ResearchPad - cloning https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Murine gammaherpesvirus infection is skewed toward Igλ+ B cells expressing a specific heavy chain V-segment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13826 Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 is a rodent pathogen that is closely related to the human gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated virus. All know gammaherpesviruses are associated with the development of lymphomas, as well as other cancers, in a small subset of infected individuals–particularly those with underlying defects in their immune system (i.e., transplant recipients and HIV infected patients). Because there are very limited small animal models for the human gammaherpesviruses, studies on murine gammaherepsviruses 68 can provide important insights into critical aspects of gammaherpesvirus infections and the association of these viruses with disease development. Another feature of all gammaherpesviruses is their ability to establish a chronic infection of their host–where the virus is maintained for the lifetime of the infected individual. The major target cell harboring chronic gammaherepsvirus infection are B lymphocytes–the cells in the immune system that produce antibodies in response to infections. Here we provide a detailed characterization of the populations of B lymphocytes that become infected by murine gammaherpesvirus 68. This has led to the identification of a specific population of B lymphocytes that is preferentially infected by the virus. This supports a model in which murine gammaherpesvirus infection of B lymphocytes is not random. However, it remains unclear why the virus targets this specific population of B cells for infection.

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<![CDATA[Inferring the immune response from repertoire sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7765 High-throughput immune repertoire sequencing (RepSeq) experiments are becoming a common way to study the diversity, structure and composition of lymphocyte repertoires, promising to yield unique insight into individuals’ past infection history. However, the analysis of these sequences remains challenging, especially when comparing two different temporal or tissue samples. Here we develop a new theoretical approach and methodology to extract the characteristics of the lymphocyte repertoire response from different samples. The method is specifically tailored to RepSeq experiments and accounts for the multiple sources of noise present in these experiments. Its output provides expansion parameters, as well as a list of potentially responding clonotypes. We apply the method to describe the response to yellow fever vaccine obtained from samples taken at different time points. We also use our results to estimate the diversity and clone size statistics from data.

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<![CDATA[OmniChange: The Sequence Independent Method for Simultaneous Site-Saturation of Five Codons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa7ab0ee8fa60ba7f19

Focused mutant library generation methods have been developed to improve mainly “localizable” enzyme properties such as activity and selectivity. Current multi-site saturation methods are restricted by the gene sequence, require subsequent PCR steps and/or additional enzymatic modifications. Here we report, a multiple site saturation mutagenesis method, OmniChange, which simultaneously and efficiently saturates five independent codons. As proof of principle, five chemically cleaved DNA fragments, each carrying one NNK-degenerated codon, were generated and assembled to full gene length in a one-pot-reaction without additional PCR-amplification or use of restriction enzymes or ligases. Sequencing revealed the presence of up to 27 different codons at individual positions, corresponding to 84.4% of the theoretical diversity offered by NNK-degeneration. OmniChange is absolutely sequence independent, does not require a minimal distance between mutated codons and can be accomplished within a day.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of PD-L1 expression in matched recurrent and/or metastatic sarcoma samples and in a range of selected sarcomas subtypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd4648af7-aaea-40d4-a97f-7213e9d16a5c

We assessed the frequency of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in a cohort of 522 sarcomas from 457 patients, incuding a subset of 46 patients with 63 matched samples from local recurrence or metastases with primary tumours and/or metachronous metastases. We also investigated the correlation of PD-L1 with the presence and degree of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in a subset of cases. IHC was performed using the PD-L1 SP263 companion kit (VENTANA) on tissue microarrays from an archival cohort. Evaluation of PD-L1 and TILs was performed on full sections for a subset of 23 cases. Fisher’s exact and Mann Whitney test were used to establish significance (P <0.05). PD-L1 positive expression (≥1%) was identified in 31% of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas, 29% of angiosarcomas, 26% of rhabdomyosarcomas, 18% of myxofibrosarcomas, 11% of leiomyosarcomas and 10% of dedifferentiated liposarcomas. Negative expression was present in all atypical lipomatous tumous/well-differentiated lipoasarcomas, myxoid liposarcomas, synovial sarcomas, pleomorphic liposarcomas, and Ewing sarcomas. PD-L1 IHC was concordant in 81% (38 of 47) of matched/paired samples. PD-L1 IHC was discordant in 19% (9 of 47 matched/paired samples), displaying differences in the proportion of cells expressing PD-L1 amongst paired samples with the percentage of PD-L1-positive cells increasing in the metastatic/recurrent site compared to the primary in 6 of 9 cases (67%). Significant correlation between PD-L1 expression and the degree of TILs was exclusively identified in the general cohort of leiomyosarcomas, but not in other sarcoma subtypes or in metastatic/recurrent samples. We conclude that the prevalence of PD-L1 expression in selected sarcomas is variable and likely to be clone dependent. Importantly, we demonstrated that PD-L1 can objectively increase in a small proportion of metastases/recurrent sarcomas, offering the potential of treatment benefit to immune checkpoint inhibitors in this metastatic setting.

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<![CDATA[Functional dynamics of bacterial species in the mouse gut microbiome revealed by metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N74c1e0c6-8f1d-4282-af8e-273065d64236

Background

Microbial communities of the mouse gut have been extensively studied; however, their functional roles and regulation are yet to be elucidated. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses may allow us a comprehensive profiling of bacterial composition and functions of the complex gut microbiota. The present study aimed to investigate the active functions of the microbial communities in the murine cecum by analyzing both metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data on specific bacterial species within the microbial communities, in addition to the whole microbiome.

Results

Bacterial composition of the healthy mouse gut microbiome was profiled using the following three different approaches: 16S rRNA-based profiling based on amplicon and shotgun sequencing data, and genome-based profiling based on shotgun sequencing data. Consistently, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Deferribacteres emerged as the major phyla. Based on NCBI taxonomy, Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae were the predominant families identified in each phylum. The genes for carbohydrate metabolism were upregulated in Muribaculaceae, while genes for cofactors and vitamin metabolism and amino acid metabolism were upregulated in Deferribacteraceae. The genes for translation were commonly enhanced in all three families. Notably, combined analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing data revealed that the functions of translation and metabolism were largely upregulated in all three families in the mouse gut environment. The ratio of the genes in the metagenome and their expression in the metatranscriptome indicated higher expression of carbohydrate metabolism in Muribaculum, Duncaniella, and Mucispirillum.

Conclusions

We demonstrated a fundamental methodology for linking genomic and transcriptomic datasets to examine functional activities of specific bacterial species in a complicated microbial environment. We investigated the normal flora of the mouse gut using three different approaches and identified Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae as the predominant families. The functional distribution of these families was reflected in the entire microbiome. By comparing the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data, we found that the expression rates differed for different functional categories in the mouse gut environment. Application of these methods to track microbial transcription in individuals over time, or before and after administration of a specific stimulus will significantly facilitate future development of diagnostics and treatments.

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<![CDATA[Generation of targeted homozygosity in the genome of human induced pluripotent stem cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc0b5af8d-f419-410c-9036-89fcaed1eba6

When loss of heterozygosity (LOH) is correlated with loss or gain of a disease phenotype, it is often necessary to identify which gene or genes are involved. Here, we developed a region-specific LOH-inducing system based on mitotic crossover in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We first tested our system on chromosome 19. To detect homozygous clones generated by LOH, a positive selection cassette was inserted at the AASV1 locus of chromosome 19. LOHs were generated by the combination of allele-specific double-stranded DNA breaks introduced by CRISPR/Cas9 and suppression of Bloom syndrome (BLM) gene expression by the Tet-Off system. The BLM protein inhibitor ML216 exhibited a similar crossover efficiency and distribution of crossover sites. We next applied this system to the short arm of chromosome 6, where human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loci are located. Genotyping and flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that LOHs associated with chromosomal crossover occurred at the expected positions. Although careful examination of HLA-homozygous hiPSCs generated from parental cells is needed for cancer predisposition and effectiveness of differentiation, they may help to mitigate the current shortcoming of hiPSC-based transplantation related to the immunological differences between the donor and host.

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<![CDATA[Uncovering and resolving challenges of quantitative modeling in a simplified community of interacting cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c99020dd5eed0c484b97589

Quantitative modeling is useful for predicting behaviors of a system and for rationally constructing or modifying the system. The predictive power of a model relies on accurate quantification of model parameters. Here, we illustrate challenges in parameter quantification and offer means to overcome these challenges, using a case example in which we quantitatively predict the growth rate of a cooperative community. Specifically, the community consists of two Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, each engineered to release a metabolite required and consumed by its partner. The initial model, employing parameters measured in batch monocultures with zero or excess metabolite, failed to quantitatively predict experimental results. To resolve the model–experiment discrepancy, we chemically identified the correct exchanged metabolites, but this did not improve model performance. We then remeasured strain phenotypes in chemostats mimicking the metabolite-limited community environments, while mitigating or incorporating effects of rapid evolution. Almost all phenotypes we measured, including death rate, metabolite release rate, and the amount of metabolite consumed per cell birth, varied significantly with the metabolite environment. Once we used parameters measured in a range of community-like chemostat environments, prediction quantitatively agreed with experimental results. In summary, using a simplified community, we uncovered and devised means to resolve modeling challenges that are likely general to living systems.

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<![CDATA[Coincident airway exposure to low-potency allergen and cytomegalovirus sensitizes for allergic airway disease by viral activation of migratory dendritic cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc7ed5eed0c48498f892

Despite a broad cell-type tropism, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an evidentially pulmonary pathogen. Predilection for the lungs is of medical relevance in immunocompromised recipients of hematopoietic cell transplantation, in whom interstitial CMV pneumonia is a frequent and, if left untreated, fatal clinical manifestation of human CMV infection. A conceivable contribution of CMV to airway diseases of other etiology is an issue that so far attracted little medical attention. As the route of primary CMV infection upon host-to-host transmission in early childhood involves airway mucosa, coincidence of CMV airway infection and exposure to airborne environmental antigens is almost unavoidable. For investigating possible consequences of such a coincidence, we established a mouse model of airway co-exposure to CMV and ovalbumin (OVA) representing a protein antigen of an inherently low allergenic potential. Accordingly, intratracheal OVA exposure alone failed to sensitize for allergic airway disease (AAD) upon OVA aerosol challenge. In contrast, airway infection at the time of OVA sensitization predisposed for AAD that was characterized by airway inflammation, IgE secretion, thickening of airway epithelia, and goblet cell hyperplasia. This AAD histopathology was associated with a T helper type 2 (Th2) transcription profile in the lungs, including IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, and IL-25, known inducers of Th2-driven AAD. These symptoms were all prevented by a pre-challenge depletion of CD4+ T cells, but not of CD8+ T cells. As to the underlying mechanism, murine CMV activated migratory CD11b+ as well as CD103+ conventional dendritic cells (cDCs), which have been associated with Th2 cytokine-driven AAD and with antigen cross-presentation, respectively. This resulted in an enhanced OVA uptake and recruitment of the OVA-laden cDCs selectively to the draining tracheal lymph nodes for antigen presentation. We thus propose that CMV, through activation of migratory cDCs in the airway mucosa, can enhance the allergenic potential of otherwise poorly allergenic environmental protein antigens.

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<![CDATA[A mutagenesis screen for essential plastid biogenesis genes in human malaria parasites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d3cd5eed0c484c82311

Endosymbiosis has driven major molecular and cellular innovations. Plasmodium spp. parasites that cause malaria contain an essential, non-photosynthetic plastid—the apicoplast—which originated from a secondary (eukaryote–eukaryote) endosymbiosis. To discover organellar pathways with evolutionary and biomedical significance, we performed a mutagenesis screen for essential genes required for apicoplast biogenesis in Plasmodium falciparum. Apicoplast(−) mutants were isolated using a chemical rescue that permits conditional disruption of the apicoplast and a new fluorescent reporter for organelle loss. Five candidate genes were validated (out of 12 identified), including a triosephosphate isomerase (TIM)-barrel protein that likely derived from a core metabolic enzyme but evolved a new activity. Our results demonstrate, to our knowledge, the first forward genetic screen to assign essential cellular functions to unannotated P. falciparum genes. A putative TIM-barrel enzyme and other newly identified apicoplast biogenesis proteins open opportunities to discover new mechanisms of organelle biogenesis, molecular evolution underlying eukaryotic diversity, and drug targets against multiple parasitic diseases.

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<![CDATA[Generation of TGFBI knockout ABCG2+/ABCB5+ double-positive limbal epithelial stem cells by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7575d5eed0c4843cfdce

Corneal dystrophy is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations of the transforming growth factor β-induced (TGFBI) gene on chromosome 5q31.8. This disease is therefore ideally suited for gene therapy using genome-editing technology. Here, we isolated human limbal epithelial stem cells (ABCG2+/ABCB5+ double-positive LESCs) and established a TGFBI knockout using RNA-guided clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 genome editing. An LESC clone generated with a single-guide RNA (sgRNA) targeting exon 4 of the TGFBI gene was sequenced in order to identify potential genomic insertions and deletions near the Cas9/sgRNA-target sites. A detailed analysis of the differences between wild type LESCs and the single LESC clone modified by the TGFBI-targeting sgRNA revealed two distinct mutations, an 8 bp deletion and a 14 bp deletion flanked by a single point mutation. These mutations each lead to a frameshift missense mutation and generate premature stop codons downstream in exon 4. To validate the TGFBI knockout LESC clone, we used single cell culture to isolate four individual sub-clones, each of which was found to possess both mutations present in the parent clone, indicating that the population is homogenous. Furthermore, we confirmed that TGFBI protein expression is abolished in the TGFBI knockout LESC clone using western blot analysis. Collectively, our results suggest that genome editing of TGFBI in LESCs by CRISPR/Cas9 may be useful strategy to treat corneal dystrophy.

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<![CDATA[The successful containment of a hospital outbreak caused by NDM-1-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST307 using active surveillance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9abd5eed0c484529fbf

The worldwide dissemination of high-risk carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae clones has become a major threat to healthcare facilities. This study describes the successful containment of a hospital outbreak caused by NDM-1-producing K. pneumoniae Sequence Type (ST) 307 using active surveillance. The outbreak began when a patient was transferred from a local hospital. After 48 hours in our hospital, a tracheal aspirate was positive for a meropenem resistant and carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae. All patients in the medical intensive care unit (ICU) and the neurology wards were subject to contact precautions. The hospital surfaces and devices, healthcare workers, and patients from these wards were screened by cultures. Fecal swabs were placed into broth and PCR for blaKPC, blaOXA-48, blaIMP, blaVIM, and blaNDM, which were performed directly from the broth after 12 hours. PCRs were also performed on DNA extracted from carbapenemase-producing species from subcultured broths. Five and nine days later, two more patients’ rectal swabs tested positive. Molecular assays identified K. pneumoniae blaNDM-1 onto a 130-kb conjugative plasmid (IncY, IncFIIs, and IncFIIY), ST307. After the three patients were discharged, monitoring continued, and after three weeks with negative results, rectal swabbing ended. In conclusion, it was possible to contain a hospital outbreak caused by NDM-1-producing K. pneumoniae ST307 through epidemiological and microbiological surveillance. With the methodology used, the detection of NDM-type genes in fecal samples was obtained in approximately 15 hours after obtaining the fecal sample.

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<![CDATA[Information about variations in multiple copies of bacterial 16S rRNA genes may aid in species identification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706762d5eed0c4847c6f93

Variable region analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences is the most common tool in bacterial taxonomic studies. Although used for distinguishing bacterial species, its use remains limited due to the presence of variable copy numbers with sequence variation in the genomes. In this study, 16S rRNA gene sequences, obtained from completely assembled whole genome and Sanger electrophoresis sequencing of cloned PCR products from Serratia fonticola GS2, were compared. Sanger sequencing produced a combination of sequences from multiple copies of 16S rRNA genes. To determine whether the variant copies of 16S rRNA genes affected Sanger sequencing, two ratios (5:5 and 8:2) with different concentrations of cloned 16S rRNA genes were used; it was observed that the greater the number of copies with similar sequences the higher its chance of amplification. Effect of multiple copies for taxonomic classification of 16S rRNA gene sequences was investigated using the strain GS2 as a model. 16S rRNA copies with the maximum variation had 99.42% minimum pairwise similarity and this did not have an effect on species identification. Thus, PCR products from genomes containing variable 16S rRNA gene copies can provide sufficient information for species identification except from species which have high similarity of sequences in their 16S rRNA gene copies like the case of Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus. In silico analysis of 1,616 bacterial genomes from long-read sequencing was also done. The average minimum pairwise similarity for each phylum was reported with their average genome size and average “unique copies” of 16S rRNA genes and we found that the phyla Proteobacteria and Firmicutes showed the highest amount of variation in their copies of their 16S rRNA genes. Overall, our results shed light on how the variations in the multiple copies of the 16S rRNA genes of bacteria can aid in appropriate species identification.

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<![CDATA[SLFN11 can sensitize tumor cells towards IFN-γ-mediated T cell killing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75d8d5eed0c4843d02bd

Experimental and clinical observations have highlighted the role of cytotoxic T cells in human tumor control. However, the parameters that control tumor cell sensitivity to T cell attack remain incompletely understood. To identify modulators of tumor cell sensitivity to T cell effector mechanisms, we performed a whole genome haploid screen in HAP1 cells. Selection of tumor cells by exposure to tumor-specific T cells identified components of the interferon-γ (IFN-γ) receptor (IFNGR) signaling pathway, and tumor cell killing by cytotoxic T cells was shown to be in large part mediated by the pro-apoptotic effects of IFN-γ. Notably, we identified schlafen 11 (SLFN11), a known modulator of DNA damage toxicity, as a regulator of tumor cell sensitivity to T cell-secreted IFN-γ. SLFN11 does not influence IFNGR signaling, but couples IFNGR signaling to the induction of the DNA damage response (DDR) in a context dependent fashion. In line with this role of SLFN11, loss of SLFN11 can reduce IFN-γ mediated toxicity. Collectively, our data indicate that SLFN11 can couple IFN-γ exposure of tumor cells to DDR and cellular apoptosis. Future work should reveal the mechanistic basis for the link between IFNGR signaling and DNA damage response, and identify tumor cell types in which SLFN11 contributes to the anti-tumor activity of T cells.

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<![CDATA[Drosophila ZDHHC8 palmitoylates scribble and Ras64B and controls growth and viability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730b5d5eed0c484f37f58

Palmitoylation is an important posttranslational modification regulating diverse cellular functions. Consequently, aberrant palmitoylation can lead to diseases such as neuronal disorders or cancer. In humans there are roughly one hundred times more palmitoylated proteins than enzymes catalyzing palmitoylation (palmitoyltransferases). Therefore, it is an important challenge to establish the links between palmitoyltransferases and their targets. From publicly available data, we find that expression of human ZDHHC8 correlates significantly with cancer survival. To elucidate the organismal function of ZDHHC8, we study the Drosophila ortholog of hZDHHC8, CG34449/dZDHHC8. Knockdown of dZDHHC8 causes tissue overgrowth while dZDHHC8 mutants are larval lethal. We provide a list of 159 palmitoylated proteins in Drosophila and present data suggesting that scribble and Ras64B are targets of dZDHHC8.

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<![CDATA[Anti-CD8 monoclonal antibody-mediated depletion alters the phenotype and behavior of surviving CD8+ T cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730ddd5eed0c484f38251

It is common practice for researchers to use antibodies to remove a specific cell type to infer its function. However, it is difficult to completely eliminate a cell type and there is often limited or no information as to how the cells which survive depletion are affected. This is particularly important for CD8+ T cells for two reasons. First, they are more resistant to mAb-mediated depletion than other lymphocytes. Second, targeting either the CD8α or CD8β chain could induce differential effects. We show here that two commonly used mAbs, against either the CD8α or CD8β subunit, can differentially affect cellular metabolism. Further, in vivo treatment leaves behind a population of CD8+ T cells with different phenotypic and functional attributes relative to each other or control CD8+ T cells. The impact of anti-CD8 antibodies on CD8+ T cell phenotype and function indicates the need to carefully consider the use of these, and possibly other “depleting” antibodies, as they could significantly complicate the interpretation of results or change the outcome of an experiment. These observations could impact how immunotherapy and modulation of CD8+ T cell activation is pursued.

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<![CDATA[Control of basal autophagy rate by vacuolar peduncle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c67309ed5eed0c484f37df3

Basal autophagy is as a compressive catabolic mechanism engaged in the breakdown of damaged macromolecules and organelles leading to the recycling of elementary nutrients. Thought essential to cellular refreshing, little is known about the origin of a constitutional rate of basal autophagy. Here, we found that loss of Drosophila vacuolar peduncle (vap), a presumed GAP enzyme, is associated with enhanced basal autophagy rate and physiological alterations resulting in a wasteful cell energy balance, a hallmark of overactive autophagy. By contrast, starvation-induced autophagy was disrupted in vap mutant conditions, leading to a block of maturation into autolysosomes. This phenotype stem for exacerbated biogenesis of PI(3)P-dependent endomembranes, including autophagosome membranes and ectopic fusions of vesicles. These findings shed new light on the neurodegenerative phenotype found associated to mutant vap adult brains in a former study. A partner of Vap, Sprint (Spri), acting as an endocytic GEF for Rab5, had the converse effect of leading to a reduction in PI(3)P-dependent endomembrane formation in mutants. Spri was conditional to normal basal autophagy and instrumental to the starvation-sensitivity phenotype specific of vap. Rab5 activity itself was essential for PI(3)P and for pre-autophagosome structures formation. We propose that Vap/Spri complexes promote a cell surface-derived flow of endocytic Rab5-containing vesicles, the traffic of which is crucial for the implementation of a basal autophagy rate.

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<![CDATA[The sensitivity to Hsp90 inhibitors of both normal and oncogenically transformed cells is determined by the equilibrium between cellular quiescence and activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d48d5eed0c484c8243f

The molecular chaperone Hsp90 is an essential and highly abundant central node in the interactome of eukaryotic cells. Many of its large number of client proteins are relevant to cancer. A hallmark of Hsp90-dependent proteins is that their accumulation is compromised by Hsp90 inhibitors. Combined with the anecdotal observation that cancer cells may be more sensitive to Hsp90 inhibitors, this has led to clinical trials aiming to develop Hsp90 inhibitors as anti-cancer agents. However, the sensitivity to Hsp90 inhibitors has not been studied in rigorously matched normal versus cancer cells, and despite the discovery of important regulators of Hsp90 activity and inhibitor sensitivity, it has remained unclear, why cancer cells might be more sensitive. To revisit this issue more systematically, we have generated an isogenic pair of normal and oncogenically transformed NIH-3T3 cell lines. Our proteomic analysis of the impact of three chemically different Hsp90 inhibitors shows that these affect a substantial portion of the oncogenic program and that indeed, transformed cells are hypersensitive. Targeting the oncogenic signaling pathway reverses the hypersensitivity, and so do inhibitors of DNA replication, cell growth, translation and energy metabolism. Conversely, stimulating normal cells with growth factors or challenging their proteostasis by overexpressing an aggregation-prone sensitizes them to Hsp90 inhibitors. Thus, the differential sensitivity to Hsp90 inhibitors may not stem from any particular intrinsic difference between normal and cancer cells, but rather from a shift in the balance between cellular quiescence and activity.

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<![CDATA[Desensitization and treatment with APRIL/BLyS blockade in rodent kidney transplant model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c67305fd5eed0c484f37a27

Alloantibody represents a significant barrier in kidney transplant through the sensitization of patients prior to transplant through antibody mediated rejection (ABMR). APRIL BLyS are critical survival factors for mature B lymphocytes plasma cells, the primary source of alloantibody. We examined the effect of APRIL/BLyS blockade via TACI-Ig (Transmembrane activator calcium modulator cyclophilin lig interactor-Immunoglobulin) in a preclinical rodent model as treatment for both desensitization ABMR. Lewis rats were sensitized with Brown Norway (BN) blood for 21 days. Following sensitization, animals were then sacrificed or romized into kidney transplant (G4, sensitized transplant control); desensitization with TACI-Ig followed by kidney transplant (G5, sensitized + pre-transplant TACI-Ig); kidney transplant with post-transplant TACI-Ig for 21 days (G6, sensitized + post-transplant TACI-Ig); desensitization with TACI-Ig followed by kidney transplant post-transplant TACI-Ig for 21 days (G7, sensitized + pre- post-transplant TACI-Ig). Animals were sacrificed on day 21 post-transplant tissues were analyzed using flow cytometry, IHC, ELISPOT, RT-PCR. Sensitized animals treated with APRIL/BLyS blockade demonstrated a significant decrease in marginal zone non-switched B lymphocyte populations (p<0.01). Antibody secreting cells were also significantly reduced in the sensitized APRIL/BLyS blockade treated group. Post-transplant APRIL/BLyS blockade treated animals were found to have significantly less C4d deposition less ABMR as defined by Banff classification when compared to groups receiving APRIL/BLyS blockade before transplant or both before after transplant (p<0.0001). The finding of worse ABMR in groups receiving APRIL/BLyS blockade before both before after transplant may indicate that B lymphocyte depletion in this setting also resulted in regulatory lymphocyte depletion resulting in a worse rejection. Data presented here demonstrates that the targeting of APRIL BLyS can significantly deplete mature B lymphocytes, antibody secreting cells, effectively decrease ABMR when given post-transplant in a sensitized animal model.

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<![CDATA[Immunomagnetic isolation of circulating melanoma cells and detection of PD-L1 status]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673061d5eed0c484f37a3b

Personalised medicine targeted to specific biomarkers such as BRAF and c-Kit has radically improved the success of melanoma therapy. More recently, further advances have been made using therapies targeting the immune response. In particular, therapies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 or CTLA-4 axes alone or in combination have shown more sustained responses in 30–60% of patients. However, these therapies are associated with considerable toxicities and useful biomarkers to predict responders and non-responders are slow to emerge. Here we developed a reliable melanoma circulating tumor cell (CTC) detection method with PD-L1 evaluation on CTCs. A set of melanoma cell surface markers was tested as candidates for targeted melanoma CTC isolation and a melanoma specific immunostaining-based CTC identification protocol combined with PD-L1 detection was established. In vitro testing of the effect of exposure to blood cells on melanoma cell PD-L1 expression was undertaken. Immunomagnetic targeting isolated melanoma CTCs in up to 87.5% of stage IV melanoma patient blood samples and 3 8.6% of these had some PD-L1 expressing CTCs. Our in vitro data demonstrate PD-L1 induction on melanoma cells in the blood.This study established a robust, reliable method to isolate melanoma CTCs and detect expression of PD-L1 on these cells.

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<![CDATA[Thermal acclimation of photosynthetic activity and RuBisCO content in two hybrid poplar clones]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2629d5eed0c484289491

The mechanistic bases of thermal acclimation of net photosynthetic rate (An) are still difficult to discern, and the data sets available are scarce, particularly for hybrid poplar. In the present study, we examined the contribution of a number of biochemical and biophysical traits on thermal acclimation of An for two hybrid poplar clones. We grew cuttings of Populus maximowiczii × Populus nigra (M×N) and Populus maximowiczii × Populus balsamifera (M×B) clones under two day/night temperature of 23°C/18°C and 33°C /27°C and under low and high soil nitrogen level. After ten weeks, we measured leaf RuBisCO (RAR) and RuBisCO activase (RARCA) amounts and the temperature response of An, dark respiration (Rd), stomatal conductance, (gs), apparent maximum carboxylation rate of CO2 (Vcmax) and apparent photosynthetic electron transport rate (J). Results showed that a 10°C increase in growth temperature resulted in a shift in thermal optimum (Topt) of An of 6.2±1.6°C and 8.0±1.2°C for clone M×B and M×N respectively, and an increased An and gs at the growth temperature for clone M×B but not M×N. RuBisCO amount was increased by N level but was insensitive to growth temperature while RARCA amount and the ratio of its short to long isoform was stimulated by the warm condition for clone M×N and at low N for clone M×B. The activation energy of apparent Vcmax and apparent J decreased under the warm condition for clone M×B and remained unchanged for clone M×N. Our study demonstrated the involvement of both RARCA, the activation energy of apparent Vcmax and stomatal conductance in thermal acclimation of An.

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