Recent Submissions

  • Conformational Flexibility in the Immunoglobulin-Like Domain of the Hepatitis C Virus Glycoprotein E2.

    Vasiliauskaite, Ieva; Owsianka, Ania; England, Patrick; Khan, Abdul Ghafoor; Cole, Sarah; Bankwitz, Dorothea; Foung, Steven K H; Pietschmann, Thomas; Marcotrigiano, Joseph; Rey, Felix A; Patel, Arvind H; Krey, Thomas; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (ASM, 2017-05-16)
    The hepatitis C virus (HCV) glycoprotein E2 is the major target of neutralizing antibodies and is therefore highly relevant for vaccine design. Its structure features a central immunoglobulin (Ig)-like β-sandwich that contributes to the binding site for the cellular receptor CD81. We show that a synthetic peptide corresponding to a β-strand of this Ig-like domain forms an α-helix in complex with the anti-E2 antibody DAO5, demonstrating an inside-out flip of hydrophobic residues and a secondary structure change in the composite CD81 binding site. A detailed interaction analysis of DAO5 and cross-competing neutralizing antibodies with soluble E2 revealed that the Ig-like domain is trapped by different antibodies in at least two distinct conformations. DAO5 specifically captures retrovirus particles bearing HCV glycoproteins (HCVpp) and infectious cell culture-derived HCV particles (HCVcc). Infection of cells by DAO5-captured HCVpp can be blocked by a cross-competing neutralizing antibody, indicating that a single virus particle simultaneously displays E2 molecules in more than one conformation on its surface. Such conformational plasticity of the HCV E2 receptor binding site has important implications for immunogen design.
  • Susceptibility of Chikungunya Virus to Inactivation by Heat and Commercially and World Health Organization-Recommended Biocides.

    Franz, Sergej; Friesland, Martina; Passos, Vânia; Todt, Daniel; Simmons, Graham; Goffinet, Christine; Steinmann, Eike; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (Oxford University Press, 2018-09-22)
    Despite increasing clinical relevance of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection, caused by a rapidly emerging pathogen, recommended guidelines for its inactivation do not exist. In this study, we investigated the susceptibility of CHIKV to inactivation by heat and commercially available hand, surface, and World Health Organization-recommended disinfectants to define CHIKV prevention protocols for healthcare systems.
  • Functional and immunogenic characterization of diverse HCV glycoprotein E2 variants.

    Khera, Tanvi; Behrendt, Patrick; Bankwitz, Dorothea; Brown, Richard J P; Todt, Daniel; Doepke, Mandy; Ghafoor Khan, Abdul; Schulze, Kai; Law, John; Logan, Michael; Hockman, Darren; Wong, Jason Alexander Ji-Xhin; Dold, Leona; Gonzalez-Motos, Victor; Spengler, Ulrich; Viejo-Borbolla, Abel; Ströh, Luisa; Krey, Thomas; Tarr, Alexander W; Steinmann, Eike; Manns, Michael P; Klein, Florian; Guzman, Carlos A; Marcotrigiano, Joseph; Houghton, Michael; Pietschmann, Thomas; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany; HZI, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier, 2018-11-12)
    Induction of cross-reactive antibodies targeting conserved epitopes of the envelope proteins E1E2 is a key requirement for an HCV vaccine. Conserved epitopes like the viral CD81-binding site are targeted by rare broadly neutralizing antibodies. However, these viral segments are occluded by variable regions and glycans. We aimed to identify antigens exposing conserved epitopes and to characterize their immunogenicity. We created HCV variants with mutated glycosylation sites and/or hypervariable region 1 (HVR1). Exposure of the CD81 binding site and conserved epitopes was quantified by soluble CD81 and antibody interaction and neutralization assays. E2 or E1-E2 heterodimers with mutations causing epitope exposure were used to immunize mice. Vaccine-induced antibodies were examined and compared with patient-derived antibodies. Mutant viruses bound soluble CD81 and antibodies targeting the CD81 binding site with enhanced efficacy. Mice immunized with E2 or E1E2 heterodimers incorporating these modifications mounted strong, cross-binding, and non-interfering antibodies. E2-induced antibodies neutralized the autologous virus but they were not cross-neutralizing. Viruses lacking the HVR1 and selected glycosylation sites expose the CD81 binding site and cross-neutralization antibody epitopes. Recombinant E2 proteins carrying these modifications induce strong cross-binding but not cross-neutralizing antibodies.
  • Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Nonstructural Membrane Protein pK15 Recruits the Class II Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase PI3K-C2α To Activate Productive Viral Replication.

    Abere, Bizunesh; Samarina, Naira; Gramolelli, Silvia; Rückert, Jessica; Gerold, Gisa; Pich, Andreas; Schulz, Thomas F; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018-09-01)
    Kaposi's sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)/human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) causes the angiogenic tumor KS and two B-cell malignancies. The KSHV nonstructural membrane protein encoded by the open reading frame (ORF) K15 recruits and activates several cellular proteins, including phospholipase Cγ1 (PLCγ1), components of the NF-κB pathway, as well as members of the Src family of nonreceptor tyrosine kinases, and thereby plays an important role in the activation of angiogenic and inflammatory pathways that contribute to the pathogenesis of KS as well as KSHV productive (lytic) replication. In order to identify novel cellular components involved in the biology of pK15, we immunoprecipitated pK15 from KSHV-infected endothelial cells and identified associated proteins by label-free quantitative mass spectrometry. Cellular proteins interacting with pK15 point to previously unappreciated cellular processes, such as the endocytic pathway, that could be involved in the function of pK15. We found that the class II phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) PI3K-C2α, which is involved in the endocytosis of activated receptor tyrosine kinases and their signaling from intracellular organelles, interacts and colocalizes with pK15 in vesicular structures abundant in the perinuclear area. Further functional analysis revealed that PI3K-C2α contributes to the pK15-dependent phosphorylation of PLCγ1 and Erk1/2. PI3K-C2α also plays a role in KSHV lytic replication, as evidenced by the reduced expression of the viral lytic genes K-bZIP and ORF45 as well as the reduced release of infectious virus in PI3K-C2α-depleted KSHV-infected endothelial cells. Taken together, our results suggest a role of the cellular PI3K-C2α protein in the functional properties of the KSHV pK15 protein.
  • Correlation of Severity of Human Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Disease and Pathogenicity in Mice.

    Kurhade, Chaitanya; Schreier, Sarah; Lee, Yi-Ping; Zegenhagen, Loreen; Hjertqvist, Marika; Dobler, Gerhard; Kröger, Andrea; Överby, Anna K; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-09-01)
    We compared 2 tick-borne encephalitis virus strains isolated from 2 different foci that cause different symptoms in tick-borne encephalitis patients, from neurologic to mild gastrointestinal symptoms. We compared neuroinvasiveness, neurovirulence, and proinflammatory cytokine response in mice and found unique differences that contribute to our understanding of pathogenesis
  • Exophiala dermatitidis isolates from various sources: using alternative invertebrate host organisms (Caenorhabditis elegans and Galleria mellonella) to determine virulence.

    Olsowski, Maike; Hoffmann, Frederike; Hain, Andrea; Kirchhoff, Lisa; Theegarten, Dirk; Todt, Daniel; Steinmann, Eike; Buer, Jan; Rath, Peter-Michael; Steinmann, Joerg; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018-08-24)
    Exophiala dermatitidis causes chromoblastomycosis, phaeohyphomycosis and fatal infections of the central nervous system of patients with Asian background. It is also found in respiratory secretions from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. In this study a variety of E. dermatitidis strains (isolates from Asia, environmental and CF) were characterized in their pathogenicity by survival analyzes using two different invertebrate host organisms, Caenorhabditis elegans and Galleria mellonella. Furthermore, the morphological development of hyphal formation was analyzed. E. dermatitidis exhibited pathogenicity in C. elegans. The virulence varied in a strain-dependent manner, but the nematodes were a limited model to study hyphal formation. Analysis of a melanin-deficient mutant (Mel-3) indicates that melanin plays a role during virulence processes in C. elegans. The strains isolated from Asian patients exhibited significantly higher virulence in G. mellonella compared to strains from other sources. Histological analyzes also revealed a higher potential of invasive hyphal growth in strains isolated from Asian patients. Interestingly, no significant difference was found in virulence between the Mel-3 mutant and their wild type counterpart during infection in G. mellonella. In conclusion, invasive hyphal formation of E. dermatitidis was associated with increased virulence. This work is the basis for future studies concerning E. dermatitidis virulence.
  • The Small-Compound Inhibitor K22 Displays Broad Antiviral Activity against Different Members of the Family Flaviviridae and Offers Potential as a Panviral Inhibitor.

    García-Nicolás, Obdulio; V'kovski, Philip; Vielle, Nathalie J; Ebert, Nadine; Züst, Roland; Portmann, Jasmine; Stalder, Hanspeter; Gaschen, Véronique; Vieyres, Gabrielle; Stoffel, Michael; Schweizer, Matthias; Summerfield, Artur; Engler, Olivier; Pietschmann, Thomas; Todt, Daniel; Alves, Marco P; Thiel, Volker; Pfaender, Stephanie; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018-11-01)
    The virus family
  • The natural compound silvestrol inhibits hepatitis E virus (HEV) replication in vitro and in vivo.

    Todt, Daniel; Moeller, Nora; Praditya, Dimas; Kinast, Volker; Friesland, Martina; Engelmann, Michael; Verhoye, Lieven; Sayed, Ibrahim M; Behrendt, Patrick; Dao Thi, Viet Loan; Meuleman, Philip; Steinmann, Eike; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinischeInfektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018-09-01)
    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the causative agent of hepatitis E in humans and a member of the genus Orthohepevirus in the family Hepeviridae. HEV infections are the common cause of acute hepatitis but can also take chronic courses. Ribavirin is the treatment of choice for most patients and type I interferon (IFN) has been evaluated in a few infected transplantation patients in vivo. However, no effective and specific treatments against HEV infections are currently available. In this study, we evaluated the natural compound silvestrol, isolated from the plant Aglaia foveolata, and known for its specific inhibition of the DEAD-box RNA helicase eIF4A in state-of-the-art HEV experimental model systems. Silvestrol blocked HEV replication of different subgenomic replicons in a dose-dependent manner at low nanomolar concentrations and acted additive to ribavirin (RBV). In addition, HEV p6-based full length replication and production of infectious particles was reduced in the presence of silvestrol. A pangenotypic effect of the compound was further demonstrated with primary isolates from four different human genotypes in HEV infection experiments of hepatocyte-like cells derived from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. In vivo, HEV RNA levels rapidly declined in the feces of treated mice while no effect was observed in the vehicle treated control animals. In conclusion, silvestrol could be identified as pangenotypic HEV replication inhibitor in vitro with additive effect to RBV and further demonstrated high potency in vivo. The compound therefore may be considered in future treatment strategies of chronic hepatitis E in immunocompromised patients.
  • Prevalence and characterization of azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus in patients with cystic fibrosis: a prospective multicentre study in Germany.

    Seufert, R; Sedlacek, L; Kahl, B; Hogardt, M; Hamprecht, A; Haase, G; Gunzer, F; Haas, A; Grauling-Halama, S; MacKenzie, C R; Essig, A; Stehling, F; Sutharsan, S; Dittmer, S; Killengray, D; Schmidt, D; Eskandarian, N; Steinmann, E; Buer, J; Hagen, F; Meis, J F; Rath, P-M; Steinmann, J; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinischeInfektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018-08-01)
    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most prevalent filamentous fungus in the respiratory tract of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The aim of this prospective multicentre study was to investigate the prevalence of azole-resistant A. fumigatus (ARAF) in respiratory secretions from CF patients across Germany and to characterize ARAF isolates by phenotypic and molecular methods. Twelve tertiary care centres from Germany participated in the study. In total, 2888 A. fumigatus isolates from 961 CF patients were screened for ARAF by using azole-containing agar plates. Antifungal susceptibility testing of isolates was performed by broth microdilution according to EUCAST guidelines. Analysis of mutations mediating resistance was performed using PCR and sequencing of the cyp51A gene. Furthermore, genotyping by microsatellite PCR was performed. Of a total of 2888 A. fumigatus isolates, 101 isolates from 51 CF patients were found to be azole resistant (prevalence per patient 5.3%). The Essen centre had the highest prevalence (9.1%) followed by Munich (7.8%), Münster (6.0%) and Hannover (5.2%). Most ARAF isolates (n = 89) carried the TR34/L98H mutation followed by eight G54E/R, one TR46/Y121F/T289A and one F219S mutation. In two isolates no mutation was found. Genotyping results showed no major clustering. Forty-five percent of CF patients with ARAF had previously received azole therapy. This is the first multicentre study analysing the prevalence of ARAF isolates in German CF patients. Because of a resistance rate of up to 9%, susceptibility testing of A. fumigatus isolates from CF patients receiving antifungal treatment should be part of standard diagnostic work-up.
  • Hepatitis C virus enters liver cells using the CD81 receptor complex proteins calpain-5 and CBLB.

    Bruening, Janina; Lasswitz, Lisa; Banse, Pia; Kahl, Sina; Marinach, Carine; Vondran, Florian W; Kaderali, Lars; Silvie, Olivier; Pietschmann, Thomas; Meissner, Felix; Gerold, Gisa (2018-07-01)
    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the malaria parasite Plasmodium use the membrane protein CD81 to invade human liver cells. Here we mapped 33 host protein interactions of CD81 in primary human liver and hepatoma cells using high-resolution quantitative proteomics. In the CD81 protein network, we identified five proteins which are HCV entry factors or facilitators including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Notably, we discovered calpain-5 (CAPN5) and the ubiquitin ligase Casitas B-lineage lymphoma proto-oncogene B (CBLB) to form a complex with CD81 and support HCV entry. CAPN5 and CBLB were required for a post-binding and pre-replication step in the HCV life cycle. Knockout of CAPN5 and CBLB reduced susceptibility to all tested HCV genotypes, but not to other enveloped viruses such as vesicular stomatitis virus and human coronavirus. Furthermore, Plasmodium sporozoites relied on a distinct set of CD81 interaction partners for liver cell entry. Our findings reveal a comprehensive CD81 network in human liver cells and show that HCV and Plasmodium highjack selective CD81 interactions, including CAPN5 and CBLB for HCV, to invade cells.
  • Pentagalloylglucose, a highly bioavailable polyphenolic compound present in Cortex moutan, efficiently blocks hepatitis C virus entry.

    Behrendt, Patrick; Perin, Paula; Menzel, Nicolas; Branda, Dominic; Pfaender, Stephanie; Alves, Marco P.; Thiel, Volker; Meulemann, Philip; Colpit, Che C.; Schang, Luis M.; Vondran, Florian W.R.; Anggakusuma; Manns, Michael P.; Steinmann, Eicke; Pietschmann, Thomas; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinischeInfektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2017-01-01)
    Approximately 142 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Although potent direct acting antivirals are available, high costs limit access to treatment. Chronic hepatitis C virus infection remains a major cause of orthotopic liver transplantation. Moreover, re-infection of the graft occurs regularly. Antivirals derived from natural sources might be an alternative and cost-effective option to complement therapy regimens for global control of hepatitis C virus infection. We tested the antiviral properties of a mixture of different Chinese herbs/roots named Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (ZBDHW) and its individual components on HCV. One of the ZBDHW components, Penta-O-Galloyl-Glucose (PGG), was further analyzed for its mode of action in vitro, its antiviral activity in primary human hepatocytes as well as for its bioavailability and hepatotoxicity in mice. ZBDHW, its component Cortex Moutan and the compound PGG efficiently block entry of HCV of all major genotypes and also of the related flavivirus Zika virus. PGG does not disrupt HCV virion integrity and acts primarily during virus attachment. PGG shows an additive effect when combined with the well characterized HCV inhibitor Daclatasvir. Analysis of bioavailability in mice revealed plasma levels above tissue culture IC
  • Virucidal efficacy of a sonicated hydrogen peroxide system (trophon EPR) following European and German test methods.

    Becker, Britta; Bischoff, Birte; Brill, Florian H H; Steinmann, Eike; Steinmann, Jochen; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinischeInfektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2017-01-01)
    The virucidal efficacy of an automated ultrasound probe disinfector (trophon® EPR) was evaluated in a three step procedure according to European and German test methods. This system uses sonicated hydrogen peroxide mist (35%) at elevated temperature (50°C) in a closed chamber with control of all parameters within a 7 minute cycle. Methods: In the first step of examination, the peroxide solution was tested in a quantitative suspension assay according to the Guideline of Deutsche Vereinigung zur Bekämpfung der Viruskrankheiten (DVV) e.V. and Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) and in parallel with the European Norm EN 14476 with all test viruses creating a virucidal claim. In the second step, the virucidal efficacy of the hydrogen peroxide solution was evaluated in a hard surface carrier test according to the Guideline of DVV with adenovirus, murine norovirus and parvovirus simulating practical conditions. Finally, the efficacy was evaluated by the automated system using stainless steel carriers inoculated with test virus and positioned at different levels inside the chamber.
  • Environmental Stability and Infectivity of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Different Human Body Fluids.

    Pfaender, Stephanie; Helfritz, Fabian A; Siddharta, Anindya; Todt, Daniel; Behrendt, Patrick; Heyden, Julia; Riebesehl, Nina; Willmann, Wiebke; Steinmann, Joerg; Münch, Jan; Ciesek, Sandra; Steinmann, Eike; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinischeInfektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018-01-01)
    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a hepatotropic, blood-borne virus, but in up to one-third of infections of the transmission route remained unidentified. Viral genome copies of HCV have been identified in several body fluids, however, non-parental transmission upon exposure to contaminated body fluids seems to be rare. Several body fluids, e.g., tears and saliva, are renowned for their antimicrobial and antiviral properties, nevertheless, HCV stability has never been systematically analyzed in those fluids.
  • Glycomics and Proteomics Approaches to Investigate Early Adenovirus-Host Cell Interactions.

    Lasswitz, Lisa; Chandra, Naresh; Arnberg, Niklas; Gerold, Gisa; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinischeInfektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018-06-22)
    Adenoviruses as most viruses rely on glycan and protein interactions to attach to and enter susceptible host cells. The Adenoviridae family comprises more than 80 human types and they differ in their attachment factor and receptor usage, which likely contributes to the diverse tropism of the different types. In the past years, methods to systematically identify glycan and protein interactions have advanced. In particular sensitivity, speed and coverage of mass spectrometric analyses allow for high-throughput identification of glycans and peptides separated by liquid chromatography. Also, developments in glycan microarray technologies have led to targeted, high-throughput screening and identification of glycan-based receptors. The mapping of cell surface interactions of the diverse adenovirus types has implications for cell, tissue, and species tropism as well as drug development. Here we review known adenovirus interactions with glycan- and protein-based receptors, as well as glycomics and proteomics strategies to identify yet elusive virus receptors and attachment factors. We finally discuss challenges, bottlenecks, and future research directions in the field of non-enveloped virus entry into host cells.
  • CD81 Receptor Regions outside the Large Extracellular Loop Determine Hepatitis C Virus Entry into Hepatoma Cells.

    Banse, Pia; Moeller, Rebecca; Bruening, Janina; Lasswitz, Lisa; Kahl, Sina; Khan, Abdul G; Marcotrigiano, Joseph; Pietschmann, Thomas; Gerold, Gisa; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinischeInfektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018)
    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) enters human hepatocytes using four essential entry factors, one of which is human CD81 (hCD81). The tetraspanin hCD81 contains a large extracellular loop (LEL), which interacts with the E2 glycoprotein of HCV. The role of the non-LEL regions of hCD81 (intracellular tails, four transmembrane domains, small extracellular loop and intracellular loop) is poorly understood. Here, we studied the contribution of these domains to HCV susceptibility of hepatoma cells by generating chimeras of related tetraspanins with the hCD81 LEL. Our results show that non-LEL regions in addition to the LEL determine susceptibility of cells to HCV. While closely related tetraspanins (X. tropicalis CD81 and D. rerio CD81) functionally complement hCD81 non-LEL regions, distantly related tetraspanins (C. elegans TSP9 amd D. melanogaster TSP96F) do not and tetraspanins with intermediate homology (hCD9) show an intermediate phenotype. Tetraspanin homology and susceptibility to HCV correlate positively. For some chimeras, infectivity correlates with surface expression. In contrast, the hCD9 chimera is fully surface expressed, binds HCV E2 glycoprotein but is impaired in HCV receptor function. We demonstrate that a cholesterol-coordinating glutamate residue in CD81, which hCD9 lacks, promotes HCV infection. This work highlights the hCD81 non-LEL regions as additional HCV susceptibility-determining factors.
  • Molecular characteristics and successful management of a respiratory syncytial virus outbreak among pediatric patients with hemato-oncological disease.

    Baier, Claas; Haid, Sibylle; Beilken, Andreas; Behnert, Astrid; Wetzke, Martin; Brown, Richard J P; Schmitt, Corinna; Ebadi, Ella; Hansen, Gesine; Schulz, Thomas F; Pietschmann, Thomas; Bange, Franz-Christoph; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle uns klinische Ifektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2018)
    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is responsible for upper and lower respiratory tract infection in adults and children. Especially immunocompromised patients are at high risk for a severe course of infection, and mortality is increased. Moreover RSV can spread in healthcare settings and can cause outbreaks. Herein we demonstrate the successful control and characteristics of a RSV outbreak that included 8 patients in our Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology.
  • Six Heterocyclic Metabolites from the Myxobacterium Labilithrix luteola.

    Mulwa, Lucky S; Jansen, Rolf; Praditya, Dimas F; Mohr, Kathrin I; Wink, Joachim; Steinmann, Eike; Stadler, Marc; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-02-28)
    Two new secondary metabolites, labindole A [2-methyl-3-(2-nitroethyl)-3H-indole] (1) and labindole B [2-methyl-3-(2-nitrovinyl)-3H-indole] (2), were isolated from the myxobacteriumLabilithrixluteola(DSM 27648T). Additionally, four metabolites3,4,5and6already known from other sources were obtained. Their structures were elucidated from high resolution electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (HRESIMS) and 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy data and their relative configuration was assigned based on nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) and vicinal ¹H-NMR coupling data. The compounds where tested for biological activities; labindoles A (1) and B (2) exhibited significant activity against Hepatitis C Virus, 9H-carbazole (3), 3-chloro-9H-carbazole (4) and 4-hydroxymethyl-quinoline (5) showed antifungal activities. Moreover, compound3had weak to moderate antibacterial activities, while labindoles A (1) and B (2) were devoid of significant antifungal and antibacterial effects.
  • Two New Cyathane Diterpenoids from Mycelial Cultures of the Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus and the Rare Species, Hericium flagellum.

    Rupcic, Zeljka; Rascher, Monique; Kanaki, Sae; Köster, Reinhard W; Stadler, Marc; Wittstein, Kathrin; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-03-06)
    Basidiomycetes of the genusHericiumare among the most praised medicinal and edible mushrooms, which are known to produce secondary metabolites with the potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases. This activity has been attributed to the discovery of various terpenoids that can stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) or (as established more recently) brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in cell-based bioassays. The present study reports on the metabolite profiles of a Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) strain and a strain of the rare species,Hericium flagellum(synonymH. alpestre). While we observed highly similar metabolite profiles between the two strains that were examined, we isolated two previously undescribed metabolites, given the trivial names erinacines Z1 and Z2. Their chemical structures were elucidated by means of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and high resolution mass spectrometry. Along with six further, previously identified cyathane diterpenes, the novel erinacines were tested for neurotrophin inducing effects. We found that erinacines act onBDNF, which is a neurotrophic factor that has been reported recently by us to be induced by the corallocins, but as well onNGFexpression, which is consistent with the literature.
  • Type I Interferons Interfere with the Capacity of mRNA Lipoplex Vaccines to Elicit Cytolytic T Cell Responses.

    De Beuckelaer, Ans; Pollard, Charlotte; Van Lint, Sandra; Roose, Kenny; Van Hoecke, Lien; Naessens, Thomas; Udhayakumar, Vimal Kumar; Smet, Muriel; Sanders, Niek; Lienenklaus, Stefan; Saelens, Xavier; Weiss, Siegfried; Vanham, Guido; Grooten, Johan; De Koker, Stefaan; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-11)
    Given their high potential to evoke cytolytic T cell responses, tumor antigen-encoding messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are now being intensively explored as therapeutic cancer vaccines. mRNA vaccines clearly benefit from wrapping the mRNA into nano-sized carriers such as lipoplexes that protect the mRNA from degradation and increase its uptake by dendritic cells in vivo. Nevertheless, the early innate host factors that regulate the induction of cytolytic T cells to mRNA lipoplex vaccines have remained unresolved. Here, we demonstrate that mRNA lipoplexes induce a potent type I interferon (IFN) response upon subcutaneous, intradermal and intranodal injection. Regardless of the route of immunization applied, these type I IFNs interfered with the generation of potent cytolytic T cell responses. Most importantly, blocking type I IFN signaling at the site of immunization through the use of an IFNAR blocking antibody greatly enhanced the prophylactic and therapeutic antitumor efficacy of mRNA lipoplexes in the highly aggressive B16 melanoma model. As type I IFN induction appears to be inherent to the mRNA itself rather than to unique properties of the mRNA lipoplex formulation, preventing type I IFN induction and/or IFNAR signaling at the site of immunization might constitute a widely applicable strategy to improve the potency of mRNA vaccination.
  • Axl can serve as entry factor for Lassa virus depending on the functional glycosylation of dystroglycan.

    Fedeli, Chiara; Torriani, Giulia; Galan-Navarro, Clara; Moraz, Marie-Laurence; Moreno, Hector; Gerold, Gisa; Kunz, Stefan; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-12-13)
    Fatal infection with the highly pathogenic Lassa virus (LASV) is characterized by extensive viral dissemination, indicating broad tissue tropism. The major cellular receptor for LASV is the highly conserved extracellular matrix receptor dystroglycan (DG). Binding of LASV depends on DG's tissue-specific post-translational modification with the unusual O-linked polysaccharide matriglycan. Interestingly, functional glycosylation of DG does not always correlate with viral tropism observed in vivo The broadly expressed phosphatidylserine (PS) receptors Axl and Tyro3 were recently identified as alternative LASV receptor candidates. However, their role in LASV entry is not entirely understood. Here we examined LASV receptor candidates in primary human cells and found co-expression of Axl with differentially glycosylated DG. To study LASV receptor use in the context of productive arenavirus infection, we employed recombinant lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus expressing LASV glycoprotein (rLCMV-LASVGP) as validated BSL2 model. We confirm and extend previous work, showing that Axl can contribute to LASV entry in absence of functional DG using "apoptotic mimicry", similar to other enveloped virus. We further show that Axl-dependent LASV entry requires receptor activation and involves a pathway resembling macropinocytosis. Axl-mediated LASV entry is facilitated by heparan sulfate and critically depends on the late endosomal protein LAMP-1 as intracellular entry factor. In endothelial cells expressing low levels of functional DG, both receptors are engaged by the virus and can contribute to productive entry. In sum, we characterize the role of Axl in LASV entry and provide a rationale to target Axl in anti-viral therapy.IMPORTANCEThe highly pathogenic arenavirus Lassa (LASV) represents a serious public health problem in Africa. Although the principal LASV receptor dystroglycan (DG) is ubiquitously expressed, virus binding critically depends on DG's post-translational modification, which does not always correlate with tissue tropism. The broadly expressed phosphatidylserine receptor Axl was recently identified as alternative LASV receptor candidate, but its role in LASV entry is unclear. Here we investigated the exact role of Axl in LASV entry as a function of DG's post-translational modification. We found that in absence of functional DG, Axl can mediate LASV entry via "apoptotic mimicry". Productive entry requires virus-induced receptor activation, involves macropinocytosis, and critically depends on LAMP-1. In endothelial cells that express low levels of glycosylated DG, both receptors can promote LASV entry. In sum, our study defines the roles of Axl in LASV entry and provides a rationale to target Axl in anti-viral therapy.

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