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author:("Ramos, mania")
1.  The role of N-glycosylation in kiwi allergy 
Food Science & Nutrition  2014;2(3):260-271.
The physical, biochemical, and immunological characteristics of plant allergens have been widely studied, but no definite conclusion has been reached about what actually makes a protein an allergen. In this sense, N-glycosylation is an exclusive characteristic of plant allergens not present in mammals and it could be implied in allergenic sensitization. With this aim, we evaluated and compared the allergenic activity of the protein fraction and the N-glycan fraction of the thaumatin-like protein and the main kiwi allergen, Act d 2. The natural allergen, Act d 2, was deglycosylated by trifluoromethanesulfonic acid treatment; the N-glycan fraction was obtained by extended treatment with proteinase K. N-glycan- and protein- fractions were recognized by specific IgE of kiwi-allergic patients. By contrast, the sugar moiety showed a reduced capacity to activate basophils and T cells, but not dendritic cells derived from patients' monocytes. Related to this, the production of cytokines such as IL6 and IL10 was increased by the incubation of dendritic cells with sugar moiety. Thus, the sugar moiety plays a significant role in sensitization, inducing the activation of antigen-presenting cells, but it is the protein fraction that is responsible for the allergic reactions.
doi:10.1002/fsn3.99
PMCID: PMC4048612  PMID: 24936296
Act d 2; allergen sensitization; carbohydrate complex determinant; N-glycosylation; plant food allergy; thaumatin-like protein
3.  Treatment of children with high grade glioma with nimotuzumab 
mAbs  2013;5(2):202-207.
Brain tumors are a major cause of cancer-related mortality in children. Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is detected in pediatric brain tumors and receptor density appears to increase with tumor grading. Nimotuzumab is an IgG1 antibody that targets EGFR. Twenty-three children with high-grade glioma (HGG) were enrolled in an expanded access program in which nimotuzumab was administered alone or with radio-chemotherapy. The mean number of doses was 39. Nimotuzumab was well-tolerated and treatment with the antibody yielded a survival benefit: median survival time was 32.66 mo and the 2-y survival rate was 54.2%. This study demonstrated the feasibility of prolonged administration of nimotuzumab and showed preliminary evidence of clinical benefit in HGG patients with poor prognosis.
doi:10.4161/mabs.22970
PMCID: PMC3893230  PMID: 23575267
High grade glioma; nimotuzumab; monoclonal antibody; children glioma; anaplastic astrocytoma; glioblastoma multiforme
4.  Immunosenescence and gender: a study in healthy Cubans 
Background
The progressive decline in the immune function during ageing is termed immunosenescence. Previous studies have reported differences between males and females in the distribution and cell responses of lymphocyte subsets. Most studies of immunosenescence have been done in populations of industrialized countries living in a rather cold environment, and facing lower antigenic challenges such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV). The aim of this study was to determine the effect of ageing on lymphocytes in a population with a high prevalence of CMV infection in all ages, and to compare gender differences related to the immunosenescence markers.
Results
Different populations of peripheral blood leukocytes from healthy young and old IgG-CMV seropositive individuals were examined using flow cytometry. With age, the number and frequency of B cells and T cells significantly decreased, while highly differentiated T cells increased. Such changes were different in males and females. The age-associated decline of less differentiated lymphocyte subsets (CD19, CD4 and CD8 cells) and the increase of highly differentiated T cells were more prominent in females. In males, there were no significant changes in CD19, CD4 and CD8 subsets but there was a significant increase in the proportion of highly differentiated T cells.
Conclusion
Shifts in lymphocyte subsets distribution were influenced by age and gender in an IgG-CMV seropositive population. These results suggest different patterns of immunosenescence in respect to gender differences. These patterns could have implications in the design of immunotherapy in the elderly.
doi:10.1186/1742-4933-10-16
PMCID: PMC3667016  PMID: 23627933
5.  Structure of Leishmania major cysteine synthase 
A crystallographic and biochemical study of L. major cysteine synthase, which is a pyridoxyl phosphate-dependent enzyme, is reported. The structure was determined to 1.8 Å resolution and revealed that the cofactor has been lost and that a fragment of γ-poly-d-glutamic acid, a crystallization ingredient, was bound in the active site. The enzyme was inhibited by peptides.
Cysteine biosynthesis is a potential target for drug development against parasitic Leishmania species; these protozoa are responsible for a range of serious diseases. To improve understanding of this aspect of Leishmania biology, a crystallographic and biochemical study of L. major cysteine synthase has been undertaken, seeking to understand its structure, enzyme activity and modes of inhibition. Active enzyme was purified, assayed and crystallized in an orthorhombic form with a dimer in the asymmetric unit. Diffraction data extending to 1.8 Å resolution were measured and the structure was solved by molecular replacement. A fragment of γ-poly-d-glutamic acid, a constituent of the crystallization mixture, was bound in the enzyme active site. Although a d-­glutamate tetrapeptide had insignificant inhibitory activity, the enzyme was competitively inhibited (K i = 4 µM) by DYVI, a peptide based on the C-­terminus of the partner serine acetyltransferase with which the enzyme forms a complex. The structure surprisingly revealed that the cofactor pyridoxal phosphate had been lost during crystallization.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112019124
PMCID: PMC3388911  PMID: 22750854
Arabidopsis thaliana; cysteine synthase; Leishmania major

Results 1-5 (5)