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Nuclear Factor Kappa B is Required for the Production of Infectious Human Herpesvirus 8 Virions

Description

Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) infection leads to potent activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) in primary and transformed cells. We used recombinant HHV8 (rKSHV.219) expressing green fluorescent protein under the constitutive cellular promoter elongation factor 2α and red fluorescent

Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) infection leads to potent activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) in primary and transformed cells. We used recombinant HHV8 (rKSHV.219) expressing green fluorescent protein under the constitutive cellular promoter elongation factor 2α and red fluorescent protein under an early HHV8 lytic gene promoter T1.1 to monitor replication during infection of human foreskin fibroblasts (HF), noting changes in NFκB activity. In primary HF, NFκB levels do not affect the ability of HHV8 to establish infection or maintain latency. Furthermore, there was no effect on the percent of cells undergoing reactivation from latency, and there were similar numbers of released and cell-associated HHV8 viral particles following reactivation in the presence of inhibitors. Reactivation of HHV8 in latently infected HF in the presence of NFκB inhibitors resulted in production of viral particles that did not efficiently establish infection, due to deficiencies in binding and/or entry into normally permissive cells. Exogenous expression of glycoprotein M, an envelope protein involved in viral binding and entry, was able to partially overcome the deficiency induced by NFκB inhibitors. Our data indicate that in primary cells, NFκB is not required for infection, establishment of latency, or entry into the lytic cycle, but is required for the expression of virion associated genes involved in the initial steps of virion infectivity. These studies suggest that strategies to inhibit NFκB may prevent HHV8 spread and should be considered as a potential therapeutic target for preventing HHV8 associated diseases.

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Created

Date Created
2014-04-04

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Norovirus Narita 104 Virus-Like Particles Expressed in Nicotiana Benthamiana Induce Serum and Mucosal Immune Responses

Description

Narita 104 virus is a human pathogen belonging to the norovirus (family Caliciviridae) genogroup II. Noroviruses cause epidemic gastroenteritis worldwide. To explore the potential of developing a plant-based vaccine, a plant optimized gene encoding Narita 104 virus capsid protein (NaVCP)

Narita 104 virus is a human pathogen belonging to the norovirus (family Caliciviridae) genogroup II. Noroviruses cause epidemic gastroenteritis worldwide. To explore the potential of developing a plant-based vaccine, a plant optimized gene encoding Narita 104 virus capsid protein (NaVCP) was expressed transiently in Nicotiana benthamiana using a tobacco mosaic virus expression system. NaVCP accumulated up to approximately 0.3 mg/g fresh weight of leaf at 4 days postinfection. Initiation of hypersensitive response-like symptoms followed by tissue necrosis necessitated a brief infection time and was a significant factor limiting expression. Transmission electron microscopy of plant-derived NaVCP confirmed the presence of fully assembled virus-like particles (VLPs). In this study, an optimized method to express and partially purify NaVCP is described. Further, partially purified NaVCP was used to immunize mice by intranasal delivery and generated significant mucosal and serum antibody responses. Thus, plant-derived Narita 104 VLPs have potential for use as a candidate subunit vaccine or as a component of a multivalent subunit vaccine, along with other genotype-specific plant-derived VLPs.

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Created

Date Created
2014-05-11

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Expansion and Functional Diversification of a Leucyl Aminopeptidase Family That Encodes the Major Protein Constituents of Drosophila Sperm

Description

Background: The evolutionary diversification of gene families through gene creation (and loss) is a dynamic process believed to be critical to the evolution of functional novelty. Previous identification of a closely related family of eight annotated metalloprotease genes of the M17

Background: The evolutionary diversification of gene families through gene creation (and loss) is a dynamic process believed to be critical to the evolution of functional novelty. Previous identification of a closely related family of eight annotated metalloprotease genes of the M17 Merops family in the Drosophila sperm proteome (termed, S perm-L eucylA minoP eptidases, S-LAPs 1-8) led us to hypothesize that this gene family may have experienced such a diversification during insect evolution.

Results: To assess putative functional activities of S-LAPs, we (i) demonstrated that all S-LAPs are specifically expressed in the testis, (ii) confirmed their presence in sperm by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, (iii) determined that they represent a major portion of the total protein in sperm and (iv) identified aminopeptidase enzymatic activity in sperm extracts using LAP-specific substrates. Functionally significant divergence at the canonical M17 active site indicates that the largest phylogenetic group of S-LAPs lost catalytic activity and likely acquired novel, as yet undetermined, functions in sperm prior to the expansion of the gene family.

Conclusions: Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses revealed the dramatic expansion of the S-LAP gene family during Drosophila evolution and copy number heterogeneity in the genomes of related insects. This finding, in conjunction with the loss of catalytic activity and potential neofunctionalization amongst some family members, extends empirical support for pervasive "revolving door" turnover in the evolution of reproductive gene family composition and function.

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Created

Date Created
2011-04-05

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Enhanced Immunity in a Mouse Model of Malignant Glioma is Mediated by a Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet

Description

Background: Glioblastoma multiforme is a highly aggressive brain tumor with a poor prognosis, and advances in treatment have led to only marginal increases in overall survival. We and others have shown previously that the therapeutic ketogenic diet (KD) prolongs survival in

Background: Glioblastoma multiforme is a highly aggressive brain tumor with a poor prognosis, and advances in treatment have led to only marginal increases in overall survival. We and others have shown previously that the therapeutic ketogenic diet (KD) prolongs survival in mouse models of glioma, explained by both direct tumor growth inhibition and suppression of pro-inflammatory microenvironment conditions. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of the KD on the glioma reactive immune response.

Methods: The GL261-Luc2 intracranial mouse model of glioma was used to investigate the effects of the KD on the tumor-specific immune response. Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells, CD4+ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. The expression of immune inhibitory receptors cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death 1 (PD-1) on CD8+ T cells were also analyzed by flow cytometry. Analysis of intracellular cytokine production was used to determine production of IFN, IL-2 and IFN- in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T and natural killer (NK) cells and IL-10 production by T regulatory cells.

Results: We demonstrate that mice fed the KD had increased tumor-reactive innate and adaptive immune responses, including increased cytokine production and cytolysis via tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells. Additionally, we saw that mice maintained on the KD had increased CD4 infiltration, while T regulatory cell numbers stayed consistent. Lastly, mice fed the KD had a significant reduction in immune inhibitory receptor expression as well as decreased inhibitory ligand expression on glioma cells.

Conclusions: The KD may work in part as an immune adjuvant, boosting tumor-reactive immune responses in the microenvironment by alleviating immune suppression. This evidence suggests that the KD increases tumor-reactive immune responses, and may have implications in combinational treatment approaches.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05-13

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Engineering of N. Benthamiana L. Plants for Production of N-Acetylgalactosamine-Glycosylated Proteins - Towards Development of a Plant-Based Platform for Production of Protein Therapeutics With Mucin Type O-Glycosylation

Description

Background: Mucin type O-glycosylation is one of the most common types of post-translational modifications that impacts stability and biological functions of many mammalian proteins. A large family of UDP-GalNAc polypeptide:N-acetyl-α-galactosaminyltransferases (GalNAc-Ts) catalyzes the first step of mucin type O-glycosylation by transferring

Background: Mucin type O-glycosylation is one of the most common types of post-translational modifications that impacts stability and biological functions of many mammalian proteins. A large family of UDP-GalNAc polypeptide:N-acetyl-α-galactosaminyltransferases (GalNAc-Ts) catalyzes the first step of mucin type O-glycosylation by transferring GalNAc to serine and/or threonine residues of acceptor polypeptides. Plants do not have the enzyme machinery to perform this process, thus restricting their use as bioreactors for production of recombinant therapeutic proteins.

Results: The present study demonstrates that an isoform of the human GalNAc-Ts family, GalNAc-T2, retains its localization and functionality upon expression in N. benthamiana L. plants. The recombinant enzyme resides in the Golgi as evidenced by the fluorescence distribution pattern of the GalNAc-T2:GFP fusion and alteration of the fluorescence signature upon treatment with Brefeldin A. A GalNAc-T2-specific acceptor peptide, the 113-136 aa fragment of chorionic gonadotropin β-subunit, is glycosylated in vitro by the plant-produced enzyme at the "native" GalNAc attachment sites, Ser-121 and Ser-127. Ectopic expression of GalNAc-T2 is sufficient to "arm" tobacco cells with the ability to perform GalNAc-glycosylation, as evidenced by the attachment of GalNAc to Thr-119 of the endogenous enzyme endochitinase. However, glycosylation of highly expressed recombinant glycoproteins, like magnICON-expressed E. coli enterotoxin B subunit:H. sapiens mucin 1 tandem repeat-derived peptide fusion protein (LTBMUC1), is limited by the low endogenous UDP-GalNAc substrate pool and the insufficient translocation of UDP-GalNAc to the Golgi lumen. Further genetic engineering of the GalNAc-T2 plants by co-expressing Y. enterocolitica UDP-GlcNAc 4-epimerase gene and C. elegans UDP-GlcNAc/UDP-GalNAc transporter gene overcomes these limitations as indicated by the expression of the model LTBMUC1 protein exclusively as a glycoform.

Conclusion: Plant bioreactors can be engineered that are capable of producing Tn antigen-containing recombinant therapeutics.

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Created

Date Created
2010-08-24

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Effects of Antibacterial Mineral Leachates on the Cellular Ultrastructure, Morphology, and Membrane Integrity of Escherichia Coli and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Description

Background: We have previously identified two mineral mixtures, CB07 and BY07, and their respective aqueous leachates that exhibit in vitro antibacterial activity against a broad spectrum of pathogens. The present study assesses cellular ultrastructure and membrane integrity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Background: We have previously identified two mineral mixtures, CB07 and BY07, and their respective aqueous leachates that exhibit in vitro antibacterial activity against a broad spectrum of pathogens. The present study assesses cellular ultrastructure and membrane integrity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli after exposure to CB07 and BY07 aqueous leachates.

Methods: We used scanning and transmission electron microscopy to evaluate E. coli and MRSA ultrastructure and morphology following exposure to antibacterial leachates. Additionally, we employed Bac light LIVE/DEAD staining and flow cytometry to investigate the cellular membrane as a possible target for antibacterial activity.

Results: Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of E. coli and MRSA revealed intact cells following exposure to antibacterial mineral leachates. TEM images of MRSA showed disruption of the cytoplasmic contents, distorted cell shape, irregular membranes, and distorted septa of dividing cells. TEM images of E. coli exposed to leachates exhibited different patterns of cytoplasmic condensation with respect to the controls and no apparent change in cell envelope structure. Although bactericidal activity of the leachates occurs more rapidly in E. coli than in MRSA, LIVE/DEAD staining demonstrated that the membrane of E. coli remains intact, while the MRSA membrane is permeabilized following exposure to the leachates.

Conclusions: These data suggest that the leachate antibacterial mechanism of action differs for Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Upon antibacterial mineral leachate exposure, structural integrity is retained, however, compromised membrane integrity accounts for bactericidal activity in Gram-positive, but not in Gram-negative cells.

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Created

Date Created
2010-09-16

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Combination Immunotherapy with α-CTLA-4 and α-PD-L1 Antibody Blockade Prevents Immune Escape and Leads to Complete Control of Metastatic Osteosarcoma

Description

Background: Osteosarcoma is one of the most common bone cancers in children. Most patients with metastatic osteosarcoma die of pulmonary disease and limited curative therapeutic options exist for such patients. We have previously shown that PD-1 limits the efficacy of CTL

Background: Osteosarcoma is one of the most common bone cancers in children. Most patients with metastatic osteosarcoma die of pulmonary disease and limited curative therapeutic options exist for such patients. We have previously shown that PD-1 limits the efficacy of CTL to mediate immune control of metastatic osteosarcoma in the K7M2 mouse model of pulmonary metastatic disease and that blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions can partially improve survival outcomes by enhancing the function of osteosarcoma-specific CTL. However, PD-1/PD-L1 blockade-treated mice eventually succumb to disease due to selection of PD-L1 mAb-resistant tumor cells. We investigated the mechanism of tumor cell resistance after blockade, and additional combinational therapies to combat resistance.

Methods: We used an implantable model of metastatic osteosarcoma, and evaluated survival using a Log-rank test. Cellular analysis of the tumor was done post-mortem with flow cytometry staining, and evaluated using a T-test to compare treatment groups.

Results: We show here that T cells infiltrating PD-L1 antibody-resistant tumors upregulate additional inhibitory receptors, notably CTLA-4, which impair their ability to mediate tumor rejection. Based on these results we have tested combination immunotherapy with α-CTLA-4 and α-PD-L1 antibody blockade in the K7M2 mouse model of metastatic osteosarcoma and show that this results in complete control of tumors in a majority of mice as well as immunity to further tumor inoculation.

Conclusions: Thus, combinational immunotherapy approaches to block additional inhibitory pathways in patients with metastatic osteosarcoma may provide new strategies to enhance tumor clearance and resistance to disease.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05-19

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Making Common Sense of Vaccines: An Example of Discussing the Recombinant Attenuated Salmonella Vaccine With the Public

Description

Researchers have iterated that the future of synthetic biology and biotechnology lies in novel consumer applications of crossing biology with engineering. However, if the new biology's future is to be sustainable, early and serious efforts must be made towards social

Researchers have iterated that the future of synthetic biology and biotechnology lies in novel consumer applications of crossing biology with engineering. However, if the new biology's future is to be sustainable, early and serious efforts must be made towards social sustainability. Therefore, the crux of new applications of synthetic biology and biotechnology is public understanding and acceptance. The RASVaccine is a novel recombinant design not found in nature that re-engineers a common bacteria ( Salmonella) to produce a strong immune response in humans. Synthesis of the RASVaccine has the potential to improve public health as an inexpensive, non-injectable product. But how can scientists move forward to create a dialogue of creating a 'common sense' of this new technology in order to promote social sustainability? This paper delves into public issues raised around these novel technologies and uses the RASVaccine as an example of meeting the public with a common sense of its possibilities and limitations.

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Created

Date Created
2014-08-01

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In Vitro Antibacterial Activity and In Vivo Efficacy of Hydrated Clays on Mycobacterium Ulcerans Growth

Description

Background: Buruli ulcer, caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a localized skin lesion that can progress to extensive ulceration and necrosis if left untreated. Unpublished studies of hydrated clays for therapeutic, topical treatment of Buruli ulcer suggest that specific clay mineral products

Background: Buruli ulcer, caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a localized skin lesion that can progress to extensive ulceration and necrosis if left untreated. Unpublished studies of hydrated clays for therapeutic, topical treatment of Buruli ulcer suggest that specific clay mineral products may have beneficial effects on wound healing. In this study, we evaluated the in vitro antibacterial activity of a panel of clay mixtures and their derivative leachates against M. ulcerans and assessed the in vivo efficacy of topically-applied, hydrated clays on Buruli ulcer progression in mice infected with M. ulcerans.

Methods: M. ulcerans 1615 was incubated with 10 % suspensions of CB07, CB08, CB09, CB10, and BY07 clay mixtures, and survival was determined over 28 days. For animal experiments, we examined the effect of topical hydrated clay therapy on Buruli ulcer progression in vivo in mouse tails subcutaneously infected with M. ulcerans 1615.

Results: The CB07, CB08, and CB09 clays exhibited bactericidal activity against M. ulcerans after 7, 14, 21, and 28 days of incubation. In contrast, clay leachates exhibited inhibitory, bacteriostatic effects on M. ulcerans growth in vitro. After establishing an ulcerative M. ulcerans infection for three months, ulcerated regions of the tails were treated once daily (five consecutive days per week) for 22 days with hydrated CB09 clay poultices. Mice in the clay treatment group exhibited healing as assessed by gross morphological changes and a reduction in M. ulcerans present in the wounds.

Conclusions: These data reveal that specific clays exhibit in vitro bactericidal activity against M. ulcerans and that hydrated clay poultices may offer a complementary and integrative strategy for topically treating Buruli ulcer disease.

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Created

Date Created
2016-01-30

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Improving Salmonella Vector With Recmutation to Stabilize the DNA Cargoes

Description

Background: Salmonella has been employed to deliver therapeutic molecules against cancer and infectious diseases. As the carrier for target gene(s), the cargo plasmid should be stable in the bacterial vector. Plasmid recombination has been reduced in E. coli by mutating several

Background: Salmonella has been employed to deliver therapeutic molecules against cancer and infectious diseases. As the carrier for target gene(s), the cargo plasmid should be stable in the bacterial vector. Plasmid recombination has been reduced in E. coli by mutating several genes including the recA, recE, recF and recJ. However, to our knowledge, there have been no published studies of the effect of these or any other genes that play a role in plasmid recombination in Salmonella enterica.

Results: The effect of recA, recF and recJ deletions on DNA recombination was examined in three serotypes of Salmonella enterica. We found that (1) intraplasmid recombination between direct duplications was RecF-independent in Typhimurium and Paratyphi A, but could be significantly reduced in Typhi by a ΔrecA or ΔrecF mutation; (2) in all three Salmonella serotypes, both ΔrecA and ΔrecF mutations reduced intraplasmid recombination when a 1041 bp intervening sequence was present between the duplications; (3) ΔrecA and ΔrecF mutations resulted in lower frequencies of interplasmid recombination in Typhimurium and Paratyphi A, but not in Typhi; (4) in some cases, a ΔrecJ mutation could reduce plasmid recombination but was less effective than ΔrecA and ΔrecF mutations. We also examined chromosome-related recombination. The frequencies of intrachromosomal recombination and plasmid integration into the chromosome were 2 and 3 logs lower than plasmid recombination frequencies in Rec[superscript +] strains. A ΔrecA mutation reduced both intrachromosomal recombination and plasmid integration frequencies.

Conclusions: The ΔrecA and ΔrecF mutations can reduce plasmid recombination frequencies in Salmonella enterica, but the effect can vary between serovars. This information will be useful for developing Salmonella delivery vectors able to stably maintain plasmid cargoes for vaccine development and gene therapy.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2011-02-08