Abstract (Expand)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) that activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr) pathway, and endocrine disruptors acting through the estrogen receptor pathway are among environmental pollutants of major concern. In this work, we exposed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) precision-cut liver slices (PCLS) to BaP (10nM and 1000nM), ethynylestradiol (EE2) (10nM and 1000nM), and equimolar mixtures of BaP and EE2 (10nM and 1000nM) for 48h, and performed RNA-Seq based transcriptome mapping followed by systematic bioinformatics analyses. Our gene expression analysis showed that several genes were differentially expressed in response to BaP and EE2 treatments in PCLS. Strong up-regulation of genes coding for the cytochrome P450 1a (Cyp1a) enzyme and the Ahr repressor (Ahrrb) was observed in BaP treated PCLS. EE2 treatment of liver slices strongly up-regulated genes coding for precursors of vitellogenin (Vtg) and eggshell zona pellucida (Zp) proteins. As expected, pathway enrichment and network analysis showed that the Ahr and estrogen receptor pathways are among the top affected by BaP and EE2 treatments, respectively. Interestingly, two genes coding for fibroblast growth factor 3 (Fgf3) and fibroblast growth factor 4 (Fgf4) were up-regulated by EE2 in this study. To our knowledge, the fgf3 and fgf4 genes have not previously been described in relation to estrogen signaling in fish liver, and these results suggest the modulation of the FGF signaling pathway by estrogens in fish. The signature expression profiles of top differentially expressed genes in response to the single compound (BaP or EE2) treatment were generally maintained in the expression responses to the equimolar binary mixtures. However, in the mixture-treated groups, BaP appeared to have anti-estrogenic effects as observed by lower number of differentially expressed putative EE2 responsive genes. Our in-depth quantitative analysis of changes in liver transcriptome in response to BaP and EE2, using PCLS tissue culture provides further mechanistic insights into effects of the compounds. Moreover, the analyses demonstrate the usefulness of PCLS in cod for omics experiments.

Authors: Fekadu Yadetie, Xiaokang Zhang, Eileen Marie Hanna, L. Aranguren-Abadia, Marta Eide, Nello Blaser, Morten Brun, Inge Jonassen, A. Goksoyr, Odd André Karlsen

Date Published: 22nd Jun 2018

Journal: Aquat Toxicol

Abstract (Expand)

UNLABELLED: Most acetogens can reduce CO2 with H2 to acetic acid via the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway, in which the ATP required for formate activation is regenerated in the acetate kinase reaction. However, a few acetogens, such as Clostridium autoethanogenum, Clostridium ljungdahlii, and Clostridium ragsdalei, also form large amounts of ethanol from CO2 and H2. How these anaerobes with a growth pH optimum near 5 conserve energy has remained elusive. We investigated this question by determining the specific activities and cofactor specificities of all relevant oxidoreductases in cell extracts of H2/CO2-grown C. autoethanogenum. The activity studies were backed up by transcriptional and mutational analyses. Most notably, despite the presence of six hydrogenase systems of various types encoded in the genome, the cells appear to contain only one active hydrogenase. The active [FeFe]-hydrogenase is electron bifurcating, with ferredoxin and NADP as the two electron acceptors. Consistently, most of the other active oxidoreductases rely on either reduced ferredoxin and/or NADPH as the electron donor. An exception is ethanol dehydrogenase, which was found to be NAD specific. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase activity could only be demonstrated with artificial electron donors. Key to the understanding of this energy metabolism is the presence of membrane-associated reduced ferredoxin:NAD(+) oxidoreductase (Rnf), of electron-bifurcating and ferredoxin-dependent transhydrogenase (Nfn), and of acetaldehyde:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, which is present with very high specific activities in H2/CO2-grown cells. Based on these findings and on thermodynamic considerations, we propose metabolic schemes that allow, depending on the H2 partial pressure, the chemiosmotic synthesis of 0.14 to 1.5 mol ATP per mol ethanol synthesized from CO2 and H2. IMPORTANCE: Ethanol formation from syngas (H2, CO, and CO2) and from H2 and CO2 that is catalyzed by bacteria is presently a much-discussed process for sustainable production of biofuels. Although the process is already in use, its biochemistry is only incompletely understood. The most pertinent question is how the bacteria conserve energy for growth during ethanol formation from H2 and CO2, considering that acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), is an intermediate. Can reduction of the activated acetic acid to ethanol with H2 be coupled with the phosphorylation of ADP? Evidence is presented that this is indeed possible, via both substrate-level phosphorylation and electron transport phosphorylation. In the case of substrate-level phosphorylation, acetyl-CoA reduction to ethanol proceeds via free acetic acid involving acetaldehyde:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (carboxylate reductase).

Authors: J. Mock, Y. Zheng, A. P. Mueller, S. Ly, L. Tran, S. Segovia, S. Nagaraju, M. Kopke, Peter Dürre, R. K. Thauer

Date Published: 8th Jul 2015

Journal: J Bacteriol

Abstract (Expand)

This protocol describe an approach in which the first primer binds in a parallel complementary orientation to the single-stranded DNA, leading to synthesis in a parallel direction. Further reactions happened in a conventional way leading to the synthesis of PCR product having polarity opposite to the template used. Here in FAIRDOM we use this SOP as an example/template

Authors: vikash bhardwaj, Vikash bhardwaj, Olga Krebs

Date Published: 5th May 2016

Journal: Protocol Exchange


Experimental biologists, their reviewers and their publishers must grasp basic statistics, urges David L. Vaux, or sloppy science will continue to grow.

Author: David L. Vaux

Date Published: 1st Dec 2012

Journal: Nature

Abstract (Expand)

All cells and organisms exhibit stress-coping mechanisms to ensure survival. Cytoplasmic protein-RNA assemblies termed stress granules are increasingly recognized to promote cellular survival under stress. Thus, they might represent tumor vulnerabilities that are currently poorly explored. The translationinhibitory eIF2α kinases are established as main drivers of stress granule assembly. Using a systems approach, we identify the translation enhancers PI3K and MAPK/p38 as pro-stressgranule- kinases. They act through the metabolic master regulator mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) to promote stress granule assembly.When highly active, PI3K is the main driver of stress granules; however, the impact of p38 becomes apparent as PI3K activity declines. PI3K and p38 thus act in a hierarchical manner to drive mTORC1 activity and stress granule assembly. Of note, this signaling hierarchy is also present in human breast cancer tissue. Importantly, only the recognition of the PI3K-p38 hierarchy under stress enabled the discovery of p38’s role in stress granule formation. In summary, we assign a new prosurvival function to the key oncogenic kinases PI3K and p38, as they hierarchically promote stress granule formation.

Authors: Alexander Heberle, Patricia Razquin Navas, Miriam Langelaar-Makkinje, Katharina Kasack, Ahmed Sadik, Erik Faessler, Udo Hahn, Philip Marx-Stoelting, Christiane Opitz, Christine Sers, Ines Heiland, Sascha Schäuble, Kathrin Thedieck

Date Published: 28th Mar 2019

Journal: Life Sci. Alliance

Abstract (Expand)

Background: Although the reference genome of Solanum tuberosum group Phureja double-monoploid (DM) clone is available, knowledge on the genetic diversity of the highly heterozygous tetraploid group Tuberosum, representing most cultivated varieties, remains largely unexplored. This lack of knowledge hinders further progress in potato research and its subsequent applications in breeding. Results: For the DM genome assembly, two only partially-overlapping gene models exist differing in a unique set of genes and intron/exon structure predictions. First step was to merge and manually curate the merged gene model, creating a union of genes in Phureja scaffold. We next compiled available RNA-Seq datasets (cca. 1.5 billion reads) for three tetraploid potato genotypes (cultivar Désirée, cultivar Rywal, and breeding clone PW363) with diverse breeding pedigrees. Short-read transcriptomes were assembled using CLC, Trinity, Velvet, and rnaSPAdes de novo assemblers using different settings to test for optimal outcome. In addition, for cultivar Rywal, PacBio Iso-Seq full-length transcriptome sequencing was also performed. Revised EvidentialGene redundancy-reducing pipeline was employed to produce accurate and complete cultivar-specific transcriptomes from assemblers output, as well as to attain the pan-transcriptome. Due to being the most diverse dataset in terms of tissues (stem, seedlings and roots) and experimental conditions, cv. Désirée was the most complete transcriptome (95.8% BUSCO completeness). For cv. Rywal and breeding clone PW363 data were available for leaf samples only and the resulting transcriptomes were less complete than cv. Désirée (89.8% and 89.3% BUSCO completeness, respectively). Cross comparison of these cultivar-specific transcriptomes and merged DM gene model suggests that the core potato transcriptome is comprised of 16,339 genes. The pan-transcriptome contains a total of 95,779 transcripts, of which 54,614 transcripts are not present in the Phureja genome. These represent the variants of the novel genes found in the potato pan-genome. Conclusions: Our analysis shows that the available gene model of double-monoploid potato from group Phureja is, to some degree, not complete. The generated transcriptomes and pan-transcriptome represent a valuable resource for potato gene variability exploration, high-throughput -omics analyses, and future breeding programmes.

Authors: Marko Petek, Maja Zagorscak, Ziva Ramsak, Sheri Sanders, Elizabeth Tseng, Mohamed Zouine, Anna Coll Rius, Kristina Gruden

Date Published: No date defined

Journal: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

The FAIRDOMHub is a repository for publishing FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) Data, Operating procedures and Models ( for the Systems Biology community. It is a web-accessible repository for storing and sharing systems biology research assets. It enables researchers to organize, share and publish data, models and protocols, interlink them in the context of the systems biology investigations that produced them, and to interrogate them via API interfaces. By using the FAIRDOMHub, researchers can achieve more effective exchange with geographically distributed collaborators during projects, ensure results are sustained and preserved and generate reproducible publications that adhere to the FAIR guiding principles of data stewardship.

Authors: Katy Wolstencroft, Olga Krebs, Jacky Snoep, Natalie Stanford, Finn Bacall, Martin Golebiewski, Rostyslav Kuzyakiv, Quyen Nguyen, Stuart Owen, S. Soiland-Reyes, Jakub Straszewski, Dawie Van Niekerk, Alan Williams, L. Malmstrom, Bernd Rinn, Wolfgang Müller, Carole Goble

Date Published: 4th Jan 2017

Journal: Nucleic Acids Res

Abstract (Expand)

Chromatin remodelling precedes transcriptional and structural changes in heart failure. A body of work suggests roles for the developmental Wnt signalling pathway in cardiac remodelling. Hitherto, there is no evidence supporting a direct role of Wnt nuclear components in regulating chromatin landscapes in this process. We show that transcriptionally active, nuclear, phosphorylated(p)Ser675-β-catenin and TCF7L2 are upregulated in diseased murine and human cardiac ventricles. We report that inducible cardiomyocytes (CM)-specific pSer675-β-catenin accumulation mimics the disease situation by triggering TCF7L2 expression. This enhances active chromatin, characterized by increased H3K27ac and TCF7L2 occupancies to cardiac developmental and remodelling genes in vivo. Accordingly, transcriptomic analysis of β-catenin stabilized hearts shows a strong recapitulation of cardiac developmental processes like cell cycling and cytoskeletal remodelling. Mechanistically, TCF7L2 co-occupies distal genomic regions with cardiac transcription factors NKX2–5 and GATA4 in stabilized-β-catenin hearts. Validation assays revealed a previously unrecognized function of GATA4 as a cardiac repressor of the TCF7L2/β-catenin complex in vivo, thereby defining a transcriptional switch controlling disease progression. Conversely, preventing β-catenin activation post-pressure-overload results in a downregulation of these novel TCF7L2-targets and rescues cardiac function. Thus, we present a novel role for TCF7L2/β-catenin in CMs-specific chromatin modulation, which could be exploited for manipulating the ubiquitous Wnt pathway.

Authors: Lavanya M Iyer, Sankari Nagarajan, Monique Woelfer, Eric Schoger, Sara Khadjeh, Maria Patapia Zafiriou, Vijayalakshmi Kari, Jonas Herting, Sze Ting Pang, Marc Weber, Franziska S Rathjens, Ralf-Jörg Fischer, Karl Toischer, Gerd Hasenfuss, Steffi Noack, Steven A Johnsen, Laura C Zelarayán

Date Published: 6th Apr 2018

Journal: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

In this review, we present our most recent understanding of key biomolecular processes that underlie two motor neuron degenerative disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal muscular atrophy. We focus on the role of four multifunctional proteins involved in RNA metabolism (TDP-43, FUS, SMN, and Senataxin) that play a causal role in these diseases. Recent results have led to a novel scenario of intricate connections between these four proteins, bringing transcriptome homeostasis into the spotlight as a common theme in motor neuron degeneration. We review reported functional and physical interactions between these four proteins, highlighting their common association with nuclear bodies and small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle biogenesis and function. We discuss how these interactions are turning out to be particularly relevant for the control of transcription and chromatin homeostasis, including the recent identification of an association between SMN and Senataxin required to ensure the resolution of DNA-RNA hybrid formation and proper termination by RNA polymerase II. These connections strongly support the existence of common pathways underlying the spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis phenotype. We also discuss the potential of genome-wide expression profiling, in particular RNA sequencing derived data, to contribute to unravelling the underlying mechanisms. We provide a review of publicly available datasets that have addressed both diseases using these approaches, and highlight the value of investing in cross-disease studies to promote our understanding of the pathways leading to neurodegeneration.

Authors: Margarida Gama-Carvalho, M. L Garcia-Vaquero, F. R Pinto, F. Besse, J. Weis, A. Voigt, J. B. Schulz, J. De Las Rivas

Date Published: 6th Jan 2017

Journal: J Neurochem

Abstract (Expand)

Cell activation is a vital step for T-cell memory/effector differentiation as well as for productive HIV infection. To identify novel regulators of this process, we used next-generation sequencing to profile changes in microRNA expression occurring in purified human naive CD4 T cells in response to TCR stimulation and/or HIV infection. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, the transcriptional up-regulation of miR-34c-5p in response to TCR stimulation in naive CD4 T cells. The induction of this miR was further consistently found to be reduced by both HIV-1 and HIV-2 infections. Overexpression of miR-34c-5p led to changes in the expression of several genes involved in TCR signaling and cell activation, confirming its role as a novel regulator of naive CD4 T-cell activation. We additionally show that miR-34c-5p promotes HIV-1 replication, suggesting that its down-regulation during HIV infection may be part of an anti-viral host response.

Authors: A. J. Amaral, J. Andrade, R. B. Foxall, P. Matoso, A. M. Matos, R. S. Soares, C. Rocha, C. G. Ramos, R. Tendeiro, A. Serra-Caetano, J. A. Guerra-Assuncao, M. Santa-Marta, J. Goncalves, Margarida Gama-Carvalho, A. E. Sousa

Date Published: 1st Feb 2017

Journal: EMBO J

Abstract (Expand)

Discovering disease-associated genes (DG) is strategic for understanding pathological mechanisms. DGs form modules in protein interaction networks and diseases with common phenotypes share more DGs or have more closely interacting DGs. This prompted the development of Specific Betweenness (S2B) to find genes associated with two related diseases. S2B prioritizes genes frequently and specifically present in shortest paths linking two disease modules. Top S2B scores identified genes in the overlap of artificial network modules more than 80% of the times, even with incomplete or noisy knowledge. Applied to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy, S2B candidates were enriched in biological processes previously associated with motor neuron degeneration. Some S2B candidates closely interacted in network cliques, suggesting common molecular mechanisms for the two diseases. S2B is a valuable tool for DG prediction, bringing new insights into pathological mechanisms. More generally, S2B can be applied to infer the overlap between other types of network modules, such as functional modules or context-specific subnetworks. An R package implementing S2B is publicly available at

Authors: Marina L. Garcia-Vaquero, Margarida Gama-Carvalho, Javier De Las Rivas, Francisco R. Pinto

Date Published: 1st Dec 2018

Journal: Sci Rep

Abstract (Expand)

Human papillomavirus (HPV), notably type 16, is a risk factor for up to 75% of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). It has been demonstrated that small non-coding RNAs known as microRNAs play a vital role in the cellular transformation process. In this study, we used an LNA array to further investigate the impact of HPV16 on the expression of microRNAs in oropharyngeal (tonsillar) cancer. A number of miRNAs were found to be deregulated, with miR-496 showing a four-fold decrease. Over-expression of the high risk E6 oncoprotein down-regulated miR-496, impacting upon the post-transcriptional control of the transcription factor E2F2. These HPV specific miRNAs were integrated with the HPV16 interactome to identify possible mechanistic pathways. These analyses provide insights into novel molecular interactions between HPV16 and miRNAs in oropharyngeal cancers.

Authors: D. Mason, X. Zhang, T. M. Marques, B. Rose, S. Khoury, M. Hill, F. Deutsch, J. G. Lyons, Margarida Gama-Carvalho, N. Tran

Date Published: 24th Jun 2018

Journal: Virology

Abstract (Expand)

It is currently difficult to determine the effect of oncogenic viruses on the global function and regulation of pathways within mammalian cells. A thorough understanding of the molecular pathways and individual genes altered by oncogenic viruses is needed for the identification of targets that can be utilised for early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment methods. We detail a logical step-by-step guide to uncover viral-protein-miRNA interactions using publically available datasets and the network building program, Cytoscape. This method may be applied to identify specific pathways that are altered in viral infection, and contribute to the oncogenic transformation of cells. To demonstrate this, we constructed a gene regulatory interactome encompassing Human Papillomavirus Type 16 (HPV16) and its control of specific miRNAs. This approach can be broadly applied to understand and map the regulatory functions of other oncogenic viruses, and determine their role in altering the cellular environment in cancer.

Authors: Meredith Hill, Dayna Mason, Tânia Monteiro Marques, Margarida Gama Carvalho, Nham Tran

Date Published: 1st Oct 2019

Journal: MethodsX

Abstract (Expand)

Purpose: Evidence from preclinical studies and trials in healthy volunteers suggests that exercise may modulate the levels of tryptophan (TRP) metabolites along the kynurenine (KYN) pathway. As KYN and downstream KYN metabolites are known to promote cancer progression by inhibiting anti-tumor immune responses and by promoting the motility of cancer cells, we investigated if resistance exercise can also control the levels of KYN pathway metabolites in breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy (NCT01468766). Patients and Methods: Chemotherapy-naïve breast cancer patients (n = 96) were either randomized to an exercise/intervention group (IG) or a control group (CG). The IG participated in a 12-week supervised progressive resistance exercise program twice a week, whereas the CG received a supervised relaxation program. Serum levels of TRP and KYN as well as urine levels of kynurenic acid (KYNA) and neurotoxic quinolinic acid (QUINA) were assessed before (t0), after radiotherapy, and mid-term of the exercise intervention (t1) and after the exercise intervention (t2). Additionally, 24 healthy women (HIG) participated in the exercise program to investigate potential differences in its effects on KYN metabolites in comparison to the breast cancer patients. Results: At baseline (t0) the breast cancer patients showed a significantly elevated serum KYN/TRP ratio and urine QUINA/KYNA ratio, as well as increased urine QUINA levels in comparison to the healthy women. In response to exercise the healthy women and the breast cancer patients differed significantly in the levels of urine QUINA and the QUINA/KYNA ratio. Most importantly, serum KYN levels and the KYN/TRP ratio were significantly reduced in exercising patients (IG) compared to non-exercising patients (CG) both at t1 and t2. Conclusion: Resistance exercise may represent a potent non-pharmacological avenue to counteract an activation of the KYN pathway in breast cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Authors: Philipp Zimmer, Frank Schmidt, Mirja Tamara Prentzell, Bianca Berdel, Joachim Wiskemann, Karl-Heinz Kellner, Jürgen Debus, Cornelia Ulrich, Christiane Opitz, Karen Steindorf

Date Published: 25th Sep 2019

Journal: Front. Oncol.

Abstract (Expand)

L-Tryptophan (Trp) metabolism through the kynurenine pathway (KP) is involved in the regulation of immunity, neuronal function and intestinal homeostasis. Imbalances in Trp metabolism in disorders ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative disease have stimulated interest in therapeutically targeting the KP, particularly the main rate-limiting enzymes indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), IDO2 and tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) as well as kynurenine monooxygenase (KMO). However, although small-molecule IDO1 inhibitors showed promise in early-stage cancer immunotherapy clinical trials, a phase III trial was negative. This Review summarizes the physiological and pathophysiological roles of Trp metabolism, highlighting the vast opportunities and challenges for drug development in multiple diseases.

Authors: Michael Platten, Ellen A. A. Nollen, Ute F. Röhrig, Francesca Fallarino, Christiane Opitz

Date Published: 1st May 2019

Journal: Nat Rev Drug Discov

Abstract (Expand)

Zebrafish is a useful modeling organism for the study of vertebrate development, immune response, and metabolism. Metabolic studies can be aided by mathematical reconstructions of the metabolic network of zebrafish. These list the substrates and products of all biochemical reactions that occur in the zebrafish. Mathematical techniques such as flux-balance analysis then make it possible to predict the possible metabolic flux distributions that optimize, for example, the turnover of food into biomass. The only available genome-scale reconstruction of zebrafish metabolism is ZebraGEM. In this study, we present ZebraGEM 2.0, an updated and validated version of ZebraGEM. ZebraGEM 2.0 is extended with gene-protein-reaction associations (GPRs) that are required to integrate genetic data with the metabolic model. To demonstrate the use of these GPRs, we performed an in silico genetic screening for knockouts of metabolic genes and validated the results against published in vivo genetic knockout and knockdown screenings. Among the single knockout simulations, we identified 74 essential genes, whose knockout stopped growth completely. Among these, 11 genes are known have an abnormal knockout or knockdown phenotype in vivo (partial), and 41 have human homologs associated with metabolic diseases. We also added the oxidative phosphorylation pathway, which was unavailable in the published version of ZebraGEM. The updated model performs better than the original model on a predetermined list of metabolic functions. We also determined a minimal feed composition. The oxidative phosphorylation pathways were validated by comparing with published experiments in which key components of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway were pharmacologically inhibited. To test the utility of ZebraGEM2.0 for obtaining new results, we integrated gene expression data from control and Mycobacterium marinum-infected zebrafish larvae. The resulting model predicts impeded growth and altered histidine metabolism in the infected larvae.

Authors: L. van Steijn, F. J. Verbeek, H. P. Spaink, R. M. H. Merks

Date Published: 20th Jun 2019

Journal: Zebrafish

Abstract (Expand)

The dopaminergic effect of PAH and PFAS mixtures, prepared according to environmentally relevant concentrations, has been studied in juvenile female Atlantic cod ( Gadus morhua). Benzo[a]pyrene, dibenzothiophene, fluorene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene were used to prepare a PAH mixture, while PFNA, PFOA, PFOS, and PFTrA were used to prepare a PFAS mixture. Cod were injected intraperitoneally twice, with either a low (1x) or high (20x) dose of each compound mixture or their combinations. After 2 weeks of exposure, levels of plasma 17beta-estradiol (E2) were significantly elevated in high PAH/high PFAS treated group. Brain dopamine/metabolite ratios (DOPAC/dopamine and HVA+DOPAC/dopamine) changed with E2 plasma levels, except for high PAH/low PFAS and low PAH/high PFAS treated groups. On the transcript levels, th mRNA inversely correlated with dopamine/metabolite ratios and gnrh2 mRNA levels. Respective decreases and increases of drd1 and drd2a after exposure to the high PAH dose were observed. Specifically, high PFAS exposure decreased both drds, leading to high plasma E2 concentrations. Other studied end points suggest that these compounds, at different doses and combinations, have different toxicity threshold and modes of action. These effects indicate potential alterations in the feedback signaling processes within the dopaminergic pathway by these contaminant mixtures.

Authors: Essa Ahsan Khan, L. B. Bertotto, Karina Dale, R. Lille-Langoy, Fekadu Yadetie, Odd André Karlsen, Anders Goksøyr, D. Schlenk, A. Arukwe

Date Published: 18th Jun 2019

Journal: Environ Sci Technol

Abstract (Expand)

The aim of this study was to assess whether fish in Kollevag, a sheltered bay on the western coast of Norway, previously utilized as a waste disposal site, could be affected by environmental contaminants leaking from the waste. Farmed, juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were caged for six weeks at three different locations in Kollevag bay and at one reference location. Sediments and cod samples (bile and liver) were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) metabolites, revealing a contamination gradient at the four stations. Furthermore, hepatosomatic index (HSI) and Fulton's condition factor (CF) were significantly lower in cod caged closest to the disposal site. Levels and activities of biomarker proteins, such as vitellogenin (Vtg), metallothionein (Mt), and biotransformation and oxidative stress enzymes, including cytochrome P450 1a and 3a (Cyp1a, Cyp3a), glutathione s-transferase (Gst) and catalase (Cat), were quantified in blood plasma and liver tissue. Hepatic Cat and Gst activities were significantly reduced in cod caged at the innermost stations in Kollevag, indicating modulation of oxidative stress responses. However, these results contrasted with reduced hepatic lipid peroxidation. Significant increases in transcript levels were observed for genes involved in lipid metabolism (fasn and acly) in cod liver, while transcript levels of ovarian steroidogenic enzyme genes such as p450scc, cyp19, 3beta-hsd and 20beta-hsd showed significant station-dependent increases. Cyp1a and Vtg protein levels were however not significantly altered in cod caged in Kollevag. Plasma levels of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) were determined by enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and showed elevated E2 levels, but only at the innermost station. We conclude that the bay of Kollevag did not fullfill adequate environmental condition based on environmental quality standards (EQSs) for chemicals in coastal waters. Following a six weeks caging period, environmental contaminants accumulated in cod tissues and effects were observed on biomarker responses, especially those involved in reproductive processes in cod ovary.

Authors: Karina Dale, M. B. Muller, Zhanna Tairova, Essa Ahsan Khan, K. Hatlen, M. Grung, Fekadu Yadetie, R. Lille-Langoy, Nello Blaser, H. J. Skaug, J. L. Lyche, A. Arukwe, Ketil Hylland, Odd André Karlsen, Anders Goksøyr

Date Published: 26th Feb 2019

Journal: Mar Environ Res

Abstract (Expand)

The vicinal amino alcohol is a common motif in natural products and pharmaceuticals. Amino acidsconstitute a natural, inexpensive, and enantiopure choice of starting material for the synthesis of suchfunctionalities. However, the matters concerning diastereoselectivity are not obvious. This Perspectivetakes a look in thefield of diastereoselective synthesis of vicinal amino alcohols starting from amino acidsusing various methods.

Authors: Oskari K. Karjalainen, Ari M. P. Koskinen

Date Published: 2012

Journal: Org. Biomol. Chem.

Abstract (Expand)

Chiral 2-substituted 3-hydroxycarboxylic acid derivatives are valuable building blocks for the preparation of naturally occurring and synthetic biologically active molecules. Current methodologies for the preparation of these compounds are still limited for large-scale production due to the high costs, limited microbial strains, low yields, difficult downstream processing, and limited range of structures. We report an effective chemoenzymatic method for the synthesis of enantiomerically pure 2 substituted 3 hydroxycarboxylic esters. The strategy comprises: i) a stereoselective aldol addition of 2 oxoacids to methanal catalyzed by two enantiocomplementary 2 oxoacid aldolases, ii) oxidative decarboxylation, and iii) esterification. Compounds with S-configuration were obtained in 69-80% isolated yields (94-99% ee), and the R enantiomers in 57-88% (88-95% ee), using a substrate concentration range of 0.1-1.0 M. The method developed offers a versatile alternative route to this important class of chiral building blocks, and highlights the exciting opportunities available for using natural enzymes with minimal active site modification.

Authors: Roser Marín-Valls, Karel Hernández, Michael Bolte, Jesús Joglar, Jordi Bujons, Pere Clapés

Date Published: 8th Jul 2019

Journal: ACS Catal.

Abstract (Expand)

We described an efficient in situ generation of hydroxypyruvate from d‐serine catalyzed by a d‐amino acid oxidase from Rhodotorula gracilis. This strategy revealed an interesting alternative to the conventional chemical synthesis of hydroxypyruvate starting from toxic bromopyruvate or to the enzymatic transamination from l‐serine requiring an additional substrate as amino acceptor. Hydroxypyruvate thus produced was used as donor substrate of transketolases from Escherichia coli or from Geobacillus stearothermophilus catalyzing the stereoselective formation of a carbon−carbon bond. The enzymatic cascade reaction was performed in one‐pot in the presence of d‐serine and appropriate aldehydes for the synthesis of valuable (3S)‐hydroxyketones, which were obtained with high enantio‐ and diastereoselectivity and in good yield. The efficiency of the process was based on the irreversibility of both reactions allowing complete conversion of d‐serine and aldehydes.

Authors: None

Date Published: 6th Jun 2019

Journal: Volume361, Issue11 Special Issue: Biocatalysis, Pages 2550-2558

Abstract (Expand)

The transketolase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus (TKGst) is a thermostable enzyme with notable high activity and stability at elevated temperatures, but it accepts non‐α‐hydroxylated aldehydes only with low efficiency. Here we report a protein engineering study of TKGst based on double‐site saturation mutagenesis either at Leu191 or at Phe435 in combination with Asp470; these are the residues responsible for substrate binding in the active site. Screening of the mutagenesis libraries resulted in several positive variants with activity towards propanal up to 7.4 times higher than that of the wild type. Variants F435L/D470E and L191V/D470I exhibited improved (73 % ee, 3S) and inverted (74 % ee, 3R) stereoselectivity, respectively, for propanal. L191V, L382F/E, F435L, and D470/D470I were concluded to be positive mutations at Leu191, Leu382, Phe435, and Asp470 both for activity and for stereoselectivity improvement. These results should benefit further engineering of TKGst for various applications in asymmetric carboligation.

Authors: Chaoqiang Zhou, Thangavelu Saravanan, Marion Lorillière, Dongzhi Wei, Franck Charmantray, Laurence Hecquet, Wolf Dieter Fessner, Dong Yi

Date Published: 2nd Mar 2017

Journal: ChemBioChem

Abstract (Expand)

Nitrogen heterocycles are structural motifs found in many bioactive natural products and of utmost importance in pharmaceutical drug development. In this work, a stereoselective synthesis of functionalized N‐heterocycles was accomplished in two steps, comprising the biocatalytic aldol addition of ethanal and simple aliphatic ketones such as propanone, butanone, 3‐pentanone, cyclobutanone, and cyclopentanone to N‐Cbz‐protected aminoaldehydes using engineered variants of d‐fructose‐6‐phosphate aldolase from Escherichia coli (FSA) or 2‐deoxy‐d‐ribose‐5‐phosphate aldolase from Thermotoga maritima (DERATma) as catalysts. FSA catalyzed most of the additions of ketones while DERATma was restricted to ethanal and propanone. Subsequent treatment with hydrogen in the presence of palladium over charcoal, yielded low‐level oxygenated N‐heterocyclic derivatives of piperidine, pyrrolidine and N‐bicyclic structures bearing fused cyclobutane and cyclopentane rings, with stereoselectivities of 96–98 ee and 97:3 dr in isolated yields ranging from 35 to 79%.

Authors: Raquel Roldán, Karel Hernández, Jesús Joglar, Jordi Bujons, Teodor Parella, Wolf Dieter Fessner, Pere Clapés

Date Published: 6th Jun 2019

Journal: Adv. Synth. Catal.

Abstract (Expand)

BACKGROUND: Defects in genes involved in mitochondrial fatty-acid oxidation (mFAO) reduce the ability of patients to cope with metabolic challenges. mFAO enzymes accept multiple substrates of different chain length, leading to molecular competition among the substrates. Here, we combined computational modeling with quantitative mouse and patient data to investigate whether substrate competition affects pathway robustness in mFAO disorders. RESULTS: First, we used comprehensive biochemical analyses of wild-type mice and mice deficient for medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) to parameterize a detailed computational model of mFAO. Model simulations predicted that MCAD deficiency would have no effect on the pathway flux at low concentrations of the mFAO substrate palmitoyl-CoA. However, high concentrations of palmitoyl-CoA would induce a decline in flux and an accumulation of intermediate metabolites. We proved computationally that the predicted overload behavior was due to substrate competition in the pathway. Second, to study the clinical relevance of this mechanism, we used patients' metabolite profiles and generated a humanized version of the computational model. While molecular competition did not affect the plasma metabolite profiles during MCAD deficiency, it was a key factor in explaining the characteristic acylcarnitine profiles of multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficient patients. The patient-specific computational models allowed us to predict the severity of the disease phenotype, providing a proof of principle for the systems medicine approach. CONCLUSION: We conclude that substrate competition is at the basis of the physiology seen in patients with mFAO disorders, a finding that may explain why these patients run a risk of a life-threatening metabolic catastrophe.

Authors: Karen Van Eunen, C. M. Volker-Touw, A. Gerding, A. Bleeker, J. C. Wolters, W. J. van Rijt, A. M. Martines, K. E. Niezen-Koning, R. M. Heiner, H. Permentier, A. K. Groen, D. J. Reijngoud, Terry G.J. Derks, Barbara Bakker

Date Published: 7th Dec 2016

Journal: BMC Biol

Abstract (Expand)

Atlantic salmon can synthesize polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3), arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) via activities of very long chain fatty acyl elongases (Elovls) and fatty acyl desaturases (Fads), albeit to a limited degree. Understanding molecular mechanisms of PUFA biosynthesis and regulation is a pre-requisite for sustainable use of vegetable oils in aquafeeds as current sources of fish oils are unable to meet increasing demands for omega-3 PUFAs. By generating CRISPR-mediated elovl2 partial knockout (KO), we have shown that elovl2 is crucial for multi-tissue synthesis of 22:6n-3 in vivo and that endogenously synthesized PUFAs are important for transcriptional regulation of lipogenic genes in Atlantic salmon. The elovl2-KOs showed reduced levels of 22:6n-3 and accumulation of 20:5n-3 and docosapentaenoic acid (22:5n-3) in the liver, brain and white muscle, suggesting inhibition of elongation. Additionally, elovl2-KO salmon showed accumulation of 20:4n-6 in brain and white muscle. The impaired synthesis of 22:6n-3 induced hepatic expression of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (srebp-1), fatty acid synthase-b, Δ6fad-a, Δ5fad and elovl5. Our study demonstrates key roles of elovl2 at two penultimate steps of PUFA synthesis in vivo and suggests Srebp-1 as a main regulator of endogenous PUFA synthesis in Atlantic salmon.

Authors: Alex K. Datsomor, Nikola Zic, Keshuai Li, Rolf E. Olsen, Yang Jin, Jon Olav Vik, Rolf B. Edvardsen, Fabian Grammes, Anna Wargelius, Per Winge

Date Published: 1st Dec 2019

Journal: Sci Rep


Not specified

Author: Timon Oefelein

Date Published: 20th Nov 2018

Journal: SCS

Abstract (Expand)

Mutations in pre-mRNA processing factors (PRPFs) cause 40% of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but it is unclear why mutations in ubiquitously expressed PRPFs cause retinal disease. To understand the molecular basis of this phenotype, we have generated RP type 11 (PRPF31-mutated) patient-specific retinal organoids and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Impaired alternative splicing of genes encoding pre-mRNA splicing proteins occurred in patient-specific retinal cells and Prpf31+/− mouse retinae, but not fibroblasts and iPSCs, providing mechanistic insights into retinal-specific phenotypes of PRPFs. RPE was the most affected, characterised by loss of apical-basal polarity, reduced trans-epithelial resistance, phagocytic capacity, microvilli, and cilia length and incidence. Disrupted cilia morphology was observed in patient-derived-photoreceptors that displayed progressive features associated with degeneration and cell stress. In situ gene-editing of a pathogenic mutation rescued key structural and functional phenotypes in RPE and photoreceptors, providing proof-of-concept for future therapeutic strategies. eTOC PRPF31 is a ubiquitously expressed pre-mRNA processing factor that when mutated causes autosomal dominant RP. Using a patient-specific iPSC approach, Buskin and Zhu et al. show that retinal-specific defects result from altered splicing of genes involved in the splicing process itself, leading to impaired splicing, loss of RPE polarity and diminished phagocytic ability as well as reduced cilia incidence and length in both photoreceptors and RPE.

Authors: Adriana Buskin, Lili Zhu, Valeria Chichagova, Basudha Basu, Sina Mozaffari-Jovin, David Dolan, Alastair Droop, Joseph Collin, Revital Bronstein, Sudeep Mehrotra, Michael Farkas, Gerrit Hilgen, Kathryn White, Dean Hallam, Katarzyna Bialas, Git Chung, Carla Mellough, Yuchun Ding, Natalio Krasnogor, Stefan Przyborski, Jumana Al-Aama, Sameer Alharthi, Yaobo Xu, Gabrielle Wheway, Katarzyna Szymanska, Martin McKibbin, Chris F Inglehearn, David J Elliott, Susan Lindsay, Robin R Ali, David H Steel, Lyle Armstrong, Evelyne Sernagor, Eric Pierce, Reinhard Luehrmann, Sushma Nagaraja Grellscheid, Colin A Johnson, Majlinda Lako

Date Published: No date defined

Journal: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

BioRxiv preprint, 4 April 2018. Abstract: Daily light-dark cycles (LD) drive dynamic regulation of plant and algal transcriptomes via photoreceptor pathways and 24-hour, circadian rhythms. Diel regulation of protein levels and modifications has been less studied. Ostreococcus tauri, the smallest free-living eukaryote, provides a minimal model proteome for the green lineage. Here, we compare transcriptome data under LD to the algal proteome and phosphoproteome, assayed using shotgun mass-spectrometry. Under 10% of 855 quantified proteins were rhythmic but two-thirds of 860 phosphoproteins showed rhythmic modification(s). Most rhythmic proteins peaked in the daytime. Model simulations showed that light-stimulated protein synthesis largely accounts for this distribution of protein peaks. Prompted by apparently dark-stable proteins, we sampled during prolonged dark adaptation, where stable RNAs and very limited change to the proteome suggested a quiescent, cellular “dark state”. In LD, acid-directed and proline-directed protein phosphorylation sites were regulated in antiphase. Strikingly, 39% of rhythmic phospho-sites reached peak levels just before dawn. This anticipatory phosphorylation is distinct from light-responsive translation but consistent with plant phosphoprotein profiles, suggesting that a clock-regulated phospho-dawn prepares green cells for daytime functions.

Authors: Zeenat B. Noordally, Matthew M. Hindle, Sarah F. Martin, Daniel Seaton, Ian Simpson, Thierry Le Bihan, Andrew Millar

Date Published: No date defined

Journal: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Plants sense light and temperature changes to regulate flowering time. Here, we show that expression of the Arabidopsis florigen gene, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), peaks in the morning during spring, a different pattern than we observe in the laboratory. Providing our laboratory growth conditions with a red/far-red light ratio similar to open-field conditions and daily temperature oscillation is sufficient to mimic the FT expression and flowering time in natural long days. Under the adjusted growth conditions, key light signalling components, such as phytochrome A and EARLY FLOWERING 3, play important roles in morning FT expression. These conditions stabilize CONSTANS protein, a major FT activator, in the morning, which is probably a critical mechanism for photoperiodic flowering in nature. Refining the parameters of our standard growth conditions to more precisely mimic plant responses in nature can provide a powerful method for improving our understanding of seasonal response.

Authors: Y. H. Song, A. Kubota, M. S. Kwon, M. F. Covington, N. Lee, E. R. Taagen, D. Laboy Cintron, D. Y. Hwang, R. Akiyama, S. K. Hodge, H. Huang, N. H. Nguyen, D. A. Nusinow, A. J. Millar, K. K. Shimizu, T. Imaizumi

Date Published: 27th Sep 2018

Journal: Nat Plants

Abstract (Expand)

The mitochondrial NAD pool is particularly important for the maintenance of vital cellular functions. Although at least in some fungi and plants, mitochondrial NAD is imported from the cytosol by carrier proteins, in mammals, the mechanism of how this organellar pool is generated has remained obscure. A transporter mediating NAD import into mammalian mitochondria has not been identified. In contrast, human recombinant NMNAT3 localizes to the mitochondrial matrix and is able to catalyze NAD(+) biosynthesis in vitro. However, whether the endogenous NMNAT3 protein is functionally effective at generating NAD(+) in mitochondria of intact human cells still remains to be demonstrated. To modulate mitochondrial NAD(+) content, we have expressed plant and yeast mitochondrial NAD(+) carriers in human cells and observed a profound increase in mitochondrial NAD(+). None of the closest human homologs of these carriers had any detectable effect on mitochondrial NAD(+) content. Surprisingly, constitutive redistribution of NAD(+) from the cytosol to the mitochondria by stable expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana mitochondrial NAD(+) transporter NDT2 in HEK293 cells resulted in dramatic growth retardation and a metabolic shift from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis, despite the elevated mitochondrial NAD(+) levels. These results suggest that a mitochondrial NAD(+) transporter, similar to the known one from A. thaliana, is likely absent and could even be harmful in human cells. We provide further support for the alternative possibility, namely intramitochondrial NAD(+) synthesis, by demonstrating the presence of endogenous NMNAT3 in the mitochondria of human cells.

Authors: M. R. VanLinden, C. Dolle, I. K. Pettersen, V. A. Kulikova, Marc Niere, G. Agrimi, S. E. Dyrstad, F. Palmieri, A. A. Nikiforov, K. J. Tronstad, Mathias Ziegler

Date Published: 13th Nov 2015

Journal: J Biol Chem

Powered by
Copyright © 2008 - 2019 The University of Manchester and HITS gGmbH