact susceptibility to cardiovascular disease. Anti-inflammatory therapy in cardiovascular disease is being developed under the assumption that inflammatory pathways are identical in women and men, but it is not known if this is indeed the case. In this study, we assessed the sex-specific relation between inflammation and metabolic dysregulation in obesity. Approach and Results: Three hundred two individuals were included, half with a BMI 27 to 30 kg/m2 and half with a BMI>30 kg/m2, 45% were women. The presence of metabolic syndrome was assessed according to the National Cholesterol Education Program-ATPIII criteria, and inflammation was studied using circulating markers of inflammation, cell counts, and ex vivo cytokine production capacity of isolated immune cells. Additionally, lipidomic and metabolomic data were gathered, and subcutaneous fat biopsies were histologically assessed. Metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased inflammatory profile that profoundly differs between women and men: women with metabolic syndrome show a lower concentration of the anti-inflammatory adiponectin, whereas men show increased levels of several pro-inflammatory markers such as IL (interleukin)-6 and leptin. Adipose tissue inflammation showed similar sex-specific associations with these markers. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from men, but not women, with metabolic syndrome display enhanced cytokine production capacity.
    • A Single-Center Prospective Cohort Study on Postsplenectomy Sepsis and its Prevention.

      Rieg, Siegbert; Bechet, Lena; Naujoks, Kai; Hromek, Julia; Lange, Berit; Juzek-Küpper, Marc-Fabian; Stete, Katarina; Müller, Matthias C; Jost, Insa; Kern, Winfried V; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2020-02-13)
      A total of 459 asplenic patients were enrolled, and 426 patients were followed prospectively over a median period of 2.9 years. Pneumococcal vaccine uptake within 3 months of splenectomy or first diagnosis of asplenia was 27% vs 71% among delayed study entry and early study entry patients, respectively (P < .001). Forty-four episodes of severe sepsis or septic shock occurred in study patients: 22 after study entry and 22 before study entry. Streptococcus pneumoniae was more frequent among sepsis episodes that occurred before study entry (8/22) than after study entry (1/22 episodes). For episodes occurring after study entry, only a higher Charlson comorbidity index score was significantly associated with severe sepsis/septic shock postsplenectomy.