• Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium exploits inflammation to compete with the intestinal microbiota.

      Stecher, Bärbel; Robbiani, Riccardo; Walker, Alan W; Westendorf, Astrid M; Barthel, Manja; Kremer, Marcus; Chaffron, Samuel; Macpherson, Andrew J; Buer, Jan; Parkhill, Julian; et al. (2007-10)
      Most mucosal surfaces of the mammalian body are colonized by microbial communities ("microbiota"). A high density of commensal microbiota inhabits the intestine and shields from infection ("colonization resistance"). The virulence strategies allowing enteropathogenic bacteria to successfully compete with the microbiota and overcome colonization resistance are poorly understood. Here, we investigated manipulation of the intestinal microbiota by the enteropathogenic bacterium Salmonella enterica subspecies 1 serovar Typhimurium (S. Tm) in a mouse colitis model: we found that inflammatory host responses induced by S. Tm changed microbiota composition and suppressed its growth. In contrast to wild-type S. Tm, an avirulent invGsseD mutant failing to trigger colitis was outcompeted by the microbiota. This competitive defect was reverted if inflammation was provided concomitantly by mixed infection with wild-type S. Tm or in mice (IL10(-/-), VILLIN-HA(CL4-CD8)) with inflammatory bowel disease. Thus, inflammation is necessary and sufficient for overcoming colonization resistance. This reveals a new concept in infectious disease: in contrast to current thinking, inflammation is not always detrimental for the pathogen. Triggering the host's immune defence can shift the balance between the protective microbiota and the pathogen in favour of the pathogen.
    • Sensitivity to Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 in mice is dependent on environment and genetic background.

      Bleich, Andre; Sundberg, John P; Smoczek, Anna; von Wasielewski, Reinhard; de Buhr, Maike F; Janus, Lydia M; Julga, Gwen; Ukena, Sya N; Hedrich, Hans-J; Gunzer, Florian; et al. (2008-02)
      Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) is a well-characterized probiotic bacterium. Although genomic comparisons of EcN with the uropathogenic E. coli strain CFT073 revealed high degrees of similarity, EcN is generally considered a non-pathogenic organism. However, as recent evidence suggests that EcN is capable of inducing inflammatory responses in host intestinal epithelial cells, we aimed to investigate potential pathogenic properties of EcN in an in vivo model using various germ-free (GF) mouse strains. With the exception of C3H/HeJZtm mice, which carry a defective toll-like receptor (TLR)4-allele, no lesions were obvious in mice of different strains orally inoculated with EcN for 1 week, although organ cultures (blood, lung, mesenteric lymph node, pancreas, spleen, liver and kidney) tested positive to various degrees. C3H/HeJZtm mice inoculated with EcN became clinically ill and the majority died or had to be euthanized. Organs of all gnotobiotic C3H/HeJZtm mice were positive for EcN by culture; major histological findings were moderate to severe pyogranulomatous serositis, typhlitis and pancreatitis. Histological findings were corroborated by highly elevated tumour necrosis factor (TNF) serum levels. Lesions were not detected in specified pathogen free maintained C3H/HeJZtm mice, GF C3H/HeJ mice lacking the interleukin-10 gene, or GF C3H/HeJZtm mice that were inoculated with E. coli K12 strain MG1655 as a control. In addition, mild histological lesions were detected in Ztm:NMRI mice 3 months after oral inoculation with EcN. This study shows that EcN is capable of displaying a virulent phenotype in GF C3H/HeJZtm mice. Whether this phenotype is linked to the bacterium's probiotic nature should be the focus of further studies.
    • Signatures of human regulatory T cells: an encounter with old friends and new players.

      Pfoertner, Susanne; Jeron, Andreas; Probst-Kepper, Michael; Guzman, Carlos A; Hansen, Wiebke; Westendorf, Astrid M; Toepfer, Tanja; Schrader, Andres J; Franzke, Anke; Buer, Jan; et al. (2006)
      BACKGROUND: Naturally occurring CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells (TReg) are involved in the control of autoimmune diseases, transplantation tolerance, and anti-tumor immunity. Thus far, genomic studies on TReg cells were restricted to murine systems, and requirements for their development, maintenance, and mode of action in humans are poorly defined. RESULTS: To improve characterization of human TReg cells, we compiled a unique microarray consisting of 350 TReg cell associated genes (Human TReg Chip) based on whole genome transcription data from human and mouse TReg cells. TReg cell specific gene signatures were created from 11 individual healthy donors. Statistical analysis identified 62 genes differentially expressed in TReg cells, emphasizing some cross-species differences between mice and humans. Among them, several 'old friends' (including FOXP3, CTLA4, and CCR7) that are known to be involved in TReg cell function were recovered. Strikingly, the vast majority of genes identified had not previously been associated with human TReg cells (including LGALS3, TIAF1, and TRAF1). Most of these 'new players' however, have been described in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity. Real-time RT-PCR of selected genes validated our microarray results. Pathway analysis was applied to extract signaling modules underlying human TReg cell function. CONCLUSION: The comprehensive set of genes reported here provides a defined starting point to unravel the unique characteristics of human TReg cells. The Human TReg Chip constructed and validated here is available to the scientific community and is a useful tool with which to study the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate TReg cells under physiologic and diseased conditions.
    • Skp2-dependent degradation of p27kip1 is essential for cell cycle progression

      Kossatz, Uta; Dietrich, Nils; Zender, Lars; Buer, Jan; Manns, Michael P; Malek, Nisar P. (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2004-11-01)
    • Telomere shortening impairs organ regeneration by inhibiting cell cycle re-entry of a subpopulation of cells

      Satyanarayana, A.; Wiemann, S.U.; Buer, J.; Lauber, J.; Dittmar, K.E.J.; Wüstefeld, T.; Blasco, M.A.; Manns, M.P.; Rudolph, K.L. (Oxford University Press, 2003-08-01)
    • Testing the importance of p27 degradation by the SCFskp2 pathway in murine models of lung and colon cancer.

      Timmerbeul, Inke; Garrett-Engele, Carrie M; Kossatz, Uta; Chen, Xueyan; Firpo, Eduardo; Grünwald, Viktor; Kamino, Kenji; Wilkens, Ludwig; Lehmann, Ulrich; Buer, Jan; et al. (2006-09-19)
      Decreased expression of the CDK inhibitor p27kip1 in human tumors directly correlates with increased resistance to chemotherapies, increased rates of metastasis, and an overall increased rate of patient mortality. It is thought that decreased p27 expression in tumors is caused by increased proteasomal turnover, in particular activation of the pathway governed by the SCFskp2 E3 ubiquitin protein ligase. We have directly tested the importance of the SCFskp-mediated degradation of p27 in tumorigenesis by analyzing the tumor susceptibility of mice that express a form of p27 that cannot be ubiquitinated and degraded by this pathway (p27T187A). In mouse models of both lung and colon cancer down-regulation of p27 promotes tumorigenesis. However, we found that preventing p27 degradation by the SCFskp2 pathway had no impact on tumor incidence or overall survival in either tumor model. Our study unveiled a previously unrecognized role for the control of p27 mRNA abundance in the development of non-small cell lung cancers. In the colon cancer model, the frequency of intestinal adenomas was similarly unaffected by the p27T187A mutation, but, unexpectedly, we found that it inhibited progression of intestinal adenomas to carcinomas. These studies may guide the choice of clinical settings in which pharmacologic inhibitors of the Skp2 pathway might be of therapeutic value.
    • Type I interferon drives tumor necrosis factor-induced lethal shock.

      Huys, Liesbeth; Van Hauwermeiren, Filip; Dejager, Lien; Dejonckheere, Eline; Lienenklaus, Stefan; Weiss, Siegfried; Leclercq, Georges; Libert, Claude; Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, VIB, Ghent B9052, Belgium. (2009-08-31)
      Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is reputed to have very powerful antitumor effects, but it is also a strong proinflammatory cytokine. Injection of TNF in humans and mice leads to a systemic inflammatory response syndrome with major effects on liver and bowels. TNF is also a central mediator in several inflammatory diseases. We report that type I interferons (IFNs) are essential mediators of the lethal response to TNF. Mice deficient in the IFN-alpha receptor 1 (IFNAR-1) or in IFN-beta are remarkably resistant to TNF-induced hypothermia and death. After TNF injection, IFNAR-1(-/-) mice produced less IL-6, had less bowel damage, and had less apoptosis of enterocytes and hepatocytes compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Extensive gene expression analysis in livers of WT and IFNAR-1(-/-) mice revealed a large deficiency in the response to TNF in the knockout mice, especially of IFN-stimulated response element-dependent genes, many of which encode chemokines. In livers of IFNAR-1(-/-) mice, fewer infiltrating white blood cells (WBCs) were detected by immunohistochemistry. Deficiency of type I IFN signaling provided sufficient protection for potentially safer therapeutic use of TNF in tumor-bearing mice. Our data illustrate that type I IFNs act as essential mediators in TNF-induced lethal inflammatory shock, possibly by enhancing cell death and inducing chemokines and WBC infiltration in tissues.