N-terminally myristoylated feline foamy virus Gag allows Env-independent budding of sub-viral particles
- Foamy viruses (FVs) are distinct retroviruses classified as Spumaretrovirinae in contrast to the other retroviruses, the Orthoretrovirinae. As a unique feature of FVs, Gag is not sufficient for sub-viral particle (SVP) release. In primate and feline FVs (PFV and FFV), particle budding completely depends on the cognate FV Env glycoproteins. It was recently shown that an artificially added N-terminal Gag myristoylation signal (myr-signal) overcomes this restriction in PFV inducing an Orthoretrovirus-like budding phenotype. Here we show that engineered, heterologous N-terminal myr-signals also induce budding of the distantly related FFV Gag. The budding efficiency depends on the myr-signal and its location relative to the N-terminus of Gag. When the first nine amino acid residues of FFV Gag were replaced by known myr-signals, the budding efficiency as determined by the detection of extracellular SVPs was low. In contrast, adding myr-signals to the intact N-terminus of FFV Gag resulted in a more efficient SVP release. Importantly, budding of myr-Gag proteins was sensitive towards inhibition of cellular N-myristoyltransferases. As expected, the addition or insertion of myr-signals that allowed Env-independent budding of FFV SVPs also retargeted Gag to plasma membrane-proximal sites and other intracellular membrane compartments. The data confirm that membrane-targeted FV Gag has the capacity of SVP formation.
Inflammatory and angiogenic protein detection in the human vitreous: cytometric bead assay
Michael Janusz Koss
Frank H. Koch
- Introduction. To evaluate clinical feasibility and reproducibility of cytometric bead assay (CBA) in nondiluted vitreous samples of patients with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), and central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Methods. Twelve patients from a single clinics day qualified for intravitreal injections (ARMD n = 6, DME n = 3, CRVO n = 3) and underwent a combination treatment including a single-site 23 gauge core vitrectomy which yielded a volume of 0.6 mL undiluted vitreous per patient. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), vascular endothelial growth factor isoform A (VEGF-A), and monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were assessed directly from 0.3 mL at the same day (fresh samples). To assess the reproducibility 0.3 ml were frozen for 60 days at -80°, on which the CBA was repeated (frozen samples). Results. In the fresh samples IL-6 was highest in CRVO (median IL-6 55.8 pg/mL) > DME (50.6) > ARMD (3.1). Highest VEGF was measured in CRVO (447.4) > DME (3.9) > ARMD (2.0). MCP-1 was highest in CRVO (595.7) > AMD (530.8) > DME (178). The CBA reproducibility after frozen storage was examined to be most accurate for MCP1 (P = 0.91) > VEGF (P = 0.68) > IL-6 (P = 0.49). Conclusions. CBA is an innovative, fast determining, and reliable technology to analyze proteins in fluids, like the undiluted vitreous, which is important to better understand ocular pathophysiology and pharmacology. There is no influence of intermittent storage at -80° for the reproducibility of the CBA.
Divergent Evolution of Male Aggressive Behaviour: Another Reproductive Isolation Barrier in Extremophile Poeciliid Fishes?
- Reproductive isolation among locally adapted populations may arise when immigrants from foreign habitats are selected against via natural or (inter-)sexual selection (female mate choice). We asked whether also intrasexual selection through male-male competition could promote reproductive isolation among populations of poeciliid fishes that are locally adapted to extreme environmental conditions [i.e., darkness in caves and/or toxic hydrogen sulphide (H(2)S)]. We found strongly reduced aggressiveness in extremophile P. oecilia mexicana, and darkness was the best predictor for the evolutionary reduction of aggressiveness, especially when combined with presence of H(2)S. We demonstrate that reduced aggression directly translates into migrant males being inferior when paired with males from non-sulphidic surface habitats. By contrast, the phylogenetically old sulphur endemic P. sulphuraria from another sulphide spring area showed no overall reduced aggressiveness, possibly indicating evolved mechanisms to better cope with H(2)S.
Integrin-mediated cell-matrix interaction in physiological and pathological blood vessel formation
Johannes Andreas Eble
- Physiological as well as pathological blood vessel formation are fundamentally dependent on cell-matrix interaction. Integrins, a family of major cell adhesion receptors, play a pivotal role in development, maintenance, and remodeling of the vasculature. Cell migration, invasion, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are integrin-regulated processes, and the expression of certain integrins also correlates with tumor progression. Recent advances in the understanding of how integrins are involved in the regulation of blood vessel formation and remodeling during tumor progression are highlighted. The increasing knowledge of integrin function at the molecular level, together with the growing repertoire of integrin inhibitors which allow their selective pharmacological manipulation, makes integrins suited as potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets.
Structural and functional analysis of the archaeal endonuclease Nob1
Jan Philip Wurm
Benjamin L. Weis
- Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis requires the concerted action of numerous ribosome assembly factors, for most of which structural and functional information is currently lacking. Nob1, which can be identified in eukaryotes and archaea, is required for the final maturation of the small subunit ribosomal RNA in yeast by catalyzing cleavage at site D after export of the preribosomal subunit into the cytoplasm. Here, we show that this also holds true for Nob1 from the archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii, which efficiently cleaves RNA-substrates containing the D-site of the preribosomal RNA in a manganese-dependent manner. The structure of PhNob1 solved by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed a PIN domain common with many nucleases and a zinc ribbon domain, which are structurally connected by a flexible linker. We show that amino acid residues required for substrate binding reside in the PIN domain whereas the zinc ribbon domain alone is sufficient to bind helix 40 of the small subunit rRNA. This suggests that the zinc ribbon domain acts as an anchor point for the protein on the nascent subunit positioning it in the proximity of the cleavage site.
Conformational dynamics of the tetracycline-binding aptamer
Julia E. Weigand
- The conformational dynamics induced by ligand binding to the tetracycline-binding aptamer is monitored via stopped-flow fluorescence spectroscopy and time-correlated single photon counting experiments. The fluorescence of the ligand is sensitive to changes within the tertiary structure of the aptamer during and after the binding process. In addition to the wild-type aptamer, the mutants A9G, A13U and A50U are examined, where bases important for regulation are changed to inhibit the aptamer’s function. Our results suggest a very fast two-step-mechanism for the binding of the ligand to the aptamer that can be interpreted as a binding step followed by a reorganization of the aptamer to accommodate the ligand. Binding to the two direct contact points A13 and A50 was found to occur in the first binding step. The exchange of the structurally important base A9 for guanine induces an enormous deceleration of the overall binding process, which is mainly rooted in an enhancement of the back reaction of the first binding step by several orders of magnitude. This indicates a significant loss of tertiary structure of the aptamer in the absence of the base A9, and underlines the importance of pre-organization on the overall binding process of the tetracycline-binding aptamer.
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REAL – Revista de Estudos Alemães : 2011, No. 2 = Travessias e fronteiras ; traduzindo (d)o alemão
- Os textos reunidos na segunda edição da REAL respondem ao núcleo temático proposto pelos editores – com base no fundamento de que a tradução constitui uma forma privilegiada de representação de uma literatura estrangeira no polissistema literário nacional, além de configurar relações interlinguísticas e interculturais, preencher lacunas na cultura de chegada e, desse modo, contribuir para equilibrar assimetrias no universo das relações tradutórias entre Portugal e os países de língua alemã.
Evaluating frequency, diagnostic quality, and cost of Lyme borreliosis testing in Germany: a retrospective model analysis
Michael H. Freitag
Douglas E. Norris
- Background. Data on the economic impact of Lyme borreliosis (LB) on European health care systems is scarce. This project focused on the epidemiology and costs for laboratory testing in LB patients in Germany. Materials and Methods. We performed a sentinel analysis of epidemiological and medicoeconomic data for 2007 and 2008. Data was provided by a German statutory health insurance (DAK) company covering approx. 6.04 million members. In addition, the quality of diagnostic testing for LB in Germany was studied. Results. In 2007 and 2008, the incident diagnosis LB was coded on average for 15,742 out of 6.04 million insured members (0.26%). 20,986 EIAs and 12,558 immunoblots were ordered annually for these patients. For all insured members in the outpatient sector, a total of 174,820 EIAs and 52,280 immunoblots were reimbursed annually to health care providers (cost: 2,600,850€). For Germany, the overall expected cost is estimated at 51,215,105€. However, proficiency testing data questioned test quality and standardization of diagnostic assays used. Conclusion. Findings from this study suggest ongoing issues related to care for LB and may help to improve future LB disease management.
Einblick : der Newsletter für Alumni der Goethe-Universität ; Augabe 16 - Oktober 2011
Quarkonium phenomenology in vacuum
- This thesis has light mesons and their vacuum interactions as its topic. In particular, the work examines the question where the scalar antiquark-quark states are found in the physical spectrum -- in the energy region below or above 1 GeV. Contrary to the naive expectation, the mentioned states are found in the region above 1 GeV. This has consequences for the building of order parameters for the chiral symmetry breaking of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).