Coadministration of FTY720 and rt-PA in an experimental model of large hemispheric stroke–no influence on functional outcome and blood–brain barrier disruption
- BACKGROUND: Systemic thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is the standard of acute stroke care. Its potential to increase the risk of secondary intracerebral hemorrhage, especially if administered late, has been ascribed to its proteolytic activity that has detrimental effects on blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity after stroke. FTY720 has been shown to protect endothelial barriers in several disease models such as endotoxin-induced pulmonary edema and therefore is a promising candidate to counteract the deleterious effects of rt-PA. Besides that, every putative neuroprotectant that will be eventually forwarded into clinical trials should be tested in conjunction with rt-PA.
METHODS: We subjected C57Bl/6 mice to 3 h filament-induced tMCAO and postoperatively randomized them into four groups (n = 18/group) who received the following treatments directly prior to reperfusion: 1) vehicle-treatment, 2) FTY720 1 mg/kg i.p., 3) rt-PA 10 mg/kg i.v. or 4) FTY720 and rt-PA as a combination therapy. We measured functional neurological outcome, BBB disruption by quantification of EB extravasation and MMP-9 activity by gelatin zymography.
RESULTS: We observed a noticeable increase in mortality in the rt-PA/FTY720 cotreatment group (61%) as compared to the vehicle (33%), the FTY720 (39%) and the rt-PA group (44%). Overall, functional neurological outcome did not differ significantly between groups and FTY720 had no effect on rt-PA- and stroke-induced BBB disruption and MMP-9 activation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that FTY720 does not improve functional outcome and BBB integrity in large hemispheric infarctions, neither alone nor in conjunction with rt-PA. These findings stand in contrast to a recently published study that showed beneficial effects of FTY720 in combination with thrombolysis in a thrombotic model of MCAO leading to circumscript cortical infarctions. They might therefore represent a caveat that the coadministration of these two drugs might lead to excess mortality in the setting of a severe stroke.
ErbB2/HER2-specific NK cells for adoptive cancer immunotherapy
Joachim P. Steinbach
Winfried S. Wels
- Poster presentation: 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC)
Significant progress has been made over the last decade towards realizing the potential of natural killer (NK) cells for cancer immunotherapy. NK cells can respond rapidly to transformed and stressed cells, and have the intrinsic potential to extravasate and reach their targets in almost all body tissues. In addition to donor-derived primary NK cells, also continuously expanding cytotoxic cell lines such as NK-92 are being considered for adoptive cancer immunotherapy. High cytotoxicity of NK-92 has previously been shown against malignant cells of hematologic origin in preclinical studies, and general safety of infusion of NK-92 cells has been established in phase I clinical trials. To enhance their therapeutic utility, we genetically modified NK-92 cells to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) specific for tumor-associated surface antigens. Such CAR were composed of a tumor-specific scFv antibody fragment fused via hinge and transmembrane domains to intracellular signaling moieties such as CD3 zeta chain, or composite fusion molecules also containing a costimulatory protein domain in addition to CD3 zeta. For development towards clinical applications, here a codon-optimized second generation CAR was constructed that consists of an ErbB2-specific scFv antibody domain fused via a linker to a composite CD28-CD3 zeta signaling domain. GMP-compliant protocols for vector production, lentiviral transduction and expansion of a genetically modified NK-92 single cell clone (NK-92/5.28.z) were established. Functional analysis of NK-92/5.28.z cells revealed high and stable CAR expression, selective cytotoxicity against ErbB2-expressing but otherwise NK-resistant tumor cells of different origins in vitro, as well as homing to ErbB2-expressing tumors in vivo. Furthermore, antigen specificity and selective cytotoxicity of these cells were retained in vivo, resulting in antitumoral activity against subcutaneous and intracranial glioblastoma xenografts in NSG mice. Ongoing work now focuses on the development of these cells for adoptive immunotherapy of ErbB2-positive glioblastoma.
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.
Yellow fever disease: density equalizing mapping and gender analysis of international research output
Jan David Alexander Groneberg
- Background: A number of scientific papers on yellow fever have been published but no broad scientometric analysis on the published research of yellow fever has been reported. The aim of the article based study was to provide an in-depth evaluation of the yellow fever field using large-scale data analysis and employment of bibliometric indicators of production and quantity.
Methods: Data were retrieved from the Web of Science database (WoS) and analyzed as part of the NewQis platform. Then data were extracted from each file, transferred to databases and visualized as diagrams. Partially by means of density-equalizing mapping makes the findings clear and emphasizes the output of the analysis.
Results: In the study period from 1900 to 2012 a total of 5,053 yellow fever-associated items were published by 79 countries. The United States (USA) having the highest publication rate at 42% (n = 751) followed by far from Brazil (n = 203), France (n = 149) and the United Kingdom (n = 113). The most productive journals are the "Public Health Reports", the "American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene" and the "Journal of Virology". The gender analysis showed an overall steady increase of female authorship from 1950 to 2011. Brazil is the only country of the five most productive countries with a higher proportion of female scientists.
Conclusions: The present data shows an increase in research productivity over the entire study period, in particular an increase of female scientists. Brazil shows a majority of female authors, a fact that is confirmed by other studies.
New phylogenomic data support the monophyly of Lophophorata and an Ectoproct-Phoronid clade and indicate that Polyzoa and Kryptrochozoa are caused by systematic bias
Maximilian P. Nesnidal
Torsten H. Struck
Inhaltsverzeichnisse der Palmengartenhefte : erstellt von Mitarbeitern des Palmengartens für den Zeitraum 1935 – 2013 ; in Teilen lückenhaft
Jahrgänge 6.1935 – 77.2013 Frankfurt, M.
Retinal cone photoreceptors of the deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus: development, topography, opsin expression and spectral tuning
- A quantitative analysis of photoreceptor properties was performed in the retina of the nocturnal deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, using pigmented (wildtype) and albino animals. The aim was to establish whether the deer mouse is a more suitable model species than the house mouse for photoreceptor studies, and whether oculocutaneous albinism affects its photoreceptor properties. In retinal flatmounts, cone photoreceptors were identified by opsin immunostaining, and their numbers, spectral types, and distributions across the retina were determined. Rod photoreceptors were counted using differential interference contrast microscopy. Pigmented P. maniculatus have a rod-dominated retina with rod densities of about 450.000/mm(2) and cone densities of 3000 - 6500/mm(2). Two cone opsins, shortwave sensitive (S) and middle-to-longwave sensitive (M), are present and expressed in distinct cone types. Partial sequencing of the S opsin gene strongly supports UV sensitivity of the S cone visual pigment. The S cones constitute a 5-15% minority of the cones. Different from house mouse, S and M cone distributions do not have dorsoventral gradients, and coexpression of both opsins in single cones is exceptional (<2% of the cones). In albino P. maniculatus, rod densities are reduced by approximately 40% (270.000/mm(2)). Overall, cone density and the density of cones exclusively expressing S opsin are not significantly different from pigmented P. maniculatus. However, in albino retinas S opsin is coexpressed with M opsin in 60-90% of the cones and therefore the population of cones expressing only M opsin is significantly reduced to 5-25%. In conclusion, deer mouse cone properties largely conform to the general mammalian pattern, hence the deer mouse may be better suited than the house mouse for the study of certain basic cone properties, including the effects of albinism on cone opsin expression.
Differential effects of selective inhibitors targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Bart A. Nijmeijer
J. H. Frederik Falkenburg
Oliver Gerhard Ottmann
- Purpose: Aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling has been linked to oncogenesis and therapy resistance in various malignancies including leukemias. In Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) positive leukemias, activation of PI3K by dysregulated BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase (TK) contributes to the pathogenesis and development of resistance to ABL-TK inhibitors (TKI). The PI3K pathway thus is an attractive therapeutic target in BCR-ABL positive leukemias, but its role in BCR-ABL negative ALL is conjectural. Moreover, the functional contribution of individual components of the PI3K pathway in ALL has not been established.
Experimental Design: We compared the activity of the ATP-competitive pan-PI3K inhibitor NVP-BKM120, the allosteric mTORC1 inhibitor RAD001, the ATP-competitive dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors NVP-BEZ235 and NVP-BGT226 and the combined mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibitors Torin 1, PP242 and KU-0063794 using long-term cultures of ALL cells (ALL-LTC) from patients with B-precursor ALL that expressed the BCR-ABL or TEL-ABL oncoproteins or were BCR-ABL negative.
Results: Dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors profoundly inhibited growth and survival of ALL cells irrespective of their genetic subtype and their responsiveness to ABL-TKI. Combined suppression of PI3K, mTORC1 and mTORC2 displayed greater antileukemic activity than selective inhibitors of PI3K, mTORC1 or mTORC1 and mTORC2.
Conclusions: Inhibition of the PI3K/mTOR pathway is a promising therapeutic approach in patients with ALL. Greater antileukemic activity of dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors appears to be due to the redundant function of PI3K and mTOR. Clinical trials examining dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors in patients with B-precursor ALL are warranted, and should not be restricted to particular genetic subtypes.
Insights into a lipid regulator by solid-state MAS NMR : kinetic and structure-functional studies on diacylglycerol kinase
Sandra Johanna Ullrich
- In this thesis the integral membrane protein diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) from E.coli is investigated with solid-state NMR. The aim is to gain an insight into the enzyme’s mechanism through integration of kinetic, structural and dynamic data. The biological function of DAGK is the transfer of the γ-phosphate group from Mg*ATP to diacylglycerol (DAG) building phosphatidic acid (PA) as port of the membrane-derived oligosaccharide cycle[31,34]. Surprisingly, DAGK does not share structural or sequential similarities with other kinases. Typical sequence motives found in other kinases, which catalyze phosphoryl transfer reactions, are not found. In its physiological form DAGK is a homo-trimer with nine transmembrane helices, three catalytic centers and a size of 39.6 kDa.
First, the set-up of a real-time 31P MAS NMR experiment is shown. This experiment allows measuring in real-time the simultaneous ATP hydrolysis in the aqueous phase and lipid substrate phos-phorylation in the membrane phase with atomic resolution under magic angle spinning. After fast transfer of the sample into the NMR spectrometer the enzymatic reaction is started with a temperature jump. This approach of real-time MAS NMR in a dual-phase system was demonstrated for the lipid substrate analogs dioleoyl- (DOG) and dibutyrylglycerol (DBG), with a C8 and C4 aliphatic chain, respectively. The combination of 31P direct and cross polarization functions as a dynamic filter. In the 31P direct polarized experiment nuclei in both phases are detected, while in the 31P cross polar-ized experiment, only nuclei in the membrane phase are detected. Rates for substrate turnover, i.e. degradation of γP-, βP, αP-ATP and build-up of βP-, αP-ADP, free phosphate as side reaction, and PA are obtained, which reveal a Michaelis-Menten behavior with regard to Mg*ATP and DBG. Here Mg*ATP and DBG follow a random-equilibrium model, where every substrate can bind indepen-dently from the other substrate. Analyses of the peak integrals from educts and products of the enzymatic reaction, revealed the stoichiometry of the reaction: 1.5 ATP molecules are used to phos-phorylate one DBG molecule. The excess of ATP is attributed to the basal ATPase activity. Further-more, experiments with ATPγS, usually regarded as a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog, where carried out. Surprisingly, DAGK hydrolyzes ATPγS and also transfers the thio-phosphate group to the lipid acceptor DBG, which points to a certain degree of plasticity in the active center. A phosphorylated enzyme intermediate was not detected. These results suggest the building of a ternary complex of Mg*ATP, DBG and DAGK performing a direct-phosphoryl transfer reaction, without passing through a phosphorylated enzyme intermediate. Experiments with the transition state analog ortho-vanadate (Vi) showed a decoupling of the ATP hydrolysis activity from lipid substrate phosphorylation. This indicates a specific transfer site for the γ-phosphate group from ATP to DAG, which can be blocked by Vi.
A general disadvantage of NMR spectroscopy compared to other spectroscopic methods is its inherent low sensitivity. One possible starting point for the improvement of signal-to-noise per unit time is the reduction of the spin-lattice relaxation time of protons. Usually 95 % of the experi-mental time is required for the relaxation of the 1H to equilibrium. The addition of paramagnetic species can be used to reduce the 1H T1. In a comprehensive study four different paramagnetic agents were tested: Cu2+-EDTA, Cu2+-EDTA-tag, Gd3+-TTAHA and Gd3+-DOTA. The titration of these paramagnetic complexes showed the principle feasibility of this approach, but differences between the tested species exist. The most promising complex is Gd3+-DOTA which, at a concentration of 2 mM, causes a 10-time improvement of signal-to-noise ratio per unit time. This allowed measuring 2D 13C-13C correlation spectra of proteoliposomes in one tenth of the usual required experimental time (i.e. 10 hours vs. 4 days) with good signal-to-noise.
For the investigation of structural or dynamic changes in the protein upon substrate interaction with MAS NMR, the spectral properties CP efficiency and resolution of the DAGK in liposomes needed to be improved. The most critical step during sample preparation is the reconstitution of the membrane protein from detergent micelles into a membrane of synthetic lipids under detergent removal. For this procedure the important criteria are enzymatic activity, measured in a coupled ATPase assay, and homogeneity of the proteoliposomes, which was tested e.g. on a discontinuous sucrose step gradient. Therefore an extensive study was carried out, in which different detergents, lipids and lipid mixtures, techniques for detergent removal and different protein-to-lipid ratios were tested. A direct correlation between high ATPase activity and good resolution was not found. Moreover, active DAGK in a mixture of DMPC and cholesterol, which emulates the membrane features of a membrane containing DAG, showed the best CP efficiency and resolution.
The assignment of the protein backbone and amino acid side chains the first mandatory step towards the investigation of structural and dynamical features influencing and defining the enzymatic mechanism by MAS NMR. As the assignment procedure is very time consuming for a total protein, a special labeling scheme for DAGK was developed, which allows assigning most of the protein areas presumably involved in enzyme catalysis. The assignment of DAGK with solution NMR was not transferable to the MAS NMR spectra. Most important for the assignment process were the unique pairs, two consecutive amino acids which only appear once in the amino acid sequence. These unique pairs served as anchor points. Five different multinuclear MAS NMR experiments (DARR, NCO, NCA, NCACX, NCOCX) were required for the sequential assignment. It was possible to assign 35 % of the total amino acid sequence with one sample and 8 experiments acquired at 850 MHz. The secondary structure analysis showed subtle differences to the DAGK assignment with solution NMR, which can be attributed to the different environment in lipid bilayers and detergent micelles.
Data about structural and dynamical changes under substrate interaction can reveal details about the enzymatic mechanism. Therefore changes in chemical shift in 2D heteronuclear correlation experiments in the apo-state and under substrate saturated conditions with the substrates Mg*AMP-PNP, a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog, DOG, a mixture of Mg*AMP-PNP and DOG as well as inhibited by Vi were recorded. The most significant peak changes were observed at the interface membrane-cytoplasm as well as the the N-terminal amphipathic helix. The residues revealing chemical shift perturbations correlate with conserved residues or such residues, for which importance for catalysis and/or folding could be shown in mutation studies. Especially noticeable were the changes at the amino acids Asn 72, Lys 64, His 87, Tyr 86 and Asp 95.
Beside changes of the chemical shift, changes of line width or signal doubling were observable. These changes can point to a correlation with dynamic reorientations in the μs-ms time regime, which are most relevant for enzymatic processes. The protein backbone dynamics in the apo-state as well as saturated with the substrates or inhibited with Vi were investigated with a 15N-CODEX experiment, which is based on the reorientation of the CSA tensor upon dynamical changes. Specific effects of the different substrates or analogs on the protein backbone dynamic were revealed complementing the structural data and the chemical shift perturbation experiments.
Astrocyte-derived Wnt growth factors regulate blood-brain barrier integrity
Cathrin Jacqueline Czupalla