C-type lectins are innate receptors expressed on antigen-presenting cells that are involved in the recognition of glycosylated pathogens and self-glycoproteins. Upon ligand binding, internalization and/or signaling often occur. Little is known on the glycan specificity and ligands of the Dendritic Cell Immunoreceptor (DCIR), the only classical C-type lectin that contains an intracellular immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM). Here we show that purified DCIR binds the glycan structures Lewisb and Man3. Interestingly, binding could not be detected when DCIR was expressed on cells. Since DCIR has an N-glycosylation site inside its carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD), we investigated the effect of this glycan in ligand recognition. Removing or truncating the glycans present on purified DCIR increased the affinity for DCIR-binding glycans. Nevertheless, altering the glycosylation status of the DCIR expressing cell or mutating the N-glycosylation site of DCIR itself did not increase glycan binding. In contrast, cis and trans interactions with glycans induced DCIR mediated signaling, resulting in a decreased phosphorylation of the ITIM sequence. These results show that glycan binding to DCIR is influenced by the glycosylation of the CRD region in DCIR and that interaction with its ligands result in signaling via its ITIM motif.
Interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 are heterodimeric cytokines involved in the induction of Th1 and Th17 immune responses. Previous work indicated that a region on chromosome 11 encoding the IL-12 p40 subunit regulates strain differences in susceptibility to murine trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis. In addition, this region determines strain differences in LPS induced IL-12 responses.
Here we investigated how polymorphisms in the coding region of murine Il12b influence IL-12 and IL-23 heterodimer formation. Transfection studies using constructs containing IL-12p35 linked to either IL-12p40 from the colitis-resistant C57Bl/6 strain or to the polymorphic p40 variant from the colitis-susceptible SJL/J strain demonstrated that SJL/J-derived p40 constructs synthesized significantly more IL-12p70 than constructs harboring the C57Bl/6-p40 variant. This could not be attributed to differences in synthesis rate or secretion implicating a higher affinity of SJL/J derived IL-12p40 for its IL-12p35 subunit. This higher affinity is also associated with increased IL-23 synthesis. In addition, C57Bl/6 mice transgenic for the SJL/J 40 variant synthesized significantly more IL-12p70 and were more prone to develop colonic inflammation than did C57Bl/6 mice transgenic for the C57Bl/6-p40 variant upon LPS challenge. The more efficient binding of the polymorphic Il12b variant to p35 and p19 is most likely due to conformational changes following differential glycosylation as a consequence of the polymorphism.
The high synthesis rate of the mature cytokines resulting from this efficient binding can lead to rapid pro-inflammatory skewing of immune responses and distortion of the homeostatic balance underlying the higher susceptibility for colitis.
In vivo dendritic-cell targeting constitutes a promising strategy for anticancer vaccination. Here, we discuss the usage of multivalent DC-SIGN-targeting glycan platforms that allow for the efficient routing of antigens to the endo-lysosomal pathway as well as to a yet uncharacterized cross-presentation mechanism inducing CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses.
cell surface molecules; dendritic cells; DC-SIGN; glycans; human; rodent
The induction of antigen-specific effector T cells is driven by proper antigen presentation and co-stimulation by dendritic cells (DCs). For this reason strategies have been developed to instruct DCs for the induction of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses. Since DCs are localized, amongst other locations, in peripheral tissues such as the skin, new vaccines are aiming at targeting antigens to DCs in situ. Optimal skin-DC targeting in combination with adequate adjuvant delivery facilitates DC maturation and migration to draining lymph nodes and enhances antigen cross-presentation and T cell priming. In this review we describe what DC subsets populate the human skin, as well as current vaccination strategies based on targeting strategies and alternative administration for the induction of robust long-lived anti-cancer effector T cells.
skin; antigen-presenting cells; vaccination; microneedles; C-type lectin receptors; glycans
Flocculation is a very useful phenotype for industrial yeast strains, since it facilitates cell harvest and represents an easy way of cell immobilization in continuous fermentation processes. The present work represents the first time that an inducible flocculation phenotype has been generated in a non flocculent strain of Kluyveromyces marxianus. This was accomplished by expressing Saccharomyces cerevisiae FLO5 gene in K. marxianus CECT 11769 strain. The FLO 5 gene was placed under the control of an EPG promoter, not repressed by glucose and induced by anoxia. Our experimental approach successfully generated two novel K. marxianus flocculent phenotypes: one inducible and one constitutive. The constitutive phenotype originated from deletions in the FLO5 promoter region, indicating the existence of putative upstream repressor site involved in oxygen regulation of the EPG1 promoter. The novel strains here generated had a unique set of characteristics that provided an advantage, over the wild-type strain, for the industrial co-production of ethanol and polygalacturonase.
Kluyveromyces marxianus; Inducible flocculent phenotype; Polygalacturonase; Ethanol
In this study, we used the yeast carotenogenic producer Pichia pastoris Pp-EBIL strain, which has been metabolically engineered, by heterologously expressing β-carotene-pathway enzymes to produce β-carotene, as a vessel for recombinant astaxanthin expression. For this purpose, we designed new P. pastoris recombinant-strains harboring astaxanthin-encoding genes from carotenogenic microorganism, and thus capable of producing xanthophyllic compounds. We designed and constructed a plasmid (pGAPZA-WZ) containing both the β-carotene ketolase (crtW) and β-carotene hydroxylase (crtZ) genes from Agrobacterium aurantiacum, under the control of the GAP promoter and containing an AOX-1 terminator. The plasmid was then integrated into the P. pastoris Pp-EBIL strain genomic DNA, producing clone Pp-EBILWZ. The recombinant P. pastoris (Pp-EBILWZ) cells exhibited a strong reddish carotenoid coloration and were confirmed, by HPLC, to produce not only the previous described carotenoids lycopene and β-carotene, but also de novo synthesized astaxanthin.
Pichia pastoris; Carotenoids; β-carotene; Astaxanthin
Carbohydrate mimicry between Campylobacter jejuni lipooligosaccharides (LOS) and host neural gangliosides plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Campylobacter jejuni LOS may mimic various gangliosides, which affects the immunogenicity and the type of neurological deficits in GBS patients. Previous studies have shown the interaction of LOS with sialic acid-specific siglec receptors, although the functional consequences remain unknown. Cells that express high levels of siglecs include dendritic cells (DCs), which are crucial for initiation and differentiation of immune responses. We confirm that α2,3-sialylated GD1a/GM1a mimic and α2,8-sialylated GD1c mimic LOS structures interact with recombinant Sn and siglec-7, respectively. Although the linkage of the terminal sialic acid of LOS did not regulate expression of DC maturation markers, it displayed clear opposite expression levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and OX40L, molecules involved in DC-mediated Th cell differentiation. Accordingly, targeting DC-expressed siglec-7 with α2,8-linked sialylated LOS resulted in Th1 responses, whereas Th2 responses were induced by targeting with LOS containing α2,3-linked sialic acid. Thus, our data demonstrate for the first time that depending on the sialylated composition of Campylobacter jejuni LOS, specific Th differentiation programs are initiated, possibly through targeting of distinct DC-expressed siglecs.
As wireless sensor networks are usually deployed in unattended areas, security policies cannot be updated in a timely fashion upon identification of new attacks. This gives enough time for attackers to cause significant damage. Thus, it is of great importance to provide protection from unknown attacks. However, existing solutions are mostly concentrated on known attacks. On the other hand, mobility can make the sensor network more resilient to failures, reactive to events, and able to support disparate missions with a common set of sensors, yet the problem of security becomes more complicated. In order to address the issue of security in networks with mobile nodes, we propose a machine learning solution for anomaly detection along with the feature extraction process that tries to detect temporal and spatial inconsistencies in the sequences of sensed values and the routing paths used to forward these values to the base station. We also propose a special way to treat mobile nodes, which is the main novelty of this work. The data produced in the presence of an attacker are treated as outliers, and detected using clustering techniques. These techniques are further coupled with a reputation system, in this way isolating compromised nodes in timely fashion. The proposal exhibits good performances at detecting and confining previously unseen attacks, including the cases when mobile nodes are compromised.
wireless sensor networks; mobility; unknown attacks; clustering algorithms; reputation systems
The improvement of odometry systems in collaborative robotics remains an important challenge for several applications. Social odometry is a social technique which confers the robots the possibility to learn from the others. This paper analyzes social odometry and proposes and follows a methodology to improve its behavior based on cooperative reputation systems. We also provide a reference implementation that allows us to compare the performance of the proposed solution in highly dynamic environments with the performance of standard social odometry techniques. Simulation results quantitatively show the benefits of this collaborative approach that allows us to achieve better performances than social odometry.
collaborative robots; robot networks; social odometry; collective decision; reputation systems; trust algorithms; unsupervised techniques
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Immature DCs (iDCs) are situated in the periphery where they capture pathogen. Subsequently, they migrate as mature DCs (mDCs) to draining lymph nodes to activate T cells. CCR7 and CCL21 contribute to the migratory capacity of the DC, but it is not completely understood what molecular requirements are involved. Here we demonstrate that monocyte-derived DCs dramatically change ST8Sia IV expression during maturation, leading to the generation of polysialic acid (polySia). PolySia expression is highly upregulated after 2 days Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) triggering. Surprisingly, only immunogenic and not tolerogenic mDCs upregulated polySia expression. Furthermore, we show that polySia expression on DCs is required for CCL21-directed migration, whereby polySia directly captures CCL21. Corresponding to polySia, the expression level of CCR7 is maximal two days after TLR4 triggering. In contrast, although TLR agonists other than LPS induce upregulation of CCR7, they achieve only a moderate polySia expression. In situ we could detect polySia-expressing APCs in the T cell zone of the lymph node and in the deep dermis. Together our results indicate that prolonged TLR4 engagement is required for the generation of polySia-expressing DCs that facilitate CCL21 capture and subsequent CCL21-directed migration.
The reliable operation of modern infrastructures depends on computerized systems and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, which are also based on the data obtained from sensor networks. The inherent limitations of the sensor devices make them extremely vulnerable to cyberwarfare/cyberterrorism attacks. In this paper, we propose a reputation system enhanced with distributed agents, based on unsupervised learning algorithms (self-organizing maps), in order to achieve fault tolerance and enhanced resistance to previously unknown attacks. This approach has been extensively simulated and compared with previous proposals.
SCADA control system; cyber security; critical infrastructure; reputation system; countermeasure; security framework
Security in wireless sensor networks is difficult to achieve because of the resource limitations of the sensor nodes. We propose a trust-based decision framework for wireless sensor networks coupled with a non-deterministic routing protocol. Both provide a mechanism to effectively detect and confine common attacks, and, unlike previous approaches, allow bad reputation feedback to the network. This approach has been extensively simulated, obtaining good results, even for unrealistically complex attack scenarios.
security; reputation system; wireless sensor networks; routing protocol; sybil attack; countermeasure
Regulation of gene expression at the level of mRNA stability is a major topic of research; however, knowledge about the regulatory mechanisms affecting the binding and function of AU-rich element (ARE)-binding proteins (AUBPs) in response to extracellular signals is minimal. The β1,4-galactosyltransferase 1 (β4GalT1) gene enabled us to study the mechanisms involved in binding of tristetraprolin (TTP) as the stability of its mRNA is regulated solely through one ARE bound by TTP in resting human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Here, we provide evidence that the complex formation of TTP with 14-3-3β is required to bind β4GalT1 mRNA and promote its decay. Furthermore, upon tumor necrosis factor alpha stimulation, the activation of both Iκβ kinase and protein kinase Cδ is involved in the phosphorylation of 14-3-3β on two serine residues, paralleled by release of binding of TTP and 14-3-3β from β4GalT1 mRNA, nuclear sequestration of TTP, and β4GalT1 mRNA stabilization. Thus, a key mechanism regulating mRNA binding and function of the destabilizing AUBP TTP involves the phosphorylation status of 14-3-3β.