The methylotrophic yeast, Pichiapastoris, is an important organism used for the production of therapeutic proteins. However, the presence of fungal-like glycans, either N-linked or O-linked, can elicit an immune response or enable the expressed protein to bind to mannose receptors, thus reducing their efficacy. Previously we have reported the elimination of β-linked glycans in this organism. In the current report we have focused on reducing the O-linked mannose content of proteins produced in P. pastoris, thereby reducing the potential to bind to mannose receptors. The initial step in the synthesis of O-linked glycans in P. pastoris is the transfer of mannose from dolichol-phosphomannose to a target protein in the yeast secretory pathway by members of the protein-O-mannosyltransferase (PMT) family. In this report we identify and characterize the members of the P. pastoris PMT family. Like Candida albicans, P. pastoris has five PMT genes. Based on sequence homology, these PMTs can be grouped into three sub-families, with both PMT1 and PMT2 sub-families possessing two members each (PMT1 and PMT5, and PMT2 and PMT6, respectively). The remaining sub-family, PMT4, has only one member (PMT4). Through gene knockouts we show that PMT1 and PMT2 each play a significant role in O-glycosylation. Both, by gene knockouts and the use of Pmt inhibitors we were able to significantly reduce not only the degree of O-mannosylation, but also the chain-length of these glycans. Taken together, this reduction of O-glycosylation represents an important step forward in developing the P. pastoris platform as a suitable system for the production of therapeutic glycoproteins.
Objective: To study the perception of informed consent among various raters for thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke patients receiving intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA). Methods: Twenty randomly selected videotaped telestroke consultations of acute stroke patients administered IV-tPA were retrospectively reviewed. Adequacy of informed consent was reviewed by five raters: a neurologist and emergency physician who routinely treat stroke, a medical risk management paralegal, a bioethicist, and a lay person. Raters assessed the quality of the informed consent presentation by the treating physician and the degree of understanding demonstrated by the patient/family authorizing consent. Factors associated with adequacy of consent were analyzed. Results: Consent was rated as adequately understood by the patient-family in 78.6% cases. Agreement between all five raters with regard to the patient-family understanding of consent was poor and also between the subgroups of non-physician and physician (all k < 0.20). Similarly, the quality of the physician consent process was poor for agreement between all five raters (k = 0.07) or between the subgroup of the three non-physician raters (k = −0.06) and fair between the two physician raters (k = 0.24). The legal reviewer and the bioethicist rated the physician consent process as being of lower quality than did the two physicians and the layperson. Conclusion: Despite high variability in the perception of informed consent among raters in this time-sensitive clinical situation, almost 80% of patients were rated by all reviewers as having adequate understanding of risks and benefits of tPA. This suggests the need for a standardized but brief tPA consent process that includes patient/family demonstration of understanding.
informed consent; IV-tPA; stroke; telestroke; ischemic stroke patients
The purpose of this review is to present the preclinical, epidemiological and clinical data relevant to the association between β-blockers and breast cancer progression. Preclinical studies have shown that β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) signalling can inhibit multiple cellular processes involved in breast cancer progression and metastasis, including extracellular matrix invasion, expression of inflammatory and chemotactic cytokines, angiogenesis and tumour immune responses. This has led to the hypothesis that the commonly prescribed class of β-AR antagonist drugs (β-blockers) may favourably impact cancer progression. A number of recent pharmacoepidemiological studies have examined the association between β-blocker exposure and breast cancer progression. The results from these studies have suggested a potential role for targeting the β-AR pathway in breast cancer patients. Larger observational studies are, however, required to confirm these results. Questions regarding the type of β-blocker, predictive biomarkers or tumour characteristics, appropriate treatment paradigms and, most importantly, efficacy must also be answered in randomized clinical studies before β-blockers can be considered a therapeutic option for patients with breast cancer.
adrenergic beta-agonists; adrenergic beta-antagonists; adrenergic receptors; breast neoplasms; neoplasms; propranolol
Protein quality control (PQC) degradation systems protect the cell from the toxic accumulation of misfolded proteins. Because any protein can become misfolded, these systems must be able to distinguish abnormal proteins from normal ones, yet be capable of recognizing the wide variety of distinctly shaped misfolded proteins they are likely to encounter. How individual PQC degradation systems accomplish this remains an open question. Here we show that the yeast nuclear PQC ubiquitin ligase San1 directly recognizes its misfolded substrates via intrinsically disordered N- and C-terminal domains. These disordered domains are punctuated with small segments of order and high sequence conservation that serve as substrate-recognition sites San1 uses to target its different substrates. We propose that these substrate-recognition sites, interspersed among flexible, disordered regions, provide San1 an inherent plasticity that allows it to bind its many, differently shaped misfolded substrates.
Widely known for its role in adipogenesis and energy metabolism, PPARγ also plays a role in platelet function. To further understand functions of platelet-derived PPARγ, we produced rabbit polyclonal (PoAbs) and mouse monoclonal (MoAbs) antibodies against PPARγ 14mer/19mer peptide-immunogens. Unexpectedly, our work produced two key findings. First, MoAbs but not PoAbs produced against PPARγ peptide-immunogens displayed antigenic crossreactivity with highly conserved PPARα and PPARβ/δ. Similarly, Santa Cruz PoAb sc-7196 was monospecific for PPARγ while MoAb sc-7273 crossreacted with PPARα and PPARβ/δ. Second, immunized rabbits and mice exhibited unusual pathology including cachexia, excessive bleeding, and low platelet counts leading to thrombocytopenia. Spleens from immunized mice were fatty, hemorrhagic and friable. Although passive administration of anti-PPARγ PoAbs failed to induce experimental thrombocytopenia, megakaryocytopoiesis was induced 4–8–fold in mouse spleens. Similarly, marrow megakaryocytopoiesis was enhanced 1.8–4–fold in immunized rabbits. These peptide-immunogens are 100% conserved in human, rabbit and mouse; thus, immune-mediated platelet destruction via crossreactivity with platelet-derived PPARγ likely caused bleeding, thrombocytopenia, and compensatory megakaryocytopoiesis. Such overt pathology would cause significant problems for large-scale production of anti-PPARγ PoAbs. Furthermore, a major pitfall associated with MoAb production against closely related molecules is that monoclonicity does not guarantee monospecificity, an issue worth further scientific scrutiny.
Monoclonal Antibody Production; MAP Technology; Thrombocytopenia; Megakaryocytopoiesis; Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors; Platelets
schizophrenia; 5-HTTLPR; rs25531; neurocognition; association study
The yeast nuclear protein quality control ubiquitin ligase San1 recognizes exposed hydrophobicity in its misfolded substrates. San1 recognition is triggered by exposure of as few as five contiguous hydrophobic residues, which defines the minimum window of hydrophobicity required for San1 targeting.
Protein quality control (PQC) degradation protects the cell by preventing the toxic accumulation of misfolded proteins. In eukaryotes, PQC degradation is primarily achieved by ubiquitin ligases that attach ubiquitin to misfolded proteins for proteasome degradation. To function effectively, PQC ubiquitin ligases must distinguish misfolded proteins from their normal counterparts by recognizing an attribute of structural abnormality commonly shared among misfolded proteins. However, the nature of the structurally abnormal feature recognized by most PQC ubiquitin ligases is unknown. Here we demonstrate that the yeast nuclear PQC ubiquitin ligase San1 recognizes exposed hydrophobicity in its substrates. San1 recognition is triggered by exposure of as few as five contiguous hydrophobic residues, which defines the minimum window of hydrophobicity required for San1 targeting. We also find that the exposed hydrophobicity recognized by San1 can cause aggregation and cellular toxicity, underscoring the fundamental protective role for San1-mediated PQC degradation of misfolded nuclear proteins.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes significant morbidity, and efficient mouse models would greatly facilitate virus studies and the development of effective vaccines and new therapeutic agents. Entry factors, innate immunity, and host factors needed for viral replication represent the initial barriers that restrict HCV infection of mouse cells. Experiments in this paper consider early postentry steps of viral infection and investigate the roles of interferon regulatory factors (IRF-3 and IRF-9) and microRNA (miR-122) in promoting HCV replication in mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) that contain viral subgenomic replicons. While wild-type murine fibroblasts are restricted for HCV RNA replication, deletion of IRF-3 alone can facilitate replicon activity in these cells. This effect is thought to be related to the inactivation of the type I interferon synthesis mediated by IRF-3. Additional deletion of IRF-9 to yield IRF-3−/− IRF-9−/− MEFs, which have blocked type I interferon signaling, did not increase HCV replication. Expression of liver-specific miR-122 in MEFs further stimulated the synthesis of HCV replicons in the rodent fibroblasts. The combined effects of miR-122 expression and deletion of IRF-3 produced a cooperative stimulation of HCV subgenome replication. miR-122 and IRF-3 are independent host factors that are capable of influencing HCV replication, and our findings could help to establish mouse models and other cell systems that support HCV growth and particle formation.
A newly identified mechanism of smooth muscle relaxation is the interaction between the small heat shock protein 20 (HSP20) and 14-3-3 proteins. Focusing upon this class of interactions, we describe here a novel drug target screening approach for treating airflow obstruction in asthma.
Using a high-throughput fluorescence polarization (FP) assay, we screened a library of compounds that could act as small molecule modulators of HSP20 signals. We then applied two quantitative, cell-based biophysical methods to assess the functional efficacy of these molecules and rank-ordered their abilities to relax isolated human airway smooth muscle (ASM). Scaling up to the level of an intact tissue, we confirmed in a concentration-responsive manner the potency of the cell-based hit compounds.
Among 58,019 compound tested, 268 compounds caused 20% or more reduction of the polarized emission in the FP assay. A small subset of these primary screen hits, belonging to two scaffolds, caused relaxation of isolated ASM cell in vitro and attenuated active force development of intact tissue ex vivo.
This staged biophysical screening paradigm provides proof-of-principle for high-throughput and cost-effective discovery of new small molecule therapeutic agents for obstructive lung diseases.
Protective humoral immune responses critically depend on the optimal differentiation of B cells into antibody secreting cells. Because of the important role of antibodies in fighting infections and in successful vaccination, it is imperative to identify mediators that control B cell differentiation. Activation of B cells through toll-like receptor 9 (TLR-9) by CpG-DNA induces plasma cell differentiation and antibody production. Herein, we examined the role of the PPARγ/RXRα pathway on human B cell differentiation. We demonstrated that activated B cells upregulate their expression of PPARγ. We also show that nanomolar levels of natural (15d-PGJ2) or synthetic (Rosiglitazone) PPARγ ligands enhanced B cell proliferation and significantly stimulated plasma cell differentiation and antibody production. Moreover, the addition of GW9662, a specific PPARγ antagonist, abolished these effects. RXR is the binding partner for PPARγ and is required to produce an active transcriptional complex. The simultaneous addition of nanomolar concentrations of the RXRα ligand (9-cis-RA) and PPARγ ligands to CpG-activated B cells resulted in additive effects on B cell proliferation, plasma cell differentiation and antibody production. Furthermore, PPARγ ligands alone or combined with 9-cis-RA enhanced CpG-induced expression of Cox-2 and the plasma cell transcription factor BLIMP-1. Induction of these important regulators of B cell differentiation provides a possible mechanism for the B cell enhancing effects of PPARγ ligands. These new findings indicate that low doses of PPARγ/RXRα ligands could be used as a new type of adjuvant to stimulate antibody production.
PPARγ; B lymphocytes; antibody production; differentiation; retinoic acid
Influenza; paediatrics; A(H1N1)2009; epidemiology
Sentinel surveillance; family practice; Influenza; Influenza A virus; H1N1 Subtype
Surveillance; Influenza; diagnosis; PCR
Influenza; A(H1N1)pandemic; epidemiology; laboratory diagnosis
Several lines of evidence suggest that exploring the neurochemical basis of reward in invertebrate species may provide clues for the fundamental behavioral and neurobiology underpinnings of drug addiction. How the presence of drug-sensitive reward relates to a decrease in drug-seeking behavior and reinstatement of drug seeking behavior in invertebrate systems is not known. The present study of a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm in crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) explores morphine-induced reward, extinction and reinstatement. Repeated intra-circulatory infusions of 2.5μg/g, 5.0μg/g and 10.0μg/g doses of morphine over 5 days serve as a reward when paired with a distinct visual or tactile environment. Morphine-induced CPP was extinguished after repeated saline injections for 5 days in the previously morphine-paired compartment. After the previously established CPP had been eliminated during the extinction phase, morphine-experienced crayfish were challenged with 2.5 μg/g, 5.0 μg/g and 10.0 μg/g respectively. The priming injections of morphine reinstated CPP in all training doses, suggesting that morphine-induced CPP is unrelenting, and that with time, it can be reinstated by morphine following extinction in an invertebrate model just like in mammals. Together with other recent studies, this work demonstrates the advantage of using crayfish as an invertebrate animal model to investigate the basic biological processes that underline exposure to mammalian drugs of abuse.
Conditioned place preference; Crayfish; Extinction; Morphine; Reward; Reinstatement