• A brewing understanding of the regulation of Bax function by Bcl-xL and Bcl-2.

      Renault, Thibaud T; Dejean, Laurent M; Manon, Stéphen; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH. Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-01)
      Bcl-2 family members form a network of protein-protein interactions that regulate apoptosis through permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Deciphering this intricate network requires streamlined experimental models, including the heterologous expression in yeast. This approach had previously enabled researchers to identify domains and residues that underlie the conformational changes driving the translocation, the insertion and the oligomerization of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax at the level of the mitochondrial outer membrane. Recent studies that combine experiments in yeast and in mammalian cells have shown the unexpected effect of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-xL on the priming of Bax. As demonstrated with the BH3-mimetic molecule ABT-737, this property of Bcl-xL, and of Bcl-2, is crucial to elaborate about how apoptosis could be reactivated in tumoral cells.
    • Optimizing Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium for bacteria-mediated tumor therapy.

      Felgner, Sebastian; Kocijancic, Dino; Frahm, Michael; Curtiss, Roy; Erhardt, Marc; Weiss, Siegfried; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      Bacteria-mediated tumor therapy using Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a therapeutic option with great potential. Numerous studies explored the potential of Salmonella Typhimurium for therapeutic applications, however reconciling safety with vectorial efficacy remains a major issue. Recently we have described a conditionally attenuated Salmonella vector that is based on genetic lipopolysaccharide modification. This vector combines strong attenuation with appropriate anti-tumor properties by targeting various cancerous tissues in vivo. Therefore, it was promoted as an anti-tumor agent. In this addendum, we summarize these findings and demonstrate additional optimization steps that may further improve the therapeutic efficacy of our vector strain.
    • YopN and TyeA Hydrophobic Contacts Required for Regulating Ysc-Yop Type III Secretion Activity by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

      Amer, Ayad A A; Gurung, Jyoti M; Costa, Tiago R D; Ruuth, Kristina; Zavialov, Anton V; Forsberg, Åke; Francis, Matthew S; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016)
      Yersinia bacteria target Yop effector toxins to the interior of host immune cells by the Ysc-Yop type III secretion system. A YopN-TyeA heterodimer is central to controlling Ysc-Yop targeting activity. A + 1 frameshift event in the 3-prime end of yopN can also produce a singular secreted YopN-TyeA polypeptide that retains some regulatory function even though the C-terminal coding sequence of this YopN differs greatly from wild type. Thus, this YopN C-terminal segment was analyzed for its role in type III secretion control. Bacteria producing YopN truncated after residue 278, or with altered sequence between residues 279 and 287, had lost type III secretion control and function. In contrast, YopN variants with manipulated sequence beyond residue 287 maintained full control and function. Scrutiny of the YopN-TyeA complex structure revealed that residue W279 functioned as a likely hydrophobic contact site with TyeA. Indeed, a YopN W279G mutant lost all ability to bind TyeA. The TyeA residue F8 was also critical for reciprocal YopN binding. Thus, we conclude that specific hydrophobic contacts between opposing YopN and TyeA termini establishes a complex needed for regulating Ysc-Yop activity.