Year of publication
- The L76V mutation in HIV-1 protease is potentially associated with hypersusceptibility to protease inhibitors Atazanavir and Saquinavir: is there a clinical advantage? (2011)
- Background: Although being considered as a rarely observed HIV-1 protease mutation in clinical isolates, the L76V-prevalence increased 1998-2008 in some European countries most likely due to the approval of Lopinavir, Amprenavir and Darunavir which can select L76V. Beside an enhancement of resistance, L76V is also discussed to confer hypersusceptibility to the drugs Atazanavir and Saquinavir which might enable new treatment strategies by trying to take advantage of particular mutations. Results: Based on a cohort of 47 L76V-positive patients, we examined if there might exist a clinical advantage for L76V-positive patients concerning long-term success of PI-containing regimens in patients with limited therapy options. Genotypic- and phenotypic HIV-resistance tests from 47 mostly multi-resistant, L76V-positive patients throughout Germany were accomplished retrospectively 1999-2009. Five genotype-based drug-susceptibility predictions received from online interpretation-tools for Atazanavir, Saquinavir, Amprenavir and Lopinavir, were compared to phenotype-based predictions that were determined by using a recombinant virus assay along with a Virtual Phenotype™(Virco). The clinical outcome of the L76V-adapted follow-up therapy was determined by monitoring viral load for 96 weeks. Conclusions: In this analysis, the mostly used interpretation systems overestimated the L76V-mutation concerning Atazanavir- and SQV resistance. In fact, a clear benefit in drug susceptibility for these drugs was observed in phenotype analysis after establishment of L76V. More importantly, long-term therapy success was significantly higher in patients receiving Atazanavir and/or Saquinavir plus one L76V-selecting drug compared to patients without L76V-selecting agents (p = 0.002). In case of L76V-occurrence ATV and/or SQV may represent encouraging options for patients in deep salvage situations.
- Safety and clinical outcomes of rituximab therapy in patients with different autoimmune diseases: experience from a national registry (GRAID) (2011)
- Introduction Evidence from a number of open-label, uncontrolled studies has suggested that rituximab may benefit patients with autoimmune diseases who are refractory to standard of care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes of rituximab in several standard of care-refractory autoimmune diseases (within rheumatology, nephrology, dermatology and neurology) other than rheumatoid arthritis or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a real-life clinical setting. Methods Patients who received rituximab having shown an inadequate response to standard of care had their safety and clinical outcomes data retrospectively analysed as part of the German Registry of Autoimmune Diseases. The main outcome measures were safety and clinical response, as judged at the discretion of the investigators. Results A total of 370 patients (299 patient-years) with various autoimmune diseases (23.0% with systemic lupus erythematosus, 15.7% antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitides, 15.1% multiple sclerosis and 10.0% pemphigus) from 42 centres received a mean dose of 2440 mg of rituximab over a median (range) of 194 (180 to 1407) days. The overall rate of serious infections was 5.3 per 100 patient-years during rituximab therapy. Opportunistic infections were infrequent across the whole study population, and mostly occurred in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. There were 11 deaths (3.0% of patients) after rituximab treatment (mean 11.6 months after first infusion, range 0.8 to 31.3 months), with most of the deaths caused by infections. Overall (n = 293), 13.3% of patients showed no response, 45.1% showed a partial response and 41.6% showed a complete response. Responses were also reflected by reduced use of glucocorticoids and various immunosuppressives during rituximab therapy and follow-up compared with before rituximab. Rituximab generally had a positive effect on patient well-being (physician's visual analogue scale; mean improvement from baseline of 12.1 mm). Conclusions Data from this registry indicate that rituximab is a commonly employed, well-tolerated therapy with potential beneficial effects in standard of care-refractory autoimmune diseases, and support the results from other open-label, uncontrolled studies. Additional file 1: Supplemental tables. Table A1. Duration of follow-up from first rituximab infusion to last control visit by diagnosis. Table A2. Number of rituximab infusions by diagnosis.
- RP1 Is a Phosphorylation Target of CK2 and Is Involved in Cell Adhesion (2013)
- RP1 (synonym: MAPRE2, EB2) is a member of the microtubule binding EB1 protein family, which interacts with APC, a key regulatory molecule in the Wnt signalling pathway. While the other EB1 proteins are well characterized the cellular function and regulation of RP1 remain speculative to date. However, recently RP1 has been implicated in pancreatic cancerogenesis. CK2 is a pleiotropic kinase involved in adhesion, proliferation and anti-apoptosis. Overexpression of protein kinase CK2 is a hallmark of many cancers and supports the malignant phenotype of tumor cells. In this study we investigate the interaction of protein kinase CK2 with RP1 and demonstrate that CK2 phosphorylates RP1 at Ser236 in vitro. Stable RP1 expression in cell lines leads to a significant cleavage and down-regulation of N-cadherin and impaired adhesion. Cells expressing a Phospho-mimicking point mutant RP1-ASP236 show a marked decrease of adhesion to endothelial cells under shear stress. Inversely, we found that the cells under shear stress downregulate endogenous RP1, most likely to improve cellular adhesion. Accordingly, when RP1 expression is suppressed by shRNA, cells lacking RP1 display significantly increased cell adherence to surfaces. In summary, RP1 phosphorylation at Ser236 by CK2 seems to play a significant role in cell adhesion and might initiate new insights in the CK2 and EB1 family protein association.
- Long term outcome of high-risk neuroblastoma patients after immunotherapy with antibody ch14.18 or oral metronomic chemotherapy (2011)
- Background: The treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients consists of multimodal induction therapy to achieve remission followed by consolidation therapy to prevent relapses. However, the type of consolidation therapy is still discussed controversial. We applied metronomic chemotherapy in the prospective NB90 trial and monoclonal anti-GD2-antibody (MAB) ch14.18 in the NB97 trial. Here, we present the long term outcome data of the patient cohort. Methods: A total of 334 stage 4 neuroblastoma patients one year or older were included. All patients successfully completed the induction therapy. In the NB90 trial, 99 patients received at least one cycle of the oral maintenance chemotherapy (NB90 MT, 12 alternating cycles of oral melphalan/etoposide and vincristine/cyclophosphamide). In the NB97 trial, 166 patients commenced the MAB ch14.18 consolidation therapy (six cycles over 12 months). Patients who received no maintenance therapy according to the NB90 protocol or by refusal in NB97 (n = 69) served as controls. Results: The median observation time was 11.11 years. The nine-year event-free survival rates were 41 ± 4%, 31 ± 5%, and 32 ± 6% for MAB ch14.18, NB90 MT, and no consolidation, respectively (p = 0.098). In contrast to earlier reports, MAB ch14.18 treatment improved the long-term outcome compared to no additional therapy (p = 0.038). The overall survival was better in the MAB ch14.18-treated group (9-y-OS 46 ± 4%) compared to NB90 MT (34 ± 5%, p = 0.026) and to no consolidation (35 ± 6%, p = 0.019). Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed ch14.18 consolidation to improve outcome compared to no consolidation, however, no difference between NB90 MT and MAB ch14.18-treated patients was found. Conclusions: Follow-up analysis of the patient cohort indicated that immunotherapy with MAB ch14.18 may prevent late relapses. Finally, metronomic oral maintenance chemotherapy also appeared effective.
- Wound healing in mice with high-fat diet- or ob gene-induced diabetes-obesity syndromes: a comparative study (2010)
- In the past, the genetically diabetic-obese diabetes/diabetes (db/db) and obese/obese (ob/ob) mouse strains were used to investigate mechanisms of diabetes-impaired wound healing. Here we determined patterns of skin repair in genetically normal C57Bl/6J mice that were fed using a high fat diet (HFD) to induce a diabetes-obesity syndrome. Wound closure was markedly delayed in HFD-fed mice compared to mice which had received a standard chow diet (CD). Impaired wound tissue of HFD mice showed a marked prolongation of wound inflammation. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was delayed and associated with the disturbed formation of wound margin epithelia and an impaired angiogenesis in the reduced granulation tissue. Normal wound contraction was retarded and disordered. Wound disorders in obese C57Bl/6J mice were paralleled by a prominent degradation of the inhibitor of NFκB (IκB-α) in the absence of an Akt activation. By contrast to impaired wound conditions in ob/ob mice, late wounds of HFD mice did not develop a chronic inflammatory state and were epithelialized after 11 days of repair. Thus, only genetically obese and diabetic ob/ob mice finally developed chronic wounds and therefore represent a better suited experimental model to investigate diabetes-induced wound healing disorders.
- Novel role of Ras-GTPase Activating Protein SH3 Domain-Binding Protein G3BP in adhesion and migration of 32D myeloid progenitor cells (2012)
- Rho GTPases are involved in homing and mobilization of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells due to their impact on cytoskeleton remodeling. We have previously shown that inhibition of Rho, Rac and Cdc42 clearly impairs adhesion of normal and leukemic hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) to fibronectin and migration in a three-dimensional stromal cell model. Here, we identified the Ras GTPase-Activating Protein SH3 Domain-Binding Protein (G3BP) as a target gene of Rho GTPases and analysed its role in regulating HPC motility. Overexpression of G3BP significantly enhanced adhesion of murine 32D HPC to fibronectin and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, increased the proportion of adherent cells in a flow chamber assay and promoted cell migration in a transwell assay and a three-dimensional stromal cell model suggesting a strong impact on the cytoskeleton. Immunofluorescent staining of G3BP-overexpressing fibroblasts revealed a Rho-like phenotype characterized by formation of actin stress fibers in contrast to the Rac-like phenotype of control fibroblasts. This is the first report implicating a role for G3BP in Rho GTPase-mediated signalling towards adhesion and migration of HPC. Our results may be of clinical importance, since G3BP was found overexpressed in human cancers.
- Protocol TOP-Study (tacrolimus organ perfusion): a prospective randomized multicenter trial to reduce ischemia reperfusion injury in transplantation of marginal liver grafts with an ex vivo tacrolimus perfusion (2013)
- Background: Critical organ shortage results in the utilization of extended donor criteria (EDC) liver grafts. These marginal liver grafts are prone to increased ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) which may contribute to deteriorated graft function and survival. Experimental data have shown that the calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus exerts protective effects on hepatic IRI when applied intravenously or directly as a hepatic rinse. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to examine the effects of an ex vivo tacrolimus perfusion on IRI in transplantation of EDC liver grafts. Methods/Design: The TOP-Study (tacrolimus organ perfusion) is a randomized multicenter trial comparing the ex vivo tacrolimus perfusion of marginal liver grafts with placebo. We hypothesize that a tacrolimus rinse reduces IRI, potentially improving organ survival following transplantation of EDC livers. The study includes livers with two or more EDC, according to Eurotransplant International Foundation’s definition of EDC livers. Prior to implantation, livers randomized to the treatment group are rinsed with tacrolimus at a concentration of 20 ng/ml in 1000 ml Custodiol solution and in the placebo group with Custodiol alone. The primary endpoint is the maximum serum alanine transamninase (ALT) level within the first 48 hours after surgery; however, the study design also includes a 1-year observation period following transplantation. The TOP-Study is an investigator-initiated trial sponsored by the University of Munich Hospital. Seven other German transplant centers are participating (Berlin, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Mainz, Münster, Regensburg, Tübingen) and aim to include a total of 86 patients. Discussion: Tacrolimus organ perfusion represents a promising strategy to reduce hepatic IRI following the transplantation of marginal liver grafts. This treatment may help to improve the function of EDC grafts and therefore safely expand the donor pool in light of critical organ shortage. Trial register: EudraCT number: 2010-021333-31, ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01564095
- 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.
- New bryophyte taxon records for tropical countries IV (2000)
- The following new records to Africa are with reference to the current checklists for sub-Saharan Africa (Hepaticae: Wigginton & Grolle 1996; Musci: O’Shea 1999).
- Genome sequence of the necrotrophic plant pathogen Pythium ultimum reveals original pathogenicity mechanisms and effector repertoire (2010)
- Background: Pythium ultimum (P. ultimum) is a ubiquitous oomycete plant pathogen responsible for a variety of diseases on a broad range of crop and ornamental species. Results: The P. ultimum genome (42.8 Mb) encodes 15,290 genes and has extensive sequence similarity and synteny with related Phytophthora species, including the potato blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Whole transcriptome sequencing revealed expression of 86% of genes, with detectable differential expression of suites of genes under abiotic stress and in the presence of a host. The predicted proteome includes a large repertoire of proteins involved in plant pathogen interactions although surprisingly, the P. ultimum genome does not encode any classical RXLR effectors and relatively few Crinkler genes in comparison to related phytopathogenic oomycetes. A lower number of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism were present compared to Phytophthora species, with the notable absence of cutinases, suggesting a significant difference in virulence mechanisms between P. ultimum and more host specific oomycete species. Although we observed a high degree of orthology with Phytophthora genomes, there were novel features of the P. ultimum proteome including an expansion of genes involved in proteolysis and genes unique to Pythium. We identified a small gene family of cadherins, proteins involved in cell adhesion, the first report in a genome outside the metazoans. Conclusions: Access to the P. ultimum genome has revealed not only core pathogenic mechanisms within the oomycetes but also lineage specific genes associated with the alternative virulence and lifestyles found within the pythiaceous lineages compared to the Peronosporaceae.