Year of publication
- Evolution of particle composition in CLOUD nucleation experiments (2012)
- Sulphuric acid, ammonia, amines, and oxidised organics play a crucial role in nanoparticle formation in the atmosphere. In this study, we investigate the composition of nucleated nanoparticles formed from these compounds in the CLOUD chamber experiments at CERN. The investigation is carried out via analysis of the particle hygroscopicity, ethanol affinity, oxidation state, and ion composition. Hygroscopicity was studied by a hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyser and a cloud condensation nuclei counter, ethanol affinity by an organic differential mobility analyser and particle oxidation level by a high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer. The ion composition was studied by an atmospheric pressure interface time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The volume fraction of the organics in the particles during their growth from sizes of a few nanometers to tens of nanometers was derived from measured hygroscopicity assuming the Zdanovski-Stokes-Robinson relationship, and compared to values gained from the spectrometers. The ZSR-relationship was also applied to obtain the measured ethanol affinities during the particle growth, which were used to derive the volume fractions of sulphuric acid and the other inorganics (e.g. ammonium salts). In the presence of sulphuric acid and ammonia, particles with a mobility diameter of 150 nm were chemically neutralised to ammonium sulphate. In the presence of oxidation products of pinanediol, the organic volume fraction of freshly nucleated particles increased from 0.4 to ∼0.9, with an increase in diameter from 2 to 63 nm. Conversely, the sulphuric acid volume fraction decreased from 0.6 to 0.1 when the particle diameter increased from 2 to 50 nm. The results provide information on the composition of nucleated aerosol particles during their growth in the presence of various combinations of sulphuric acid, ammonia, dimethylamine and organic oxidation products.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Inhibition of neutrophil activity improves cardiac function after cardiopulmonary bypass (2007)
- Background The arterial in line application of the leukocyte inhibition module (LIM) in the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) limits overshooting leukocyte activity during cardiac surgery. We now studied in a porcine model whether LIM may have beneficial effects on cardiac function after CPB. Methods German landrace pigs underwent CPB (60 min myocardial ischemia; 30 min reperfusion)without (group I; n=6) or with LIM (group II; n=6). The cardiac indices (CI) and cardiac function were analyzed pre and post CPB with a Swan-Ganz catheter and the cardiac function analyzer. Neutrophil labeling with technetium, scintigraphy, and histological analyses were done to track activated neutrophils within the organs. Results LIM prevented CPB-associated increase of neutrophil counts in peripheral blood. In group I, the CI significantly declined post CPB (post: 3.26 +/- 0.31; pre: 4.05 +/- 0.45 l/min/m2; p<0.01). In group II, the CI was only slightly reduced (post: 3.86 +/- 0.49; pre 4.21 +/- 1.32 l/min/m2; p=0.23). Post CPB, the intergroup difference showed significantly higher CI values in the LIM group (p<0.05) which was in conjunction with higher pre-load independent endsystolic pressure volume relationship (ESPVR) values (group I: 1.57 +/- 0.18; group II: 1.93 +/- 0.16; p<0.001). Moreover, the systemic vascular resistance and pulmonary vascular resistance were lower in the LIM group. LIM appeared to accelerate the sequestration of hyperactivated neutrophils in the spleen and to reduce neutrophil infiltration of heart and lung. Conclusions Our data provide strong evidence that LIM improves perioperative hemodynamics and cardiac function after CPB by limiting neutrophil activity and inducing accelerated sequestration of neutrophils in the spleen.
- 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.
- SNEV is an evolutionarily conserved splicing factor whose oligomerization is necessary for spliceosome assembly (2005)
- We have isolated the human protein SNEV as downregulated in replicatively senescent cells. Sequence homology to the yeast splicing factor Prp19 suggested that SNEV might be the orthologue of Prp19 and therefore might also be involved in pre-mRNA splicing. We have used various approaches including gene complementation studies in yeast using a temperature sensitive mutant with a pleiotropic phenotype and SNEV immunodepletion from human HeLa nuclear extracts to determine its function. A human–yeast chimera was indeed capable of restoring the wild-type phenotype of the yeast mutant strain. In addition, immunodepletion of SNEV from human nuclear extracts resulted in a decrease of in vitro pre-mRNA splicing efficiency. Furthermore, as part of our analysis of protein–protein interactions within the CDC5L complex, we found that SNEV interacts with itself. The self-interaction domain was mapped to amino acids 56–74 in the protein's sequence and synthetic peptides derived from this region inhibit in vitro splicing by surprisingly interfering with spliceosome formation and stability. These results indicate that SNEV is the human orthologue of yeast PRP19, functions in splicing and that homo-oligomerization of SNEV in HeLa nuclear extract is essential for spliceosome assembly and that it might also be important for spliceosome stability.