Publications

Abstract (Expand)

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from human bone marrow serve as a resource for cell-based therapies in regenerative medicine. Clinical applications require standardized protocols according to good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines. Donor variability as well as the intrinsic heterogeneity of MSC populations must be taken into consideration. The composition of the culture medium is a key factor in successful MSC expansion. The aim of this study was to comparatively assess the efficiency of xeno-free human platelet lysate (HPL)-based cell expansion with two commercially available media-StemPro MSC SFM CTS (for human ex vivo tissue and cell culture processing applications) and MSCGM (non-GMP-compliant, for research only)-in an academic setting as the first optimization step toward GMP-compliant manufacturing. We report the feasibility of MSC expansion up to the yielded cell number with all three media. MSCs exhibited the typical fibroblastoid morphology, with distinct differences in cell size depending on the medium. The differentiation capacity and characteristic immunophenotype were confirmed for all MSC populations. Proliferation was highest using StemPro MSC SFM CTS, whereas HPL medium was more cost-effective and its composition could be adjusted individually according to the respective needs. In summary, we present a comprehensive evaluation of GMP-compatible culture media for MSC expansion. Both StemPro and HPL medium proved to be suitable for clinical application and allowed sufficient cell proliferation. Specific differences were observed and should be considered according to the intended use. This study provides a detailed cost analysis and tools that may be helpful for the establishment of GMP-compliant MSC expansion.

Authors: P. Wuchter, M. Vetter, Rainer Saffrich, A. Diehlmann, K. Bieback, A. D. Ho, P. Horn

Date Published: 19th Feb 2016

Journal: Exp Hematol

Abstract (Expand)

Cell signaling, gene expression, and metabolism are affected by cell-cell heterogeneity and random changes in the environment. The effects of such fluctuations on cell signaling and gene expression have recently been studied intensively using single-cell experiments. In metabolism heterogeneity may be particularly important because it may affect synchronisation of metabolic oscillations, an important example of cell-cell communication. This synchronisation is notoriously difficult to describe theoretically as the example of glycolytic oscillations shows: neither is the mechanism of glycolytic synchronisation understood nor the role of cell-cell heterogeneity. To pin down the mechanism and to assess its robustness and universality we have experimentally investigated the entrainment of glycolytic oscillations in individual yeast cells by periodic external perturbations. We find that oscillatory cells synchronise through phase shifts and that the mechanism is insensitive to cell heterogeneity (robustness) and similar for different types of external perturbations (universality).

Authors: Anna-Karin Gustavsson, Caroline B. Adiels, Bernhard Mehlig, Mattias Goksör

Date Published: 1st Aug 2015

Journal: Sci Rep

Abstract (Expand)

Kinetoplastea such as trypanosomatid parasites contain specialized peroxisomes that uniquely contain enzymes of the glycolytic pathway and other parts of intermediary metabolism and hence are called glycosomes. Their specific enzyme content can vary strongly, quantitatively and qualitatively, between different species and during the parasites’ life cycle. The correct sequestering of enzymes has great importance for the regulation of the trypanosomatids’ metabolism and can, dependent on environmental conditions, even be essential. Glycosomes also play a pivotal role in life-cycle regulation of Trypanosoma brucei, as the translocation of a protein phosphatase from the cytosol forms part of a crucial developmental control switch. Many glycosomal proteins are differentially phosphorylated in different life-cycle stages, possibly indicative for unique forms of activity regulation, whereas many kinetic activity regulation mechanisms common for glycolytic enzymes are absent in these organisms. Glycosome turnover occurs by autophagic degradation of redundant organelles and assembly of new ones. This may provide the trypanosomatids with a manner to rapidly and efficiently adapt their metabolism to the sudden, major nutritional changes often encountered during the life cycle. This could also have helped facilitating successful adaptation of kinetoplastids, at multiple occasions during evolution, to their parasitic life style.

Authors: Balázs Szöör, Jurgen Haanstra, Melisa Gualdrón-López, Paul AM Michels

Date Published: 1st Dec 2014

Journal: Current Opinion in Microbiology

Abstract (Expand)

Biomass-derived d-xylose represents an economically interesting substrate for the sustainable microbial production of value-added compounds. The industrially important platform organism Corynebacterium glutamicum has already been engineered to grow on this pentose as sole carbon and energy source. However, all currently described C. glutamicum strains utilize d-xylose via the commonly known isomerase pathway that leads to a significant carbon loss in the form of CO2, in particular, when aiming for the synthesis of alpha-ketoglutarate and its derivatives (e.g. l-glutamate). Driven by the motivation to engineer a more carbon-efficient C. glutamicum strain, we functionally integrated the Weimberg pathway from Caulobacter crescentus in C. glutamicum. This five-step pathway, encoded by the xylXABCD-operon, enabled a recombinant C. glutamicum strain to utilize d-xylose in d-xylose/d-glucose mixtures. Interestingly, this strain exhibited a tri-phasic growth behavior and transiently accumulated d-xylonate during d-xylose utilization in the second growth phase. However, this intermediate of the implemented oxidative pathway was re-consumed in the third growth phase leading to more biomass formation. Furthermore, C. glutamicum pEKEx3-xylXABCDCc was also able to grow on d-xylose as sole carbon and energy source with a maximum growth rate of mumax=0.07+/-0.01h(-1). These results render C. glutamicum pEKEx3-xylXABCDCc a promising starting point for the engineering of efficient production strains, exhibiting only minimal carbon loss on d-xylose containing substrates.

Authors: A. Radek, K. Krumbach, J. Gatgens, Volker Wendisch, W. Wiechert, M. Bott, Stephan Noack, J. Marienhagen

Date Published: 12th Oct 2014

Journal: J Biotechnol

Abstract (Expand)

In systems biology, quantitative experimental data is the basis of building mathematical models. In most of the cases, they are stored in Excel files and hosted locally. To have a public database for collecting, retrieving and citing experimental raw data as well as experimental conditions is important for both experimentalists and modelers. However, the great effort needed in the data handling procedure and in the data submission procedure becomes the crucial limitation for experimentalists to contribute to a database, thereby impeding the database to deliver its benefit. Moreover, manual copy and paste operations which are commonly used in those procedures increase the chance of making mistakes. Excemplify, a web-based application, proposes a flexible and adaptable template-based solution to solve these problems. Comparing to the normal template based uploading approach, which is supported by some public databases, rather than predefining a format that is potentiall impractical, Excemplify allows users to create their own experiment-specific content templates in different experiment stages and to build corresponding knowledge bases for parsing. Utilizing the embedded knowledge of used templates, Excemplify is able to parse experimental data from the initial setup stage and generate following stages spreadsheets automatically. The proposed solution standardizes the flows of data traveling according to the standard procedures of applying the experiment, cuts down the amount of manual effort and reduces the chance of mistakes caused by manual data handling. In addition, it maintains the context of meta-data from the initial preparation manuscript and improves the data consistency. It interoperates and complements RightField and SEEK as well.

Authors: L. Shi, L. Jong, Ulrike Wittig, P. Lucarelli, Markus Stepath, S. Mueller, L. A. D'Alessandro, Ursula Klingmüller, Wolfgang Müller

Date Published: 4th Apr 2013

Journal: J Integr Bioinform

Abstract

Not specified

Authors: Pablo I. Nikel, Victor De Lorenzo

Date Published: 2013

Journal: Metabolic Engineering

Abstract (Expand)

Determining transcriptional regulator activities is a major focus of systems biology, providing key insight into regulatory mechanisms and co-regulators. For organisms such as Escherichia coli, transcriptional regulator binding site data can be integrated with expression data to infer transcriptional regulator activities. However, for most organisms there is only sparse data on their transcriptional regulators, while their associated binding motifs are largely unknown. Here, we address the challenge of inferring activities of unknown regulators by generating de novo (binding) motifs and integrating with expression data. We identify a number of key regulators active in the metabolic switch, including PhoP with its associated directed repeat PHO box, candidate motifs for two SARPs, a CRP family regulator, an iron response regulator and that for LexA. Experimental validation for some of our predictions was obtained using gel-shift assays. Our analysis is applicable to any organism for which there is a reasonable amount of complementary expression data and for which motifs (either over represented or evolutionary conserved) can be identified in the genome.

Authors: M. Iqbal, Y. Mast, R. Amin, D. A. Hodgson, W. Wohlleben, N. J. Burroughs

Date Published: 13th Mar 2012

Journal: Nucleic Acids Res

Abstract (Expand)

The development of disease may be characterized as a pathological shift of homeostasis; the main goal of contemporary drug treatment is, therefore, to return the pathological homeostasis back to the normal physiological range. From the view point of systems biology, homeostasis emerges from the interactions within the network of biomolecules (e.g. DNA, mRNA, proteins), and, hence, understanding how drugs impact upon the entire network should improve their efficacy at returning the network (body) to physiological homeostasis. Large, mechanism-based computer models, such as the anticipated human whole body models (silicon or virtual human), may help in the development of such network-targeting drugs. Using the philosophical concept of weak and strong emergence, we shall here take a more general look at the paradigm of network-targeting drugs, and propose our approaches to scale the strength of strong emergence. We apply these approaches to several biological examples and demonstrate their utility to reveal principles of bio-modeling. We discuss this in the perspective of building the silicon human.

Authors: Alexey Kolodkin, Fred C Boogerd, Nick Plant, Frank J Bruggeman, Valeri Goncharuk, Jeantine Lunshof, Rafael Moreno-Sanchez, Nilgun Yilmaz, Barbara M Bakker, Jacky Snoep, Rudi Balling, Hans Westerhoff

Date Published: 16th Jun 2011

Journal: Eur J Pharm Sci

Abstract (Expand)

Twin-arginine protein translocation (Tat) pathways are required for transport of folded proteins across bacterial, archaeal and chloroplast membranes. Recent studies indicate that Tat has evolved into a mainstream pathway for protein secretion in certain halophilic archaea, which thrive in highly saline environments. Here, we investigated the effects of environmental salinity on Tat-dependent protein secretion by the Gram-positive soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which encounters widely differing salt concentrations in its natural habitats. The results show that environmental salinity determines the specificity and need for Tat-dependent secretion of the Dyp-type peroxidase YwbN in B. subtilis. Under high salinity growth conditions, at least three Tat translocase subunits, namely TatAd, TatAy and TatCy, are involved in the secretion of YwbN. Yet, a significant level of Tat-independent YwbN secretion is also observed under these conditions. When B. subtilis is grown in medium with 1% NaCl or without NaCl, the secretion of YwbN depends strictly on the previously described "minimal Tat translocase" consisting of the TatAy and TatCy subunits. Notably, in medium without NaCl, both tatAyCy and ywbN mutants display significantly reduced exponential growth rates and severe cell lysis. This is due to a critical role of secreted YwbN in the acquisition of iron under these conditions. Taken together, our findings show that environmental conditions, such as salinity, can determine the specificity and need for the secretion of a bacterial Tat substrate.

Authors: René van der Ploeg, Ulrike Mäder, Georg Homuth, Marc Schaffer, Emma L Denham, Carmine G Monteferrante, Marcus Miethke, Mohamed A Marahiel, Colin Harwood, Theresa Winter, Michael Hecker, Haike Antelmann, Jan Maarten Van Dijl

Date Published: 30th Mar 2011

Journal: PLoS ONE

Abstract (Expand)

Knowledge on absolute protein concentrations is mandatory for the simulation of biological processes in the context of systems biology. A novel approach for the absolute quantification of proteins at a global scale has been developed and its applicability demonstrated using glucose starvation of the Gram-positive model bacterium Bacillus subtilis and the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus as proof-of-principle examples. Absolute intracellular protein concentrations were initially determined for a preselected set of anchor proteins by employing a targeted mass spectrometric method and isotopically labeled internal standard peptides. Known concentrations of these anchor proteins were then used to calibrate two-dimensional (2-D) gels allowing the calculation of absolute abundance of all detectable proteins on the 2-D gels. Using this approach, concentrations of the majority of metabolic enzymes were determined, and thus a quantification of the players of metabolism was achieved. This new strategy is fast, cost-effective, applicable to any cell type, and thus of value for a broad community of laboratories with experience in 2-D gel-based proteomics and interest in quantitative approaches. Particularly, this approach could also be utilized to quantify existing data sets with the aid of a few standard anchor proteins.

Authors: Sandra Maass, Susanne Sievers, Daniela Zühlke, Judith Kuzinski, Praveen Kumar Sappa, Jan Muntel, Bernd Hessling, Jörg Bernhardt, Rabea Sietmann, Uwe Voelker, Michael Hecker, Dörte Becher

Date Published: 11th Mar 2011

Journal: Anal. Chem.

Abstract (Expand)

We have constructed derivatives of Streptomyces coelicolor M145 as hosts for the heterologous expression of secondary metabolite gene clusters. To remove potentially competitive sinks of carbon and nitrogen, and to provide a host devoid of antibiotic activity, we deleted four endogenous secondary metabolite gene clusters from S. coelicolor M145--those for actinorhodin, prodiginine, CPK and CDA biosynthesis. We then introduced point mutations into rpoB and rpsL to pleiotropically increase the level of secondary metabolite production. Introduction of the native actinorhodin gene cluster and of gene clusters for the heterologous production of chloramphenicol and congocidine revealed dramatic increases in antibiotic production compared with the parental strain. In addition to lacking antibacterial activity, the engineered strains possess relatively simple extracellular metabolite profiles. When combined with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, we believe that these genetically engineered strains will markedly facilitate the discovery of new compounds by heterologous expression of cloned gene clusters, particularly the numerous cryptic secondary metabolic gene clusters that are prevalent within actinomycete genome sequences.

Authors: Juan Pablo Gomez-Escribano, Mervyn J. Bibb

Date Published: 1st Mar 2011

Journal: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

The following article describes systems biology as a merger of systems theory with cell biology. The role of modelling in the description of living cells is discussed. As an example, an abstract multiple-level model of a cell is developed. It is shown that a level of elementary cellular processes, realising cell functions, and a coordination-level are sufficient to create a system that is closed with respect to efficient causation. This form of self-organisation is thereby considered as basic criterion by which living systems, such as cells and organisms, are distinguished from machines and computers. Die causal closure of the cell is possible through the definition of the cell model as a cartesian closed category. It follows the conclusion that computer simulations of differential equations may be able to reproduce cellular processes but not this aspect of causal closure. The article ends with a discussion about the role of systems theory in the life sciences.

Authors: Olaf Wolkenhauer, Jan-Hendrik S. Hofmeyr

Date Published: 1st May 2008

Journal: at - Automatisierungstechnik

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