Publications

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

Abstract (Expand)

Cell volume is an important parameter for modelling cellular processes. Temperature-induced variability of cellular size, volume, intracellular granularity, a fraction of budding cells of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae CEN.PK 113–7D (in anaerobic glucose unlimited batch cultures) were measured by flow cytometry and matched with the performance of the biomass growth (maximal specific growth rate (μmax), specific rate of glucose consumption, the rate of maintenance, biomass yield on glucose). The critical diameter of single cells was 7.94 μm and it is invariant at growth temperatures above 18.5°C. Below 18.5°C, it exponentially increases up to 10.2 μm. The size of the bud linearly depends on μmax, and it is between 50% at 5°C and 90% at 31°C of the averaged single cell. The intracellular granularity (side scatter channel (SSC)-index) negatively depends on μmax. There are two temperature regions (5–31°C vs. 33–40°C) where the relationship between SSC-index and various cellular parameters differ significantly. In supraoptimal temperature range (33–40°C), cells are less granulated perhaps due to a higher rate of the maintenance. There is temperature dependent passage through the checkpoints in the cell cycle which influences the μmax. The results point to the existence of two different morphological states of yeasts in these different temperature regions.

Authors: Maksim Zakhartsev, Matthias Reuss

Date Published: 26th Apr 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

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, Tobias Weber, Franziska S Rathjens, Thomas H Fischer, Karl Toischer, Gerd Hasenfuss, Claudia Noack, Steven A Johnsen, Laura C Zelarayán

Date Published: 6th Apr 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Protozoan infections caused by Plasmodium, Leishmania, and Trypanosoma spp. contribute significantly to the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, causing severe morbidity and mortality. The inadequacy of available treatments calls for cost- and time-effective drug discovery endeavors. To this end, we envisaged the triazole linkage of privileged structures as an effective drug design strategy to generate a focused library of high-quality compounds. The versatility of this approach was combined with the feasibility of a phenotypic assay, integrated with early ADME-tox profiling. Thus, an 18-membered library was efficiently assembled via Huisgen cycloaddition of phenothiazine, biphenyl, and phenylpiperazine scaffolds. The resulting 18 compounds were then tested against seven parasite strains, and counter-screened for selectivity against two mammalian cell lines. In parallel, hERG and cytochrome P450 (CYP) inhibition, and mitochondrial toxicity were assessed. Remarkably, 10-((1-(3-([1,1'-biphenyl]-3-yloxy)propyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-5-yl)methyl)-10H-phen othiazine (7) and 10-(3-(1-(3-([1,1'-biphenyl]-3-yloxy)propyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)propyl)-10H-ph enothiazine (12) showed respective IC50 values of 1.8 and 1.9 mug mL(-1) against T. cruzi, together with optimal selectivity. In particular, compound 7 showed a promising ADME-tox profile. Thus, hit 7 might be progressed as an antichagasic lead.

Authors: E. Uliassi, L. Piazzi, F. Belluti, A. Mazzanti, M. Kaiser, R. Brun, C. B. Moraes, L. H. Freitas-Junior, S. Gul, M. Kuzikov, B. Ellinger, C. Borsari, M. P. Costi, M. L. Bolognesi

Date Published: 6th Apr 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) enter cells via two distinct pathways: the endosomal pathway using cathepsins to activate spike protein and the cell-surface or early endosome pathway using extracellular proteases such as transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). We previously reported that clinical isolates of HCoV-229E preferred cell-surface TMPRSS2 to endosomal cathepsin for cell entry, and that they acquired the ability to use cathepsin L by repeated passage in cultured cells and were then able to enter cells via the endosomal pathway. Here, we show that clinical isolates of HCoV-OC43 and -HKU1 preferred the cell-surface TMRRSS2 to endosomal cathepsins for cell entry, similar to HCoV-229E. In addition, the cell-culture-adapted HCoV-OC43 lost the ability to infect and replicate in air-liquid interface cultures of human bronchial tracheal epithelial cells. These results suggest that circulating HCoVs in the field generally use cell-surface TMPRSS2 for cell entry, not endosomal cathepsins, in human airway epithelial cells.

Authors: Kazuya Shirato, Miyuki Kawase, Shutoku Matsuyama

Date Published: 1st Apr 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract

Not specified

Authors: Falk Schreiber, Gary D. Bader, Padraig Gleeson, Martin Golebiewski, Michael Hucka, Sarah M. Keating, Nicolas Le Novère, Chris Myers, David Nickerson, Björn Sommer, Dagmar Waltemath

Date Published: 29th Mar 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Basing on a library of thiadiazole derivatives showing anti-trypanosomatidic activity, we have considered the thiadiazoles opened forms and reaction intermediates, thiosemicarbazones, as compounds of interest for phenotypic screening against Trypanosoma brucei (Tb), intracellular amastigote form of Leishmania infantum (Li) and Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc). Similar compounds have already shown interesting activity against the same organisms. The compounds were particularly effective against T. brucei and T. cruzi. Among the 28 synthesized compounds, the best one was (E)-2-(4-((3.4-dichlorobenzyl)oxy)benzylidene) hydrazinecarbothioamide (A14) yielding a comparable anti-parasitic activity against the three parasitic species (TbEC50=2.31muM, LiEC50=6.14muM, TcEC50=1.31muM) and a Selectivity Index higher than 10 with respect to human macrophages, therefore showing a pan-anti-trypanosomatidic activity. (E)-2-((3'.4'-dimethoxy-[1.1'-biphenyl]-3-yl)methyle ne) hydrazinecarbothioamide (A12) and (E)-2-(4-((3.4-dichlorobenzyl)oxy)benzylidene)hydrazine carbothioamide (A14) were able to potentiate the anti-parasitic activity of methotrexate (MTX) when evaluated in combination against T. brucei, yielding a 6-fold and 4-fold respectively Dose Reduction Index for MTX. The toxicity profile against four human cell lines and a panel of in vitro early-toxicity assays (comprising hERG, Aurora B, five cytochrome P450 isoforms and mitochondrial toxicity) demonstrated the low toxicity for the thosemicarbazones class in comparison with known drugs. The results confirmed thiosemicarbazones as a suitable chemical scaffold with potential for the development of properly decorated new anti-parasitic drugs.

Authors: P. Linciano, C. B. Moraes, L. M. Alcantara, C. H. Franco, B. Pascoalino, L. H. Freitas-Junior, S. Macedo, N. Santarem, A. Cordeiro-da-Silva, S. Gul, G. Witt, M. Kuzikov, B. Ellinger, S. Ferrari, R. Luciani, A. Quotadamo, L. Costantino, M. P. Costi

Date Published: 25th Feb 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Leptospirillum ferriphilum plays a major role in acidic, metal rich environments where it represents one of the most prevalent iron oxidizers. These milieus include acid rock and mine drainage as well as biomining operations. Despite its perceived importance, no complete genome sequence of this model species' type strain is available, limiting the possibilities to investigate the strategies and adaptations Leptospirillum ferriphilumT applies to survive and compete in its niche. This study presents a complete, circular genome of Leptospirillum ferriphilumT DSM 14647 obtained by PacBio SMRT long read sequencing for use as a high quality reference. Analysis of the functionally annotated genome, mRNA transcripts, and protein concentrations revealed a previously undiscovered nitrogenase cluster for atmospheric nitrogen fixation and elucidated metabolic systems taking part in energy conservation, carbon fixation, pH homeostasis, heavy metal tolerance, oxidative stress response, chemotaxis and motility, quorum sensing, and biofilm formation. Additionally, mRNA transcript counts and protein concentrations were compared between cells grown in continuous culture using ferrous iron as substrate and bioleaching cultures containing chalcopyrite (CuFeS2). Leptospirillum ferriphilumT adaptations to growth on chalcopyrite included a possibly enhanced production of reducing power, reduced carbon dioxide fixation, as well as elevated RNA transcripts and proteins involved in heavy metal resistance, with special emphasis on copper efflux systems. Finally, expression and translation of genes responsible for chemotaxis and motility were enhanced.

Authors: Stephan Christel, Malte Herold, Sören Bellenberg, Mohamed El Hajjami, Antoine Buetti-Dinh, Igor V. Pivkin, Wolfgang Sand, Paul Wilmes, Ansgar Poetsch, Mark Dopson

Date Published: 1st Feb 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Respiratory viruses, especially influenza A viruses and coronaviruses such as MERS-CoV, represent continuing global threats to human health. Despite significant advances, much needs to be learned. Recent studies in virology and immunology have improved our understanding of the role of the immune system in protection and in the pathogenesis of these infections and of co-evolution of viruses and their hosts. These findings, together with sophisticated molecular structure analyses, omics tools and computer-based models, have helped delineate the interaction between respiratory viruses and the host immune system, which will facilitate the development of novel treatment strategies and vaccines with enhanced efficacy.

Authors: Jian Zheng, Stanley Perlman

Date Published: 1st Feb 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) infection in infants, elderly people, and immunocompromised patients can cause severe disease, thus calling for the development of effective and safe therapeutics to treat it. Here we reported the design, synthesis and characterization of two peptide-based membrane fusion inhibitors targeting HCoV-229E spike protein heptad repeat 1 (HR1) and heptad repeat 2 (HR2) domains, 229E-HR1P and 229E-HR2P, respectively. We found that 229E-HR1P and 229E-HR2P could interact to form a stable six-helix bundle and inhibit HCoV-229E spike protein-mediated cell-cell fusion with IC50 of 5.7 and 0.3 µM, respectively. 229E-HR2P effectively inhibited pseudotyped and live HCoV-229E infection with IC50 of 0.5 and 1.7 µM, respectively. In a mouse model, 229E-HR2P administered intranasally could widely distribute in the upper and lower respiratory tracts and maintain its fusion-inhibitory activity. Therefore, 229E-HR2P is a promising candidate for further development as an antiviral agent for the treatment and prevention of HCoV-229E infection.

Authors: Shuai Xia, Wei Xu, Qian Wang, Cong Wang, Chen Hua, Weihua Li, Lu Lu, Shibo Jiang

Date Published: 1st Feb 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Gut microbiota associations through habitat transitions are fundamentally important yet poorly understood. One such habitat transition is the migration from freshwater to saltwater for anadromous fish, such as salmon. The aim of the current work was therefore to determine the freshwater-to-saltwater transition impact on the gut microbiota in farmed Atlantic salmon, with dietary interventions resembling freshwater and saltwater diets with respect to fatty acid composition. Using deep 16S rRNA gene sequencing and quantitative PCR, we found that the freshwater-to-saltwater transition had a major association with the microbiota composition and quantity, while diet did not show significant associations with the microbiota. In saltwater there was a 100-fold increase in bacterial quantity, with a relative increase of Firmicutes and a relative decrease of both Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Irrespective of an overall shift in microbiota composition from freshwater to saltwater, we identified three core clostridia and one Lactobacillus-affiliated phylotype with wide geographic distribution that were highly prevalent and co-occurring. Taken together, our results support the importance of the dominating bacteria in the salmon gut, with the freshwater microbiota being immature. Due to the low number of potentially host-associated bacterial species in the salmon gut, we believe that farmed salmon can represent an important model for future understanding of host-bacterium interactions in aquatic environments. IMPORTANCE Little is known about factors affecting the interindividual distribution of gut bacteria in aquatic environments. We have shown that there is a core of four highly prevalent and co-occurring bacteria irrespective of feed and freshwater-to-saltwater transition. The potential host interactions of the core bacteria, however, need to be elucidated further.

Authors: Knut Rudi, Inga Leena Angell, Phillip B. Pope, Jon Olav Vik, Simen Rød Sandve, Lars-Gustav Snipen

Date Published: 15th Jan 2018

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

SABIO-RK (http://sabiork.h-its.org/) is a manually curated database containing data about biochemical reactions and their reaction kinetics. The data are primarily extracted from scientific literature and stored in a relational database. The content comprises both naturally occurring and alternatively measured biochemical reactions and is not restricted to any organism class. The data are made available to the public by a web-based search interface and by web services for programmatic access. In this update we describe major improvements and extensions of SABIO-RK since our last publication in the database issue of Nucleic Acid Research (2012). (i) The website has been completely revised and (ii) allows now also free text search for kinetics data. (iii) Additional interlinkages with other databases in our field have been established; this enables users to gain directly comprehensive knowledge about the properties of enzymes and kinetics beyond SABIO-RK. (iv) Vice versa, direct access to SABIO-RK data has been implemented in several systems biology tools and workflows. (v) On request of our experimental users, the data can be exported now additionally in spreadsheet formats. (vi) The newly established SABIO-RK Curation Service allows to respond to specific data requirements.

Authors: U. Wittig, M. Rey, A. Weidemann, R. Kania, W. Muller

Date Published: 4th Jan 2018

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Coronaviruses are pathogens with a serious impact on human and animal health. They mostly cause enteric or respiratory disease, which can be severe and life threatening, e.g., in the case of the zoonotic coronaviruses causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in humans. Despite the economic and societal impact of such coronavirus infections, and the likelihood of future outbreaks of additional pathogenic coronaviruses, our options to prevent or treat coronavirus infections remain very limited. This highlights the importance of advancing our knowledge on the replication of these viruses and their interactions with the host. Compared to other +RNA viruses, coronaviruses have an exceptionally large genome and employ a complex genome expression strategy. Next to a role in basic virus replication or virus assembly, many of the coronavirus proteins expressed in the infected cell contribute to the coronavirus-host interplay. For example, by interacting with the host cell to create an optimal environment for coronavirus replication, by altering host gene expression or by counteracting the host’s antiviral defenses. These coronavirus–host interactions are key to viral pathogenesis and will ultimately determine the outcome of infection. Due to the complexity of the coronavirus proteome and replication cycle, our knowledge of host factors involved in coronavirus replication is still in an early stage compared to what is known for some other +RNA viruses. This review summarizes our current understanding of coronavirus–host interactions at the level of the infected cell, with special attention for the assembly and function of the viral RNA-synthesising machinery and the evasion of cellular innate immune responses.

Authors: Adriaan H. de Wilde, Eric J. Snijder, Marjolein Kikkert, Martijn J. van Hemert

Date Published: 2018

Publication Type: InCollection

Abstract

Not specified

Authors: Chiara Borsari, Antonio Quotadamo, Stefania Ferrari, Alberto Venturelli, Anabela Cordeiro-da-Silva, Nuno Santarem, Maria Paola Costi

Date Published: 2018

Publication Type: InBook

Abstract (Expand)

In a continuation of our computational efforts to find new natural inhibitors of a variety of target enzymes from parasites causing neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), we now report on 15 natural products (NPs) that we have identified as inhibitors of Leishmania major pteridine reductase I (LmPTR1) through a combination of in silico and in vitro investigations. Pteridine reductase (PTR1) is an enzyme of the trypanosomatid parasites' peculiar folate metabolism, and has previously been validated as a drug target. Initially, pharmacophore queries were created based on four 3D structures of LmPTR1 using co-crystallized known inhibitors as templates. Each of the pharmacophore queries was used to virtually screen a database of 1100 commercially available natural products. The resulting hits were submitted to molecular docking analyses in the substrate binding site of the respective protein structures used for the pharmacophore design. This approach led to the in silico identification of a total of 18 NPs with predicted binding affinity to LmPTR1. These compounds were subsequently tested in vitro for inhibitory activity towards recombinant LmPTR1 in a spectrophotometric inhibition assay. Fifteen out of the 18 tested compounds (hit rate = 83%) showed significant inhibitory activity against LmPTR1 when tested at a concentration of 50 microM. The IC50 values were determined for the six NPs that inhibited the target enzyme by more than 50% at 50 microM, with sophoraflavanone G being the most active compound tested (IC50 = 19.2 microM). The NPs identified and evaluated in the present study may represent promising lead structures for the further rational drug design of more potent inhibitors against LmPTR1.

Authors: F. C. Herrmann, N. Sivakumar, J. Jose, M. P. Costi, C. Pozzi, T. J. Schmidt

Date Published: 6th Dec 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Chemical reaction networks are ubiquitous in biology, and their dynamics is fundamentally stochastic. Here, we present the software library pSSAlib, which provides a complete and concise implementation of the most efficient partial-propensity methods for simulating exact stochastic chemical kinetics. pSSAlib can import models encoded in Systems Biology Markup Language, supports time delays in chemical reactions, and stochastic spatiotemporal reaction-diffusion systems. It also provides tools for statistical analysis of simulation results and supports multiple output formats. It has previously been used for studies of biochemical reaction pathways and to benchmark other stochastic simulation methods. Here, we describe pSSAlib in detail and apply it to a new model of the endocytic pathway in eukaryotic cells, leading to the discovery of a stochastic counterpart of the cut-out switch motif underlying early-to-late endosome conversion. pSSAlib is provided as a stand-alone command-line tool and as a developer API. We also provide a plug-in for the SBMLToolbox. The open-source code and pre-packaged installers are freely available from http://mosaic.mpi-cbg.de.

Authors: Oleksandr Ostrenko, Pietro Incardona, Rajesh Ramaswamy, Lutz Brusch, Ivo F. Sbalzarini

Date Published: 4th Dec 2017

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Nucleic acids, which constitute the genetic material of all organisms, are continuously exposed to endogenous and exogenous damaging agents, representing a significant challenge to genome stability and genome integrity over the life of a cell or organism. Unrepaired DNA lesions, such as single- and double-stranded DNA breaks (SSBs and DSBs), and single-stranded gaps can block progression of the DNA replication fork, causing replicative stress and/or cell cycle arrest. However, translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases, such as Rev1, have the ability to bypass some DNA lesions, which can circumvent the process leading to replication fork arrest and minimize replicative stress. Here, we show that Rev1-deficiency in mouse embryo fibroblasts or mouse liver tissue is associated with replicative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, Rev1-deficiency is associated with high poly(ADP) ribose polymerase 1 (PARP1) activity, low endogenous NAD+, low expression of SIRT1 and PGC1α and low adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated kinase (AMPK) activity. We conclude that replication stress via Rev1-deficiency contributes to metabolic stress caused by compromized mitochondrial function via the PARP-NAD+-SIRT1-PGC1α axis.

Authors: Nima Borhan Fakouri, Jon Ambæk Durhuus, Christine Elisabeth Regnell, Maria Angleys, Claus Desler, Md Mahdi Hasan-Olive, Ana Martín-Pardillos, Anastasia Tsaalbi-Shtylik, Kirsten Thomsen, Martin Lauritzen, Vilhelm A. Bohr, Niels de Wind, Linda Hildegard Bergersen, Lene Juel Rasmussen

Date Published: 1st Dec 2017

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Crassiflorone is a natural product with anti-mycobacterial and anti-gonorrhoeal properties, isolated from the stem bark of the African ebony tree Diospyros crassiflora. We noticed that its pentacyclic core possesses structural resemblance to the quinone-coumarin hybrid 3, which we reported to exhibit a dual-targeted inhibitory profile towards Trypanosoma brucei glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (TbGAPDH) and Trypanosoma cruzi trypanothione reductase (TcTR). Following this basic idea, we synthesized a small library of crassiflorone derivatives 15-23 and investigated their potential as anti-trypanosomatid agents. 19 is the only compound of the series showing a balanced dual profile at 10 muM (% inhibitionTbGAPDH = 64% and % inhibitionTcTR = 65%). In phenotypic assay, the most active compounds were 18 and 21, which at 5 muM inhibited Tb bloodstream-form growth by 29% and 38%, respectively. Notably, all the newly synthesized compounds at 10 muM did not affect viability and the status of mitochondria in human A549 and 786-O cell lines, respectively. However, further optimization that addresses metabolic liabilities including solubility, as well as cytochromes P450 (CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP2D6) inhibition, is required before this class of natural product-derived compounds can be further progressed.

Authors: E. Uliassi, G. Fiorani, R. L. Krauth-Siegel, C. Bergamini, R. Fato, G. Bianchini, J. Carlos Menendez, M. T. Molina, E. Lopez-Montero, F. Falchi, A. Cavalli, S. Gul, M. Kuzikov, B. Ellinger, G. Witt, C. B. Moraes, L. H. Freitas-Junior, C. Borsari, M. P. Costi, M. L. Bolognesi

Date Published: 1st Dec 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Standards for data exchange are critical to the development of any field. They enable researchers and practitioners to transport information reliably, to apply a variety of tools to their problems, and to reproduce scientific results. Over the past two decades, a range of standards have been developed to facilitate the exchange and reuse of information in the domain of representation and modeling of biological systems. These standards are complementary, so the interactions between their developers increased over time. By the end of the last decade, the community of researchers decided that more interoperability is required between the standards, and that common development is needed to make better use of effort, time, and money devoted to this activity. The COmputational MOdeling in Biology NEtwork (COMBINE) was created to enable the sharing of resources, tools, and other infrastructure. This paper provides a brief history of this endeavor and the challenges that remain.

Authors: Chris J. Myers, Gary Bader, Padraig Gleeson, Martin Golebiewski, Michael Hucka, Nicolas Le Novere, David P. Nickerson, Falk Schreiber, Dagmar Waltemath

Date Published: 1st Dec 2017

Publication Type: InProceedings

Abstract

Not specified

Editor:

Date Published: 24th Oct 2017

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

In (hyper)thermophilic organisms metabolic processes have to be adapted to function optimally at high temperature. We compared the gluconeogenic conversion of 3-phosphoglycerate via 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate at 30 degrees C and at 70 degrees C. At 30 degrees C it was possible to produce 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate from 3-phosphoglycerate with phosphoglycerate kinase, but at 70 degrees C, 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate was dephosphorylated rapidly to 3-phosphoglycerate, effectively turning the phosphoglycerate kinase into a futile cycle. When phosphoglycerate kinase was incubated together with glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase it was possible to convert 3-phosphoglycerate to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, both at 30 degrees C and at 70 degrees C, however, at 70 degrees C only low concentrations of product were observed due to thermal instability of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. Thus, thermolabile intermediates challenge central metabolic reactions and require special adaptation strategies for life at high temperature.

Authors: T. Kouril, J. J. Eicher, B. Siebers, J. L. Snoep

Date Published: 7th Oct 2017

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Pteridine reductase-1 (PTR1) is a promising drug target for the treatment of trypanosomiasis. We investigated the potential of a previously identified class of thiadiazole inhibitors of Leishmania major PTR1 for activity against Trypanosoma brucei (Tb). We solved crystal structures of several TbPTR1-inhibitor complexes to guide the structure-based design of new thiadiazole derivatives. Subsequent synthesis and enzyme- and cell-based assays confirm new, mid-micromolar inhibitors of TbPTR1 with low toxicity. In particular, compound 4m, a biphenyl-thiadiazole-2,5-diamine with IC50 = 16 muM, was able to potentiate the antitrypanosomal activity of the dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor methotrexate (MTX) with a 4.1-fold decrease of the EC50 value. In addition, the antiparasitic activity of the combination of 4m and MTX was reversed by addition of folic acid. By adopting an efficient hit discovery platform, we demonstrate, using the 2-amino-1,3,4-thiadiazole scaffold, how a promising tool for the development of anti-T. brucei agents can be obtained.

Authors: P. Linciano, A. Dawson, I. Pohner, D. M. Costa, M. S. Sa, A. Cordeiro-da-Silva, R. Luciani, S. Gul, G. Witt, B. Ellinger, M. Kuzikov, P. Gribbon, J. Reinshagen, M. Wolf, B. Behrens, V. Hannaert, P. A. M. Michels, E. Nerini, C. Pozzi, F. di Pisa, G. Landi, N. Santarem, S. Ferrari, P. Saxena, S. Lazzari, G. Cannazza, L. H. Freitas-Junior, C. B. Moraes, B. S. Pascoalino, L. M. Alcantara, C. P. Bertolacini, V. Fontana, U. Wittig, W. Muller, R. C. Wade, W. N. Hunter, S. Mangani, L. Costantino, M. P. Costi

Date Published: 30th Sep 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

BACKGROUND: Multi-target approaches are necessary to properly analyze or modify the function of a biochemical pathway or a protein family. An example of such a problem is the repurposing of the known human anti-cancer drugs, antifolates, as selective anti-parasitic agents. This requires considering a set of experimentally validated protein targets in the folate pathway of major pathogenic trypanosomatid parasites and humans: (i) the primary parasite on-targets: pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1) (absent in humans) and bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS), (ii) the primary off-targets: human DHFR and TS, and (iii) the secondary on-target: human folate receptor beta, a folate/antifolate transporter. METHODS: We computationally compared the structural, dynamic and physico-chemical properties of the targets. We based our analysis on available inhibitory activity and crystallographic data, including a crystal structure of the bifunctional T. cruzi DHFR-TS with tetrahydrofolate bound determined in this work. Due to the low sequence and structural similarity of the targets analyzed, we employed a mapping of binding pockets based on the known common ligands, folate and methotrexate. RESULTS: Our analysis provides a set of practical strategies for the design of selective trypanosomatid folate pathway inhibitors, which are supported by enzyme inhibition measurements and crystallographic structures. CONCLUSIONS: The ligand-based comparative computational mapping of protein binding pockets provides a basis for repurposing of anti-folates and the design of new anti-trypanosmatid agents. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Apart from the target-based discovery of selective compounds, our approach may be also applied for protein engineering or analyzing evolutionary relationships in protein families.

Authors: J. Panecka-Hofman, I. Pohner, F. Spyrakis, T. Zeppelin, F. Di Pisa, L. Dello Iacono, A. Bonucci, A. Quotadamo, A. Venturelli, S. Mangani, M. P. Costi, R. C. Wade

Date Published: 25th Sep 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

It is a long-standing enigma how glycogen storage disease (GSD) type I patients retain a limited capacity for endogenous glucose production despite the loss of glucose-6-phosphatase activity. Insight into the source of residual endogenous glucose production is of clinical importance given the risk of sudden death in these patients, but so far contradictory mechanisms have been proposed. We investigated glucose-6-phosphatase-independent endogenous glucose production in hepatocytes isolated from a liver-specific GSD Ia mouse model (L-G6pc(-/-) mice) and performed real-time analysis of hepatic glucose fluxes and glycogen metabolism in L-G6pc(-/-) mice using state-of-the-art stable isotope methodologies. Here we show that G6pc-deficient hepatocytes are capable of producing glucose. In vivo analysis of hepatic glucose metabolism revealed that the hepatic glucokinase flux was decreased by 95% in L-G6pc(-/-) mice. It also showed increased glycogen phosphorylase flux in L-G6pc(-/-) mice, which is coupled to the release of free glucose through glycogen debranching. Although the ex vivo activities of debranching enzyme and lysosomal acid maltase, two major hepatic alpha-glucosidases, were unaltered in L-G6pc(-/-) mice, pharmacological inhibition of alpha-glucosidase activity almost completely abolished residual glucose production by G6pc-deficient hepatocytes. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that hepatocytes contribute to residual glucose production in GSD Ia. We show that alpha-glucosidase activity, i.e. glycogen debranching and/or lysosomal glycogen breakdown, contributes to residual glucose production by GSD Ia hepatocytes. A strong reduction in hepatic GCK flux in L-G6pc-/- mice furthermore limits the phosphorylation of free glucose synthesized by G6pc-deficient hepatocytes, allowing the release of glucose into the circulation. The almost complete abrogation of GCK flux in G6pc-deficient liver also explains the contradictory reports on residual glucose production in GSD Ia patients. (Hepatology 2017;66:2042-2054).

Authors: B. S. Hijmans, A. Boss, T. H. van Dijk, M. Soty, H. Wolters, E. Mutel, A. K. Groen, T. G. J. Derks, G. Mithieux, A. Heerschap, D. J. Reijngoud, F. Rajas, M. H. Oosterveer

Date Published: 21st Jul 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Motivation: Modeling of signaling pathways is an important step towards the understanding and the treatment of diseases such as cancers, HIV or auto-immune diseases. MaBoSS is a software that allows to simulate populations of cells and to model stochastically the intracellular mechanisms that are deregulated in diseases. MaBoSS provides an output of a Boolean model in the form of time-dependent probabilities, for all biological entities (genes, proteins, phenotypes, etc.) of the model. Results: We present a new version of MaBoSS (2.0), including an updated version of the core software and an environment. With this environment, the needs for modeling signaling pathways are facilitated, including model construction, visualization, simulations of mutations, drug treatments and sensitivity analyses. It offers a framework for automated production of theoretical predictions. Availability and Implementation: MaBoSS software can be found at https://maboss.curie.fr , including tutorials on existing models and examples of models. Contact: gautier.stoll@upmc.fr or laurence.calzone@curie.fr. Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Authors: G. Stoll, B. Caron, E. Viara, A. Dugourd, A. Zinovyev, A. Naldi, G. Kroemer, E. Barillot, L. Calzone

Date Published: 15th Jul 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Sulfolobus solfataricus is a thermoacidophilic Archaeon that thrives in terrestrial hot springs (solfatares) with optimal growth at 80 degrees C and pH 2-4. It catabolizes specific carbon sources, such as D-glucose, to pyruvate via the modified Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway. This pathway has two parallel branches, the semi-phosphorylative and the non-phosphorylative. However, the strategy of S.solfataricus to endure in such an extreme environment in terms of robustness and adaptation is not yet completely understood. Here, we present the first dynamic mathematical model of the ED pathway parameterized with quantitative experimental data. These data consist of enzyme activities of the branched pathway at 70 degrees C and 80 degrees C and of metabolomics data at the same temperatures for the wild type and for a metabolic engineered knockout of the semi-phosphorylative branch. We use the validated model to address two questions: 1. Is this system more robust to perturbations at its optimal growth temperature? 2. Is the ED robust to deletion and perturbations? We employed a systems biology approach to answer these questions and to gain further knowledge on the emergent properties of this biological system. Specifically, we applied deterministic and stochastic approaches to study the sensitivity and robustness of the system, respectively. The mathematical model we present here, shows that: 1. Steady state metabolite concentrations of the ED pathway are consistently more robust to stochastic internal perturbations at 80 degrees C than at 70 degrees C; 2. These metabolite concentrations are highly robust when faced with the knockout of either branch. Connected with this observation, these two branches show different properties at the level of metabolite production and flux control. These new results reveal how enzyme kinetics and metabolomics synergizes with mathematical modelling to unveil new systemic properties of the ED pathway in S.solfataricus in terms of its adaptation and robustness.

Authors: A. S. Figueiredo, T. Kouril, D. Esser, P. Haferkamp, P. Wieloch, D. Schomburg, P. Ruoff, B. Siebers, J. Schaber

Date Published: 12th Jul 2017

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

There is a need for improved and generally applicable scoring functions for fragment-based approaches to ligand design. Here, we evaluate the performance of a computationally efficient model for inhibitory activity estimation, which is composed only of multipole electrostatic energy and dispersion energy terms that approximate long-range ab initio quantum mechanical interaction energies. We find that computed energies correlate well with inhibitory activity for a compound series with varying substituents targeting two subpockets of the binding site of Trypanosoma brucei pteridine reductase 1. For one subpocket, we find that the model is more predictive for inhibitory activity than the ab initio interaction energy calculated at the MP2 level. Furthermore, the model is found to outperform a commonly used empirical scoring method. Finally, we show that the results for the two subpockets can be combined, which suggests that this simple nonempirical scoring function could be applied in fragment-based drug design.

Authors: W. Jedwabny, J. Panecka-Hofman, E. Dyguda-Kazimierowicz, R. C. Wade, W. A. Sokalski

Date Published: 9th Jul 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

The TRAnsient Pockets in Proteins (TRAPP) webserver provides an automated workflow that allows users to explore the dynamics of a protein binding site and to detect pockets or sub-pockets that may transiently open due to protein internal motion. These transient or cryptic sub-pockets may be of interest in the design and optimization of small molecular inhibitors for a protein target of interest. The TRAPP workflow consists of the following three modules: (i) TRAPP structure- generation of an ensemble of structures using one or more of four possible molecular simulation methods; (ii) TRAPP analysis-superposition and clustering of the binding site conformations either in an ensemble of structures generated in step (i) or in PDB structures or trajectories uploaded by the user; and (iii) TRAPP pocket-detection, analysis, and visualization of the binding pocket dynamics and characteristics, such as volume, solvent-exposed area or properties of surrounding residues. A standard sequence conservation score per residue or a differential score per residue, for comparing on- and off-targets, can be calculated and displayed on the binding pocket for an uploaded multiple sequence alignment file, and known protein sequence annotations can be displayed simultaneously. The TRAPP webserver is freely available at http://trapp.h-its.org.

Authors: A. Stank, D. B. Kokh, M. Horn, E. Sizikova, R. Neil, J. Panecka, S. Richter, R. C. Wade

Date Published: 3rd Jul 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Human coronaviruses (hCoVs) can be divided into low pathogenic and highly pathogenic coronaviruses. The low pathogenic CoVs infect the upper respiratory tract and cause mild, cold-like respiratory illness. In contrast, highly pathogenic hCoVs such as severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) predominantly infect lower airways and cause fatal pneumonia. Severe pneumonia caused by pathogenic hCoVs is often associated with rapid virus replication, massive inflammatory cell infiltration and elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine responses resulting in acute lung injury (ALI), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recent studies in experimentally infected animal strongly suggest a crucial role for virus-induced immunopathological events in causing fatal pneumonia after hCoV infections. Here we review the current understanding of how a dysregulated immune response may cause lung immunopathology leading to deleterious clinical manifestations after pathogenic hCoV infections.

Authors: Rudragouda Channappanavar, Stanley Perlman

Date Published: 1st Jul 2017

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Tissues use feedback circuits in which cells send signals to each other to control their growth and survival. We show that such feed- back circuits are inherently unstable to mutants that misread the signal level: Mutants have a growth advantage to take over the tissue, and cannot be eliminated by known cell-intrinsic mecha- nisms. To resolve this, we propose that tissues have biphasic responses in which the signal is toxic at both high and low levels, such as glucotoxicity of beta cells, excitotoxicity in neurons, and toxicity of growth factors to T cells. This gives most of these mutants a frequency-dependent selective disadvantage, which leads to their elimination. However, the biphasic mechanisms create a new unstable fixed point in the feedback circuit beyond which runaway processes can occur, leading to risk of diseases such as diabetes and neurodegenerative disease. Hence, glucotoxicity, which is a dangerous cause of diabetes, may have a protective anti- mutant effect. Biphasic responses in tissues may provide an evolu- tionary stable strategy that avoids invasion by commonly occurring mutants, but at the same time cause vulnerability to disease.

Authors: Omer Karin, Uri Alon

Date Published: 26th Jun 2017

Publication Type: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Constraint based methods, such as the Flux Balance Analysis, are widely used to model cellular growth processes without relying on extensive information on the regulatory features. The regulation is instead substituted by an optimization problem usually aiming at maximal biomass accumulation. A recent extension to these methods called the dynamic enzyme-cost Flux Balance Analysis (deFBA) is a fully dynamic modeling method allowing for the prediction of necessary enzyme levels under changing environmental conditions. However, this method was designed for deterministic settings in which all dynamics, parameters, etc. are exactly known. In this work, we present a theoretical framework extending the deFBA to handle uncertainties and provide a robust solution. We use the ideas from multi-stage nonlinear Model Predictive Control (MPC) and its feature to represent the evolution of uncertainties by an exponentially growing scenario tree. While this representation is able to construct a deterministic optimization problem in the presence of uncertainties, the computational cost also increases exponentially. We counter this by using a receding prediction horizon and reshape the standard deFBA to the short-time deFBA (sdeFBA). This leads us, along with further simplification of the scenario tree, to the robust deFBA (rdeFBA). This framework is capable of handling the uncertainties in the model itself as well as uncertainties experienced by the modeled system. We applied these algorithms to two case-studies: a minimal enzymatic nutrient uptake network, and the abstraction of the core metabolic process in bacteria.

Authors: Henning Lindhorst, Sergio Lucia, Rolf Findeisen, Steffen Waldherr

Date Published: 13th Jun 2017

Publication Type: Not specified

Powered by
(v.1.12.2)
Copyright © 2008 - 2022 The University of Manchester and HITS gGmbH

By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies