Peak picking NMR spectral data using non-negative matrix factorization
- Background: Simple peak-picking algorithms, such as those based on lineshape fitting, perform well when peaks are completely resolved in multidimensional NMR spectra, but often produce wrong intensities and frequencies for overlapping peak clusters. For example, NOESY-type spectra have considerable overlaps leading to significant peak-picking intensity errors, which can result in erroneous structural restraints. Precise frequencies are critical for unambiguous resonance assignments.
Results: To alleviate this problem, a more sophisticated peaks decomposition algorithm, based on non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), was developed. We produce peak shapes from Fourier-transformed NMR spectra. Apart from its main goal of deriving components from spectra and producing peak lists automatically, the NMF approach can also be applied if the positions of some peaks are known a priori, e.g. from consistently referenced spectral dimensions of other experiments.
Conclusions: Application of the NMF algorithm to a three-dimensional peak list of the 23 kDa bi-domain section of the RcsD protein (RcsD-ABL-HPt, residues 688-890) as well as to synthetic HSQC data shows that peaks can be picked accurately also in spectral regions with strong overlap.
Partial Methylation at Am100 in 18S rRNA of Baker's Yeast Reveals Ribosome Heterogeneity on the Level of Eukaryotic rRNA Modification
- Ribosome heterogeneity is of increasing biological significance and several examples have been described for multicellular and single cells organisms. In here we show for the first time a variation in ribose methylation within the 18S rRNA of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using RNA-cleaving DNAzymes, we could specifically demonstrate that a significant amount of S. cerevisiae ribosomes are not methylated at 2′-O-ribose of A100 residue in the 18S rRNA. Furthermore, using LC-UV-MS/MS of a respective 18S rRNA fragment, we could not only corroborate the partial methylation at A100, but could also quantify the methylated versus non-methylated A100 residue. Here, we exhibit that only 68% of A100 in the 18S rRNA of S.cerevisiae are methylated at 2′-O ribose sugar. Polysomes also contain a similar heterogeneity for methylated Am100, which shows that 40S ribosome subunits with and without Am100 participate in translation. Introduction of a multicopy plasmid containing the corresponding methylation guide snoRNA gene SNR51 led to an increased A100 methylation, suggesting the cellular snR51 level to limit the extent of this modification. Partial rRNA modification demonstrates a new level of ribosome heterogeneity in eukaryotic cells that might have substantial impact on regulation and fine-tuning of the translation process.
Transforming growth factor β1 genotypes in relation to TGFβ1, interleukin-8, and tumor necrosis factor alpha in induced sputum and blood in cystic fibrosis
Louisa van den Boom
Michael J. Lentze
- Background. High-producer TGFβ1 genotypes are associated with severe lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF), but studies combining IL-8, TNFα-, and TGFβ1(+genotype) levels and their impact on CF lung disease are scarce. Aim. Assessing the relationship between TGFβ1, IL-8, and TNF-α and lung disease in CF in an exacerbation-free interval. Methods. Twenty four patients delta F508 homozygous (median age 20.5 y, Shwachman score 75, FEV1(%) 83) and 8 controls (median age 27.5 y) were examined. TGFβ1 was assessed in serum and induced sputum (IS) by ELISA, for IL-8 and TNF-α by chemiluminescence in IS and whole blood. Genotyping was performed for TGFβ1 C−509T and T+869C utilizing RFLP. Results. TGFβ1 in IS (CF/controls median 76.5/59.1 pg/mL, P < 0.074) was higher in CF. There was a negative correlation between TGFβ1 in serum and lung function (LF) (FEV1 (r = −0.488, P = 0.025), MEF 25 (r = −0.425, P = 0.055), and VC (r = −0.572, P = 0.007)). Genotypes had no impact on TGFβ1 in IS, serum, and LF. In IS TGFβ1 correlated with IL-8 (r = 0.593, P < 0.007) and TNF-α (r = 0.536, P < 0.018) in patients colonized by bacteria with flagellin. Conclusion. TGFβ1 in serum not in IS correlates with LF. In patients colonized by bacteria with flagellin, TGFβ1 correlates with IL-8 and TNF-α in IS.
Treatment of invasive fungal infections in cancer patients - updated recommendations of the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology (DGHO)
Oliver A. Cornely
Andrew J. Ullmann
- The Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology (DGHO) here presents its updated recommendations for the treatment of documented fungal infections. Invasive fungal infections are a main cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy regimens. In recent years, new antifungal agents have been licensed, and agents already approved have been studied in new indications. The choice of the most appropriate antifungal treatment depends on the fungal species suspected or identified, the patient’s risk factors (e.g., length and depth of neutropenia), and the expected side effects. This guideline reviews the clinical studies that served as a basis for the following recommendations. All recommendations including the levels of evidence are summarized in tables to give the reader rapid access to the information.
Association of a common TLR-6 polymorphism with coronary artery disease – implications for healthy ageing?
Ralf R. Schumann
- Background: The pro-inflammatory status of the elderly triggers most of the age-related diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, the leading cause world wide of morbidity and death, is an inflammatory disease influenced by life-style and genetic host factors. Stimuli such as oxLDL or microbial ligands have been proposed to trigger inflammation leading to atherosclerosis. It has recently been shown that oxLDL activates immune cells via the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4/6 complex. Several common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TLR system have been associated with atherosclerosis. To investigate the role of TLR-6 we analyzed the association of the TLR-6 SNP Pro249Ser with atherogenesis.
Results: Genotyping of two independent groups with CAD, as well as of healthy controls revealed a significant association of the homozygous genotype with a reduced risk for atherosclerosis (odds ratio: 0.69, 95% CI 0.51-0.95, P = 0.02). In addition, we found a trend towards an association with the risk of restenosis after transluminal coronary angioplasty (odds ratio: 0.53, 95% CI 0.24-1.16, P = 0.12). In addition, first evidence is presented that the frequency of this protective genotype increases in a healthy population with age. Taken together, our results define a role for TLR-6 and its genetic variations in modulating the inflammatory response leading to atherosclerosis.
Conclusions: These results may lead to a better risk stratification, and potentially to an improved prophylactic treatment of high-risk populations. Furthermore, the protective effect of this polymorphism may lead to an increase of this genotype in the healthy elderly and may therefore be a novel genetic marker for the well-being during aging.
Dynamic soil feedbacks on the climate of the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum
- State-of-the-art general circulation models (GCMs) are tested and challenged by the ability to reproduce paleoclimate key intervals. In order to account for climate changes associated with soil dynamics we have developed a soil scheme, which is asynchronously coupled to a state-of-the-art atmosphere ocean GCM with dynamic vegetation. We test the scheme for conditions representative of a warmer (mid-Holocene, 6 kyr before present, BP) and colder (Last Glacial Maximum, 21 kyr BP) than pre-industrial climate. The computed change of physical soil properties (i.e. albedo, water storage capacity, and soil texture) for these different climates leads to amplified global climate anomalies. Especially regions like the transition zone of desert/savannah and taiga/tundra, exhibit an increased response as a result of the modified soil treatment. In comparison to earlier studies, the inclusion of the soil feedback pushes our model simulations towards the warmer end in the range of mid-Holocene studies and beyond current estimates of global cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum based on PMIP2 (Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project 2) studies. The main impact of the interactive soil scheme on the climate response is governed by positive feedbacks, including dynamics of vegetation, snow, sea ice, local water recycling, which might amplify forcing factors ranging from orbital to tectonic timescales.
Interference with RUNX1/ETO leukemogenic function by cell-penetrating peptides targeting the NHR2 oligomerization domain
- The leukemia-associated fusion protein RUNX1/ETO is generated by the chromosomal translocation t(8;21) which appears in about 12% of all de novo acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs). Essential for the oncogenic potential of RUNX1/ETO is the oligomerization of the chimeric fusion protein through the nervy homology region 2 (NHR2) within ETO. In previous studies, we have shown that the intracellular expression of peptides containing the NHR2 domain inhibits RUNX1/ETO oligomerization, thereby preventing cell proliferation and inducing differentiation of RUNX1/ETO transformed cells. Here, we show that introduction of a recombinant TAT-NHR2 fusion polypeptide into the RUNX1/ETO growth-dependent myeloid cell line Kasumi-1 results in decreased cell proliferation and increased numbers of apoptotic cells. This effect was highly specific and mediated by binding the TAT-NHR2 peptide to ETO sequences, as TAT-polypeptides containing the oligomerization domain of BCR did not affect cell proliferation or apoptosis in Kasumi-1 cells. Thus, the selective interference with NHR2-mediated oligomerization by peptides represents a challenging but promising strategy for the inhibition of the leukemogenic potential of RUNX1/ETO in t(8;21)-positive leukemia.
Functional Abstraction as a Method to Discover Knowledge in Gene Ontologies
- Computational analyses of functions of gene sets obtained in microarray analyses or by topical database searches are increasingly important in biology. To understand their functions, the sets are usually mapped to Gene Ontology knowledge bases by means of over-representation analysis (ORA). Its result represents the specific knowledge of the functionality of the gene set. However, the specific ontology typically consists of many terms and relationships, hindering the understanding of the ‘main story’. We developed a methodology to identify a comprehensibly small number of GO terms as “headlines” of the specific ontology allowing to understand all central aspects of the roles of the involved genes. The Functional Abstraction method finds a set of headlines that is specific enough to cover all details of a specific ontology and is abstract enough for human comprehension. This method exceeds the classical approaches at ORA abstraction and by focusing on information rather than decorrelation of GO terms, it directly targets human comprehension. Functional abstraction provides, with a maximum of certainty, information value, coverage and conciseness, a representation of the biological functions in a gene set plays a role. This is the necessary means to interpret complex Gene Ontology results thus strengthening the role of functional genomics in biomarker and drug discovery.
Protein signatures of oxidative stress response in a patient specific cell line model for autism
Andreas G. Chiocchetti
Christine M. Freitag
Johann W. Bauer
Sabine M. Klauck
- BACKGROUND: Known genetic variants can account for 10% to 20% of all cases with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Overlapping cellular pathomechanisms common to neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) and in tissues of peripheral organs, such as immune dysregulation, oxidative stress and dysfunctions in mitochondrial and protein synthesis metabolism, were suggested to support the wide spectrum of ASD on unifying disease phenotype. Here, we studied in patient-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) how an ASD-specific mutation in ribosomal protein RPL10 (RPL10[H213Q]) generates a distinct protein signature. We compared the RPL10[H213Q] expression pattern to expression patterns derived from unrelated ASD patients without RPL10[H213Q] mutation. In addition, a yeast rpl10 deficiency model served in a proof-of-principle study to test for alterations in protein patterns in response to oxidative stress.
METHODS: Protein extracts of LCLs from patients, relatives and controls, as well as diploid yeast cells hemizygous for rpl10, were subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and differentially regulated spots were identified by mass spectrometry. Subsequently, Gene Ontology database (GO)-term enrichment and network analysis was performed to map the identified proteins into cellular pathways.
RESULTS: The protein signature generated by RPL10[H213Q] is a functionally related subset of the ASD-specific protein signature, sharing redox-sensitive elements in energy-, protein- and redox-metabolism. In yeast, rpl10 deficiency generates a specific protein signature, harboring components of pathways identified in both the RPL10[H213Q] subjects' and the ASD patients' set. Importantly, the rpl10 deficiency signature is a subset of the signature resulting from response of wild-type yeast to oxidative stress.
CONCLUSIONS: Redox-sensitive protein signatures mapping into cellular pathways with pathophysiology in ASD have been identified in both LCLs carrying the ASD-specific mutation RPL10[H213Q] and LCLs from ASD patients without this mutation. At pathway levels, this redox-sensitive protein signature has also been identified in a yeast rpl10 deficiency and an oxidative stress model. These observations point to a common molecular pathomechanism in ASD, characterized in our study by dysregulation of redox balance. Importantly, this can be triggered by the known ASD-RPL10[H213Q] mutation or by yet unknown mutations of the ASD cohort that act upstream of RPL10 in differential expression of redox-sensitive proteins.
Performance of diethylene glycol-based particle counters in the sub-3 nm size range
- When studying new particle formation, the uncertainty in determining the "true" nucleation rate is considerably reduced when using condensation particle counters (CPCs) capable of measuring concentrations of aerosol particles at sizes close to or even at the critical cluster size (1–2 nm). Recently, CPCs able to reliably detect particles below 2 nm in size and even close to 1 nm became available. Using these instruments, the corrections needed for calculating nucleation rates are substantially reduced compared to scaling the observed formation rate to the nucleation rate at the critical cluster size. However, this improved instrumentation requires a careful characterization of their cut-off size and the shape of the detection efficiency curve because relatively small shifts in the cut-off size can translate into larger relative errors when measuring particles close to the cut-off size.
Here we describe the development of two continuous-flow CPCs using diethylene glycol (DEG) as the working fluid. The design is based on two TSI 3776 counters. Several sets of measurements to characterize their performance at different temperature settings were carried out. Furthermore, two mixing-type particle size magnifiers (PSM) A09 from Airmodus were characterized in parallel. One PSM was operated at the highest mixing ratio (1 L min−1 saturator flow), and the other was operated in a scanning mode, where the mixing ratios are changed periodically, resulting in a range of cut-off sizes. The mixing ratios are determined by varying the saturator flow, where the aerosol flow stays constant at 2.5 L min−1. Different test aerosols were generated using a nano-differential mobility analyser (nano-DMA) or a high-resolution DMA, to obtain detection efficiency curves for all four CPCs. One calibration setup included a high-resolution mass spectrometer (APi-TOF) for the determination of the chemical composition of the generated clusters. The lowest cut-off sizes were achieved with negatively charged ammonium sulfate clusters, resulting in cut-offs of 1.4 nm for the laminar flow CPCs and 1.2 and 1.1 nm for the PSMs. A comparison of one of the laminar-flow CPCs and one of the PSMs measuring ambient and laboratory air showed good agreement between the instruments.