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1.  Disruption of the SapM locus in Mycobacterium bovis BCG improves its protective efficacy as a vaccine against M. tuberculosis 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2011;3(4):222-234.
Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) provides only limited protection against pulmonary tuberculosis. We tested the hypothesis that BCG might have retained immunomodulatory properties from its pathogenic parent that limit its protective immunogenicity. Mutation of the molecules involved in immunomodulation might then improve its vaccine potential. We studied the vaccine potential of BCG mutants deficient in the secreted acid phosphatase, SapM, or in the capping of the immunomodulatory ManLAM cell wall component with α-1,2-oligomannoside. Both systemic and intratracheal challenge of mice with Mycobacterium tuberculosis following vaccination showed that the SapM mutant, compared to the parental BCG vaccine, provided better protection: it led to longer-term survival. Persistence of the SapM-mutated BCG in vivo resembled that of the parental BCG indicating that this mutation will likely not compromise the safety of the BCG vaccine. The SapM mutant BCG vaccine was more effective than the parental vaccine in inducing recruitment and activation of CD11c+MHC-IIintCD40int dendritic cells (DCs) to the draining lymph nodes. Thus, SapM acts by inhibiting recruitment of DCs and their activation at the site of vaccination.
doi:10.1002/emmm.201000125
PMCID: PMC3377067  PMID: 21328541
Mycobacterium; SapM; tuberculosis; vaccine; BCG
2.  Protein synthesis persists during necrotic cell death 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2005;168(4):545-551.
Cell death is an intrinsic part of metazoan development and mammalian immune regulation. Whereas the molecular events orchestrating apoptosis have been characterized extensively, little is known about the biochemistry of necrotic cell death. Here, we show that, in contrast to apoptosis, the induction of necrosis does not lead to the shut down of protein synthesis. The rapid drop in protein synthesis observed in apoptosis correlates with caspase-dependent breakdown of eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF) 4G, activation of the double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase PKR, and phosphorylation of its substrate eIF2-α. In necrosis induced by tumor necrosis factor, double-stranded RNA, or viral infection, de novo protein synthesis persists and 28S ribosomal RNA fragmentation, eIF2-α phosphorylation, and proteolytic activation of PKR are absent. Collectively, these results show that, in contrast to apoptotic cells, necrotic dying cells retain the opportunity to synthesize proteins.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200407162
PMCID: PMC2171745  PMID: 15699214

Results 1-2 (2)