This is the institutional Repository of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig/Germany (HZI), the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrücken/Germany, the TWINCORE Zentrum für Exprerimentelle und Klinische Infektionsforschung, Hannover/Germany,Helmholtz-Institut für RNA-basierte Infektionsforschung (HIRI), Würzburg/Germany, Braunschweig Integrated Centre for Systems biology (BRICS), Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) the Study Centre Hannover, Hannover/Germany and the Centre for Individualised Infection Medicine (CiiM).


  • SPI2 T3SS effectors facilitate enterocyte apical to basolateral transmigration of -containing vacuoles .

    Fulde, Marcus; van Vorst, Kira; Zhang, Kaiyi; Westermann, Alexander J; Busche, Tobias; Huei, Yong Chiun; Welitschanski, Katharina; Froh, Isabell; Pägelow, Dennis; Plendl, Johanna; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2021-09-20)
    Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI) 2 type three secretion system (T3SS)-mediated effector molecules facilitate bacterial survival in phagocytes but their role in the intestinal epithelium in vivo remains ill-defined. Using our neonatal murine infection model in combination with SPI2 reporter technology and RNA-Seq of sorted primary enterocytes, we demonstrate expression of SPI2 effector molecules by intraepithelial Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). Contrary to expectation, immunostaining revealed that infection with SPI2 T3SS-mutants resulted in significantly enlarged intraepithelial Salmonella-containing vacuoles (SCV) with altered cellular positioning, suggesting impaired apical to basolateral transmigration. Also, infection with isogenic tagged S. Typhimurium strains revealed a reduced spread of intraepithelial SPI2 T3SS mutant S. Typhimurium to systemic body sites. These results suggest that SPI2 T3SS effector molecules contribute to enterocyte apical to basolateral transmigration of the SCV during the early stage of the infection.
  • Evolution of cytokine production capacity in ancient and modern European populations.

    Domínguez-Andrés, Jorge; Kuijpers, Yunus; Bakker, Olivier B; Jaeger, Martin; Xu, Cheng-Jian; Van der Meer, Jos Wm; Jakobsson, Mattias; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Joosten, Leo Ab; Li, Yang; et al. (eLife Sciences Publications, 2021-09-07)
    As our ancestors migrated throughout different continents, natural selection increased the presence of alleles advantageous in the new environments. Heritable variations that alter the susceptibility to diseases vary with the historical period, the virulence of the infections, and their geographical spread. In this study we built polygenic scores for heritable traits that influence the genetic adaptation in the production of cytokines and immune-mediated disorders, including infectious, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases, and applied them to the genomes of several ancient European populations. We observed that the advent of the Neolithic was a turning point for immune-mediated traits in Europeans, favoring those alleles linked with the development of tolerance against intracellular pathogens and promoting inflammatory responses against extracellular microbes. These evolutionary patterns are also associated with an increased presence of traits related to inflammatory and auto-immune diseases.
  • Impact of healthy aging on active bacterial assemblages throughout the gastrointestinal tract.

    Schütte, Kerstin; Schulz, Christian; Vilchez-Vargas, Ramiro; Vasapolli, Riccardo; Palm, Frederike; Simon, Bianca; Schomburg, Dirk; Lux, Anke; Geffers, Robert; Pieper, Dietmar H; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2021-08-30)
    The adaption of gut microbiota (GM) throughout human life is a key factor in maintaining health. Interventions to restore a healthy GM composition may have the potential to improve health and disease outcomes in the elderly. We performed a comprehensive characterization of changes in the luminal and mucosa-associated microbiota composition in elderly compared with younger healthy individuals. Samples from saliva and feces, and biopsies from the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract (UGIT, LGIT), were collected from 59 asymptomatic individuals grouped by age: 40-55, 56-70, and 71-85 years). All underwent anthropometric, geriatric, and nutritional assessment. RNA was extracted and reverse-transcribed into complementary DNA; the V1-V2 regions of 16S ribosomal RNA genes were amplified and sequenced. Abundances of the taxa in all taxonomic ranks in each sample type were used to construct sample-similarity matrices by the Bray-Curtis algorithm. Significant differences between defined groups were assessed by analysis of similarity. The bacterial community showed strong interindividual variations and a clear distinction between samples from UGIT, LGIT, and feces. While in saliva some taxa were affected by aging, this number was considerably greater in UGIT and was subsequently higher in LGIT. Unexpectedly, aging scarcely influenced the bacterial community of feces over the age range of 40-85 years. The development of interventions to preserve and restore human health with increased age by establishing a healthy gut microbiome should not rely solely on data from fecal analysis, as the intestinal mucosa is affected by more significant changes, which differ from those observed in fecal analyses.
  • Epigenome-Wide DNA Methylation and Pesticide Use in the Agricultural Lung Health Study.

    Hoang, Thanh T; Qi, Cancan; Paul, Kimberly C; Lee, Mikyeong; White, Julie D; Richards, Marie; Auerbach, Scott S; Long, Stuart; Shrestha, Srishti; Wang, Tianyuan; et al. (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), 2021-09-13)
    Using family-wise error rate (p<9×10-8) or false-discovery rate (FDR<0.05), we identified 162 differentially methylated CpGs across 8 of 9 currently marketed active ingredients (acetochlor, atrazine, dicamba, glyphosate, malathion, metolachlor, mesotrione, and picloram) and one banned organochlorine (heptachlor). Differentially methylated CpGs were unique to each active ingredient, and a dose-response relationship with lifetime days of use was observed for most. Significant CpGs were enriched for transcription motifs and 28% of CpGs were associated with whole blood cis-gene expression, supporting functional effects of findings. We corroborated a previously reported association between dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (banned in the United States in 1972) and epigenetic age acceleration.
  • Total Synthesis of Thuggacin cmc-A and Its Structure Determination.

    Tsutsumi, Tomohiro; Matsumoto, Moe; Iwasaki, Hitomi; Tomisawa, Kei; Komine, Keita; Fukuda, Hayato; Eustache, Jacques; Jansen, Rolf; Hatakeyama, Susumi; Ishihara, Jun; et al. (American Chemical Society, 2021-06-15)
    The first total synthesis of thuggacin cmc-A and the determination of the absolute structure are described. The thuggacin family of antibiotics is of great interest due to the antibiotic activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Based on the assumption that seven stereogenic centers in thuggacin cmc-A would share the same stereochemistry as thuggacin-A, all stereogenic centers of thuggacin cmc-A were strictly constructed in a stereocontrolled manner. The total synthesis allowed its stereostructure to be fully confirmed.

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