Aspergillus fumigatus is an important allergen and opportunistic pathogen. Similarly to many other pathogens, it is able to produce lectins that may be involved in the host-pathogen interaction. We focused on the lectin AFL, which was prepared in recombinant form and characterized. Its binding properties were studied using hemagglutination and glycan array analysis. We determined the specificity of the lectin towards l-fucose and fucosylated oligosaccharides, including α1-6 linked core-fucose, which is an important marker for cancerogenesis. Other biologically relevant saccharides such as sialic acid, d-mannose or d-galactose were not bound. Blood group epitopes of the ABH and Lewis systems were recognized, LeY being the preferred ligand among others. To provide a correlation between the observed functional characteristics and structural basis, AFL was crystallized in a complex with methyl-α,l-selenofucoside and its structure was solved using the SAD method. Six binding sites, each with different compositions, were identified per monomer and significant differences from the homologous AAL lectin were found. Structure-derived peptides were utilized to prepare anti-AFL polyclonal antibodies, which suggested the presence of AFL on the Aspergillus’ conidia, confirming its expression in vivo. Stimulation of human bronchial cells by AFL led to IL-8 production in a dose-dependent manner. AFL thus probably contributes to the inflammatory response observed upon the exposure of a patient to A. fumigatus. The combination of affinity to human epithelial epitopes, production by conidia and pro-inflammatory activity is remarkable and shows that AFL might be an important virulence factor involved in an early stage of A. fumigatus infection.
We have previously identified several biomarkers of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The levels of three of these biomarkers were analyzed individually and in combination with the currently used marker, alpha fetoprotein (AFP), for the ability to distinguish between a diagnosis of cirrhosis (n=113) and HCC (n=164). We have utilized several novel biostatistical tools, along with the inclusion of clinical factors such as age and gender, to determine if improved algorithms could be used to increase the probability of cancer detection. Using several of these methods, we are able to detect HCC in the background of cirrhosis with an AUC of at least 0.95. The use of clinical factors in combination with biomarker values to detect HCC is discussed.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma; biomarkers; Hepatitis B virus; logistic regression; penalized logistic regression; classification and regression trees
This study aimed to investigate associations between ceruloplasmin (CP) levels, inflammation grade and fibrosis stages in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and to establish a noninvasive model to predict cirrhosis.
Liver biopsy samples and sera were collected from 198 CHB patients randomized into a training group (n=109) and a validation group (n=89). CP levels were determined using nephelometric immunoassays. Relationships between CP and liver inflammation and fibrosis were analyzed by Spearman rank correlation. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were used to evaluate the diagnostic value of CP for determining liver fibrosis in CHB. The liver pathology-predictive model was built using multivariate logistic regression analysis to identify relevant indicators.
CP levels were lower in males than in females, lower in patients with inflammation stage G4 compared to other stages and lower in cirrhotic compared to non-cirrhotic patients. Using area under the curve (AUC) values, CP levels distinguished different stages of inflammation and fibrosis. Multivariate analysis showed that CP levels were all significantly associated with cirrhosis in males. A model was developed combining routine laboratory markers APPCI (alpha-fetoprotein [AFP], prothrombin time, and platelets [PLT] with CP) to predict fibrosis in CHB patients. The APPCI had a significantly greater AUC than FIB-4 (aspartate aminotransferase [AST]/ alanine aminotransferase [ALT]/PLT/age), APRI (AST/PLT ratio index), GPI (globin/PLT), and APGA (AST/PLT/gammaglutamyl transpeptidase [GGT]) models (all P-values<0.001).
CP levels correlate negatively and indirectly with inflammation and fibrosis stages in male CHB patients. The APPCI model uses routine laboratory variables with CP to accurately predict liver fibrosis in CHB.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) Core protein encodes a late (L)-domain like motif (129PPAYRPPNAP138) that has been purported to serve as a docking site for recruitment of host factors such as Nedd4 that can mediate viral particle release from infected cells. However, mutation of this region of Core typically disrupts nucleocapsid formation in the cytoplasm, making it difficult to ascertain if the Core PPAY motif constitutes a functional L-domain that mediates HBV release in the context of replicating virus. Since many viral L-domains are functionally interchangeable between different virus families, and such swapping experiments have been used as a tool to identify other viral sequences with L-domain activity, we generated chimeric constructs between murine leukemia virus (MLV) Gag and HBV Core to determine if the potential HBV L-domain motif is sufficient to stimulate virus release. We found that the HBV Core PPAY motif, but not the PNAP motif, demonstrates L-domain activity in the context of MLV replication to direct virus release and infectious virion production. Additionally, we found that overexpression of the cellular Nedd4 or WWP1 ubiquitin ligases stimulates release of a partially defective PPAY domain mutant, providing further evidence supporting a role for the Nedd4 ubiquitin ligase in promoting HBV release. These studies lend further insight into the mechanisms used by HBV to mediate its release from infected cells.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma is the third most common cause of cancer related death worldwide, often diagnosed by measuring serum AFP; a poor performance stand-alone biomarker. With the aim of improving on this, our study focuses on plasma proteins identified by Mass Spectrometry in order to investigate and validate differences seen in the respective proteomes of controls and subjects with LC and HCC.
Mass Spectrometry analysis using liquid chromatography electro spray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight was conducted on 339 subjects using a pooled expression profiling approach. ELISA assays were performed on four significantly differentially expressed proteins to validate their expression profiles in subjects from the Gambia and a pilot group from Nigeria. Results from this were collated for statistical multiplexing using logistic regression analysis.
Twenty-six proteins were identified as differentially expressed between the three subject groups. Direct measurements of four; hemopexin, alpha-1-antitrypsin, apolipoprotein A1 and complement component 3 confirmed their change in abundance in LC and HCC versus control patients. These trends were independently replicated in the pilot validation subjects from Nigeria. The statistical multiplexing of these proteins demonstrated performance comparable to or greater than ALT in identifying liver cirrhosis or carcinogenesis. This exercise also proposed preliminary cut offs with achievable sensitivity, specificity and AUC statistics greater than reported AFP averages.
The validated changes of expression in these proteins have the potential for development into high-performance tests usable in the diagnosis and or monitoring of HCC and LC patients. The identification of sustained expression trends strengthens the suggestion of these four proteins as worthy candidates for further investigation in the context of liver disease. The statistical combinations also provide a novel inroad of analyses able to propose definitive cut-offs and combinations for evaluation of performance.
During the course of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease, the virus has been shown to effectively escape the immune response with the subsequent establishment of latent viral reservoirs in specific cell populations within the peripheral blood (PB) and associated lymphoid tissues, bone marrow (BM), brain, and potentially other end organs. HIV-1, along with hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV), are known to share similar routes of transmission, including intravenous drug use, blood transfusions, sexual intercourse, and perinatal exposure. Substance abuse, including the use of opioids and cocaine, is a significant risk factor for exposure to HIV-1 and the development of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, as well as HBV and HCV exposure, infection, and disease. Thus, coinfection with HIV-1 and HBV or HCV is common and may be impacted by chronic substance abuse during the course of disease. HIV-1 impacts the natural course of HBV and HCV infection by accelerating the progression of HBV/HCV-associated liver disease toward end-stage cirrhosis and quantitative depletion of the CD4+ T-cell compartment. HBV or HCV coinfection with HIV-1 is also associated with increased mortality when compared to either infection alone. This review focuses on the impact of substance abuse and coinfection with HBV and HCV in the PB, BM, and brain on the HIV-1 pathogenic process as it relates to viral pathogenesis, disease progression, and the associated immune response during the course of this complex interplay. The impact of HIV-1 and substance abuse on hepatitis virus-induced disease is also a focal point.
bone marrow; brain; cocaine; HBV; HCV; HIV-1; opioids
Using comparative glycoproteomics, we have previously identified a glycoprotein that is altered in both amount and glycosylation as a function of liver cirrhosis. The altered glycoprotein is an agalactosylated (G0) immunoglobulin G molecule (IgG) that recognizes the heterophilic alpha-gal epitope. Since the alpha gal epitope is found on gut enterobacteria, it has been hypothesized that anti-gal antibodies are generated as a result of increased bacterial exposure in patients with liver disease.
The N-linked glycosylation of anti-gal IgG molecules from patients with fibrosis and cirrhosis was determined and the effector function of anti-bacterial antibodies from over 100 patients examined. In addition, markers of microbial exposure were determined.
Surprisingly, the subset of agalactosylated anti-gal antibodies described here, was impaired in their ability to mediate complement mediated lysis and inhibited the complement-mediated destruction of common gut bacteria. In an analysis of serum from more than 100 patients with liver disease, we have shown that those with increased levels of this modified anti-gal antibody had increased levels of markers of bacterial exposure.
Anti-gal antibodies in patients with liver cirrhosis were reduced in their ability to mediate complement mediated lysis of target cells. As bacterial infection is a major complication in patients with cirrhosis and bacterial products such as LPS are thought to play a major role in the development and progression of liver fibrosis, this finding has many clinical implications in the etiology, prognosis and treatment of liver disease.
Alterations in glycosylation have long been associated with the development of cancer. In the case of primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one alteration that has often been associated is increased amounts of fucose attached to the N-glycans of serum proteins secreted by the liver.
In an effort to determine the origin of this increased fucosylation, we have performed N-linked glycan analysis of HCC tissue, the surrounding non tumor tissue, and compared this to tissue from a non diseased adult liver.
Surprisingly, no difference in the level of fucosylation was observed from the three donor groups, suggesting that the increased levels of fucosylation observed in serum of those with HCC is not the result of increased synthesis of fucosylated proteins in the cancer tissue. On the other hand, increased levels of a tetra-antennary glycan were observed in the HCC tissue as compared to the surrounding tissue or to the non diseased livers.
This represents, to our knowledge, one of the first reports associating increased levels of branching with the development of HCC.
The identification of increased levels of tetra-antennary glycan on liver tumor tissue, as opposed to adjacent or non diseased tissue may lead to improved detection of HCC.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the fatal consequence of chronic hepatitis, and lack of biomarkers has been a long standing bottleneck in the clinical diagnosis. Metabolomics concerns with comprehensive analysis of small molecules and provides a powerful approach to discover biomarkers in biological systems. Here, we present metabolomics analysis applying ultra-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry. (UPLC-Q-TOF-HDMS) to determine metabolite alterations in HBV patients. Most important permutations are elaborated using multivariate statistical analysis and network analysis that was used to select the metabolites for the noninvasive diagnosis of HBV. In this study, the total 11 urinary differential metabolites were identified and contributed to HBV progress involving several key metabolic pathways by using pathway analysis with MetPA, which are promising biomarker candidates for diagnostic research. More importantly, of 11 altered metabolites, 4 metabolite markers were effective for the diagnosis of human HBV, achieved a satisfactory accuracy, sensitivity and specificity, respectively. It demonstrates that metabolomics has the potential as a non-invasive tool to evaluate the potential of these metabolites in the early diagnosis of HBV patients. These findings may be promising to yield a valuable insight into the pathophysiology of HBV and to advance the approaches of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Plasma pharmacokinetics of ST-246, smallpox therapeutic, was evaluated in mice, rabbits, monkeys and dogs following repeat oral administrations by gavage. The dog showed the lowest Tmax of 0.83 h and the monkey, the highest value of 3.25 h. A 2- to 4-fold greater dose-normalized Cmax was observed for the dog compared to the other species. The mouse showed the highest dose-normalized AUC, which was 2-fold greater than that for the rabbit and monkey both of which by approximation, recorded the lowest value. The Cl/F increased across species from 0.05 L/h for mouse to 42.52 L/h for dog. The mouse showed the lowest VD/F of 0.41 L and the monkey, the highest VD/F of 392.95 L. The calculated extraction ratios were 0.104, 0.363, 0.231 and 0.591 for mouse, rabbit, monkey and dog, respectively. The dog showed the lowest terminal half-life of 3.10 h and the monkey, the highest value of 9.94 h. The simple allometric human VD/F and MLP-corrected Cl/F were 2311.51 L and 51.35 L/h, respectively, with calculated human extraction ratio of 0.153 and terminal half-life of 31.20 h. Overall, a species-specific difference was observed for Cl/F with this parameter increasing across species from mouse to dog. The human MLP-corrected Cl/F, terminal half-life, extraction ratios were in close proximity to the observed estimates. In addition, the first-in-humans (FIH) dose of 485 mg, determined from the MLP-corrected allometry Cl/F, was well within the dose range of 400 mg and 600 mg administered in healthy adult human volunteers.
The peroxisome is a key organelle of low abundance that fulfils various functions essential for human cell metabolism. Severe genetic diseases in humans are caused by defects in peroxisome biogenesis or deficiencies in the function of single peroxisomal proteins. To improve our knowledge of this important cellular structure, we studied for the first time human liver peroxisomes by quantitative proteomics. Peroxisomes were isolated by differential and Nycodenz density gradient centrifugation. A label-free quantitative study of 314 proteins across the density gradient was accomplished using high resolution mass spectrometry. By pairing statistical data evaluation, cDNA cloning and in vivo colocalization studies, we report the association of five new proteins with human liver peroxisomes. Among these, isochorismatase domain containing 1 protein points to the existence of a new metabolic pathway and hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase like 2 protein is likely involved in the transport or β-oxidation of fatty acids in human peroxisomes. The detection of alcohol dehydrogenase 1A suggests the presence of an alternative alcohol-oxidizing system in hepatic peroxisomes. In addition, lactate dehydrogenase A and malate dehydrogenase 1 partially associate with human liver peroxisomes and enzyme activity profiles support the idea that NAD+ becomes regenerated during fatty acid β-oxidation by alternative shuttling processes in human peroxisomes involving lactate dehydrogenase and/or malate dehydrogenase. Taken together, our data represent a valuable resource for future studies of peroxisome biochemistry that will advance research of human peroxisomes in health and disease.
The Golgi phosphoprotein GP73 is elevated in the circulation of individuals with a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Its usefulness as a biomarker of HCC is questioned, since it has also been reported to be elevated in the circulation of people with liver cirrhosis. Regulation of GP73 by inflammatory cytokines is therefore of interest. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) family cytokines were tested for effects on GP73 mRNA and/or protein levels in human hepatoblastoma HepG2 cells. Levels of GP73 mRNA and protein were up-regulated in HepG2 cells following treatment with either proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 or the related cytokine oncostatin M (OSM). Induction required the shared receptor subunit gp130, and correlated with increased tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3. Maximal cytokine-mediated induction was not observed in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, suggesting additional regulatory factors play an important role. ELISA measurement of GP73 and IL-6 levels in the sera of patients with pre-malignant liver disease revealed a significant correlation between circulating levels of the two proteins. Similarly, a sensitive ELISA assay was developed to measure circulating OSM. OSM levels were elevated 6–7 fold in sera from patients with either cirrhosis or HCC relative to controls without liver disease. Although there was an association between levels of GP73 and OSM in serum from people with liver cirrhosis, there was not a statistically significant correlation in HCC, suggesting that the role of the cytokines in determining circulating levels may be complex. To our knowledge, this is the first report of OSM elevation being associated with liver disease.
Golgi phosphoprotein; GOLPH2; GOLM1; cirrhosis
SELDI-TOF mass spectrometer's compact size and automated, high throughput design have been attractive to clinical researchers, and the platform has seen steady-use in biomarker studies. Despite new algorithms and preprocessing pipelines that have been developed to address reproducibility issues, visual inspection of the results of SELDI spectra preprocessing by the best algorithms still shows miscalled peaks and systematic sources of error. This suggests that there continues to be problems with SELDI preprocessing. In this work, we study the preprocessing of SELDI in detail and introduce improvements. While many algorithms, including the vendor supplied software, can identify peak clusters of specific mass (or m/z) in groups of spectra with high specificity and low false discover rate (FDR), the algorithms tend to underperform estimating the exact prevalence and intensity of peaks in those clusters. Thus group differences that at first appear very strong are shown, after careful and laborious hand inspection of the spectra, to be less than significant. Here we introduce a wavelet/neural network based algorithm which mimics what a team of expert, human users would call for peaks in each of several hundred spectra in a typical SELDI clinical study. The wavelet denoising part of the algorithm optimally smoothes the signal in each spectrum according to an improved suite of signal processing algorithms previously reported (the LibSELDI toolbox under development). The neural network part of the algorithm combines those results with the raw signal and a training dataset of expertly called peaks, to call peaks in a test set of spectra with approximately 95% accuracy. The new method was applied to data collected from a study of cervical mucus for the early detection of cervical cancer in HPV infected women. The method shows promise in addressing the ongoing SELDI reproducibility issues.
Changes in glycosylation have long been associated with disease. While there are many methods to detect changes in glycosylation, plant derived lectins are often used to determine changes on specific proteins or molecules of interest. One change in glycosylation that has been observed by us and by others is a disease or antigen associated increase in fucosylation on N-linked glycans. To measure this change, the fucose binding Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL) is often utilized in plate and solution based assays. AAL is a mushroom derived lectin that contains five fucose binding sites that preferentially bind fucose linked (α-1,3, α-1,2, α-,4, and α-1,6) to N-acetyllactosamine related structures. Recently, several reports by us and by others have indicated that specific fucose linkages found on certain serum biomarker glycoprotein's are more associated with disease than others. Taking a site-directed mutagenesis approach, we have created a set of recombinant AAL proteins that display altered binding affinities to different analytes containing various fucose linkages.
Lectin; Cancer; Glycobiology; Fucosylation; Hepatitis
Glycosylation studies of plasma proteins can reveal information about the onset and progression of diseases, where in the glycan biosynthetic pathways are disturbed as in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The present study was focused on analysis of O-linked glycoproteins of plasma in RA patients. Two dimensional gel electrophoresis of jacalin bound plasma of RA patients revealed a number of differentially expressed protein spots as compared to healthy controls. Eighteen protein spots were found to have statistically significant (p<0.05) difference in their expression level from four sets of gels and were identified by MALDI-TOF MS. Most of the identified proteins were predicted to be O-glycosylated proteins by Net–O-Gly 3.1 algorithm. Among these the alpha 2HS glycoprotein (A2HSG) was found to be down regulated whereas inter alpha trypsin inhibitor H4 (ITIH4) was up regulated and this was validated by Western blotting. The glycosylation studies showed the reduced N-linked sialylation of A2HSG in RA patients. Altered glycoprotein expression and functional as well as structural studies of glycans might help in the diagnosis of RA and understanding the disease pathogenesis.
The analysis of plasma samples from HIV-1/HCV mono- and coinfected individuals by quantitative proteomics is an efficient strategy to investigate changes in protein abundances and to characterize the proteins that are the effectors of cellular functions involved in viral pathogenesis. In this study, the infected and healthy plasma samples (in triplicate) were treated with ProteoMiner beads to equalize protein concentrations and subjected to 4-plex iTRAQ labeling and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. A total of 70 proteins were identified with high confidence in the triplicate analysis of plasma proteins and 65% of the proteins were found to be common among the three replicates. Apolipoproteins and complement proteins are the two major classes of proteins that exhibited differential regulation. The results of quantitative analysis revealed that APOA2, APOC2, APOE, C3, HRG proteins were upregulated in the plasma of all the three HIV-1 mono-, HCV mono-, and coinfected patient samples compared to healthy control samples. Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) of the upregulated proteins revealed that they are implicated in the hepatic lipid metabolism, inflammation, and acute-phase response signaling pathways. Thus, we identified several differentially regulated proteins in HIV-1/HCV mono and coinfected plasma samples that may be potential biomarkers for liver disease.
Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a highly cytopathic virus being developed as a vaccine vector due to its ability to induce strong protective T cell and antibody responses after a single dose. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms underlying the potent immune responses elicited by VSV. We previously generated a VSV vector expressing the hepatitis B virus middle envelope surface glycoprotein (MS) that induces strong MS-specific T cell and antibody responses in mice. After synthesis in the cytoplasm, the MS protein translocates to the endoplasmic reticulum, where it forms subviral particles that are secreted from the cell. To better understand the contributions of secreted and intracellular protein to the VSV-induced immune response, we produced a vector expressing a secretion-deficient MS mutant (MSC69A) and compared the immunogenicity of this vector to that of the wild-type VSV-MS vector in mice. As expected, the MSC69A protein was not secreted from VSV-infected cells and displayed enhanced proteasome-mediated degradation. Surprisingly, despite these differences in intracellular protein processing, the T cell and antibody responses generated to MSC69A were comparable to those elicited by virus expressing wild-type MS protein. Therefore, when it is expressed from VSV, the immune responses to MS are independent of particulate antigen secretion and the turnover rate of cytoplasmic protein. These results are consistent with a model in which the immune responses to VSV are strongly influenced by the replication cycle of the vector and demonstrate that characteristics of the vector have the capacity to affect vaccine efficacy more than do the properties of the antigen itself.
We have discovered an Aleuria Aurantia Lectin (AAL)-reactive immunoglobulin G (IgG) that naturally occurs in the circulation of rabbits and mice, following immune responses induced by various foreign antigens. AAL can specifically bind to fucose moieties on glycoproteins. However, most serum IgGs are poorly bound by AAL unless they are denatured or treated with glycosidase. In this study, using an immunogen-independent AAL-antibody microarray assay that we developed, we detected AAL-reactive IgG in the sera of all animals that had been immunized 1–2 weeks previously with various immunogens with and without adjuvants and developed immunogen-specific responses. All of these animals subsequently developed immunogen-specific immune responses. The kinetics of the production of AAL-reactive IgG in mice and rabbits were distinct from those of the immunogen-specific IgGs elicited in the same animals: they rose and fell within one to two weeks, and peaked between four to seven days after exposure, while immunogen-specific IgGs continued to rise during the same period. Mass spectrometric profiling of the Fc glycoforms of purified AAL-reactive IgGs indicates that these are mainly comprised of IgGs with core-fucosylated and either mono-or non-galactosylated Fc N-glycan structures. Our results suggest that AAL-reactive IgG could be a previously unrecognized IgG subset that is selectively produced at the onset of a humoral response.
EDEM1 is a mannosidase-like protein that recruits misfolded glycoproteins from the calnexin/calreticulin folding cycle to downstream endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Here, we investigate the role of EDEM1 in the processing of tyrosinase, a tumour antigen overexpressed in melanoma cells. First, we analyzed and modeled EDEM1 major domains. The homology model raised on the crystal structures of human and Saccharomyces cerevisiae ER class I α1,2-mannosidases reveals that the major mannosidase domain located between aminoacids 121–598 fits with high accuracy. We have further identified an N-terminal region located between aminoacids 40–119, predicted to be intrinsically disordered (ID) and susceptible to adopt multiple conformations, hence facilitating protein-protein interactions. To investigate these two domains we have constructed an EDEM1 deletion mutant lacking the ID region and a triple mutant disrupting the glycan-binding domain and analyzed their association with tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is a glycoprotein partly degraded endogenously by ERAD and the ubiquitin proteasomal system. We found that the degradation of wild type and misfolded tyrosinase was enhanced when EDEM1 was overexpressed. Glycosylated and non-glycosylated mutants co-immunoprecipitated with EDEM1 even in the absence of its intact mannosidase-like domain, but not when the ID region was deleted. In contrast, calnexin and SEL 1L associated with the deletion mutant. Our data suggest that the ID region identified in the N-terminal end of EDEM1 is involved in the binding of glycosylated and non-glycosylated misfolded proteins. Accelerating tyrosinase degradation by EDEM1 overexpression may lead to an efficient antigen presentation and enhanced elimination of melanoma cells.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection can lead to serious liver diseases, including liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, about 85–90% of infected individuals become inactive carriers with sustained biochemical remission and very low risk of LC or HCC. To identify host genetic factors contributing to HBV clearance, we conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and replication analysis using samples from HBV carriers and spontaneously HBV-resolved Japanese and Korean individuals. Association analysis in the Japanese and Korean data identified the HLA-DPA1 and HLA-DPB1 genes with Pmeta = 1.89×10−12 for rs3077 and Pmeta = 9.69×10−10 for rs9277542. We also found that the HLA-DPA1 and HLA-DPB1 genes were significantly associated with protective effects against chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in Japanese, Korean and other Asian populations, including Chinese and Thai individuals (Pmeta = 4.40×10−19 for rs3077 and Pmeta = 1.28×10−15 for rs9277542). These results suggest that the associations between the HLA-DP locus and the protective effects against persistent HBV infection and with clearance of HBV were replicated widely in East Asian populations; however, there are no reports of GWAS in Caucasian or African populations. Based on the GWAS in this study, there were no significant SNPs associated with HCC development. To clarify the pathogenesis of CHB and the mechanisms of HBV clearance, further studies are necessary, including functional analyses of the HLA-DP molecule.
The study was designed to characterize the surface, core promoter, precore/core region sequences for the presence of mutations in hepatitis B virus (HBV) associated with different liver diseases.
567 HBV associated patients with different liver diseases were enrolled in this study. All samples were analyzed for HBV surface, core promoter, precore/core region mutations and genotypes using PCR and direct sequencing.
HBV genotype D (72.8%) was the predominant type followed by genotype A (27.2%). The serum viral load of HBV was highest in HBsAg carriers group and lowest in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. 17.9% patients with cirrhosis and 24.6% hepatocellular carcinoma cases were ADV-resistant with rtA181T/V mutations in the S-gene. A1896T was found more frequently in fulminant hepatic failure compared to acute viral hepatitis patients (p = 0.038). T1753V mutation was significantly higher in patients with cirrhosis of liver (34.6%) than in chronic hepatitis (18.9%) and hepatocellular carcinoma patients (21.2%; p = 0.001). T1762/A1764 mutation was observed in all the groups. C1914G core gene mutation was associated with the hepatocellular carcinoma (32.2%) compared to other groups. HBV genotype D predominated in comparison to genotype A. An increased frequency of precore mutation and BCP double mutations amongst the population studied was also observed.
Mutations such as T1762/A1764, T1753V and C1914G were usually associated with advanced forms of liver disease and had an increased risk of HCC. The nucleotide variability in the basal core promoter and precore regions possibly plays a role in the progression of HBV disease. Prospective studies on the sequence variations of the preC/C region of the HBV genome and the molecular mechanisms in relation to progression of liver disease would aid in better understanding of the biological significance of HBV strains in India.
Hepatitis B (HBV) infection is endemic in Viet Nam, with up to 8.4 million individuals estimated to be chronically infected. We describe results of a large, multicentre seroepidemiological and molecular study of the prevalence of HBV infection and blood-borne viral coinfections in Viet Nam. Individuals with varying risk factors for infection (n = 8654) were recruited from five centres; Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Can Tho. A mean prevalence rate of 10.7% was observed and levels of HBsAg were significantly higher in injecting drug users (IDUs) (17.4%, n = 174/1000) and dialysis patients (14.3%, n = 82/575) than in lower-risk groups (9.4%; p<0.001). Coinfection with HIV was seen in 28% of HBV-infected IDUs (n = 49/174) and 15.2% of commercial sex workers (CSWs; n = 15/99). HCV infection was present in 89.8% of the HBV-HIV coinfected IDUs (n = 44/49) and 40% of HBV-HIV coinfected CSWs (n = 16/40). Anti-HDV was detected in 10.7% (n = 34/318) of HBsAg positive individuals. Phylogenetic analysis of HBV S gene (n = 187) showed a predominance of genotype B4 (82.6%); genotypes C1 (14.6%), B2 (2.7%) and C5 (0.5%) were also identified. The precore mutation G1896A was identified in 35% of all specimens, and was more frequently observed in genotype B (41%) than genotype C (3%; p<0.0001). In the immunodominant ‘a’ region of the surface gene, point mutations were identified in 31% (n = 58/187) of sequences, and 2.2% (n = 4/187) and 5.3% (n = 10/187) specimens contained the major vaccine escape mutations G145A/R and P120L/Q/S/T, respectively. 368 HBsAg positive individuals were genotyped for the IL28B SNP rs12979860 and no significant association between the IL28B SNP and clearance of HBsAg, HBV viral load or HBeAg was observed. This study confirms the high prevalence of HBV infection in Viet Nam and also highlights the significant levels of blood-borne virus coinfections, which have important implications for hepatitis-related morbidity and development of effective management strategies.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and the occurrence of HCC has more than doubled in the United States (USA) in the last decade. Early detection is considered key to reducing the mortality of HCC.
Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) we have analyzed the glycosylation of Apo-J from healthy controls, patients with liver cirrhosis or with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Apo-J in the serum from patients with HCC had decreased levels of (β-1,4) triantennary N-linked glycan compared with the healthy controls or patients with liver cirrhosis. We analyzed this change in an independent cohort of 76 patients with HCC, 32 with cirrhosis, and 43 infected with hepatitis C virus using the Datura stramonium lectin (DSL), which binds to (β-1,4) triantennary N-linked glycan. The level of DSL-reactive Apo-J allowed us to differentiate HCC from cirrhosis with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.852. When Apo-J was combined with other serum biomarkers such as alpha-fetoprotein or fucosylated kininogen using a multivariate logistic regression model, the AUROC increased to 0.944, a value much greater than that observed with AFP alone (AUROC of 0.765).
The glycosylation of Apo-J is a useful marker when used alone or in combination with outer makers for the early detection of HCC.
The potential use of a combination of alpha-fetoprotein, DLS-reactive Apo-J, and fucosylated kininogen as a biomarker of HCC would have great value in the management of patients with liver disease.
Dufulin is a new antiviral agent that is highly effective against plant viruses and acts by activating systemic acquired resistance (SAR) in plants. In recent years, it has been used widely to prevent and control tobacco and rice viral diseases in China. However, its targets and mechanism of action are still poorly understood.
Here, differential in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE) and classical two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) techniques were combined with mass spectrometry (MS) to identify the target of Dufulin. More than 40 proteins were found to be differentially expressed (≥1.5 fold or ≤1.5 fold) upon Dufulin treatment in Nicotiana tabacum K326. Based on annotations in the Gene Ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases, these proteins were found to be related to disease resistance. Directed acyclic graph (DAG) analysis of the various pathways demonstrated harpin binding protein-1 (HrBP1) as the target of action of Dufulin. Additionally, western blotting, semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and real time PCR analyses were also conducted to identify the specific mechanism of action of Dufulin. Our results show that activation of HrBP1 triggers the salicylic acid (SA) signaling pathway and thereby produces antiviral responses in the plant host. A protective assay based on lesion counting further confirmed the antiviral activity of Dufulin.
This study identified HrBP1 as a target protein of Dufulin and that Dufulin can activate the SA signaling pathway to induce host plants to generate antiviral responses.