Recent Submissions

  • Aurantimycin resistance genes contribute to survival of Listeria monocytogenes during life in the environment.

    Hauf, Samuel; Herrmann, Jennifer; Miethke, Marcus; Gibhardt, Johannes; Commichau, Fabian M; Müller, Rolf; Fuchs, Stephan; Halbedel, Sven; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-01-15)
    Bacteria can cope with toxic compounds such as antibiotics by inducing genes for their detoxification. A common detoxification strategy is compound excretion by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, which are synthesized upon compound contact. We previously identified the multi drug resistance ABC transporter LieAB in Listeria monocytogenes, a Gram-positive bacterium that occurs ubiquitously in the environment, but also causes severe infections in humans upon ingestion. Expression of the lieAB genes is strongly induced in cells lacking the PadR-type transcriptional repressor LftR, but compounds leading to relief of this repression in wild type cells were not known. Using RNA-Seq and promoter-lacZ fusions we demonstrate highly specific repression of the lieAB and lftRS promoters through LftR. Screening of a natural compound library yielded the depsipeptide aurantimycin A - synthesized by the soil-dwelling Streptomyces aurantiacus - as the first known naturally occurring inducer of lieAB expression. Genetic and phenotypic experiments concordantly show that aurantimycin A is a substrate of the LieAB transporter and thus, lftRS and lieAB represent the first known genetic module conferring and regulating aurantimycin A resistance. Collectively, these genes may support the survival of L. monocytogenes when it comes into contact with antibiotic-producing bacteria in the soil. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • An endothelial cell line infected by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) allows the investigation of Kaposi's sarcoma and the validation of novel viral inhibitors in vitro and in vivo.

    Dubich, Tatyana; Lieske, Anna; Santag, Susann; Beauclair, Guillaume; Rückert, Jessica; Herrmann, Jennifer; Gorges, Jan; Büsche, Guntram; Kazmaier, Uli; Hauser, Hansjörg; Stadler, Marc; Schulz, Thomas F; Wirth, Dagmar; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2019-01-04)
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), a tumor of endothelial origin predominantly affecting immunosuppressed individuals. Up to date, vaccines and targeted therapies are not available. Screening and identification of anti-viral compounds are compromised by the lack of scalable cell culture systems reflecting properties of virus-transformed cells in patients. Further, the strict specificity of the virus for humans limits the development of in vivo models. In this study, we exploited a conditionally immortalized human endothelial cell line for establishment of in vitro 2D and 3D KSHV latency models and the generation of KS-like xenograft tumors in mice. Importantly, the invasive properties and tumor formation could be completely reverted by purging KSHV from the cells, confirming that tumor formation is dependent on the continued presence of KSHV, rather than being a consequence of irreversible transformation of the infected cells. Upon testing a library of 260 natural metabolites, we selected the compounds that induced viral loss or reduced the invasiveness of infected cells in 2D and 3D endothelial cell culture systems. The efficacy of selected compounds against KSHV-induced tumor formation was verified in the xenograft model. Together, this study shows that the combined use of anti-viral and anti-tumor assays based on the same cell line is predictive for tumor reduction in vivo and therefore allows faithful selection of novel drug candidates against Kaposi's sarcoma. KEY MESSAGES: Novel 2D, 3D, and xenograft mouse models mimic the consequences of KSHV infection. KSHV-induced tumorigenesis can be reverted upon purging the cells from the virus. A 3D invasiveness assay is predictive for tumor reduction in vivo. Chondramid B, epothilone B, and pretubulysin D diminish KS-like lesions in vivo.
  • Biocompatible bacteria-derived vesicles show inherent antimicrobial activity.

    Schulz, Eilien; Goes, Adriely; Garcia, Ronald; Panter, Fabian; Koch, Marcus; Müller, Rolf; Fuhrmann, Kathrin; Fuhrmann, Gregor; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Elsevier, 2018-11-28)
    Up to 25,000 people die each year from resistant infections in Europe alone, with increasing incidence. It is estimated that a continued rise in bacterial resistance by 2050 would lead up to 10 million annual deaths worldwide, exceeding the incidence of cancer deaths. Although the design of new antibiotics is still one way to tackle the problem, pharmaceutical companies investigate far less into new drugs than 30 years ago. Incorporation of antibiotics into nanoparticle drug carriers ("nanoantibiotics") is currently investigated as a promising strategy to make existing antibiotics regain antimicrobial strength and overcome certain types of microbial drug resistance. Many of these synthetic systems enhance the antimicrobial effect of drugs by protecting antibiotics from degradation and reducing their side effects. Nevertheless, they often cannot selectively target pathogenic bacteria and - due to their synthetic origin - may induce side-effects themselves. In this work, we present the characterisation of naturally derived outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) as biocompatible and inherently antibiotic drug carriers. We isolated OMVs from two representative strains of myxobacteria, Cystobacter velatus Cbv34 and Sorangiineae species strain SBSr073, a bacterial order with the ability of lysing other bacterial strains and currently investigated as sources of new secondary metabolites. We investigated the myxobacterias' inherent antibacterial properties after isolation by differential centrifugation and purification by size-exclusion chromatography. OMVs have an average size range of 145-194 nm. We characterised their morphology by electron cryomicroscopy and found that OMVs are biocompatible with epithelial cells and differentiated macrophages. They showed a low endotoxin activity comparable to those of control samples, indicating a low acute inflammatory potential. In addition, OMVs showed inherent stability under different storage conditions, including 4 °C, -20 °C, -80 °C and freeze-drying. OMV uptake in Gram-negative model bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) showed similar to better incorporation than liposome controls, indicating the OMVs may interact with model bacteria via membrane fusion. Bacterial uptake correlated with antimicrobial activity of OMVs as measured by growth inhibition of E. coli. OMVs from Cbv34 inhibited growth of E. coli to a comparable extent as the clinically established antibiotic gentamicin. Liquid-chromatography coupled mass spectrometry analyses revealed the presence of cystobactamids in OMVs, inhibitors of bacterial topoisomerase currently studied to treat different Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens. This work, may serve as an important basis for further evaluation of OMVs derived from myxobacteria as novel therapeutic delivery systems against bacterial infections.
  • Disruption of Coronin 1 Signaling in T Cells Promotes Allograft Tolerance while Maintaining Anti-Pathogen Immunity.

    Jayachandran, Rajesh; Gumienny, Aleksandra; Bolinger, Beatrice; Ruehl, Sebastian; Lang, Mathias Jakob; Fucile, Geoffrey; Mazumder, Saumyabrata; Tchang, Vincent; Woischnig, Anne-Kathrin; Stiess, Michael; Kunz, Gabriele; Claudi, Beatrice; Schmaler, Mathias; Siegmund, Kerstin; Li, Jianping; Dertschnig, Simone; Holländer, George; Medina, Eva; Karrer, Urs; Moshous, Despina; Bumann, Dirk; Khanna, Nina; Rossi, Simona W; Pieters, Jean; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Elsevier (Cell Press), 2019-01-15)
    The ability of the immune system to discriminate self from non-self is essential for eradicating microbial pathogens but is also responsible for allograft rejection. Whether it is possible to selectively suppress alloresponses while maintaining anti-pathogen immunity remains unknown. We found that mice deficient in coronin 1, a regulator of naive T cell homeostasis, fully retained allografts while maintaining T cell-specific responses against microbial pathogens. Mechanistically, coronin 1-deficiency increased cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) concentrations to suppress allo-specific T cell responses. Costimulation induced on microbe-infected antigen presenting cells was able to overcome cAMP-mediated immunosuppression to maintain anti-pathogen immunity. In vivo pharmacological modulation of this pathway or a prior transfer of coronin 1-deficient T cells actively suppressed allograft rejection. These results define a coronin 1-dependent regulatory axis in T cells important for allograft rejection and suggest that modulation of this pathway may be a promising approach to achieve long-term acceptance of mismatched allografts.
  • Characterization of Sigma Factor Genes in streptomyces lividans TK24 Using a Genomic Library-Based Approach for Multiple Gene Deletions.

    Rebets, Yuriy; Tsolis, Konstantinos C; Guðmundsdóttir, Elísabet Eik; Koepff, Joachim; Wawiernia, Beata; Busche, Tobias; Bleidt, Arne; Horbal, Liliya; Myronovskyi, Maksym; Ahmed, Yousra; Wiechert, Wolfgang; Rückert, Christian; Hamed, Mohamed B; Bilyk, Bohdan; Anné, Jozef; Friðjónsson, Ólafur; Kalinowski, Jörn; Oldiges, Marco; Economou, Anastassios; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Frontiers, 2018-01-01)
    Alternative sigma factors control numerous aspects of bacterial life, including adaptation to physiological stresses, morphological development, persistence states and virulence. This is especially true for the physiologically complex actinobacteria. Here we report the development of a robust gene deletions system for Streptomyces lividans TK24 based on a BAC library combined with the λ-Red recombination technique. The developed system was validated by systematically deleting the most highly expressed genes encoding alternative sigma factors and several other regulatory genes within the chromosome of S. lividans TK24. To demonstrate the possibility of large scale genomic manipulations, the major part of the undecylprodigiosin gene cluster was deleted as well. The resulting mutant strains were characterized in terms of morphology, growth parameters, secondary metabolites production and response to thiol-oxidation and cell-wall stresses. Deletion of SLIV_12645 gene encoding S. coelicolor SigR1 ortholog has the most prominent phenotypic effect, resulted in overproduction of actinorhodin and coelichelin P1 and increased sensitivity to diamide. The secreted proteome analysis of SLIV_12645 mutant revealed SigR1 influence on trafficking of proteins involved in cell wall biogenesis and refactoring. The reported here gene deletion system will further facilitate work on S. lividans strain improvement as a host for either secondary metabolites or protein production and will contribute to basic research in streptomycetes physiology, morphological development, secondary metabolism. On the other hand, the systematic deletion of sigma factors encoding genes demonstrates the complexity and conservation of regulatory processes conducted by sigma factors in streptomycetes
  • Aspherical and Spherical InvA497-Functionalized Nanocarriers for Intracellular Delivery of Anti-Infective Agents.

    Castoldi, Arianna; Empting, Martin; De Rossi, Chiara; Mayr, Karsten; Dersch, Petra; Hartmann, Rolf; Müller, Rolf; Gordon, Sarah; Lehr, Claus-Michael; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Springer, 2018-12-05)
    The objective of this work was to evaluate the potential of polymeric spherical and aspherical invasive nanocarriers, loaded with antibiotic, to access and treat intracellular bacterial infections. Aspherical nanocarriers were prepared by stretching of spherical precursors, and both aspherical and spherical nanocarriers were surface-functionalized with the invasive protein InvA497. The relative uptake of nanocarriers into HEp-2 epithelial cells was then assessed. Nanocarriers were subsequently loaded with a preparation of the non-permeable antibiotic gentamicin, and tested for their ability to treat HEp-2 cells infected with the enteroinvasive bacterium Shigella flexneri. InvA497-functionalized nanocarriers of both spherical and aspherical shape showed a significantly improved rate and extent of uptake into HEp-2 cells in comparison to non-functionalized nanocarriers. Functionalized and antibiotic-loaded nanocarriers demonstrated a dose dependent killing of intracellular S. flexneri. A slight but significant enhancement of intracellular bacterial killing was also observed with aspherical as compared to spherical functionalized nanocarriers at the highest tested concentration. InvA497-functionalized, polymer-based nanocarriers were able to efficiently deliver a non-permeable antibiotic across host cell membranes to affect killing of intracellular bacteria. Functionalized nanocarriers with an aspherical shape showed an interesting future potential for intracellular infection therapy.
  • Streptomyces ciscaucasicus Sveshnikova et al. 1983 is a later subjective synonym of Streptomyces canus Heinemann et al. 1953.

    Kämpfer, Peter; Rückert, Christian; Blom, Jochen; Goesmann, Alexander; Wink, Joachim; Kalinowski, Jörn; Glaeser, Stefanie P; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Microbiology Society, 2018-01-01)
    he respiratory tract is constantly exposed to the environment and displays a favorable niche for colonizing microorganisms. However, the effects of respiratory bacterial carriage on the immune system and its implications for secondary responses remain largely unclear. We have employed respiratory carriage with Bordetella bronchiseptica as the underlying model to comprehensively address effects on subsequent immune responses. Carriage was associated with the stimulation of Bordetella-specific CD4(+), CD8(+), and CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cell responses, and broad transcriptional activation was observed in CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells. Importantly, transfer of leukocytes from carriers to acutely B. bronchiseptica infected mice, resulted in a significantly increased bacterial burden in the recipient's upper respiratory tract. In contrast, we found that respiratory B. bronchiseptica carriage resulted in a significant benefit for the host in systemic infection with Listeria monocytogenes. Adaptive responses to vaccination and influenza A virus infection, were unaffected by B. bronchiseptica carriage. These data showed that there were significant immune modulatory processes triggered by B. bronchiseptica carriage, that differentially affect subsequent immune responses. Therefore, our results demonstrated the complexity of immune regulation induced by respiratory bacterial carriage, which can be beneficial or detrimental to the host, depending on the pathogen and the considered compartment.
  • Genome Engineering Approaches to Improve Nosokomycin A Production by Streptomyces ghanaensis B38.3

    Kuzhyk, Yuriy; Lopatniuk, Maria; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; Fedorenko, Victor; Ostash, Bohdan; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Springer, 2018-09-25)
    Here we describe our efforts to improve the levels of phosphoglycolipid antibiotic nosokomycin A production by Streptomyces ghanaensis ATCC14672 via genome engineering approaches. Introduction of two extra copies of leucyl tRNA (UUA) gene bldA and one copy of moenomycin biosynthesis gene cluster led, on average, to threefold increase in nosokomycin A titers (up to 1.5 mg/L). Our results validate genome engineering approach as a viable strategy to improve moenomycin production.
  • N-Acylated amino acid methyl esters from marine group bacteria.

    Bruns, Hilke; Ziesche, Lisa; Taniwal, Nargis Khakin; Wolter, Laura; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Herrmann, Jennifer; Müller, Rolf; Schulz, Stefan; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Beilstein Institut, 2018-01-01)
    The human gut microbiome matures towards the adult composition during the first years of life and is implicated in early immune development. Here, we investigate the effects of microbial genomic diversity on gut microbiome development using integrated early childhood data sets collected in the DIABIMMUNE study in Finland, Estonia and Russian Karelia. We show that gut microbial diversity is associated with household location and linear growth of children. Single nucleotide polymorphism- and metagenomic assembly-based strain tracking revealed large and highly dynamic microbial pangenomes, especially in the genus Bacteroides, in which we identified evidence of variability deriving from Bacteroides-targeting bacteriophages. Our analyses revealed functional consequences of strain diversity; only 10% of Finnish infants harboured Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis, a subspecies specialized in human milk metabolism, whereas Russian infants commonly maintained a probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum strain in infancy. Groups of bacteria contributing to diverse, characterized metabolic pathways converged to highly subject-specific configurations over the first two years of life. This longitudinal study extends the current view of early gut microbial community assembly based on strain-level genomic variation.
  • Monitoring Protein Secretion in Using Fluorescent Proteins.

    Hamed, Mohamed Belal; Vrancken, Kristof; Bilyk, Bohdan; Koepff, Joachim; Novakova, Renata; van Mellaert, Lieve; Oldiges, Marco; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; Kormanec, Jan; Anné, Jozef; Karamanou, Spyridoula; Economou, Anastassios; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-12-07)
    Fluorescent proteins are a major cell biology tool to analyze protein sub-cellular topology. Here we have applied this technology to study protein secretion in the Gram-positive bacterium Streptomyces lividans TK24, a widely used host for heterologous protein secretion biotechnology. Green and monomeric red fluorescent proteins were fused behind Sec (SPSec) or Tat (SPTat) signal peptides to direct them through the respective export pathway. Significant secretion of fluorescent eGFP and mRFP was observed exclusively through the Tat and Sec pathways, respectively. Plasmid over-expression was compared to a chromosomally integrated spSec-mRFP gene to allow monitoring secretion under high and low level synthesis in various media. Fluorimetric detection of SPSec-mRFP recorded folded states, while immuno-staining detected even non-folded topological intermediates. Secretion of SPSec-mRFP is unexpectedly complex, is regulated independently of cell growth phase and is influenced by the growth regime. At low level synthesis, highly efficient secretion occurs until it is turned off and secretory preforms accumulate. At high level synthesis, the secretory pathway overflows and proteins are driven to folding and subsequent degradation. High-level synthesis of heterologous secretory proteins, whether secretion competent or not, has a drastic effect on the endogenous secretome, depending on their secretion efficiency. These findings lay the foundations of dissecting how protein targeting and secretion are regulated by the interplay between the metabolome, secretion factors and stress responses in the S. lividans model.
  • Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Modified Miuraenamides

    Kappler, Sarah; Karmann, Lisa; Prudel, Cynthia; Herrmann, Jennifer; Caddeu, Giulia; Müller, Rolf; Vollmar, Angelika M.; Zahler, Stefan; Kazmaier, Uli; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany.
  • Concepts and Methods to Access Novel Antibiotics from Actinomycetes.

    Hug, Joachim J; Bader, Chantal D; Remškar, Maja; Cirnski, Katarina; Müller, Rolf (MPDI, 2018-05-22)
    Actinomycetes have been proven to be an excellent source of secondary metabolites for more than half a century. Exhibiting various bioactivities, they provide valuable approved drugs in clinical use. Most microorganisms are still untapped in terms of their capacity to produce secondary metabolites, since only a small fraction can be cultured in the laboratory. Thus, improving cultivation techniques to extend the range of secondary metabolite producers accessible under laboratory conditions is an important first step in prospecting underexplored sources for the isolation of novel antibiotics. Currently uncultured actinobacteria can be made available by bioprospecting extreme or simply habitats other than soil. Furthermore, bioinformatic analysis of genomes reveals most producers to harbour many more biosynthetic gene clusters than compounds identified from any single strain, which translates into a silent biosynthetic potential of the microbial world for the production of yet unknown natural products. This review covers discovery strategies and innovative methods recently employed to access the untapped reservoir of natural products. The focus is the order of actinomycetes although most approaches are similarly applicable to other microbes. Advanced cultivation methods, genomics- and metagenomics-based approaches, as well as modern metabolomics-inspired methods are highlighted to emphasise the interplay of different disciplines to improve access to novel natural products.
  • Post-translational Serine/Threonine Phosphorylation and Lysine Acetylation: A Novel Regulatory Aspect of the Global Nitrogen Response Regulator GlnR in S. coelicolor M145.

    Amin, Rafat; Franz-Wachtel, Mirita; Tiffert, Yvonne; Heberer, Martin; Meky, Mohamed; Ahmed, Yousra; Matthews, Arne; Krysenko, Sergii; Jakobi, Marco; Hinder, Markus; Moore, Jane; Okoniewski, Nicole; Maček, Boris; Wohlleben, Wolfgang; Bera, Agnieszka; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Frontiers, 2016-01-01)
    Soil-dwelling Streptomyces bacteria such as S.coelicolor have to constantly adapt to the nitrogen (N) availability in their habitat. Thus, strict transcriptional and post-translational control of the N-assimilation is fundamental for survival of this species. GlnR is a global response regulator that controls transcription of the genes related to the N-assimilation in S. coelicolor and other members of the Actinomycetales. GlnR represents an atypical orphan response regulator that is not activated by the phosphorylation of the conserved aspartate residue (Asp 50). We have applied transcriptional analysis, LC-MS/MS analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) to understand the regulation of GlnR in S. coelicolor M145. The expression of glnR and GlnR-target genes was revisited under four different N-defined conditions and a complex N-rich condition. Although, the expression of selected GlnR-target genes was strongly responsive to changing N-concentrations, the glnR expression itself was independent of the N-availability. Using LC-MS/MSanalysis we demonstrated that GlnR was post-translationally modified. The post-translational modifications of GlnR comprise phosphorylation of the serine/threonine residues and acetylation of lysine residues. In the complex N-rich medium GlnR was phosphorylated on six serine/threonine residues and acetylated on one lysine residue. Under defined N-excess conditions only two phosphorylated residues were detected whereas under defined N-limiting conditions no phosphorylation was observed. GlnR phosphorylation is thus clearly correlated with N-rich conditions. Furthermore, GlnR was acetylated on four lysine residues independently of the N-concentration in the defined media and on only one lysine residue in the complex N-rich medium. Using EMSAs we demonstrated that phosphorylation inhibited the binding of GlnR to its targets genes, whereas acetylation had little influence on the formation of GlnR-DNA complex. This study clearly demonstrated that GlnR DNA-binding affinity is modulated by post-translational modifications in response to changing N-conditions in order to elicit a proper transcriptional response to the latter.
  • Heterologous Expression of the Nybomycin Gene Cluster from the Marine StrainStreptomyces albus subsp. NRRL B-24108.

    Rodríguez Estévez, Marta; Myronovskyi, Maksym; Gummerlich, Nils; Nadmid, Suvd; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (MDPI, 2018-11-04)
    Streptomycetes represent an important reservoir of active secondary metabolites with potential applications in the pharmaceutical industry. The gene clusters responsible for their production are often cryptic under laboratory growth conditions. Characterization of these clusters is therefore essential for the discovery of new microbial pharmaceutical drugs. Here, we report the identification of the previously uncharacterized nybomycin gene cluster from the marine actinomycete
  • Metabolic and Biosynthetic Diversity in Marine Myxobacteria.

    Gemperlein, Katja; Zaburannyi, Nestor; Garcia, Ronald; La Clair, James J; Müller, Rolf; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-09-05)
    Prior to 2005, the vast majority of characterized myxobacteria were obtained from terrestrial habitats. Since then, several species of halotolerant and even obligate marine myxobacteria have been described. Chemical analyses of extracts from these organisms have confirmed their ability to produce secondary metabolites with unique chemical scaffolds. Indeed, new genera of marine-derived myxobacteria, particularly Enhygromyxa, have been shown to produce novel chemical scaffolds that differ from those observed in soil myxobacteria. Further studies have shown that marine sponges and terrestrial myxobacteria are capable of producing similar or even identical secondary metabolites, suggesting that myxobacterial symbionts may have been the true producers. Recent in silico analysis of the genome sequences available from six marine myxobacteria disclosed a remarkably versatile biosynthetic potential. With access to ever-advancing tools for small molecule and genetic evaluation, these studies suggest a bright future for expeditions into this yet untapped resource for secondary metabolites
  • Mast cells as protectors of health.

    Dudeck, Anne; Köberle, Martin; Goldmann, Oliver; Meyer, Nicole; Dudeck, Jan; Lemmens, Stefanie; Rohde, Manfred; Roldán, Nestor González; Dietze-Schwonberg, Kirsten; Orinska, Zane; Medina, Eva; Hendrix, Sven; Metz, Martin; Zenclussen, Ana Claudia; von Stebut, Esther; Biedermann, Tilo; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut füt Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Elsevier, 2018-11-20)
    Mast cells (MC), well known for their effector functions in Th2 skewed allergic and also autoimmune inflammation, become increasingly acknowledged for their role in protection of health. It is now clear that they are also key modulators of immune responses at interface organs like skin or gut. MC can prime tissues for adequate inflammatory responses and cooperate with dendritic cells in T cell activation. They also regulate harmful immune responses in trauma and help to successfully orchestrate pregnancy. This review focusses on the beneficial effects of mast cells on tissue homeostasis and elimination of toxins or venoms. MC can enhance pathogen clearance in many bacterial, viral, and parasite infections, e.g. by TLR2 triggered degranulation, secretion of antimicrobial cathelicidins, recruiting neutrophils or by providing extracellular DNA traps. The role of MC in tumors is more ambiguous, however, encouraging new findings show they can change the tumor microenvironment towards anti-tumor immunity when adequately triggered. Uterine tissue remodeling by α-chymase (MCP-5) is crucial for successful embryo implantation. MCP-4 and the tryptase MCP-6 emerge to be protective in CNS trauma by reducing inflammatory damage and excessive scar formation, thereby protecting axon growth. Last but not least, we see proteases like carboxypeptidase A released by FcεRI activated MC detoxify an increasing number of venoms and endogenous toxins. A better understanding of the plasticity of MC will help to improve these advantageous effects, and hint on ways to cut down detrimental MC actions.
  • An Interferon Signature Discriminates Pneumococcal From Staphylococcal Pneumonia.

    Strehlitz, Anja; Goldmann, Oliver; Pils, Marina C; Pessler, Frank; Medina, Eva; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.; TWINCORE, Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH,Feodor-Lynen Str. 7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (Frontiers, 2018-01-01)
    Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Despite the low prevalence of CAP caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), CAP patients often receive empirical antibiotic therapy providing coverage for MRSA such as vancomycin or linezolid. An early differentiation between S. pneumoniae and S. aureus pneumonia can help to reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics. The objective of this study was to identify candidate biomarkers that can discriminate pneumococcal from staphylococcal pneumonia. A genome-wide transcriptional analysis of lung and peripheral blood performed in murine models of S. pneumoniae and S. aureus lung infection identified an interferon signature specifically associated with S. pneumoniae infection. Prediction models built using a support vector machine and Monte Carlo cross-validation, identified the combination of the interferon-induced chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 serum concentrations as the set of biomarkers with best sensitivity, specificity, and predictive power that enabled an accurate discrimination between S. pneumoniae and S. aureus pneumonia. The predictive performance of these biomarkers was further validated in an independent cohort of mice. This study highlights the potential of serum CXCL9 and CXCL10 biomarkers as an adjunctive diagnostic tool that could facilitate prompt and correct pathogen-targeted therapy in CAP patients.
  • Ala-geninthiocin, a new broad spectrum thiopeptide antibiotic, produced by a marine Streptomyces sp. ICN19.

    Iniyan, Appadurai Muthamil; Sudarman, Enge; Wink, Joachim; Kannan, Rajaretinam Rajesh; Vincent, Samuel Gnana Prakash; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-10-24)
    Bioassay-guided screening of antibacterial compounds from the cultured marine Streptomyces sp. ICN19 provided Ala-geninthiocin (1), along with its known analogs geninthiocin (2) and Val-geninthiocin (3) and the indolocarbazole staurosporine (4). The structure of 1 was determined on the basis of 1D and 2D NMR spectra and ESI-HRMS. The absolute configurations of the amino acid residues were determined by enantioselective GC-MS analysis. Compound 1 exhibited potent activity against Gram-positive bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Micrococcus luteus, as well as cytotoxicity against A549 human lung carcinoma cells with an IC50 value of 6 nM
  • Fluorescent Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Nanoparticles

    Neumeier, B. Lilli; Khorenko, Mikhail; Alves, Frauke; Goldmann, Oliver; Napp, Joanna; Schepers, Ute; Reichardt, Holger M.; Feldmann, Claus; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
    Inorganic‐organic hybrid nanoparticles (IOH‐NPs) with a general composition [ZrO]2+[RDyeOPO3]2−, [Ln]3+n/3[RDye(SO3)n]n−, [Ln(OH)]2+n/2[RDye(SO3)n]n−, or [LnO]+n[RDye(SO3)n]n− (Ln: lanthanide) are a novel class of nanomaterials for fluorescence detection and optical imaging. IOH‐NPs are characterized by an extremely high load of the fluorescent dye (70–85 wt‐%), high photochemical stability, straightforward aqueous synthesis, low material complexity, intense emission and high cell uptake at low toxicity. Besides full‐color emission, IOH‐NPs are suitable for multimodal imaging, singlet‐oxygen generation as well as drug delivery and drug release. This focus review presents the material concept of the IOH‐NPs as well as their synthesis and characterization. Their characteristic features are illustrated by selected in vitro and in vivo studies to initiate application in biology and medicine.
  • The vacuolar-type ATPase inhibitor archazolid increases tumor cell adhesion to endothelial cells by accumulating extracellular collagen.

    Luong, Betty; Schwenk, Rebecca; Bräutigam, Jacqueline; Müller, Rolf; Menche, Dirk; Bischoff, Iris; Fürst, Robert; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-01-01)
    The vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (v-ATPase) is the major proton pump that acidifies intracellular compartments of eukaryotic cells. Since the inhibition of v-ATPase resulted in anti-tumor and anti-metastatic effects in different tumor models, this enzyme has emerged as promising strategy against cancer. Here, we used the well-established v-ATPase inhibitor archazolid, a natural product first isolated from the myxobacterium Archangium gephyra, to study the consequences of v-ATPase inhibition in endothelial cells (ECs), in particular on the interaction between ECs and cancer cells, which has been neglected so far. Human endothelial cells treated with archazolid showed an increased adhesion of tumor cells, whereas the transendothelial migration of tumor cells was reduced. The adhesion process was independent from the EC adhesion molecules ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin and N-cadherin. Instead, the adhesion was mediated by β1-integrins expressed on tumor cells, as blocking of the integrin β1 subunit reversed this process. Tumor cells preferentially adhered to the β1-integrin ligand collagen and archazolid led to an increase in the amount of collagen on the surface of ECs. The accumulation of collagen was accompanied by a strong decrease of the expression and activity of the protease cathepsin B. Overexpression of cathepsin B in ECs prevented the capability of archazolid to increase the adhesion of tumor cells onto ECs. Our study demonstrates that the inhibition of v-ATPase by archazolid induces a pro-adhesive phenotype in endothelial cells that promotes their interaction with cancer cells, whereas the transmigration of tumor cells was reduced. These findings further support archazolid as a promising anti-metastatic compound.

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