Year of publication
- Single HA2 mutation increases the infectivity and immunogenicity of a live attenuated H5N1 intranasal influenza vaccine candidate lacking NS1 (2011)
- Background: H5N1 influenza vaccines, including live intranasal, appear to be relatively less immunogenic compared to seasonal analogs. The main influenza virus surface glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) was shown to be more susceptible to acidic pH treatment than that of human or low pathogenic avian influenza viruses. The acidification machinery of the human nasal passageway in response to different irritation factors starts to release protons acidifying the mucosal surface (down to pH of 5.2). We hypothesized that the sensitivity of H5 HA to the acidic environment might be the reason for the low infectivity and immunogenicity of intranasal H5N1 vaccines for mammals. Methodology/Principal Findings: We demonstrate that original human influenza viruses infect primary human nasal epithelial cells at acidic pH (down to 5.4), whereas H5N1 HPAIVs lose infectivity at pH <= 5.6. The HA of A/Vietnam/1203/04 was modified by introducing the single substitution HA2 58K -> I, decreasing the pH of the HA conformational change. The H5N1 reassortants containing the indicated mutation displayed an increased resistance to acidic pH and high temperature treatment compared to those lacking modification. The mutation ensured a higher viral uptake as shown by immunohistochemistry in the respiratory tract of mice and 25 times lower mouse infectious dose50. Moreover, the reassortants keeping 58K -> I mutation designed as a live attenuated vaccine candidate lacking an NS1 gene induced superior systemic and local antibody response after the intranasal immunization of mice. Conclusion/Significance: Our finding suggests that an efficient intranasal vaccination with a live attenuated H5N1 virus may require a certain level of pH and temperature stability of HA in order to achieve an optimal virus uptake by the nasal epithelial cells and induce a sufficient immune response. The pH of the activation of the H5 HA protein may play a substantial role in the infectivity of HPAIVs for mammals.
- Selection of a highly invasive neuroblastoma cell population through long-term human cytomegalovirus infection (2012)
- The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is suspected to increase tumour malignancy by infection of cancer and/or stroma cells (oncomodulation). So far, oncomodulatory mechanisms have been attributed to the presence of HCMV and direct action of its gene products on cancer cells. Here, we investigated whether the prolonged presence of HCMV can result in the irreversible selection of a cancer cell population with increased malignancy. The neuroblastoma cell line UKF-NB-4 was long-term (200 passages) infected with the HCMV strain Hi91 (UKF-NB-4Hi) before virus eradication using ganciclovir (UKF-NB-4HiGCV). Global gene expression profiling of UKF-NB-4, UKF-NB-4Hi and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells and subsequent bioinformatic signal transduction pathway analysis revealed clear differences between UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4Hi, as well as between UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells, but only minor differences between UKF-NB-4Hi and UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells. Investigation of the expression of a subset of five genes in different chronically HCMV-infected cell lines before and after virus eradication suggested that long-term HCMV infection reproducibly causes specific changes. Array comparative genomic hybridisation showed virtually the same genomic differences for the comparisons UKF-NB-4Hi/UKF-NB-4 and UKF-NB-4HiGCV/UKF-NB-4. UKF-NB-4Hi cells are characterised by an increased invasive potential compared with UKF-NB-4 cells. This phenotype was completely retained in UKF-NB-4HiGCV cells. Moreover, there was a substantial overlap in the signal transduction pathways that differed significantly between UKF-NB-4Hi/UKF-NB-4HiGCV and UKF-NB-4 cells and those differentially regulated between tumour tissues from neuroblastoma patients with favourable or poor outcome. In conclusion, we present the first experimental evidence that long-term HCMV infection can result in the selection of tumour cell populations with enhanced malignancy.
- Oncolytic effects of a novel Influenza A virus expressing Interleukin-15 from the NS reading frame (2012)
- Oncolytic influenza A viruses with deleted NS1 gene (delNS1) replicate selectively in tumour cells with defective interferon response and/or activated Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signalling pathway. To develop a delNS1 virus with specific immunostimulatory properties, we used an optimised technology to insert the interleukin-15 (IL-15) coding sequence into the viral NS gene segment (delNS1-IL-15). DelNS1 and delNS1-IL-15 exerted similar oncolytic effects. Both viruses replicated and caused caspase-dependent apoptosis in interferon-defective melanoma cells. Virus replication was required for their oncolytic activity. Cisplatin enhanced the oncolytic activity of delNS1 viruses. The cytotoxic drug increased delNS1 replication and delNS1-induced caspase-dependent apoptosis. Interference with MEK/ERK signalling by RNAi-mediated depletion or the MEK inhibitor U0126 did not affect the oncolytic effects of the delNS1 viruses. In oncolysis sensitive melanoma cells, delNS1-IL-15 (but not delNS1) infection resulted in the production of IL-15 levels ranging from 70 to 1140 pg/mL in the cell culture supernatants. The supernatants of delNS1-IL-15-infected (but not of delNS1-infected) melanoma cells induced primary human natural killer cell-mediated lysis of non-infected tumour cells. In conclusion, we constructed a novel oncolytic influenza virus that combines the oncolytic activity of delNS1 viruses with immunostimulatory properties through production of functional IL-15. Moreover, we showed that the oncolytic activity of delNS1 viruses can be enhanced in combination with cytotoxic anti-cancer drugs.
- Inhibition of apoptosis prevents West Nile virus induced cell death (2007)
- Background: West Nile virus (WNV) infection can cause severe meningitis and encephalitis in humans. Apoptosis was recently shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of WNV encephalitis. Here, we used WNV-infected glioma cells to study WNV-replication and WNV-induced apoptosis in human brain-derived cells. Results: T98G cells are highly permissive for lytic WNV-infection as demonstrated by the production of infectious virus titre and the development of a characteristic cytopathic effect. WNV replication decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis as indicated by the activation of the effector caspase-3, the initiator caspases-8 and -9, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) cleavage and the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria. Truncation of BID indicated cross-talk between the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways. Inhibition of the caspases-8 or -9 inhibited PARP cleavage, demonstrating that both caspases are involved in WNV-induced apoptosis. Pancaspase inhibition prevented WNV-induced apoptosis without affecting virus replication. Conclusions: We found that WNV infection induces cell death in the brain-derived tumour cell line T98G by apoptosis under involvement of constituents of the extrinsic as well as the intrinsic apoptotic pathways. Our results illuminate the molecular mechanism of WNV-induced neural cell death.
- Human neuroblastoma cells with acquired resistance to the p53 activator RITA retain functional p53 and sensitivity to other p53 activating agents (2012)
- Adaptation of wild-type p53 expressing UKF-NB-3 cancer cells to the murine double minute 2 inhibitor nutlin-3 causes de novo p53 mutations at high frequency (13/20) and multi-drug resistance. Here, we show that the same cells respond very differently when adapted to RITA, a drug that, like nutlin-3, also disrupts the p53/Mdm2 interaction. All of the 11 UKF-NB-3 sub-lines adapted to RITA that we established retained functional wild-type p53 although RITA induced a substantial p53 response. Moreover, all RITA-adapted cell lines remained sensitive to nutlin-3, whereas only five out of 10 nutlin-3-adapted cell lines retained their sensitivity to RITA. In addition, repeated adaptation of the RITA-adapted sub-line UKF-NB-3rRITA10 μM to nutlin-3 resulted in p53 mutations. The RITA-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines displayed no or less pronounced resistance to vincristine, cisplatin, and irradiation than nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines. Furthermore, adaptation to RITA was associated with fewer changes at the expression level of antiapoptotic factors than observed with adaptation to nutlin-3. Transcriptomic analyses indicated the RITA-adapted sub-lines to be more similar at the gene expression level to the parental UKF-NB-3 cells than nutlin-3-adapted UKF-NB-3 sub-lines, which correlates with the observed chemotherapy and irradiation sensitivity phenotypes. In conclusion, RITA-adapted cells retain functional p53, remain sensitive to nutlin-3, and display a less pronounced resistance phenotype than nutlin-3-adapted cells.
- Glycyrrhizin exerts antioxidative effects in H5N1 influenza A virus-infected cells and inhibits virus replication and pro-inflammatory gene expression (2011)
- Glycyrrhizin is known to exert antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, the effects of an approved parenteral glycyrrhizin preparation (Stronger Neo-Minophafen C) were investigated on highly pathogenic influenza A H5N1 virus replication, H5N1-induced apoptosis, and H5N1-induced pro-inflammatory responses in lung epithelial (A549) cells. Therapeutic glycyrrhizin concentrations substantially inhibited H5N1-induced expression of the pro-inflammatory molecules CXCL10, interleukin 6, CCL2, and CCL5 (effective glycyrrhizin concentrations 25 to 50 µg/ml) but interfered with H5N1 replication and H5N1-induced apoptosis to a lesser extent (effective glycyrrhizin concentrations 100 µg/ml or higher). Glycyrrhizin also diminished monocyte migration towards supernatants of H5N1-infected A549 cells. The mechanism by which glycyrrhizin interferes with H5N1 replication and H5N1-induced pro-inflammatory gene expression includes inhibition of H5N1-induced formation of reactive oxygen species and (in turn) reduced activation of NFKappaB, JNK, and p38, redox-sensitive signalling events known to be relevant for influenza A virus replication. Therefore, glycyrrhizin may complement the arsenal of potential drugs for the treatment of H5N1 disease.
- Entwicklung und in-vitro-Testung von Arzneistoffträgersystemen für antivirale und antitumorale Arzneistoffe (2001)
- Effects of flavonoid-induced oxidative stress on anti-H5N1 influenza a virus activity exerted by baicalein and biochanin A (2014)
- Background: Different flavonoids are known to interfere with influenza A virus replication. Recently, we showed that the structurally similar flavonoids baicalein and biochanin A inhibit highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza A virus replication by different mechanisms in A549 lung cells. Here, we investigated the effects of both compounds on H5N1-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and the role of ROS formation during H5N1 replication. Findings: Baicalein and biochanin A enhanced H5N1-induced ROS formation in A549 cells and primary human monocyte-derived macrophages. Suppression of ROS formation induced by baicalein and biochanin A using the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine strongly increased the anti-H5N1 activity of both compounds in A549 cells but not in macrophages. Conclusions: These findings emphasise that flavonoids induce complex pharmacological actions some of which may interfere with H5N1 replication while others may support H5N1 replication. A more detailed understanding of these actions and the underlying structure-activity relationships is needed to design agents with optimised anti-H5N1 activity.
- Correlation of inflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines from undiluted vitreous samples with spectral domain OCT scans, in untreated branch retinal vein occlusion (2013)
- Purpose: To assess the levels of inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines in undiluted vitreous from treatment-naïve patients with macular edema secondary to nonischemic branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), with flow cytometric bead array (CBA) and to correlate the results with subjective and multiple spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) parameters. Methods: A total of 43 eyes from 43 patients (mean age 69.7 years, 23 male) were divided into groups of new, "fresh" (n = 28; mean duration after onset 4.1 months) and older BRVO (n = 15; 11.6 months). Because of macular edema, these patients underwent an intravitreal therapy combining a single-site 23 g core vitrectomy with bevacizumab and dexamethasone. Undiluted vitreous was then analyzed for interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor isoform A (VEGF-A) levels with CBA and correlated with visual acuity (VA), clinical parameters of BRVO (type and perfusion status), and morphologic parameters, such as central macular thickness, central retinal thickness, thickness of the neurosensory retina, thickness of the serous retinal detachment, and the disruption of the ellipsoid line (photoreceptor inner and outer segments) and the external limiting membrane, as measured with SD-OCT. Twenty-eight undiluted vitreous samples from patients with idiopathic, nonuveitis vitreous floaters served as the controls. Results: The mean IL-6 was 23.2 pg/mL (standard deviation, ±48.8), MCP-1 was 602.6 (±490.3), and VEGF-A was 161.8 (±314.3), and this was higher than in the control group, which had a mean IL-6 of 6.2 ± 3.4 pg/mL (P = 0.17), MCP-1 of 253.2 ± 73.5 (P < 0.0000001), and VEGF-A of 7.0 ± 4.9 (P < 0.003). In all BRVO samples, IL-6 correlated positively with MCP-1 and VEGF-A (correlation coefficient r = 0.79 and r = 0.46, respectively). VEGF-A was the only cytokine to correlate significantly with SD-OCT parameters (thickness of the neurosensory retina r = 0.31; disruption of the ellipsoid line r = 0.33). In the older BRVO group, there was a positive correlation between cytokines (IL-6 with MCP-1, r = 0.77; Il-6 with VEGF-A, r = 0.68; MCP-1 and VEGF-A, r = 0.68), whereas only IL-6 correlated with MCP-1 in the fresh group (r = 0.8). Conclusion: The inflammatory markers and VEGF-A were elevated in the vitreous fluid of patients with BRVO, and these correlated with one another. VEGF-A was more often correlated with the morphologic changes assessed by SD-OCT, whereas the inflammatory markers had no significant influence on SD-OCT changes.
- Chemoresistance is associated with increased cytoprotective autophagy and diminished apoptosis in bladder cancer cells treated with the BH3 mimetic (-)-Gossypol (AT-101) (2015)
- Background: Acquired resistance to standard chemotherapy causes treatment failure in patients with metastatic bladder cancer. Overexpression of pro-survival Bcl-2 family proteins has been associated with a poor chemotherapeutic response, suggesting that Bcl-2-targeted therapy may be a feasible strategy in patients with these tumors. The small-molecule pan-Bcl-2 inhibitor (−)-gossypol (AT-101) is known to induce apoptotic cell death, but can also induce autophagy through release of the pro-autophagic BH3 only protein Beclin-1 from Bcl-2. The potential therapeutic effects of (−)-gossypol in chemoresistant bladder cancer and the role of autophagy in this context are hitherto unknown. Methods: Cisplatin (5637rCDDP1000, RT4rCDDP1000) and gemcitabine (5637rGEMCI20, RT4rGEMCI20) chemoresistant sub-lines of the chemo-sensitive bladder cancer cell lines 5637 and RT4 were established for the investigation of acquired resistance mechanisms. Cell lines carrying a stable lentiviral knockdown of the core autophagy regulator ATG5 were created from chemosensitive 5637 and chemoresistant 5637rGEMCI20 and 5637rCDDP1000 cell lines. Cell death and autophagy were quantified by FACS analysis of propidium iodide, Annexin and Lysotracker staining, as well as LC3 translocation. Results: Here we demonstrate that (−)-gossypol induces an apoptotic type of cell death in 5637 and RT4 cells which is partially inhibited by the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD. Cisplatin- and gemcitabine-resistant bladder cancer cells exhibit enhanced basal and drug-induced autophagosome formation and lysosomal activity which is accompanied by an attenuated apoptotic cell death after treatment with both (−)-gossypol and ABT-737, a Bcl-2 inhibitor which spares Mcl-1, in comparison to parental cells. Knockdown of ATG5 and inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA had no discernible effect on apoptotic cell death induced by (−)-gossypol and ABT-737 in parental 5637 cells, but evoked a significant increase in early apoptosis and overall cell death in BH3 mimetic-treated 5637rGEMCI20 and 5637rCDDP1000 cells. Conclusions: Our findings show for the first time that (−)-gossypol concomitantly triggers apoptosis and a cytoprotective type of autophagy in bladder cancer and support the notion that enhanced autophagy may underlie the chemoresistant phenotype of these tumors. Simultaneous targeting of Bcl-2 proteins and the autophagy pathway may be an efficient new strategy to overcome their “autophagy addiction” and acquired resistance to current therapy.