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1.  Interaction of serotonin with Candida albicans selectively attenuates fungal virulence in vitro 
In this study we investigated whether the direct interaction between Candida albicans CBS 5982 and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) alters candidial virulence. Hyphae elongation, phospholipase activity and the production of secreted aspartyl proteinases (Saps) following 5-HT treatment were investigated. 5-HT treatment of C. albicans significantly (P < 0.05) affected hyphal extension, phospholipase activity and the production of Saps at concentrations of 118–0.46 mM. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the interaction between 5-HT and C. albicans may diminish the virulence properties of this fungal pathogen.
PMCID: PMC2980867  PMID: 16157477
Candida albicans; 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT); Virulence factor; Antifungal activity
2.  The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transmembrane gp41 protein is a calcium-binding protein and interacts with the putative second-receptor molecules in a calcium-dependent manner. 
Journal of Virology  1996;70(3):1723-1728.
Fusion is a crucial event in the life cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); is is initiated by the high-affinity binding between gp120, the external surface glycoprotein of HIV-1, and the differentiation antigen CD4 and finally results in the insertion of the hydrophobic amino terminus of the gp41 envelope glycoprotein into the plasma membrane of the target cell. Recent results suggest that this process is dependent upon calcium ions, but the mechanism or the proteins involved are not understood. Computer-assisted sequence analysis revealed a putative calcium-binding site within the extracellular part of gp41 that was highly reminiscent of the calcium-binding EF-hand structure. To test this hypothesis, calcium-binding experiments were performed. Binding of a recombinant soluble form of the transmembrane protein (rsgp41) to its putative second-receptor molecules in equilibrium was dependent upon calcium. The affinity was not influenced by calcium, but the maximum binding was increased in a dose-dependent manner. Radioactive calcium bound to rsgp41 covalently attached to Sepharose but not to bovine serum albumin. Binding was inhibited by the addition of nonradioactive calcium, indicating that binding was specific. Neither magnesium nor manganese inhibited the binding of labeled calcium to rsgp41. Binding was dependent on the oxidative state of the rsgp41 molecule, suggesting the functional importance of the correctly folded structure of the rsgp41 protein. In this report, we demonstrate that the HIV-1 transmembrane protein gp41 is a calcium-binding protein and interacts with the putative second-receptor molecules in a calcium-dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC189996  PMID: 8627693
3.  Molecular epidemiology of Klebsiella pneumoniae producing SHV-5 beta- lactamase: parallel outbreaks due to multiple plasmid transfer. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1996;34(3):564-568.
Over a period of 22 months, 32 patients treated in three independent intensive care units of the Innsbruck University Hospital were infected with extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing members of the family Enterobacteriaceae (30 Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, 1 Klebsiella oxytoca isolate, and 1 Escherichia coli isolate). As confirmed by sequencing of a bla gene PCR fragment, all isolates expressed the SHV-5-type beta-lactamase. Genomic fingerprinting of epidemic strains with XbaI and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis grouped 20 of 21 isolates from ward A into two consecutive clusters which included 1 of 3 ward B isolates. All six K. pneumoniae isolates from ward C formed a third cluster. Stool isolates of asymptomatic patients and environmental isolates belonged to these clusters as well. Additionally, 2,600 routine K. pneumoniae isolates from the surrounding provinces (population, 900,000) were screened for SHV-5 production. Only one of six nonepidemic isolates producing SHV-5 beta-lactamase was matched with the outbreak strains by genomic fingerprinting. Plasmid fingerprinting, however, revealed the epidemic spread of a predominant R-plasmid, with a size of approximately 80 kb, associated with 29 of the 30 K. pneumoniae isolates. This plasmid was also present in the single K. oxytoca and E. coli isolates from ward C and in three nonepidemic isolates producing SHV-5. Our results underline that strain typing exclusively on the genomic level can be misleading in the epidemiological investigation of plasmid-encoded extended-spectrum beta-lactamases. Our evidence for multiple events of R-plasmid transfer between species of the family Enterobacteriaceae in this nosocomial outbreak stresses the need for plasmid typing, especially because SHV-5 beta-lactamase seems to be regionally spread predominantly via plasmid transfer.
PMCID: PMC228847  PMID: 8904415
4.  Ca ions stabilize the binding of complement factor iC3b to the pseudohyphal form of Candida albicans. 
Infection and Immunity  1994;62(3):1125-1127.
The pseudohyphal form of Candida albicans is able to bind iC3b. This may play an important role in the pathogenesis of disseminated candidiasis and, in particular, in adherence to endothelium, protection against complement action, and iron acquisition from erythrocytes. Here we report that Ca2+ ions are required to maintain stable binding of iC3b to C. albicans pseudohyphae.
PMCID: PMC186233  PMID: 8112846
5.  Isolation and biochemical characterization of the iC3b receptor of Candida albicans. 
Infection and Immunity  1993;61(4):1395-1399.
In an effort to identify the protein structure on Candida albicans, pseudohyphal forms which had been shown earlier to bind human iC3b, a protein of about 42 kDa (p42), were obtained from lysates of pseudohyphal forms by absorption with C3(H2O)-Sepharose. An antiserum raised in rabbits against this protein effectively inhibited adherence of sheep erythrocytes carrying iC3b (EAC3bi) to pseudohyphal forms. p42 cross-reacted with OKM-1, a monoclonal antibody directed against the human complement receptor type 3 (CR3, CD11b). This protein, p42, was designated p42-CR3. The antiserum against p42-CR3 was used for further purification of lysates by affinity chromatography. Three proteins of 66, 55, and 42 kDa were isolated. All were recognized by OKM-1 in immunoblots (p66-, p55-, and p42-CR3). The different proteins were separated and treated with neuraminidase and endoglycosidase F. Almost complete deglycosylation of the p66-CR3 protein was obtained after treatment with neuraminidase, indicating a high degree of glycosylation. Neuraminidase also had an effect on p55-CR3, but not on p42-CR3. Endoglycosidase F did not alter any of the three proteins. In ligand blots, p42-CR3 bound C3(H2O), C3b, and iC3b but not C3d; p55-CR3 clearly reacted with C3(H2O) and weakly reacted with C3b and iC3b. p66-CR3 never showed reactivity. It is suggested that p55 and p66 represent glycosylated forms of p42-CR3. Although C. albicans CR3 and human CR3 cross-react and bind identical ligands, the two receptors differ in structure.
PMCID: PMC281376  PMID: 8454341
6.  Predicting AIDS. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1988;297(6662):1543.
PMCID: PMC1835187  PMID: 3147072
7.  K-lymphocytes (killer-cells) in Crohn's disease and acute virus B-hepatitis. 
Gut  1977;18(12):1010-1016.
Total lymphocyte counts, B-, T-, C'3 receptor-bearing lymphocytes, and K-cell activity were studied in peripheral blood in patients with Crohn's disease and inflammatory liver disease. Patients with active untreated Crohn's disease and acute virus B hepatitis exhibited a markedly increased K-cell activity measured in a plaque assay when compared with normal controls (P less than 0.01). Patients with immunosuppressive treated Crohn's disease, HBsAg-positive chronic active hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver showed only a slight increase of K-cell activity (P less than 0.01). In the postacute phase of hepatitis (four to 12 weeks from onset) K-cell activity fell to normal levels. The number of B-lymphocytes showed a relative and absolute decrease in all groups of patients. With the exception of patients with acute HBsAg-positive hepatitis and the post-acute phase of hepatitis all the other groups showed statistically decreased absolute numbers for C'3 receptor-bearing lymphocytes. The significant decrease in K-cell activity and the number of T-lymphocytes in Crohn's disease treated with immunosuppressive drugs was interpreted as an effect of azathioprine and prednisone on these lymphocyte subpopulations.
PMCID: PMC1411840  PMID: 304825
8.  Comparison of Western blot (immunoblot) based on recombinant-derived p41 with conventional tests for serodiagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus infections. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1988;26(1):116-120.
To evaluate the performance of a serological test for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infections based on the use of a recombinant envelope gene-derived protein as the antigen, we caused expression of a 1.4-kilobase fragment of HIV.DNA that codes for the complete gp41 transmembrane protein in an Escherichia coli expression vector and used Western blots (WB; immunoblots) prepared with recombinant material (pEX-41) to detect antibodies to HIV-1. This test detected all 339 sera which were positive by a combination of conventional serodiagnostic assays and produced no false-positive results with 311 negative samples. Also no false-positive results were obtained with 20 sera from systemic lupus erythematosus patients which had high titers of cross-reactive autoantibodies. In six cases, the pEX-41 WB proved to be more sensitive than individual assays applied on their own, and in five cases it was even more sensitive than a combination of conventional assays. We tested 221 sera in both our pEX-41 WB and a commercially available recombinant enzyme immunoassay (EIA [Abbott]). The results were identical in 188 cases. A total of 27 sera containing antibodies to gp41 as demonstrated in the pEX-41 WB, as well as the Abbott recombinant EIA, had no antibodies to the recombinant core antigen as measured in the Abbott EIA. However, 25 of these sera did stain the 24-kilodalton band on a WB with purified virus. Six sera that were positive in all of the conventional confirmatory assays and reacted strongly with the pEX-41 WB did not recognize the surface antigen used in the Abbott recombinant EIA. We conclude that the use of WB prepared with recombinant-derived p41 offers a very sensitive and specific method to detect antibodies to HIV.
PMCID: PMC266210  PMID: 3277988
9.  C3bi-binding protein on Candida albicans: temperature-dependent expression and relationship to human complement receptor type 3. 
Infection and Immunity  1989;57(2):616-622.
We investigated in detail the previously described capacity of pseudohyphae of Candida albicans to bind C3-coated particles. We show that the expression of the C3bi receptor of C. albicans was dependent upon the growth temperature of the fungi. C. albicans grown at 30 degrees C bound strongly to EAC1423bi, whereas those cells grown at 38.5 degrees C were completely devoid of this capacity. The molecule responsible for the attachment of EAC1423bi was heat labile and trypsin sensitive. Several, but not all, monoclonal antibodies to the alpha-chain of human complement receptor type 3 (CR3) stained C. albicans, and this reactivity was expressed in parallel with the capacity of C. albicans to bind EAC1423bi, i.e., both were dependent on the growth temperature of the fungi and were trypsin sensitive. In contrast to CR3, the binding of EAC1423bi to C. albicans did not require the presence of divalent cations. Rabbit immunoglobulin G antibodies directed against C. albicans inhibited the binding of EAC1423bi to C. albicans but not to human CR3. These inhibiting IgG antibodies recognized antigens expressed on the surface of pseudohyphae but not those of yeast cells. OKM-1, a monoclonal antibody to human CR3 inhibited the attachment of EAC1423bi to CR3 and also to C. albicans. OKM-1 precipitated a 130-kilodalton band from solubilized 125I-labeled C. albicans. We conclude that the complement receptors on C. albicans and human CR3 were antigenically related but not identical and that they differed in their functional characteristics.
PMCID: PMC313141  PMID: 2521478
10.  Candida albicans and Candida stellatoidea, in contrast to other Candida species, bind iC3b and C3d but not C3b. 
Infection and Immunity  1985;50(2):598-600.
It was demonstrated that complement-coated sheep erythrocytes bind to Candida albicans cells grown in serum-free RPMI 1640 medium. Testing of purified complement components proved that iC3b and C3d were responsible for the reaction, whereas C3b and C3b-H reacted only slightly if at all. Binding occurred only to C. albicans and C. stellatoidea, not to other species pathogenic to humans. There was evidence of a lectinlike nature of the effect.
PMCID: PMC262001  PMID: 2932390
11.  Analysis of the anticomplementary activity in sera of three African patients with parasitic and bacteriological infections. 
Infection and Immunity  1980;27(1):1-5.
The sera of three different patients from Togo, Africa were investigated with respect to their complement profile. The three patients were suffering from parasitic (Onchocerca volvulus) and bacteriological (Treponema pertenue) diseases. The total hemolytic activity (50% hemolytic complement) was markedly depressed. The analysis of the individual complement components revealed the the titers of C1, C2, C3, and C4 were lowered up to 90%, indicating an activation of the classical pathway of complement. Addition of the patients' sera to normal human serum induced a temperature-dependent consumption of C4 and C2, whereas C3 was not affected. This activity in the patients' sera eluted from a Sephadex-G-200 column with the 19 S peak and could be identified as the activated form of the first component of the complement system. The reason for the presence of activated C1, C1 in the patients' sera resides in the absence of functionally active C1 inactivator.
PMCID: PMC550712  PMID: 7358423

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