ResearchPad - glycobiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Ontogenetic changes in energetic reserves, digestive enzymes, amino acid and energy content of <i>Lithodes santolla</i> (Anomura: Lithodidae): Baseline for culture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14500 The southern king crab (SKC) Lithodes santolla is an important commercial species in southern South America. Fishing pressure has caused the deterioration of its stocks. Currently, culture techniques are being developed for producing SKC juveniles to enhance the natural population and to recover the fishing stock. Therefore, it is necessary to know about physiology, energetic and nutritional requirements for SKC maintenance in hatchery. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the biochemical and physiological changes in the midgut gland, muscle and hemolymph of juveniles, pre-adults and adults of wild SKC. The energetic reserves, digestive enzymes activity, amino acid profile and energy were quantified in twelve juveniles, ten pre-adult, and ten adult crabs. Juveniles showed high glycogen and low lipids in the midgut gland, and low proteins and low lactate in muscle. In the hemolymph, juveniles had high lipids. Pre-adults had high glycogen and lipids in the midgut gland, and both high protein and lactate in muscle. In the hemolymph, pre-adults had high lipids. Adults had low glycogen and high lipids in midgut gland, and both high proteins and high lactate in muscle. In hemolymph, adults had high glucose and lactate. Juveniles and pre-adults had high proteinase activity, whereas adults had high lipase activity. Major essential amino acids of SKC were arginine, methionine, and tryptophan, and the non-essential amino acids were glycine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. On another hand, SKC had similar energy in the midgut gland and muscle, regardless of the ontogenetic stage. Moreover, we demonstrated that the biochemical energy calculation underestimates the actual measured values by a calorimeter. Thus, our results help to understand the physiological changes, energetic and nutritional requirements of L. santolla, and this study is a baseline for research on diet formulation for maintaining this species under culture conditions.

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<![CDATA[Amino acids serve as an important energy source for adult flukes of <i>Clonorchis sinensis</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13829 Clonorchiasis, closely related to cholangiocarcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma, has led to a negative socioeconomic impact in global areas especially some Asian endemic regions. Owing to the emergence of drug resistance and hypersensitivity reactions after the massive and repeated use of praziquantel as well as the lack of effective vaccines, searching for new strategies that prevent and treat clonorchiasis has become an urgent matter. Clonorchis sinensis, the causative agent of clonorchiasis, long-term inhabits the microaerobic and limited-glucose environment of the bile ducts. Adequate nutrients are essential for adult flukes to resist the adverse condition and survive in the crowed habitat. Studies on energy metabolism of adult flukes are beneficial for further exploring host-parasite interactions and developing novel anti-parasitic drugs. Our results suggest that gluconeogenesis probably plays a vital role in energy metabolism of Clonorchis sinensis and exogenous amino acids might be an essential energy source for adult flukes to successfully survive in the host. Our foundational study opens a new avenue for explaining energy metabolism of Clonorchis sinensis and provides a valuable strategy that the gluconeogenesis pathway will be a potential and novel target for the prevention and treatment of clonorchiasis.

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<![CDATA[Phosphoglycerol-type wall and lipoteichoic acids are enantiomeric polymers differentiated by the stereospecific glycerophosphodiesterase GlpQ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N74887974-ce2e-4d8a-832f-bcee8c20b648

The cell envelope of Gram-positive bacteria generally comprises two types of polyanionic polymers linked to either peptidoglycan (wall teichoic acids; WTA) or to membrane glycolipids (lipoteichoic acids; LTA). In some bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis strain 168, both WTA and LTA are glycerolphosphate polymers yet are synthesized through different pathways and have distinct but incompletely understood morphogenetic functions during cell elongation and division. We show here that the exolytic sn-glycerol-3-phosphodiesterase GlpQ can discriminate between B. subtilis WTA and LTA. GlpQ completely degraded unsubstituted WTA, which lacks substituents at the glycerol residues, by sequentially removing glycerolphosphates from the free end of the polymer up to the peptidoglycan linker. In contrast, GlpQ could not degrade unsubstituted LTA unless it was partially precleaved, allowing access of GlpQ to the other end of the polymer, which, in the intact molecule, is protected by a connection to the lipid anchor. Differences in stereochemistry between WTA and LTA have been suggested previously on the basis of differences in their biosynthetic precursors and chemical degradation products. The differential cleavage of WTA and LTA by GlpQ reported here represents the first direct evidence that they are enantiomeric polymers: WTA is made of sn-glycerol-3-phosphate, and LTA is made of sn-glycerol-1-phosphate. Their distinct stereochemistries reflect the dissimilar physiological and immunogenic properties of WTA and LTA. It also enables differential degradation of the two polymers within the same envelope compartment in vivo, particularly under phosphate-limiting conditions, when B. subtilis specifically degrades WTA and replaces it with phosphate-free teichuronic acids.

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<![CDATA[Investigation of synovial fluid induced Staphylococcus aureus aggregate development and its impact on surface attachment and biofilm formation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf13f73b5-5132-41b9-b894-3d4dd0a113b1

Periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs) are a devastating complication that occurs in 2% of patients following joint replacement. These infections are costly and difficult to treat, often requiring multiple corrective surgeries and prolonged antimicrobial treatments. The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of PJIs, and it is often resistant to a number of commonly used antimicrobials. This tolerance can be partially attributed to the ability of S. aureus to form biofilms. Biofilms associated with the surface of indwelling medical devices have been observed on components removed during chronic infection, however, the development and localization of biofilms during PJIs remains unclear. Prior studies have demonstrated that synovial fluid, in the joint cavity, promotes the development of bacterial aggregates with many biofilm-like properties, including antibiotic resistance. We anticipate these aggregates have an important role in biofilm formation and antibiotic tolerance during PJIs. Therefore, we sought to determine specifically how synovial fluid promotes aggregate formation and the impact of this process on surface attachment. Using flow cytometry and microscopy, we quantified the aggregation of various clinical S. aureus strains following exposure to purified synovial fluid components. We determined that fibrinogen and fibronectin promoted bacterial aggregation, while cell free DNA, serum albumin, and hyaluronic acid had minimal effect. To determine how synovial fluid mediated aggregation affects surface attachment, we utilized microscopy to measure bacterial attachment. Surprisingly, we found that synovial fluid significantly impeded bacterial surface attachment to a variety of materials. We conclude from this study that fibrinogen and fibronectin in synovial fluid have a crucial role in promoting bacterial aggregation and inhibiting surface adhesion during PJI. Collectively, we propose that synovial fluid may have conflicting protective roles for the host by preventing adhesion to surfaces, but by promoting bacterial aggregation is also contributing to the development of antibiotic tolerance.

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<![CDATA[Glycosylation of the viral attachment protein of avian coronavirus is essential for host cell and receptor binding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N733ed784-aaba-41ea-b674-5c816fa34159

Avian coronaviruses, including infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), are important respiratory pathogens of poultry. The heavily glycosylated IBV spike protein is responsible for binding to host tissues. Glycosylation sites in the spike protein are highly conserved across viral genotypes, suggesting an important role for this modification in the virus life cycle. Here, we analyzed the N-glycosylation of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of IBV strain M41 spike protein and assessed the role of this modification in host receptor binding. Ten single Asn–to–Ala substitutions at the predicted N-glycosylation sites of the M41–RBD were evaluated along with two control Val–to–Ala substitutions. CD analysis revealed that the secondary structure of all variants was retained compared with the unmodified M41–RBD construct. Six of the 10 glycosylation variants lost binding to chicken trachea tissue and an ELISA-presented α2,3-linked sialic acid oligosaccharide ligand. LC/MSE glycomics analysis revealed that glycosylation sites have specific proportions of N-glycan subtypes. Overall, the glycosylation patterns of most variant RBDs were highly similar to those of the unmodified M41–RBD construct. In silico docking experiments with the recently published cryo-EM structure of the M41 IBV spike protein and our glycosylation results revealed a potential ligand receptor site that is ringed by four glycosylation sites that dramatically impact ligand binding. Combined with the results of previous array studies, the glycosylation and mutational analyses presented here suggest a unique glycosylation-dependent binding modality for the M41 spike protein.

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<![CDATA[A missense mutation in the catalytic domain of O‐GlcNAc transferase links perturbations in protein O‐GlcNAcylation to X‐linked intellectual disability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4cff86d7-f6c8-48a5-b3fb-920d0e162958

X‐linked intellectual disabilities (XLID) are common developmental disorders. The enzyme O‐GlcNAc transferase encoded by OGT, a recently discovered XLID gene, attaches O‐GlcNAc to nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. As few missense mutations have been described, it is unclear what the aetiology of the patient phenotypes is. Here, we report the discovery of a missense mutation in the catalytic domain of OGT in an XLID patient. X‐ray crystallography reveals that this variant leads to structural rearrangements in the catalytic domain. The mutation reduces in vitro OGT activity on substrate peptides/protein. Mouse embryonic stem cells carrying the mutation reveal reduced O‐GlcNAcase (OGA) and global O‐GlcNAc levels. These data suggest a direct link between changes in the O‐GlcNAcome and intellectual disability observed in patients carrying OGT mutations.

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<![CDATA[Molecular analyses and phylogeny of the herpes simplex virus 2 US9 and glycoproteins gE/gI obtained from infected subjects during the Herpevac Trial for Women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c193cd5eed0c484b4d241

Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is a large double-stranded DNA virus that causes genital sores when spread by sexual contact and is a principal cause of viral encephalitis in newborns and infants. Viral glycoproteins enable virion entry into and spread between cells, making glycoproteins a prime target for vaccine development. A truncated glycoprotein D2 (gD2) vaccine candidate, recently tested in the phase 3 Herpevac Trial for Women, did not prevent HSV-2 infection in initially seronegative women. Some women who became infected experienced multiple recurrences during the trial. The HSV US7, US8, and US9 genes encode glycoprotein I (gI), glycoprotein E (gE), and the US9 type II membrane protein, respectively. These proteins participate in viral spread across cell junctions and facilitate anterograde transport of virion components in neurons, prompting us to investigate whether sequence variants in these genes could be associated with frequent recurrence. The nucleotide sequences and dN/dS ratios of the US7-US9 region from viral isolates of individuals who experienced multiple recurrences were compared with those who had had a single episode of disease. No consistent polymorphism(s) distinguished the recurrent isolates. In frequently recurring isolates, the dN/dS ratio of US7 was low while greater variation (higher dN/dS ratio) occurred in US8, suggesting conserved function of the former during reactivation. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the US7-US9 region revealed eight strongly supported clusters within the 55 U.S. HSV-2 strains sampled, which were preserved in a second global phylogeny. Thus, although we have demonstrated evolutionary diversity in the US7-US9 complex, we found no molecular evidence of sequence variation in US7-US9 that distinguishes isolates from subjects with frequently recurrent episodes of disease.

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<![CDATA[The seven transmembrane domain protein MoRgs7 functions in surface perception and undergoes coronin MoCrn1-dependent endocytosis in complex with Gα subunit MoMagA to promote cAMP signaling and appressorium formation in Magnaporthe oryzae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95f6d5eed0c484735053

Regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins primarily function as GTPase-accelerating proteins (GAPs) to promote GTP hydrolysis of Gα subunits, thereby regulating G-protein mediated signal transduction. RGS proteins could also contain additional domains such as GoLoco to inhibit GDP dissociation. The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae encodes eight RGS and RGS-like proteins (MoRgs1 to MoRgs8) that have shared and distinct functions in growth, appressorium formation and pathogenicity. Interestingly, MoRgs7 and MoRgs8 contain a C-terminal seven-transmembrane domain (7-TM) motif typical of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) proteins, in addition to the conserved RGS domain. We found that MoRgs7, but not MoRgs8, couples with Gα MoMagA to undergo endocytic transport from the plasma membrane to the endosome upon sensing of surface hydrophobicity. We also found that MoRgs7 can interact with hydrophobic surfaces via a hydrophobic interaction, leading to the perception of environmental hydrophobiccues. Moreover, we found that MoRgs7-MoMagA endocytosis is regulated by actin patch-associated protein MoCrn1, linking it to cAMP signaling. Our studies provided evidence suggesting that MoRgs7 could also function in a GPCR-like manner to sense environmental signals and it, together with additional proteins of diverse functions, promotes cAMP signaling required for developmental processes underlying appressorium function and pathogenicity.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiological and clinical features of invasive pneumococcal disease caused by serotype 12F in adults, Japan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c78501ad5eed0c484007c91

Enhanced surveillance of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in adults was conducted during April 2013–March 2018 in 10 of 47 prefectures in Japan, and a total of 1277 IPD patients were enrolled. An emergence of IPD caused by serotype 12F was identified during May 2015–March 2018 through this surveillance. 12F isolates were composed of four related sequence types. In total, 120 patients with 12F IPD were reported during this period. To characterize the clinical features of 12F IPD, the disease characteristics of these patients were compared with those of 1157 patients with non-12F IPD. Compared with the non-12F IPD patients, a significantly lower proportion of 12F IPD patients was aged 65 years or older (55% vs. 70%), vaccinated with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide (4% vs. 14%), had comorbid illness (65% vs. 77%), or were immunocompromised (19% vs. 30%; all P < 0.05). No significant difference in the proportion of case fatalities was found between the two groups. The proportions of those aged 65 years or older (53% vs. 69%) and with bacteremic pneumonia (35% vs. 69%) were significantly lower in 17 patients who died from 12F IPD than in 205 patients who died from non-12F IPD (all P < 0.05). Differences in clinical features were similarly found between 12F IPD patients and patients in low- or intermediate-level invasive potential serogroups. Our data demonstrated that serotype 12F was associated with IPD in younger adults and a lower proportion of comorbid illness, including immunocompromised conditions, in adult IPD, suggesting the high invasive potential of the serotype 12F. In addition, patients who died from 12F IPD were younger and had proportionately more bacteremia without focus. These findings may provide new insight into the pathogenesis of IPD in adults caused by 12F serotype with a high invasive potential.

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<![CDATA[Late effects of total body irradiation on hematopoietic recovery and immune function in rhesus macaques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f6d5eed0c48452a5fd

While exposure to radiation can be lifesaving in certain settings, it can also potentially result in long-lasting adverse effects, particularly to hematopoietic and immune cells. This study investigated hematopoietic recovery and immune function in rhesus macaques Cross-sectionally (at a single time point) 2 to 5 years after exposure to a single large dose (6.5 to 8.4 Gray) of total body radiation (TBI) derived from linear accelerator-derived photons (2 MeV, 80 cGy/minute) or Cobalt 60-derived gamma irradiation (60 cGy/min). Hematopoietic recovery was assessed through measurement of complete blood counts, lymphocyte subpopulation analysis, and thymus function assessment. Capacity to mount specific antibody responses against rabies, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and tetanus antigens was determined 2 years after TBI. Irradiated macaques showed increased white blood cells, decreased platelets, and decreased frequencies of peripheral blood T cells. Effects of prior radiation on production and export of new T cells by the thymus was dependent on age at the time of analysis, with evidence of interaction with radiation dose for CD8+ T cells. Irradiated and control animals mounted similar mean antibody responses to proteins from tetanus and rabies and to 10 of 11 serotype-specific pneumococcal polysaccharides. However, irradiated animals uniformly failed to make antibodies against polysaccharides from serotype 5 pneumococci, in contrast to the robust responses of non-irradiated controls. Trends toward decreased serum levels of anti-tetanus IgM and slower peak antibody responses to rabies were also observed. Taken together, these data show that dose-related changes in peripheral blood cells and immune responses to both novel and recall antigens can be detected 2 to 5 years after exposure to whole body radiation. Longer term follow-up data on this cohort and independent validation will be helpful to determine whether these changes persist or whether additional changes become evident with increasing time since radiation, particularly as animals begin to develop aging-related changes in immune function.

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<![CDATA[Haralick texture feature analysis for quantifying radiation response heterogeneity in murine models observed using Raman spectroscopic mapping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706766d5eed0c4847c6fbd

Tumour heterogeneity plays a large role in the response of tumour tissues to radiation therapy. Inherent biological, physical, and even dose deposition heterogeneity all play a role in the resultant observed response. We here implement the use of Haralick textural analysis to quantify the observed glycogen production response, as observed via Raman spectroscopic mapping, of tumours irradiated within a murine model. While an array of over 20 Haralick features have been proposed, we here concentrate on five of the most prominent features: homogeneity, local homogeneity, contrast, entropy, and correlation. We show that these Haralick features can be used to quantify the inherent heterogeneity of the Raman spectroscopic maps of tumour response to radiation. Furthermore, our results indicate that Haralick-calculated textural features show a statistically significant dose dependent variation in response heterogeneity, specifically, in glycogen production in tumours irradiated with clinically relevant doses of ionizing radiation. These results indicate that Haralick textural analysis provides a quantitative methodology for understanding the response of murine tumours to radiation therapy. Future work in this area can, for example, utilize the Haralick textural features for understanding the heterogeneity of radiation response as measured by biopsied patient tumour samples, which remains the standard of patient tumour investigation.

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<![CDATA[An anti-Gn glycoprotein antibody from a convalescent patient potently inhibits the infection of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df314d5eed0c484580cb6

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease localized to China, Japan, and Korea that is characterized by severe hemorrhage and a high fatality rate. Currently, no specific vaccine or treatment has been approved for this disease. To develop a therapeutic agent for SFTS, we isolated antibodies from a phage-displayed antibody library that was constructed from a patient who recovered from SFTS virus (SFTSV) infection. One antibody, designated as Ab10, was reactive to the Gn envelope glycoprotein of SFTSV and protected host cells and A129 mice from infection in both in vitro and in vivo experiments. Notably, Ab10 protected 80% of mice, even when injected 5 days after inoculation with a lethal dose of SFTSV. Using cross-linker assisted mass spectrometry and alanine scanning, we located the non-linear epitope of Ab10 on the Gn glycoprotein domain II and an unstructured stem region, suggesting that Ab10 may inhibit a conformational alteration that is critical for cell membrane fusion between the virus and host cell. Ab10 reacted to recombinant Gn glycoprotein in Gangwon/Korea/2012, HB28, and SD4 strains. Additionally, based on its epitope, we predict that Ab10 binds the Gn glycoprotein in 247 of 272 SFTSV isolates previously reported. Together, these data suggest that Ab10 has potential to be developed into a therapeutic agent that could protect against more than 90% of reported SFTSV isolates.

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<![CDATA[Utility of MALDI-TOF MS as a new tool for Streptococcus pneumoniae serotyping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c759fd5eed0c4843cff31

Nowadays, more than 95 different Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes are known, being less than one third responsible for the majority of severe pneumococcal infections. After the introduction of conjugate vaccines, a change in the epidemiology of the serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease has been observed making the surveillance of circulating serotypes especially relevant. Some recent studies have used matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) technology to identify the most frequent pneumococcal serotypes that cause invasive disease. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of previously described discriminatory peaks determined by MALDI-TOF MS for the identification of serotypes 6B, 19F, 19A and 35B using reference and clinical isolates and to try to identify other discriminatory peaks for serotypes 11A, 19F and 19A using transformed pneumococcal strains. Most of the proposed peaks defined in the literature for the identification of serotypes 6B, 19F, 19A, 35B were not found in the spectra of the 10 reference isolates nor in those of the 60 clinical isolates tested corresponding to these four serotypes. The analysis and comparison of the mass spectra of genetically modified pneumococci (transformed strains) did not allow the establishment of new discriminatory peaks for serotypes 11A, 19F, and 19A. MALDI-TOF MS in the usual range of 2,000 to 20,000 m/z did not prove to be a valid technique for direct S. pneumoniae serotyping.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of hemostasis in patients with end-stage renal disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe68d5eed0c484e5b9fa

An increased bleeding risk is reported for patients with end-stage renal disease. This study aims to analyze, whether bleeding risk can be assessed by global tests of hemostasis. Standard laboratory tests and an extended evaluation of hemostasis by rotational thromboelastometry, platelet function analyzer (PFA) and multiple electrode aggregometry as well as thrombin generation assays and measurement of fibrinolytic potential were performed in 20 patients on hemodialysis, 10 patients on peritoneal dialysis, 10 patients with chronic kidney disease stage G5 (CKD5) and in 10 healthy controls (HC). Hemoglobin was significantly lower in patients with end-stage renal disease versus HC (each p<0.01). Patients on peritoneal dialysis showed increased fibrinogen levels compared to HC (p<0.01), which were also reflected by FIBTEM results (each p<0.05). 41% of hemodialysis patients and 44% of CKD5 patients presented with prolonged PFA-ADP-test (p<0.05), while no patient on peritoneal dialysis and no HC offered this modification. Thrombin generating potential was significantly lower in patients on hemodialysis, while clot lysis time revealed a hypofibrinolytic state in patients on hemo- and peritoneal dialysis compared to HC (p<0.001). In conclusion, patients with end-stage renal disease have complex hemostatic changes with both hyper- and hypocoagulable features, which are dependent on use and type of dialysis. Hypercoagulable features include elevated fibrinogen levels and a hypofibrinolytic state, whereas hypocoagulable features include decreased thrombin generating capacity and platelet dysfunction. Our results may contribute to a more rational approach to hemostatic management in these patients.

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<![CDATA[CD4 occupancy triggers sequential pre-fusion conformational states of the HIV-1 envelope trimer with relevance for broadly neutralizing antibody activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c48df5cd5eed0c4841cd854

During the entry process, the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer undergoes a sequence of conformational changes triggered by both CD4 and coreceptor engagement. Resolving the conformation of these transient entry intermediates has proven challenging. Here, we fine-mapped the antigenicity of entry intermediates induced by increasing CD4 engagement of cell surface–expressed Env. Escalating CD4 triggering led to the sequential adoption of different pre-fusion conformational states of the Env trimer, up to the pre-hairpin conformation, that we assessed for antibody epitope presentation. Maximal accessibility of the coreceptor binding site was detected below Env saturation by CD4. Exposure of the fusion peptide and heptad repeat 1 (HR1) required higher CD4 occupancy. Analyzing the diverse antigenic states of the Env trimer, we obtained key insights into the transitions in epitope accessibility of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs). Several bnAbs preferentially bound CD4-triggered Env, indicating a potential capacity to neutralize both pre- and post-CD4 engagement, which needs to be explored. Assessing binding and neutralization activity of bnAbs, we confirm antibody dissociation rates as a driver of incomplete neutralization. Collectively, our findings highlight a need to resolve Env conformations that are neutralization-relevant to provide guidance for immunogen development.

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<![CDATA[The 5’-nucleotidase S5nA is dispensable for evasion of phagocytosis and biofilm formation in Streptococcus pyogenes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca309d5eed0c48441f036

5’-nucleotidases are widespread among all domains of life. The enzymes hydrolyze phosphate residues from nucleotides and nucleotide derivatives. In some pathobiontic bacteria, 5’-nucleotidases contribute to immune evasion by dephosphorylating adenosine mono-, di-, or tri-phosphates, thereby either decreasing the concentration of pro-inflammatory ATP or increasing the concentration of anti-inflammatory adenosine, both acting on purinergic receptors of phagocytic cells. The strict human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes expresses a surface-associated 5’-nucleotidase (S5nA) under infection conditions that has previously been discussed as a potential virulence factor. Here we show that deletion of the S5nA gene does not significantly affect growth in human blood, evasion of phagocytosis by neutrophils, formation of biofilms and virulence in an infection model with larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella in S. pyogenes serotypes M6, M18 and M49. Hence, the surface-associated 5’-nucleotidase S5nA seems dispensable for evasion of phagocytosis and biofilm formation in S. pyogenes.

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<![CDATA[Reproducibility and validity of a novel invasive method of assessing peripheral microvascular vasomotor function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6ddd5eed0c484ef3ffe

In healthy arteries, blood flow is regulated by microvascular tone assessed by changes in blood flow volume and vascular resistance to endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilators. We developed a novel method of using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and a Doppler flow wire to measure changes in blood flow volume and vascular resistance of the profunda arterial bed. We assessed the variability over 6 months in measuring microvascular endothelium-dependent dilation to acetylcholine and endothelium-independent dilation to adenosine in 20 subjects who were part of a larger study of Gulf War Illness without obstructive peripheral artery disease. Vasomotor function was assessed by Infusions of control (dextrose), acetylcholine (10-6M), adenosine (50μg), and nitroglycerin (25μg/ml). 400 IVUS and 240 flow velocity images were measured a mean 6 (SD = 2) months apart blind to measurement and infusion stage. The mean (SD) baseline profunda flow was 227 (172) ml/min and vascular resistance 4.6 x 104 (2.4 x 104) dynes-s/cm5. The intraclass correlation coefficients for 6-month variability for vascular function were excellent (range 0.827–0.995). Bland-Altman analyses showed mean differences of less than 2% for microvascular endothelium-dependent function (flow volume and resistance) and less than 1% for macrovascular endothelium-dependent function with acceptable limits of agreement. In 49 subjects assessing concurrent validity of the technique against atherosclerosis risk factors, we observed greater impairment in microvascular endothelium-dependent function per year of age (flow volume = -1.4% (p = 0.018), vascular resistance = 1.5% (p = 0.015)) and current smoking (flow volume = -36.7% (p = .006), vascular resistance = 50.0% (p<0.001)). This novel method of assessing microvascular vasomotor function had acceptable measurement reproducibility and validity.

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<![CDATA[A diurnal flux balance model of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 metabolism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a77d5eed0c484a4747a

Phototrophic organisms such as cyanobacteria utilize the sun’s energy to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into organic carbon, resulting in diurnal variations in the cell’s metabolism. Flux balance analysis is a widely accepted constraint-based optimization tool for analyzing growth and metabolism, but it is generally used in a time-invariant manner with no provisions for sequestering different biomass components at different time periods. Here we present CycleSyn, a periodic model of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 metabolism that spans a 12-hr light/12-hr dark cycle by segmenting it into 12 Time Point Models (TPMs) with a uniform duration of two hours. The developed framework allows for the flow of metabolites across TPMs while inventorying metabolite levels and only allowing for the utilization of currently or previously produced compounds. The 12 TPMs allow for the incorporation of time-dependent constraints that capture the cyclic nature of cellular processes. Imposing bounds on reactions informed by temporally-segmented transcriptomic data enables simulation of phototrophic growth as a single linear programming (LP) problem. The solution provides the time varying reaction fluxes over a 24-hour cycle and the accumulation/consumption of metabolites. The diurnal rhythm of metabolic gene expression driven by the circadian clock and its metabolic consequences is explored. Predicted flux and metabolite pools are in line with published studies regarding the temporal organization of phototrophic growth in Synechocystis PCC 6803 paving the way for constructing time-resolved genome-scale models (GSMs) for organisms with a circadian clock. In addition, the metabolic reorganization that would be required to enable Synechocystis PCC 6803 to temporally separate photosynthesis from oxygen-sensitive nitrogen fixation is also explored using the developed model formalism.

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<![CDATA[Time course of tolerance to the performance benefits of caffeine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521817d5eed0c4847972ee

The ergogenic effect of acute caffeine ingestion has been widely investigated; however, scientific information regarding tolerance to the performance benefits of caffeine, when ingested on a day-to-day basis, is scarce. The aim of this investigation was to determine the time course of tolerance to the ergogenic effects of a moderate dose of caffeine. Eleven healthy active participants took part in a cross-over, double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment. In one treatment, they ingested 3 mg/kg/day of caffeine for 20 consecutive days while in another they ingested a placebo for 20 days. Each substance was administered daily in an opaque unidentifiable capsule, and the experimental trials started 45 min after capsule ingestion. Two days before, and three times per week during each 20-day treatment, aerobic peak power was measured with an incremental test to volitional fatigue (25 W/min) and aerobic peak power was measured with an adapted version of the Wingate test (15 s). In comparison to the placebo, the ingestion of caffeine increased peak cycling power in the incremental exercise test by ~4.0 ±1.3% for the first 15 days (P<0.05) but then this ergogenic effect lessened. Caffeine also increased peak cycling power during the Wingate test on days 1, 4, 15, and 18 of ingestion by ~4.9 ±0.9% (P<0.05). In both tests, the magnitude of the ergogenic effect of caffeine vs. placebo was higher on the first day of ingestion and then progressively decreased. These results show a continued ergogenic effect with the daily ingestion of caffeine for 15–18 days; however, the changes in the magnitude of this effect suggest progressive tolerance.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of two bovine serum pregnancy tests in detection of artificial insemination pregnancies and pregnancy loss in beef cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217cbd5eed0c4847945d9

Blood tests for early detection of pregnancy in cattle based on pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) are commercially available. The objective of these studies were to compare the accuracy of blood tests to transrectal ultrasonography in detecting AI pregnancies, and to compare the accuracy of blood tests in predicting pregnancy loss. Beef cattle from 6 herds were synchronized using a recommended CIDR based protocol (Study 1: n = 460; Study 2: n = 472). Pregnancy status was determined by transrectal ultrasonography between days 28–40 following AI, blood samples were collected at this time. In study 2 a final pregnancy determination was performed at the end of the breeding season to determine pregnancy loss. Each serum sample was examined for PAG concentrations using a microtiter plate reader and/or scored by two technicians blind to pregnancy status and pregnancy loss. For study 1 Cohen’s kappa statistics were calculated to assess the agreement between each test and transrectal ultrasonography. For study 2 data was analyzed using the GLIMMIX procedure of SAS with herd as a random effect, and loss, age, and their interaction included in the model. Agreement was good to very good for each test. There was no difference (P = 0.79) in sensitivity, but a difference (P<0.01) in specificity of the assays (88%, 64%, 87%, 90%) and in the overall percent correct (93%, 84%, 93%, 93%). There was an effect of pregnancy loss (P = 0.04), age (P = 0.0002), and their interaction (P = 0.06) on PAG concentrations. In conclusion both pregnancy tests were accurate at detecting AI pregnancies, and were in very good agreement with transrectal ultrasonography. Both tests detected differences in PAGs among females that maintained and lost pregnancy; however, prediction proved to be difficult as most females were above the threshold and would have been considered pregnant on the day of testing.

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