Now showing items 1-20 of 3176

    • Tunable self-cleaving ribozymes for modulating gene expression in eukaryotic systems.

      Jacobsen, Thomas; Yi, Gloria; Al Asafen, Hadel; Jermusyk, Ashley A; Beisel, Chase L; Reeves, Gregory T; HIRI, Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung, Josef-Shneider Strasse 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany. (PLOS, 2020-04-30)
      Advancements in the field of synthetic biology have been possible due to the development of genetic tools that are able to regulate gene expression. However, the current toolbox of gene regulatory tools for eukaryotic systems have been outpaced by those developed for simple, single-celled systems. Here, we engineered a set of gene regulatory tools by combining self-cleaving ribozymes with various upstream competing sequences that were designed to disrupt ribozyme self-cleavage. As a proof-of-concept, we were able to modulate GFP expression in mammalian cells, and then showed the feasibility of these tools in Drosophila embryos. For each system, the fold-reduction of gene expression was influenced by the location of the self-cleaving ribozyme/upstream competing sequence (i.e. 5' vs. 3' untranslated region) and the competing sequence used. Together, this work provides a set of genetic tools that can be used to tune gene expression across various eukaryotic systems.
    • Rapid Discovery of Aspartyl Protease Inhibitors Using an Anchoring Approach.

      Konstantinidou, Markella; Magari, Francesca; Sutanto, Fandi; Haupenthal, Jörg; Jumde, Varsha R; Ünver, M Yagiz; Heine, Andreas; Camacho, Carlos Jamie; Hirsch, Anna K H; Klebe, Gerhard; et al. (Wiley-VCH, 2020-03-18)
      Pharmacophore searches that include anchors, fragments contributing above average to receptor binding, combined with one-step syntheses are a powerful approach for the fast discovery of novel bioactive molecules. Here, we are presenting a pipeline for the rapid and efficient discovery of aspartyl protease inhibitors. First, we hypothesized that hydrazine could be a multi-valent warhead to interact with the active site Asp carboxylic acids. We incorporated the hydrazine anchor in a multicomponent reaction and created a large virtual library of hydrazine derivatives synthetically accessible in one-step. Next, we performed anchor-based pharmacophore screening of the libraries and resynthesized top-ranked compounds. The inhibitory potency of the molecules was finally assessed by an enzyme activity assay and the binding mode confirmed by several soaked crystal structures supporting the validity of the hypothesis and approach. The herein reported pipeline of tools will be of general value for the rapid generation of receptor binders beyond Asp proteases.
    • Synergistic activity of IDH1 inhibitor BAY1436032 with azacitidine in IDH1 mutant acute myeloid leukemia.

      Chaturvedi, Anuhar; Gupta, Charu; Gabdoulline, Razif; Borchert, Nora M; Goparaju, Ramya; Kaulfuss, Stefan; Görlich, Kerstin; Schottmann, Renate; Othman, Basem; Welzenbach, Julia; et al. (Ferrraata Storti Foundation, 2020-04-02)
      Mutant IDH1 (mIDH1) inhibitors have shown single-agent activity in relapsed/refractory AML, though most patients eventually relapse. We evaluated the efficacy and molecular mechanism of the combination treatment with azacitidine, which is currently the standard of care in older AML patients, and mIDH1 inhibitor BAY1436032. Both compounds were evaluated in vivo as single agents and in combination with sequential (azacitidine, followed by BAY1436032) or simultaneous application in two human IDH1 mutated AML xenograft models. Combination treatment significantly prolonged survival compared to single agent or control treatment (P<.005). The sequential combination treatment depleted leukemia stem cells (LSC) by 470-fold. Interestingly, the simultaneous combination treatment depleted LSCs by 33,150-fold compared to control mice. This strong synergy is mediated through inhibition of MAPK/ERK and RB/E2F signaling. Our data strongly argues for the concurrent application of mIDH1 inhibitors and azacitidine and predicts improved outcome of this regimen in IDH1 mutated AML patients.
    • [Frequencies of musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders in the population-based German National Cohort (GNC)].

      Schmidt, Carsten Oliver; Günther, Klaus-Peter; Goronzy, Jens; Albrecht, Katinka; Chenot, Jean-François; Callhoff, Johanna; Richter, Adrian; Kasch, Richard; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Becher, Heiko; et al. (Springer, 2020-03-18)
      Background: Musculoskeletal diseases and symptoms are very common in the general population. They lead to high healthcare costs and pose a significant burden to the national economy. Objectives: Based on data from the population-based German National Cohort (GNC), frequencies of musculoskeletal symptoms and diseases are reported, including back pain, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and arthritis. Materials and methods: Data were collected from March 2014 to March 2017 in adults aged 20-75 years during the first half of the baseline survey of the GNC. The sample comprised 101,779 interviewed subjects, including 9370 subjects who underwent clinical musculoskeletal examinations. The interview included questions about specific musculoskeletal disorders. A clinical examination of the hand provided information about palpable swollen joints and pressure-sensitive joints. Resting pain of the knees and hips was also assessed by a clinical examination. Frequencies were standardized to the German standard population of the year 2011. Results: Having ever been diagnosed with recurrent back pain (22.5%) or osteoarthritis (20.6%) were the most common complaints reported in the interview; osteoporosis (2.9%) and rheumatoid arthritis (1.9%) were stated more seldom. According to the hand examination, 6.0% of all participants experienced pain in at least one finger joint. Resting pain was present in at least one knee among 8.2% and in at least one hip among 5.1% of the participants as assessed during the clinical examination. Women were more likely to report musculoskeletal disorders and symptoms than men. The proportion of adults affected by musculoskeletal diseases increased strongly with age. Conclusion: Musculoskeletal disorders and symptoms occur frequently. The burden of complaints and diagnoses is comparable to previous population-based surveys.
    • An RNA biology perspective on species-specific programmable RNA antibiotics.

      Vogel, Jörg; HIRI, Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung, Josef-Shneider Strasse 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany. (Wiley, 2020-03-17)
      Our body is colonized by a vast array of bacteria the sum of which forms our microbiota. The gut alone harbors >1,000 bacterial species. An understanding of their individual or synergistic contributions to human health and disease demands means to interfere with their functions on the species level. Most of the currently available antibiotics are broad-spectrum, thus too unspecific for a selective depletion of a single species of interest from the microbiota. Programmable RNA antibiotics in the form of short antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) promise to achieve precision manipulation of bacterial communities. These ASOs are coupled to small peptides that carry them inside the bacteria to silence mRNAs of essential genes, for example, to target antibiotic-resistant pathogens as an alternative to standard antibiotics. There is already proof-of-principle with diverse bacteria, but many open questions remain with respect to true species specificity, potential off-targeting, choice of peptides for delivery, bacterial resistance mechanisms and the host response. While there is unlikely a one-fits-all solution for all microbiome species, I will discuss how recent progress in bacterial RNA biology may help to accelerate the development of programmable RNA antibiotics for microbiome editing and other applications.
    • Crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 main protease provides a basis for design of improved α-ketoamide inhibitors.

      Zhang, Linlin; Lin, Daizong; Sun, Xinyuanyuan; Curth, Ute; Drosten, Christian; Sauerhering, Lucie; Becker, Stephan; Rox, Katharina; Hilgenfeld, Rolf; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (AAAS, 2020-03-20)
      The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global health emergency. An attractive drug target among coronaviruses is the main protease (Mpro, also called 3CLpro) because of its essential role in processing the polyproteins that are translated from the viral RNA. We report the x-ray structures of the unliganded SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and its complex with an α-ketoamide inhibitor. This was derived from a previously designed inhibitor but with the P3-P2 amide bond incorporated into a pyridone ring to enhance the half-life of the compound in plasma. On the basis of the unliganded structure, we developed the lead compound into a potent inhibitor of the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro The pharmacokinetic characterization of the optimized inhibitor reveals a pronounced lung tropism and suitability for administration by the inhalative route.
    • Labyrinthopeptins as virolytic inhibitors of respiratory syncytial virus cell entry.

      Blockus, Sebastian; Sake, Svenja M; Wetzke, Martin; Grethe, Christina; Graalmann, Theresa; Pils, Marina; Le Goffic, Ronan; Galloux, Marie; Prochnow, Hans; Rox, Katharina; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-03-18)
      Acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRI) caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are associated with a severe disease burden among infants and elderly patients. Treatment options are limited. While numerous drug candidates with different viral targets are under development, the utility of RSV entry inhibitors is challenged by a low resistance barrier and by single mutations causing cross-resistance against a wide spectrum of fusion inhibitor chemotypes. We developed a cell-based screening assay for discovery of compounds inhibiting infection with primary RSV isolates. Using this system, we identified labyrinthopeptin A1 and A2 (Laby A1/A2), lantibiotics isolated from Actinomadura namibiensis, as effective RSV cell entry inhibitors with IC50s of 0.39 μM and 4.97 μM, respectively, and with favourable therapeutic index (>200 and > 20, respectively). Both molecules were active against multiple RSV strains including primary isolates and their antiviral activity against RSV was confirmed in primary human airway cells ex vivo and a murine model in vivo. Laby A1/A2 were antiviral in prophylactic and therapeutic treatment regimens and displayed synergistic activity when applied in combination with each other. Mechanistic studies showed that Laby A1/A2 exert virolytic activity likely by binding to phosphatidylethanolamine moieties within the viral membrane and by disrupting virus particle membrane integrity. Probably due to its specific mode of action, Laby A1/A2 antiviral activity was not affected by common resistance mutations to known RSV entry inhibitors. Taken together, Laby A1/A2 represent promising candidates for development as RSV inhibitors. Moreover, the cell-based screening system with primary RSV isolates described here should be useful to identify further antiviral agents.
    • [Self-reported cancer in the German National Cohort (NAKO Gesundheitsstudie): assessment methods and first results] / Selbstberichtete Krebserkrankungen in der NAKO Gesundheitsstudie: Erfassungsmethoden und erste Ergebnisse.

      Nimptsch, Katharina; Jaeschke, Lina; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Kaaks, Rudolf; Katzke, Verena; Michels, Karin B; Franzke, Claus-Werner; Obi, Nadia; Becher, Heiko; Kuß, Oliver; et al. (Springer, 2020-03-16)
      Background: In the German National Cohort (NAKO Gesundheitsstudie), the largest prospective cohort study in Germany, data on self-reported cancer diagnoses are now available for the first half of participants. Objectives: Description of the methods to assess self-reported cancer diagnoses and type of cancer in the NAKO and presentation of first results. Materials and methods: In a computer-assisted, standardized personal interview, 101,787 participants (54,526 women, 47,261 men) were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with cancer (malignant tumors including in situ) by a physician and how many cancer diagnoses they had. The type of cancer was classified with a list. Absolute and relative frequencies of self-reported cancer diagnoses and types of cancer were calculated and compared with cancer registry data. Results: A physician-diagnosed cancer was reported by 9.4% of women and 7.0% of men. Of the participants who reported a cancer diagnosis, 88.3% reported to have had only one cancer diagnosis. In women, the most frequent malignancies were breast cancer, cervical cancer, and melanoma. In men, the most frequent malignancies were prostate cancer, melanoma, and colorectal cancer. Comparing the frequencies of cancer diagnoses reported by 45- to 74-year-old NAKO participants within the last five years to cancer registry-based 5‑year prevalences, most types of cancer were less frequent in the NAKO, with the exception of melanoma in men and women, cervical cancer and liver cancer in women, and bladder cancer and breast cancer in men. Conclusions: The NAKO is a rich data basis for future investigations of incident cancer.
    • Nonocarbolines A-E, -Carboline Antibiotics Produced by the Rare Actinobacterium sp. from Indonesia.

      Primahana, Gian; Risdian, Chandra; Mozef, Tjandrawati; Sudarman, Enge; Köck, Matthias; Wink, Joachim; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2020-03-17)
      During the course of our ongoing screening for novel biologically active secondary metabolites, the rare Actinobacterium, Nonomuraea sp. 1808210CR was found to produce five unprecedented β-carboline derivatives, nonocarbolines A-E (1-5). Their structures were elucidated from high-resolution mass spectrometry, 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and the absolute configuration of 4 was determined by using the modified Mosher method. Nonocarboline B (2) displayed moderate antifungal activity against Mucor hiemalis, while nonocarboline D (4) exhibited significant cytotoxic activity against the human lung carcinoma cell line A-549 with the IC50 value of 1.7 µM.
    • 1H, 13C, 15N chemical shift assignments of SHP2 SH2 domains in complex with PD-1 immune-tyrosine motifs.

      Marasco, Michelangelo; Kirkpatrick, John P; Carlomagno, Teresa; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer, 2020-04-01)
      Inhibition of immune checkpoint receptor Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) via monoclonal antibodies is an established anticancer immunotherapeutic approach. This treatment has been largely successful; however, its high cost demands equally effective, more affordable alternatives. To date, the development of drugs targeting downstream players in the PD-1-dependent signaling pathway has been hampered by our poor understanding of the molecular details of the intermolecular interactions involved in the pathway. Activation of PD-1 leads to phosphorylation of two signaling motifs located in its cytoplasmic domain, the immune tyrosine inhibitory motif (ITIM) and immune tyrosine switch motif (ITSM), which recruit and activate protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2. This interaction is mediated by the two Src homology 2 (SH2) domains of SHP2, termed N-SH2 and C-SH2, which recognize phosphotyrosines pY223 and pY248 of ITIM and ITSM, respectively. SHP2 then propagates the inhibitory signal, ultimately leading to suppression of T cell functionality. In order to facilitate mechanistic structural studies of this signaling pathway, we report the resonance assignments of the complexes formed by the signaling motifs of PD-1 and the SH2 domains of SHP2.
    • Squalenyl Hydrogen Sulfate Nanoparticles for Simultaneous Delivery of Tobramycin and an Alkylquinolone Quorum Sensing Inhibitor Enable the Eradication of P. aeruginosa Biofilm Infections.

      Ho, Duy-Khiet; Murgia, Xabier; de Rossi, Chiara; Christmann, Rebekka; Hüfner de Mello Martins, Antonio G; Koch, Marcus; Andreas, Anastasia; Herrmann, Jennifer; Müller, Rolf; Empting, Martin; et al. (Wiley, 2020-04-03)
      Elimination of pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infections is challenging to accomplish with antibiotic therapies, mainly due to resistance mechanisms. Quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs) interfering with biofilm formation can thus complement antibiotics. For simultaneous and improved delivery of both active agents to the infection sites, self-assembling nanoparticles of a newly synthesized squalenyl hydrogen sulfate (SqNPs) were prepared. These nanocarriers allowed for remarkably high loading capacities of hydrophilic antibiotic tobramycin (Tob) and a novel lipophilic QSI at 30 % and circa 10 %, respectively. The drug-loaded SqNPs showed improved biofilm penetration and enhanced efficacy in relevant biological barriers (mucin/human tracheal mucus, biofilm), leading to complete eradication of PA biofilms at circa 16-fold lower Tob concentration than Tob alone. This study offers a viable therapy optimization and invigorates the research and development of QSIs for clinical use.
    • Innate signalling molecules as genetic adjuvants do not alter the efficacy of a DNA-based influenza A vaccine.

      Lapuente, Dennis; Stab, Viktoria; Storcksdieck Genannt Bonsmann, Michael; Maaske, Andre; Köster, Mario; Xiao, Han; Ehrhardt, Christina; Tenbusch, Matthias; HZI, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (PLOS, 2020-04-03)
      In respect to the heterogeneity among influenza A virus strains and the shortcomings of current vaccination programs, there is a huge interest in the development of alternative vaccines that provide a broader and more long-lasting protection. Gene-based approaches are considered as promising candidates for such flu vaccines. In our study, innate signalling molecules from the RIG-I and the NALP3 pathways were evaluated as genetic adjuvants in intramuscular DNA immunizations. Plasmids encoding a constitutive active form of RIG-I (cRIG-I), IPS-1, IL-1β, or IL-18 were co-administered with plasmids encoding the hemagglutinin and nucleoprotein derived from H1N1/Puerto Rico/8/1934 via electroporation in BALB/c mice. Immunogenicity was analysed in detail and efficacy was demonstrated in homologous and heterologous influenza challenge experiments. Although the biological activities of the adjuvants have been confirmed by in vitro reporter assays, their single or combined inclusion in the vaccine did not result in superior vaccine efficacy. With the exception of significantly increased levels of antigen-specific IgG1 after the co-administration of IL-1β, there were only minor alterations concerning the immunogenicity. Since DNA electroporation alone induced substantial inflammation at the injection site, as demonstrated in this study using Mx2-Luc reporter mice, it might override the adjuvants´ contribution to the inflammatory microenvironment and thereby minimizes the influence on the immunogenicity. Taken together, the DNA immunization was protective against subsequent challenge infections but could not be further improved by the genetic adjuvants analysed in this study.
    • Crystal structure of NirF: insights into its role in heme d biosynthesis.

      Klünemann, Thomas; NIMTZ, MANFRED; Jänsch, Lothar; Layer, Gunhild; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; HZI, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Wiley Online Open, 2020-04-07)
      Certain facultative anaerobes such as the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa can respire on nitrate, a process generally known as denitrification. This enables denitrifying bacteria to survive in anoxic environments and contributes, for example, to the formation of biofilm, hence increasing difficulties in eradicating P. aeruginosa infections. A central step in denitrification is the reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide by nitrite reductase NirS, an enzyme that requires the unique cofactor heme d1 . While heme d1 biosynthesis is mostly understood, the role of the essential periplasmatic protein NirF in this pathway remains unclear. Here, we have determined crystal structures of NirF and its complex with dihydroheme d1 , the last intermediate of heme d1 biosynthesis. We found that NirF forms a bottom-to-bottom β-propeller homodimer and confirmed this by multi-angle light and small-angle X-ray scattering. The N termini are adjacent to each other and project away from the core structure, which hints at simultaneous membrane anchoring via both N termini. Further, the complex with dihydroheme d1 allowed us to probe the importance of specific residues in the vicinity of the ligand binding site, revealing residues not required for binding or stability of NirF but essential for denitrification in experiments with complemented mutants of a ΔnirF strain of P. aeruginosa. Together, these data suggest that NirF possesses a yet unknown enzymatic activity and is not simply a binding protein of heme d1 derivatives. DATABASE: Structural data are available in PDB database under the accession numbers 6TV2 and 6TV9.
    • Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of the fentanyl homologs cyclopropanoyl-1-benzyl-4´-fluoro-4-anilinopiperidine and furanoyl-1-benzyl-4-anilinopiperidine.

      Gampfer, Tanja M; Wagmann, Lea; Park, Yu Mi; Cannaert, Annelies; Herrmann, Jennifer; Fischmann, Svenja; Westphal, Folker; Müller, Rolf; Stove, Christophe P; Meyer, Markus R; et al. (Springer Nature, 2020-04-05)
      The two fentanyl homologs cyclopropanoyl-1-benzyl-4´-fluoro-4-anilinopiperidine (4F-Cy-BAP) and furanoyl-1-benzyl-4-anilinopiperidine (Fu-BAP) have recently been seized as new psychoactive substances (NPS) on the drugs of abuse market. As their toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic characteristics are completely unknown, this study focused on elucidating their in vitro metabolic stability in pooled human liver S9 fraction (pHLS9), their qualitative in vitro (pHLS9), and in vivo (zebrafish larvae) metabolism, and their in vitro isozyme mapping using recombinant expressed isoenzymes. Their maximum-tolerated concentration (MTC) in zebrafish larvae was studied from 0.01 to 100 µM. Their µ-opioid receptor (MOR) activity was analyzed in engineered human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 T cells. In total, seven phase I and one phase II metabolites of 4F-Cy-BAP and 15 phase I and four phase II metabolites of Fu-BAP were tentatively identified by means of liquid chromatography high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry, with the majority detected in zebrafish larvae. N-Dealkylation, N-deacylation, hydroxylation, and N-oxidation were the most abundant metabolic reactions and the corresponding metabolites are expected to be promising analytical targets for toxicological analysis. Isozyme mapping revealed the main involvement of CYP3A4 in the phase I metabolism of 4F-Cy-BAP and in terms of Fu-BAP additionally CYP2D6. Therefore, drug-drug interactions by CYP3A4 inhibition may cause elevated drug levels and unwanted adverse effects. MTC experiments revealed malformations and changes in the behavior of larvae after exposure to 100 µM Fu-BAP. Both substances were only able to produce a weak activation of MOR and although toxic effects based on MOR activation seem unlikely, activity at other receptors cannot be excluded
    • Donor-derived IL-17A and IL-17F deficiency triggers Th1 allo-responses and increases gut leakage during acute GVHD.

      Odak, Ivan; Depkat-Jakob, Alina; Beck, Maleen; Jarek, Michael; Yu, Yan; Seidler, Ursula; David, Sascha; Ganser, Arnold; Förster, Reinhold; Prinz, Immo; et al. (PLOS, 2020-04-06)
      s Metrics Comments Media Coverage Abstract Introduction Material and methods Results Discussion Supporting information Acknowledgments References Reader Comments (0) Media Coverage (0) Figures Abstract IL-17A and IL-17F cytokines are important regulators of acute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD). However, contrary effects of these cytokines in inflammatory diseases have been reported. To investigate the effects of donor-derived IL-17A and IL-17F on GVHD, we made use of single (Il17a-/- or Il17f-/-) and double deficient (Il17af-/-) allogeneic donor CD4+ T cells. We could demonstrate that transplantation of Il17af-/- CD4+ donor T cells led to aggravated GVHD. However, this phenotype was not observed after transplantation of single, Il17a-/- or Il17f-/-, deficient CD4+ T cells, suggesting redundant effects of IL-17A and IL-17F. Moreover, Il17af-/- cell recipients showed an increase of systemic IFNγ, indicating a heightened pro-inflammatory state, as well as infiltration of IFNγ-secreting CD4+ T cells in the recipients’ intestinal tract. These recipients exhibited significant gut leakage, and markedly macrophage infiltration in the gastrointestinal epithelial layer. Moreover, we saw evidence of impaired recovery of gut epithelial cells in recipients of Il17af-/- CD4+ T cells. In this study, we show that IL-17A/F double deficiency of donor CD4+ T cells leads to accelerated GVHD and therefore highlight the importance of these cytokines. Together, IL-17 cytokines might serve as a brake to an intensified Th1 response, leading to the exacerbated gut damage in acute GVHD.
    • [Self-reported infections in the German National Cohort (GNC) in the context of the current research landscape].

      Hassenstein, Max J; Aarabi, Ghazal; Ahnert, Peter; Becher, Heiko; Franzke, Claus-Werner; Fricke, Julia; Krause, Gérard; Glöckner, Stephan; Gottschick, Cornelia; Karch, André; et al.
      Infectious diseases continue to play an important role for disease perception, health-economic considerations and public health in Germany. In recent years, infectious diseases have been linked to the development of non-communicable diseases. Analyses of the German National Cohort (GNC) may provide deeper insights into this issue and pave the way for new targeted approaches in disease prevention. Objectives The aim was to describe the tools used to assess infectious diseases and to present initial data on infectious disease frequencies, as well as to relate the GNC assessment tools to data collection methods in other studies in Germany. Methods As part of the baseline examination, questions regarding infectious diseases were administered using both an interview and a self-administered touchscreen questionnaire. Data from the initial 101,787 GNC participants were analysed. Results In the interview, 0.2% (HIV/AIDS) to 8.6% (shingles) of respondents reported ever having a medical diagnosis of shingles, postherpetic neuralgia (in cases where shingles was reported), hepatitis B/C, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or sepsis if treated in hospital. In the questionnaire, 12% (cystitis) to 81% (upper respiratory tract infections) of respondents reported having experienced at least one occurrence of upper or lower respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, cystitis or fever within the past 12 months. Outlook The cross-sectional analyses of data and tools presented here – for example on determinants of susceptibility to self-reported infections – can be anticipated from the year 2021 onward. Beyond that, more extensive research into infectious disease epidemiology will follow, particularly once analyses of GNC biological materials have been performed.
    • Description of Polystyrenella longa gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from polystyrene particles incubated in the Baltic Sea.

      Peeters, Stijn H; Wiegand, Sandra; Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Jogler, Mareike; Heuer, Anja; Jetten, Mike S M; Boedeker, Christian; Rohde, Manfred; Jogler, Christian; HZI,Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7 , 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Springer, 2020-04-01)
      Planctomycetes occur in almost all aquatic ecosystems on earth. They have a remarkable cell biology, and members of the orders Planctomycetales and Pirellulales feature cell division by polar budding, perform a lifestyle switch from sessile to motile cells and have an enlarged periplasmic space. Here, we characterise a novel planctomycetal strain, Pla110T, isolated from the surface of polystyrene particles incubated in the Baltic Sea. After phylogenetic analysis, the strain could be placed in the family Planctomycetaceae. Strain Pla110T performs cell division by budding, has crateriform structures and grows in aggregates or rosettes. The strain is a chemoheterotroph, grows under mesophilic and neutrophilic conditions, and exhibited a doubling time of 21 h. Based on our phylogenetic and morphological characterisation, strain Pla110T (DSM 103387T = LMG 29693T) is concluded to represent a novel species belonging to a novel genus, for which we propose the name Polystyrenella longa gen. nov., sp. nov.
    • Lanyamycin, a macrolide antibiotic from Sorangium cellulosum, strain Soce 481 (Myxobacteria)

      Mulwa, Lucky S.; Jansen, Rolf; Praditya, Dimas F.; Mohr, Kathrin I.; Okanya, Patrick W.; Wink, Joachim; Steinmann, Eike; Stadler, Marc; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Beilstein-Institut, 2018-06-26)
      Lanyamycin (1/2), a secondary metabolite occurring as two epimers, was isolated from the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum, strain Soce 481. The structures of both epimers were elucidated from HRESIMS and 1D and 2D NMR data and the relative configuration of their macrolactone ring was assigned based on NOE and vicinal 1H NMR coupling constants and by calculation of a 3D model. Lanyamycin inhibited HCV infection into mammalian liver cells with an IC50 value of 11.8 µM, and exhibited a moderate cytotoxic activity against the mouse fibroblast cell line L929 and the human nasopharyngeal cell line KB3 with IC50 values of 3.1 and 1.5 μM, respectively, and also suppressed the growth of the Gram-positive bacterium Micrococcus luteus.
    • Inhibition of Respiration of Candida albicans by Small Molecules Increases Phagocytosis Efficacy by Macrophages.

      Cui, Shuna; Li, Minghui; Hassan, Rabeay Y A; Heintz-Buschart, Anna; Wang, Junsong; Bilitewski, Ursula; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstraße 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (American Society of Microbiology, 2020-04-15)
      Candida albicans adapts to various conditions in different body niches by regulating gene expression, protein synthesis, and metabolic pathways. These adaptive reactions not only allow survival but also influence the interaction with host cells, which is governed by the composition and structure of the fungal cell wall. Numerous studies had shown linkages between mitochondrial functionality, cell wall integrity and structure, and pathogenicity. Thus, we decided to inhibit single complexes of the respiratory chain of C. albicans and to analyze the resultant interaction with macrophages via their phagocytic activity. Remarkably, inhibition of the fungal bc1 complex by antimycin A increased phagocytosis, which correlated with an increased accessibility of β-glucans. To contribute to mechanistic insights, we performed metabolic studies, which highlighted significant changes in the abundance of constituents of the plasma membrane. Collectively, our results reinforce the strong linkage between fungal energy metabolism and other components of fungal physiology, which also determine the vulnerability to immune defense reactions.IMPORTANCE The yeast Candida albicans is one of the major fungal human pathogens, for which new therapeutic approaches are required. We aimed at enhancements of the phagocytosis efficacy of macrophages by targeting the cell wall structure of C. albicans, as the coverage of the β-glucan layer by mannans is one of the immune escape mechanisms of the fungus. We unambiguously show that inhibition of the fungal bc1 complex correlates with increased accessibilities of β-glucans and improved phagocytosis efficiency. Metabolic studies proved not only the known direct effects on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and fermentative pathways but also the clear downregulation of the ergosterol pathway and upregulation of unsaturated fatty acids. The changed composition of the plasma membrane could also influence the interaction with the overlying cell wall. Thus, our work highlights the far-reaching relevance of energy metabolism, indirectly also for host-pathogen interactions, without affecting viability.
    • Human Lentiviral Gene Therapy Restores the Cellular Phenotype of Autosomal Recessive Complete IFN-γR1 Deficiency.

      Hahn, Katharina; Pollmann, Liart; Nowak, Juliette; Nguyen, Ariane Hai Ha; Haake, Kathrin; Neehus, Anna-Lena; Waqas, Syed F Hassnain; Pessler, Frank; Baumann, Ulrich; Hetzel, Miriam; et al. (Elsevier(Cell Press), 2020-04-11)
      Autosomal recessive (AR) complete interferon-γ receptor 1 (IFN-γR1) deficiency, also known as one genetic etiology of Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD), is a life-threatening congenital disease leading to premature death. Affected patients present a pathognomonic predisposition to recurrent and severe infections with environmental mycobacteria or the Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine. Current therapeutic options are limited to antibiotic treatment and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, however with poor outcome. Given the clinical success of gene therapy, we introduce the first lentiviral-based gene therapy approach to restore expression and function of the human IFN-γR-downstream signaling cascade. In our study, we developed lentiviral vectors constitutively expressing the human IFN-γR1 and demonstrate stable transgene expression without interference with cell viability and proliferation in transduced human hematopoietic cells. Using an IFN-γR1-deficient HeLa cell model, we show stable receptor reconstitution and restored IFN-γR1 signaling without adverse effect on cell functionality. Transduction of both SV40-immortalized and primary fibroblasts derived from IFN-γR1-deficient MSMD patients was able to recover IFN-γR1 expression and restore type II IFN signaling upon stimulation with IFN-γ. In summary, we highlight lentiviral vectors to correct the IFN-γ mediated immunity and present the first gene therapy approach for patients suffering from AR complete IFN-γR1 deficiency.