Recent Submissions

  • Occupation-Associated Fatal Limbic Encephalitis Caused by Variegated Squirrel Bornavirus 1, Germany, 2013.

    Tappe, Dennis; Schlottau, Kore; Cadar, Daniel; Hoffmann, Bernd; Balke, Lorenz; Bewig, Burkhard; Hoffmann, Donata; Eisermann, Philip; Fickenscher, Helmut; Krumbholz, Andi; Laufs, Helmut; Huhndorf, Monika; Rosenthal, Maria; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter; Ismer, Gabriele; Hotop, Sven-Kevin; Brönstrup, Mark; Ott, Anthonina; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Beer, Martin; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-06-01)
    Limbic encephalitis is commonly regarded as an autoimmune-mediated disease. However, after the recent detection of zoonotic variegated squirrel bornavirus 1 in a Prevost's squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii) in a zoo in northern Germany, we retrospectively investigated a fatal case in an autoantibody-seronegative animal caretaker who had worked at that zoo. The virus had been discovered in 2015 as the cause of a cluster of cases of fatal encephalitis among breeders of variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides) in eastern Germany. Molecular assays and immunohistochemistry detected a limbic distribution of the virus in brain tissue of the animal caretaker. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated a spillover infection from the Prevost's squirrel. Antibodies against bornaviruses were detected in the patient's cerebrospinal fluid by immunofluorescence and newly developed ELISAs and immunoblot. The putative antigenic epitope was identified on the viral nucleoprotein. Other zoo workers were not infected; however, avoidance of direct contact with exotic squirrels and screening of squirrels are recommended.
  • Differential magnesium implant corrosion coat formation and contribution to bone bonding.

    Rahim, Muhammad Imran; Weizbauer, Andreas; Evertz, Florian; Hoffmann, Andrea; Rohde, Manfred; Glasmacher, Birgit; Windhagen, Henning; Gross, Gerhard; Seitz, Jan-Marten; Mueller, Peter P; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
    Magnesium alloys are presently under investigation as promising biodegradable implant materials with osteoconductive properties. To study the molecular mechanisms involved, the potential contribution of soluble magnesium corrosion products to the stimulation of osteoblastic cell differentiation was examined. However, no evidence for the stimulation of osteoblast differentiation could be obtained when cultured mesenchymal precursor cells were differentiated in the presence of metallic magnesium or in cell culture medium containing elevated magnesium ion levels. Similarly, in soft tissue no bone induction by metallic magnesium or by the corrosion product magnesium hydroxide could be observed in a mouse model. Motivated by the comparatively rapid accumulation solid corrosion products physicochemical processes were examined as an alternative mechanism to explain the stimulation of bone growth by magnesium-based implants. During exposure to physiological solutions a structured corrosion coat formed on magnesium whereby the elements calcium and phosphate were enriched in the outermost layer which could play a role in the established biocompatible behavior of magnesium implants. When magnesium pins were inserted into avital bones, corrosion lead to increases in the pull out force, suggesting that the expanding corrosion layer was interlocking with the surrounding bone. Since mechanical stress is a well-established inducer of bone growth, volume increases caused by the rapid accumulation of corrosion products and the resulting force development could be a key mechanism and provide an explanation for the observed stimulatory effects of magnesium-based implants in hard tissue. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 105A: 697-709, 2017.
  • A multi-target caffeine derived rhodium(i) N-heterocyclic carbene complex: evaluation of the mechanism of action.

    Zhang, Jing-Jing; Muenzner, Julienne K; Abu El Maaty, Mohamed A; Karge, Bianka; Schobert, Rainer; Wölfl, Stefan; Ott, Ingo; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-08-16)
    A rhodium(i) and a ruthenium(ii) complex with a caffeine derived N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) ligand were biologically investigated as organometallic conjugates consisting of a metal center and a naturally occurring moiety. While the ruthenium(ii) complex was largely inactive, the rhodium(i) NHC complex displayed selective cytotoxicity and significant anti-metastatic and in vivo anti-vascular activities and acted as both a mammalian and an E. coli thioredoxin reductase inhibitor. In HCT-116 cells it increased the reactive oxygen species level, leading to DNA damage, and it induced cell cycle arrest, decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential, and triggered apoptosis. This rhodium(i) NHC derivative thus represents a multi-target compound with promising anti-cancer potential.
  • Synthesis of the AB ring system of clifednamide utilizing Claisen rearrangement and Diels-Alder reaction as key steps.

    Loke, Inga; Bentzinger, Guillaume; Holz, Julia; Raja, Aruna; Bhasin, Aman; Sasse, Florenz; Köhn, Andreas; Schobert, Rainer; Laschat, Sabine; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-01-21)
    In order to construct the functionalized AB ring system of clifednamide, member of the class of macrocyclic tetramic acid lactams, a synthesis was developed which utilized an Ireland-Claisen rearrangement and an intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction. Starting from di-O-isopropylidene-d-mannitol the allyl carboxylate precursor for the sigmatropic rearrangement was prepared. This rearrangement proceeded diastereoselectively only in the presence of an allyl silyl ether instead of the parent enone in the side chain, as suggested by deuteration experiments. A subsequent Diels-Alder reaction yielded the target ethyl hexahydro-1H-indene-carboxylate with high diastereoselectivity. Quantum-chemical investigations of this intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction support the proposed configuration of the final product.
  • Target identification by image analysis.

    Fetz, V; Prochnow, H; Brönstrup, Mark; Sasse, F; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
    Covering: 1997 to the end of 2015Each biologically active compound induces phenotypic changes in target cells that are characteristic for its mode of action. These phenotypic alterations can be directly observed under the microscope or made visible by labelling structural elements or selected proteins of the cells with dyes. A comparison of the cellular phenotype induced by a compound of interest with the phenotypes of reference compounds with known cellular targets allows predicting its mode of action. While this approach has been successfully applied to the characterization of natural products based on a visual inspection of images, recent studies used automated microscopy and analysis software to increase speed and to reduce subjective interpretation. In this review, we give a general outline of the workflow for manual and automated image analysis, and we highlight natural products whose bacterial and eucaryotic targets could be identified through such approaches.
  • The CLU-files: disentanglement of a mystery.

    Rohne, Philipp; Prochnow, Hans; Koch-Brandt, Claudia; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunshweig, Germany. (2016-02)
    The multifaceted protein clusterin (CLU) has been challenging researchers for more than 35 years. The characterization of CLU as a molecular chaperone was one of the major breakthroughs in CLU research. Today, secretory clusterin (sCLU), also known as apolipoprotein J (apoJ), is considered one of the most important extracellular chaperones ever found. It is involved in a broad range of physiological and pathophysiological functions, where it exerts a cytoprotective role. Descriptions of various forms of intracellular CLU have led to further and even contradictory functions. To untangle the current state of knowledge of CLU, this review will combine old views in the field, with new discoveries to highlight the nature and function of this fascinating protein(s). In this review, we further describe the expression and subcellular location of various CLU forms. Moreover, we discuss recent insights into the structure of CLU and assess how structural properties as well as the redox environment determine the chaperone activity of CLU. Eventually, the review connects the biochemistry and molecular cell biology of CLU with medical aspects, to formulate a hypothesis of a CLU function in health and disease.
  • Biosynthesis of methyl-proline containing griselimycins, natural products with anti-tuberculosis activity.

    Lukat, Peer; Katsuyama, Yohei; Wenzel, Silke; Binz, Tina; König, Claudia; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; Brönstrup, Mark; Müller, Rolf; Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2017-11-01)
    Griselimycins (GMs) are depsidecapeptides with superb anti-tuberculosis activity. They contain up to three (2S,4R)-4-methyl-prolines (4-MePro), of which one blocks oxidative degradation and increases metabolic stability in animal models. The natural congener with this substitution is only a minor component in fermentation cultures. We showed that this product can be significantly increased by feeding the reaction with 4-MePro and we investigated the molecular basis of 4-MePro biosynthesis and incorporation. We identified the GM biosynthetic gene cluster as encoding a nonribosomal peptide synthetase and a sub-operon for 4-MePro formation. Using heterologous expression, gene inactivation, and in vitro experiments, we showed that 4-MePro is generated by leucine hydroxylation, oxidation to an aldehyde, and ring closure with subsequent reduction. The crystal structures of the leucine hydroxylase GriE have been determined in complex with substrates and products, providing insight into the stereospecificity of the reaction.
  • Multivalent Siderophore-DOTAM Conjugates as Theranostics for Imaging and Treatment of Bacterial Infections.

    Ferreira, Kevin; Hu, Hai-Yu; Fetz, Verena; Prochnow, Hans; Rais, Bushra; Müller, Peter P; Brönstrup, Mark; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-07-03)
    There is a strong need to better diagnose infections at deep body sites through noninvasive molecular imaging methods. Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of probes based on siderophore conjugates with catechol moieties and a central DOTAM scaffold. The probes can accommodate a metal ion as well as an antibiotic moiety and are therefore suited for theranostic purposes. The translocation of the conjugates across the outer and inner cell membranes of E. coli was confirmed by growth recovery experiments with enterobactin-deficient strains, by the antibacterial activity of ampicillin conjugates, and by confocal imaging using a fluorogen-activating protein-malachite green system adapted to E. coli. The suitability of the probes for in vivo imaging was demonstrated with a Cy5.5 conjugate in mice infected with P. aeruginosa.
  • The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) non-structural membrane protein K15 is required for viral lytic replication and may represent a therapeutic target.

    Abere, Bizunesh; Mamo, Tamrat M; Hartmann, Silke; Samarina, Naira; Hage, Elias; Rückert, Jessica; Hotop, Sven-Kevin; Büsche, Guntram; Schulz, Thomas F; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-09)
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the infectious cause of the highly vascularized tumor Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), which is characterized by proliferating spindle cells of endothelial origin, extensive neo-angiogenesis and inflammatory infiltrates. The KSHV K15 protein contributes to the angiogenic and invasive properties of KSHV-infected endothelial cells. Here, we asked whether K15 could also play a role in KSHV lytic replication. Deletion of the K15 gene from the viral genome or its depletion by siRNA lead to reduced virus reactivation, as evidenced by the decreased expression levels of KSHV lytic proteins RTA, K-bZIP, ORF 45 and K8.1 as well as reduced release of infectious virus. Similar results were found for a K1 deletion virus. Deleting either K15 or K1 from the viral genome also compromised the ability of KSHV to activate PLCγ1, Erk1/2 and Akt1. In infected primary lymphatic endothelial (LEC-rKSHV) cells, which have previously been shown to spontaneously display a viral lytic transcription pattern, transfection of siRNA against K15, but not K1, abolished viral lytic replication as well as KSHV-induced spindle cell formation. Using a newly generated monoclonal antibody to K15, we found an abundant K15 protein expression in KS tumor biopsies obtained from HIV positive patients, emphasizing the physiological relevance of our findings. Finally, we used a dominant negative inhibitor of the K15-PLCγ1 interaction to establish proof of principle that pharmacological intervention with K15-dependent pathways may represent a novel approach to block KSHV reactivation and thereby its pathogenesis.
  • Olfaction, taste and chemoreception: scientific evidence replaces "Essays in biopoetry".

    Appendino, Giovanni; Brönstrup, Mark; Kubanek, Julia M; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
  • Virus-like particle production with yeast: ultrastructural and immunocytochemical insights into Pichia pastoris producing high levels of the Hepatitis B surface antigen

    Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Gurramkonda, Chandrasekhar; Adnan, Ahmad; Khanna, Navin; Rinas, Ursula (2011-06-26)
    Abstract Background A protective immune response against Hepatitis B infection can be obtained through the administration of a single viral polypeptide, the Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Thus, the Hepatitis B vaccine is generated through the utilization of recombinant DNA technology, preferentially by using yeast-based expression systems. However, the polypeptide needs to assemble into spherical particles, so-called virus-like particles (VLPs), to elicit the required protective immune response. So far, no clear evidence has been presented showing whether HBsAg assembles in vivo inside the yeast cell into VLPs or later in vitro during down-stream processing and purification. Results High level production of HBsAg was carried out with recombinant Pichia pastoris using the methanol inducible AOX1 expression system. The recombinant vaccine was isolated in form of VLPs after several down-stream steps from detergent-treated cell lysates. Search for the intracellular localization of the antigen using electron microscopic studies in combination with immunogold labeling revealed the presence of HBsAg in an extended endoplasmic reticulum where it was found to assemble into defined multi-layered, lamellar structures. The distance between two layers was determined as ~6 nm indicating that these lamellas represent monolayers of well-ordered HBsAg subunits. We did not find any evidence for the presence of VLPs within the endoplasmic reticulum or other parts of the yeast cell. Conclusions It is concluded that high level production and intrinsic slow HBsAg VLP assembly kinetics are leading to retention and accumulation of the antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum where it assembles at least partly into defined lamellar structures. Further transport of HBsAg to the Golgi apparatus is impaired thus leading to secretory pathway disfunction and the formation of an extended endoplasmic reticulum which bulges into irregular cloud-shaped formations. As VLPs were not found within the cells it is concluded that the VLP assembly process must take place during down-stream processing after detergent-mediated disassembly of HBsAg lamellas and subsequent reassembly of HBsAg into spherical VLPs.
  • Isolation, Co-Crystallization and Structure-Based Characterization of Anabaenopeptins as Highly Potent Inhibitors of Activated Thrombin Activatable Fibrinolysis Inhibitor (TAFIa).

    Schreuder, Herman; Liesum, Alexander; Lönze, Petra; Stump, Heike; Hoffmann, Holger; Schiell, Matthias; Kurz, Michael; Toti, Luigi; Bauer, Armin; Kallus, Christopher; Klemke-Jahn, Christine; Czech, Jörg; Kramer, Dan; Enke, Heike; Niedermeyer, Timo H J; Morrison, Vincent; Kumar, Vasant; Brönstrup, Mark; Helmholtz Centre of infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-09-08)
    Mature thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFIa) is a carboxypeptidase that stabilizes fibrin clots by removing C-terminal arginines and lysines from partially degraded fibrin. Inhibition of TAFIa stimulates the degradation of fibrin clots and may help to prevent thrombosis. Applying a lead finding approach based on literature-mining, we discovered that anabaenopeptins, cyclic peptides produced by cyanobacteria, were potent inhibitors of TAFIa with IC50 values as low as 1.5 nM. We describe the isolation and structure elucidation of 20 anabaenopeptins, including 13 novel congeners, as well as their pronounced structure-activity relationships (SAR) with respect to inhibition of TAFIa. Crystal structures of the anabaenopeptins B, C and F bound to the surrogate protease carboxypeptidase B revealed the binding modes of these large (~850 Da) compounds in detail and explained the observed SAR, i.e. the strong dependence of the potency on a basic (Arg, Lys) exocyclic residue that addressed the S1' binding pocket, and a broad tolerance towards substitutions in the pentacyclic ring that acted as a plug of the active site.
  • Use of Single-Frequency Impedance Spectroscopy to Characterize the Growth Dynamics of Biofilm Formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    van Duuren, Jozef B J H; Müsken, Mathias; Karge, Bianka; Tomasch, Jürgen; Wittmann, Christoph; Häussler, Susanne; Brönstrup, Mark (2017-07-12)
    Impedance spectroscopy has been applied in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cytometry as a label-free method for the investigation of adherent cells. In this paper, its use for characterizing the growth dynamics of P. aeruginosa biofilms is described and compared to crystal violet staining and confocal microscopy. The method allows monitoring the growth of biofilm-forming P. aeruginosa in a continuous and label-free manner over a period of 72 h in a 96 well plate format. Impedance curves obtained for P. aeruginosa PA14 wild type and mutant strains with a transposon insertion in pqsA and pelA genes exhibited distinct phases. We propose that the slope of the declining curve following a maximum at ca. 35-40 h is a measure of biofilm formation. Transplant experiments with P. aeruginosa biofilms and paraffin suggest that the impedance also reflects pellicle formation at the liquid-air interface, a barely considered contributor to impedance. Finally, the impairment of biofilm formation upon treatment of cultures with L-arginine and with ciprofloxacin, tobramycin and meropenem was studied by single frequency impedance spectroscopy. We suggest that these findings qualify impedance spectroscopy as an additional technique to characterize biofilm formation and its modulation by small molecule drugs.
  • Characteristics, chemical compositions and biological activities of propolis from Al-Bahah, Saudi Arabia.

    Elnakady, Yasser A; Rushdi, Ahmed I; Franke, Raimo; Abutaha, Nael; Ebaid, Hossam; Baabbad, Mohannad; Omar, Mohamed O M; Al Ghamdi, Ahmad A; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-02-06)
    Propolis has been used to treat several diseases since ancient times, and is an important source of bioactive natural compounds and drug derivatives. These properties have kept the interest of investigators around the world, leading to the investigation of the chemical and biological properties and application of propolis. In this report, the chemical constituents that are responsible for the anticancer activities of propolis were analyzed. The propolis was sourced from Al-Baha in the southern part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Standard protocols for chemical fractionation and bioactivity-guided chemical analysis were used to identify the bio-active ethyl acetate fraction. The extraction was performed in methanol and then analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The major compounds are triterpenoids, with a relative concentration of 74.0%; steroids, with a relative concentration of 9.8%; and diterpenoids, with a relative concentration of 7.9%. The biological activity was characterized using different approaches and cell-based assays. Propolis was found to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in a concentration-dependent manner through apoptosis. Immunofluorescence staining with anti-α-tubulin antibodies and cell cycle analysis indicated that tubulin and/or microtubules are the cellular targets of the L-acetate fraction. This study demonstrates the importance of Saudi propolis as anti-cancer drug candidates.
  • The myxobacterial metabolite Soraphen A inhibits HIV-1 by reducing virus production and altering virion composition.

    Fleta-Soriano, Eric; Smutná, Katarína; Martinez, Javier P; Lorca Oró, Cristina; Sadiq, S Kashif; Mirambeau, Gilles; Lopez-Iglesias, Carmen; Bosch, Marta; Pol, Albert; Brönstrup, Mark; Diez, Juana; Meyerhans, Andreas; Helmholtz Centre of infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-05-22)
    Soraphen A is a myxobacterial metabolite that blocks the acetyl-CoA carboxylase of the host, and was previously identified as a novel HIV inhibitor. Here we report that Soraphen A acts by reducing virus production and altering the gp120 virion content, impacting entry capacity and infectivity. These effects are partially reversed by addition of palmitic acid, suggesting inhibition of HIV Env palmitoylation as one of the mechanisms of antiviral action.
  • Myxobacteria: natural pharmaceutical factories

    Diez, Juana; Martinez, Javier P; Mestres, Jordi; Sasse, Florenz; Frank, Ronald; Meyerhans, Andreas; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Ihoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012-04-30)
    Abstract Myxobacteria are amongst the top producers of natural products. The diversity and unique structural properties of their secondary metabolites is what make these social microbes highly attractive for drug discovery. Screening of products derived from these bacteria has revealed a puzzling amount of hits against infectious and non-infectious human diseases. Preying mainly on other bacteria and fungi, why would these ancient hunters manufacture compounds beneficial for us? The answer may be the targeting of shared processes and structural features conserved throughout evolution.
  • Modification of uptake and subcellular distribution of doxorubicin by N-acylhydrazone residues as visualised by intrinsic fluorescence.

    Effenberger-Neidnicht, Katharina; Breyer, Sandra; Mahal, Katharina; Sasse, Florenz; Schobert, Rainer (2012-01)
    Doxorubicin (1) is commonly used in the treatment of a wide range of cancers. Some N-acylhydrazones of 1 were previously found to have an improved tumour and organ selectivity. In order to clarify the molecular basis for this effect, the cellular uptake into various cancer cells and the localisation in PtK(2) potoroo kidney cells of 1 and its N-acylhydrazones derived from heptadecanoic acid (2) and 11-(menthoxycarbonyl)undecanoic acid (3) were studied drawing on their intrinsic fluorescence.
  • From binary to multivalued to continuous models: the lac operon as a case study.

    Franke, Raimo; Theis, Fabian J; Klamt, Steffen; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2010-12-14)
    Using the lac operon as a paradigmatic example for a gene regulatory system in prokaryotes, we demonstrate how qualitative knowledge can be initially captured using simple discrete (Boolean) models and then stepwise refined to multivalued logical models and finally to continuous (ODE) models. At all stages, signal transduction and transcriptional regulation is integrated in the model description. We first show the potential benefit of a discrete binary approach and discuss then problems and limitations due to indeterminacy arising in cyclic networks. These limitations can be partially circumvented by using multilevel logic as generalization of the Boolean framework enabling one to formulate a more realistic model of the lac operon. Ultimately a dynamic description is needed to fully appreciate the potential dynamic behavior that can be induced by regulatory feedback loops. As a very promising method we show how the use of multivariate polynomial interpolation allows transformation of the logical network into a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs), which then enables the analysis of key features of the dynamic behavior.
  • Identification of a PA-binding peptide with inhibitory activity against influenza A and B virus replication.

    Wunderlich, Kerstin; Mayer, Daniel; Ranadheera, Charlene; Holler, Anne-Sophie; Mänz, Benjamin; Martin, Arnold; Chase, Geoffrey; Tegge, Werner; Frank, Ronald; Kessler, Ulrich; Schwemmle, Martin; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2009-10-20)
    There is an urgent need for new drugs against influenza type A and B viruses due to incomplete protection by vaccines and the emergence of resistance to current antivirals. The influenza virus polymerase complex, consisting of the PB1, PB2 and PA subunits, represents a promising target for the development of new drugs. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of targeting the protein-protein interaction domain between the PB1 and PA subunits of the polymerase complex of influenza A virus using a small peptide derived from the PA-binding domain of PB1. However, this influenza A virus-derived peptide did not affect influenza B virus polymerase activity. Here we report that the PA-binding domain of the polymerase subunit PB1 of influenza A and B viruses is highly conserved and that mutual amino acid exchange shows that they cannot be functionally exchanged with each other. Based on phylogenetic analysis and a novel biochemical ELISA-based screening approach, we were able to identify an influenza A-derived peptide with a single influenza B-specific amino acid substitution which efficiently binds to PA of both virus types. This dual-binding peptide blocked the viral polymerase activity and growth of both virus types. Our findings provide proof of principle that protein-protein interaction inhibitors can be generated against influenza A and B viruses. Furthermore, this dual-binding peptide, combined with our novel screening method, is a promising platform to identify new antiviral lead compounds.
  • A selective 3-acylation of tetramic acids and the first synthesis of ravenic acid.

    Schlenk, Andrea; Diestel, Randi; Sasse, Florenz; Schobert, Rainer; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2010-02-22)
    3-Acyltetramic acids, including delicate 3-oligoenoyl derivatives, such as the Penicillium metabolite ravenic acid, were prepared in two high-yielding steps. Reaction of tetramic acids with the ylide Ph(3)PCCO afforded exclusively the corresponding 3-acylylidenetetramic acids. These were amenable to Wittig olefinations with aliphatic, aromatic, saturated and unsaturated aldehydes after deprotonation with KOtBu. Due to its simplicity, selectivity and tolerance of pH-sensitive groups this method is superior to the established acylation protocols by Jones and Yoshii. It is also applicable to the synthesis of 3-acyltetronic acids. The new 3-oligoenoyl tetramic acids exhibited structure-dependent antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity.

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