Publications

583 Publications visible to you, out of a total of 583

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

Publication Type: Not specified

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

Publication Type: Not specified

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: E. A. Khan, L. B. Bertotto, K. Dale, R. Lille-Langoy, F. Yadetie, O. A. Karlsen, A. Goksoyr, D. Schlenk, A. Arukwe

Date Published: 18th Jun 2019

Publication Type: Not specified

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

Publication Type: Not specified

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.

Editor:

Date Published: 6th Jun 2019

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Non-homogeneous dynamic Bayesian networks (NH-DBNs) are a popular modelling tool for learning cellular networks from time series data. In systems biology, time series are often measured under different experimental conditions, and not rarely only some network interaction parameters depend on the condition while the other parameters stay constant across conditions. For this situation, we propose a new partially NH-DBN, based on Bayesian hierarchical regression models with partitioned design matrices. With regard to our main application to semi-quantitative (immunoblot) timecourse data from mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling, we also propose a Gaussian process-based method to solve the problem of non-equidistant time series measurements.

Authors: Mahdi Shafiee Kamalabad, Alexander Martin Heberle, Kathrin Thedieck, Marco Grzegorczyk

Date Published: 1st Jun 2019

Publication Type: Journal

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. Full text of this paper is available here https://inrepo01.inet.dkfz-heidelberg.de/record/143705

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

Date Published: 1st May 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 grows on different carbohydrates as well as alcohols, peptides and amino acids. Carbohydrates such as D-glucose or D-galactose are degraded via the modified, branched Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway whereas growth on peptides requires the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway for gluconeogenesis. As for most hyperthermophilic Archaea an important control point is established at the level of triosephophate conversion, however, the regulation at the level of pyruvate/phosphoenolpyruvate conversion was not tackled so far. Here we describe the cloning, expression, purification and characterization of the pyruvate kinase (PK, SSO0981) and the phosphoenolpyruvate synthetase (PEPS, SSO0883) of Sul. solfataricus. The PK showed only catabolic activity [catalytic efficiency (PEP): 627.95 mM(-1)s(-1), 70 degrees C] with phosphoenolpyruvate as substrate and ADP as phosphate acceptor and was allosterically inhibited by ATP and isocitrate (K i 0.8 mM). The PEPS was reversible, however, exhibited preferred activity in the gluconeogenic direction [catalytic efficiency (pyruvate): 1.04 mM(-1)s(-1), 70 degrees C] and showed some inhibition by AMP and alpha-ketoglutarate. The gene SSO2829 annotated as PEPS/pyruvate:phosphate dikinase (PPDK) revealed neither PEPS nor PPDK activity. Our studies suggest that the energy charge of the cell as well as the availability of building blocks in the citric acid cycle and the carbon/nitrogen balance plays a major role in the Sul. solfataricus carbon switch. The comparison of regulatory features of well-studied hyperthermophilic Archaea reveals a close link and sophisticated coordination between the respective sugar kinases and the kinetic and regulatory properties of the enzymes at the level of PEP-pyruvate conversion.

Authors: P. Haferkamp, B. Tjaden, L. Shen, C. Brasen, T. Kouril, B. Siebers

Date Published: 30th Apr 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

2-Amino-benzo[ d]thiazole was identified as a new scaffold for the development of improved pteridine reductase-1 (PTR1) inhibitors and anti-trypanosomatidic agents. Molecular docking and crystallography guided the design and synthesis of 42 new benzothiazoles. The compounds were assessed for Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major PTR1 inhibition and in vitro activity against T. brucei and amastigote Leishmania infantum. We identified several 2-amino-benzo[ d]thiazoles with improved enzymatic activity ( TbPTR1 IC50 = 0.35 muM; LmPTR1 IC50 = 1.9 muM) and low muM antiparasitic activity against T. brucei. The ten most active compounds against TbPTR1 were able to potentiate the antiparasitic activity of methotrexate when evaluated in combination against T. brucei, with a potentiating index between 1.2 and 2.7. The compound library was profiled for early ADME toxicity, and 2-amino- N-benzylbenzo[ d]thiazole-6-carboxamide (4c) was finally identified as a novel potent, safe, and selective anti-trypanocydal agent (EC50 = 7.0 muM). Formulation of 4c with hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin yielded good oral bioavailability, encouraging progression to in vivo studies.

Authors: P. Linciano, C. Pozzi, L. D. Iacono, F. di Pisa, G. Landi, A. Bonucci, S. Gul, M. Kuzikov, B. Ellinger, G. Witt, N. Santarem, C. Baptista, C. Franco, C. B. Moraes, W. Muller, U. Wittig, R. Luciani, A. Sesenna, A. Quotadamo, S. Ferrari, I. Pohner, A. Cordeiro-da-Silva, S. Mangani, L. Costantino, M. P. Costi

Date Published: 25th Apr 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Chemical modulation of the flavonol 2-(benzo[d][1,3]dioxol-5-yl)-chromen-4-one (1), a promising anti-Trypanosomatid agent previously identified, was evaluated through a phenotypic screening approach. Herein, we have performed structure-activity relationship studies around hit compound 1. The pivaloyl derivative (13) showed significant anti-T. brucei activity (EC50 = 1.1 muM) together with a selectivity index higher than 92. The early in vitro ADME-tox properties (cytotoxicity, mitochondrial toxicity, cytochrome P450 and hERG inhibition) were determined for compound 1 and its derivatives, and these led to the identification of some liabilities. The 1,3-benzodioxole moiety in the presented compounds confers better in vivo pharmacokinetic properties than those of classical flavonols. Further studies using different delivery systems could lead to an increase of compound blood levels.

Authors: C. Borsari, N. Santarem, S. Macedo, M. D. Jimenez-Anton, J. J. Torrado, A. I. Olias-Molero, M. J. Corral, A. Tait, S. Ferrari, L. Costantino, R. Luciani, G. Ponterini, S. Gul, M. Kuzikov, B. Ellinger, B. Behrens, J. Reinshagen, J. M. Alunda, A. Cordeiro-da-Silva, M. P. Costi

Date Published: 11th Apr 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract

Not specified

Authors: Gaelle Letort, Arnau Montagud, Gautier Stoll, Randy Heiland, Emmanuel Barillot, Paul Macklin, Andrei Zinovyev, Laurence Calzone

Date Published: 1st Apr 2019

Publication Type: Journal

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

Date Published: 28th Mar 2019

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Life science researchers use computational models to articulate and test hypotheses about the behavior of biological systems. Semantic annotation is a critical component for enhancing the interoperability and reusability of such models as well as for the integration of the data needed for model parameterization and validation. Encoded as machine-readable links to knowledge resource terms, semantic annotations describe the computational or biological meaning of what models and data represent. These annotations help researchers find and repurpose models, accelerate model composition and enable knowledge integration across model repositories and experimental data stores. However, realizing the potential benefits of semantic annotation requires the development of model annotation standards that adhere to a community-based annotation protocol. Without such standards, tool developers must account for a variety of annotation formats and approaches, a situation that can become prohibitively cumbersome and which can defeat the purpose of linking model elements to controlled knowledge resource terms. Currently, no consensus protocol for semantic annotation exists among the larger biological modeling community. Here, we report on the landscape of current annotation practices among the COmputational Modeling in BIology NEtwork community and provide a set of recommendations for building a consensus approach to semantic annotation.

Authors: Maxwell Lewis Neal, Matthias König, David Nickerson, Göksel Mısırlı, Reza Kalbasi, Andreas Dräger, Koray Atalag, Vijayalakshmi Chelliah, Michael T Cooling, Daniel L Cook, Sharon Crook, Miguel de Alba, Samuel H Friedman, Alan Garny, John H Gennari, Padraig Gleeson, Martin Golebiewski, Michael Hucka, Nick Juty, Chris Myers, Brett G Olivier, Herbert M Sauro, Martin Scharm, Jacky L Snoep, Vasundra Touré, Anil Wipat, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Dagmar Waltemath

Date Published: 1st Mar 2019

Publication Type: Journal

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: K. Dale, M. B. Muller, Z. Tairova, E. A. Khan, K. Hatlen, M. Grung, F. Yadetie, R. Lille-Langoy, N. Blaser, H. J. Skaug, J. L. Lyche, A. Arukwe, K. Hylland, O. A. Karlsen, A. Goksoyr

Date Published: 26th Feb 2019

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion people are at risk of or are affected by neglected tropical diseases. Examples of such diseases include trypanosomiasis, which causes sleeping sickness; leishmaniasis; and Chagas disease, all of which are prevalent in Africa, South America, and India. Our aim within the New Medicines for Trypanosomatidic Infections project was to use (1) synthetic and natural product libraries, (2) screening, and (3) a preclinical absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion-toxicity (ADME-Tox) profiling platform to identify compounds that can enter the trypanosomatidic drug discovery value chain. The synthetic compound libraries originated from multiple scaffolds with known antiparasitic activity and natural products from the Hypha Discovery MycoDiverse natural products library. Our focus was first to employ target-based screening to identify inhibitors of the protozoan Trypanosoma brucei pteridine reductase 1 ( TbPTR1) and second to use a Trypanosoma brucei phenotypic assay that made use of the T. brucei brucei parasite to identify compounds that inhibited cell growth and caused death. Some of the compounds underwent structure-activity relationship expansion and, when appropriate, were evaluated in a preclinical ADME-Tox assay panel. This preclinical platform has led to the identification of lead-like compounds as well as validated hits in the trypanosomatidic drug discovery value chain.

Authors: C. B. Moraes, G. Witt, M. Kuzikov, B. Ellinger, T. Calogeropoulou, K. C. Prousis, S. Mangani, F. Di Pisa, G. Landi, L. D. Iacono, C. Pozzi, L. H. Freitas-Junior, B. Dos Santos Pascoalino, C. P. Bertolacini, B. Behrens, O. Keminer, J. Leu, M. Wolf, J. Reinshagen, A. Cordeiro-da-Silva, N. Santarem, A. Venturelli, S. Wrigley, D. Karunakaran, B. Kebede, I. Pohner, W. Muller, J. Panecka-Hofman, R. C. Wade, M. Fenske, J. Clos, J. M. Alunda, M. J. Corral, E. Uliassi, M. L. Bolognesi, P. Linciano, A. Quotadamo, S. Ferrari, M. Santucci, C. Borsari, M. P. Costi, S. Gul

Date Published: 21st Feb 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

The objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of the rainbow trout intestinal epithelial cell line (RTgutGC) as an in vitro model for studies of gut immune function and effects of functional feed ingredients. Effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and three functional feed ingredients [nucleotides, mannanoligosaccharides (MOS), and beta-glucans] were evaluated in RTgutGC cells grown on conventional culture plates and transwell membranes. Permeation of fluorescently-labeled albumin, transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), and tight junction protein expression confirmed the barrier function of the cells. Brush border membrane enzyme activities [leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) and maltase] were detected in the RTgutGC cells but activity levels were not modulated by any of the exposures. Immune related genes were expressed at comparable relative basal levels as these in rainbow trout distal intestine. LPS produced markedly elevated gene expression levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines il1b, il6, il8, and tnfa but had no effect on ROS production. Immunostaining demonstrated increased F-actin contents after LPS exposure. Among the functional feed ingredients, MOS seemed to be the most potent modulator of RTgutGC immune and barrier function. MOS significantly increased albumin permeation and il1b, il6, il8, tnfa, and tgfb expression, but suppressed ROS production, cell proliferation and myd88 expression. Induced levels of il1b and il8 were also observed after treatment with nucleotides and beta-glucans. For barrier function related genes, all treatments up-regulated the expression of cldn3 and suppressed cdh1 levels. Beta-glucans increased TEER levels and F-actin content. Collectively, the present study has provided new information on how functional ingredients commonly applied in aquafeeds can affect intestinal epithelial function in fish. Our findings suggest that RTgutGC cells possess characteristic features of functional intestinal epithelial cells indicating a potential for use as an efficient in vitro model to evaluate effects of bioactive feed ingredients on gut immune and barrier functions and their underlying cellular mechanisms.

Authors: Jie Wang, Peng Lei, Amr Ahmed Abdelrahim Gamil, Leidy Lagos, Yang Yue, Kristin Schirmer, Liv Torunn Mydland, Margareth Overland, Åshild Krogdahl, Trond M. Kortner

Date Published: 6th Feb 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract

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Authors: I-Yin Chen, Miyu Moriyama, Ming-Fu Chang, Takeshi Ichinohe

Date Published: 29th Jan 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Factors affecting the establishment of the gut microbiota in animals living in marine environments remain largely unknown. In terrestrial animals, however, it is well established that the juvenile environment has a major impact on the gut microbiota later in life. Atlantic salmon Salmo salar is an anadromous fish important in aquaculture with a juvenile freshwater stage and an adult seawater stage. For wild salmon, there are major dietary changes with respect to availability of long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids (LC-n-3 PUFA) with lower abundance in freshwater systems. The aim of our work was therefore to determine the effect of a juvenile freshwater diet with high LC-n-3 PUFA, as compared to a diet low in LC-n-3 PUFA (designed to increase the endogenous LC-n-3 PUFA production), on the transition to a seawater gut microbiota for Atlantic salmon. We found a juvenile freshwater microbiota high in Firmicutes for fish raised with low LC-n-3 PUFA, while the microbiota for fish given high LC-n-3 PUFA feed was high in Proteobacteria. One hundred days after transfer to a common sea cage, fish that were given low LC-n-3 PUFA diets in freshwater showed significantly higher (p = 0.02, Kruskal-Wallis) Mycoplasma content (90 ± 7%; mean ± SD) compared to fish raised on a high LC-n-3 PUFA diet in freshwater (25 ± 31% Mycoplasma). Shotgun metagenome sequencing from fish raised with a low LC-n-3 PUFA diet identified a salmon-associated Mycoplasma in sea, being distinct from currently known Mycoplasma. The genome sequence information indicated a mutualistic lifestyle of this bacterium. Mycoplasma has also previously been identified as dominant (>70%) in sea-living adult Atlantic salmon. Taken together, our results suggest that the juvenile freshwater diet influences the establishment of the gut microbiota in marine Atlantic salmon.

Authors: Y Jin, IL Angell, SR Sandve, LG Snipen, Y Olsen, K Rudi

Date Published: 24th Jan 2019

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Data standards support the reliable exchange of information, the interoperability of tools, and the reproducibility of scientific results. In systems biology standards are agreed ways of structuring, describing, and associating models and data, as well as their respective parts, graphical visualization, and information about applied experimental or computational methods. Such standards also assist with describing how constituent parts interact together, or are linked, and how they are embedded in their environmental and experimental context. Here the focus will be on standards for formatting models and their content, and on metadata checklists and ontologies that support modeling.

Author: Martin Golebiewski

Date Published: 2019

Publication Type: InBook

Abstract (Expand)

We assessed mechanistic temperature influence on flowering by incorporating temperature-responsive flowering mechanisms across developmental age into an existing model. Temperature influences the leaf production rate as well as expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), a photoperiodic flowering regulator that is expressed in leaves. The Arabidopsis Framework Model incorporated temperature influence on leaf growth but ignored the consequences of leaf growth on and direct temperature influence of FT expression. We measured FT production in differently aged leaves and modified the model, adding mechanistic temperature influence on FT transcription, and causing whole-plant FT to accumulate with leaf growth. Our simulations suggest that in long days, the developmental stage (leaf number) at which the reproductive transition occurs is influenced by day length and temperature through FT, while temperature influences the rate of leaf production and the time (in days) the transition occurs. Further, we demonstrate that FT is mainly produced in the first 10 leaves in the Columbia (Col-0) accession, and that FT accumulation alone cannot explain flowering in conditions in which flowering is delayed. Our simulations supported our hypotheses that: (i) temperature regulation of FT, accumulated with leaf growth, is a component of thermal time, and (ii) incorporating mechanistic temperature regulation of FT can improve model predictions when temperatures change over time.

Authors: Hannah A Kinmonth-Schultz, Melissa J S MacEwen, Daniel D Seaton, Andrew J Millar, Takato Imaizumi, Soo-Hyung Kim

Date Published: 2019

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract

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Authors: Tjaša Kumelj, Snorre Sulheim, Alexander Wentzel, Eivind Almaas

Date Published: 7th Dec 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

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 https://github.com/frpinto/S2B.

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

Date Published: 1st Dec 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

A 29 nucleotide deletion in open reading frame 8 (ORF8) is the most obvious genetic change in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) during its emergence in humans. In spite of intense study, it remains unclear whether the deletion actually reflects adaptation to humans. Here we engineered full, partially deleted (−29 nt), and fully deleted ORF8 into a SARS-CoV infectious cDNA clone, strain Frankfurt-1. Replication of the resulting viruses was compared in primate cell cultures as well as Rhinolophus bat cells made permissive for SARS-CoV replication by lentiviral transduction of the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor. Cells from cotton rat, goat, and sheep provided control scenarios that represent host systems in which SARS-CoV is neither endemic nor epidemic. Independent of the cell system, the truncation of ORF8 (29 nt deletion) decreased replication up to 23-fold. The effect was independent of the type I interferon response. The 29 nt deletion in SARS-CoV is a deleterious mutation acquired along the initial human-to-human transmission chain. The resulting loss of fitness may be due to a founder effect, which has rarely been documented in processes of viral emergence. These results have important implications for the retrospective assessment of the threat posed by SARS.

Authors: Doreen Muth, Victor Max Corman, Hanna Roth, Tabea Binger, Ronald Dijkman, Lina Theresa Gottula, Florian Gloza-Rausch, Andrea Balboni, Mara Battilani, Danijela Rihtarič, Ivan Toplak, Ramón Seage Ameneiros, Alexander Pfeifer, Volker Thiel, Jan Felix Drexler, Marcel Alexander Müller, Christian Drosten

Date Published: 1st Dec 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract

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Author: Timon Oefelein

Date Published: 20th Nov 2018

Publication Type: InProceedings

Abstract (Expand)

The progression of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is driven by the intratumoral conversion of adrenal androgen precursors to potent androgens. The expression of aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3), which catalyses the reduction of weak androgens to more potent androgens, is significantly increased in CRPC tumours. The oxidation of androgens to their inactive form is catalysed by 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (17βHSD2), but little attention is given to the expression levels of this enzyme. In this study, we show that the 11-oxygenated androgen precursors of adrenal origin are the preferred substrate for AKR1C3. In particular we show that the enzymatic efficiency of AKR1C3 is 8- and 24-fold greater for 11-ketoandrostenedione than for the classic substrates androstenedione and 5α-androstanedione, respectively. Using three independent experimental systems and a computational model we subsequently show that increased ratios of AKR1C3:17βHSD2 sig- nificantly favours the flux through the 11-oxygenated androgen pathway as compared to the classical or 5α- androstanedione pathways. Our findings reveal that the flux through the classical and 5α-androstanedione pathways are limited by the low catalytic efficiently of AKR1C3 towards classical androgens combined with the high catalytic efficiency of 17βHSD2, and that the expression of the oxidative enzyme therefore plays a vital role in determining the steady state concentration of active androgens. Using microarray data from prostate tissue we confirm that the AKR1C3:17βHSD2 ratio is significantly increased in patients undergoing androgen deprivation therapy as compared to benign tissue, and further increased in patients with CRPC. Taken together this study therefore demonstrates that the ratio of AKR1C3:17βHSD2 is more important than AKR1C3 expression alone in determining intratumoral androgen levels and that 11-oxygenated androgens may play a bigger role in CRPC than previously anticipated.

Authors: Monique Barnard, Jonathan L. Quanson, Elahe Mostaghel, Elzette Pretorius, Jacky L. Snoep, Karl-Heinz Storbeck

Date Published: 1st Oct 2018

Publication Type: 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

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Miltefosine is the only currently available oral drug for treatment of leishmaniasis. However, information on the pharmacokinetics (PK) of miltefosine is relatively scarce in animals. PK parameters and disposition of the molecule was determined in healthy NMRI mice and Syrian hamsters infected and treated with different miltefosine doses and regimens. Long half-life of the molecule was confirmed and differential pattern of accumulation of the drug was observed in analyzed organs in mice and hamster. Long treatment schedules produced miltefosine levels over IC50 value against L. infantum intracellular amastigotes for at least 24days in spleen and liver of infected hamsters. The observed differential pattern of organ accumulation of the drug in mice and hamster supports the relevance of both species for translational research on chemotherapy of leishmaniasis.

Authors: M. D. Jimenez-Anton, E. Garcia-Calvo, C. Gutierrez, M. D. Escribano, N. Kayali, J. L. Luque-Garcia, A. I. Olias-Molero, M. J. Corral, M. P. Costi, J. J. Torrado, J. M. Alunda

Date Published: 30th Aug 2018

Publication Type: Journal

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, M. Gama-Carvalho, N. Tran

Date Published: 24th Jun 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

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: F. Yadetie, X. Zhang, E. M. Hanna, L. Aranguren-Abadia, M. Eide, N. Blaser, M. Brun, I. Jonassen, A. Goksoyr, O. A. Karlsen

Date Published: 22nd Jun 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Caulobacter crescentus is a gram-negative bacterium that can utilize xylose as a substrate using the Weimberg pathway, which converts xylose to α-ketoglutarate in five steps without carbon loss. This is an interesting pathway for heterologous expression in other organisms in order to enable xylose utilization in biorefinery processes. C. crescentus was grown on xylose, arabinose and glucose, and maximum specific growth rates determined for the three substrates were 0.11 h−1, 0.05 h−1, and 0.15 h−1 respectively. Growth was found to be significantly inhibited at sugar concentration of 20 g L−1, shown primarily by an increased lag phase. Enzyme activity assays showed that the Weimberg pathway was active in cells grown, not only on xylose but also on arabinose. No activity was found for growth on glucose. Furthermore, substantial amounts of α-ketoglutarate—up to a yield of 0.4 g g−1—was excreted during growth on xylose, but no other extracellular intermediates in the Weimberg pathway were detected during growth on xylose. Apparently, C. crescentus is not well adapted for efficient growth on high xylose levels, and responds by an extended lag phase and secretion of α-ketoglutarate.

Authors: Henrik Almqvist, Sara Jonsdottir Glaser, Celina Tufvegren, Lisa Wasserstrom, Gunnar Lidén

Date Published: 1st Jun 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

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